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“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring,” said the late writer Leo F. Buscaglia. ”All of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
The coronavirus pandemic has abruptly changed our world and our way of living, and it’s uncertain when, if ever, things will return to “normal.” So many of us are isolated from friends and family, which is that much harder during the holidays.
However, there is one powerful way we can be united in a deeply meaningful way: through sheer kindness. We would like to share 7 heartwarming stories about ways people are showing kindness when it’s needed the most, people who truly have a heart of gold.
1. Recruiting celebrities to donate
Michael Rugin—founder of Fanatics— launched the All In Challenge to raise money to help feed children, the elderly, and those in need. Celebrities, including an amazing lineup of the world’s greatest athletes, actors, and musicians, were motivated to get creative and try to one-up each other while donating unique items or priceless experiences.
And the challenge was a huge success, raising almost $60 million! The challenge attracted stars like Ariana Grande, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Pratt, Justin Timberlake, and Bill Murray, who all showed they have a heart of gold. They donated items and unique experiences—for instance, you could bid on participating in an event with the whole cast of Friends. All donations were auctioned off with 100% of money raised going to charities.
2. Zoomers to Boomers
In California, a group of high school students came up with the idea for Zoomers to Boomers, a service where volunteers deliver groceries to the elderly and to people with immunity concerns. Today, the heartwarming initiative has spread to 38 cities across the country, enlisted over 1,000 volunteers, and delivered over 10,000 orders. Zoomers to Boomers volunteers follow strict safety policies, and there’s no delivery fee.
3. John Krasinki’s virtual prom
Award-winning actor and filmmaker John Krasinski launched his video series Some Good News earlier this year to counter all the bad and negative news that is characterizing 2020, showing that there are lots of people out there with a heart of gold.
For all the students across the country who were unable to celebrate their graduation the way they had imagined it, Krasinski threw a virtual prom with musical guests such as Billie Eilish, The Jonas Brothers, and Chance the Rapper.
You can find episodes of Some Good News here, including weather forecasts by Brad Pitt, and Krasinski has announced that more episodes are planned.
4. Dolly Parton‘s bedtime stories
Dolly Parton has been a lifelong advocate for reading. In April, she launched a limited series on YouTube where children of all ages can enjoy her soothing, angelic voice as she reads aloud selected books, including The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, Llama Llama Red Pajama by by Anna Dewdney, and Parton’s own book, Coat of Many Colors.
Should you, your kids, or your grandkids need a sweet story before bed, Parton’s heartwarming bedtime stories are available on YouTube.
5. Stars Feeding the Hungry
Save With Stories is an initiative created by Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams where stars read their favorite children’s books to create fun and education to kids and parents stuck at home.
The two stars have teamed up with Save the Children to make sure schools and community programs have the support they need to keep both brains and bellies full.
Donations are also supporting our important work to meet the health, education, and nutrition needs of kids in other countries, warming hearts across the world.
6. Hallmark gives away 4 million greeting cards
Many of us are isolated at home with minimum in-person contact with friends and family, and while we can talk on the phone or via Skype, there’s something special about a personal touch, a personal note, especially when you need to uplift someone you care about.
Hallmark has given away 4 million greeting cards so people can send handwritten notes to those who matter most or who need to be uplifted. The company’s mission was to offer people a chance to thank someone in a personal way, and the initiative surely warmed millions of hearts across our country.
7. An individual act of kindness
In Kansas, a retired farmer had five of the highly sought-after N95 masks for himself and his wife. As the shortage of masks and other equipment put healthcare workers’ lives at risk, the farmer with a heart of gold sent one of his masks, along with a handwritten note, to Gov. Andrew Guomo, asking him to pass it on to a doctor or nurse in New York, where the pandemic was raging. A very selfless and generous gesture, a snapshot of the humanity that makes America so beautiful.