The world seems to have its values skewed sometimes. Like, people will buy a celebrity a round of drinks or comp them dinner. The celebrity could probably buy everyone’s dinner and not miss the money. Heck, they could probably buy the restaurant itself with just their pocket change. But, people will give a rich person something “on the house” instead of giving it to the homeless person who might not have eaten for a while. So, I’ve always wondered about this and one day found myself in a sorta similar situation.
No, I’m not rich and I’m not a celebrity, but whenever I got my hair colored and cut, my hairdresser would load me down with a bag of free products and samples that she wanted me to try. Sure, she was hoping I would fall in love with some of them and become a repeat customer, but I’m not a girly-girl and ended up just throwing them in my car trunk and forgetting about them. I could well afford these products but because we are friends, she gave me lots of freebies. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings by turning them down.
After my hair appointment, I go next door and pick up a pizza for dinner. Bobcat loves their pizza but it is on the far south of town where we hardly ever go, but that’s where my hairdresser is so we have a monthly routine of hair and pizza.
A young lady with thin, limp, lifeless hair scraped back and secured with a rubber band started waiting on me. She is a single mother and can’t afford all the pricey products they sell next door. So, after I ordered my pizza, I asked her if she wanted to try some of the samples. She jumped at the chance. Now, each month I give her the bag of freebies and we visit for a few minutes while I wait for the pizza. She tells me about her little girl and her life. Between working full time and going to school part time, she is a very busy lady and can’t afford the little things that make life a little nicer. Her hair looks so much better these days. :) Still haven’t told my hairdresser that I give the products away to someone who can really appreciate them. I about fell over when she told me her name – Cat. It’s not short for anything. Her name is actually Cat! And you know how much I love cats. :)
Lisa Tennison ~ Anchorage, AK
Aww Lisa what a heart warming story ,isn't it wonderful how people come in to our lives,through different circumstances,and how they can enrich our lives and vice versa,you are always a very caring and giving person ,and it is so lovely you can bring some joy in to cat"s life,how gorgeous her name being that.
When I arrived in Sydney Australia two years ago from Brazil to study, I struggled to find work to support myself. My savings soon became dangerously low and I was distressed that I might have to give up my overseas dream.
One day, I was at the park, worrying about the future and arguing with my own thoughts. A lady sitting next to me noticed the concerned expression on my face and gave me a sincere smile. She asked if I was OK, if something bad had happened and if I needed any help. I did not want to bother someone I had just met with my problems, and so pretended that everything was fine. But we ended up chatting for nearly two hours about life in Brazil and what I thought about Australia. This woman gave me lots of tips about places to visit.
Before we knew it, it was almost five o’clock. She said she had to get to work and unexpectedly invited me to accompany her. Why not? I thought.
We arrived at a restaurant and the most amazing thing happened. She said that she owned the place and needed some help in the kitchen. She asked if I wanted to work for her. I accepted, of course, and started the next day.
I spent almost a year working there, improving my English, developing my skills, and, most importantly, building a good relationship with my boss. Even now, living in different cities, we are still close friends and enjoy sharing long chats about life.
Because Help Comes in Many Forms
When my 2-year-old son, Ben, died from a genetic disorder, I couldn't bear the thought of cleaning out his room. So I gratefully accepted when Ben's physical, speech, and occupational therapists offered to do it for us during his funeral. After we got home we found that not only had they packed away his clothes and toys and removed the medical equipment but they also cleaned the rest of our house, left gifts for our older child, and stocked our cabinets with supplies. There was even a bouquet of flowers on the table. They went above and beyond to make our tough day a little more bearable.
-- Jamie Fields, Malvern, Arkansas
I have been a Corrections Officer in Ohio for a little while now and as most people can imagine, you see a little bit of everything. Whenever someone new comes in to serve their jail sentence, I have to book them into the jail where I also talk to them and get a sense of their personality. This particular man told me of his massive run of bad luck which eventually ended with him in this position. He got into a fight with his wife that will most likely end in a divorce and drove off angrily into the night. Unfortunately, he drank literally one too many before he left and he totaled his car in a ditch which resulted in his arrest. Now, I must have heard a MILLION sob stories from people who got busted, but for some reason… I felt really bad for this guy. During the booking the man unexpectedly began to cry so naturally, I asked him what he was crying about. He told me that his wife was going to leave him because of his drinking problem and that he said some things to her that he believed he couldn’t take back. I said, “You’re not a bad man, you just made a mistake. I’m not here to judge you for anything that you’ve done. We all make mistakes and we’ve all said something in anger that we later regretted. In a couple days when you get out of here, apologize to your wife and work it out. I can’t guarantee she’ll forgive you, but I will guarantee that an apology will make a huge difference to her. The man looked up at me in shock and said, “You’re the first person I’ve met in law enforcement who cares about my side of the story. All they see is a miserable drunk.” When the man was released a few days later, I noticed him walking out the door as my shift was ending and I remembered that he totaled his car. His house was at least 10 miles away from my facility and he just started walking. I hopped in my car, still in uniform, and pulled up next to him. I said, “You want a ride?” He hopped in and nearly cried with relief. When I dropped him off I shook his hand and wished him good luck. To my surprise, he shook my hand and hugged me with the other, then said, “Thank you… thank you for your kindness. I wish there were more officers out there like you.” I drove home knowing that I helped that man with his personal problem and I restored some of his faith in law enforcement.
I was driving along a country road on a lovely sunny day when I saw an elderly gentleman walking on the footpath in the opposite direction. He was holding his hand above his eyes to shield them from the very bright sun. We were at least a mile from the nearest house so he was quite clearly going to be struggling to see for some distance ...... so I did 2 U turns to bring myself back to him and stopped alongside him and gave him my baseball cap. He was amazed that I would do something so kind. He was really grateful and offered to pay for the cap, but I said no and told him it was a gift. As we parted I saw him walking off with a smile and a renewed vitality.
“Am feeling both good and a little stupid.” This is the comment Carolee Hazard posted on Facebook after a woman ahead of her in the grocery line said she’d lost her wallet. The woman was so upset that Hazard paid her $207 grocery bill “and just asked her to send me a check,” Hazard says. She figured now the money was as good as gone.
But a day later, a check arrived in the mail for $300, along with profound thanks from Jenni Ware, 45. Ware suggested that Hazard use the extra $93 for a nice massage.
Instead, Hazard went back online and asked her friends to recommend a better use for the money. Times are tough, one friend wrote back, and suggested a donation to Second Harvest, a Bay Area food bank.
Hazard agreed and then matched Ware’s original $93 with her own. Word spread. A little kid gave 93 cents. A single mother donated $9.30 from the last $25 in her monthly budget. By the end of its first year, the newly christened 93 Dollar Club had bequeathed $100,000 to Second Harvest.
But the story doesn’t end there. “We want to raise $200,000 this year,” says Hazard. And they just might. The 93 Dollar Club recently received a second donation of $9,300—its largest yet.
A Cup of Kindness
In college I had a job as a counter person. Every morning the same people lined up for their coffee. Eventually, whenever I saw a regular customer, I'd just hand over "the usual." On my last day at the job I mentioned to a couple of my regulars that I was leaving. They came back at lunchtime with a bouquet of flowers. That gesture made me feel as though I mattered, that I wasn't just another nameless, faceless service provider.
-- Sabrina Regan, Rosedale, New York
Four years ago, after hearing about a boy with a program to give away backpacks, Jacob Rice decided to do something similar for disadvantaged kids in East Tampa. A local social services agency tipped him off that kids’ shoes were needed, and Rice had found his cause. At his first event, a back-to-school night, 72 kids signed up for shoes.
Rice found a local store that agreed to provide him with shoes at a bargain price. It took private donors and a foundation to help, but eight months later, Rice was able to deliver every last one of the 72 pairs of shoes. Now Rice’s nonprofit charity, Shoe Giver of Tampa, works with Soles4Souls of Nashville, Tennessee, a group that collects and distributes shoes worldwide. Every few months, Rice measures dozens of kids’ feet and sends the sizes to Soles4Souls founder Wayne Elsey, who finds the shoes and has them delivered to Rice. Then Rice distributes them to the youngsters. To date, Rice has handed over more than 1,300 pairs of shoes, not only in East Tampa but also in the Dominican Republic and Liberia.
His current goal: to donate 10,000 pairs of shoes. “I’ve learned how important it is to help your community,” says Rice. “When you’re in a position to help, you have an obligation to do it.”
Several years ago we packed all we had into a storage unit back in the lower forty-eight and hopped a red eye flight to get to Valdez, Alaska – where we were headed. When we landed in Anchorage, we had no money and no way of getting the rest of the way to Valdez. We were hungry and didn't know what to do. Kindly, a stranger bought us pizza and sodas while we were stuck at the airport for nearly two days, until we were able to locate a friend living in Valdez. Despite being very sick with the flu, she drove for nearly seven hours through bad March weather to pick us up in Anchorage, then turned around and drove us all the way back to Valdez. She is a true friend and that has to be an act of kindness.
Frank Made My Friday
And I became a believer in the existence of random acts of kindness. I was sitting in my local Japanese restaurant waiting for my take-out order, passing the time playing a game on my iPhone, when a young man standing next to me struck up a conversation. I put down my phone and we spoke briefly about our lives, our jobs and when both of our orders were finished, he picked up my check and said, "I'm paying your bill." I was shocked and said, "WHAT!! Oh, no!" He said, "Oh, yes!" I sat at the table for a few moments completely dumbfounded, went up to him at the register and said, I don't even know your name. He responded, "Frank, and have a great weekend." In that moment, through that random act, a cynic became a believer.
Every year I go down to Spring Training in Clearwater, Florida to see the Philadelphia Phillies play. Every game we go early to catch and get some baseballs during hitting practice. My brother and I get so many baseballs we don't have enough room for them. One time, a ball went over my head. I ran over and picked it up, there was a disabled kid and his two parents a couple feet away from me. I walked over to them and gave the boy my ball. His parents insisted I keep it, but I told them I had plenty. His mom started to cry, they were all so happy. Then, they all started crying tears of joy. The boy was so happy he got a baseball, it made his day and it made me feel happy.
Jason Kroft: Heart Attack Victim Searches for Savior
Have you seen a 40-year-old red-haired hero in dark blue blazer and dress pants on the streets of New York City? If so, two children want to thank him for saving their dad's life. On October 5, Toronto-native Jason Kroft, his wife, Marci, and their two kids, Harper, nine, and Sloan, seven, were strolling though Midtown Manhattan to get a tour of 30 Rockefeller Plaza from brother-in-law, Andrew Zeller. Kroft, 40, who had no history of heart disease, suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed to the sidewalk. His wife screamed for help as he stopped breathing. Suddenly, a stranger appeared and placed his briefcase under Kroft's head, tore open his shirt, and began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). While Kroft sustained a couple of broken ribs during CPR, Zeller tells Shine, "If he hadn't done CPR compression between cardiac arrest and the time the ambulance arrived, Jason would have severe brain damage." In the commotion after the paramedics arrived, the man disappeared into the crowd before the family could discover his identity. Kroft is recovering at St. Luke's Hospital on the Upper West Side and will eventually be moved back to Toronto for rehabilitation. Over the weekend, Zeller put up about 20 signs around Midtown and Times Square hoping the Good Samaritan would step forward. "We want to thank him," he says. "He's a hero." When doctors began operating on Kroft, they discovered he had suffered two aneurisms caused by a rare congenital condition. After triple bypass surgery, the medical team had to cool his body to 30 degrees Celsius for 24 hours to prevent brain damage. Despite the harrowing treatment, Zeller reports his brother-in-law is "doing really well, It's amazing." He adds, "He is weak, but he's the same old Jason. He has a long road to recovery, but he'll be okay."