During the past year and a half, spreading kindness has been more important than ever. Even amid a global pandemic, people and organizations across Orange County are showing that kindness is instrumental in caring for people during not-so-certain and often tough times.
And if you haven’t noticed, kindness is a big deal at OCDE. So big that in 2016 OCDE launched its One Billion Acts of Kindness initiative to quantify kindness as part of a larger effort to promote civility, character and positivity across our county and beyond.
To date, more than 14.5 million kind acts have been registered at kindness1billion.org and through our free app for smartphones and tablets.
Every so often, we at the OCDE Newsroom like to share some of the stories we receive as a reminder that everyday people are making positive contributions. (Plus, we could all use a little uplifting content to put a smile on our faces).
Here’s a roundup of the acts of kindness that have been submitted by our community in the first quarter of 2021:
This morning, I brought my sister a cup of water to her room, even though she did not ask for it. She was in her zoom class, so I brought her water to drink in the morning because she did not drink anything.
Today at school I said hi to and talked to someone sitting alone.
I gave a homeless person (who was not begging or asking for anything) a $20 bill. The look of amazement and shock turned into tears. Well worth my $20 to make someone happy.
Jimmy works hard to get my mail to me early so in return I always thank him by offering a pre-packaged snack! We are kind to each other that way – Kindness gives birth to kindness.
During my time of illness, the HR Team, namely Susan Wilson and her team, were very responsive and supportive as they checked in with me frequently to see how I was doing. Believe it or not, this has never happened to me before in any other organization that I have worked in that HR calls to see how I was recuperating.
I started a project called Comfort Human as a way to help those with Alzheimer’s. During Covid quarantine, I began an initiative to send baby dolls to select memory-care units. The baby dolls act as a companion to those with Alzheimer’s, who were in isolation and couldn’t see friends or family or even other residents. Research shows that dolls help fight depression and loneliness. I plan to continue this project and reach as many memory-care facilities as possible in California and in the U.S. in 2021, since this remains challenging for those who live in memory-care units. As money permits, I will continue this effort.
My supervisor had breakfast delivered to my family as a surprise.
Panorama Elementary School held the Great Kindness Challenge where the Friday Night Live Kids greeted the drop off car line with positive posters and greetings.
I retired at the end of January from secondary teaching. A colleague surprised me with a 10-day countdown posted outside of my classroom door. Thank you Kim for taking the time from your very busy schedule to make sure my final days of teaching were memorable ones!
I’m in a PAL class at my middle school and our goal is to spread kindness. Even though this is not a big deal, I still hold the door for those in need and some other tasks that maybe the person is not available to do.
I held a door open for my teammates.
An act of kindness I have been doing for the last few months was that I noticed that the school library was busy and full of people. My friend and I decided we wanted to help out the librarian and volunteer. Every Tuesday and Thursday we now volunteer in the library at lunch.
I helped somebody that was struggling in math.
A few days ago, when my mom and I were shopping at Costco, we decided to order pizza. While getting the drink for my mom, I spotted a woman trying to get out of her wheelchair to reach the drinks, but she couldn’t get up and she was alone. I went up to her and grabbed her cup and helped her get what drinks she wanted to get. I felt happy afterwards.
Girl Scouts participated in the Girl Scout Year of Service group and donated 200 backpacks of reading books so that kids in title 1 schools would have books to read over the summer. We made 200 hand colored bookmarks to go into each bag as well!
I would like to recognize Barbara Finley for her act of kindness. Barbara went out of her way to get me a cold bottle of water, while I was outside administering the COVID testing last hot and sunny Wednesday.
I know a woman that is a massage therapist. She works with other therapists. Someone that was a regular at the yoga studio next to her office committed suicide due to the loneliness of the isolation of the pandemic. The team decided that they wanted to make a difference by offering some deserving person a free service. Each month they donate one free session of the person’s choice to someone struggling. I told her about my autoimmune disease I was recently diagnosed with and how painful it can be and she offered me a free massage. Being pain free is a blessing even if it’s short lived.
In light of National Kindergarten day, recognizing the struggle of teachers as they transition youth back to in class learning, 16-year-old Cidney Stallworth, her mother, and other young volunteers from the peace non profit, Heavenly Culture World Peace and Restoration of Light (HWPL) donated food and school supplies to support the process of returning children. The volunteers fundraised, prepared and donated the meals and supplies to teachers and kindergartners at International School for Science and Culture. HWPL, being an organization built on peaceful education, plans to donate and inspire school staff and students throughout the region with hopes that this will be a kickstart to a safe and fruitful year of learning for the children.
We’re continuing to feature stories here as part of OCDE’s One Billion Acts of Kindness initiative. Be sure to submit yours at kindness1billion.org, and you can also share your good deeds on social media using the hashtag #kindness1billion.