Entries by Karen Kitchel

Valentine’s Day Kindness Challenge

We often remember our spouses, kids, or special friends on Valentine’s Day. But how about reaching folks who may not know what it’s like to feel special?

Keep it simple. Pick up a bag of little chocolate hearts and put them in your pocket.  Whether you are at school, work, or out for a walk, look for someone whose holiday you can brighten by simply saying “Here’s a little treat for you, and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!” Or drop one on a co-workers desk, in a caretaker’s pocket or a homeless person’s hand.

Let’s see in how many places we can scatter some Valentine kindness.

 

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Replacing Homework with Acts of Kindness

A school in Ireland is teaching kids some important lessons by replacing homework with random acts of kindness for one month.

On Mondays, the students are asked to reach out to an elderly individual and communicate with them. Tuesdays, the kids are tasked with making a family member’s life easier by taking over a chore or helping without being asked. Wednesdays are for random acts of kindness of any kind. Thursdays are for doing something for themselves to take care of their own mental and physical well-being. They  keep track of their kind deeds in a Kindness Diary which can be entered in written or pictorial form and then signed by their parents.

The school also set up a Kindness Bucket where students write down positive observations to boost their fellow classmates’ esteem. On Friday mornings, a teacher randomly selects a handful of notes and reads them out loud.

Each …
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Predicting Who Will Be Kind

After a woman bought meals at a McDonald’s drive-up for the Dad and his four kids in the vehicle behind her, 167 others duplicated her act of kindness by paying for the person behind them, according to an article in the Washington Post. Each action spurred someone else to be kind.

A study concluded that volunteers shown a video featuring kind acts were more generous donating to a children’s hospital than volunteers who watched a person doing sporting activities. Being exposed to an emotional experience of kindness often results in a greater likelihood to respond in kind.

Research at UCLA has shown how kindness can reduce heart disease, depression and risk for developing cancer. Another project underway is to determine why some people choose to risk their lives for others in life-threating situations.

If we can predict who will be kind, what impact might that have on where we choose …
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It’s All About The Giver!

I believe gifts are meant to be tokens of appreciation or recognition of the role someone plays in our life. We can’t dictate what the receiver does with our gift, though we can enjoy knowing we have given our time and thought into choosing a meaningful gift. Instead of waiting to see or hear how very much someone likes what we have given, we can remind ourselves that we are a giver. And the world loves givers!

It’s also important to remember that gifts can come from unexpected places and are not always things.


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Ode To Bus Drivers

They deliver our most precious cargo to school.
We trust them to get us there on time.
Their smile can get our day off to a good start.
Not a lot of glory comes their way.

Before departing your next bus adventure,
Give a few words of appreciation.
And teach children everywhere
To treat their bus drivers as the heroes they are!

 

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How Do You Thank Someone?

You know the feeling deep within. Someone just came to your door with a basket of warm cookies because they know you’re having a tough day. You narrowly escape your burning home while a firefighter goes back in to save your puppy. Or maybe it was a stranger who picked up all the spilled candy that your little darling scattered on the supermarket floor.

Sometimes we wish we had a word much stronger than “thanks” to convey our heartfelt appreciation. Perhaps by adding a sincere look or a tap on the arm, we can transfer our feelings of gratitude.

What else can we do to say thanks? I once gave a co-worker a post-it note with a word of thanks, and ten years later she told me it still could be seen on her refrigerator. Think back to a time when you really felt thanked for something you said or …
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Scatter Some Kindness on World Kindness Day!

November 13 is an international observance of World Kindness Day.  Will your scattering kindness make the world a better place?  I think so.

When a trash collector finds an anonymous note on his trash cart that says “you are appreciated” how will he feel? If it’s a cold, snowy evening and you come out of your office to find your car windows completely free of snow, how thrilled are you?

 It’s the little things we do that make our world a kinder place.  Who will you shower with kindness today?

(Photo by Random Acts of Kindness Foundation)

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No Child Without Mittens

Why would a child be without mittens during an early and cold winter?  Maybe they don’t own a pair. Or perhaps they lost their mittens just like the “Three Little Kittens” in a favorite old book of mine.

Remembering the fun times when I was young reading this book about how three little kittens lost their mittens made me think about the kindergarten students where I volunteer.  What would they do if they lost their mittens or didn’t have any? Telling kids to put their hands in their pockets seems like sentencing them to no fun at recess.

Sharing the story about the three little kittens brought a lot of smiles.  And the best part was when kindergarteners turned into kittens with their new mittens!

Moral of story:  Buy some mittens and take them to a local school to have on hand when days are cold and mittens are lost.…
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A Month Not A Day

What word comes to mind when you think of November?  Often it’s Thanksgiving. A day when we “gather together.”  And it’s when we hear about the narrow escapes, newfound friends and never-ending appreciation for families.

But why just a day?  Why not a month of giving thanks for all the good things in our life, whether it’s neighbors who offer to help, our favorite tv show, or that special someone.  Maybe if we start practicing early in the month, we will be wondering why all the fuss about a turkey when we’ve been cherishing special moments for weeks.

Just give a little thanks today!

 

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