My daughter, Steph, died in November (26 years, sudden adult death) breaking all our hearts. Her devastated Grandma went to my daughter’s favourite bath product shop to buy (to put in her coffin) a gift for Steph’s upcoming birthday. She explained this to the girl who served her. This lovely young lady then spent a lot of time helping her put some items together and wrapped them all beautifully. When they took them to the till this lovely young woman asked if she could pay for them. Her sweet kindness and generous act of respect shone light into a very dark time. Bless her heart. There is such kindness out there.- Gill

Joanne and I had been childhood friends, went through school together and hung out with each other when ever possible. My family was full of drama and chaos. My dad was a alcoholic and there were many fights in our home when he came home drunk and broke. So I stayed away for as long as I could and as often as I could.

I was always at Joanne’s house, her mom and dad took me in like one of their own. So much laughter and sharing and just a fun loving, caring environment.

Her mom got sick when we were in high school and died before she could see Joanne graduate. After the funeral her warmhearted, caring dad seemed to change. He didn’t want anyone around and never went out.

I always thought he really wanted everyone there, but his hurt, anger and loneliness was changing him. Eventually everyone did drift away. The kids never visited or phoned. read more →

He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary’s School in Morris, Minnesota. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, but had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievousness delightful. Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking without permission was not acceptable.

What impressed me so much though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving – “Thank you for correcting me, Sister!” I didn’t know what to make of it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day. read more →

No better exercise for the heart.
I teach newly arrived immigrant teenagers English as a Second Language. Many of these children come to me from countries where their living condition are horrible and life-threatening. Often, one of the parents comes to the US and works, sending home money so that smugglers can be paid to bring other family members here (usually one at a time). These children have risked life and limb to be reunited with their parents and often endure heartbreaking abuse and witness even worse on their journeys here. Yet, every day, I am greeted by their smiling faces as they embark upon this new phase of their life. read more →

Real generosity is giving.
My parents were not wealthy and struggled to put food on the table for us 5 kids. One night, a homeless man knocked on our door and told my mom he just moved into the neighborhood and he had no food in the house, so would it be ok to ask for a sandwich? read more →