I plan to put one in each of my sisters lunches with a special surprise snack and note of love. I will then give them 4 more cards to encouarge them to take part in their own acts of kindness, while I use the remaining cards with random acts when I see a need. I hope encouranging my sisters when they are young will help them and their friends discover a joy of helping others that they will carry on throughout there lives.
When I was 21 yrs old, I was dating a girl whose parent's friends were going through a divorce. They had a 6 year old daughter and unfortunately their separation was just before Christmas and we both knew how upset the little girl was. Her dad was not living in the house and wasn't planning on spending Christmas with them. So my girlfriend and I wrote little notes like, "On the first day of Christmas, my secret Santa gave to me...." and put a gift each night on their porch for the little girl. We started this about 2 weeks before Christmas. Well into the first week, my girlfriend's parents heard that someone was leaving gifts on the porch for this little girl and wondering who it was. Of course....we didn't. :) As we got closer to Christmas it was getting more difficult doing what we were doing without getting ... Read Full Story >>
I have a five year old son and two 18 month old twins and especially at Christmas time I wanted them to truely understand what the act of giving was all about. So I made a list of people that were less likely to recieve gifts or love and let my five year old chose who we would give gifts to.
He chose homeless people. We purchased some large inexpensive gift bags and filled them with canned goods, used warm socks, new toothbrushes, bars of soap, candy bars, and many other surprises, but to my surprise my son came in with his piggy bank and said they could have his money. We filled several plastic bags with coins and I slipped in a few dollar bills, and we put all the bags in the trunk of the car.
It was several days before we saw a homeless person pushing a cart down the main blvd. and fortunately my son was with me and we pulled over and gave the bag to a man who started to cry when we wished him Merry Christmas. I have never forgotten the look of gratitude on his face and neither has my son.
We have now done this for three years on my sons request.
Last month I started a family kindness journal. Every day each member in the family must write down the good deed that they did that day. It is amazing to see how far my children's deeds have come.
At first they helped the teacher or shared school supplies, but it has progressed to wonderful things I never imagined.
For example there is a boy my son has not gotten along with since the first day of school. My son came home and told me his good deed for the day was to make friends with this boy.
I said, “What possessed you to be friends with someone who has been mean to you all year?”
His response? “I gave it a lot of thought and realized he was lonely and didn't know how to make friends, and that was why he was mean.”
This boy has had quite an attitude adjustment (no longer hitting and calling names) and has been welcomed into my son's group of friends.
Some deeds are big some are small, but the point is for us to think of other people.
Hi I'm 12 years old and I recently saw a movie called 'Pay It Foreward'. It was all about doing random acts of kindness.
On mothers day today we had a bunch of roses in our church that went out to all the mothers. There were a few extra so i took the extra ones home with me and placed them on people in my neighborhoods doorsteps. Then when i was delivering newpapers on wednesday one of my neighbors had seen me drop of a rose at their doorstep, ran up to me and gave me a huge hug.
That had made my day, that sometimes people just need something small like a rose to make them happy!
When I was on CBS's Survivor - Africa all I had with me were the clothes on my back and my one luxury item of choice: a hackey sack. My hackey sack was my most prized possession, the one item that took me temporarily away from the Survivor game and home to the familiar... and I gave it away. It may sound silly, but it was a tough decision - a real moment of personal truth. I was with a group of other Survivor contestants distributing HIV/AIDS testing kits to a small village in Kenya when I met Milton. Milton didn't have any of the luxuries I had growing up- no TV, no bike, no PlayStation. But Milton's eyes were full of laughter, and they lit up when I produced my hackey sack. I knew exactly how Milton felt, and that I would be leaving my beloved hackey sack with him ... Read Full Story >>
Many people spend their New Year’s Eve, getting dressed up and dancing their way to midnight. We decided to do things a bit differently. We filled a backpack with clothes, shoes and other goodies and headed out to the railway station. The first person we spotted was a 15-16 year old boy picking up discarded plastic bottles on the platform. We called him over and started up a conversation. We had a discrete look at his hands and noticed he had long fingernail. We explained that it was important to keep short nails (studies have shown that disease occurrence in the poor can be reduced by 30% by keeping short fingernails) and then the two of us began cutting them for him. When we were done, we offered him a chocolate bar, which made him look at us suspiciously. (In India, there is a fear that people cast spells on food and then lure children away). ... Read Full Story >>
It was late one night when I got an email from the states. It was my friend John who, as usual, had an idea. This one was about the power of connectedness. John was taken with the notion that he could, by sitting at his computer, with only a few small movements of his fingers, could affect change on the other side of the world. “In ten seconds,” he wrote, “I sent an email to my friend in Boston, asking him to go down to the street and give a watermelon to the first person he saw. And he did.” John, of course, wanted to illustrate the power of connectivity with a more compassionate experiment. “Please go find a needy person and give them $20 [1,000 Indian rupees, at the time]. If you can, try to see how it changes their life and let me know.” On our last afternoon in Ahmedabad, ... Read Full Story >>
Today, my friends and I had an early release day at school and got out at about 11:30.
We had decided to try to incorporate random acts of kindness into our lives last Sunday at our meeting for our charity group, Minga.
We brought sidewalk chalk to school and walked for a half hour from school into town writing nice messages on the sidewalk all the way. We came up with quite a few like, "Smile, it's sunny", "Peace", "Have a great day!", Give someone a hug", and "Be happy".
It was so rewarding to see people smile when they saw them and it's thrilling how such a small gesture can really make a difference!
Now, whenever one of us is walking home, we're always going to continue on the tradition!
Well.....I just couldnt WAIT to try out my smile cards. Last week I set out on my nightly outing -- to a meeting, and then to spend some time with my best friend. I told him I wanted to use my smile cards. First stop, the Dollar Store. I bought 2 nice candle jars with thoughtful things written on them. Next up, 7 Eleven. We parked and looked for someone to give a candle and card to. A woman had just gotten gas and was walking into the store. I hurriedly got out and ran over to her car, put the candle and card on top where she couldn't miss it, and ran back to my truck and waited. When she came out, she saw it, looked around, and acted like she was afraid to touch it! Another man getting ... Read Full Story >>
During the first week of of my second semester sophmore year, the first thing I happen to hear is that there's a new kid at school. From what was being spread around, this student was being portrayed as a big mean bully, someone that was expelled for getting in a fight at a school nearby. In my mind, though, I could only think how awful and how uncomfortable I would feel as a new student with a reputation already set out for me. So the next thing I did was I searched for the new student. I ran all over campus to find and locate him, until I found him, head sulked down and with a weary expression upon his face. Without hesitating, I approached him, introduced myself and asked him if he was new to the campus and if he needed any help getting around. With a relief, he ... Read Full Story >>
While getting a couple of things at a local gas station, I noticed a girl walk in and pay for her gas. She caught my attention with her very very green hair. I remembered 10 years ago when I dyed my hair purple ... and loved it!! She apologized for the cashier having to count her change as she put down a handful of pennies and a couple of nickels. She said "Believe it or not, this is suppost to get me home" At that time I was getting my change back from my purchase ($2.00) and not having anything else to give her, I gave her my last two dollars, knowing I wouldn't need them. Plus I had a full tank of gas ... and I had been where she was. She looked at me with such a surprised look on her face. She thanked me and you could tell ... Read Full Story >>
On April 28 2001, my youngest sister was killed in a random drive by shooting. Her 3 youngest sons went to live with my surviving sister but were never happy there; I wanted to gain the gaurdianship options from my sister but didn't want to risk fracturing our family even more. A couple of weekends ago, though, my sister called and said the boys (17 yrs & 15 yrs) could no longer live with her and that their only options was either foster care or living with me. There is no way I was going to miss this chance. Still, my nephews were accustomed to living in the big city and I live in a suburb, 45 minutes from the city and I knew that convincing them was going to take some negotiating. But I did it. Today, they have been with me going on two weeks and they are more relaxed. ... Read Full Story >>
This is the story of Robby. He was a young boy who lived with his elderly mother. His mother wanted him to learn how to play the piano because she longed to hear her son play for her. She sent her son to a piano teacher who took Robby in under her guidance. However, there was one small problem because Robby was not musically inclined and therefore was very slow in learning. The teacher did not have much faith in the boy because of his weakness. The mother was very enthusiastic and every week she would send Robby to the teacher. One day Robby stopped attending the piano lessons. The teacher thought that he had given up and in fact she was quite pleased since she did not give much hope to Robby. Not long after, the piano teacher was given the task to organize a piano concert in town. ... Read Full Story >>
Some years back when I was growing up, we had a young couple who were our neighbours. They had five children and were a fairly established couple, with a car and other amenities. Since we were neighbours, their children were like my brothers and sisters. I must say they lived a good life; their parents took them to better schools than us. In 1988, though, their father passed away. Two years later, their mother died too. All of a sudden, the children became orphans. Some greedy relatives husttled the car and other valuables and the children became destitutes. They moved out of the neighbourhood and went to stay with their grandmother in the village. Fifteen years later (early this year), I ran into one of the boys. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! Somehow the boy remembered me and then we remembered the "good old days" as neighbors. By the time I ... Read Full Story >>
Another glorious Saturday afternoon in Central Park found six members of our Lemonade Brigade ready to collect more smiles and give out some just-because lemonade! Week one of our experiment in kindness went so well that we decided to set up our gift-economy lemonade stand at the exact same spot as we did last week. As usual, our blown-up smile card poster started drawing in the crowds before the lemonade was ready to be served. Pavitra has become a seasoned professional in the art of lemonade-making after just one week, and worked tirelessly to make sure the mouthwatering lemonade kept flowing. Ria, our 2.5-year-old Ambassador of Smiles, had on another one of her adorable outfits and this time came armed with a bubble-making gun to entertain the passersby – who could resist that? And the rest of us were brimming with energy and the anticipation of connecting ... Read Full Story >>
Many years ago, when I was in high school and working weekends to pay for the extras that my folks couldn't really afford (like a school ring, class trip, etc.), I lost my wallet. My old car required putting gas in the back (remember that?). I had prepaid and then put my wallet on the bumper, and drove off. I hadn't even had time to miss it when our phone rang and a man asked me if I had lost my wallet. I checked my purse and to my horror, I had. He asked me to tell him how much $$ was in it, and I told him. He then told me where to pickup my wallet. As I pulled into his driveway, I noticed his handicapped van and the ramp going up to the house. I was thinking that there is no way this man easily got out of his van ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday I wasn't going to be home for dinner, so I decided to get a small pizza for my daughter.
When I called to order the pizza, the phone rang at least 10 times before answered and then I was put on hold for about 2-3minutes before I could order.
Instead of getting mad I placed my order and jumped in the car to go pick up the Pizza. As I was driving I thought about how busy it must be at Pizza Hut because the phone rang so much and I had to wait so long to order. I started feeling sorry for the girl who handled my order and decided I was going to MAKE HER DAY and give her a smile card with a $10 tip! The pizza only cost $3 so the tip was huge! It was busy when I got there and the girl was definitely stressed. WHen I handed her the Smile Card with Money she was shocked and then she read the card and the biggest SMILE came over her face and I walked away hearing her saying THANK YOU very Much!
I had the extra money because a friend was having me over for dinner, so I figured...pay it forward! :)
I was 16 years old and living with my parents at the institute my grandfather had founded 18 miles outside of Durban, South Africa, in the middle of the sugar plantations. We were deep in the country and had no neighbors, so my two sisters and I would always look forward to going to town to visit friends or go to the movies. One day, my father asked me to drive him to town for an all-day conference, and I jumped at the chance. Since I was going to town, my mother gave me a list of groceries she needed and, since I had all day in town, my father ask me to take care of several pending chores, such as getting the car serviced. When I dropped my father off that morning, he said, 'I will meet you here at 5:00 p.m., and we will go home together.' After hurriedly completing ... Read Full Story >>
Few months ago, a friend of mine handed me an envelope. Intrigued, I opened it and found a dollar bill.. A dollar? For what? My friend launched into an animated articulation of how he received a gift of $20 and he decided to split it up and give a dollar to 20 of his friends to do random acts of kindness. Multiply all the goodness that comes with an offering twenty-fold! Last week I was walking in a nearby downtown to keep a baby entertained while the rest of the family watched a movie. The downtown is really small so we ended up pacing up and down the same street many times over. There was this small ice cream shop, half-way between 2 blocks, that kept drawing me. I saw two girls, about fifteen years, doling out cones and cups with a great smile and attitude. The line was long and so ... Read Full Story >>
This week-end my husband and I are leaving on vacation to North Carolina ... As you well know, planning is essential including cleaning out the refrigerator of food that will go bad.
Yesterday morning, my daughter calls to check -in and mentioned she was going to McDonald's to get a breakfast burrito. I told her I had the items to make that in my refrigerator and I could make it for her. She said her daughter (my grandaughter) wanted pancakes. I said I had that too!
I invited my other daughter and her 3 girls as we ''cleaned'' out the refrigerator and it didn't cost them anything, plus I have less work to do! It was fun and everybody got their bellies full of burritoes, pancakes, sausage and fruit!
Plus I made it with LOVE! You can't get THAT at McDonalds!
We drove over to a friend's place to load up our car with boxes full of books. After driving a short distance, my husband realized that our rear tire was flat! After some labor to set up the tire change, I went over to the garage sale next door for some entertainment -- a teenager was doing tricks on a short bike in their yard. He was really good. While watching him, something caught my eye -- a beautiful blue painting with lots of fish and dolphins. "My little son would love that," I thought, considering that he had just seen dolphins in Sea World. Seeing my interest, the lady said, "A dollar for that." I looked at it again. It was surely worth more to me. So I gave her the two dollars I had and when she was surprised, I told her the buck would travel farther if she wants ... Read Full Story >>
August 1942. Piotrkow, Poland. The sky was gloomy that morning as we waited anxiously. All the men, women and children of Piotrkow's Jewish ghetto had been herded into a square. Word had gotten around that we were being moved. My father had only recently died from typhus, which had run rampant through the crowded ghetto. My greatest fear was that our family would be separated. 'Whatever you do,' Isidore, my eldest brother, whispered to me, 'don't tell them your age. Say you're sixteen.' I was tall for a boy of 11, so I could pull it off. That way I might be deemed valuable as a worker. An SS man approached me, boots clicking against the cobblestones. He looked me up and down, then asked my age. 'Sixteen,' I said. He directed me to the left, where my three brothers and other healthy young men already stood. My mother was motioned to ... Read Full Story >>
Our son is my newest "Hockey Hero." He plays goalie on his small hometown ice hockey team. One weekend on matchday, we arrived a bit late and quickly found our seats and settled in. As I looked around, I noticed we were sitting with a family who had a mentally and physically handicapped child. We could hear the exciement in his voice when he said, "Mom, look the goalie is going to get the puck now!" Shamelessly, I listened to him and the excitment and joy in his voice as praised the goalie time and time again. During the break, we went and told our son what was happening in the bleachers and, bless his heart, he went up into the bleachers, introduced himself to the parents and sat next to this young lad. He started talking to him and before long the boy was trying on our son's gloves, blocker and helment. When the game was about to start again, my ... Read Full Story >>
Teenagers! What can I say? My daughter is 12. Sometimes she is a crazy bundle of fun and sometimes she seems to have the weight of the world on her shoulders. This was one of her down days. She was bored and sad (and making a meal out of it!). Every time she complained about being bored I would suggest something she could do, but there were always bucketloads of reasons why she couldn't do any of them. The suggestion that she might enjoy tidying her bedroom just provoked a look that reminded me of thunderclouds -- she's been good at that look since she was two! I was getting a little fed up with all this negativity, but I kept my patience. I gently suggested that possibly the very best way in the world to have a good day was to try and make it a better day for someone else. Then I suggested ... Read Full Story >>
As a child, I had a lot of pent-up anger and was not good at communicating constructively. Once, as I was getting ready for school, my mother accidentally handed me my father's vest instead of mine. This was around the time that I was getting to be larger in size than my father, and so as I put the vest, I felt like I was being choked in it! I realized that it was a small oversight on my mother's part, but somehow the feeling of being choked overwhelmed me and filled me with anger. Without thinking much, I took out my anger on my mother. I was so upset that she had handed me the wrong vest, that I responded by violently ripping it apart from my chest! Later, my mother shared her own frustration with my father: "See what your son has done." Instead of scolding or abusing me, my father calmly ... Read Full Story >>
It is wonderful to be in the moment and thank those around us for helping. Sometimes, it is nice to reflect on those who have been in our lives a long time ago and whose actions or words shaped us and influenced who we are today. One such person for me was my 7th grade biology teacher. His class was "the one" that sparked my interest in cell biology and literally determined the course of my career from the tender age of 12. I will never forget him. Well, fast-forward many years later (about 20 actually), and I was at a crossroads deciding what to do... and I decided upon teaching college biology! I wrote my teacher a long letter, describing my career path, life choices and what I was going to do, and of course the letter was a BIG thank you note to him for getting me started. He actually ... Read Full Story >>
Every year while I was in high school we organized a class retreat. It always involved some sort of service component – usually going to an elementary school or helping out at a nursing home. The class would vote on the type of project we wanted to do, and then our Campus Ministry Coordinator would organize the project, transportation, dates, and specific location. For our senior year, our class voted to volunteer at a soup kitchen so our CM Coordinator, Mrs. Krupitzer, set up a date for us to go to Gleaners Food Bank. We arrived on a Saturday morning, ready to prepare food and serve meals, wipe down tables, and clean dirty dishes. When we got off the bus, the food bank organizer took us on a tour of the facility. Then he turned around and said, “okay it’s time for lunch everybody!” Unbeknownst to us we would be eating ... Read Full Story >>
My teenage daughter has always taken special delight in receiving anything in the mail. She squeals with glee and rips open every envelope and package the moment she takes it in her hands. A few nights ago, when we were sorting through a basket of cards and stationery, she discovered an unopened, brightly colored envelope addressed to her, bearing a postage date of over four years ago. "What is this?" she asked, incredulous. "How did I miss this? How did it get here?" I had idea and was just as curious to see what it could have been. She opened it up and inside was a beautiful greeting card and hand-written note from a school administrator at her former middle school. The woman had written a note to my daughter in praise of how much progress she had shown with her struggle in math class, and it noted how proud she was and how much my daughter should take pride in what she ... Read Full Story >>
There was once a skinny young boy who loved football. Practice after practice, he eagerly gave everything he had. But being half the size of the other boys, all his heart and effort couldn't make up for his physical shortcomings. At every game, this hopeful athlete sat on the bench and hardly ever got to play. However, the determined young man decided to hang in there. He hoped that maybe his body would grow to match his heart and dedication. All through high school, he never missed a practice nor game, but he remined a bench a bench warmer all four years. His faithful father was always in the stands, always with words of encouragement for him . When the young man went to college, he decided to try out for the football team as a " walk on.". Everyone doubted that he would make the team, but he did. The coach ... Read Full Story >>