Let's change the world one act of kindness at a time...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Heart-Warming Experience

A little over a week ago I met a family that was facing the possibility of being homeless. They had experienced some difficult times and couldn't seem to get "a break". The father is currently out of work and the mother is disabled. The children are 18 months and 10 years old.

I knew that I could help them. And this is where my most recent "act of kindness" begins...

First, I helped them find an affordable place to live. Then the next Sunday, I stood up in church and asked for help. The family had next to nothing. They had no furniture, no beds to sleep on, no table to eat at, no couch to sit on and no television to watch. So, I asked my congregation friends for "any household items that you are no longer using".

I received an overwhelming response! Some people went shopping for the family and bought them some basic household items. Some people chipped in money. Some people brought in household items that they were no longer using.

I had people calling me that weren't even from my church. They had heard about the family from members of my church. I had one person contact me and invite me to walk through an estate that they needed to empty and simply told me to "take whatever they need".

When my husband and I brought over the first truck load of items, the 10 year old girl was so excited! She went running into the apartment to get her mother.

When I walked into the empty apartment, it didn't even look like they had moved in yet (and yet they had). By the time we left, the apartment looked a little more like home. We were able to provide them with dressers and beds, a couch, a television, linens, dishes, kitchen appliances, books, pots and pans and much, much more.

It was truly one of the most heart-warming experiences I have had in a long time. It is amazing what a difference we can make in someone's life when everybody just chips in a little.

It truly is a good life!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sharing Extra Coupons

I love to share my extra coupons with fellow shoppers. It always comes as a big surprise to them and yet it is such a simple thing to do.

When I am at a store and I have an extra coupon (which I always try to have), I simply turn to someone that is getting ready to check out and I ask them if they would like to have a coupon. They are always thrilled!

Coupons that are a standard percentage off are the easiest to give someone. Whenever I go to Michaels, AC Moore or JoAnns, I always print extra coupons. (You can visit my other blog for some of these if you need some). Sometimes, if I see that I have a specific coupon for one of the items in someone else's cart, I will offer it to them as well.

It is a wonderful way to spread some kindness!

Some Easy Ways You Can Make a Difference

  • Smile and say "thank you" to a bus driver or toll collector

  • Compliment someone at least once a day

  • Give a lottery ticket to a stranger

  • Let the person behind you at the grocery store go ahead of you in line

  • Give up your seat to someone on the bus, train or subway

  • Pay the toll for the person behind you

  • Pick up trash when you see it

  • Give another driver your parking spot

  • Open the door or hold the elevator for someone

How You Can Make a Difference

Be Kind to Yourself

Excercise. Eat right. Give your self credit for the things you do right. Think kind thoughts about yourself. Choose a career that you enjoy. Don't forget to laugh. Love like there is no tomorrow!

Be Kind to Others

Look for opportunities do something nice. Compliment someone. Be sincere. Listen! Care! Smile!

Be Kind to The Earth

Recycle. Pick up trash. Use environmentally friendly products. Be compassionate toward animals.

What Inspired Me?

I have always been involved in organizing activities focussed on helping others in need. I always pick a name from the tree for needy children At Christmas time. I always drop money into the kettle. I have brought my daughter up to always thank the people who "ring the bell". For years I organized the "Adopt a Family" efforts at work (through the Salvation Army).

Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Michael Chase "The Kindness Guy" from The Kindness Center. He has inspired me to a whole new level! His philosophy of performing spontaneous acts of kindness makes so much sense! If you don't believe me, try it some time. It is one of the most rewarding feelings you may ever experience.

I hope you will join me on making the world a better place by spreading kindness one "act of kindness at a time".