Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Candy Care from the Kindness Contest


--by khclark, posted Jan 25, 2011

In early December, I had a fun idea. I thought it would be a good idea to provide care packages for my students who were heading into their final exams. I teach two classes at CWRU in Ohio, which is a difficult, research oriented, private school.I also teach two classes at Tri-C, a community college made up of more mature college students who worked and had families. They had their own stresses.  I found this site, HelpOthers.org and the kindness contest, and wrote in with my idea to use the $100 to provide care packages for my students.  

Before I even knew if I would win the kindness contest, I spent $50 of my own cash. I used it to get the supplies for my CWRU students' care packages. I pondered this for awhile before I did it, because $50 is a lot of money to me, but it quickly became an obsession.  I decided to do it on the last day of class before finals. I bought 30 plastic "joy" bags.  They were pretty and inexpensive.  I then bought about 12 bags of different kinds of candy.  Without deliberately doing so, I spent $49. I thought that was a sign. ;-)  I think what made this truly wonderful though is that I also got many many stickers.  A fun sister of mine had given me stickers as a gift. I included this as well.

At CWRU the next day, I told my co-instructor before the first class what I intended on doing. He thought is was a great idea. (He is a psychology professor who believes strongly in being supportive of students.) We always begin the day by going around in the circle sharing things that have happened in the days since we last saw each other. For the first time, I began the circle, and I told them about how much I appreciated them, and that I wanted to help them before their finals. I then gave everyone a plastic bag, which of course was confusing to them. I then began to pass around bags of candy in both directions and told them to take a few pieces and pass them on.  Then, I passed out the stickers and suggested they do the same thing.  There was so much laughter and giggling and joy!  One student covered his shirt with stickers and regretted that it was winter because nobody could see!

Another student was so happy about the charms pops I had included. Those and the stickers, she said, made her feel like a little girl. As each person shared his or her reflections, most mentioned the candy bags and stickers.  They were so happy!

A few hours later, I was teaching my much smaller (10 students as opposed to 18 in the previous class) ESL class.  I gave them each a bag and proceeded to pass around the candy. They were so surprised. They were happy, but a bit more confused then the American students.  One student said, "Who is giving us this?" I said I was. He said, "But who paid for it?" I said, "I did."  They just smiled.  

A week later, a student of mine from the ESL class turned in his writing folder and he emailed me this:  "I am doing well,,,,, getting sick of studying. I still have one more exam to take on 15th. YOUR CARE PACKAGES was really effective ! The candies and chocolates made me feel better, when I was depressed by studying for finals. Thank you so much."  Which made me smile :) 

The same week I gave care packages to CWRU students, I received a check for $100 from helpothers.org and I used the money to buy bags and candy for two classes at the community college.  The first class was a basic writing class. I had some very smart students in the class, and a few who were very hard working, but this was a very quiet class that didn't interact much.  The candy broke the ice and changed that. For the first time in the semester, students were laughing and chattering.  I was so glad I did this in the class.
 
The second class was the next night and was an ESL class.  As was the same with my CWRU course, many of my students were initially confused, but they more rapidly surpassed that and were thrilled at the candy.  One elderly woman probably took over a pound of candy and was so excited about it.
  
I also did something I've never done before. I baked cookies, and I found containers, and I put in cookies, left over candy, and a card for two neighbors and for the mailman.  My mailman has now thanked me twice and given me a card in return. 
 
This was a fantastic success. I love this program. Thank you for the $100 and for enabling me to share some kindness and make others feel valuable.
 
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Readers Comments

Yon wrote: You're blessed because your heart is big:) thanks to you! Inspired. Alot
myfbil wrote: This was such an uplifting story. Thanks for sharing! Have a sunshine day! :)
ollie wrote: How very thoughtful and sweet lol of you to brighten your students day. You are a special person. God bless you and your students.
cabbage wrote: Hurray! Loved that you found a great way to help students get through their finals :-)
(i'm a prof too! ) big hugs and smiles to you,
Cabbage
flipside wrote: That is so thoughtful!
peanut wrote: What a wonderful idea,i am sure they will never forget.
Linda wrote: This was a very thoughtful thing that you did, and your generosity and kindness will not be forgotten and will never go unnoticed, i am sure of that! It is wonderful to know that there are people like you still here.
Jayne wrote: Being kind and caring reaches out and touches people and i am sure kept on touching people. It reminds me of how powerful we are in how we can impact people.
Sherry wrote: Joy! I love your story!
momov3 wrote: So glad you found this site. Even on my worst days i can come here and be reminded there are good people in this world who only want to spread happiness. Giving away kindness is contagious! Spread it around!

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