Love For The Elderly

gsweddingservices19 (4) 2Fourteen is the age to sleep until noon, obsess over texting, and crave the latest and greatest computer game. Not to mention adjust to high school. Homework, studying, and fun. It can often be difficult to find a perfect balance between the three. Especially when you have this burning desire to help others and do something constructive with your free time. Meet me, Jacob Cramer, a freshman at Orange High School in Pepper Pike, Ohio.

My whole life, I have eagerly wanted to benefit my community and make a difference in this world. When trying to think of ways to better society, I turned to the elderly, a group that does not receive the kindness or attention they deserve. The elderly have paved the pathway to success for my generation, and they deserve to be appreciated and loved. Nevertheless, it was quite apparent to me after my grandfather’s passing that the elderly so often feel lonely and neglected, especially those in assisted living facilities. In November of 2013, I set out to bring a little bit of extra happiness into the lives of the elderly through handwritten letters. Since then, I have collected and distributed nearly ten thousand letters to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, coming from all around the world.

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 11.08.41 PMIt’s been really amazing to see how my organization has changed the lives of the elderly. The amount of positive response I have received has been simply incredible, and it is overwhelming to look at how my organization has grown. Who would have thought that one teenage boy creating a little community service project for himself could have turned into such a huge movement of kindness!

I did not set out for recognition or accolades. No, I set out to change the world for the better. My experiences have shown me that the world really is a wonderful place, and that there are so many kind souls out there willing to help others. I believe with all my heart that kindness is the key to happiness.

When I die, I want to be remembered as a giver. As a philanthropist. As a kind-hearted person who wanted nothing but the best for others.

dT1hSFIwY0Rvdkx6TmpMVzFoYVd4amIyMHRiSGhoTG5ObGNuWmxjaTVzWVc0dmJXRnBiQzlqYkdsbGJuUXZhVzUwWlhKdVlXd3ZZWFIwWVdOb2JXVnVkQzlrYjNkdWJHOWhaQzkwWVhSME1GOHhMUzB0ZEcxaGFURXpZakkwTWpSbE9HWTBOREE1T1dFN2FuTmxjM05wYjI1cFpEMHpNamhETmpoRE5UQkVOemMxUmpJMVEwUTFOREZFUVThink deeply about each of the following sets of words and what they represent. “Top-class, rich, good-looking.” “Kind, humble, compassionate.” For which set of words would YOU like to be remembered? While the choice may not be an easy one, I think we can all agree: The actions we make today will have a major impact on the world of tomorrow. “Be the person that makes others feel special. Be remembered for your kindness and grace.” ~Unknown

Please, I encourage you to start giving back to your community. It does not have to be through my organization. Nonetheless, whatever venue you may choose, I promise you this: You will be glad you did it.

If you would like to learn more about my organization and how you can help, please visit http://www.lovefortheelderly.org. Also, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you!

Cheers,

Jacob Cramer, Founder of Love For The Elderly

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The Kindness of Neighbors

newspaper3In my apartment complex, there is an elderly woman who lives on the first floor. This woman has an oxygen tank and it’s difficult for her to get around. She had made several signs in the main hallway asking people to stop stealing her newspaper (it was clearly labeled on the plastic).

I thought it would be nice to bring this lady’s newspaper to her, minimizing the chances of it getting stolen and saving her a trip outside. Every day, for two weeks, I left her newspaper in front of her door and prayed she didn’t open it when I dropped it off.

To this day, my neighbor has no idea it was me leaving the newspaper at her door!

~ Trista, College Student

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The Kindness of Donations

UnknownI recently donated a crib, pack and play, and some other baby items to a local charity called Care Net Pregnancy Center in Nashua, NH. They provide education, medical care, and materials free of charge to women, as well as men, who need assistance.  I was helped immensely by this organization almost a decade ago when I found myself in need.  I choose to give back to them as often as I am able because I understand the great need for their assistance within our community.

~ Lindsey, College Student

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The Kindness of Sharing a Home

flint-clipart-eTMyr78TnMy husband and I have invited people to share our home that were either struggling with money or needed a change in their environment. Over the past few years, we took in five people. Some were family and others were people we knew from work and they became family.

I do what I do to make people smile and make their day a little better : )

~ Adrienne, College Student

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Yoga Kindness

k6484129I volunteer my time to help at the local yoga teacher training once a month to break down and clean up because the students are very tired from long weekends practicing yoga. I also volunteer my time to run the store filled with supplies for relaxation and education on the weekends. I like doing it because I get to meet all the new students in the trainings and because everyone is so tired after the weekend they really appreciate the help.

~ Naresa, College Student

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Kindness For a Classmate

20100218_pid55756_aid55755_classnotes_w400A classmate of mine became unwell and could not make it to class. I offered to take detailed notes and show her what we did, in the class that she missed. She was kept up to speed and could return to class informed and without a beat :)

~ Jean, College Student

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The Kindness of Aaron’s Presents

logoMy name is Leah Okimoto, I started an organization based in Andover, MA called Aaron’s Presents in memory of my infant son. It is a unique grants program that invites young children in 8th grade and below to apply for a grant of up to $500 in materials and services in order to carry out a positive, thoughtful project of their own design.

Aarons presents Celebration eventThe goal is to encourage children from an early age to start to view their lives in terms of what they can give, rather than what they can expect to receive, at every age and stage of their lives. Through the process, they start to regard themselves as members of a community, with the ability and responsibility to contribute, help and problem-solve, to think of others’ needs alongside their own, and to create meaningful connections between themselves and other human beings. I believe that this outlook will infuse their lives, actions and achievements with purpose, meaning, true happiness and a way to cope and heal through difficult times. In the process, they will also learn valuable leadership and project management skills.

Aarons presents Celebration eventIn the spring of 2014, I piloted the program at the Lowell Community Charter Public School in Lowell, MA and the Youth Development Organization after-school program in Lawrence, MA. I worked with 26 children on 12 wonderful projects that directly impacted over 1,000 people. This fall, I will be working to spread the word in all types of communities, cities and towns within a 30-mile radius of Andover and is excited to see what these creative and kind kids come up with!

Please check us out, we appreciate any support you are able to give.

~ Kindly, Leah Okimoto – hello@aaronspresents.org

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Kindness For A Stranger

I moved to New England two years ago and accepted a position at a spa. I drove down Amherst Street every day to get to work. In the Fall I noticed a young man walking down the street pretty much every day. He appeared as though he was physically challenged. He had difficulty keeping his limbs still while walking. I must have driven past him 10 or 15 times in the morning when I would be on my way to the spa. It was in the Fall so it was cool outside, but he wasn’t trudging through the snow.

music-headphonesOne morning I saw him walking and I decided I wanted to meet him. He had no problem getting to where he was going, but I thought maybe today he might like a ride. He just so happened to be walking in front of my work, so I pulled into the parking lot and said “hi my name is Megan”, he introduced himself. I asked him if he wanted a ride and he accepted. He was on his way to Bonhoeffer’s Cafe where he would look for work on his computer while having coffee. He was from Indiana and he moved here couple years ago and he loved listening to music. His head phones to his CD player were old so when I dropped him off I gave him a pair of ear buds that I never used.

We parted ways and I never saw him walking down the street again. He told me many people would give him rides, so I wasn’t the only person being kind to him. We had a nice chat that day. I really hate that I haven’t seen him again. I’d love to know more of his story.

~ Megan, College Student

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The Kindness of Reiki

reikiEarly one morning I received a strange text from an unknown number. The text read “Had a bad fall, please send healing”. I questioned the texter of their identity only to be confused; thinking that it had been a family member/close friend. Having taken energy healing classes such as Reiki 1 and 2, I decided to sit down and use all that I knew to send this person some long distance Reiki. I let her know what I was doing and asked for her name. I spent about a half hour picturing this woman’s pain decreasing and sending as much healing energy as I could.

The next day the woman called me on the telephone. She was so touched by my good deed that she invited me over to her house so she could thank me in person.  I was very hesitant of doing this learning about “stranger danger” growing up…but she lived close and I took my best friend with me for protection. When I arrived, the woman explained that she was a Reiki master and had studied with many of the original, and highly acclaimed, Reiki practitioners. I felt blessed to have met her and to repay me she gave me a very powerful 45 minute Reiki session; I was very grateful. I am so thankful for unique and beautiful moments like these.

~AC College Student

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The Kind Volunteers at Soup Kitchens

logoAs an act of kindness I have volunteered at Share Outreach in Milford NH. Two Tuesdays a month they have a community dinner and this week we had free range chicken soup. The chickens were donated! I washed dishes after the meal with a beautiful group of people, it was great fun.

~ College Student, NCC

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