An act of kindness can go such lengths for some people. It can be such a small thing such as giving a homeless person some food to doing something very large just like raising money to help a whole community. Well, whatever it may be, it can have a very big effect on someone else’s lives. For us, it may be something usual and just very normal but for them, it can easily change their lives. We often see these acts of kindness plastered all over our social media sites and featured in a lot of different news outlets. If you ever want to feel inspired, check out these 6 news stories that featured acts of kindness.
- WOMAN RAISES MONEY FOR A 94 YEAR OLD STREET VENDOR
Kenia Barragan was just walking in Santa Ana, California when she passed through an elderly street vendor selling tamales. As she saw how tired he looked in his wheelchair, she decided to offer a few bucks, a sandwich, and a compassionate ear who’s willing to listen to his story.
The little gifts alone were enough for the 94 year old man to break down in tears. But he never knew that great things are still bound to happen for the coming days. Kenia shared in KTTV News that when she first saw Jose Villa Ochoa, she was reminded of her parents. Her heart was touched as her parents are both old as well and she does not want to see them selling tamales for somebody, while barely making ends meet.
The old man was known to be ‘Don Joel’, who explained that although he wanted to find a job, nobody was willing to hire him due to his age. In order to support himself financially, he started to sell tamales made by a local woman. At the end of a tough day, he would only receive a cut of the earnings which allowed him to buy food, but was not enough to afford his medications and even a phone.
The 28 year old woman was happy to hear Don Joel’s story, but she wanted to do more. So she started an appeal to her followers on Instagram to offer some assistance. She didn’t expect that it would blow up and reach more than $84,000 of donations from friends and strangers, in a span of a week.
The money raised was saved for Don Joel’s retirement. In addition to this, Kenia purchased a new wheelchair and new pair of shiny shoes. The old man can’t contain the happiness that he felt and shared that though he’s already 94, he felt like a 40 year old as the kindness has made him feel so alive. He desired the generosity given by Kenia as “life-changing”.
Kenia felt the same way. One of her goals in life was to look for a purpose that could help other people. She always finds ways where she could help even in the simplest ways and she wants her story to be an inspiration to others to show care, not just in terms of donations but in taking the time to talk to someone who looks lonely or down. Sometimes even the simplest way of showing interest that you want to listen, can change a life.
- MOM CARRIES BABY TO FULL TERM EVEN WITHOUT A BRAIN
Nothing hurts more to a mother than knowing the baby in her tummy might not be able to live. This is what the featured couple in this story will have to face.
Royce and Keri have been expecting a baby girl but they experienced one of the worst moments of their life when they learned that that baby inside Keri’s belly will be born without a brain, which means that she won’t live long after birth. But despite hearing this, Keri bravely chose to carry on with the pregnancy with an incredible mission.
If you are familiar with the quote, “Life isn’t about how many breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away,”, then this was certainly one of those moments. Royce shared in a facebook post how brave her wife was in this process. He mentioned that when he looked back to when the doctors told that their baby Eva wasn’t perfect and that she doesn’t have a brain, Keri stayed courageous. After a few moments filled with tears, Keri looked up and said, “If I carry her full term, can we donate her organs?”. It is a moment with intense personal grief, yet an incredibly selfless and compassionate question was asked. But Keri wasn’t just asking, she was committing.
Keri admitted in one of her Facebook posts that the decision wasn’t an easy one and that she almost decided not to follow through. As the couple decided what to do and asked their pastor for his thoughts about this where he provided a powerful outlook. Here is how their conversation went:
“Our pastor simply asked, ‘Royce, how old are you?’
‘In your 31 years of life, how many lives have you saved?’
‘In your daughter’s 24 hours of life she might save 50 lives. She’s going to be a very busy girl, you know’”
This meeting ultimately confirmed Keri of what she had to do. She became more committed to making this pregnancy through.
As the pregnancy progressed, Royce’s admiration for his wife continued to grow. Despite the little kicks, hiccups and every roll, Keri was reminded every moment of the day that the baby she’s carrying will die. The couple consoled themselves that even though they won’t experience holding and kissing their daughter as she grew up, her body will matter to others. They saw that maybe there’s another family out there hurting and hoping for a miracle to happen for their baby, with the knowledge that someone else’s baby will need to die first. She believed that her precious Eva could be that miracle.
Still, no matter how hard they try to be strong, there’s still a part in their hearts that wishes they can change the situation. They still dreamed to see their child blow birthday candles and grew like a lady. But all that’s left to do is to accept something they can’t change. Trying times like this tested and made the couple’s faith stronger. They knew that God has a way in using these moments to make beauty out of ashes, as well as to bring strength when we feel beaten up and tired in life.
Here is the link of Royce’s full heartwarming yet beautiful post:
- TEACHER PREPARES AND DELIVERS PACKED LUNCHES TO HIS STUDENTS AMIDST LOCKDOWN
A teacher’s love to their students is similar to a parent’s love to their child. During the worldwide pandemic, a teacher feared that his students would struggle to access food when the schools were shut and this award-winning hero teacher in England made his final delivery, after delivering 7,500 packed lunches.
Zane Powles worried about his students’ so much that he decided to diligently prepare 85 lunches each morning. His determination gave him strength to walk 7.5 miles every day while making his rounds for 17 weeks which totaled over 600 miles over the course of his runs in North East Lincolnshire. This 48 year old carried roughly tons of food that time, yet for him, it was all “well worth it”.
The smiles on the kid’s faces were enough to ease his worn out body. Zane goes to school at 7am to prepare and pack the food before heading out on his two hour journey and didn’t take a single day off during the pandemic. There are times that he occasionally leaves homeworks for his students. When it closed for the summer on July 17, Zane delivered his final food package on the emotionally charged Friday afternoon. He worked at Western Primary School in the large coastal seaport of Grimsby.
When he started these walks, his only goal was to ensure that the kids’ well being is okay and that they stay healthy. He didn’t expect the attention he’ll be getting as his intentions remained pure. It has been relentless and exhausting for him, but he felt happy and grateful at the same time.
Because of his work, he won the Inspirational Primary School Teacher award in 2019 when he was nominated by a parent. And in the ceremony, he mentioned that “We should never give up on children. Having a tough upbringing is never their fault.” May the pandemic doesn’t stop us from doing even the simplest things to help other people. It doesn’t have to be this grand, and it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your own health and resources. Just a little act of kindness could start something good in this troubled world.
- THE SOUP BRIGADE BY CARING FOR FRIENDS ORGANIZATION IN PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania is considered to be one of the most beautiful and kindest places in the United States. It’s full of picturesque communities that are full of kind people such as Delaware River which is home to the St. Andrew Parish. This place in Yardley, Pennsylvania is even included in the Top 50 Nicest Places that were recognized by Reader’s Digest. For approximately four decades, the parishioners from St. Andrew has made it a habit to make and give out meals to the elderly and shut-in residents of the area. They hold their meetings at the church parish house every third Sunday of the month.
However, their 37 years of regular service was abruptly cut by the coronavirus. In the midst of the pandemic, regular church members have come up with a way to continue their practices along with the rise of needs by the people in the community. The parishioners came up with the idea of making meals in the comfort of their homes. Caring For Friends, a non-profit organization, are the ones responsible for taking the prepared meals from the houses of the members to deliver it to those who need it.
The parishioners also came up with a community garden throughout the community since they can’t do it in one specific place. The people from the community can go to St. Andrew Parish to take a seedling of any type that they can plant in their homes. Seeds range from tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, and basil to name a few. It’s a great way to help the community in not just preparing great food but also encouraging them to grow a few plants that they can use.
- GRIEVING MOM PAYS FOR A RANDOM CHILD’S BIRTHDAY CAKE EACH YEAR
Losing a child is painful, but life must go on. A grieving mom decided to buy a cake for a random child every year, in remembrance of her late daughter. Ashley Santi who was a 33 year old mom from Scottsdale, Arizona, lost her little girl named McKenna Jodell in 2008. In the age of nine months, McKenna suddenly died from a traumatic brain injury caused by a television that accidentally fell on her.
Ashley couldn’t contain the pain that she felt, but she continued to move forward. Ever since the accident happened, she goes to a local bakery every year on her child’s birthday to pay for a random child’s birthday cake for McKenna’s honour.
In the year 2018, she purchased a cake for an 11 year old girl named Madison. Her good deed was shared online by Kyle Jauregui, Madison’s older brother. The family was speechless and just wanted to say thank you to McKenna’s mom, as well as wish McKenna a “Happy Birthday”.
In the now viral post that reach almost 200k likes, Jauregui also shared an image of his hister with the cake, along with Santi’s kind letter that stated:
“Dear birthday girl family,
In honor of my daughter’s 10th birthday, I have chosen your birthday cake today for each year I do this random act of kindness because I am unable to buy my daughter a cake of her own. Today is her big double digit birthday. Please enjoy your day.
- McKenna’s Mom”
The mother also revealed that she was inspired to start her annual acts of kindness when she joined the MISS Foundation, which is an org that supports families who have lost a child like Ashley. It is part of their program to encourage bereaved family members to partake in random acts of kindness in honour of their lost loved ones.
Grief has been a part of this world, but letting yourself sink in to that wouldn’t bring you good things. Balance it with kindness.
Here’s the link to Jauregui’s tweet:
- BLACK MAN JOINED BY 75 NEIGHBORS IN A WALK THROUGH AN UPSCALE COMMUNITY
Shawn Dromgoole was a 29 year old who has lived in the 12 South neighborhood of Nashville his whole life, after his family moved there 54 years ago. He grew up in a gentrified neighborhood that has only a few African-American residents which sometimes caused him to feel uneasy while walking alone in the streets.
The rising home values caused many of the black families who lived there to move out and they moved out to find more affordable homes, new families taking their place which are mostly white and are financially well-off. This left Shan to feel left out of place, even when he’s in his hometown. Scared to make friends with the new neighbors as he thinks of the judgement he may get.
He shared to the Washington Post that through the years, he could always feel the eyes, the stares and the cars slowing down when passing through him. This has made him feel uneasy growing up in the neighborhood.
Along with a barrage of news reports and protests that rage over George Floyd’s death, facebook posts are also spread warning neighbors to watch out for “suspicious black men”, which added fear to Shawn’s discomfort. It’s hard to live a normal life when even social media gave a stereotype that would forbid him to do so.
When he felt like this wasn’t healthy for him anymore, he decided to speak up and express his fear. In a facebook post he said:
“Yesterday I wanted to walk around my neighborhood but The fear of not returning home to my family alive kept me on my front porch . Today I wanted to walk again and I could not make it off the porch . Then I called my mother Lynetra Lynne Dunn and she said she would walk with me . I still kept my ID on me and my phone in my hand but I walked . #Icantbreath #icantsleep #icantwalk”
Shawn only expected a few words of encouragement from friends and family, but what happened next isn’t what he looked forward to. Friends and even strangers started flooding and pouring messages, saying they would like to walk with him. Because of this, he had the courage to post a time and place while letting everyone know, in case they wanted to join him on his next walk. And when he arrived, 75 people were waiting there to join him.
It must be hard for Shawn to contain all the happiness that he felt during that time. No racial barriers, no more fear, just people wanting to support each other. This inspired a lot of people and soon received local media coverage including the news. Shawn decided to host a few more walks and even started a campaign to raise funds for organizing other walks in a different city, every week.
In the end, he coped up with his fear of walking alone and even gave hope to those who felt the same. Sometimes, it just takes the courage to speak up when you feel something is wrong, and you will not believe how much support you could get if your intention will be seen as pure.