From the category archives:

Stories

Contributed by: Bob

I know some people who like to play guitar. We are not the best players by any means, but we decided to start playing once a month for the residents at the local nursing home. We play on the 3rd Sunday of the month for 1 hour. It’s been a great experience. It forces us to practice and it’s fun to see the residents joining in and singing with us. We’re now up to 6 people, and we’re having the time of our lives!

By Bob on February 9, 2010 0 comments


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Over the Christmas holiday, myself and two friends of mine, Jo and Sharon decided that instead of buying each other material gifts for Christmas, that we would pool our money and purchase items for the LAPP non-profit animal rescue and adoption kennel. We shopped at Dollar General and literally piled Jo’s VW bug full of canned and dry food, toys, litter, blankets, and health and cleaning supplies. Her son Zayden, helped us pick out the toys and did not mind a bit when we shrouded him with the lighter weight bags as we made our way to the kennels at 310 W. 45th Street North. (at Arkansas)
When we arrived, we could barely tell that there was a big energetic world of beloved animals safe in their kennels behind the bright yellow house. The crew cares for over 100 dogs in rows of caged runs with warm indoor shelters and 200 cats in sunny country porch cottages. They keep them well fed and their areas clean and tidy which is a constant chore. The love for animals shows in the employees as they gave us a tour of the kennels. It was frigid weather that day, but the dogs all came out to greet us with their best “take me home with you” look and bark. Normally I feel overwhelmed that I cannot take them all home and care for them personally, but I felt that this team of individuals were already doing that in the best way possible. Not to say that there were not some really sad faces when we walked on by. I just told myself that if I helped spread the word about this tucked away oasis of animals that need forever homes, more people would adopt or volunteer or supply tangible or monetary donations to continue the support them.
The next plan for me is to take more blankets and food to them for the upcoming winter months. And of course to share the word. Please see their website and support this no-kill shelter however you can!
Lifelineanimalplacement.org
Phone – 807-8473 (Pat)

By Lori on February 2, 2010 0 comments


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It’s been almost a year after my mom’s passing and so I forced myself to start cleaning out things that belonged to her that my father would never use. After a few brutally cold winter weeks, I was reminded that there was no reason to leave nice sweaters and coats hanging in the closet when there are people out there that need them. I was being selfish to hang onto them just because they reminded me of her. I turned over ten bags of clothing to the Klothes Kloset on Ellis Street since they give them out for free. Bless the people who work there sorting and preparing the clothing. They truly do the deed daily.
And for one more day, so did my mom.

By Lori Heinz on January 28, 2010 1 comment


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I am a hairstylist. A lady I know is growing her hair out for “locks of love”. She has severe back trouble and has a horrible time just getting her hair shampooed herself. She called on Friday(one of my busiest days) and asked how much I would charge her to shampoo her hair. Knowing the back trouble she is having I wouldn’t dare charge her a thing, she was shocked! So I shampooed, conditioned, and braided her hair for not one penny. She was so grateful and I was genuinely happy to do it for her!

By Wendy Riddle on January 24, 2010 0 comments


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My roommate seems to always be on the go and currently has to attend to more of a work load than I do. We are both extremely busy and today when I had a few extra minutes, instead of just doing my own, I threw her dishes in along with mine. Just a little extra roommate appreciation. :)

By Blake on January 21, 2010 0 comments


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Contributed by:
Andy Tang
Starbucks Barista

You can do many things with a Starbucks gift card but generally, it buys coffee. Well a gentleman bought a latte with one today and there was maybe $10 left on the card. He could have saved it and used the rest for himself, let it sit in his wallet, forget about it, and never use it again, or give it away. He decided to give. He told me to exhaust the rest of the funds of his Starbucks card and use it to pay for other customers in the drive-thru line. His generous act not only made the next three customers happy, but it made me very happy. I don’t believe I’ve ever felt so delighted at work. I only wish the gentleman would have seen all the joy that came from this kind act. I gave him my Do the Deed card. Hopefully, my gratitude will reach him through this organization. Thank you!

By Andy Tang on January 20, 2010 1 comment


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Contributed by: Deb Gruver

Mondays are never much fun, but a stranger at N&J Bakery made mine better today!
I had placed a to-go order at N&J and realized in line that I had left my wallet on my desk at work. The woman ahead of me also had placed a to-go order, which had been lost in the shuffle. While she waited for her order to be made, she overhead me tell the server that I didn’t have my wallet and ask if I could have someone call in my credit card number. The answer was “no.” I said “OK.” Then the woman asked the server “How much was her order” and paid for it. She told me to consider it a blessing.
I once paid for someone’s groceries while vacationing in New York (just a few groceries) when the poor girl’s credit card was declined, but I’ve never had someone do something like this for me. Made my day and week! So Misty, if you see this, thanks!

By Deb Gruver on January 11, 2010 1 comment


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On Christmas Eve I was driving home around 11 p.m. from a family gathering. Not more than a block from my house, my car got STUCK in the ice and snow on the road. My wheels spun and spun and spun but would go absolutely nowhere. I got out of the car in the freezing, desolate street and tried unsuccessfully to “dig” my tires out of the mess on the road. I’m not sure why I thought that would work, but hey. It was late at night!

About 5 minutes later a car comes down the road and stops. A woman asked if I needed help and I said YES! She got behind my car and pushed – with no luck. I was ready to tell her “thanks” and still be stuck, but she pulled out her cell phone to call her boyfriend who lived down the street. Her boyfriend came in just a few minutes and between the two of them, they successfully pushed my car out of the ice and snow.

I tried to yell out the window how I could thank them, but they said “keep going! or you’ll get stuck again!” :)

Did I mention it was 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve?

By Lisa on January 8, 2010 0 comments


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Contributed by:
Annette

I was driving to Aldi’s, with my 15yo daughter, yesterday and saw this elderly man trying to clear his driveway. We went to Aldi’s. I called my 17 yo son and told him to get the shovel and dress warm because we were going to clear a driveway.
I went home picked him up and went to find the man and his driveway. It took a little help from the local postman (the man had gone inside and all the streets kinda look the same..lol..).
Anyway, we found the house and started in….the driveway had probably 3-4″ of ice under the snow. It took us an hour+ but well worth it. The man told us that he couldn’t afford to pay us..”we are doing this because we want to,” I kept telling him. He was on his way out and gave me $3 when he left. Before we left, we zipped to BigLots and bought some ice melt salt (partially paid for with his $3) and made sure that his driveway and path to the front door was well salted. We left the bag by his front door so he could use it in the future. :D
Even though it was 32 degrees, it really wasn’t too cold. We had a very nice time helping this stranger!

~Annette,
Luke and Kirsten

By Annette on January 7, 2010 1 comment


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Contributed by:
teddi

For Christmas each year my girlfriends and I always purchase a little something for each other. This year a good friend of mine, Kris and I decided to purchase a Llama for a family thru Heifer International-in everyone’s honor. a Great way to give back and honor friend’s!

By Teddi McCullough on January 3, 2010 0 comments


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Contributed by:
Robbie McKee

On December 31st my daughter and I were driving on Kellogg, doing the speed limit of 60 or so. I saw the traffic slowing a bit ahead of us, and then saw the reason. There were two wet and weary black lab puppies running down the left lane in front of us. This was bad enough, but there was no where for those dogs to go, but back across three busy lanes of traffic.Surprising yes, but more surprising was the reaction of the big black SUV in front of us. The SUV stopped and 2 men got out in front of us to corral the dogs into their vehicle. It was obvious that the dogs did not belong to them, and the dogs eventually did get in to their back seat, with a few mis-steps and getting out and back in again.

More astonishing was the reaction of the other drivers. All three lanes of traffic stopped to a crawl while these “good samaritans” did their work. We heard calls of “God Bless You” and “You’re My Hero” from drivers observing their good work.

By RMcKee on January 3, 2010 7 comments


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Contributed by:
Bob Kohrs

Big Fun Boxes were started by Grant Prather, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at an early age. Grant and his family spent many nights in the hospital. Knowing how slow the clock moved when families are in the hospital, Grant wanted to come up with a way for families to pass the time as enjoyably as possible while in the hospital. His idea was Big Fun Boxes, boxes with both family activities and activities that can be fun for one person. Big Fun Boxes (www.thebigfunbox.org) have been purchased for hospitals in McPherson, Moundridge, and Lindsborg. My dream is that an organization (such as the Kansas Health Foundation) would be able to take on the project of being a resource for all of the hospitals in Kansas.

By Bob on January 2, 2010 0 comments


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Contributed by:
Amanda Eden
PR Account Manager
White Good & Co, Lancaster, PA

Ten short years ago, I was traveling on one of those whirlwind, new-city-every-day tours of Europe. The kind of trip you take while you’re in college when you want to see as much of the world as possible in a two week span and have way more energy. My companion was my boyfriend Chris who then became my fiance while in Florence (and then my husband 10 months later).
Still jubilant from that relationship milestone, we journeyed on to Rome. A city of thieves, as we were warned by our tour guide. With instructions to keep our valuables close at hand and to especially watch ourselves in crowds and on public transportation, we toured the standard circuit – the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain.
I was purchasing some food just as our bus arrived and ran to jump on, wallet in hand. I sat down, put my wallet on the seat between me and Chris. You can tell where this is going. I got up, walked off the bus and left my wallet. My money, credit cards. My driver’s license. My picture of my grandmother who had just died. It was truly horrible and scary and frustrating and awful for a 22-year-old girl from Kansas. Of course I wasn’t going to be able to retrieve my wallet. We were in the City of Thieves! Likely it was snatched up even before I had gotten off the bus. Luckily I had my passport in my backpack and Chris had enough money to get us through the remainder of the trip. And I went home to Kansas with a sour taste in my mouth about Rome.
A couple months later, I checked in at my campus mailbox and found a letter from the American Embassy in Rome. The staff member there reported that a Miss Enza Zago had found my wallet on a bus and had turned it in at the embassy. If I would confirm my address, they would send it to me using some of the cash (yes, it was returned with cash in it!) to pay for the postage. Within a few weeks, I had my wallet back. All IDs, credit cards and receipts accounted for. There were even a few lira leftover and the picture of Gammi was intact.
I still have that wallet. It’s seen better days. But it serves as a physical evidence that there is good in the world. That even when it seems like humanity is lost and depravity may indeed triumph, that good has not lost the battle. With that one small act, Enza Zago helped a self-centered, oblivious college student shape a part of her world view. Today, I still believe that there is good in everyone and in everything. I know that God is working through each and every one of us and He sends his guardian angels when we need them most. Just so happens that mine is a nice, bus-riding, Italian lady named Enza. And her foundational lesson to me was this: Do the Right Thing.

By Amanda Eden on January 1, 2010 1 comment


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Contributed by:
Hope

To survive in today’s world, most of us seem to be running. Not running in the true sense of the word, as in running a 5k race, but running to and from just about anything and everything you can imagine. Soccer moms rush between matches grabbing bags of Happy Meals on the go, employees rush to make it to work on time and curse the traffic that stands between them and their time clock, and even our children who have mastered the art of multi-tasking seem to rush through life as if it were a competition to be won at all costs. And then there are those who run on a different path. They are running not so much from the day to day minutia that constantly bombards our lives, but from the quiet desperation of a life in need. Some may be merely restless, others may suffer from an undefined ache in the core of their hearts, others may be taking it day by day as they navigate the loss of a love or the death of a family member. Whether you are running to or running away from something doesn’t matter. What matters is that we begin to recognize that the world as we know it does not begin and end with us. It is not about “me”, but rather about “we”. But we have become so focused on our busy lives that we have forgotten the true meaning of slowing down the treadmill to take the time to truly see and recognize the need around us. But life has a way of slowing us down when we refuse to do it, of balancing out the yin and yang of our daily routines and quiet desperations. It is in these times of transition where unexpected change is thrust upon you, that you find yourself knocked off your feet and jolted into reality. All of us I suspect, have at one time or another experienced this.

I too am a runner of epic proportion. Without getting into the details, I have logged by now a number of marathons, so to speak. Just like everyone else, I have found myself running to and from life and in the process I have forgotten what it means to focus on another human being without regard for what I might get, but rather what I might give. So I am offering up a challenge. For the next year I will be carrying out the “Deed A Day Project”. I have committed to purposefully doing something everyday to make the world a better place for someone else. While some of the deeds that I do will be scheduled, it is my intention that the majority of the 365 will not be manufactured or contrived, but will happen randomly and spontaneously. I will trust that where there is a need, I will know. I challenge each of you to follow my deeds throughout the year and to follow the thread of deeds as in turn each of the recipients will hopefully pay it forward. And if you so choose, do a deed (or 365 of them) for someone else. You can follow me on my blog beginning Jan. 3 at www.deedaday.wordpress.com. Together I believe we really can change the world “one deed at a time”.

By Hope on January 1, 2010 2 comments


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Contributed by:
Diane Oberthaler

Black Friday….5:15 a.m. Home Depot…..Standing in line waiting for the doors to open…..hoping to snag a shop vac for my husband…..realized this was going to be harder than I expected as the gentleman in front of me and the gentleman behind me were hoping for the same…..doors open……a mob heads for the shop vacs…….large boxes flying everywhere….people with shopping cards trying to edge their way in….my hope was fading fast…..HERE”S THE DEED….the gentleman behind me (a stranger I only met 30 minutes before) grabbed an extra shop vac, looked at me from across the mob….said “I got one for you….take your time getting a cart.” In the hustle and bustle going on around me I was able to say “thanks”. It hardly seemed enough. That act of kindness made my morning, my day, my Christmas season. I have tried to pay it forward whenever possible. Merry Christmas.

By Diane Oberthaler on December 29, 2009 0 comments


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Contributed by:
Chuck Bell
Chivalry for Children

While doing my paper route Sunday morning, I was approched by a man and his young son. They asked if I had seen their two dogs, a lab pup and a shi-tzu. I hadn’t but assured then that I would catch the errant canines if I saw them.

A few blocks later, I saw that they had rounded up the lab pup, but no little dog to be seen.

After another few blocks, I spotted the little guy, cowering in the street, wet, lost and scared. I hurried out there and picked him up and spoke soothing words to him as he was shaking badly. I went looking for his owners, who thanked me greatly after I found them several blocks away, going in the wrong direction.

Many people want to save the world, but I’ll stick to saving the small things that live on it.

By Chuck Bell on December 20, 2009 0 comments


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Contributed by: Deb Gruver

My maternal grandmother was blessed with a beautiful heart, but she was a bad alcoholic. After her father died, my mother spent her childhood bailing my grandmother out of jail, covering up for her and taking care of her all while enduring great poverty and trying to go to school.

At some point, my mom moved out on her own. By then, my grandmother was living in a hotel room, where she started a fire while she was smoking and drinking.

One day soon after, my mom passed my grandmother on opposite sides of the street. The person who was with my mom told her to keep walking, to pretend like she didn’t know her mother.

My mom couldn’t do it. She crossed the street.

She said “hello” to her mom and told her she still loved her.

I think she was 16 or 17.

A few years ago, my mom and I were talking about a dear friend of mine who is an alcoholic. I have tried my best the past 12 years to do what I can to help him. I had reached a point where I didn’t know what to do for him anymore, and I called my mom, crying uncontrollably.

I knew my mom’s heart ached for me because she had loved an alcoholic, too.

She told me she understood why I cared about him.

“You and I,” she said, “We cross the street for other people.”

I don’t know anyone more good-hearted than my mother. She had every right to become a bad person. Instead, she became the kind of person who walks up to mothers on the bus and gives them $20 because she can tell they don’t have enough money for their kids. She volunteers at Via Christi Regional Medical Center-St. Joseph, where she spreads cheer with her goofy songs and always-on smile.

My mom crosses the street every day for someone else. She’s an inspiration to everyone who meets her, especially me.

By Deb Gruver on December 20, 2009 1 comment


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At Wal-Mart (west) I put my purchases in the trunk as usual, parked the cart at the handicapted post, and hobbled to my car. My angel pulled in next to me, honked and pointed to my cart. I thought he was wondering if he had enough room. He kept pointing. I looked again. OMG…there in my cart was my purse! It didn’t have much money, but losing it would have been a disaster.

By Rachel on December 18, 2009 1 comment


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Contributed by:
Cat Poland
Marketing & Communications Manager
Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland

Girl Scouts love giving back to the community so much, every year they throw a party to celebrate it.

More than 500 troops from Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland gathered at the 60th Annual Festival of Giving, on Saturday, Dec. 12, at Century II to grant the wishes of 17 local nonprofit agencies (representing more than 110,000 people served).

The Festival of Giving is the largest Girl Scout service project of the year and provides an opportunity for Girl Scouts (grades K-12) from Butler, Cowley, Harvey, Sedgwick and Sumner counties to say “thank you” to the community for their continued support of Girl Scouting. The girls hand made or purchased gifts for the agencies, as well as hosted booths with service projects that reflected this year’s theme “Hand in Hand, We Can.”

In addition to bringing gifts, the girls also brought furry friends for the
“Teddy Bear Slumber Party,” a collaborative effort with United Way to provide teddy bears to children in crisis, as well as bring canned goods for local food banks.

Brownie troop #40576 went above and beyond the teddy-bear call of duty, and collected an astounding 345 bears! This troop, made up of eight girls from Wichita Collegiate, set out collection boxes at their school, encouraging classmates to get into the “Festival of Giving” spirit.

By Cat Poland on December 16, 2009 0 comments


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Contributed by:
jayrold johnson

I did my learning service project at a place name House of Hope. its a small business who provide services for the people that are mentally retarded and disabled. it was a great experienced. i learned how important i am to them and the memories with the client who i work with was amazing. i learned alot bout their different types of behavior. some clients are high functioning clients and basically their capable of doing things and living on their own by themselves, but House of Hope still provide them the services to them because of their behavior. the staff that i work with were great people, and working with the clients is more fun than i thought, but sometimes could be emotional because its sad to look at them.

By jayrold Johnson on December 15, 2009 0 comments


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Contributed by:
Essence Belton-Grisby

I did my learning service projecet at the Leukima and Lyphoma soceity it was a good experience seeing what they women do to help raise money for the organization i think that what they do is great because they want to get to be able help fight this dieses. During this time of the season they also have Pennys For Patience were all the schools brings pennys to help a family with this dieses, being tere really opened my eyes because i figured out what i want to do during my time is thats voluterring at a place to help young children and theirs families.

By Essence Belton-Grisby on December 15, 2009 0 comments


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This past October I volunteered for the Oaklawn Fall Festival to fulfill a project requirement in my General Psychology class. The booth I helped run was set up for the children at the event to teach them about the sport of disc golf and most importantly to get active. The experience was amazing! The children that I worked with were so excited to run around and throw the Frisbees. The main goal was to connect with the children and show them a good cheap way to have fun and get exercise. I look forward to volunteering next year. It only takes a little time to brighten someone’s day even on a small level as this event.

By J Peter Mohr on December 15, 2009 0 comments


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Contributed by:
Sabrina Roberts
Wichita Area Technical College

I’m a student at WATC and for one of my classes i was able to participate in a service learning project doing volunteer. I choose to go to a Nursing Home, and i went on Thanksgiving Day! I felt truly blessed to be able to spend someone one time with some of the resedents they gave me so much insight on many different things. I was able to spend time just talking to some of them at a little social gathering serving them cookies and coca. I believe I enjoyed it just as much as they did, going there was time well spent. I’m so Thankful that I was able to be there and share my time with people that was Thankful just to have my listening ear!!! If you have extra time there is always someone at a Nursing Home that might not be able to go out and that would LOVE to see a smiling face like yours!!!

By Sabrina Roberts on December 15, 2009 0 comments


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Contributed by:
Deborah Martin
Wichita Area Technical College

Being a WATC student, we had to do some type of volunteer work for our Gen Psych. class. I have volunteer many times in my life span. I think even though no one has money and the stress level is extremly high at this time of year. You get a large amount of inner happiness when you help, or give to someone else. This time of year there are many who are in need of extra love and compainsion. It is not only about giving money. Your time spent sitting with someone and just listening to them, brightens up their day. There are many places to volunteer at, hospitals, nursing homes, animal shelters, schools the list is endless. Just being someone who is willing to give their time with out expecting to be paid is very valuable. Reading to an eldery or shoveling off someones walk way. There are many things that someone can do to help make a day brighter. Can you think of something? All ages and races are welcome.

By Deborah Martin on December 13, 2009 0 comments


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I volunteered at Youthville, an organization that monitor and helps foster children, in the recent weeks. Several teenagers and adults including myself help organize gifts that were brought in by churches for a program that helps give kids Christmas. I wrapped many presents for the organization. From there, the organization sent those items to kids who were not going to get gifts for Christmas. It made me feel like a million bucks in helping others. The team I worked with was very generous and joyful. The experience was wonderful. I now know the foster children in our community will enjoy their holiday season with their gifts. :)

By Tommy Nguyen on December 12, 2009 0 comments


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