I think that after the past two days we could all use a break, so I thought the ‘good people’ post that I didn’t do yesterday might be a welcome relief today. Most of today’s acts of goodness are relatively small things, but small acts of kindness can brighten people’s worlds and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Orion Jean is only ten-years-old, but he is getting an early start on being a ‘good people’. His story started in July, when he was selected as the National Kindness Speech Contest Winner. I’ll let Orion tell you how it all started …
“A couple of months ago, my parents entered me into a national kindness speech contest hosted by Mr. Brian Williams, the founder of Think Kindness. I just entered it thinking, nothing is going to come of it. I was paired with a speech coach and he would help me improve my speech and that speech was good enough and I won. People all over America helped vote. Everybody saw this message and voted for me. I was gifted with a cash prize to do my very own kindness project and I decided that there are so many people around the world who could be helped by this project so I decided to start a series of events called the ‘Race to Kindness’.”
His first event was a race to donate 500 toys. On September 13, Orion donated 619 toys to Children’s Health in Dallas, Texas. But his race to kindness campaign is far from over. For his next challenge, Orion partnered with Feed The City to donate at least 100,000 meals to people in need by Thanksgiving. So far, he has provided more than 35,000 meals.
“Thank you to all of my donors for helping us nearly fill a U-Haul truck with food. I know that we can change this world just by being kind!”
Little things, but isn’t this kid’s heart in the right place?
Khaleel Seivwright, 28, is a carpenter in Toronto, Canada, where the coronavirus pandemic has compounded the homeless situation and now winter is at the doorstep. Khaleel decided to put his skills to good use to help the homeless in the city and began building tiny shelters for them.
“It just seemed like something I could do that would be useful because there’s so many people staying in tents. I’ve never seen so many people staying outside in parks, and this is something I could do to make sure people staying outside in the winter could survive.”
The wooden shelter, which costs about $1000 to make, has a door and a casement window. Seivwright, a carpenter by profession, builds and distributes the shelters to the homeless in Toronto for free.
Last year, 128 people experiencing homelessness in Toronto died. Fifty-two of them died between October and January, as temperatures grew colder in the city. To address the shelter shortfall, the city plans to add 560 more spaces during the winter in addition to the 6,800 shelter beds it is already offering. But residents say the move is woefully inadequate to address the potential homelessness crisis. Khaleel Seivwright plans to make sure every homeless person has shelter this year.
Thus far, his GoFundMe site has brought in just over $117,000 – enough for another 117 shelters. Thumbs up to Mr. Khaleel Seivwright!
Lauren Laborde of Houston, Texas, lost her job earlier this year as a result of the pandemic, but rather than sitting around feeling sorry for herself, she decided to use her time and energy to give back to her community.
Ms. Laborde is mowing lawns for seniors and veterans who need a little extra help. Laborde is servicing two local neighborhoods on weekdays and some weekends.
“I found myself laid off with COVID, so I decided that I needed to do something to put good back in the world. I got out and just started helping.”
Laborde joined the website IWantToMowYourLawn.com — an online community of volunteers who want to help elderly neighbors and those in underprivileged communities with their lawn care.
Again … it’s a little thing, but I imagine it means a whole heck of a lot to those seniors who can no longer take care of their yard, and really can’t afford to hire someone to do it. Thumbs up to Lauren Laborde for making the best of a bad situation and using her time to help so many others.
Flo Osborne has been on this earth for 89 years. She lives in Dovercourt in the United Kingdom and is a great-great-grandmother five times over! So, what’s she doing that earns her a spot here? She’s baking … pies … LOTS of pies!
According to Flo’s grandson, Flo gets up at the crack of dawn to start baking in her tiny kitchen, where she can only bake two or three pies in one go, and yet some days she bakes as many as 20 pies in a day! Every pie is made from scratch, the pastry mixed and rolled the fruit prepared and then cooked in her tiny oven.
But she isn’t just baking the pies just to be doing something … she is donating them for distribution among the elderly and vulnerable in her community.
Professional football (what we call soccer on this side of the pond) player Marcus Rashford heard about what Flo is doing and publicly praised her for her efforts, but Mr. Rashford himself deserves at least an honourable mention, for he has created a number of projects to help the homeless and the poor, but his is a story for another day, for I am running out of steam tonight.
Meanwhile … let’s give a thumbs-up to Flo Osborne for all her hard work baking pies that are sure to bring a smile to those who receive one.
And then there was a young man named Lakken, who was shopping at a Wal-Mart with his aunt, Rylee Long, when he noticed an elderly man struggling to do his shopping, for he was not able to lift his head and therefore couldn’t see the products on the shelves.
Lakken turned to his aunt and said …
“Aunt Ry, can I please help him?”
Aunt Ry agreed, and … well, I’ll let Rylee tell you the rest of the story …
”He went up to the man and asked him if he would like some help! His eyes lit up and he said, ‘Well yes that would be amazing young man! Thank you so much.’
Lakken was running all over the place for this man. The man was so happy – he told us that he hasn’t had anyone offer help in years.
Lakken went and helped him check out and bag his stuff and had the store call the bus for his ride home. The man tried to tip Lakken and Lakken said, ‘Oh thank you, but I don’t need this. I enjoyed helping you.’
I’m beyond proud of Lakken, you don’t see or get many people…let alone children, who do these things for people.”
Once again, a small act of kindness, but to the man, it meant the world. Lakken has the right idea and he deserves a thumbs-up too!