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Northwest Cabarrus Middle School performs random acts of kindness

Northwest Cabarrus Middle School students performed random acts of kindness for each other for an entire week.

The school began hosting a Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week to support Gabe’s Heart Foundation. The foundation was created after 12-year-old Gabriel Jacobs passed away unexpectedly in April 2015 from a left anomalous coronary artery that led to sudden cardiac death.

Jacobs was a former student at Northwest Cabarrus and the school tries to do something to honor him every year.

Wendy Davidson, teacher and facilitator of the event, said the school started hosting a RAK Week when they learned the foundation hosted one where volunteers went out into the community and delivered grocery cards, gas cards and other helpful items.

“We hope ours as a way to honor Gabe and to remember who he was. He was a gentle giant and he went out of his way to help people,” Davidson said. “He didn’t stand for bullying, and at about 6 feet tall at age 12, kids would stop when he spoke with them. He always came to people in love and respect, and never in a harsh way.”

Davidson said many students have come forward with stories about ways Jacobs helped them. One of those stories came from a student who is hard of hearing. Jacobs was learning sign so they could communicate.

“Gabe had a heart of gold,” Davidson said.

Throughout the week students and staff were encouraged to perform acts of kindness for others.

They heard quotes about kindness on the morning announcements, shared deeds others had done for them and connected with friends through Spirit Week- held in conjunction with RAK Week.

For Matching Monday, students dressed alike and on Empathy Thursday they were encouraged to sit in a different place in the cafeteria.

Each of the four tables where they normally sit were labeled with months of the year and they sat at the table of their birth month to encourage them to talk with someone new, or someone they don’t get to talk with much during the day.

“It is all about connecting with others and thinking of others,” Davidson said.

 

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Kindness In a Cup

The theme of kindness is visible throughout Sullivan Elementary School; in posters on the walls, and in the actions of the students.

The school is spending the semester challenging every class to come up with a kindness act to perform for others.

For Jamie Faulk’s third grade class, kindness is taking the form of a week-long lemonade stand supporting Riley Children’s Hospital, an idea the class decided on as a whole.

“It was pretty cool,” said third grade teacher Jamie Faulk. “I like the fact that they were willing to help not just our community, but others.”

Other classes at the elementary school are completing Kindness Missions by creating care packages for military members, sending gifts to nursing homes, and making kindness rocks to place throughout the community.

The mission has filled school leaders with pride.

“I’m very proud to work at a school where the students are really putting the focus on how we treat other people,” said Assistant Principal Allyson Wegner.

And that focus is one that teachers try to emphasize every day. Faulk says she has simple instructions for her kids when it comes to how to treat others.

“We just say be kind, you know, those two simple words; just be kind,” said Faulk. “Go out of your way to do something for someone, make them feel included, just be a good friend at all times.”

Faulk’s teaching seem to have had an impact on her students, one that will last long after the lemonade stand.

“I will continue to help, to ask people if they’re sad, “what’s wrong”, and to keep them happy if I can,” said third grader Rachel Eslinger.

Wegner says she hopes to do these Kindness Missions every school year, and that ideally, the school could do them both semesters rather than just in the spring.

 

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Students ‘walkout,’ start 17 random acts of kindness

On Wednesday students across the United States exercised their right to assemble, demanding stricter gun laws in what could be deemed a historical cohesive tribute and protest.

Students from one end of the county to the other took part in the 17-minute walkout — one minute to pay tribute to each of the 17 people that lost their lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last month.

Upwards of 70 students at Pansophia Academy stood in solidarity and silence for 17 minutes; dozens of Legg Middle School students stood outside while others chose to perform 17 acts of kindness; hundreds of students from Coldwater High School gathered in the school’s cafeteria to open a dialogue on how they can make a difference in a world surrounded by violence and Quincy Middle School students stepped outside of their comfort zones with a 17 random acts of kindness project to continue throughout the school year.

“At the beginning of the school year we discussed 24 character strengths, through The Positivity Project, and the kids were asked to pick five of their strengths and use them in an effort to build a better community,” QMS Principal Josh Haggerty said.

24 strengths

Perseverance, integrity, zest/enthusiasm, love, kindness, social intelligence, appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope/optimism, humor, connection /purpose, self-control, prudence, humility/modest, forgiveness, leadership, fairness, teamwork/citizenship, perspective, love of learning, open-mindedness, curiosity, creativity and bravery.

The Positivity Project, a country wide movement created by two West Point graduates interested in serving the nation, has segued into the 17 random acts of kindness at QMS.

Sixth grader Max Barve chose love, humor and perseverance as three of his strengths.

“Love isn’t just being (in a relationship), it’s focused on loving someone that has a kind heart and helping other people,” Barve said.

Barve said the shooting in Florida was a tragedy that never should have happened.

“No one should go through what these people are going through,” Barve said. “We have to try to prevent this from happening.”

 

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Celebrate Fred Rogers’ birthday with kindness

WQED will host a family viewing event 7 to 9 p.m. March 20 to celebrate what would have been Fred Rogers’ 90th birthday, featuring the original “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” shows alongside “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” that highlight a theme of kindness to others.

Families are asked to show their own kindness by pledging to volunteer for the fifth annual “Be My Neighbor Day” on April 21.

In collaboration with The Fred Rogers Company, WQED will host “Be My Neighbor Day,” with more than 50 participating community partners in six counties, from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and the Senator John Heinz History Center to area parks and libraries.

Volunteers will be asked to garden, clean up parks, wash fire trucks, and perform many other family-friendly activities.

Viewers can call in during the volunteer pledge break on March 20 or visit bemyneighborday.org to choose a family volunteer opportunity.

“What better way to pay tribute to Mister Rogers’ legacy than by extending a hand to a neighbor?” says Deborah Acklin, president and CEO of WQED Multimedia, in a release.

“During ‘Be My Neighbor Day,’ volunteers will work side-by-side to further enhance our community assets. Young children will get their first taste of giving back to their neighborhood,” she adds.

“Family volunteer projects give busy parents a chance to spend time with their children while giving back to their community,” says Paul Siefken, president and CEO of The Fred Rogers Company, in a release.

“We are pleased to partner with WQED during this annual celebration of ‘Be My Neighbor Day’ to offer such a breadth of opportunities to benefit our neighbors in southwestern Pennsylvania,” he adds.

 

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Spreading winter kindness by the shovelful

A simple act of kindness goes a long way, according to Attleboro native Carlos Lefort, who spent Wednesday afternoon shoveling several driveways for elderly residents trying to recover from the third nor’easter of the month.

Lefort, 29, who currently resides in Pawtucket, said he was driving down his street and saw an elderly woman trying to shovel her driveway. He decided to pull over to help her get the job done.

“She was so happy and excited for the help,” Lefort said, “and was left with a big smile on her face.”

After shoveling her driveway, Lefort placed a post on the “Everything Attleboro” Facebook page asking if any elderly area residents were in need of shoveling help — free of charge.

Soon enough, Lefort was connected with several residents in need of assistance while over 150 people “liked” Lefort’s post on the Facebook page and over 30 posted comments praising and thanking Lefort for his act of kindness.

“The recognition doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “Maybe people can see what I’m doing and do the same one day — that’s all that really matters.”

Lefort says he’s the type of guy who will pull over if he sees someone broken down on the highway.

“I’m just trying to do my part,” he said. “It’s really not that hard.”

 

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Teachers and students paint with kindness

A group of Elgin Middle school students and teachers is painting with kindness.

As part of the school’s ongoing commitment to a curriculum dedicated to teaching students the importance of social acceptance and kindness, teachers Anita West and Joann Draheim partnered with students to paint a series of murals and inspirational messages on the walls of the middle school buildings. Four have been completed and more are in the planning phases.

“We want to enhance our school climate,” West said. “We want our kids to see each day that they should be the change they want to see in the world.”

The phrase of “be the change” is one that is echoed throughout Elgin Middle School since the conception of the Winter Wishes program two years ago. West, who co-organized the wish-granting program, said much of the inspiration for the school murals is derived from Winter Wishes. It created such a unique atmosphere of care and compassion in the school during the “wish week” that she wanted to recapture that throughout the whole year.

“We want the school climate to be similar to Winter Wishes,” she said. “It was so special with everyone going out of their way to be kind and appreciative of each other.”

West utilized the Donors Choose crowdfunding site, which solicits donations for school projects from individuals and businesses, to raise money for paint supplies. The project was quickly funded with more than $800 in donations. West thanked the donors for being “agents of change.”

“As every student and adult walks our halls, we want them to be reminded that kindness matters and that each one of them is an agent for change at school and in our community,” she said. “We work hard on our school climate to instill kindness and tolerance every day. With these murals, we will display the importance of these ideals for generations to come.”

With the supplies in hand, Draheim stepped forward and began conceiving ideas for the inspirational murals. The most prominent is a purple-and-blue banner painted in a hallway of the seventh and eighth grade building. At first glance, it looks like a banner hanging temporarily on the wall that kids will pass by as they head to class. At closer inspection, Draheim said, it’s a permanent fixture that future generations of middle school students will take to heart.

“It’s about kindness and that’s something that is enduring,” Draheim said.

 

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Plumstead bus driver praised for kindness to passenger

A Plumstead bus driver received praise on social media for helping out a woman in need, but many were afraid the publicity would leave her without a job.

When running down Plumstead Common Road after midnight, Maria Lennon was shocked when a bus pulled over to pick her up between stops.

Maria was so impressed by the display of kindness she took a picture of Anna the bus driver and posted in on the Facebook group Plumstead People praising her for picking her up.

She wrote: “Thank you Anna for being kind to a woman on her own at a rather late hour. I’m safe home and have to go to bed now but I shall contact TFL later today to convey my appreciation.

“Too many people are quick to complain but slow to praise. I praise and thank you Anna.”

Posters were full of praise for Anna, but many people believed publicising such a story would lead to her being disciplined at her job.

Peter Kennedy wrote: “Congratulations to the lovely Anna. But the company probably have a rule that the driver cannot let on passengers between stops and by contacting TFL the lovely Anna may be reprimanded rather than commended.”

News Shopper were able to get into contact with the lauded-bus driver and she explained that she would not get in trouble as picking up Maria between stops was safe to do so.

Anna-Maria Florean drives the number 51 bus and admitted English was not her first language but said she was blown away by the response she received.

She said: “I was pleasantly surprised when I went in the next day to work and all my colleagues congratulated me.

“When I checked the post online I couldn’t believe how many people left a message and family members and friends contacted me to say well done Anna, we are so proud of you.

“It feels so good when people appreciate our hard work, thanks a lot all of you.”

 

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Generous stranger left single mum “gobsmacked” with random act of kindness on Mother’s Day

A single mum-of-five was “absolutely gobsmacked” after a stranger sent her a card containing £50 with a message telling her to ‘treat herself and take a night off cooking’.

Dionne Allard from Haverhill, Suffolk, said the random act of kindness was posted through her letter box on Mother’s Day.

A heart-warming message on the card encouraged the mum to treat herself and her family and to “take a night off cooking”.

Dionne says the generous act has now inspired her and her family to help others too, Cambridge News reports.

On Sunday, Dionne was spending the afternoon with her sister when her 15-year-old son Alfie said a letter had arrived.

“My son came down and said ‘mum this has been posted through the door’,” she said.

“It said #randomactofkindness on it.”

The card’s cover said “something to make you smile” and inside there was a moving message.

“Treat yourself and your family and take a night off from cooking. Enjoy,” it read.

The card signed off with a kiss and came with £50 inside.

“I couldn’t even speak,” said Dionne. “I don’t understand what made me deserve this. It was very unexpected.”

As a single mum, Dionne spends her days caring for her children – some of whom have learning difficulties and disabilities.

“I’m constantly moving, working, doing everything for the children,” she said. “I don’t have five minutes to sit down.”

Dionne said the cash was a “very much needed boost” but wanted to pass it on to someone else in need.

“I’m going to keep the money to do the same,” she said.

“Maybe if I see somebody who needs help in the supermarket, help with their shopping – it could be anything.

“If I see somebody struggling I might help them to pass it on a little bit more.”

Dionne said the concept of performing a ‘random act of kindness’ for someone was a “fantastic idea”.

“I think everybody should try it, even if it’s just once,” she said.

“You could be standing next to someone who could be going through so much and you’d never even know.

“But just asking to help with their bags or the door can make someone’s day a little bit better.

“All my friends and family think it’s a great idea to pass it on. Maybe they are going to do the same.”

 

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Small Acts of Kindness helps people in Hertfordshire

The recent snowy weather was enjoyed by people of all ages who built snowmen and captured picturesque shots of churches and parks.

However, the freezing temperatures resulted in many older and isolated people living alone struggling to keep their house warm and being able to cook hot meals.

Small Acts of Kindness is a charitable social enterprise which sources and distributes gifts to help people in Hertfordshire feel less alone during the winter months.

The project is partnered with businesses including Warner Bros Studios Leavesden and Morrisons, and is supported by councils including Watford. Hertsmere, and Three Rivers.

Lynne Misner, who lives in Watford, was inspired to set up Small Acts of Kindness after her boiler broke down in January 2015.

Being left without heating during the coldest time of the year was a wakeup call for Ms Misner, who was working as a fundraising manager for various different businesses at the time.

Ms Misner explained: “Being cold can have a detrimental physical effect on people’s physical health due to increased blood pressure which can lead to a risk of stroke or heart attack.

“Movement becomes restricted when you are cold. It is also mentally debilitating as your whole mind-set and wellbeing is focused on how to stay warm.

“As a result, I thought about what I could do to help and wanted to ensure people knew basic information such as wrap themselves up in a blanket and drinking hot drinks to help prevent them being cold in the short term.”

Ms Misner distributed leaflets around Watford with a friend and was shocked to be subsequently inundated with requests from people needing help.

She then distributed 50 gift bags filled with small presents including a scarf, puzzle book, pen and chocolates, along with a Christmas card.

Her enterprise has grown over the years as this winter she took the role on full time in order to be able to hand out 5,000 gift bags to those in need.

Lynne Misner now distributes thousands of gift bags to older people in Hertfordshire.

Around 40 organisations and 100 volunteers are now involved in the project, which now helps people in various areas in Hertfordshire such as St Albans and Borehamwood.

Now Ms Misner is searching for more organisations in the area to support Small Acts of Kindness financially so that there is more storage space for the project to expand.

She explained: “We really appreciate all the support from businesses such as Veolia and Big Yellow who have provided storage space in Watford but we would also like our own space and outlet where we can store everything.

“It has all blown up for us over the years and now there are so many other organisations and charities involved.

“People who need our help are initially admitted to us for being cold due to a lack of heating but they are also lonely and isolated. Receiving one of our gift bags can therefore really make a big difference for those who are lacking in social interactions.”

 

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Kindness rocks at Mechanicsville Elementary School

Kindness rocks. It’s a lesson Ms. Tamara Letter is happy to teach at Mechanicsville Elementary School as a Great Kindness Challenge Ambassador.

“Kindness is just a social thing that we all need to have in our life,” Ms. Letter said. “We need to show empathy for others and we need to have compassion. That’s what makes this world such a great place to be.”

The Hanover Education Foundation provided funding for the Passion for Kindness Program. The money goes to create kindness projects and service activities.

“We’re going to paint kindness rocks and hide them, so someone can find them,” 5th grade student Kailyn Hockaday said. “They can have a nice day and it will make their day brighter.”

“All the activities the students are doing, while it looks like arts and crafts, it’s actually developing these skills that they’re going to need in the workplace one day,” Ms. Letter said. “They’re going to have to learn how to get along with one another.”

Originally the rocks were meant to be shared with their school and local community, but later that day upon hearing the news in Parkland, the students decided to send the rocks to Florida.

 

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You can also find us on Twitter @holakindness and Facebook The Kindness Project, we would love to hear your kindness story’s so please get in touch!

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