Acts of Kindness

An act of kindness is such a simple thing. Sometimes I feel like people tend to forget how powerful one simple act of kindness is. How it brings such positivity into other’s lives including yours. Kind and positive words and actions really can have a wonderful domino effect if we allow ourselves share them.

Why is it easier for us to express anger and negativity towards others than it is to express kindness? Why does media seem to only cover sad, horrible, scary, and disturbing stories and barely any amazing, touching, happy, and motivating stories? I feel like the negativity we are surrounded by affects how we act in this world. Let us make a difference and spread goodness!

The community that I have here has surrounded me with amazing acts of kindness that has affected me in so many amazing ways. My housemates and supervisor have accepted me and became amazing brothers and sisters of mine. It’s amazing how different we all are but how we all get along and really watch out for each other. When my friend Danny from my hometown died from cystic fibrosis, they prayed and supported me while I dealt with the loss of my friend. Since we are on a tight budget, I took money out of my savings so I could fly home for Danny’s funeral. Without asking, my roommate Gloria asked our housemates and co-workers if they would donate money towards my plane ticket. The day before I flew home, Gloria gave me an envelope with $150, which covered more than half the cost of the ticket. To this day I don’t know who all helped me get home, but I am forever thankful for having such amazing and supportive people in my life.

De-stressing at the Fall Retreat

My gift from my Secret Santa

My gift from my Secret Santa

My parents and hometown church (St. James Presbyterian Church, Mechanicsburg, PA) came to New Orleans in January to help work on the houses that were destroyed from Hurricane Katrina through Project Homecoming. As one of several volunteer groups that week, they provided many acts of kindness. We worked on a house for a guy named Alvin and his wife, who we called “Queen.” Within that short week, our group was touched by Alvin and Queen and we became great friends. Faith Presbyterian Church, where I am serving, put a pot luck dinner together for everyone, and Alvin and Queen joined us. Everyone shared and expressed their joys and inspirational moments they had that week.

Alvin speaking to our group

Alvin speaking to our group

My roommate Allie has been training for a marathon since October and needed to raise $2,100 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Allie spoke to my hometown church and some members of Faith PC about her commitment to run the marathon. One couple from Pennsylvania talked to Allie about how cancer has had a big impact on their family and wrote a check for the amount she needed to finish her fundraising. Within those few hours, people who just met Allie that night helped her finish her fundraising and also contributed $1,000 to Faith PC.

Small acts of kindness make such a big difference in people’s lives. It doesn’t even have to be about giving money. Give some food to a homeless person.  Lend a helping hand to someone.  Be with a friend when they are going through a hard time. Just give a simple compliment. I sent out text messages to friends who had been there for me through hard times to simply say that I am thankful to have them in my life and they mean the world to me. I received positive responses back and some saying that brightened their day. Those responses back then put more positive energy into my day and even my life.

It’s so simple. Send out positive energy and acts of kindness. Not only does it touch others but it can touch you as well. If you have something nice to say to someone, say it. Even if it’s someone you just met, and a nice thought pops in your head, tell them. Acts of kindness can really make a positive difference and impact someone’s day or life, and even yours.




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7 responses to “Acts of Kindness

  1. Jim

    WOW! What a wonderful article. Thank you for your Words of Kindness that help us all think about how what we say or do, even if in a small way, can make a big difference in life. All of you YAV’s are doing a great job and are making all of us proud. Keep up the good work. See you in a few weeks. O.K., so I am your dad and very proud of you, but even if you weren’t my daughter I would be very proud of the work you are doing and the great person you have become. Keep up the good work. And we can’t wait to get back to visit with you and all the great people of NOLA.

  2. JoAnn Reitz

    My Dearest Jenna,
    As your mom, I know that I’m 100% biased, but that’s okay, I can still be one of your biggest fans! Our work trip to New Orleans in January was the most meaningful one I’ve ever been on and it was because of YOU!! Words can’t express the pride and joy I felt at watching you do your YAV thing and being our wonderful host at Faith Presbyterian. The best day of the whole week was Wednesday when you asked me if I’d like to go along with you to First Presbyterian Church where you volunteer at Project Hope. To work along side of you as we prepared bag lunches, held babies, handed out clothing, talked with “your regulars”-the homeless people that you’ve come to recognize, it was almost overwhelming. You know me, I had to really work not to cry!! This was my thought, it may have been a Wednesday in January, but to me it was Mother’s Day and I had just received the most amazing gift, this perfect day with my daughter. How blessed are we!! I thank God for you, who you are and this incredble journey that you were brave enough to take this year. Thank you for sharing your experiences and what you’re learning. How true, acts of kindess, sharing God’s love = blessings all around! Thank you!!! I Love you, Mom

  3. Susan Asbury

    Right on, Jenna! Keep up your good work.

  4. Dear Jenna,
    That was so beautiful and very true if everyone would do what you are doing maybe this world of ours would know the joys of kindness,happiness and giving of themselves for others less fortunate.
    Hope to see you again real soon, but until then keep up the wonderful work you are doing. May God be with you and your new family and friends away from home. Take Care.

    In Christian Love & Friendship,
    Beverly Paulus

  5. Bill Cornell

    Nice job Jenna…

    A positive, well-written message.

    It’s easy to see why your parents are justifiably PROUD of you.

    Bill Cornell

  6. Carol Rudy

    Hi Jenna
    I loved your letter and all you said. You are so right if only people could say something nice each day to someone how that might make that person feel and also you. You are doing such a great job. Keep your great work going and hope to see you soon.
    Love Carol Rudy

  7. Beth Legore

    God is good! All the time!

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