Category Archives: strangers

Holiday and Every day kindness

Something easy we all can do is give a gift to everyone you meet. I’m not talking about a formal, wrapped-up present. Your gift can be your smile, a word of thanks or encouragement, a gesture of politeness, even a friendly nod. And never pass beggars without leaving them something. Peace of mind is worth the spare change.

Happy Holidays to one and all and many blessings in the New Year!

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Act 160 – What was lost, now is found

Thursday, July 5, 2012, Act 160

It’s been a few months since I have posted anything, and for that I apologize to my readers. I’m ready to back started with weekly if not daily posts. I came across a great act of kindness to get us started back being kind all the time.

A local grandmother and two grandsons found a box that had apparently fallen off of a delivery truck in route to a local jewelry store. The box was clearly marked that it should have been delivered to a nearby jewelry store.

jewelry

We can imagine the collection of expensive goods inside the box looked something like this!

Knowing that it probably contained valuable items that had been misplaced, the grandmother and children took the missing box to the jewelry store and returned it to its rightful owner.  In my mind, anyone would have known that the items inside the jewelry store package would have been worth a lot of money. That makes this story even more touching – knowing they returned it promptly with nothing damaged and the box unopened.

For their great selfless, act of kindness, the jewelry store in fact rewarded them with a monetary gift for the valiant effort in returning the lost box. Kindness is not lost; we just have to look for it and then give it away to others!

Have you ever lost something that was later returned? Or maybe you are the finder that returned a lost item. Were you recognized, rewarded? Let us know.

Random Acts of Kindness Day celebrated worldwide Feb 17

February 17, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness Day is the name of an unofficial holiday increasingly celebrated around the world on February 17 in order to encourage acts of kindness.

It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, just smile at some passers by, look people directly in the eye when talking to them, give people some extra time to listen to actually how they are, help a coworker, take a friend to lunch, pay for a stranger’s bus ride or toll……

smile

These are just a few examples of simple little things to do today that could change someone’s life forever. And science has shown that it will change yours too!

Research shows that there are strong links between random acts of kindness and improvements in the health of people, so do not forget to do something kind today.

Post what random act of kindness you did today in the comments section! I want to hear from you!

Valentine’s Day – Go out and spread the love

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all mushy romance. While that’s certainly the traditional meaning in many cultures – it can just be a day to really celebrate Love. To connect with the special people in your life and really let them know how much they mean to you.

I’m a big believer in “as within, so without.” When we have peace, joy, love and harmony inside – that’s what we put out into the world at large. And it makes a difference. A BIG difference. You can make a difference to someone.

In fact, that’s one of the reasons I really love social media so much. We have a chance to connect with people all over world and let some folks know that they are not alone.

If you see someone today, give them the gift of your full attention – if even for a brief moment. A genuine smile and eye contact can make a person’s day — you’ll see them suddenly light up, because they’ve really been seen!

When you see someone in a store, restaurant, at the checkout, or you’re passing by a colleague today, really see the person and connect from the heart.

I truly hope this is a magical and special day for you and others around you that you impact!

heart

Act 159 – Paying the Kindness Forward:WVSU HOUSE Program gets surprise Christmas gift

Thursday, December 22, 2011, Act 159

It seems to be true that the holiday season brings out the best in everyone. Even when most organizations are wishing for an end of the year donation or surprise gift, it usually doesn’t happen. But the West Virginia State University Helping Our Undergraduates Succeed in Education (HOUSE) Program’s Christmas got an early visit from a local “Santa” and made their Christmas so much brighter!

The WVSU HOUSE Program consists of two nationally unique programs for young adults who have faced challenges growing up and serving formerly homeless and battered women who want to begin their college education. The WVSU HOUSE Program exists to help these individuals achieve their goals by providing comprehensive, nurturing transitional housing programs.

Mr. Ray Williams contacted the WVSU HOUSE program about making a large holiday donation to the program. Williams told a touching story of how his home recently burned down and the abundance of love and support he received from the community. Williams, overcome with gratitude, was inspired by his daughter Ostin’s suggestion in holiday spirit and paying the kindness forward. Without hesitation Williams decided to use the same amount of money he was given in his time of need and donate it to select nonprofit organizations around the Kanawha Valley in a pay-it-forward fashion.

The WVSU HOUSE program would like to thank Ray, daughter Ostin, and son Grant for their overwhelming $1000 gift. Their kindness and generosity made the holidays brighter for WVSU’s HOUSE Program in helping to provide residence, guidance, and support for “at-risk” young adults and abused or formerly homeless females. The gift will be a welcome addition to the program going towards program costs, while directly assisting the residents and their children.
For more information on the WVSU HOUSE Program, contact David Boyles at dboyles@wvstateu.edu or by phone at 304.766.6994 or visit the WVSU HOUSE on the web at http://www.grdi.wvstateu.edu/extension/family-and-consumer-science/house

Act 158 – Spread the Holiday cheer

Thursday, December 8, 2011, Act 158

If you’re cash-strapped, that doesn’t mean you can’t help others this holiday season.  Here are a few Web sites where you can give without a lot of green.

GoodShop.com & GiveClicks.com:  These sites donate a portion of proceeds to charity as you shop.

IDoFoundation.org:  Helps couples create gift registries, invitations and party favors that benefit charitable groups.

Soles4Souls.org:  Distributes shoes to poor and the disaster-struck around the world.

StuffedAnimalsForEmergencies.org & LovingHugs.org:  Gives your gently-used stuffed animals to children in need.

HandsOnNetwork.org & VolunteerMatch.org:  Pair you with local volunteer needs.

A boy and his goat

This was an act of kindness that was recognized in the West Virginia newspapers.

By Gary A. Harki

The 4-year-old who lost his pet pygmy goat after police found it dead in his neighbor’s bedroom now has a new goat, thanks to two New Yorkers originally from West Virginia.

Mark Taunquin and his wife, Laura Schmidt, read the news story and contacted the Gazette about getting in touch with Lisa Powers and her grandson, Morgan Powers.

Pigmy goat

“We thought about how funny and wonderful it would be to grow up with a pet pygmy goat and how awful it’d be to lose it in such a senseless and cruel manner,” Taunquin wrote in an email.

“So instead of being bummed out about it, we decided to give the family the money to buy another one. We just hope Lisa’s grandson has as much fun with his new goat as he did with Bailey.”

Mark Thompson, 19, of Greenview Road, is charged with animal cruelty after police got a call from the Powers family claiming he stole their goat, which was named Bailey after a female character on the Disney Channel television show “The Suite Life on Deck,” at about 3:15 a.m. on May 2.

When police came to look for clues as to how the boy’s goat ended up dead in his neighbor’s bedroom, Lisa Powers said she knew she couldn’t tell him what happened.

Lisa Powers said she was very grateful for the $150 sent by Taunquin and Schmidt for the new goat.

“My grandson was heartbroken when the little one was gone,” she said of the goat. “We started calling around … It was really hard to find a goat.”

But by Saturday, the Powers family had found Trixie, their new pygmy goat that they bought from a farm in Putnam County. It was already named and fully grown, Lisa Powers said.

“He’s a little afraid of her sometimes. He’s not sure about her horns,” Lisa Powers said of her grandson.

On Monday at the family’s farm near Alum Creek, Morgan Powers fed the goat and talked about how he thinks it got its name.

“They call it Trixie because it trips you all the time,” he said.

Taunquin and Schmidt, who now live in Brooklyn, both have family in the Charleston area.

“I realize that won’t resolve the trauma they’ve suffered, but it really breaks our hearts that this kid lost a pet and all everyone seems to be focusing on is the dark absurdity of Mark Thompson’s grotesque crime,” Taunquin said.

Prosecutors are still looking into Thompson’s actions with the goat, said Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants.

A preliminary hearing in the case was postponed at Thompson’s lawyer’s request so that Thompson can have a psychological evaluation, Plants said.

Thompson remains in jail on a $50,000 surety bond.

Powers’ nephew, Joshua Pollis, and two women went to Thompson’s house on May 2 after getting a call that he had the goat. They say they found him wearing a bra and panties, standing over the dead goat with his pants down and blood all over the floor.

When police entered the house after being called to the scene, they found fresh blood near the front door of the bedroom and in Thompson’s bedroom. Inside the bedroom police found the small gray-and-white goat wearing a pink collar lying dead on the floor, blood coming from its neck, according to the criminal complaint filed against Thompson in Kanawha County Magistrate Court. There was a pornographic magazine photo laying a few feet from the goat, according to the complaint.

Thompson was found several hours later after police searched the house and the surrounding woods.

Thompson allegedly told police he was high on bath salts, a synthetic drug that mimics the symptoms of cocaine and can cause hallucinations, for about three days. The goat was taken to a veterinarian for a necropsy.

Plants declined to disclose the results of the goat’s examination.

“At this point all possible charges are being investigated, including larceny of a goat and animal cruelty for sexual assault,” Plants said.

Lisa Powers said she’s very thankful to the police, Taunquin and Schmidt, and everyone who helped the family since Bailey was killed.

“There’s still kindness in this world,” she said.

Reach Gary Harki at gharki@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.