9/12 Kindness Report – Up and Down the East Coast USA

(I promised I wouldn’t share names but these 2 stories were too awesome to not share)

I’ve had this excellent Kindness Report brewing for a few days I was privy to watch it unfold in front of my very eyes.  

A group chat with 2 wonderful  friends and me started like this:

Friend 1 “I  know it’s kind of late in the season for this but I have a brand new air condition system.  Nicer than a typical window unit—just uses the window to vent.  Cools a significant space.  Do you know anyone who could use this?  Free to someone in need.  I will have it delivered.  Just let me know.”

What a generous offer!!!  Of course I couldn’t think of anyone but “Friend 2” knew someone right away and connected the “Friend 1” to someone who has a genuine need for an AC.  

That just thrilled me to the core.  BUT THEN “Friend 2” told me and “Friend 1” THIS STORY.  

“Friend 2” knew of a family that lost their daughter in childbirth, and the baby didn’t make it either. 

“She and the baby were cremated. Each week when I went to visit  I saw the remains sitting on the kitchen table in a cardboard box with their names labeled on there. I felt so sad that their remains were in a simple cardboard box. I asked  if I could help them 

I could help them purchase and urn. They both broke down in tears and were so grateful for the help to give their daughter and granddaughter a dignified place for their remains. I asked them to look online and choose any urn they felt would be a  great memory to them. It took them several weeks to make a choice then he called me to say they made a decision. I ordered it immediately and on my next visit there it was… a beautiful urn for their remains.  They were so thankful and grateful someone would offer something to them. I am not sharing this to toot my own horn but to simply share that sometimes the things we may take for granted may mean the world to someone else.”

So ya’ll there are a few takeaways – 

  1. Friend 1 and Friend 2 are awesome, they’ve been in my life for 40 years and I love them both dearly.  I’m so thankful to have “friends like that”
  2. How much do we take for granted?  Are you hanging on to something someone else may really need?
  3. Are there people in your life that have a need? If you have an elderly relative they may be thrilled with a visit and a milk shake!  
  4. What other good things are happening?  I believe when you do something good, you don’t have to tell it, but I believe in sharing wonderful things like this help others look for opportunities to spread kindness.  There’s a balance.
  5. Enough lessons from your #KernersvilleKindnessCoach ya’ll go and do something good.  Or find like minded friends to help change the world  Things go better with a friend!  (Tell me about it at DeAnna@MyFriendDeAnna.com) I love to share “kind” stories.

Kindness Report – Greensboro, NC 9/10

This morning a friend came running in my office, she said, “DeAnna I have to tell you about some kindness that happened to me last night.”  Of course I was very interested and I listened.

Last night she was leaving work downtown Greensboro and at the corner of Cone Blvd and Yanceyville Street (Greensboro, NC).  This happened 5pm-ish – 9/10.  A young lady had a broken down car and it was holding traffic up for a bit.  My friend was merging and another car got really annoyed, he was motioning and raising his hands and she was too.  

I’m looking confused as she tells this story, she’s said, “Let me get to the good part.”

Well they calmed down, they drove past the lady with the broken vehicle.  At the next stop light he pulled up beside my friend.  She looked at him, he had handwritten a sign that said, “I’M SORRY.”  (He realized there was a lady in distress with the broken down car and my friend truly wasn’t a bad driver). She gave him a thumbs up, she smiled and they parted ways.  

I looked at her and started to get tears in my eyes.  Not like a full on cry, but a “how sweet, it touched my heart” kind of tears.  

Ya’ll my friend was sharing kindness and concern for a lady in distress, and all she knew is this man was overreacting to something he couldn’t see fully. All this man knows is, he was ready to get home – and then, he saw what was happening and was able to say, “I’m sorry.”  

How often do we do this in our own live?  We react to something and don’t know the full story.  We react and then regret. 

I applaud this young man for saying, “I’m sorry.”  ( I’m also quite impressed that he had a pen and paper in his vehicle!!)

Let’s take time to be kind, let’s take time to not react harshly.  Let’s give a thumbs up for an apology if someone does act too fast.  If we’re wrong, just say, “I’m sorry.” He touched my life with this simple gesture.

9/9/19 Kindness Report – Champale Anderson of St. Louis

Tonight as I opened the computer I prayed. “Lord, open my eyes to some joy and kindness in this world.” WELL, He is indeed faithful. There was a story on my local NBC channel WX11-12 about Champale Anderson of St. Louis. She has 6 kids of her own, but she opens her doors daily and serves the kids in her neighborhood. What an act of kindness these kids run to her door and she is able to provide for them physically. How amazing is that?

Here is an article to the complete story – but this just overwhelmed me.

https://www.wxii12.com/article/my-special-babies-woman-makes-lunches-for-children-in-her-neighborhood-who-knock-on-her-door/28972129

Champale thank you so much for serving people. ❤

She brought to mind that there is opportunity to serve, and sometimes these people are right outside your front door. You don’t know in which ways you’ll be able to impact people.

Sometimes we put a lot of pressure on ourselves but kindness doesn’t require perfection, it requires connection. If you can’t feed someone today, smile at a stranger and compliment something about them. Those kind words could carry them through the day.

PS~Champale’s GoFundMe raised $16,328 as of the writing of this post. Because people see the need for her brand of kindness!!!

A Kindness Coach – Epic Fail – DeAnna, Epic Win – Jermaine Bell of Allendale, SC

This morning I went to work, and I was telling someone, “I want to be a kindness coach”. I gave my normal pitch about “we need more bright spots in the world, kindness is a fruit of the Spirit” all these wonderful things.

Later on in the day, I “lost my kind”. It was a conference call, regarding a project that hasn’t gone the way it should. (Sounds like your day at work too?) It was so bad, I ended up having a slice of pie for lunch.

You know, it wouldn’t be so bad except here I am, talking about kindness….and boom! I lost my cool. (I apologized)

So I get home tonight, and I’m looking for some good news to spread cheer and I’m reading an article about “Imposter Syndrome” here’s the link. If you don’t know what Imposter Syndrome is, this is when you feel like you’re not good enough, qualified, a phony. Are you like that too? So that nagging little voice says, “You’re not qualified to teach people about kindness. You were a little salty on a conference call today.”

BUT THEN – I read this lovely article about a young man in South Carolina. He was saving his money for a family trip to Disney World, instead he used the money for people leaving Florida because of the hurricane. He prepared hot dogs, chips, water and prayers. When I read of the effort Jermaine Bell made to take care of travelers in distress, he made my heart jump for joy. At 6 years old he said, “You know what? I’m sharing what I’ve got.” Here’s the link to the article that touched my heart. What an amazing act of generosity and kindness.

Ya’ll – I’m just an imperfect person, and as much as I try to spread kindness , there will be days I don’t shine so bright, but those are the days people like Jermaine Bell show up and just brighten up my days.

I’m hopeful that Jermaine’s kindness is repaid in ways he could not imagine. The world needs teachers of kindness. We also need encouragement and cheerleaders on the day when we’re not at our best.

Thank you Jermaine! You turned this frown upside down.

Your friend,

DeAnna

Guilford Education Alliance

Today (9/3/19) I had the pleasure of having lunch with Louise Courts and Karen Hornfeck. They work at Guilford Education Alliance in Greensboro, NC.

It was such a blast having lunch with a couple of ladies who work in a non-profit. They were very encouraging towards my effort to “spread kindness”. They also told me about how the Guilford Education Alliance was started. In 2002 the seed was planted based on the McKinsey study that said the community needed to support the schools. In stepped Margaret Arbuckle and she worked as an advocate for children, and their families in Guilford County public education by helping the GEA grow.

Nowadays the GEA serves over 1,500 teachers monthly. Teachers come in and they are able to get supplies for their classrooms and their kids. There is a great article about what they do. Click here for the WFDD article.

The past couple of months I added a fund raiser and a donation box in my office and people really contributed. School supplies are “for cheap” these days as school begins, but the school year goes until next June.

My motive is kindness. It’s not about “what DeAnna did”, it’s what about YOU can do. When I told the girls in my workplace “I want school supplies for my birthday gifts”. They were happy to accommodate, I had other friends that donated directly to GEA, I had other work friends that cleaned out old supply closets and donate goods. As I told Louise and Karen, “the worst thing that could happen is ya’ll would get a few supplies, but my friends showed up and it was the best thing.”

Anyone that’s reading this, I encourage you to remember, when you serve others, when you’re kind to others, it’s not about perfection, it’s about connection.

It may not be about having fun raising funds, making videos, coordinating school supply drives. But you have to find THE THING that motivates you to serve, share, give, spark your joy and motivate kindness in the world around you.

What’s it going to be? What do you want to do to change the world around you? Are you set up to start?

Worst case, you make new friends. Best case, you make new friends that want to change the world!

Disney World’s Snow White

Today I was reading an article about a young with autism at Disney World.

Lauren Bergner and her family spent 10 days in Disney World. Her youngest son has autism and he’s non-verbal, at 6 years old.

The best thing about Disney is they have a disability access line so there are shorter waits. But this little fella’ was simply tired as he waited to see Snow White. (If you’ve been to a theme park, you know #ThemeParkTired is a real thing.)

When he got to meet his princess, he “took to her” (That’s southern for, “they got along really well at first meeting”.) The article I read said his Mama was concerned, because he doesn’t usually go with strangers, but Snow White said, “Let’s go for a walk” and they walked!!!

Now ya’ll don’t know me, but I’m BIG on customer service. Actually, I work in Customer Service so it’s amazing to see the levels of service Disney equipped their employees with in working with customers of varying needs.

So Snow White took her time with young Brody, the lines were long, but even the other visitors could see the connection between Brody and Snow White, and they were also in awe and clapped, they took pictures.

Friends, when you see a moment, it’s important to take it all in and let it happen. I’m sure there were people in that line, tired of waiting, ready to go, hurry it up – but if you go to a magical place, you have to give time to let the magic happen. Sometimes you may be in the need for something special to happen, and when that moment happens, you don’t want it rushed – you want to soak it in. Disney equipped the employee to take her time and let the magic happen. They also came back to their hotel and found an autographed picture from Snow White and a Snow White pin.

“Making magic for all of our guests is what makes a Disney vacation so special. Snow White was so happy to bond with Brody in a heartfelt way and be able to share this moment with him and his family.” (link to Elise Sole 8/29/19 article attached here)

One of my best friends and I were discussing this moment and she said, “Disney World truly is magical.” and after reading this, I see how important that is to their customers to have the experience of a lifetime.

Disney, if you read this, “GREAT WORK” in #MakingKINDNESSLoud in a very soft and magical way. Thank you for teaching your employees the values. As a “kindness coach” teaching people the value of kindness and how to spot it, it’s alive and well and quite magical!

Your friend,

DeAnna

David Tepper – Act of Kindness from the Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers had a post this morning (8/31) on Instagram “Man of the people! Dave Tepper and his foundation give away 1 5,000 backpacks filled with supplies across the Carolinas.

Now ya’ll, I didn’t know know who David Tepper was, so I did some research, apparently he’s the owner of the Carolina Panthers. (My sports knowledge is fairly limited.) Click on his name and it will link to the article about him that I read, and he sounds like an overall decent guy.

One thing the article said was, “Tepper talks about the Panthers as a “great platform” for his philanthropy, quoting Spider-Man’s edict “With great power comes great responsibility.” He means both giving away money and leveraging the Panthers for economic growth.” (And I love Stan Lee, but, I’m a Sunday School teacher so I could tell you the same sentiment came from Luke 12:48 first)

There are some people and organizations and they can quantify kindness by giving. It’s awesome that 15,000 students have their own backpacks and it took a lot of work to coordinate this event for the Carolina Panthers. Great job!!!

I’m not sure what has led you to my corner of the world, but I want to encourage YOU based on the good things going on in the world and that YOU can help #MakeKINDNESSLoud . As long as there are people out there that need help, YOU also have a great platform.

We may not find ourselves with the means to make a big difference. We may not have the money to make more than 1 back pack, you may have nothing but time, but you find yourself wanting to do SOMETHING to help others. Nothing is wasted in the way of kindness and generosity. If every person one day did one kind thing, what a different world we would live in.

If you find yourself inspired by any of these stories and not knowing where to start, I’d encourage you to get in touch with your local United Way. My best friend is retired and she has time to give and our local United Way was able to point her in a direction to help.

This week I was on a committee at work (Customer Service Week next month!) and I said, “People want to do something, there are 85 people, if everyone does something small, it can have a HUGE impact.” So we’re putting donation boxes up for BackPack Beginnings and we will be collecting goods for a week to support them and also a local animal shelter. The worst case scenario we have a few things, the best case, we have to ask them to come by and pick up the supplies. This has always been my thought process, “What’s the worst thing that can happen if I’m trying to help do a little good in the world?”

So I challenge you to find a way to make a difference for better. If you dream of making 15,000 backpacks next year for your community, do it! If you want to pay off lunch debt for a local school next year save $1 a week for the next year and put $52 on a school’s bill. If you would like to volunteer to help a school in need, do it! If you want to buy breakfast for the person behind you, do it! Remember, in kindness and generosity nothing is wasted.

Be encouraged to find ways to spread kindness!!!!

Your friend,

DeAnna