Thursday, April 28, 2011

See A Need, Fill A Need

Passing along this beautiful story to show my readers just how one seemingly small act can mean all the difference in another's life.

A couple of months ago I was renting a house to work from. I was fairly well set up, but didn't own a lawn mower and after a week or two realized I would have to find some way to deal with the growing grass! Funds were short, and I was on a fairly tight budget which didn't extend to paying a lawnmowing company.

I was thinking about this one Sunday as the "Mr Whippy" ice cream van pulled up outside on the street. I hadn't had a Mr Whippy ice cream for years, and on impulse I grabbed my coin purse, shook it to gauge affordability, and headed outside. On the pavement were three young boys aged around 10 years playing. I think a couple of them may have been from next door, but I was new there and hadn't really met anyone yet.

It was a hot day and I asked them if they'd like an ice cream. "Yes, please," they replied enthusiastically. At that moment a fourth boy joined them from the neighboring house. Yes, please, he'd love one too!! As the universe would have it, there was just enough change to cover five ice creams. As I left the van, I heard the lady serving the boys say, "that was a really kind thing that lady did for you boys. Don't forget to thank her." I smiled as I went inside to carry on working.

I left for work that evening, and didn't return until the Tuesday morning. As I drove into the drive, I realized something was different. Yes, my lawns had been mowed and my gardens had been weeded. I felt this enormous warmth rush into my heart and a smile stretch across my face. Instinctively, I knew my neighbors had done this for me, and went to thank them straight away.

How would they know that this act of kindness not only made a big difference to me, but it was also the catalyst for me to act further and set up a website focusing on kindness in our community which I am committed to developing this year. Thank you so much neighbors.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Every Little Bit Helps

75-Year-Old Retiree Brings Smiles to Street Corners

That's why I'm helping you, because we're brothers.

- David Ross -

75-Year-Old Retiree Brings Smiles to Street Corners

Hundreds of people sleep on San Diego's streets each night, on corners, beneath the interstate and across from the public library. They hang out in small groups or sit alone, watching the time pass. But when a wiry man with dark glasses approaches, everyone seems to perk up. The man is David Ross, better known as Waterman Dave. For years, he's handed out hundreds of bottles of water each day to the homeless. He's a 75-year-old retiree who's made it his mission to help the homeless-- even if it's just with a hug or a kind word. { read more }

Be The Change

Offer kindness in a greeting. Take a moment to stop and say hello.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Time To Give Back

People never forget that helping hand especially when times are tough. -- Catherine Pulsifer

Idea of the Week

"I was at McDonalds the other day and I was trying to decide what snack would tide me over until I rode the bus home. I noticed a young lady looking at the menu but she just got a small soda. I decided to help and got two breakfast burritos for $1 each and two apple pies which are two for $1. I shared a burrito and a pie with her and she was so happy that you would have thought it was the best meal of all time. I was happy too because I was able to share a meal with someone. I told her I never like to eat alone and was happy for the company. Who knows, maybe I will see her there again some day. I found out she had lost her job and didn't have much money for food. I suggested that she go to my church and they would help her with some groceries. So I knew she will have something else to eat later on that day too. It's a blessing to help someone in need."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Angels Everywhere

Here's another great story of how kindness goes along way! Enjoy!

When I was 23 years old I was in a dangerous relationship with the man who was my financee at the time. I was being physically and verbally abused on a daily basis. I was financially tied to him (after he spent all my savings to pay his debts) but I wanted to be free!

For the longest time I was too embarrassed to tell my mother about the situation. She had warned me about him. But, eventually, I worked up the courage to tell her and she sent me the money I needed to leave.
Before the money arrived he found out what I planned to do. I was so scared of what he might do I decided to leave all my things and just get out of there.
Then, on my way to safety, my car died! I had automobile insurance (thanks to my mom) so I called the AAA and had them tow the car to a garage. It turned out the repair was going to cost $80.00 and the money my mom sent hadn't arrived by that point.
The owner of the garage must have known something was up because he asked what was wrong. I told him a brief version of my story and told him I could pay him in two days.
He never told me his name but I will never forget him or what he did for me that day! He fixed the car immediately and told me he would not accept any payment - ever! He said he had a daughter almost my age and would like to think that if she ever needed help in the future then some stranger might do the same for her.
Since then I have tried to help people in my own way. Now I have a beautiful twelve year old daughter and I hope throughout her life she can help others and be helped when she needs it, like I was!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Shaggy and Scooby Get Saved

Something cute for today! Anyone can get saved, even Scooby Doo!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Racing for Compassion

I wanted to share another story of just how the smallest things we do can have the biggest impacts. Enjoy this email story. ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Sometimes the people who are noticed the least can do the most to lift us up...

On Thanksgiving morning I got up early to run in the local 5K run. I figured it might give me the motivation to get back into running. It was nearly freezing that morning so everyone getting ready to run was hopping around trying to stay warm.

On the side of the road, sitting in the grass, was a man wrapped in a blanket. It was pretty obvious he was homeless and as usual, most people pretended not to see him. I went over and talked with him for a few minutes before the race. In the midst of the idle chit-chat, he told me that he was a veteran and had hoped he might be able to earn a few dollars that morning to be able to go buy a Thanksgiving dinner. He had a glimmer of happy memories in his eyes when he talked about hot turkey and stuffing. With only a brief moment to sit with him, I had to start the race but I told him I'd talk to him more when I had finished. He said he would be there watching "the parade" that he hadn't expected that morning, and would watch to see me cross the finish line

I thought about this man during most of the race. I'm in the military and it always hurts me to see someone who served going through such a rough time. He hadn't asked me for anything, but I wanted to do something for him. But what? I only had a couple dollars, certainly not enough for a thanksgiving dinner for the man.

After the race I went back over and sat in the grass next to him, that got me more than a few odd looks from other runners. During our conversation I gave him the cash I had. He didn't want to accept it, but I told him I wanted him to have it and that it may get him a little something extra during the day. He then said, "This has been so nice. Thank you. I haven't really talked to anybody in a real long time."

"Wow", I thought. This man is thanking me for just talking to him? I'm nobody special."

After I said good bye, I went up to a couple of other people who were involved with the race. I asked them if they had a couple of dollars for a homeless veteran who just wanted to buy a hot Thanksgiving dinner. I think he ended up getting enough for a good dinner that night.

I went to the run to try to do something for myself, but he did more for me than I could ever have gotten out of just running. He showed me how to smile through the rough times and reminded me not to take for granted the many blessings I have.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Kindness for Graduates

I had this in my email and had to share. So many times opportunity presents itself in a variety of ways, here's a new way to help someone out if you can, and it will be life changing.

In August, an intern came to work at my company. As I began to get to know her I was inspired by her story.

In addition to coming from the inner city and having suffered many abuses as a child, her story was one of courage. At age 20 she went to bed with a headache and woke up paralyzed and unable to speak. She had a brain virus that caused the brain to swell. She had to relearn to talk, walk, write and lost much of her vision and balance. Despite all that she continued with her education and graduated in December with a bachelor's degree.

Her family was not supportive, her mother did not even wish to attend the graduation. The last week she was here I told her to show up early and dress up as we were taking someone else to lunch. Instead, I had a surprise. When she arrived she was treated to a facial and a makeover complete with items to take home. Then we went shopping and bought her a beautiful suit for her graduation day and another outfit for interviews. The final stop was lunch at her favorite restaurant. It was a GREAT day for me and her.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Celebrating By Giving

"Even after all this time, The sun never says to the earth, "You owe me." Look what happens with A love like that. It lights the whole sky." -- Hafiz of Persia

Idea of the Week

"Two years ago, on the day before Easter, I gave my three children money instead of Easter baskets. Later that evening, we were all sat watching television, when an infomercial came on about starving children. I couldn't help tearing up when my children said, "Mom, can we give our Easter money to these children?" I said "yes" and told them that God was going to bless them for this. I wrote a check and sent it off in the mail. I wanted to go get them Easter baskets for their kind act, but I didn't have any more money. To my surprise, on Easter morning, a couple of ladies from a church we used to attend came over with a big box. I didn't open it until they left, and when I did, tears started streaming down my and I fell to the floor with gratitude. It contained Easter baskets for my children and a gas card for my family. The universe sometimes knocks you on your knees in tears from the way it works..."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Creating a Zero Waste Lifestyle

I found this video and story pretty amazing and wondered just how close we could come to making this work in our own home. Take a look and leave your thoughts. :)

Zero-Waste Living

Refuse, refuse, refuse. Then reduce, reuse, and recycle (and only in that order).

- Bea Johnson -

Zero-Waste Living

Five years ago, the Johnson family decided to move into a smaller home. Not only did they downsize their belongings but they took on a zero-waste style of living. Along the way, this family has found a balance, a way to maintain the lifestyle they enjoy, while drastically cutting down on waste. Scott Johnson, was initially skeptical of the project, confessing, "I was just afraid that I'd be eating a bunch of granola or something all the time." Instead, the family has focused on reducing the number of items in their home, without compromising their needs. { read more }

Be The Change

Get inspiration to implement zero-waste tips into your own daily lifestyle:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bridging Cultural Differences In A New Way!

In looking today for happy or inspirational news to bring your way I can assure you I had no notion of something like what I found. But I was fortunate to find this charming video of a small cat on the side of a boat who made a new friend out of a gentle dolphin.

It’s odd, how this video actually touched me. I’m still processing why. Is it a message about living in harmony with the Earth, in a world where cultural differences aren’t divisions, where stranger greet each other pleasantly? Maybe so.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Be The Change ~ Do Something!

Today You, Tomorrow Me

A touching story of a random act of kindness: "During this past year I've had three instances of car trouble: a blowout on a freeway, a bunch of blown fuses and an out-of-gas situation. They all happened while I was driving other people's cars, which for some reason makes it worse on an emotional level. Each time, when these things happened, I was disgusted with the way people didn't bother to help. It was enough to make me say stuff like "this country is going to hell in a handbasket," which I actually said. But you know who came to my rescue all three times? Poor laborers who didn't even speak any English." { read more }

Be The Change

Offer help the next time you see someone who needs it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Best Way To Ask A Girl to Prom?

After watching this even my daughter agreed! It would work for her. Today’s video is something that will just brighten your day, a smile in waiting. As we hear so often about the lost generation of kids who don’t have the right values and morals I look around and see so very many who do have their hearts in the right place. You just don’t hear about them.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

No Greater Love

Nine-year-old Saves Her Sister's life

Nine-year-old Anaiah Rucker is being hailed as a hero after saving her sister from being hit by a truck last month. Anaiah didn't think twice before pushing her little sister out of the path of the vehicle as the pair crossed the street to get to the school bus stop. She took the hit instead. After a round of CPR from their mother, her first words upon regaining consciousness were: "Am I going to chorus today?" { read more }

Submitted by: Varsha M.

Be The Change

Show love through selflessness today.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Letter to Mr. Rupp

Jeff Rupp, beloved teacher at Fullerton High School, and his daughter Sarah

Dear Mr. Rupp,

The day I met you was the first day of high school. I walked into your class with a t-shirt that said, “supermodels suck,” and you were rocking a ponytail and had your Harley parked next to your desk. We liked each other immediately. You gave me a lot of advice over the next four years, like how I should get my ass to Berkeley where I belonged. I’m still there, by the way. I wish you were still around too.

I remember your full-sleeve tattoos, which the school made you hide even in the blazing heat of summer. They were always there under your blue denim shirt and leather vest combo, and you were more than happy to tell us the story of each one, like constellations etched in ink instead of stars.

I remember your laugh, which would start with a rough guffaw and end with a hacking smoker’s cough that would make even the most rebellious teenager swear to lay off the cigarettes. You always said you were going to quit, but I don’t know if you ever did.

I remember the way you didn’t lower your standards, yet still refused to give up on us (whether that meant holding an extra AP study session on the weekend or throwing the occasional student in that broom closet for “acting up” in class). You were tough on us, and we were tough on you. Love is tough sometimes.

The last time I wrote you a letter, it was 2005 – four years after I graduated. I had just become a teacher, like you, and it had given me a new appreciation for the work you did with countless high school students over the years. You wrote me back and told me that your heart sang to hear from me. That’s the kind of teacher you were – the kind whose heart sang for his students.

It’s hard to say what I’ll miss the most about you. There are simply too many memories to sort through from those four years, and it hurts to think you’ll never read this letter. I want to believe that you knew how much you meant to your family, students, your community, and your colleagues, but that would be a lot of realization to handle, even for you.

You changed the lives of everyone around you. Even now, you are reminding me to cherish life it its brevity and beauty, and to tell the people I love how much they mean to me before it is too late.

Dear teacher, dear mentor, and dear friend — you will very soon be gone, but you will never be forgotten.

To infinity and beyond,


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Are We Missing Things In Life?

It has been pondered; what if a famous painting (let’s choose the Mona Lisa) were to be taken out of its frame and hung on a wall (let’s pretend in a cafĂ©) … would anyone really notice its beauty?

That wonderment was put to the test late last year when the Violist Joshua Bell stood near a trash can in the Metro Station in Washington D.C. and played to the morning subway riders.

For those of you who might be unfamiliar, Joshua Bell was a child prodigy by the age of 14. To give even a short list of his accomplishments would fill pages and pages. Last year he was named by Musical America as the 2010 Instrumentalist of the Year – a truly prestigious honor.

As you see in this video there is a lesson to be learned. As we go through our very busy days, we should try seeing the world with a child’s eyes. Maybe, we should not only stop and Smell The Roses but also, we should stop and see the roses too.

Many times we miss what is right in front of us. Try seeing with new eyes today. You just might be surprised by something truly spectacular!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Life Is Like A Cup Of Coffee

If you have trouble viewing this, double click on the video to view directly from YouTube.

Today's Tip: Make someone's day less stressfilled and more filled with love.