Noteworthy Acts of Kindness
Think about the last time you remember hearing good news. The country and world has fallen on some black times, and good news is few and far between. People seem to be looking out exclusively for number one, and focusing on competition rather than sticking together.
Don’t lose all of your faith yet, though. Here are some of the biggest and most recent stories of kindness that may just restore your faith in humanity.
Photo courtesy of http://www.power-of-giving.com/
9/11 acts of kindness – Nearly a dozen people fanning from Portland to Salem engaged in random acts of kindness to commemorate the 9/11 tragedy. On a notoriously gloomy anniversary, these individuals helped to brighten the mood of Oregon locals. They bought a teacher school supplies, paid for a veteran’s groceries, and gave kids music lessons.
The program is called ‘Pay it forward 9/11‘ and was started by Kevin Teurff, president of EnviroMedia Inc. a marketing company specializing in environmental and public health clients. On the date of the September 11 attacks, Teurff was flying over the Atlantic after a European vacation when his plane was diverted to Gander, Newfoundland. His flight, along with 36 others were kept there for three days. During that time, Gander locals offered trips to the store, home cooked meals, showers, and bedding to the 7,000 stranded passengers who were without luggage.
Since the first event in 2002, Teurff and his employees have been giving away thousands of dollars each 9/11 asking recipients to pay it forward.
Pay it Forward 9/11 participants
Random Acts of Kindness Day – New Zealand hopes to prove that it is the kindest nation in the world with it’s Random Acts of Kindness Day. The holiday has boasted some of the largest acts of kindness in the past including flights to Los Angeles and a Mexican cruise, but smaller acts of kindness such as free movie passes, t-shirt giveaways, and complimentary shoe shining are just as appreciated.
Organizer Megan Singleton states that bringing a smile to a person’s face doesn’t have to cost money, it can be as simple as bringing scones to work. She will be handing out wine in her neighborhood as a way to welcome people to the neighborhood and introduce herself.
I think everyone could agree that every country could use a similar holiday.
Bob Votruba and the kindness bus – Bob Votruba of Chester, Ohio is currently on the road encouraging people to engage in acts of kindness. The divorced father of three embarked on his ten year journey to spread love across the U.S. on August 31st of this year. Accompanied by his Boston terrier named Bogart, his destination is unknown, but kindness is on the itinerary.
He explains that the idea began after the Virgina Tech shootings of 2007. He saw that the country was heading in a bad direction and felt compelled to do something. He drove to Roanoke, VA. and stood quietly passing out ‘one million acts of kindness’ stickers. His presence was met warmly as he was hugged by parents of victims.
‘We have to do something. We have to turn our society around,” said Votruba.
Bob Votruba and Bogart
Deliberate Acts of Kindness – During tough economic times, health care is usually the first thing that people lose. Many individuals find themselves literally spending their last time on taking care of themselves or loved ones. The Ladies Hospital Aid Society is dedicated to offering help to those who need some assistance during tough economic times.
The society helps families and patients with external needs such as food and housing for loved ones so that patients can focus on making a full recovery. These deliberate acts of kindness are what keep the LHAS going and promote a better well being for Pittsburgh patients.
Rachael’s Challenge – The first victim in the Columbine shooting by the name of Rachael Joy Scott shattered the stereotype of teenagers being selfish and disrespectful. Before her death, she wrote an essay that has become the object of a program dedicated to helping others. Part of the essay read ‘I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same.’
Led by her uncle, Larry Scott, Rachel’s Challenge has turned the family’s tragedy into a conduit for caring. High school students from all around the country have embraced the message and started clubs dedicated to reaching out to other students and promoting kindness toward each other. Props should also be given to the Junior League of South Brevard, which finances about 90% of the program, a sum of $60,000.
Rachael Joy Scott