Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Turning $100 Into An Unforgettable Day

--by wotserface, posted Sep 24, 2009

When I was a young girl, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, who lived in a community especially for the elderly and near to an old people's home. I remember when my sister and I played our instruments for them, which was something my grandparents had encouraged. They used to tell me that if someone elderly engages you in conversation, to make time for them, as you might be the only person they got to talk to that day. I've never forgotten this and still spare time to chat with an elderly person if they do engage me in conversation.

So, when I saw the "make a suggestion for how your community would benefit from a $100" idea on this website, I immediately thought of the elderly!

As one of the lucky people to win the $100 dollar kindness contest for my community (it converted to £56 in the UK), I then contacted my local community centre, and explained about HelpOthers, and what we as a group were trying to do. I then told them how I had made a suggestion, that if I had a $100 dollars to benefit my community, that I would use it to benefit the elderly who were alone, and had no family. I asked them if there was some way I would be able to do that through them, and they said that they did do things for the elderly at least once a week.  I asked, "Could you do something a bit special" I asked them, "so that they could all benefit from this donation?"  "Yes of course, we could do a buffet and dance," the centre Manager told me!

I thought this was a fantastic idea and a very worthwhile use of the money.  We spent the donation towards food and beverages to cater for about 30 elderly residents. A poster was put up to announce the buffet and dance and it was arranged for an afternoon. They also put on bingo with winners being able to win a prize.

I went up to see how it was all going and it turned out to be a very enjoyable afternoon.  I was very pleased to see that the people I wanted to benefit had a wonderful and enjoyable time. It reminded me that you are never too old to have fun!  I knew my grandparents would have been very proud of me -- the feeling that I had helped to make this day happen for them was overwhelming and very fulfilling. It also helped me to remember that whatever is going on in the world, we can and do make these kinds of differences to peoples lives, with an "Act of Kindness", but we never realise that the biggest kindness of all, is seeing the difference we make anonymously and without condition.

I was very pleased to represent our HelpOthers group in this way, and to be able to show that you don't need to give a lot to get a lot, because what you get back is priceless!

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Readers Comments

Rajni wrote: Very inspiring idea. May others follow suit.
Comfort N. Sala wrote: Grandparents are nice people and they are enjoyable when you are close to them, they also show us want we don't know.
alexanicole wrote: How sweet of you. It is sometimes hard to remember but as stevie wonder said to a call-in donor on the recent haiti telethon - "a lot of littles make a lotta lots" - everyone just giving $5 to a good cause amounts to quite a bit.
Pat wrote: Very interesting. Who thinks of themselves as getting "old"? I went to a thanksgiving sit down at a spiritual community. Many lots of 20 year olds around me. Not one said a word to me. Indeed, they kept their back to me the whole time and chatted with their friends. I wondered if i was invisible or something? Strange. Thanks for showing the other view of inter-generational get-togethers.

glorioski wrote: It is so true, a little can go an awful long way, whether it's a gesture or a small amount of money. And the enjoyment this group of elderly residents got from gathering together to share old memories is priceless. What we can gain from engaging with the elders in our community can't be learned anywhere else sometimes. I know that the things i learned from my grandmother about her generation and our ancestry. When she left us i immediately grasped at the conversations we had that were unique to us alone. Priceless.
MadeUSmile wrote: How sweet. Our elders are so often forgotten. Yet they deserve so much special attention. Good for you to think of them!

I also applaud your grandparents for instilling such an important lesson in you! Very wise!
BumMiggity wrote: You are never too old to have fun! Great way to bring ripples of kindness in your community!
Yammuna wrote: Tis is really nis , tis shows ur kindness to such peoples. Thnkx and glad abt ur grandparents too for making u engage in tis program indirectly!
Aurelia wrote: You are very special! I am sure your grandparents are smiling from wherever they are right now. :)
I hope you've inpsired others for you certainly have inspired me.

Ningel Awour wrote: Thank you so much for changing my view towards the elderly. I sure needed your example, this was timely and i promise that when i go back to my village, that i'll do something good for my grandmother.

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