Thank you so much!! I had sent a request for 30 smile cards for all my Christmas acts. In the request I said that if it's not possible for them to send me these cards I totally understand because after all I do live a long way down in New Zealand. I didn't hear anything more and just happily accepted that I won't be receiving any smile cards. Last night I arrived home to find a package with about 278 smile cards inside!! This arrived a few weeks after I placed the request...I couldn't believe it!! That was something I sooo wasn't expecting! I was so overwhelmed, thinking is this a mistake? Here is what I use my smile cards for.... - Whenever I send out cards or presents in New Zealand or around the world I always include a smile card inside. I have sent out quite a few cards out to quite a number ... Read Full Story >>
At 2:00am this past Friday morning, I received a text message from a friend, asking if I had any Smile Cards in Spanish. I immediately replied back saying I didn’t have any smile cards in Spanish. However, I also asked her why she wanted them specifically in Spanish and if smile cards in English would be acceptable. To my surprise, she said she had been one of the few selected by her high-school to go on a service trip to Nicaragua. She was going to spend four weeks in the villages teaching English to children & teens between the ages of five and eighteen. She wanted to share the concept of Smile Cards and kindness. By now, I was totally rocked and excited with hearing the news! :) So I decided to stop texting and call her to get more information about her service trip and ask when she was leaving for ... Read Full Story >>
I went into a local cafe for breakfast one quiet morning with a friend of mine. I grabbed a smile card as I left my car, not knowing quite what I was going to do with it. During the meal, I noticed a woman sat by herself, absorbed in a book, at the table next to us. I walked over to the waitress, asked how much the woman's check was, and handed her the money and a smile card with the instructions to give the woman the card, with the paid check, but to make sure not to tell her who had done this. When the woman left, the waitress came to the table and told me that the woman was shocked and very happy, said she really needed someone to do this for her, and couldn't wait to pass it on. But what really touched me was that the waitress said the owner of the cafe had ... Read Full Story >>
Today it is 39 degrees and supposed to be raining. It would have been the perfect day for me to act upon my Kindness Idea. I was the lucky winner of the December Kindness Idea's Contest on Helpothers.org - where they give you $100 to carry out your kindness idea. My idea was to purchase umbrellas for shelter on a rainy day and small towels to wife your face and hopefully bring a little smile into your day and hand them out to folks who find themselves caught out in the weather unprepared. Once I received the check for $100 I ran right out and purchased umbrellas and towels. I laundered the towels and wrapped them around the umbrellas and banded them with a smile card. I placed them them in plastic bags to protect them from moisture, dirt and grime! Then I waited on the rain!!! Lately we’ve had plenty snow…but no rain. Yesterday the rains came! Where were the ... Read Full Story >>
I teach a sixth grade religion class, and today I played the Smile Deck game with my students. They each left with two kind acts to complete and were very enthusiastic as I handed them regular Smile Cards to go along with the Smile Deck Cards.
One student was able to complete one of her acts that day itself, when class ended. She held the door for those leaving the building, handing out Smile Cards to those who would take them. It was uncomfortable for her at first (12 years old is an awkward age, at best), but she got the hang of it and started to enjoy her 15 minutes as 'Door Woman'!
I am excited to hear about how the other children's acts of kindness go.
I hope that my take on the ways we can “take care of God's creation” will sink into these kids, and they will carry forward the idea of embracing kindness as a meaningful part of life.
This is just the beginning for me!! Thanks for the forum of inspiration!
There is a saying in India - "Jab bhagawaan dheta hai to chhapad phad ke dheta hai." Roughly translated it means, "When blessings come, they come in a downpour." This is how I have been feeling since I have been the recipient of a series of tags - from multiple sources. First, I received an envelope with a beautiful hand-drawn image and inspiring message. Then another envelope, with a whole bunch of smile stickers. A day ago it was this huge box containing some cute stuffed dolls, plastic smile coins and smile balls and yet another inspiring note. And today it was yet another box from across the pond with a lovely photo frame and a wonderful note. Not only have these gifts cheered me, my husband has also been having a great time opening them and being amazed at the thoughts behind them. He still has not been able to wipe the ... Read Full Story >>
My wonderful Aunt Helen Louise recently passed away very unexpectedly. I have been trying to stay positive during this time. Today was an especially emotional day, so I decided to try and keep myself busy by doing a little 'treasure hunting' at my local Goodwill store. Whilst I was browsing, I saw a young girl trying to ride a bicycle. Her grandmother and grandfather were steadying it for her. Her grandmother was very encouraging and it made me smile to see the look of determination on the little girl's face. I browsed through the racks but didn't find anything I wanted to buy. I was on my way out of the store, when I noticed the bicycle parked at the checkout counter. A light bulb went off right away in my mind, and I asked the clerk if the bicyle had been paid for. She told me that the little girl's grandparents were going to buy it ... Read Full Story >>
This weekend I went grocery shopping. The cashier I chose was talking to the ladies in front of me and then something they were talking about reminded her about sending relief for a co-worker. She quickly took care of that and called the person to tell them help was on the way. When it was my turn to checkout she chatted with me too. I had prepared a little Smile Card package that I normally use in drive-throughs before coming inside the store just in case I found someone to share it with. Well I knew she was the one. I could tell she really cared about people. When we were all done with my transaction I said, "This is for you," and handed her the items. She looked at it and said, "Thank you! I really needed this today!" Then her eyes filled with tears and she gave me a hug! I told her, "Now, ... Read Full Story >>
I submited a kindness idea to Helpothers.org $100 kindness contest and I won. Armed with $100 and a mission - WOW! What an amazing week I just had! It started out last weekend - the first goal was to fill 20 “Smile Baggies” to give out. I had so much fun all Saturday picking out the items to buy. I'm a single mom of a teenager, so the opportunity to buy something without worrying about whether it would hurt our monthly budget made me feel like I had won the lottery! I picked out some practical items – a post-it note pad, pen, hand sanitizer wipes, and breath mints. But since it was a “smile baggie”, I also got some fun stuff too – microwave popcorn, hot cocoa, bubble gum, a smile stamp, and a small bottle of bubble bath. I spent Sunday night bagging all the goodies and attached the following letter to each bag: "HI! This ... Read Full Story >>
My second lot of Smile Cards arrived last week, and I have been trying to think of uses for them. Today, before I headed into town for a job interview, I decided to grab a handful and try to use as many as I could throughout the day. The weather was awful, it was pouring with rain, and I would've loved to buy umbrellas for people. But being unemployed, I didn't have the money to spare. So instead, I decided to think of free or really cheap ways to make people smile -- after all, even the little things count. I knew I'd also have to deal with my shyness, or just create anonymous acts of kindness, but it was a challenge I was willing to accept! Before leaving my house, I filled a bag with some items that I no longer use and prepared to drop it off at a charity shop in town. ... Read Full Story >>
Hello my kind friends! Every so often I like to post adventures of one of my little kindness kids. Little Rachel (6 years old now!) is a kind hearted little girl who often accompanies me on my kindness adventures. Well, this week she is a 'Top Cat' in her 1st grade class. It is her special week at school and she gets to have lunch with the principal and teacher. She is very excited. But although I am proud of her, that is not why. Part of her being Top Cat is that she has to complete a big poster about herself. She colors it, answers the questions about herself on it, etc. There is one section that asks her to name 3 supercool things about herself. Well bless her heart, one of her supercool things that she wrote is that she gets to hand out Smile Cards! :) We taped a Smile Cards underneath where she ... Read Full Story >>
We homeschool our children so we sometimes have the flexibility of adjusting our schedule to fit in special things. Today, as part of our 'Kindness Klub' we decided we would head out for an afternoon of giving back. Each of my kids chose from a list of kind things that they wanted to do. I ran down to the local store, picked up a few potted flowers and attached Smile Cards. We then put a few dollars in a plastic bag with a Smile Card. Before we set off on our mission, we read a verse from the Bible about kindness and said a prayer that our efforts would be well-received and help brighten someone's day! First, we stopped off at the local bus stop. We taped the plastic bag to a post inside the bus stop and quickly left ;) Second, my 10 year old daughter said she had seen a house she wanted to drop her flowers off at. She directed me to it. ... Read Full Story >>
Peapod and I just returned from a trip across the pond to see her parents and some of her friends back home in America. We had a great time, being somewhat spoiled by her folks :-) While we were away we kept our eyes open for opportunities and managed to leave a little kindness behind us on the way. Coffee and coffee houses seem even bigger over the water than they do in the UK, so one idea we had was to buy some $10 coffee cards and give them out to people as we wandered around the town. We quickly earmarked two particular people to give cards to. Earlier that afternoon we had been to a jeans store to exchange some jeans and the girl there really knew her stuff! Before we knew it Peapod had a replacement pair and an extra pair of jeans, while I was also buying a pair. The ... Read Full Story >>
I picked a card from the Smile Deck today - it was a spade. The spades are in the category “For Our World”. I picked the card (4 of spades) which says: “send a thank you note to a person or business helping the world”. I have recently had someone come in to my life who has inspired me tremendously. She is very kind. She reaches out to children all over the world who are disabled or terminally ill. She wants to bring a little bit of sunshine into their lives so she sends them lovely goodie bags for their birthdays and on other special occasions. I feel blessed to know her and decided to use this opportunity to thank her. I went to the store and bought a lovely ‘Thank You’ card and wrote a kind note inside. I also placed a Smile Card in the envelope so that she knows she ... Read Full Story >>
Often we do little acts of kindness and can’t really know what happens next… the people who benefit from the act return to their lives and we return to ours! Our paths may never cross again. But that’s not the case when a member of HelpOthers does a kind act to another member of HelOthers! Here we can chart the ripples as we guide the kindness on its way! Here’s one such story. You may have read Aurelia’s post about making Chex Mix for her family, or Bluebell’s post about receiving a snack from a friend in the US. Well I sent some Karmabucks to Aurelia to find out more about her amazing snack and she offered to send some to me if I was based in the US. Unfortunately I’m not, I live in the UK but luck would have it that I was off to America for a company event last ... Read Full Story >>
I was getting out of my car at my local supermarket one night and a woman with a backpack approached me asking for money. I offered to buy her a sandwhich and she told me that she had a partner as well. I said I would buy him a sandwich too. On the way into the store she told me she was an alcoholic and I offered a suggestion about an nearby AA meeting. She said she had been clean and sober for years but then had an injury in which she she was put on pain relievers and then turned back to alcohol. I was compassionate and told her to return to AA if she could - she would find support there. She thanked me and seemed very grateful then looked straight at me and said she didn't need anything to eat, she just needed a dollar for a beer and understood that I ... Read Full Story >>
This story follows my previous story: Last night, my daughter and I printed out Smile Cards and attached a note to each card saying 'Merry Christmas' and 'Have a Happy New Year'. We decided to turn the cards into part of the a neighborhood tag game. You must pass your card along to someone else in the neighborhood with a piece of paper wishing them Happy Holidays too.. We delivered the cards around our neighbourhood in the dark so no one would see us - it was so cold.. :) We gave out plenty of cards to our neighbors. I was curious when I saw my neighbor run up my driveway today after her child got on her bus with a paper in her hand... It was one of our Smile Cards - we got one back! This afternoon when I was checking my mailbox, our eldest neighbour, maybe around 80 years old, stopped at my mailbox with her friend. She ... Read Full Story >>
I just received my first random act of kindness and it has left me feeling really overwhelmed. Just last night my husband and I sat down to discuss our finances. Since his divorce 5 years ago and my job loss 18 months ago things have been going steadily down hill. We are living on overdraft, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and we came to the sad conclusion that we will have to sell his prized 52 Chev pick-up truck which has been in the family for 55 years! He restored it from scratch 10 years ago. Feeling depressed today, I decided to go to the local mall for a coffee, as I was leaving I noticed what looked like a $20 bill folded up beside the pay phone. Wrapped up inside was a smile card! I could not believe this was happening to me at this point in time and simply had to come home and ... Read Full Story >>
I wanted to use one of my Smile Cards today, so I went to the bank and withdrew $20. I went out on my lunch break, and walked around looking out for someone to give the money and the Smile Card to. I spotted a couple of people who I thought about giving it to but then I remembered that the Smile Card says to do it anonymously. So I decided to find a way to give away the $20 without the person knowing where it came from. I got in my car and drove to the mall and walked around praying for God to show me what to do. As I walked passed a dollar store I saw five pay phones by it. I took the $20 and neatly wrapped it around the Smile Card. I left if by the first pay phone and prayed that someone who really needed ... Read Full Story >>
I have been sending out smile cards with little gifts around my work place for about six months. Since I place the gifts in our interoffice mailbox, I never know who gets them or see their reactions. As I place gifts in the mail box I imagine people's reactions and it makes me happy to know that maybe I am making someone's day a little brighter.
Today I got to witness the reaction. Apparently, one of the little gifts I left in the mailbox this morning made it's way to a co-worker of mine. Today's gifts was a little cloth kleenex holder than you can leave in your purse and a yarn flower bag tag, so my co-worker, a guy, passed it along to another female co-worker. I heard them talking as they figured out what it was and why they had received it , and the whole concept of "paying forward." I later heard her talking and brainstorming on what she would like to do. It was exciting to hear others get excited about the "pay it forward" concept and hear their ideas.
My sister and her family were visiting from Mexico last week. Naturally, I took the chance to introduce them to as many beautiful things as I could - including Smile Cards! When we were about to cross the toll both at San Francisco's Bay Bridge I thought it might be the best time to explain the pay-it-forward idea. So I pulled up to the toll booth, paid our $6 fare, and said, "This is another $6 for the car behind us. Can you give 'em this Smile Card to pay forward?" Anyone who has done this knows that it gives you a joyous high. All of a sudden the car driver who is visible in your rear view mirror becomes a part of you in some unexplicable way. But today, the experience went even further! The toll booth attendant said, "You know, everybody seems to using these cards. We get them a lot ... Read Full Story >>
While I was in hospital for back surgery recently I was looked after by a nurse called Deitrich. She worked the night shifts and took very good care of me. One night things were quiet and when Deitrich came in to take my blood pressure we started to talk about our family situations. Then she asked what I enjoyed doing most. I replied that I liked helping people and doing charity work. Deitrich said she thought she would enjoy doing that kind of thing too, perhaps with her church. The day I was discharged we hugged and she gave me a kiss on the cheek. In return I gave her a Smile card and ten dollars. She didnt want the money but I told her to read the card and assured her the money was from my heart. "Now you have the power to do something for yourself or make adifference for ... Read Full Story >>
It never ceases to amaze me how generous people who post on this site are. From those who are fortunate enough to be able to use some of their money to help others, people making things for others, or just giving up a moment of their time to someone in need. But what I would like to do here is offer some ideas on how to bring kindness into other people’s lives without needing to spend money. So here I offer some ideas for acts of kindness that only need you, your hands, your knowledge or your ears. 1. Help strangers find their way This is one I try to do every day if I can. Here in London we have some useful information panels scattered around with maps of the local area on them. If ever I see someone looking at the panel, or just looking at a map anywhere near where ... Read Full Story >>
I have been trying recently to help a young girl who begs on the street. Well, a few days ago she shared some good news with me. She has been offered a job in another town! It's about 150 km away and she will be moving there in a week or so. Realizing that moving and starting a new job would require several things she couldn't afford I picked up a $50 Walmart gift card and gave it to her along with ten Smile cards. I explained that this was actually two gifts. The Walmart card was one gift but the smile cards were her way to pay it forward in thanks for all who had helped her. I explained that the best gift of all would be the joy she would find in using those cards. Her smile, the heart felt thank you, and the sincere look of gratitude on her face were ... Read Full Story >>
One of my intentions for 2011 was to continue surrounding myself with a community of individuals that helped bring the best out in me. By the end of 2011, naturally and serendipitously, I was introduced to group of individuals that gets together one Wednesday per month to meditate and discuss a passage. After my second month of joining this great group of individuals, I sat down with a couple of the organizers, to get to know one and other better. What I assumed would be a lighthearted getting to know one and other session, became an a heartfelt discussion with presence. It felt like a therapy session. I poured my heart and soul into my confusions and challenges with figuring out my next steps with life and they listened and communicated so openly. They felt like long lost elder brothers giving me guidance. While one of them was leaving, he gave me a bag ... Read Full Story >>
Lately it has seemed like every time we got a little ahead something would come along and we would have to start all over. Today I had to pick my son up early from school and decided to go to a local store. While I was looking around I noticed there was an envelope on the shelf. At first I wasn't sure what to make of it. Even though it was addressed "To Whoever Finds This" I thought I might get in trouble if I took it. I looked at it for a while then decided to risk it. I waited until I got back to my car before opening it. I honestly didn't know what to expect. I was surprised to find a note and a Smile card, along with two lottery tickets! We didn't win the lottery but the pleasure I got from such a small act of kindness will stay ... Read Full Story >>
I was in a health food store when I heard a woman say her foot was hurting and she was going to call a cab. I paid for my purchase and left to pick up some dry cleaning from the eco-friendly cleaners next door. I was walking back home when I saw the woman outside the health food store, presumably waiting for the cab. I knew I wanted to make a trip to a craft store later that day and that I'd be driving. I asked her where she was going. She told me a place which was actually on the way to the craft store. So I said, "I've got a crazy idea. How about you cancel the cab and I'll give you a ride? It will save you some money and besides, I only live a few minutes away." To my amazement she said okay without any hesitation or ... Read Full Story >>
I went through a drive-through this morning to get breakfast. I saw a woman behind me in line. She looked really tired and had a couple of kids with her.
I pulled up to the window and told the clerk I wanted to buy her breakfast and asked him to give her my Smile card. He seemed moved and said he would.
As I was waiting to pull into traffic, I paused long enough to see the clerk hand the woman in the car behind me the card and point in my direction while she stared in disbelief.
Then I pulled out and continued on my way, my car windows open, my hair blowing in the long-awaited cool breeze, my favorite music playing. The morning seemed even sweeter than before.
[Posting on behalf of a friend who I met at a recent dinner and was inspired by the intention behind Smile Cards.] Chapter One: It was Christmas Eve for most people – for me, and my longest-standing friend Lanie, it was just another Saturday night. We were going to meet for a waterside dinner on the Northern shore of Long Island before I headed onto I-95 on my way back to Providence. I arrived about 45 minutes early and on impulse popped into the Nail Salon a few doors up from the restaurant. The owner approached me asking what services I wanted. “Manicure” I answered. “Manicure Pedicure” she chirped. “No, just manicure today – I only have 45 minutes.” "Manicure Pedicure," she re-chirped. "Manicure Pedicure 45 minutes!" She walked me to the back of the salon, pointed to a chair, turned to her staff and without a seconds pause, she pulled up a chair ... Read Full Story >>