Iran’s ‘walls of kindness’ offer help to the homeless

Original article here ::

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/14/irans-walls-of-kindness-offer-help-to-the-homeless

With the addition of a few hooks and a splash of paint, walls across Iran are being reinvented as part of an outdoor charity initiative in which strangers leave goods they no longer want for those who need them.

The message above a row of hooks reads “Wall of Kindness”. It is a place where passersby are invited to “leave what you do not need” or “take it if you need”. Similar messages have turned up throughout the country as Iranians take matters into their own hands to help homeless people.

In the southern city of Shiraz’s Ghadamgah street, a few coats, jackets and a pair of jeans are hung on the hooks of a wall of kindness painted blue. In Kermanshah, in the west of the country, a wall full of women’s clothes has been covered with plastic to protect them from rain, and beneath the clothes is a shelf of shoes. In the eastern town of Birjand, a young girl wearing worn-out shoes returns smiling with a new pair, albeit second-hand.

wall of kindness

It is not clear who started the trend, but in a country where use of social media networks is widespread, it has swiftly caught on. In the capital, Tehran, local municipalities have welcomed the move, promising to set up more kindness walls.

Iranian media have published pictures of walls in various provinces. “The old tales of kindness about people of old cities have come to reality today in a century struck by brutality and indifference,” said the reformist Shargh daily.

In Tehran alone more than 15,000 people are homeless, often referred to askartonkhab – those who sleep in cardboard boxes. According to Reza Jahangiri, a Tehran municipality official, 80% of them are drug addicts and at least 15% are women. Iran neighbours Afghanistan, a leading producer and supplier of drugs, and its young population, hit hard by unemployment and inflation, has easy access to a wide variety of illicit substances.

In Tehran, some shops have reportedly put out refrigerators and invited people to leave food they do not want for homeless people to take. At least one bakery has put out a box of bread for those who cannot afford it. “Bread is free for those who can’t pay,” reads a sign on the box.

Civil society in Iran is strong, and a number of non-governmental charities have had a significant impact recently, including the Mahak society, a Tehran-based organisation founded by the philanthropist Saeedeh Ghods that supports children with cancer.

Some charitable organisations have been hampered by sanctions imposed by the west on Iran. One unintended consequence was that imports of life-saving medicine were made difficult as international banks refused to handle any money associated with the country.

With sanctions expected to be lifted this weekend, there are rising hopes that such charities will once again be able to work as normal.

Bringing spirit back to the holidays

Reprinted from:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/11/24/michigan-restaurant-thanksgiving-meal-viral/76288060/

By Melanie Eversley
USA Today

thanksgiving

A photo of a sign outside of a Detroit-area restaurant offering free Thanksgiving meals to those who will be alone has gone viral, prompting praise for the store owner from people across the country.

The sign outside of George’s Senate Coney Island Restaurant in Northville, Mich., reads: “George’s Thanksgiving Day Dinner. If anyone is home alone, Come eat with us for free! All Day Thurs. November 26th.”

George Dimopoulos, owner of George’s Senate Coney Island Restaurant, said he has been hosting the free Thanksgiving meal event for the last 10 years just to help people. The Greece native came to the United States in 1969 at the age of 23; he said he can remember days when he had nothing and felt alone and wanted to do something to give back.

“I do for the people who don’t have anybody home,” said Dimoupolos, who lives in Northville. “One time I was alone. One time I didn’t have food. Somebody did it for me.”

Dimopoulos left his home in Greece when he was 12 and came to Detroit because he had an aunt, three sisters and a brother here, he said.

“I don’t have an education; I worked in a factory in Greece,” he said. “I knew how to cook a lot of foods before I came here.”

But while Dimopoulos has been doing this for some time, this year his restaurant is the center of national attention because a local resident posted a photo of the sign outside of his restaurant on the Reddit social media website.

The photo prompted shares on Facebook, and stories by NBC, the Washington Postand other news outlets.

Dimopoulos said he has room for roughly 100 people, outside of the diners expected to come in for paid meals.

He has spent $5,000 on 100 turkeys, side dishes and desserts, including sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, apple and pumpkin pie. He usually gets 70 to 100 people, he said. They come from all sorts of circumstances from people who have no family to people who are homeless, he said.

“The weather is supposed to be nice — 55 degrees,” Dimopoulos said. “I hope I can help people eat.”

Kindness and compassion: Blades Elementary poised to meet Rachel’s Challenge

Reprinted from:

http://delaware.newszap.com/southerndelaware/131198-70/kindness-and-compassion-blades-elementary-ready-to-meet-rachels-challenge

BLADES — It’s never too early — or late — to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion for others.

Image

Rachel’s Challenge presenter Stacia Butler, an assistant principal at an elementary school in Dallas, Tex., greets Blades Elementary first graders prior to the first of two programs Wednesday. (Sussex County Post/Glenn Rolfe).

 

Blades Elementary School’s entire K-thru-5 student body on April 9 got age-level introduction to Rachel’s Challenge, a bullying/teen violence abatement program that shares the inspirational hope and dream of Rachel Joy Scott — the first person shot and killed in the 1999 Columbine school massacre.

Presenter Stacia Butler, an assistant principal at a K-6 elementary school in Dallas, Tex., got to the heart of the matter in challenging students in two assemblies.

“At the elementary level it’s all about the heart; teaching kids to be compassionate and kind,” said Ms. Butler. “We sometimes take that word for granted because it’s such a simple word, but it is truly difficult to live out every day with your peers if you don’t really have the tools to do it.”

Rachel’s Challenge shares Rachel’s belief that “people will never know how far a little kindness will go.”

“So the elementary program gives them five challenges to do, to really live out what Rachel believed,” said Ms. Butler. “We don’t talk about the major reason this program was put into place … due to the sensitivity of the younger kids. But we give them message of kindness and compassion and what they can do to start a chain reaction, to be a positive influence, to accept other people and to be kind.”

With age level presentations, Rachel’s Challenge has visited Sussex Tech High School this year and the previous school year.

On April 8, Rachel’s Challenge was presented to an audience at Phillis Wheatley Middle School in the Woodbridge School District.

The five-pronged elementary challenge for Blades students:

  • Use kind words and do nice things;
  • Accept and include others;
  • Choose to be a positive influence;
  • Set goals and keep a journal;
  • Continue the chain reaction.

Blades Elementary now has a chain reaction link. A banner was up, awaiting signatures of students pledging to turn Rachel’s hope of perpetual kindness into reality.

“Things like caring for others, empathy and acts of kindness, those are habits, just like the habit to not care about others,” said Blades Elementary Principal Heather Bethurum. “If when kids are in elementary school we teach them to think in a way that values other people then the hope is when they get to middle school and when they get to high school it will seem contrary to their nature to do something that would hurt somebody else or not show respect to somebody else.

“And it’s never too late. Even if you don’t naturally think that way now it’s never too late to start valuing other people. Sometimes it is just that you don’t know how to let that show,” Ms. Bethurum said. “The goal and the hope is that as a school and a community we start to see more and more respect and kindness for others. I’d love to see it even be bigger than Blades and be as big as Seaford itself.”

Since its inception, more than 21 million people have been touched by Rachel’s message. According to the Rachel’s Challenge website, a survey showed 78 percent of students indicated they would definitely intervene in a bullying incident in their school after seeing Rachel’s Challenge.

In the last 3 years, Rachel’s Challenge has received nearly 500 unsolicited emails from students stating that after hearing Rachel’s story they reached out for help as they were contemplating suicide. Some even state that “Rachel saved their life.”

Ms. Butler is in her third seasonal season sharing the Rachel’s Challenge message.

“I believe in it. I’ve seen the effects at my own campus. That’s the drive to get out there and teach more people,” Ms. Butler said. “I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t believe in it. My passion is to change our children’s hearts and what they believe and teach them what it means to be kind. They know; they just need to be taught how.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at 629-5505 orgrolfe@newszap.com.

Aside

Be Kind to One Another

Big things come in small packages.  Everyday we can be a headline in the lives of people around us.

 

From : The Topeka Capital-Journal

http://cjonline.com/news/2014-04-06/acts-kindness-grateful-diner-thanks-unknown-gentleman

Acts of Kindness: Grateful diner thanks unknown gentleman

The Topeka Capital-Journal publishes letters from people who want to share about a random act of kindness. To include your letter, email news@cjonline.com with “kindness” in the subject line, or send by mail to Attention: Acts of Kindness, 616 S.E. Jefferson, Topeka, KS 66607.

 

I would like to thank the gentleman who paid for my friend’s and my breakfast at Denny’s on S.W. Topeka Boulevard on Jan. 19, 2014. It was greatly appreciated. That’s the first time that’s ever happened to me. Thank you.

VELMA WERTH, Topeka

 

Special dinner date

My wife and I celebrated our 33rd anniversary this Valentine’s Day and decided to wait until the next day to have our “dinner date.”

Well, looks like everyone else had the same idea, as all the restaurants were packed. We decided to eat at Longhorn and were told it would be an hour wait.

So, we did our wait and visited with others at the restaurant during that time. When we were finally seated and had our dinner, how wonderful it was. The waitress was so kind and so attentive to us and the steak dinner couldn’t have been better.

Several of the help stopped by and asked us if we needed anything else and really were very kind. We noticed how efficient all the help was there, moving around so fast to make sure everyone was served and taken care of.

We just wanted to say thank you for making our 33-year dinner date very special and very nice. We appreciate what you did for us.

ART AND SANDRA BRENNAN, Topeka

 

Grocery store angels

On Friday, Feb. 21, my husband and I were grocery shopping at Hy-Vee. As we approached the checkout line, two gentlemen came up to us and said, “We are going to pay for your groceries today.”

Initially, I thought this was some kind of joke. The man nearest to me said, “No, you’re not on Candid Camera. We really are going to pay for your groceries.” He explained that they represented the Shawnee County Farm Bureau Association and that this was something they did once a year, in celebration of Food Check-Out Week.

Saying “thanks” seemed totally inadequate, but I was a little speechless at the time. So, I want to say “thank you” again. What a wonderful act of kindness.

RICHARD AND JANE JOHNSON, Topeka

 

Good neighbors

A big thank you to the V.A. Transitional House on Clay. We are unable to scoop or clear our snow.

Tom came and cleared all of our sidewalks and driveway — even around our car. Then two days later another snow and he came and did it all again.

Thank you, Tom. We also want to thank Pat, Tom and Roger, who raked our leaves in the fall. What good neighbors.

CHESTER AND COLLEEN CURTTRIGHT, Topeka

 

Rockin’ newspaper carrier

I would like to publicly thank my newspaper carrier, Frank E Smith III, for his thoughtfulness when delivering my Sunday morning paper on March 2.

By 5:30 a.m. an inch of snow had accumulated on the ground with more predicted throughout the day. I look forward to getting the Sunday paper because I enjoy reading it, working the large crossword puzzle and perusing the ads.

I usually get the paper around 7 a.m. so I was surprised when I saw car lights out front and heard a thud hit my stoop quite early. I opened the door and there lay my newspaper wrapped in a pink plastic sleeve to protect it from the elements. I thought, “Either Frank has a great pitching arm or he walked it up to the stoop.”

I was curious, so I opened the garage door in front and saw no tire tracks in the driveway but did see fresh footprints there and part way up the sidewalk indicating to me he’d made an extra effort to deliver it right to my door.

I am especially grateful for his kind thoughtfulness as I am not sure he is even aware that how difficult it is for me to get the paper in the snow. So to Frank, I say: Thanks so much! You rock!

MARY BLAIR, Topeka

 

Snow elves

I was pulled from a snowdrift by a Shawnee County snow plow on the way to church and didn’t get a chance to thank the driver. This letter is my best chance to express my thanks.

My wife and I live way out on the Shawnee and Douglas county line. We found the routes to and through town cleared as fast as we could have asked. Not every county we have lived in has been so diligent.

These drivers are out on the coldest and darkest days of the year, while the rest of us are under blankets or by a fire. God bless them for the work they do. I hope you know what it means to the rest of us.

JOSHUA LONGBOTTOM, Berryton

 

Considerate stranger

We were in Topeka on March 13 for an early doctor’s appointment and ate breakfast at IHOP. Some considerate person paid for our breakfast. May God bless you for your kindness.

LINDELL AND MARIAN NOLTING, Nortonville

 

Civil servant goes above and beyond

I did not get the Topeka police officer’s name, but I did appreciate him going above his duty on March 25 to stop by my house on N.W. Taylor to inform me that the lights on my truck had been left on.

I was unaware I had left them on since Sunday. I wanted to thank him again for letting me know they were on. Thank you.

JAMES LYNCH, Topeka

Help for ejecting external or USB drive

Republished from:

http://voices.yahoo.com/whats-stopping-usb-hard-disk-ejecting-11243140.html

by Muneer Moosa Dhamani

Every computer user is aware of the dangers of unplugging or pulling out a USB drive, external hard disk, mp3 player or other devices that connect through a USB port, without ejecting the device first. However, when users try to eject USB drives, they often get an error saying that the USB mass storage device is currently in use and cannot be ejected, when in fact no files or programs on the USB device are open. Most users just think of this as a Windows error and they unplug the USB manually. However, this is not a very good idea, as there is a risk of data loss and even corruption of media files, when USB devices are unplugged without ejecting.

Although some might think that the error message is a windows error, however, this is not the case. It is obvious that something is stopping your device from ejecting. Although not visible, there are many processes running in background in windows. The best explanation is that one of those background processes is using your USB. It is possible that some other application or system program is using your USB. We will use an advanced Windows Sysinternal tool i.e. Process Manager to detect any process or applications that are blocking your device from ejecting.

Follow these steps to end any process or application that is causing this issue:

Unplugging-is-risky

 

1. In My Computer, find your USB drive and remember its name and drive root letter. For example, the drive root letter is F and the name of the drive is Kingston mass storage.

2. Close any windows in which your USB device or any of its files are running.

3. Now, download Windows Process Explorer version 15.13 from the Microsoft website. Click here to go to the download page.

4. Unzip the file using WinZip or any other extraction software, and click on procexp.exe to open it.

5. Once the program is open, you will see a list of processes that are currently running on your computer. Press ctrl+f to open the search window.

6. Type your drive root letter, followed by :\ in the Handle or DLL substring. For example, if your drive letter is F, then type F:\ in the Handle or DLL substring box.

7. Now, there will be a list of processes running in your USB devices. Check under the process tabs for the type of processes that are running. System processes do not generally cause issues, so there is no need to remove them. Apart from system processes, you can kill any process by right-clicking on it, and then choosing Kill Process.

8. After all USB device processes have been killed, close the Process manager and try ejecting your USB. It should eject now without any issues.

This method can also be used on files that you cannot delete. The process manager is a useful program, however, it should be used with caution to prevent the deletion of useful system processes.

 

Raising a Kind Daughter

Read the full article here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kari-kubiszyn-kampakis/raising-a-kind-daughter_b_4661700.html

…. Kindness among young girls doesn’t start on the playground or in the locker room — it starts at home. Most notably, it starts with kind mothers raising kind daughters. Our girls see how we treat our friends. They also notice how we treat their friends.

If we treat their friends as competitors, our daughters will, too. If we love their friends like we love our own children, they’re more likely to see them as sisters and part of the family.

Raising a kind daughter

Romona’s Kids: N. Royalton High School student’s random acts of kindness

Justin Beiber who?  These are the kids who matter, the kids who are making a real difference in the world.

Read the full article —

http://www.19actionnews.com/story/24477554/romonas-kids-n-royalton-high-school-students-random-acts-of-kindness

NORTH ROYALTON, OHIO (WOIO) –

Sometimes teenagers are perceived to be into themselves, interested in things they shouldn’t be doing. But some of  “Romona’s Kids” are proving they have a heart, and are doing great things to help people.

Brooklyn Barnes is a senior at North Royalton High School. She and her friends organized a project to do random acts of kindness for a whole month. “We went down to the Cleveland Police Mounted Unit and helped them clean out stalls,” said Barnes, “we went down and we bought a homeless man a meal in downtown Cleveland, that was a really good one.”

Romona Robinson sits down with Brooklyn Barnes

Romona Robinson sits down with Brooklyn Barnes

Paul Walker’s anonymous engagement ring gift: Couple finds out nearly 10 years later

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/couple-finds-paul-walker-bought-engagement-ring-article-1.1537567

Paul Walker made a young unsuspecting couple’s dream come true nearly a decade ago and they are now finding out he was the man to thank.

In an immeasurable act of kindness, Walker purchased an engagement ring for Kristen and Kyle Upham in 2004 after learning the young military man had just returned from his first tour of duty in Iraq. But the actor wanted to remain anonymous.

Now, in the wake of the actor’s tragic death, jewelry store associate Irene King came forward with the story and the couple found out it was Walker’s generosity that touched their lives so many years ago.

“It’s still to this day the most generous thing anyone has ever done for me,” Kristen Upham told CBS in Richmond, Va.

mtv-trl-paul-walker

The kindness of strangers! Man searches for passerby who stopped him jumping off a bridge

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/kindness-strangers-man-searches-passerby-3021870

Jonny Benjamin wants to say “thank you” to the Good Samaritan who talked him out of taking his own life six years ago

A man has launched an Internet campaign to find the kindhearted stranger who stopped him jumping to his death.

Jonny Benjamin, 20, was about to throw himself into the river when a caring passerby talked him around.

Jonny, who suffers from schizoaffective disorder, says this simple act of kindness turned his life around.

He took to Twitter to try and track down the Good Samaritan who he has nicknamed “Mike”.

Jonny, who now works as a mental health campaigner, wants to say “thank you” to mystery man.

He said: “His act of kindness changed my outlook on life and I have thought about him ever since.

“I want to find this man so I can thank him for what he did. If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be here today.”

Jonny went to Waterloo Bridge in London to try and take his own life.

He had climbed over the railings and was about to throw himself into the Thames when the stranger approached him.

The man, a commuter in his early twenties, offered to buy him a coffee.

Jonny said: “He was very calm.

“He said: “Please don’t do this, I’ve been where you are and you can get better. Let’s have a coffee and we can talk about this”.

“He reminded me of what people do every day so the normality of it was really inviting.”

Jonny climbed back to safety and was seized by police, he never go to know the stranger’s name.

Now, exactly six years after the fateful meeting, Jonny is trying to track down the passerby.

Jonny, who is making a film of his recovery, is being backed by mental health charity Rethink.

If you have any information you can contact findmike@rethink.org

Schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness that affects about 1 in 200 people.

People with the illness have very high or very low moods, and they might lose touch with reality.

For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 08457 90 90 90 or visit a local Samaritans branch.

 

Kindness and honesty in Germantown Hills

http://www.pjstar.com/article/20140115/LIFESTYLE/140119378/10938/LIFESTYLE

Peoria Journal Star

Posted Jan. 15, 2014 @ 8:20 pm 

  • I am writing this to acknowledge a wonderful act of kindness and honesty by a very sweet lady in Germantown Hills. I lost my wallet in a very busy parking lot in Peoria and didn’t realize it until attempting to mail a package at the post office. It contained one of my business cards in easy view with some personal emergency numbers to call, which she did. Actually, she went to great lengths to reach one (that was in Vegas on vacation). They exchanged information, and long story short, I went to her house and retrieved it, contents untouched.

    She would not accept a reward and returned it with a beautiful smile.

    A valuable suggestion here, put emergency numbers in plain view in your wallet. It can save you grief.

    Many thanks, kind lady. I will pay this forward.

    A grateful heart

    Deer Creek

    We’re interested in sharing random acts of kindness. Please write to: Kindness, 1 News Plaza, Peoria, IL 61643; or send email to mwieland@pjstar.com.

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