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The Hurrah Feeling

My friend, Ada, shared how while at the gym she observed a young woman who runs very fast. In a brief conversation, Ada learned that running in the upcoming marathon was something this woman really wanted to do, but simply couldn’t afford it.  A quick call to the owner of a running store resulted in a free marathon entrance.  For Ada, she “liked the hurrah feeling.”

New findings published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology confirm the power of being kind. Researchers found that people who perform a random act of kindness tend to underestimate how much the recipient will appreciate it.  And they believe that may hold many of us back from doing nice things for others more often. One of the study’s authors, Amit Kumar, commented “People tend to think that what they are giving is relatively inconsequential. But recipients are less likely to think along those lines.”…
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Simple Kindness

It’s often the little things that brighten our moments.  We may wonder how a simple nod of the head or a good morning smile could send a message.  But if someone is depressed or even feeling a bit down, that simple gesture can be a reminder that they are valued.


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Opportunity To Scatter Kindness

As prices for basic school supplies have greatly increased, we can only imagine the challenge faced by families with many children who all need supplies.  This presents a simple and easy opportunity for us to come to the aid of our neighbors.

Teachers often choose to purchase extra supplies rather than to see a child go without. If asked what is needed, they will quickly provide a short list of things like crayons, pencils, markers, folders, or backpacks which can all be purchased either in-store or online and delivered to a home or school.

Each year I enjoy bringing an assortment of school supplies to Partnership Academy in Richfield, Minnesota where I volunteer to assist a Kindergarten teacher.  The response always makes me smile!

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Summer of Kindness

Before summer ends, add one more random act of kindness to your list of accomplishments.


Need ideas?  Here are a few:

  • Leave a thank you note in your mailbox addressed to your mail carrier
  • Take treats to your local fire station
  • Bring a used book to a little free library – littlefreelibrary.org
  • Decorate a paper bag and add a food item or two each time you shop to donate to a local food bank. Find a food shelf near you – /feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx
  • Plant a small tree in honor of someone and plan to visit it when fully grown

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Sandwich Project

A helpful husband and good friend joined me in a fun and easy volunteer activity to prepare 200 sandwiches for urban American Indians in Minneapolis.

The Sandwich Project exists to serve those with food insecurity. Their efforts result in creating healthy and nurturing experiences by providing a basic need — a sandwich for lunch!


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Supporting a Grannie

Maria Luisa recycles plastic to survive. She also has chickens and sells their eggs to make money in Puerto Botanico, Paraguay. After becoming a widow, she had to work hard to raise her ten children, most who now live far away. Sometimes neighbors invite her to lunch or dinner when she has nothing to eat. She says she “likes to smile.”

Paraguay holds a special place in my heart because our daughter was born there.  After sponsoring kids for many years, I was interested to recently learn about an Elderly Program. Monthly benefits of food and medicine are given to grannies who are in a poverty situation.  They also receive blankets and coats in winter, a special gift on their birthday, and a Christmas present at the end of the year.

A staff member from the Project for the People of Paraguay visits grannies once each month, spending some time …
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Feed My Starving Children

One of the organizations my family likes to support with our time and funds is Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). This unique charity believes that hope starts with food. Their process is simple. Donations fund the meal ingredients.  Volunteers hand-pack the nutritious meals which are shipped to food partners across the globe.

In 1993, a team of Cargill food scientists and colleagues from General Mills and Pillsbury created a vitamin-and-mineral fortified rice meal specifically for malnourished children. This is what is now called MannaPack Rice™.  As FMSC’s first and original food formula, it is an excellent source of protein, carbohydrates and key nutrients culturally acceptable worldwide for anyone over the age of one.

Every day FMSC food packs are distributed in schools, orphanages, medical clinics and feeding programs in 70 countries around the world. More than 99% of FMSC meals have safely reached their intended destination.

Aracely and her 4-year-old …
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Our Future Heroes

Graduating from Kindergarten can be one of the first steps to a long journey down the road of kindness.  This was the fifth year as a volunteer at Partnership Academy where I was thrilled to see the expressions of pure joy on these amazing kids and their families.  I’m convinced they will be our future heroes.

Congratulations to all graduates!

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My International Kids

I’ll probably never meet some kids I consider to be part of my family.  Two live in Kenya, three in Paraguay, one in Haiti, another in Argentina, and my newest teenager is in Ghana.

Twenty-six years ago, I became “Godmother” to Brenda through the Kenya Children’s fund. I’ve saved many of her letters, such as this one, to read on rainy days.

“You make me feel loved and lucky. I can’t help but feel great being your sponsored child. You are one of the few people who make my life worth living in this earth. You helped me through – I finished high school!”


With a small donation sent to my “Godson” William, on his 8th birthday, he purchased soap, cake, shoe polish and juice. He wants to join the army when he grows up “so that I can protect those I love.”

Mackendy’s father abandoned him, and he …
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May Possibilities

“All things seem possible in May”
Edwin Way Teale

May is a month when the opportunities for random acts of kindness expand. Our walks in the park give us a chance to acknowledge everyone we pass by. With the return of many events, we see possibilities to volunteer for new causes or those we may have forgotten about.

Your simple message of appreciation might be what a stranger remembers about this month of May.

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