This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Davenport, IA, where 7 year old Eddie Hanzelin helped reunite two siblings who had not seen each other in 65 years. Eddie helped 7o year old Clifford Boyson find his sister Betty Billadeau by using his mom’s Facebook account to search for Betty’s maiden name. Betty and Clifford had been separated into different foster homes when they were children. Eddie immediately saw the family resemblance in Betty’s picture and knew he had found Clifford’s sister.
The two siblings met each other last Saturday, and they had a (happily) tearful reunion. Eddie said:
“Clifford did not have any family, and family’s important.”
Eddie said that he learned about helping others at school, and we are so proud of him and his social media detective work! You can read more about this story here.
This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Mississippi, where students from DeSoto Central Middle School raised money to send 92 year old World War II veteran Hulan Roberts back to the Belgian countryside where he fought during the war in 1944. With the help of Forever Young, a program that reunites WWII veterans with their comrades, the students raised over $4,400 through fundraisers like a spaghetti dinner and silent auction.
What a wonderful way to honor someone! You can read more about this story here.
It’s been such a great year of RAKs! Thanks to those who follow our weekly posts, and we can’t wait to highlight more acts of kindness in 2013! Happy new year!
This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness highlights 26 acts of kindness from children and adults across the world. This week, we love that in honor of Sandy Hook Elementary School victims, the hashtags #26acts and #26actsofkindness are trending on Twitter. In the wake of the tragedy one week ago today, Ann Curry called on people to do 26 random acts of kindness- one for each of the people killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Buzzfeed compiled some of the responses she got here, like the one below, and we know there are so many more out there.
We hope you, too, will be inspired to act and spread the word!
Whether you and your family celebrated Diwali last week or are now making preparations for Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa, this is a time of year where people around the world seek ways to bring light to the darkness of winter. While many of us will be lighting candles, exchanging gifts and enjoying sweet treats, we at the Zimmer Children’s Museum encourage families to carve out some time (and a bit of your budget) to be Joy Makers outside the walls of our own houses.
As parents, you have the brightest source of light there is. Kids! So as we approach the shortest day of the year, here’s our challenge to you: use your children. To spread light, give love and make joy, that is.
On Thanksgiving morning, I was out with my own 2 year-old son on a neighborhood walk. He was so excited that the day had arrived that he wished (okay, nearly accosted) every person we passed with “Happy Thanksgiving!” Without fail, he got responses. Delighted, grateful responses. I didn’t know any of those people we met that day. I don’t know if any of them were really moved by his sweet smiling face, but I also don’t know that they weren’t. Maybe someone was spending the holiday alone and needed that excited reception that so many of us look forward to on holidays. Maybe he helped someone to just stop, put down their phone and have a real-life human connection. Maybe. Or maybe not. But what I do know is he only made their days better even if in the smallest way. And that it made him so happy! Win win.
Our friends at Hasbro have a great catalog of ideas for you and your family to be Joy Makers this season. Whether the recipient is a neighbor, a stranger, a soldier or even a furry friend, what’s important is that our children know that being a Joy Maker need neither be expensive nor difficult. And that the return is always great for the giver. And thanks to Hasbro, this year the return is even greater because for every act of giving entered on their website, Hasbro will donate a toy this holiday season to a deserving child. Win win win.
So maybe this year, instead of a gift exchange, have each person/family bring $10. When they arrive tell them they have 30 minutes to spend that on a good deed for someone who isn’t expecting it. No limits. No rules. Just make someone’s day brighter. Then reconvene for those sweet treats and share your stories.
Or pick a project and ask families you know to participate. Collect gently used clothing or canned goods to donate. Send small stuffed animals to deployed soldiers to give to children as peace offerings. Play games at a senior center. On just stand on the corner and give compliments. The possibilities are endless.
And like anything, kindness takes practice but can develop into a habit. There’s no better time to start than today.
Zimmer Children’s Museum
PS — Please share with the Zimmer what you’ve done! While we encourage selfless acts, we also think that we can inspire each other!
This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Hoboken, NJ, where 11 year old Lucy Walkowiak started a pop-up Internet café and charging station in front of her home in exchange for a donation to the Red Cross. Hurricane Sandy left much of Lucy’s state and those around her without power, so she decided she wanted to help those in need. Lucy’s dad Steve said:
“Lucy does a lot of community service through her school, so this is on par with what she’s been learning.”
What a great way to help those around her, while raising money to bring help to thousands and millions more. To read more about this story, click here.
We also want to bring your attention to even more wonderful deeds happening in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Have you heard about other heroes of the hurricane? Let us know in the comments!
This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Maine, where 8 year old Abbie Jacobson stumbled upon a little green silk purse on the ground while shopping with her dad. Inside the purse was $4,000 in cash, a debit card, and a stash of gold rings, bracelets, and earrings, but no ID except for the name “Ra Rim” on the debit card. Abbie and her parents called the bank that issued the debit card, and they were able to connect the purse to Ra Rim, an elderly Cambodian immigrant. Ra Rim’s daughter said of Abbie:
“It’s just unbelievable [...] I couldn’t believe a person like this existed in the world.”
Abbie’s honesty came with a very special gift. In a story about this act of kindness in a local newspaper, Abbie (a HUGE Justin Bieber fan) had she said if she had $4,000 of her own, she would go to a Justin Bieber concert. The head of the Bank of Maine read this and called the Jacobsons, offering the entire family a trip to see Justin perform at a sold-out concert this fall in Boston!
To read more about this story and how Abbie’s family has become great friends with Ra Rim’s family, click here.
This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Lawrence, KS, where (almost) high school freshman Mary Krieger created and funded a program called Kindness Counts. The program provided teachers with $10 gift certificates for local businesses to hand out to students when they did good deeds. Mary said:
“I was hoping, if I did this, then when I did see the change kids, would start doing nicer things. I did get to see that a couple of times and see the smile on the kids’ faces when they got one of the awards.”
Mary funded the program by foregoing birthday presents and instead asking for money for the gift certificates. She also emailed friends and family asking for donations, and she raised over $600.
What a great program! Read more about Mary and Kindness Counts here.
This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Mesa, Arizona, where 10 year old Bradley Mitchell saved his family after they were involved in a car crash. After their car rolled down an embankment, Bradley helped his siblings out of the car and performed CPR on his mom, who was unconscious. Local firefighters presented Bradley with a certificate and a firefighter helmet in honor of his bravery. One of the firemen said:
“You’re a hero, buddy. For anyone to do what you did would really be something, but for a 10-year-old? It’s just remarkable.”
We couldn’t agree more! Read (and watch) more about the story here.
This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Ankeny, IA, where students at a local high school started an anti-bullying program called YOUmanity. YOUmanity is being launched throughout schools in the Midwest to promote random acts of kindness and general good will toward others. Check out what this program means to both the students and the entire community in this article.
We really love this program and encourage you to read more about it here.
Random Acts of Kid-ness are not necessarily about specific kids who are help making the world a better place. Every so often, we highlight tools that might help kids learn random acts of kindness, and today we’re doing just that.
For this week’s Random Act of Kid-ness, we feature a partnership between the nonprofit charity, Wish Upon A Hero, and the Facebook game, A Better World. A Better World is a free game that focuses on encouraging people to do good deeds. Players can create characters, play games, care for pets, and much more, but the way the players progress in the game is by doing kind things for others, both inside and outside of the virtual game. The charity Wish Upon a Hero wants to grant a wish for Gracie’s Place, a special needs school for children. Gracie’s Place wants a new transport van to assist more children and families in need.
Through this partnership, people can sign into A Better World and visit the Sanctuary of Hope section of the game. Players can post a dream or hope, or support those of others. If 100,000 hopes are posted or supported, ToonUps (the creator of the game) will answer the wish of Gracie’s Place in order to help them fulfill the hopes and dreams of these special needs kids. ToonUps Vice President of Product Development, Gregory Hansell, says:
“Our players are absolutely extraordinary in their support and desire to do the right thing. We’re excited that this month, our players can make real world dreams come true for special needs children by sharing their own hopes and dreams inside the game.”
You can read a lot more about this story and how you can help grant a wish by playing A Better World here.
Do you know of other fun games that promote random acts of kindness? Share them below!