Little Moments Can Make A Difference

Have you ever had one of those days?  Slept through your alarm.  Couldn’t find anything to wear.  Barely got the kids to school because they refused to even try that nutritious breakfast you threw in front of them.  Tripped over your own feet on the way into the grocery store and dropped the eggs on the way out?  Hit the drive-thru for coffee and they give you tea instead!  Sigh.  You know, nothing catastrophic but certainly not the best start to your day.  On days like that, when you feel like everything you touch is an unmitigated disaster, one tiny show of kindness, perhaps a smile from a stranger, or help cleaning up those darn eggs could have made a difference and set the day on its end.

A small kindness, a little thing, can make a big difference.

I try and smile at the grumpy people in the grocery store.  Give random compliments to strangers when we have encounters in the mall.  Show kindness to the Mama who’s trying in desperation to get her toddler to simply stop screaming.  But I also try and pay it forward in bigger ways.  In our house, making a difference, paying it forward, donating, volunteering our time, being mindful or just making the effort to be kind is more than a passing thought.  It’s part of what I want my girls to grow up seeing and doing.  It’s something I want to be part of their everyday life.  So what do we do?

Each year we make a point of shopping, collecting and donating food to our local food banks.  We try and include products on the most needed list.  Diapers, personal feminine products, peanut butter and pasta sauces are always a good idea.  We are sure to make these donations not just at Christmas time and Thanksgiving, but in the middle of the summer and dead of winter when Food Banks may need products the most.

My teen girls have participated in a music night at a Senior Citizen’s home.  The gift of time, music, and theatre was lovingly received.  Our youth are talented and our seniors always provide a warm and welcoming audience.

My girls have collected school supplies and backpacks for children who need them, and organized fundraising, for sporting equipment for children in another country ~ for children that had none.  It’s so important to pay it forward in any way we can.

This year, the family did something just a little bit different.  On Valentine’s Day we went and did some flower shopping.

Then we took those lovely bundles of pink, red and white and provided a small surprise for a few very deserving people.

We delivered flowers at a Senior’s Home….because on Valentine’s Day, every one can always use a little extra love.

90 seniors, 90 flowers, 90 smiles…and for us, 3 very full and happy hearts.

I’ve seen first hand the joy my girls get from paying it forward and how one good deed inspires the next.  I believe the next generation has the power to be even smarter, sweeter and kinder than the last.  It’s an incredible thing to be inspired by your children.

RBC also believes in the power of young people.  To demonstrate this belief they’ve started an initiative to challenge thousands of young Canadians, it’s a call to action to “Make 150 Count“, and it’s contagious.  To celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary, they are inspiring thousands of young Canadians to make a difference in their communities by challenging them to do something great with $150.  Whether its feeding the homeless, creating an art display, giving kids the opportunity to participate in sport or buying essentials for someone in need – they believe that by investing in youth, we can all help create a better Canada.  They believe that by supporting youth to help realize their potential and make an impact on their communities, we can shape our country’s future.
They hope #Make150Count will ignite a national movement of young people doing acts of good that will inspire others. It’s what makes this country great…..and it worked with my kids.

With just a little bit of encouragement our youth have the power to truly make a difference and make incredible things happen in their very own community.  It’s true what they say; when we invest in youth, great things happen.

If you want to be part of this national movement, be sure to tell everyone how you will Make 150 Count by tagging @RBC on  Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #Make150Count or submit your application at rbc.com/make150count.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada, however the views and opinions expressed within represent my own views and not those of Royal Bank of Canada or any other party.



Comments

  1. Kindness matters, I strongly believe that. I too am trying to teach my children this important life lesson! I worked in a Nursing Home for 17 years and I must say, this is such a sweet thing to do. I know the residents would have been so appreciative!

    • Oh thanks Julie. I have to tell you it was such a JOY to spend a few minutes with each of the residents of the home and spread a little sunshine 🙂

  2. Paying it forward rewards the hearts of both givers and receivers. You and your children are beautiful human beings many should look up to. Our family enjoys finding ways to help others as well. It really does feel great.

  3. Judy Cowan says:

    What an amazing thing to do, I am sure you made the day of 90 people. A little kindness goes so far!

  4. What a fabulous thing to do. 90 smiles I’m sure.

  5. SassyMomma says:

    Loved that you and your darling daughters did this! It actually brought tears to my eyes because I know how delighted the Residents would be to have your special visit! You make your Momma proud!

  6. I really like the idea of doing something on Valentine’s Day, especially at a seniors home where reflecting back must lead to so many memories of past loved ones.

    • Stephanie says:

      I have to tell you each person we chatted with, shared a smile or a hug with was quite tickled that we were there. I can see this becoming an annual event.

  7. kristen visser says:

    oh my gosh you guys just warmed my heart!! what a sweet thing to do 🙂 and i am like you i always smile at everyone even if they look grumpy. you never know who day you will make

    • Stephanie says:

      Awe thank you! It was truly such a joy to do. And, I really think smiles are contagious. Most people can’t help but smile back.

  8. Jared Denison says:

    At the hospital I surprised a nurse retiring with a Hallmark caregiver angel ornament. She was really moved by my kind gesture.

  9. What a lovely gesture your girls did! Very sweet indeed. Sometimes those people in senior homes hardly get any visitors.

    • Stephanie says:

      I’m sure there were some seniors who hadn’t had visitors in a while, it was wonderful to give them a smile.

  10. salexis alexis says:

    I fully agree. And it’s so important to engage your kids in the community too – teaching them the power of giving and the rewards of helping others is so important!!!!

  11. Marilyn Legault says:

    You are setting a good example for your girls. Love the idea.

  12. What a wonderful idea to deliver flowers to seniors, you must have brightened up all of their days!

  13. how lovely for them !

  14. LOVE how you took the time to send some cheer and a little happiness to those in a Senior Home. Have a few aunts in them and believe me all the cheer, laughter and visits makes them very happy

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks Heidi. One of the most beautiful things about this experience was how it made us feel 🙂

  15. What a wonderful idea! I love the gift of giving. When my children were in kindergarten. I was a parent helper and the children would go sing at a senior home at Easter. Their smile was so rewarding.

  16. Alayne Langford says:

    Leading by example is probably the best gift a mom could give her children. Well done!

  17. s powell says:

    What a great idea

  18. Florence Cochrane says:

    What a heartwarming thing to do. Seniors in homes look forward to things like this. Sure gives them a happy day.

  19. Wendy Pesce says:

    I just love this whole post! I try to be that ray of sunshine when someone is having a bad day- it just fills my heart. And to be on the receiving end is just as good. But on a more personal note, my mother is in a memory care unit. I love your idea of flowers on valentines day. I think I am going to implement more in my visits to brighten the other residents days as much as my moms! Thank you for your kindness!!

    • Stephanie says:

      Oh Wendy I’m so happy to hear you loved this idea. Truly, every resident we spoke with, even the men, loved receiving the flowers. It really didi brighten their day.

  20. s powell says:

    always try to be positive and kind

  21. HEIDI C. says:

    What a wonderful idea! There should be more ideas like this to encourage people to reach out and give.

  22. Shirley S says:

    That is such a heartwarming and inspiring thing to do. A little kindness can definitely make a big difference!

  23. awesome job, i’m sure the seniors loved it 🙂

  24. Maryanne says:

    Great ideas! I hope to incorporate them this year.

  25. Anna Roszak-Robinson says:

    You are a wonderful, kind person and an awesome mom.

  26. Even the smallest acts of kindness can go so far! Thanks for sharing such a nice post! Great ideas!

  27. Jamie hall says:

    Thank for sharing , this is something I feel strongly about . My daughter is three amd I’m making an effort to include her in bring kind in these ways

  28. This is such an important life lesson! Always be kind to one another! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  29. Melinda Jana says:

    very important life lessons! glad you and your girls are making some great differences

  30. Oh my goodness what you gals did makes my heart melt!! Giving the seniors a smile & making their Valentine’s Day brighter is so special. Now that is a giving moment that your girls will never forget.

  31. This was a very simple yet sweet idea to inspire a feeling of being loved.
    Your girls deserve lots of credit for this deed.I bet they cheered up a lot of
    people with their kindness.

  32. Wonderful post! Many seniors are very lonely – a few minutes with them ca mean the world.

  33. Brandon Sparks says:

    Such a great post. We always go help out at our local seniors center…

  34. That was a wonderful gesture to distribute flowers at the seniors home. You are setting a great example for your kids and others!

  35. loucheryl says:

    I love this initiative. The flowers are so pretty and made those people’s day. Flowers always put a smile on my face.

  36. It’s great to pay it forward. It makes you feel so good helping others

  37. Debbie WhiteBeattie says:

    I give to different charities too. Every year for 4 years I’ve taken part in the Salvation Army “adopt a family” program that matches families that need help at Christmas with people that can provide the necessities that are needed to have a great Christmas. Like presents food and a gift card to buy the groceries needed like turkey milk etc.
    I also make gift baskets every year for the silent auction my local Humane Society has every year so they can raise much needed money to care for the animals.
    I also donate food to my local food bank shelter.
    I believe in helping when I can because everyone needs help sometime and giving back is important !

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