Teachers Kindness

A Teacher’s Kindness

My 7-year-old daughter has the kindest heart. She has always been the most empathetic and compassionate person I know. Even when she was a toddler, she would cry when she saw other kids upset or crying. She is usually the first person to befriend new students at school, reaching out to them with her bubbly personality and kindness. She truly has a beautiful heart.

Recently, a school friend has been treating her badly and my daughter’s teacher (Ms. R) has noticed this. My sweet child cannot understand why someone would tell lies about her or ask her to do something she knows is wrong. She is fearful of losing her friend by telling the truth, and it eats her up inside. Ms. R has taken the time to seek out my daughter and help guide her with discussions about friendship and integrity – often during recess, when she would normally be having a break. She is a wonderful example of how teachers can make a difference in kids’ lives.

I am so grateful for Ms. R’s kindness and hope she knows just how much she is appreciated.

Today’s story was submitted anonymously. If you have a story you would like to share with us, please head over to the Submit a Story page.

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We All Need A Little Warming Up

Over the past few months there has been a construction crew in my neighborhood tearing up the road to replace underground pipes. Some of the crew operate the heavy machinery and some of the crew are outside working, exposed to the elements. The crew have been very accommodating making sure the local residents can still get to and from their respective driveways.

As the temperature has dropped I decided these folks needed a boost to know how much they are appreciated despite the inconveniences that they bring to us residents. I recently called the crew lead over to my car and asked how many people were working on his crew. He told me 5 to 7 depending on the day. The next day, I passed him eight $5 Tim Horton gift cards (I came prepared with 10 just in case!) to be shared amongst the crew.

It’s not a lot but enough to buy each of them a couple coffee and enough to know their work is appreciated. He seemed speechless. But offered a warm smile with thanks. I’m sure his crew was equally pleased. It felt great to start their weekend off with a smile!

Today’s story was submitted anonymously. If you have a story you would like to share with us, please head over to the Submit a Story page.

Tim Hortons Kindness

A Cup Full of Kindness

Up until 9:57am this morning, I was having a terrible day.

Even running into an old friend at a volleyball tournament didn’t take away the feeling. Watching Bones spike a ball or make a fabulous serve, while exciting…I just couldn’t quite shake it. Seeing her team win both sets and celebrate their accomplishment…while I was proud, couldn’t pull me from the funk I was in.

The thing is, I woke up that way. A horrible nightmare had me reeling.

We were on a cruise ship, a family vacation…and just as we hit the open seas, Spiderman couldn’t be found. Every nook and cranny of that boat I searched…until I began to panic. I stood among so many teens and tried to find his face among the crowd. I saw just about every person I ever hung out with…sitting around the tables laughing. No one had grown up…the teenage faces of friends I haven’t seen in years smiling back at me as I frantically searched. The police were called and a full-scale emergency was on as suddenly, everyone knew he’d gone overboard. Then, turning a corner as I began to run…I saw him. Sitting with a couple of friends in his shirt and tie from hockey…he smiled.

I burst into tears of panic and joy and felt the shaking as I woke from my nightmare. My dog, standing over me…desperate to wake me.

I was crying. The dog was panicked. She’d obviously known I was having a nightmare and desperately tried to wake me.

Still hours later, she won’t leave my side.

I started the day not quite right. Jumped in the shower and headed to my daughter’s volleyball tournament where a headache began forming and I couldn’t decide if I needed more sleep or a couple of Tylenol to push it away.

I watched the game then left. Happy for Bones and her team but just wanting some time to curl up on the couch. As I headed for home, I thought I’d stop to grab a cup of tea…see if I could start fresh.

And then at 9:57 am, moments after I’d ordered and as I pulled up to the window at the Kearney Lake Tim Horton’s I heard, “the gentleman in front of you paid for your order and said to have a wonderful day.”

Kindness.

My day started off horribly. Nothing’s really wrong but a bad night of sleep…a bit of a headache…a feeling of being a little unsure of myself despite all of the wonderful things in my life and then out of the blue…someone shows a simple act of kindness.

I don’t think I knew who the man was. It could have been someone I knew or a complete stranger as I didn’t recognize the car but to be honest, I’m not really great with details…evident from the simple fact that I lost my son on a cruise ship full of teens in the first place! But the thing is, friend or stranger, you never really know who you’re affecting on any given day just by reaching out. And doing something kind.

At 9:57 am this morning…while shaking off a bad night and a bit of a headache…kindness changed my day.

Today’s story is from Colleen Anthony. If you have a story you would like to share with us, please head over to the Submit a Story page.

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A Valentine’s Day Drive

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to show people kindness (although you may need to spend it to keep your kids quiet while on a kindness delivery adventure).

This past Valentine’s Day I was lucky enough to be home with my two daughters. The first few hours we spent making hearts and eating chocolate were fun but grew old in about a couple of hours. Because the girls were too young for school, we also happened to have a pile of Valentine’s Day cards to give out. Instead of creating imaginary characters to give them to (although that does sound fun), we piled into the car and took a little adventure.

We passed through a Tim Horton’s drive through and handed the employees a Valentine’s Day card. We handed out a few in Future Shop and we handed out a few in Walmart. Finally, we handed a few more to the people at the McDonald’s drive through window too.

It was fun for the kids who ended up with donuts and cheeseburgers and it was nice for the people who got to hear Happy Valentine’s from two cute little blonde haired ladies. It was a good day to teach them the value of a small and that the cost of making someone happy is something we can afford to pay.

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Today’s story is from Mike Reynolds. If you have a story you would like to share with us, please head over to the Submit a Story page.

Sit With Me Shelter

Giving Animals a Second Chance

As a long-time vegan and animal rights supporter, I have never met anyone as committed to directly saving the lives of animals as is Tanya Beauchemin.

I am a foster parent with Sit With Me shelter dog rescue, of which she is a principal volunteer. I have witnessed her complete, unwavering dedication to rescuing animals from the most dire of circumstances, and giving them a second chance.

Although I know it breaks her heart, she bravely goes into animal shelters time and time again, interacts with these death row animals, and tries to save as many of them as she’s able. They are truly acts of kindness towards these animals who have nothing at all.

She has to walk away without far too many of them, which would emotionally destroy most of us. She has hard days and has the weight of these animals’ lives on her shoulders. But she keeps soldiering on, showing them kindness and human decency, emboldened by the knowledge that she can make a difference in the lives of some, even if she can’t save them all.

And even when there isn’t room for another she begs…and pleads…and somehow always manages to find the space for just one more. Over, and over again.

The kindness that Tanya shows these dogs defies the parameters of breed, size, and age. The motley crew of dogs she has rescued is a veritable Noah’s Ark of canine variety. She writes loving, heart-rending descriptions of each one for Sit With Me’s Facebook page, which have brought tears to my eyes on many occasions.

Tanya’s whole life revolves around the dogs she rescues; making their lives better. It’s not always easy, and limits her extracurricular activities. But she does it because if she doesn’t, their lives will not be saved. Her side project is running a dog collar-making business, many of which end up around the necks of the beautiful creatures to whom she has given a second lease on life.

Fortunately Tanya doesn’t work in isolation; she is part of a team of volunteers with Sit With Me, who provide support and bear their own burdens to do this important work.

But it’s her beautiful, sometimes haunting words used to tell the canine stories of the victims of human abuse and neglect that make it clear that Tanya Beauchemin has a most kind heart.

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Today’s story is from Pam Tourigny. If you have a story you would like to share with us, please head over to the Submit a Story page.

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The Parking Fairy

I was downtown for a meeting and I always use the Pay by Phone app now to park my car. Of course when you use the Pay by Phone app now, you don’t receive a printed ticket to display on your dash. When I returned to my car I thought for sure I was still within my allotted time but as I approached I could see this paper blowing in the wind – what the heck! Had the Pay by Phone app not worked? It always had before. As I got closer and closer I realized that in fact it wasn’t a ticket at all but rather the amazing and wonderful parking fairy had been by, seen that I did not have a ticket on display so the fairy put fifty cents in the meter, printed a display ticket for me and placed it on my windshield. This was such a kind act, no matter how small it was. I’m rather certain that the parking fairy has saved tons of people from tons of tickets. Like I said it is just a small gesture but one that no one asks for but can mean so much.

So, I wonder what we could do to make the parking fairy’s life easier? Cheaper? I felt bad that he spent money on my car which didn’t need it. Where ever you are, parking fairy, I thank you for being kind and selfless.

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Today’s story is from Shawn MacDonell. If you have a story you would like to share with us, please head over to the Submit a Story page.

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The Gift of Warmth

My daughter was receiving treatment at a hospital in Toronto and across from the hospital was a park. It appeared that many that frequented the park were those a little down on their luck, so we began bringing mittens, scarfs, warm socks and treats and leaving them in the park. We would place them in different location, so that it was like a treasure hunt. It really warmed our hearts when we saw a lady wearing the red mittens we had left in the park the day before. Do something kind, it doesn’t cost much and it will make someone’s day a little brighter.

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Today’s story is from Christianna. If you have a story you would like to share with us, please head over to the Submit a Story page.

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Giving to Those Without a Voice

I’m lucky in so many ways, even on my worst days. One of my greatest (ongoing) accomplishments in life is that I have a gentle, empathetic 3 year old son. He is quick to hug when he thinks someone is sad or hurt, he helps his baby brother whenever possible, and he gently pets and plays with our cats—though he also chases them, on occasion.

Every Christmas, my wife and I give something to our local Humane Society. Some years this is a cash donation, though many years (like this one) funds are tight enough that our donations take on a variety of forms. Sometimes we’ll pick up a case of wet food for the cats, as many of them survive solely on crunchies. Sometimes we (yes, we—my wife taught me to knit, as well) knit small blankets out of spare yarn that are used to line kitty cages and give them something familiar when they transition to their new home.

This year, we’re going to try to bring the whole family in on the giving. My wife and I will be donating wet food, and a few small kitty blankets. Our son will be donating some of the fuzzy pipe cleaners from his craft supplies, which kitties invariably love to play with. Our cats will also be donating some of their older toys. Only our 9-month old son gets a pass, because the only things he can produce or offer at this point don’t make very good gifts. Soon enough.

Whether you’re a cat person or a dog person, or even if you like lizards, small mammals, or birds, your local humane society could likely use some help, and animals are notoriously poor at representing their own needs (though they make for cute advertising). Give what you can, even if (or perhaps especially if) you need to get creative to do it. If nothing else, most humane societies are often happy to have people volunteer their time, which may be an option we explore in the future with our kids.

Raising gentle boys now leads to having gentlemen in the future.

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Today’s story is from Sean at Nerd Incognito. If you have a story you would like to share with us, please head over to the Submit a Story page.

KC Baby Story

Community of Kindness – Tobin’s Story

Our third child in as many years was born January 15, 2007. Although we lived far away, it was a happy occasion during a very challenging time for my extended family. A few months previous, my younger brother was diagnosed with cancer, only days after the birth of his first child. On New Years Day, on the way home from a ski trip, my dad and two sisters were involved in a head-on collision resulting in lengthy hospital stays and surgeries, especially for my dad.

A beautiful, healthy and robust little boy was a happy event. The rest of us were getting over colds and we tried to wash our hands as much as we could. When little Tobin was 14 days old he started sneezing. He seemed a bit congested but not bad. But he didn’t nurse well and didn’t sleep well. On day 17 he developed a fever and I took him to the urgent care center in our community to make sure he was okay. He was happy and alert, and with his big dimples was popular with the nurses and doctor. Their equipment was not pediatric but said he just had a cold and to take him home. The next day he had trouble waking up at all to eat but I was comforted having just seen a doctor and thought he was just getting lots of rest recovering from his first cold. He seemed really cold to the touch, but it was January after all and I just bundled him up more. I contemplated taking him in again but since I was just there the day before I didn’t want to be the over-anxious mother in the emergency room.

That night he was restless all night long. Crying out but not waking enough to eat. In the morning I was so exhausted I gave him to my husband with some pumped milk and went back to bed. At noon I woke and asked my husband how much he had eaten and it was next to nothing. I scooped him up and drove him to the emergency room at the rural hospital where he was born. I broke down explaining my baby wouldn’t eat. One look at him and things started moving quickly. He was quickly surrounded by health care professionals. He was hypothermic and his organs were shutting down. While working on him, he stopped breathing. I watched, horrified and alone, as they gathered around him and revived him. Soon they called STARS Air ambulance and flew him away to the Alberta Children’s Hospital an hour away in the helicopter. I watched them fly away and then went home with an empty car seat. Longest car ride ever. My son ended up being in the hospital for a month with RSV, a kidney infection and meningitis. My 3 and 2 year old girls stayed with my mom a few hours away for the first few days but she was needing to care for my injured father and my husband was at a new job with very long hours. I was torn between the needs of my girls and my desire to be with my son.

That is when the miracle happened.

My church community stepped forward, passing around sign up sheets one Sunday for possible child care and meals. After the first few days, my son was out of NICU and I was able to spend mornings with my girls, the afternoon they went to church friends’ houses and I went to the hospital to be with my son. After work my husband would pick the girls up and come home and find a meal waiting on the porch to feed them supper and get them to bed. Every day my daughters had somewhere to go, and every night my family had a home-cooked meal. For a month. We didn’t know where most of the meals came from but we knew we were loved, thought of, and supported.

In addition, I had a friend and photographer who not only took my children many of the days, but also in the first few rough days found a sitter for her own children and came up to the hospital, an hour away, and spent the entire day and into the night with me. She took pictures of me and my son, made me eat, let me talk, cry, vent, worry. She coaxed me to rest, advocated for me with the nurses, and was my support. She became my shoulder to lean on when I was unsure what procedures to okay, jumped with me when the monitors blared each time he stopped breathing, and brought me magazines and food.

I was not alone.

The kindness of the nurses, doctors, the hospital volunteers, the church and community members who assisted me and my family has always stuck with me. Seeing all the children in those many hospital wards and knowing many of them will not come home like my son did opened up a reality to me that in my head I knew existed but I hadn’t comprehended the magnitude of. It has given me a new perspective and I have used that perspective to help other people in that situation when I come across them. Helping someone in crisis does not have to be a big thing. A loaf of banana bread, a meal, play-dates. Time is most valuable and what is most appreciated. I’ll never forget the time all those people dedicated to me and my family.

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Today’s story is from Emily. If you have a story you would like to share with us, please head over to the Submit a Story page.

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Making Friends at the Tim Hortons Drive-Thru

I never thought about this until I read the tweet regarding stories lacking on the Kindness Canada site.

This past weekend my wife and I were running behind and decided go grab some food on the go. This time we decided to use Canada’s favourite coffee joint and off to the Tim Hortons drive-thru I went. There are two ways to get into the drive-thru line so I lined up one way and another vehicle containing a mother and her screaming child entered from the other way. As three vehicles would not let this mother (who had also just came from the dentist) in, I did.

When I pulled up to the window, I was handed a $10 gift card from the Timmy’s employee. I asked what this was for and was advised the mother ahead of me wanted to thank me for letting her in.

She was having a rough day and was thankful for me letting her go ahead of me.

I have yet to return this random act of kindness but plan on paying it forward very soon!

Thanks.

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Today’s story is from Steve. If you have a story you would like to share with us, please head over to the Submit a Story page.