We've rounded up some awesome acts of kindness shared by our readers. Because as Aesop once wrote, "no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
Landcruisers is publishing a book about your kind acts! Tell us how you spread kindness every day and your stories and ideas could be included in the book. Send your stories to [email protected]
"My brother Michael lives in Wilmington, NC, and after being a schoolteacher for more than 30 years, he retired to take care of our mom, who has Alzheimer's. In his yard he has created an Alzheimer's Awareness Garden with hundreds of roses. Though it honors those who are coping with this disease, it's open to anyone who'd like to find some beauty and peace. With this garden, Michael has put together a wonderful tribute to our mama." —Judy Caulder Gibson, Torrance, CA
"My dog, Aladdin, came to me three years ago severely emaciated with both his back legs and tail broken. But despite his abuse, he loves everyone he meets and has the biggest heart beating in his little chest. He brings comfort to families at the Ronald McDonald house, takes part in anti-bullying programs and models for an anti-animal-abuse campaign called Show Your Soft Side. Some say he's lucky to have found me, but I'm the lucky one since I get to see the joy he gives others." —Michele Schaffer-Stevens, Haddonfield, NJ
"My husband, Ken, raises money for a library in a neighboring city by attending parades and car shows while driving his replica Mayberry squad car and dressed as Deputy Barney Fife from The Andy Griffith Show. During the past summer he participated in 80 events across the state and donated nearly $5,000 to this great cause." —Linda Anderson, Eau Claire, WI
"Our 15-year-old daughter, Kassi, decided to donate whatever tips she earned from her summer job to the annual springtime South Glens Falls High School Marathon Dance, which this year raised funds for more than 40 causes. In 2012, her older sister, Alyssa, benefited from the money when she was going through kidney treatment, and it helped our family offset the expenses of travel, copays and anything else that was not covered by insurance. Kassi truly understands what it means to both give back and pay it forward." —Karrie Cook, South Glens Falls, NY
"I started the Quincy Notre Dame Kindness Club at my high school so that my fellow students and I could come together throughout the year to help those in need. One of my most rewarding moments was when a veteran thanked me from his bed at a Virginia hospital for coming to see him. It was humbling, because I felt I should thank him for his service to our country. " —Angelica Niemann, Quincy, IL
"As a New Yorker who was occasionally homeless as a child, becoming a mentor for the nonprofit Girls Write Now, which works with young women to write the stories of their lives, is humbling and awe-inspiring. During our weekly sessions, the girls tell of overcoming domestic disputes, gang violence, racism and poverty. These young writers have taught me that while you can't change the whole world, you can change your own life, and I've enjoyed helping them do just that." —Heather Kristin, New York City
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"Through a local resettlement agency, our church is matched with a new refugee family from Myanmar each spring. We walk with them through their first year in the United States, then stay in touch beyond that. One of the really rewarding things we do annually is organize a children's book drive for the families. Volunteers also bring the books to the family and read with the kids. It's been so wonderful to see firsthand how books inspire learning." —Anita Dualeh, St. Paul, MN
"￼After hearing about girls in my hometown who couldn't afford to buy clothing for the prom, I founded Prom Redeaux, which collects donations of dresses, shoes and accessories that are suitable for the event. The generous response exceeded my expectations and enabled 395 girls to attend the dance last year. Now we've branched out to nearby towns. I'm looking forward to more of the same enthusiasm for the project in the year ahead." —Lynette Best-Gray, La Vernia, TX
"A group of my friends and I wanted to do something to improve the lives of girls, particularly those in developing countries who struggle against impossible odds. We joined forces with She's the First, an organization that provides scholarships to girls in low-income countries, and began an annual fundraising luncheon called May Day. Now, four years later, 70 women gather to support girls from all over the world. We've raised tens of thousands of dollars, all of which She's the First donates directly to the girls' education." —Leigh Mckay, Lambertville, NJ
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"The Connecticut International Order of the Rainbow for Girls encourages girls between the ages of 11 and 20 to volunteer and help others in the community. I love the idea that my donations go to a group that has such a positive influence to empower and inspire young ladies to be future leaders." —Jodi Pipenbacher, Wallingford, CT
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"My 87-year-old mom, Jessie, is a breast cancer survivor who makes tote bags out
of recycled material to give to other survivors—and inside there's always a note of encouragement. We've also started going to assisted living locations, senior centers and schools, where volunteers help us put the bags together. We always feel the love, whether it's in person or via a comment on . Kindness is contagious. "-—Joanne Downer, Wilmington, DE
"Jenna, who is 13, trained Maddie, our Shih Tzu/Bichon Frise mix, to become an AK-certified K-9 good citizen. Now they visit seniors together each month, and Maddie makes them smile with her good manners and the tricks Jenna has taught her. Jenna's commitment and passion for both Maddie and volunteering is wonderful to see." —Jody Freitas, Quincy, MA
"While learning about charitable projects through their Girl Scout troop, my daughter, Myah, and her friend Camryn found out that many of the patients at a local children's hospital needed comforting items during their stay. So the girls hosted a garage sale and raised more than $500, then bought piles of goodies—from socks to art supplies— which they took to the patients. Myah and Camryn's sense of pride and accomplishment was priceless!" —Elle Larsen, Littleton, CO
"Every year my mom, six sisters and sister-in-law spend a long weekend together. A while ago we decided to work on projects throughout the year for charity, then bring our handiwork with us to our retreat so it can be boxed up and donated. We have made lap quilts for the Wounded Warrior Project, and in 2015 we made 74 baby blankets and quilts for the Lakeshore Pregnancy Center in Grand Haven, MI. This year we're making blankets for cancer treatment patients in honor of our brother who passed away and a daughter-in-law who is in treatment." —Karen Hanovich, Guyton, GA
"The running community in Saline, MI, helped me collect 100 pairs of used running shoes to donate to the Nike Better World Reuse-a-Shoe program, which recycles the soles into Nike Grind, a material used for tracks and other play surfaces. Sneakers were donated by coaches, teachers, friends and neighbors, plus the Saline Cross-Country and Middle School Track Team gave many pairs of shoes away at the end of the season. Kids who forgot theirs actually delivered them to my porch! The vibrant running community of Saline took up the recycling cause and ran with it." —Aidan Carichner, Saline, MI
"My great-nephew Cory Alpert, a student at the University of South Carolina, went above and beyond when his hometown of Columbia suffered tremendous flooding in the fall of 2015. He rallied nearly 4,000 student volunteers to assist people with water deliveries, transportation and other necessities. To say I'm proud of him is an understatement!" —Carol Sue Ravenel, Viera, FL
"My 83-year-old husband, Jack, makes birdhouses from discarded license plates that car dealers in the area save for him. He began by giving his creations to members of our church, then to people in our town and the surrounding area. Now you can find them in a lot of local businesses, plus when we go to a doctor, Jack will hand one out to each of the staff. So far he's given away more than 800, and made a lot of people happy in the process." —Vasti Beene, Mount Pleasant, Texas
"I work in a local salon, and over the past few years many of my coworkers have endured health challenges. Because we are self-employed, we have no sick-leave benefits, so our family of stylists sees to it that when one of us is out, the others step in and not only take care of that stylist's clients, but also give her every single dollar from the appointment. There's no doubt we work with the greatest people and have the kindest, most caring and neighborly clientele a salon could ever ask for." —Laura Green, Bountiful, UT
"Our community needed a new playground since the one we had was almost 30 years old and outdated. With the help of grants and donations from neighbors, I raised more than $30,000. Now the children of Mason County will have a new, state-of-the-art playground—and it's shaped like a pirate ship!" —Leslie Ring, Allyn, WA
"My neighbors and I visited the America's VetDogs facility near where we live. We were so inspired by the organization, which trains service dogs to be given free of charge to disabled U.S. veterans, that we held yard sales and a charity auction and raised more than $16,000. We're looking forward to hosting more community events in the future!" —Patricia Summers, Smithtown, NY
Share your Kindness Project stories to [email protected] Stories may be edited for clarity and length.