November 13 is World Kindness Day. On this day, people around the world are urged to do kind deeds for one another and take the time to think about ways they can incorporate more kindness into their lives. Kindness makes every social interaction easier for you and the other parties involved, even when you are facing difficulties or misunderstandings. In preparation for World Kindness Day, our team at the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates would like to share five heartwarming stories of unique acts of kindness that were recorded in the Houston area in the past year.
Being kind costs you nothing. If you are not sure what to give somebody this year, be kind to them. Take the time to have a distraction-free conversation with them or find a small way to make their life a little bit easier. An act of kindness does not have to be extravagant to have a powerful effect on its recipient.
Help Members of your Community in Need
When a blind, homeless man in Houston was involved in an accident in summer 2016, a team of Houston police officers brought him to a sobering center. At the center, the man received his first shower in years. Sergeant Steven Wick took special care to wash the man’s feet and clip his toenails, telling him that it will be much easier for him to walk around once his toenails are trimmed. The man’s blindness as well as his lack of access to resources kept him from handling many personal care tasks on his own and once the officers saw this, they made it a point to help him.
Find ways to help the homeless individuals in your community this holiday season. Consider donating to your local homeless shelter, either by donating money or essential items or by donating your time. Ask your local shelter what they need most to help you determine what to donate this year. As the weather grows cooler, consider donating thick socks, jackets, and hats. Make time in your day to speak with the homeless people you pass and if you can afford it, buy a homeless individual a meal.
Be a Voice for Those Without a Voice
Pflugerville Girl Scout Troop 1488 helped the animals at the Pflugerville Animal Shelter by collecting food, grooming supplies, and bedding for them. In total, the troop collected more than 400 pounds of pet food, 75 bedding items, four bags of cat litter, and 100 dog toys as well as other pet supplies for the animals at the shelter. Many of the girls in the troop earned their Bronze Awards, an achievement award for girl scouts. After the donation, many of the girls reported feeling gratified that they were able to help make life more comfortable for the animals in need.
This holiday season, remember that humans are not the only species who deserve your kindness. Be kind to the animals in your life, whether they are your pets, your loved ones’ pets, or the wild animals that live in your neighborhood. Avoid feeding animals treats that can potentially harm them and if you have a pest problem, use humane traps to capture the pests and return them to their habitats safely.
Kindness Knows No Age Limit
Five-year-old Isiah Church saved his two-year-old brother’s life when their moving van flipped and became engulfed in flames in an accident. The family was in the process of moving from Michigan to Texas with Isiah’s stepfather, who was driving the van when the accident occurred, was killed instantly and Jeremiah, Isiah’s brother, was trapped under the van. Thinking quickly, Isiah dug through the debris and pulled his toddler brother out. Jeremiah suffered third degree burns and needed skin grafts, but is currently in recovery and continues to make progress.
Isiah’s heroism was a combination of quick thinking, values ingrained by his family, and kindness. His love for his brother drove him to put himself in danger to save the toddler’s life. For his actions, the Houston Police Department and the Houston Fire Department gave Isiah awards and honors for his bravery and kindness.
Acknowledge Those Who are Kind to You
It pays to be kind. For an Applebee’s server in the Dallas area, an act of kindness paid him $500.
Kasey Simmons, the server, met an old woman in the grocery store and stopped to chat with her. He found out that it was the anniversary of her husband’s death. Simmons listened to her story and when it came time to check out, paid for her groceries. Her order was only $17, but he insisted on paying. The next day, he served a younger woman a 37 cent glass of “flavored water” at Applebee’s and after completing the transaction, found a $500 tip and a handwritten note on her napkin. According to the note, she was the daughter of the older woman who Simmons has spoken with the day before. His kindness made the older woman smile in a way that her daughter had not seen her smile in years.
Kindness rarely requires much effort. Sometimes, an action that can feel inconsequential to you can mean the world to somebody else. It can even be the start of a chain of kind events, as Simmons found out.
Raise Awareness About Social Issues
Houston is a hub for human trafficking. Sophia Skelly, a sophomore at Colorado College who grew up in Houston, founded an organization called Not for Sale to raise awareness about human trafficking in the United States and urge students to take action to fight this issue. As part of the project, she completed a summer internship working with law enforcement in Houston to learn about human trafficking and human rights violations that occur in this city as well as other cities throughout the country and the world. She worked with criminal justice experts to brainstorm ways to target pimps and other offenders to bring them to justice.
Back in Colorado, Skelly works with The Human Trafficking Task Force of Colorado, a collaboration between law enforcement and educational speakers, to spread awareness of human trafficking issues.
Proudly Serving Houston, TX Community
This holiday season, remember that kindness is the greatest gift you can give. At the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we strive to treat our clients with kindness, respect and dedication.
CC image by asenat29 at Flickr