Good People Doing Good Things — Small But Important

These days, I am more convinced than ever of the importance of shining a light on those people who step out of their comfort zones to help others.  Some of my past good people have truly been heroes, while others were notable for simple things they did to help someone.  We can all find ways to be helpers, maybe even heroes to some.  And you know what?  When we help someone else, we help ourselves too!

A new study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that performing acts of kindness can heal depression and anxiety.  Since I want to get right on to this week’s good people, I won’t copy the article, but it is something to think about if you have the time and inclination to follow the link.

Today I have just a few stories of good people doing small, but oh-so-important things for others, but first, I have a brief update on a previous good people.  You remember Jay Withey who broke into a school in Buffalo, New York, during the blizzard last month to give stranded motorists a warm place to survive until they could be rescued?  Well, the Buffalo Bills NFL team was so grateful for what Mr. Withey did that they thanked him with two tickets to the Super Bowl this year!  Former Bills running back Thurman Thomas personally delivered the surprise to Withey Friday.  Jay says he can’t believe the amount of people who have reached out to him, including thank you letters all the way from Australia!

Police often get a bum rap, sometimes deservedly so, but there are many good police officers out there who genuinely care about the people in their community.  Officer Melissa Martin of the Denver Police Department is one such.  On New Year’s Eve, Officer Martin responded to a noise complaint. Martin learned the woman she encountered had just escaped an abusive relationship and recently moved into an apartment on her own.

The woman told Martin she was struggling with mental illness and substance abuse, and said she hadn’t eaten in four or five days. Martin found her refrigerator empty and decided to buy the woman groceries for the week with her own money.  Says Officer Martin …

“I try really hard not to judge just try to help them in the situation that they find themselves. If the world would just treat people like they would like be treated, how much of a difference might that make?”

How much of a difference, indeed.  Thank you, Officer Martin!

Melissa and Justin threw a birthday bash for their son, Maverick’s, second birthday at Napoli’s Brick Oven Pizza in Hoboken, New Jersey.  Friends and family were invited and a good time was had by all.  But, when Melissa went to pay the bill, she was told it had already been paid by ‘strangers’.  The strangers, who are parents of three kids themselves, told the waiter they wanted to remain anonymous.

Again, a relatively small thing, but a meaningful one … somebody spent their own hard-earned money to help a family celebrate their child’s birthday.

A woman named Leslie Wagner writes …

When the supermarket clerk tallied up my groceries, I was $12 over what I had on me. I began to remove items from the bags, when another shopper handed me a $20 bill. “Please don’t put yourself out,” I told him. “Let me tell you a story,” he said. “My mother is in the hospital with cancer. I visit her every day and bring her flowers. I went this morning, and she got mad at me for spending my money on more flowers. She demanded that I do something else with that money. So, here, please accept this. It is my mother’s flowers.”

And another, Jamie Boleyn, tells …

While going through a divorce, my mother fretted over her new worries: no income, the same bills, and no way to afford groceries. It was around this time that she started finding boxes of food outside our door every morning. This went on for months until she was able to land a job. We never did find out who it was who left the groceries for us, but they truly saved our lives.

See, folks … good people are everywhere.  We don’t see them on the nightly news much, for they don’t sell ad copy like the bad news does, but they are there.  I bet that each of us can find some way to help another if we just think about it.  Those who do good instead of evil are the ones who make the world go ‘round, and seeing them or reading about them reminds us that there is more good in the world than bad … it’s just that the good is not as noisy!

34 thoughts on “Good People Doing Good Things — Small But Important

    • I fully agree! Y’know … if the “mainstream media” would shine a light on these sort of folks at least once during their nightly news and on their websites, perhaps society would gradually turn itself around. I think many emulate whatever they see … right now they see only the dark side, the corruption, cruelty and violence. Perhaps if they saw people helping people more … Just a thought.

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  1. OMG, how cool is that? We lived in the suburbs of Buffalo where our second child was born. The Bills are our favorite team and my son is a big fan. So, this story made my heart melt.

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        • Thank you so much!!! A word of warning, most of my blog is socio-political, but I do a humour piece on Monday mornings and sometimes Saturday mornings, and the ‘good people’ post is every Wednesday morn. Thanks again!


          • I do not disrespect political action by any means ~ especially the spreading of balanced awareness in its regard.

            My own focus in being part of solutions for a workable world is essentially nondevisive, which is an inherently apolitical perspective.

            That being the case, I scan both mainstream and alt headlines, welcome humor along with any other influence which lightens, uplifts and united us, and treasure the treasuring and celebration of affirmative altruistic actions. I’ll be scanning or reading your posts with interest.

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    • Thank you, Anita! I think it’s important that we have perspective and balance, and the media doesn’t offer much of the positive, for the negative sells better and they are profit-driven. We need to remember, though, that there are more good people quietly going about the business of being good people than there are corrupt, evil people!

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  2. Jill, well done as per usual. Kindness need not be huge gestures. They can be small ones that make a huge difference. I remember the story of a homeless person telling a stranger who spoke with them that she was the first person to talk with her in a month.

    I love this sentence as I find it to be true. “A new study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that performing acts of kindness can heal depression and anxiety. ” If you want to get out of your funk, go help someone. Sort cans at a Food Shelter or just donate food, eg. Keith

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    • Thanks, Keith! Sometimes the smallest thing, even just a smile or a friendly word can mean so much.

      The article didn’t surprise me, but merely confirmed what I already thought … good deeds are rewarded simply by the act of doing them. ALL of us can do some things to help people, even if only simple, small things.


  3. Such uplifting news, Jill. I find it quite interesting that my own very small ‘kindnesses’, my attention to people, don’t go unnoticed. Just yesterday I enquired about the health of a person I’m not even close to but know that they have health issues of some importance and I ended up talking with that person for 2hrs in the end. They were so happy to just finding a listening ear that all the happenings poured out. I thought once or twice: I really should go now and immediately decided that ‘this’ was more important than my waiting affairs. So I got us another drink and I had the impression that when we departed in our home’s direction, that said person was walking straighter and shoulders relaxed and easy…. it’s tiny stuff, a bit of time, a bit of money, not judging somebody – and the world is a better place.
    I love reading those tiny monumental moments in somebody’s life. There IS so much good around us, we only have to pay attention.

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    • I have on occasion been privileged to channel angelic messages ~ always of forgiveness and enablement ~ to people, and I’ve seen them walk away just as you describe, standing straighter, as though a load had rolled off of their shoulders and they had a new sense of purpose in life. Good work, my dear.

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    • You are always thinking of others and yes, you are appreciated! I’m still enjoying the Advent Calendar you sent me last year!!! You’re so right … little things, like just a smile or helping someone put their groceries into their car, can mean so very much!


    • I wish each newscast would end each episode of the evening news with just one good people type of story … it would be so nice to be reminded daily that there are such people out there! xx


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