Doing Good Deeds Essays

To be doing good deeds is man's most glorious task. Sophocles

When you donate your time, skills, or money, you are generally doing it to make something better. Whether you help build a house, or provide library books or a school to children, or help fund research for a disease, the world is becoming a slightly better place with each donation.

As you become generous, you feel powerful and walk taller. You see the world in a more positive light. As you notice the plight of others, your perspective shifts and you don't look upon your own problems as much. The little things can be ignored, because you realize how little they truly are. Even though the world didn't really change, your perspective causes you to look at it in a better light.

But it can go even farther than that. You can lead by example to help the world become a better place that values generosity and sharing. By encouraging others to pay it forward, you can truly feel some comfort in knowing that when you ever need help, there is a good chance that there will be someone there to help you in your time of need. This allows you to take reasonable chances and walk in the world unafraid.

Letters to SSSSH

Some of the good-deed letters received at the Hal Reichle

Post Office Box642 and at the SSSSH Website from

secret members of SSSSH!

To help navigate through these received good-deed letters, they are bookmarked by date and by special event.

High School Good-Deed Essays

October 17, 2003
The following short essays are colored in blue and are writing assignments given to high school
student somewhere in the USA. They were to go "pull Reichles" (anonymous good deeds)
and ten write about their experiences. The anonymous high school
teacher then mailed the essay's to the Hal Reichle post office box 375 in Hiram, Ohio 44234.

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

Everyone is entitled to a small gift of appreciation. People in our society need to know that they are valued by people for doing small jobs, completing tasks at the office, or just being a good person. Many important people go unrecognized in these areas, and I felt it was time for a change. Thoughts crossed my mind of helping the homeless, giving presents to small children, even rewarding my parents for the guidance they’ve given me that makes me the person that I am today. Although some day I hope to accomplish all of these tasks, I did a very simple gesture that meant the world to an acquaintance of mine.

It all started at work when a co-worker (older than I) explained to me her life situation. Her name is Katie. She described a lonely life and a job that was holding her back from running a business that she had gotten a degree for in college. All of her friends had left her to pursue their careers the year before. My reaction was to let this woman know she was needed in people’s lives. In times when I needed a shoulder to lean on, she had always been there for me. I consider this girl to a very pretty and intelligent human being and I thought she should know how much she is appreciated every day.

As I was passing a local florist shop, I decided to stop by and pick out a bouquet of flowers for my co-worker. I managed to talk the florist into arranging a piece for me using Katie’s favorite flowers. It was sent to her that very afternoon. I stopped by work to eavesdrop on the arrival of the flowers, and got there just in time to see her face light up. It was amazing to me that such a small gesture could make a person realize how great they are. It made me feel fantastic to know that she took pride in getting those flowers and knowing she must have gotten then for a good reason. So many people in our society go unrecognized and don’t fully understand what contributions they add to people’s lives.

One internal conflict I immediately faced, however, was the feeling of selfishness. I wanted Katie to know who had gotten those flowers that day. Any normal human being would want to be acknowledged for doing a good deed. I now understand why these people from the Secret Society of Serendipitous Service to Hal are such great people: a “thanks” is not needed. SSSSH members do not need gratification for their good deeds. Just knowing that they’ve done something for another person is enough. As a whole, I felt great about doing a good deed, but I also realized that I also wanted something out of it, which wasn’t the idea of the project in the first place.

All in all, I realized that although you may do a good deed for another person, recognition for that deed is always expected. Keeping my mouth shut about completing the task was harder than I ever imagined. However, I do plan to carry out more good deeds. After doing this project and feeling so great about what I had done, why should I choose to stop at just one good deed?

 

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

The world is full of a different type of people today. Often we don’t find many people that perform acts of kindness for their fellow man. Through my English class, I have found a group of people that still do. I find it amazing that this kind-hearted group takes time out of their own schedules to perform random acts of kindness for others. When I received this assignment I was thrilled to participate in this group’s effort to help others. It took me a while to finally decide what I was going to do. When the right idea popped into my head, I went straight to the drawing boards.

I didn’t want to do something that somebody else would o, so I did something a little different. I decided to help out my grandma for a change. My mom’s youngest brother lives with my grandma and is rarely home. I noticed from daily visits that her garage was very messy from lack of upkeep. So I decided to clean it for her while she was at work on a Saturday afternoon. I took the day off from work in advance to do it. Her garage was full of odds and ends. Everything from heavy machinery to small nuts and bolts scattered everywhere. Her garage is fairly large, so I knew if I organized everything neatly and threw out things that were of no use anymore, it would look great!

I went straight to work the minute I got there. I looked at the project as a weekend football practice, so it didn’t bother me too much. I was also lucky to go on a day that provided great weather for the project. I started by getting all the heavy machinery out of the way first to provide a little working room. I moved the tractor out first, and then I dragged the snowmobile out into the driveway. After that I moved the small machinery like the tiller and the push mower. Now that I had some working room I began to organize the various tools that were all over the place. My uncle had built cabinets in the garage, so I put the larger hand-held tools and machinery in them. Then I cleaned up the toolbox and put away the smaller tools. I then got down some of my grandma’s mason jars from the rafters and used them to organize the nuts, screws, bolts, etc. Once I did that the workbench in the back of the garage was pretty much empty. I used a hand-held broom and dustpan and cleaned off the surface of the workbench.

With all of the tools put away and the odds and ends organized I began to gain some ground on the situation. I proceeded to organize the firewood in the back of the potbelly stove that heats the garage. I noticed that there were many extension cords all entangled throughout the garage. I sorted them out and wrapped them up and put them on hooks in the back. After that I decided to clear out some of the trash. I got rid of a lot of wrappers and papers that were lying around. I also pitched out various unusable tools and old rusty nuts, screws, bolts, etc. After doping that there was only one thing left to do. I swept the garage spotless and then moved all the heavy machinery back into the once disastrous looking garage. I lined everything up in an organized manner and left space for access to the cabinets and shelves. I then packed up what I had brought for the job and left an anonymous note for my grandma to take a look at her garage.

I chose to do this for my grandma for many reasons. My grandma has always been there for me throughout my life. She has always supported me in anything I did. She has always loved my sisters and I since the day we were born. She is everything a person would want in a grandma to me. I only paid her back a small portion of what she deserves by doing this, but I know she appreciated it in more ways than I could understand. My grandma isn’t the type of person that demands a lot from her grandkids when they are over. We have always done small things around her house to help her out, but those were on request. That’s the beauty of this project; it was completely anonymous. She didn’t have to ask me to do it this time, I was provided that opportunity by having this assignment.

Performing this deed made me feel joyous. I realized that for once I did something for someone that was completely unexpected. I left her house feeling great for what I had done. I didn’t mind using my sweat and energy for the project because it was something worth doing. The deed had a lot of meaning behind it. It was heart-felt and sincere. It was by far one of the neatest things that I have done for someone without then knowing about it. The project was great and had a success rating of one hundred percent!

What I learned by doing this is that you shouldn’t take others for granted. I realized that I hadn’t done enough for my grandma, who has provided so much for me. I learned that by doing a strenuous task is not so bad when it has a purpose. It didn’t bother me at all to have to do a physical activity on my day off at all. I learned that doing such acts of kindness could be rewarding in a different way. It provides you with a sense of joy and fulfillment. To me there is no better reward for doing an act of kindness like this.

All together, I enjoyed doing this deed of kindness. It brought me great joy and fulfillment and showed me many things about myself. The project was absolutely successful! After visiting my grandma I found out that she is still baffled on who performed the deed. She has basically opted me out because, she was aware that I worked on weekends. I just sat back and recalled that afternoon and chuckled to myself in amazement.

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

Imagine a world in which people never helped each other, a world where everyone had to do everything by themselves. They could not rely on anyone. If this were true, many people would have more stress trying to do everything, while others would eventually just give up. If people did not help others, there would be a lot less joy in the world. Coming upon this conclusion, I was eager to think of a way I could help someone. The Secret Society of Serendipitous Service to Hal “members” are supposed to perform deeds of kindness for total strangers. However, since my grandma had just had surgery, I decided to help her.

My grandma is one who loves flowers. As one takes the first step into her house, the aroma hits you immediately. One look around and the variety of colorful petals reach the eyes. After my grandma’s surgery, however, she was not able to decorate her house as vibrantly as she loves. Because I did not want her to have to stay trapped in her home without the objects that she loves most, I had an idea. I went to the local florist and bought the most beautiful and best smelling flowers I could find. I then asked my dad for the key that my grandparents had entrusted to him. While they were at the doctor’s office the following day, I carefully decorated their dining room. I did not have enough money to buy flowers for the whole house, so I chose the room where they would easily be noticed.

I chose to do this deed for my grandma mainly because I did not want to see her deprived of what she loves most. Even though she did not have to stay inside too terribly long, I still wanted her to feel a little joy while she was there. Also, just having surgery, getting flowers probably made her feel loved. Granted, she also received flowers from others because of the surgery, but since it was anonymous, it was a little more special.

Performing this deed made me feel great inside. I had never given anybody anything anonymous before, so I was a little nervous about how it would go. As I was performing the deed, however, I felt ecstatic that I was hopefully going to make someone’s day better. I only wish that I could have been there to see the surprise and puzzled look on her face as she saw the flowers, with no card to be found anywhere.

This experience made me realize that even the smallest acts of kindness can help to make someone’s bad day, a little, (if not a lot) better. It also made me realize that the more I people, the better they start to feel and the better I feel about myself as well. If I continue to do little acts of kindness, maybe one day I will really make a difference in someone’s life. One person can really make a difference.

Suppose SSSSH were to continue on forever and anonymous good deeds just keep happening throughout the world. If they just kept spreading, then maybe they could eventually get all the way around the world and reach every single person. This could help everyone who is overly stressed, those who do not have family, and others who just never have time. So maybe if a random act of kindness finds itself on a path to you, you should pass it on. Who knows what that deed you perform could bring?

 

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

You don’t always have to receive recognition for things you do to help others around you. Doing something for others out of the kindness of your heart makes you feel great about yourself. Raking leaves for someone who is incapable is a good example of this. When I raked my neighbors leaves it made me feel good because I did something for someone without getting something in return. I chose to rake leaves for my neighbor because he is incapable due t a vision disability. I learned that giving and not expecting something in return is better than giving because you have to.

Monday afternoon on my way home from football practice, I noticed that the blind man on the corner’s leaves were quickly covering his yard. I thought that since he was incapable of raking his own leaves, I would rake them for him. I raked the leaves into a big pile and took them to my house, where I made an even bigger pile, containing my leaves and his leaves for my little sister and her friend to jump in. Later that evening when the girls were done playing in the leaves, I once again put the leaves into piles and then took them to my backyard to burn.

I chose this task for a couple reasons. One of those reasons being that this man has always been a good friend of our family and in the past he has helped us in many ways. When he does favors for our family he has never once asked for anything in return. Another reason is that he can’t complete this task and if I was in his shoes, I would want someone to help me without expecting something back.

Once this deed was completed I felt like a great person. It made me feel like I made a difference in the world. I did something that will affect someone else in a positive way, which made me feel wonderful. It made me feel important, because I made a difference. Now that I have helped others, I hope the hospitality will spread and more people will do the same as I because they can and not because they have to.

Completing this task helped me grow stronger as a person. It helped me understand why people do things for others out of the kindness of their heart. It really made me realize that life is too short to be greedy, so you should always do unto others, as you would want them to do unto you. I know that if one day I became blind I would want someone like me helping me because they are capable of it and I’m not. It taught me to be a good person and help out as much as possible and not expect anything for it. It also made me realize how important it is to help, it doesn’t just affect the person you helped, but it’s a good way to be a role model and a leader.

Helping people has an effect on many people in many ways. It affects the person you help in a positive way, because it helps them out and makes their day easier. It also affects people around you, because it shows them how wonderful it is to help others and how it makes people feel. It will not only affect people around you, but it will affect you as well. It makes you feel important, because you made a difference in someone else’s life. Doing a deed for someone who is incapable and not expecting something in return, in my opinion, is one of the deeds you can ever do for a person.

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

Has there ever been a time in your life where you were short on money? You try to pay for many things with whatever spare change you have in your pocket. The dollar bill section of your wallet has moths flying out of it because it’s unused. Just about every teenager and many adults experience this t least once in their lifetime. Since I know that I am not the only one that experiences this, I thought I would help someone out that might be in that same boat.

My good deed was to help pay for something everyone over the age of sixteen deals with: buying gasoline for your car or truck. I went to the gas station to fill up my truck with gas. While I was filling up with gas, I saw a person driving an old beater car pull up for gas. He looked like he could use an extra five dollars. The car was in such bad shape I couldn’t tell what kind of car it was. The driver was not wearing very good clothes either. Since we were the only two customers, it was very likely this person was going to walk in to pay for their gas after me. When I paid for my gas I gave the cashier an extra five dollars. I asked him to give it to the next person who came in to pay for gas and to keep the gesture anonymous.

I chose to do what I did because there are many times I go to buy gas and feel like I don’t have enough money. Lots of times I wonder if my gas will last from one allowance to another. Sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, I feel really vulnerable. Running out of gas is a real fear for me. I’m afraid of getting stranded and having to walk the highway at night to get help. When I saw the man in the beater car, I figured he must have that feeling a lot more often than I do. Because he was so poorly dressed, he probably is concerned about having enough money for a lot moiré than just gas.

Helping another person made me feel better about myself. I know I made a difference in someone else’s life. Even though it wasn’t a big gesture, I know it mattered. I sat in my truck to watch the man pay for his gas. He pulled out his money to pay for his gas and the cashier told him about the five dollars. The mans’s face lit up like a Christmas tree. He walked out to his car with a smile on his face. I drove away feeling pretty good about the experience.

This experience strengthened my opinion that people deserve to be treated with respect. I learned how little things count and make a difference in someone’s life. I’ve also learned that even if you give a little bit, in return you get a whole lot more. The more you give, the more you can receive. The littlest things you do for someone will pay off big time. Even if it is just giving a person some money to help the pay for gas, or simply helping an elderly person, the pay off is more than you can imagine. I am not talking about a money type of pay off, I am talking about a spiritual and inner-self pay off. Because I paid for someone’s gas, somewhere down the road someone will do something nice for me. I like the way it feels to do something nice for someone else, too!

Feeling good inside is something that cannot be accomplished with money. The feeling that comes from knowing you made a difference, and seeing the expression of joy on someone’s face after you helped him or her is priceless. Even if it is as minuscule as giving five dollars to help another person pay for their gas. Remember, somewhere down the road a good deed that you have done for someone else will bring a something good back towards you. When someone does something nice for you, it’s probably because you did something nice for someone else.

 

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

My “Reichle Deed”

Once the temperature rises to around the 100-degree mark, Grandma and Grandpa Whitman will start their journey from Arizona to Illinois. They have a regular ritual for closing up their Arizona house and likewise, their Illinois house, when returning. Everything must be put up and out of the way. Floors must be mopped, bathrooms cleaned and carpets shampooed.

This year my Grandparents had decided to finish one half of their basement, giving them more room, plus a 3rd bedroom. My Uncle John and Grandpa did most of the work themselves. This project made for a full summer project that resulted in a very dirty carpet on my Grandma’s stairs. That’s all she talked about was cleaning the carpet, especially the stairs to the basement. Even though the carpets were vacuumed daily, some of the tracks still showed and Grandma was sure there was still a lot of dirt in the carpet and it needed a good scrubbing.

It was the dirty carpets that gave me my “Good Deed” ideas. When my Grandparents started preparing to return to Arizona, a job my grandmother does weeks in advance, the “dirty carpet” problem arose. The Friday Grandma wanted to call the cleaners to come, was the same weekend Grandpa had tickets for a Cubs game in Chicago. After much prodding Grandma gave in and off they went to the baseball game and spending the weekend there.

Since I knew the “dirty” carpets was something Grandma wanted clean. I decided this would be my good deed (and also my way of paying Grandma back for all the apple pies she bakes me). I called by Uncle John and borrowed his rug cleaner and supplies. After a quick lesson on how to use it, I headed to Grandma’s house. Little did I realize how much of a job this would be! First I picked up all her throw rugs, then vacuumed the carpets before I started to scrub. Starting in the living room I worked my way through the house and finished up down the basement steps. It took me most of the day, but it was worth it.

When the job was done the carpets looked really good. I was anxious to see what Grandma would say. I was at the house the day they came home from Chicago. Grandma came in the house through the kitchen and right away smelled “soap”. She couldn’t believe the job was done. Just seeing the look on Grandma’s face told me all my time and aching muscles were worth it.

Grandma left town without knowing who it was that did the good deed, but hopes they will show up next year when they’re ready to leave again. She doesn’t really know it was me, but I think she suspects.

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

SSSSH

I know that people say that life is too short, however, this does not apply to all. When you have people that think life never ends, it is saying that life is not as fulfilling as it should be. I believe that no one should have to go day after day hoping to die because they are unhappy with life. I am sure that is the case for the many people that commit suicide. I bet al they needed was someone who cared enough to lend a helping hand, or give an ac of kindness. This brings to mind the old people who may be feeing sad and lonely. These are the people I believe should be cared for more than anyone else. Most of these people were born back in the 1920’s or even the 1910’s, so you can just imagine what they must have gone through. All of us know how much can happen within just a couple of years. All of these elders have fascinating lives and stories to share if only people cared enough to take the time to get to know them. I believe that the elderly deserve to have a little sunshine in their lives, and I am just the person to give it to them and let them know there are people that care.

Everybody deserves a little spark in their life, but I believe that no one deserves it more than the old. There are many things a person can do to let the elderly know that we are thinking of them, but no matter how many ideas you come up with, they may not always work. For instance, one night it had just finished raining and a couple of friends and I spotted an older lady walking along the side of the road. We had driven by her once when we decided it would be nice if we could give her a lift. We turned around and pulled up to the lady to see if she wanted a ride. She was a little cautious, and declined the offer. I don’t know if a carload of teenagers disturbed her, but I know that it is the thought that counts. A few days later, I thought of an idea that would do more than leave a memory, it would leave a reminder. This idea was to make bookmarks. I absolutely loved the idea because I know that many older women and men do read in the many hours of spare time they may have. So my idea was to make bookmarks, take them to a nursing home, and very carefully place them on the door handle so that no one would see me do it. Making a bookmark leaves a lasting memory because every time they open a book and see the bookmark, they are reminded that knowing that someone cares about you.

Doing a good deed can consist of just about anything that someone can think of. I wanted to do something for the old people in nursing homes that would leave them with an everyday reminder that someone out there cares about them, even if they might not know them. I also chose to do this because I was able to get the sense of the atmosphere of a nursing home and to get a feel of what it might be like to live there. I am not really saying that I would want to live there, but I wanted to get a feel for what people who do live there do for the rest of their lives. During my one-hour visit, I learned that seniors are very nice people. They are the kind of people that would say hello to you if you happen to pass them. I also learned that a simple, inexpensive gift or the sharing of time can be one of the best and most expressive gifts to give. Yet, mainly, I learned that no matter how different people are, each one appreciates knowing that someone has thought about them.

I have to say that this is one of the best things that I have ever done for someone (actually about 30 people), and it feels great. I feel as if I might have an impact on someone’s day and the way they may think about strangers, since they received caring thoughts that could have been done by anyone. It was rather scary to place the bookmark on the doorknob for fear that someone might walk out and see me. It did work up my nerves a bit, but that is the challenge, to keep it anonymous. I am glad that I was able to do this for someone who actually needs it. It makes me wonder how many times someone might have paid for someone else’s dinner or may have done something nice for another person. It makes me think twice before getting angry with someone because that person just might be the one who helped you.

Anyone who has done an act of kindness or good deed knows that, not only is it rewarding, but it also makes the world a better place. A good deed done might result in a good deed to come. Your act of kindness might just influence someone else to do his or her own act of kindness. If everyone continued to pay it forward, then it could happen. And if it did happen, the world would be a much better place.

 

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

SSSSH

A deed is an act of kindness toward someone. Helping people has a positive effect on other people when they see that someone in dire need has been given a kind helping hand. Also, performing good deeds can boost one’s self-image, their own confidence level and just the plain satisfaction of being a kind, unselfish person. We need to recognize the good people in our society who do the everyday good deeds for others.

When I found out that a family in my church had their house burn down, I felt a great sadness for them. To help them, I and several others (teens) had the idea to start a collection jar to help acquire funds for them so they could rebuild their house. Through raising a little amount of money for them, we all hoped that it would make the family feel a little more at peace about what had happened. Even though we didn’t tell them we sent the money to them, we knew that they knew that it was our church family and the help of God which had helped them. I wanted to help them a lot for the reason that they and their children had lost everything that they owned. What was left of their house had to be torn down for there was no way to build off the former foundation. Nothing was saved from the fire except their dog, which had escaped through his dog door.

After helping raise money and sending it to them, I felt a great excitement come over me. There is no means to describe the delight the family partook in once receiving our gift. Just getting that family a little closer to having their home back, made me feel quite blissful. I knew what I had dome came from the heart so I knew what I did was in fact a good deed to carry out. When the family cam e to church the next Sunday, they assumed the money had come from someone else at the church and had thanked them for this kind gesture. After hearing their well spoken thanks to whomever gave the money, I felt like a better person and was glad that I could give the little help I could.

I have learned that in helping others, you will receive self-satisfaction. Through the power of giving, I and several others have made a few other peoples’ lives a little better and made their experience minute in their hearts for the time. While accomplishing this small feat, inspiration to others to help has occurred. When others see that we have helped, even just a small amount, they will want to do the same to help anyone out. The SSSSH is a good thing in that now people have more of an urge to help, just for their own satisfaction.

While I was helping to raise and give money to that family, I felt that it is much better to give than to receive. Finding and helping those in need is just part of the SSSSH principles. People get so involved in what they are doing, where they are going, and what to do next, they don’t think about those who could utilize that little bit of help or that small boost of confidence. I’m glad that in having to write this paper that I did something good that could be respected by many and look forward to doing more good deeds in the future.

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

Secret Society of Serendipitous Service to Hal

Good deeds are sometimes had to come by these days. Helping others who are in need is very important. Some people do good deeds for recognition, while others stay anonymous. Doing an anonymous deed is a way to feel good about yourself without making a big deal about it.

The Secret Society of Serendipitous Service to Hal is an organization that performs good deeds for random people without letting then know who did it. The reason this organization came about was because of a man name Hal Reichle, a helicopter pilot who died in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm. People knew Hal for his kindness towards others. As a way to keep Hal’s spirit around, people perform these good deeds, but instead of using their own name they replace it with Hal’s.

Today being young and in college is difficult. You are very busy and don’t have a whole lot of time for anything, especially cleaning. Someone really close to me started college this fall. He is living on his own for the first time and cleaning isn’t his specialty. Consequently, for my good deed I decided I would go to his apartment while he was at school and clean his apartment the best I could before he got home. This wouldn’t have been difficult to do if he lived in Bloomington but he lives in Indianapolis. This made my time schedule a little tighter but it worked out.

First, I had to figure out how to get into the apartment without asking him for a key. I decided to call his roommate and tell him I had a present to put in his room and asked if he would leave a key outside in the mailbox for me so I wouldn’t ruin the surprise. His roommate said that wouldn’t be a problem.

Now that I had that taken care of, I had to figure out a time schedule. He leaves for school about 1:45PM and it takes me about 2 hours to get to Indianapolis. I get out of school every day at 1:30PM, so I decided to take off right after school. I ended up getting to his apartment around 4:00PM. The key was in the mailbox as planned so I unlocked the door and went to work. I didn’t quite know what I was in for. The place was trashed. There were dishes piled in the sink, clothes all over his bedroom, and the floor needed to be vacuumed terribly.

I first started in the kitchen. I got all the dishes rinsed and started a load in the dishwasher. Then I cleaned off all the counter tops and took out the trash. When the dishes were done, I put them all away and swept the floor. My last thing to do was mop the floor and then I headed for the living room. The living room wasn’t too bad. It just needed to be vacuumed and straightened up.

Next was the bedroom. I didn’t even know where to start. After I looked around clueless for a while, I decided to start with the dirty clothes. First I put all of blue jeans in the washer. While I was waiting for that load to get done, I made the bed and vacuumed. When the jeans were done, I put them in the dryer and started a load of shirts.

The next task was his bathroom that was in his bedroom. I wiped down the sink and counter top and put things away. Then I sprayed down his shower with bleach and water and rinsed it out. I took the rugs and vacuumed them and mopped the floor.

Now all that was left was to wait on the laundry. When it was finally all done, I folded all the clothes and put them away. By this time it was a little after 8:00PM. I did a short run through of the apartment to make sure I had gotten everything. Right before I left, I wrote a little note on their message board saying, “Thank Hal.” I’m sure that really confused them but I liked it. Then I headed for home.

Doing a good deed for someone else really makes you feel good about yourself and lifts your spirits. It is important to help others, whether they are people that know you or complete strangers. The Secret Society of Serendipitous Service to Hal is a wonderful organization. Hal Reichle will forever be remembered because of these people and the good deed that they do. The important thing about good deeds is that if you receive one pass it on. The longer the chain goes, the better the world will be.

 

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

The Secret Society of Serendipitous Service to Hal

What is a friend? I define a friend as a companion you can always count on through all your trials and tribulations, no matter what situation you’re in. Having a friend like this around is truly something special because you know that whatever you need, your friend will be there for you. I met a friend like this about two years ago. I had always known Matt Nelson because he was always the funny guy at our school, and he made everybody laugh. I really didn’t get to know him though until we both started working at the school for a summer job. After that, we really got to know each other and a great friendship then blossomed soon after.

During the first summer of working at the school we were both sophomores in high school, and we were sixteen years old. At the time my sister and I were both sharing a car and unfortunately, she was older so she got to use it for her job. When Matt found out about this he generously offered to pick me up for work every morning of the summer. I really didn’t think this was a big deal until I got my own car the next summer and realized how much money gas was and how big pf pain it was to drive out of your way to pick someone up.

When I though about secretly doing a good deed for somebody, I knew I wanted to do one for Matt. I also wanted to do a good deed for his car because after work we would always make it dirty because we were in our work clothes. At first I wanted to fill his car up with gas, then I realized you need money for gas! One day after school Matt had football practice and left his keys in his car. I then took his car to my house and washed the outside, and vacuumed out the inside. I then returned his car to the school with about ten minutes to spare.

I chose to do this Matt to kind of repay, and thank him for always giving me rides. After a while I stopped asking him for rides because he would always be at my house, right on time, no matter what. He never complained, or acted like it was a big deal to do this day after day. During the summer I never really said ‘thank you” to him, so this assignment gave me the opportunity to do so.

Eventually Matt found out that I was the one who cleaned his car, and he was really happy when he saw it. I learned that doing something nice for someone makes you want to do nice things for other people also. Inside it made me feel good about myself because I never did thank him up to that point. Even though cleaning his car wasn’t a big deal, it still made both matt and I feel good about ourselves.

When I first received this assignment I honestly thought I was going to just blow it off and make something up. Then I thought about the last time I did something good for someone else, and I couldn’t think of anything. It’s funny how a deed so little can make a lot of people happy. When I first did the good deed I thought Matt would just be happy, but in the end I was also happy with myself. Doing something nice for somebody else can make you a lot happier, because you know you made somebody happy. On the whole, this assignment showed me the importance of other people, and how good it feels to make them happy. By doing good deeds you make other people happy, and you truly feel good inside about yourself.

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

Thousands of children are born in the United States every year. On a daily basis, babies are born into different families that have different backgrounds and ways of life. The place where this child calls home will shape and mold their future and determine how successful they will become in life. However, it is scary to think that many of these young children are brought into environments that are harmful, unsafe, and improper for someone to live whether they are being abandoned of just simply not receiving the basic human needs like food and shelter. It is a fact. Some children will grow-up in homes where love is not shown and encouragement is not offered.

I cannot imagine what living in a low-income family where parents neglect children would be like. I grew up in a household where food was never scarce and clothing was always provided. It is scary to believe that some babies do mot receive fresh diapers when needed and have sufficient clothing to wear everyday.

The Secret Society of Serendipitous Service to hall is a group that promotes performing good deeds to people who are often in need of a little assistance. About a month ago, I was in a Key Club meeting in my high school. I heard about a family in the community who had recently had a child and needed help purchasing diapers and clothing for their baby boy. My first thought was that it was horrible that these people had a child at a time when they were not financially stable and prepared for a lifetime investment that a child brings. However, as I thought about it more, I realized that by asking for help, the parents are creating a better life for their child.

For my SSSSH deed, I purchased diapers and a few outfits for the family in need. I have worked at my church nursery with toddlers for two years, and over this time period, I have fallen in live with kids. I decided to perform this certain deed because it makes me feel so good to know that I have done something nice to someone much younger than myself and it fulfilled my obsession with baby clothes! Through working with kids in my church, I have realized how precious toddlers can be. It is hard to believe that some families may not be able to look at their child with love and pride but instead as an investment that they cannot afford.

Simple common deeds make you feel good no matter how big or small they may be. Buying supplies for a couple who just recently gave birth to a son makes me feel like I’m doing my part to give this child a future. Although I will never meet this boy or his family, I know that I brought a smile to his parent’s faces, which could not make me feel better.

Like most teenagers, I work extremely hard for my money. Over the summer, I was working three part-time jobs so that I could have an income that would last me until next summer. Often, I have caught myself being very selfish with this money that I earned. I am usually not willing to spend it on anything that is not necessary for me. Through performing my SSSSH deed, I became a little more understanding of why someone would donate to charity or spend money on a random person of whom they do not know. I learned that every once in awhile, it is pleasant to do something nice for someone that needs assistance.

Someday I will have children of my own. I am well aware that kids are a huge investment and I hope that my husband and I will never have financial difficulties which require us to cut down expenses so much that we could not provide for our children. However, it is comforting to know that there are people who care about each and every one of us in this world. I know that if necessary, there is someone who I can turn to for help. Performing a good deed is something that makes everyone feel good and the SSSSH group is helping to keep anonymous deeds alive in this country.

 

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

In today’s society it is common to see people perform acts of kindness only if they receive recognition or benefit themselves. It is difficult to find someone performing acts of kindness for no apparent reason. I admit that I haven’t thought about this in the past. But this assignment caused me to reflect on the meaning of kindness, selflessness, and service. I now feel kindness for reward is an act without valor. It has no meaning. It makes no difference in either person’s life. What has happened to “it is better too give than to receive?” Are we placed here only for our own enjoyment? Or is there a higher purpose? Surely, Gods looks down and sees the selfishness and self-absorption of today’s society and is disappointed in our actions. The great truth to be learned from this assignment, and in God’s plan, is that giving blesses the giver as much, if not more, that the one who receives the act of kindness. By being kind to others, I gain satisfaction and self-esteem for myself. To be a better person, I only have to give of myself for the benefit of others. What a great lesson to learn!

I had a chance to perform a random act of kindness for a complete stranger recently. I’m not sure why I picked a stranger for my act. Maybe it was because I wasn’t sure that the outcome would be. Would they think my act stupid? Would they make fun of me? If so, it would be easier if it came from a stranger. Knowing I wouldn’t see them again added to my willingness to stick my neck out. It would hurt too much if I did something for someone I cared about and they reacted poorly. So, I picked a safe target.

It all started when I was at the Amoco Gas Station. I noticed an elderly man outside filling his car with gas. It was a fairly cold morning and the man did not have a jacket to keep warm. Maybe that is what made me notice him. After I paid for my gas, I again noticed the man. This time he was slowly walking toward the front door. Something about his walk made me have compassion for him. At that moment I went back to the counter and told the clerk to give five dollars to the man about to walk in the door. When I said this, the clerk gave me a blank look as if to say “What?” I again requested she give the money to the man and please not tell him who it was from. She reluctantly agreed, still bewildered by what I was doing. I thanked her, held the door open for the man and said, “How’s it going?”

I smiled and went to my car to wait for the man to come out. A few minutes later I saw the man walk out of the gas station doors with a confused smile. He was laughing mildly to himself as he got back into his car and drove away. I’m not sure what he really thought about all this. Maybe he just thought it was his lucky day. Maybe my gift made his day brighter, maybe it didn’t. I don’t know. I will never know. But I can imagine!

Did I waste my time and money to help an absolute stranger? Absolutely not! I felt if I could do this simple task to improve his day, just for a moment, then my assignment was fulfilled. I chose to do this small task rather than an extravagant one because I felt it came more from the heart to do what I did. I just wanted to show a little respect for an elderly man who may not have been shown proper respect recently. The elderly often get ignored. This is especially true by people my age. We make fun of their wrinkles, their facility, and their slow motion. But as I watched him walk to his car, he seemed to me to be a little brighter, more upright, maybe showing a little more life. I felt good for him. I had tried to put into action what I have learned from the Bible. And, in turn, that’s when I learned something myself. Feeling good for a stranger made me feel good about myself. I have found a way to make myself happier, just help someone else.

If you have never done a random act of kindness, you should! You will feel like a brand new person just from the look on the person’s face. It felt as if I gave the man everything I owned, even though I just gave him a simple five-dollar bill and a smile. There are no real words to describe the satisfaction you feel when you know you made a person smile and helped him to have a better day.

I was reminded from this experience that it is truly better to give than to receive. I don’t need worldly recognition to feel good inside. God knows my heart and wants me to watch for those in need and help whenever possible. In return, he gives me a blessing that cannot be taken away. I think the trick is learning to watch for those in need. We get so tied up around our own thoughts and actions that we do not look at others. I will try to be more aware of other’s feelings. I want to encourage instead of tease. I want to inspire instead of pointing out imperfections. I am young with few resources, but I am reminded that little things can and do make a difference. Hopefully, my act made a difference to the old man. I know it made a difference to me.

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

Everyone gives a favor to at least one person in their lifetime, but they might not even realize it. People perform good deeds all the time, and sometimes they are not always rewarded for the little things. Even if it is sharing a piece of our favorite candy, helping someone with his or her homework, or making a person smile. Those activities are done daily and no one ever gets any credit. Everyone should be rewarded for the deeds that make others feel warm, fuzzy, and good about themselves.

“Hey, you sweet young lady! How are you doing tonight?” said Vernon, a regular customer at the Culver Restaurant in Bloomington. He comes in at least twice a week with his wife. Vernon is always in high spirits when he walks through the doors and even if I am having a bad night he always gets a smile out of me. Having the experience of living for seventy-four years is unbelievable, but being able to act as if he were fifty-five is amazing. I had never seen or met Vernon until he became a customer, but I am so glad I did because I respect, admire and look up to him as though I have known him all my life. It is not every day a person can say that and truly mean it, but I can, so I decided to show him my appreciation anonymously.

Vernon and his wife ordered two Philly rib steak baskets and two dishes of the flavor of the day, Key Lime Pie. I took their order, gave them a number, and told them to sit down because we would bring it out. While they patiently waited for their food, I bought a ten-dollar gift certificate, wrote “thank you for being you” set it with their food, and walked away to let one of the other employees take the tray out to them. I then watched from a distance as he picked up the envelope and opened it.

Receiving that envelope shocked him for a moment; he did not know what to think. He looked as though he was not sure why he had earned it and then he read the little memo and smiled with happiness. He then passed it to his wife and ate a French fry. After his meal and dessert, just as they were leaving, he approached the manager who happened to be working that night and told him that he did not know who did it, but to tank whoever gave him the gift certificate. Just four days later he was back, and pulled out the certificate and cashed it in with great pride.

For me giving back to others for what they have given me, made me realize that you should not just sit back and watch other people perform good deeds, when you could be out there doing the same thing, having a great impact on a person’s life. Also, people should not take the little things for granted, because without them, life would not flow as easily. Giving Vernon that gift certificate let me give him a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. That is priceless and I would do it all over again to se his reaction that he got.

Throughout my lifetime I have had family problems, but through the years I have had people anonymously do things for me. I know how it feels to have people give to me, and they really have no idea how it feels to know that people really do care and people are here for whatever. If you do not think you do good deeds for anyone, you should think of a nice way to say thanks. You will appreciate doing it. Everybody deserves to feel good and respected in life, and there is no other way to show or do that unless other people recognize others for good deeds.

 

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

The Performance of Good

SSSSH Paper (Secret Society of Serendipitous Service to Hal)

You wake up in the morning, roll over, and see that the clock reads 7:35; you know that you need to be at school in 25 minutes, including travel time. You get dressed and stick your bread in the toaster, only to find that the toaster doesn’t work. So, you grab your coffee and hope that you will make it till lunch without starving. You get in your car and go to start it when you find out that the battery is dead. Luckily your neighbor across the street is willing to help you get the car started, so you can head to school. You get to school and with the already hectic morning, the last thing you most likely want to do is have to teach a bunch of loud middle school students. Sometimes you just want to run away and hide, but you know that you have an obligation. This is most likely a rare coincidence, for all to this to happen on the same day. However, if this were to happen, you would most likely feel like the world is falling down on you. We all have those days when we just don’t want to be social or do anything, and we might just need a little boost of encouragement.

As common as cookies are, I still think they can make someone happy. So I chose to make chocolate chip cookies and wrap them in Saran Wrap. Once they were wrapped, I took a piece of string, slipped a piece of paper on it, and tied it around the cookies. The paper was an explanation of where they cookies came from, who, and what they are for. Then I got up really early, about 6:30 in the morning, took the cookies to the middle school and placed them on the table in the teacher’s lounge.

Knowing that teachers play an important part in our education for the future, it is important that we, as students, keep them in good spirits. Middle school students tend to be pretty rowdy at times and can make life stressful for the teachers. I thought that by giving them a little encouragement, they would pass it on and look at the good things in life. I feel that it is important for a teacher to be in a good mood. If the teacher is not, then it makes it hard for the students to learn. It also makes it hard for the teachers to concentrate on what they are supposed to be teaching. I also think that this is a way of showing my appreciation, even though they don’t know who did it, because it tells them that someone out there cares about them.

Although a cookie with a note attached to it might not change someone’s mood for the day, it might make him or her smile, at least for a minute. Even if I made a difference for only one teacher, I still think my effort was worth it. I like to look at it this way; smiles are contagious, and if I get one teacher to smile for a day, I would hope that he or she could pass on the happiness. Joking around and being sneaky are a couple things I like to do, and I had to get creative to pass this one without any of the teachers knowing. So, when I got up at 6:30 in the morning and Mr. Lishka, the principal of the middle school was the only one there, that made it easy as pie. Being able to sneak by, and knowing that no one was there to know who put the cookies on the table made me feel s if I had accomplished my deed

Even though I did not get to see the reactions of the teachers, I learned that a good deed does not always have to be made known; meaning that you do not always have to be recognized for he good things you do. If you are doing a good deed for the recognition, then you are doing it for the wrong reason. I also learned that you could make someone happy just by letting them know you care.

Sometimes we try to make the best of our days, but they just don’t seem to be turning out the way we want them to. Being able to complete a deed should warm the heart of the receiver and give them a better outlook on life. This is why friends are important. Not only are your friends important, but so are all the strangers in the world. The reason I say that strangers are important is because they are human, just like you, and they might be the ones that are there to give you the little bit of encouragement when the world is a your back. Just remember that there is someone out there that cares.

 

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

It seems that whenever my brother and I are around each other we try to make the other on mad. It does not matter what we are doing, whether we are just sitting on the couch watching TV or playing basketball in the driveway. We each do things to make the other mad. Along with basketball, my brother also plays football, baseball and golf.

However, he gets into football a little more than the others. When he plays football he puts on his Minnesota Vikings uniform that came with a sad excuse for shoulder pads. He is usually outside playing football in his uniform when I get home from football practice. For a while now, he has wanted a real pair of shoulder pads. Something that will protect him better than the ones that he has.

I figured this would be a good opportunity for me to not look for an excuse to do something mean to him, rather be nice to him. I am Mr. Ward’s teacher assistant, and every day I am doing things for him that have to do with football. That includes getting the field ready for games on Friday. One of the Friday’s before the game I was getting the yard markers out of the junior football league shed (the shed by the softball field). When I walked in, all the markets were there and in front of them were these extremely small shoulder pads. I took them out of there and wore them around for the rest of the afternoon. When I got home from school that day my brother was walking outside to play football. I had the shoulder pads lying next to me in my car. I looked at them when I pulled into the driveway and thought that I could give them to him as a good deed. I waited until a school night so that he would go to bed early. On that night I went into his room, thinking he would be asleep by then, and sure enough he was. I just laid the pads on the floor in his room for him to find when he woke up the next morning. When we woke up, he did his normal morning routine. When he came downstairs, however, he not only had on his school clothes, but he had the shoulder pads on as well!

Seeing that made me feel good. That told me that he liked the shoulder pads very much. I kept hearing him ask my mom who got them for him. My mom knew it was me, but she never told. It is quite rare seeing me do something nice for my brother. Doing this made me feel real good. I could tell he was excited about the pads. Maybe now I will not be so mean to him and do more nice things for him. This makes me realize that maybe if I do nice things for my brother, or anyone that makes you mad sometimes, they might not try to make you mad for no reason anymore.

My brother still thinks that dad was the one who left the shoulder pads. He is bugging my mom so much about who left the shoulder pads that I might have to tell him that it was me-maybe then he will stop bugging me about it.

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

SSSSH

How would you feel if you spent years with no one to share your feelings with, no one to laugh or cry with? How would you like to go years without a hug? How would you feel if you had to live your life with no one that cared about you? That is how many prisoners spend their time in jail. Their family and friends shut them out of their lives the day they enter jail. I know a prisoner, Detroit, that this happened to. The simplest acts of kindness make him extremely happy. He loves to receive my phone calls and letters, but when I take time to visit him in jail he is so touched he gets tears in his eyes.

Prisoners have to pay for snacks, paper, stamps, and various other things. I sent Detroit a $15.00 money order and some of our old sports magazines. I went through our magazine basket and pulled out the five latest sports magazines. Then I wrote Detroit’s given name, Terry Jackson, and his prison system number, B32202, on top of the magazine. The prisons require all magazines to have the inmate’s name and number. I also cut our address labels on the magazines so that he won’t know they were from me. I purchased a fifteen-dollar money order from the Huck’s gas station. I wrote Terry Jackson B32202 on the money order. Next, I placed the magazines and money order in a big envelope and addressed it. Finally, I gave my mother two dollars so she would mail the package while at work.

I had a cousin that spent some time in prison. Detroit was his cellmate. He helped my cousin learn how to survive in jail. My family started writing and visiting him to show our thanks for taking care of my cousin. We have known him for about eight years. We write to him send him our sports magazines when we are done reading them. I picked sending money and magazines to Detroit because I know it will make him very happy and he doesn’t enjoy much. His family never calls or visits him. He say s no one cared what happened to him until we adopted him into our family. He doesn’t always like the food in their cafeteria, so he likes to be able to buy food for his room. He only gets a very small amount of money each month, so sending him money allows him to eat something he enjoys. I know the food in the school cafeteria can be bad, I can’t imagine what food in the prison’s cafeteria is like.

Sending the money to Detroit made me feel very good. I can just imagine his big grin when he gets the money and magazines. I feel a little sad that I haven’t taken time to visit him in several months. Taking time to think about how he feels has made me decide to have to go see him soon. Such a little bit of time and effort will give him so much joy it is definitely worth it. Fifteen dollars means hardly anything to me but makes a big difference in Detroit’s life.

I learned that making others happy makes you happy also. Helping people that are less fortunate makes you feel good about yourself. It also makes you realize how lucky you are. Helping others and not expecting anything in return gives you a happy feeling that money and recognition can’t buy.

When people are upset that things are not going well in their lives, they should take time to help someone else. This will make then look at what they do have and appreciate it more. The warm, happy feeling you get from helping others can’t be found anywhere else. Doing good deeds benefits the people that render the deeds as much as it benefits the receivers of the deed.

 

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

For a moment, think back to elementary school and receiving your first secret admirer note, watching someone admire a bouquet of flowers from “Anonymous”, leaving a messy house in the morning and coming home to a clean one are all types of “Hal Reichle” good deeds that probably have been done. Hal Reichle loved making others happy by doing deeds that helped them out one way or another. Helping people out either with money problems or chores that need to be done re helpful, even if it only is a little bit. If everyone did just one good deed for someone else, than I believe that people would be happier or more considerate of others.

All my family and friends are very special to me. One, in particular, is my first cousin, Andra. She would do anything to help someone out. I, in return, would do the same for her. This past June, Andra was proposed to by her boyfriend, Pat. They have been dating for two years and four months now. Pat is a part of the security staff at State Farm. Andra, with a degree in social work, has been discouraged in finding a job in her career field. She works part-time at Von Maur and at S.O.A.R. She was hoping to have a job before any wedding plans were made. Her goal is to find a job that deals with helping people that have financial, relationship, alcohol, or depression problems. Before getting engaged, she wanted to have that job to have the extra income to help with the wedding plans. Andra and Pat are like just about every new couple that is starting off their life, money is a needy issue. I decided that it would be an excellent idea to give some money to Andra and Pat to help them out with anything they needed.

To do this special deed for my loving cousin and her soon-to-be husband, I enclosed one hundred and fifty dollars, a small anonymous letter, and the article about SSSSH in an envelope. I then placed this envelope in a bag and put it in her porch. The money I gave was money I made from Girl Scout Camp this summer. The letter I wrote said that she and Pat should use this money to help with their financial needs with the wedding or anything else they needed to start off their new life together. I also enclosed the article about SSSSH because I felt that the article was very interesting. One other thing that ties the article in with my cousin is that the Hal Reichle was in Operation Desert Storm, the same battle that my cousin Tom, Andra’s brother, was also part of. I also feel that this will impact her a great deal, not only by the money but also the fact that Hal Reichle was a part of the same battle as Tom.

After sending this letter and money to my cousin I feel anxious about what her reaction will be. I wish that I could see her face when she reads this letter. I am excited and almost relieved that she will be so happy and appreciative of this surprise. When I was a young girl, receiving presents was the best. As I have grown older, I feel that giving presents is more exciting than receiving them. It is very exciting to see someone open a gift from you that you know they really wanted and loved. I have learned that you do not always have to give presents to someone and have them know it is from you. People who receive anonymous gestures must feel a special warmth and happiness inside. It is just as exciting to give someone something that they need without their knowing who did it.

When a young kid helps an elderly lady carry her groceries, a stranger opens a door for another person who has his hands full, a teenager lets someone else back out first in a parking lot, or being kind, can be the nicest thing that anyone can do. Little things are what makes more smiles happen. To know that someone cares about another in a way that they would offer something of theirs to help out another without them knowing, is something special. Hal Reichle was a very special man, as I have read. Now, I, too, have kept his memory alive and made my cousin’s day a little brighter.

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

Have you ever had your day made by something someone did for you anonymously? If so, it probably made you feel very good and made you really feel as if someone cares about you. Well, I personally have never had someone do something for me, anonymously, but I have done an anonymous good deed for someone. When I first got this assignment I could not think of something to do, then I realized I don’t need to come up with something to do if it is a good deed that I am to do then it should just come to me when it is time. And to my surprise it happened, it came to me without any effort on my part all it took was a little listening to others.

One day I was on my way to work. I thought work was going to be the same as always, but when I got there; one of my co-workers seemed to be very upset about something. I sat down and I asked her what was wrong. She started to tell me how this year has been the worst for her so far. She then told me as she started to cry that her parents were getting a divorce after she said that, I tried to comfort her by saying everything would be ok, but then she started to tell me about everything else that has gone wrong or her lately. She told me she wrecked her car and she had to pay the whole amount to get it fixed since she had only liability, and her grandmother had just passed away.

After we got done talking, I went to work. As I was working, it came to me I should do something for her to make her day better. I put a lot of thought into it, I thought about working hours for her so she wouldn’t have to work everyday, but then I remembered she needs the money for her car. Then it dawned on me I could send her flowers at work that should cheer her up a little. I knew she was working the next day so I called and ordered the flowers to be sent to work.

The day she received the flowers I did not work, so I didn’t get to see her reaction when she received the flowers, but I did work the next day. When I got to work the first thing she told me was someone sent her flowers, and of course I played it off as if I didn’t know anything about it. I asked her who they were from and she said she thought they were sent by a friend from school. She couldn’t stop telling me about how happy the flowers made her and how much they brightened her day.

From doing my anonymous good deed I learned doing something as simple as sending flowers to someone can really make a difference in their day and attitude. I also learned that you shouldn’t always take credit for everything you do because you can feel as good about yourself just knowing you made someone’s day better. Doing this also showed me that a little bit of kindness can go a long way.

To conclude, I learned a lot from doing an anonymous good deed overall I learned it is better to give than to receive, and in doing something like an anonymous good deed, you can learn a lot not only about yourself but also about the person you chose to help. I think I will start to do a lot more for other people now that I know the satisfaction it can bring to me.

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” That is a famous quote from Tennessee William’s play, A Streetcar Named Desire. Nowadays, strangers rarely take the time to give a passerby the time of day. That is why the Secret Society of Serendipitous Service to Hal started on the belief that strangers can still do good deeds and that people can depend on strangers. I decided to try an act that might be something the SSSSH might do. I did not wash cars or paint garages. Instead, I decided to help a teacher by washing her dry-erase boards.

Although not thought of as important, dry-erase boards are important to this teacher as they aid in her teaching. The students, such as I, write down questions the teacher might ask, as well as the answers. When these dry-erase boards started to become dry and discolored, students had a tough time writing on them, as well as seeing what they wrote since the colors sometimes smeared or got lost in the stains. Furthermore, stained boards, when stored in an open area, are an eyesore. They also make the rest of the room look messy. When the students started to complain about this problem, I decided it was time I stepped up to the plate and perform a good deed.

As a teacher, one must normally be at the school before the students arrive, and must normally stay after until the students are gone. This was no different for my teacher. She normally came in between 7:00 and 7:15 A.M. She normally left between 3:30 and 4:30 P.M. I did not want to take the boards out before school in case she needed them that day for class. After school was the only option I had, but when would I get them out? Since I normally work right after school every single day, I leave before she leaves. I had to find a day when I would be at school later than she was. I found my window of opportunity on the day of my chorus concert. The concert was not until 7:30P.M. We would be done by 8:00 P.M. After we performed, I snuck back to her room and took all of the dry-erase boards. I put them in my trunk and then took them home for a bath.

Scrub-a-dub-dub, twenty-four boards had to be done. I started a the boards at nine that night. It was a slow process. I had to wash, rinse, and repeat, always repeating for that

Nice shiny glow. As I washed, I tried my hardest to make the white again, but some boards were just too stained. I made as many boards white as I could. The cleaning seemed to take forever, one board right after the other. Finally, at about 10 o’clock, I finished washing the boards. I felt as if I had done a good job, that it was worth my time. I also felt great knowing I had helped one of my favorite teachers.

The next day came. I placed her boards in her room before seven that morning. When I got to her class, there on her board was the message I had left her.

“Mrs.__________,

Someone has performed a good deed for you. They have
made your dry-erase boards awesomely clean.

Yours truly,

SSSSH ”

I could not believe my eyes. She had either not noticed the message or she was really glad someone had finally washed her boards. She never really said anything about it, but I hope she liked the gesture. I was just glad to do something nice. I then realized that doing a good deed should not be something you force yourself to do, but something that you just naturally do. Also, you should never do something just to earn praise. You should do it because you want to or it is right.

Unfortunately, my good deed was not anything fantastic. My task was nothing to me, as I like to give. “It is in giving that we receive,” says the Prayer to St. Francis of Assisi. The dry-erase boards just needed to be cleaned. In this case, I gave my time and effort, and in return, people will hopefully learn better and get good grades. If everyone could realize that it is better to give than to receive, we might have more good deeds and more peace on Earth.

 

October 16, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

As Tim and I drove up to a mouthwatering atmosphere, neither of us could wait to get inside and fill our hungry stomachs with great tasting food. Once inside a waiter greeted us and took us to a two-seater table. When we sat, we looked at the many options to fill our hungry stomachs with. As we talked about what we were going to eat, our waiter came and asked us if we were ready to order. When we ordered, Tim got the usual strawberry lemonade and fajita wraps for his dinner, I got the delicious country fried steak meal with a Sprite.

After our waiter left to go and give the cooks in the kitchen our ticket, Tim and I sat at our table and talked. As we were talking, I just happened to look to my left, I saw an older man sitting by himself. He looked like a nice man, but I could not think of why he was by himself. Many thoughts ran through my mind, but not one could be pin pointed. It seemed a bit odd, because he was sitting in a booth that could hold about four people.

He sat there quietly eating his meal, and drinking his coffee. The only person that bothered him with his waiter, but that was only to ask if he wanted another refill on his drink. Our meal finally came, and the only thing that came to mind, was to dig in and start eating as soon as possible. When I looked up, I couldn’t think about how fast I wanted to scarf down my meal. I could only think about how lonely the guy sitting only a couple of feet away looked. I told Tim to look to his right and see if the guy had a ring on his finger, but Tim couldn’t make out if he had one on or not.

As Tim and I enjoyed our dinner and the great conversation that we kept up the whole night, I would periodically look over my shoulder and see if anyone had accompanied the older man yet, but nobody had filled the lonely empty space. When we were done with our dinner, our waiter came and asked if we wanted dessert. We told her no, but I told her to take my five dollars and get the lonely gentleman beside us anything he wanted for dessert. We paid our ticket and got up to leave, when I heard our waiter talking to the man, asking him if he wanted any dessert. He told her no, but she told him that dessert was already paid for by the couple that was sitting next to him. I didn’t hear anything else, because we were out the doors heading towards Tim’s truck.

Oddly Tim was parked right outside the window where he was sitting. We could see him through the window along with the waiter. I saw the waiter pointing outside to us, so I kept looking. The guy turned his head to the right and slowly put his right hand up to say thank you. When I saw that, I really wanted to cry, because it got to me that I did something really nice for some total stranger that might have brightened his day a little more.

I raised my right hand to say welcome and then got in the truck. Tim asked what I raised my hand for and I told him that the guy just waved to say thank you. Tim got into the truck and told me that he thought that it was really nice that I did that for someone that I didn’t even know. As I sat there, I felt really good about myself and what I had done. Not only did I go home happy, but a complete stranger went home happier than he was when he came to the restaurant.

October 16, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

Mixing buckets of feed. Filling water troughs. Checking calves. These are not things that I usually do in my everyday routine, but one day last week I decided to do these things as a favor for a friend. My boyfriend Brock lives on a cattle farm, and he has to do these chores twice a day, everyday. He had other commitments during chore time last Friday, and he was worried about the cattle getting fed on time. After hearing how uncomfortable he was about the situation, and since I didn’t have school that day, I decided to solve the problem for him.

Without Brock knowing, I drove to his farm and did his chores. I began in the feed shed where I sat out over twenty buckets of feed. I mixed some of the buckets with oats and corn. Others were mixed with corn, oats, and pellets. The rest were filled with regular feed. Once they had been filled, I put half of them into the back of the six wheeler and drove to the feedlots. I delivered them to the front lot, middle lot and south shed. Once the cows saw the buckets, they hurried over to the feed pans. After making sure that these cows were fed, I went back to the feed shed to retrieve the other half of the buckets. I then went to the bull barn where I was greeted by more hungry cows. Once these cows were fed, I got the hose and filled water troughs at all the lots and barns. The last chore I did was checked calves. I walked through all of the barns and lots, making sure al calves were accounted for and healthy. After seeing that all of them were there and healthy, Brock’s chores were finally complete. I put everything back where it belonged and left before he got there and discovered what I had done.

After doing all of these tasks, I felt tired but really glad that I had decided to help Brock. I hoped that I had done everything correctly, and did not forget anything. I was anxious to see his reaction. I never would have thought that doing a favor for someone else could make me feel so good. I am grateful that I don’t have to do these chores everyday, and now that I have actually done his chores, I have empathy for him. I also learned that doing a favor for others anonymously, is something that I should do more often, because not only does it help them, it helps me.

Upon receiving this assignment, I had no idea what I was going to do for my good deed. I saw this as just another dumb paper to write. But this turned out to be a really good task. After spending time with Brock at the farm, and seeing how much the cattle really meant to him, it became obvious what my good deed would be. Doing his chores on the farm wasn’t the easiest, or most fun thing that I have done, but it made a difference to him, and made me a better person.

 

October 16, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

I won’t lie and pretend that I don’t absolutely hate doing work and chores for my parents. In fact, I hate chores and “helping out around the house” so much I avoid it whenever I can and complain to no end whenever I can’t. I am not quite sure why it bothers me so much. I have no problem working for other people or causes, but something about “helping out around the house” feels like cruel and unusual punishment. In my mind, there is nothing worse than to be trying to relax at home and have one of my parents come up to me and tell me they need my help with something. That something is never fun and is most usually mind-numbingly boring. Aside from that, I do everything in my power to delay the inevitable and every job I do seems to take forever because of that delaying.

The above stated reasons are why my good deed was such a big deal to me. As I was sitting at home alone one night, mulling over my entertainment options for the next couple of hours, I walked in to the kitchen for a snack. There, on the counter to my left, was a pile of dishes that had been sitting there for the past few days. On any normal day I would have walked straight past the dishes thinking about them only long enough to hope it would be someone that got stuck washing them. On that day, however, I stopped and looked at the pile, and for whatever strange reason, contemplated washing them myself. This was a very awkward feeling to actually have the urge to do something useful and “help out around the house.” Suddenly I found myself having to make a choice, go to the basement and play NCAA College Football 2004 on the Play Station 2 or stay upstairs and wash the dishes. The next five minutes consisted of internal debate and struggle, my normal self wanting to get out of the kitchen ad to the PS2 as soon as possible while its rarely seen counterpart was urged to attack the dishes on the counter.

At the end of the debate, the dishes won out against overwhelming odds. It was the upset of the century. To this day I cannot say for sure what it was that made me voluntarily “help out around the house.” Was it divine intervention? Or perhaps a subconscious desire to contribute? I like to think it was much simpler than all that. It was nothing more than the knowledge that if my parents came home and, after 4 hours, nothing in the house was any cleaner I would regret not doing the dishes. The world will never know.

While the reason will be forever clouded in shadow and mystery, the feeling of al job well done at the end of the ordeal was a good one. Neither of my parents ever noticed that I had done, dried, and put away the dishes, but it didn’t take away from the feeling. I never felt the need to tell them what I had done either. It just never seemed necessary and looking back I think that bragging about it would have only taken away from the feel of accomplishment and pride. Dishwashing is definitely not the hardest or most time consuming chore to be done, but it does need to be done. And at the end of the hour it took to complete the job I was certainly proud.

There are not volumes of knowledge to be gained from washing dishes and not telling anyone about it, but I can say that it was somewhat of a learning experience. It made me step into the shoes of my parents if even for just an hour. What finally won the argument for doing the dishes was one simple thought. “How nice would it be to come home from a night out and not have to worry about doing the dishes?” So from a moral standpoint, I learned a lot about the Golden Rule and hope that the knowledge will stay with me for quite a while.

This story gives me more confidence in the human race as a whole. That may sound absurd since all I did was wash dishes for an hour, but it’s the truth. If a person who hates “helping out around the house” can one night just be inspired to complete such a menial task, then maybe there is hope yet for people to start helping each other. I did not enjoy doing the dishes and I still walk by dishes I see on the counter without a second thought, but just the fact that I, of all people, voluntarily did housework leads me to believe that people can suck it up and help each other out even if they hate the task that needs doing.

October 16, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

Grandparents are some of the greatest people we will ever have in our lives. Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away about four years ago. Grandma was so lost; she didn’t know what to do. She needed comfort and support, so she turned to her neighbor, Betty. Grandma and Betty have been friends for a long time. They became closer friends after my grandfather’s passing and sitting out in the grass and talking a lot.

Over the past four years, Betty’s health has not been very good. One of her problems is a disorder that has changed her life forever. She falls asleep while driving, which, of course, is very dangerous. One night as Betty was coming home, she had a wreck. She just slid off the road a little, but it scared her

Since Betty’s husband also passed a while ago, she didn’t have anyone that could help at home. Consequently, she stays with her daughter’s family a lot. They help take care of her and watch out for her. Unfortunately, Betty cannot drive at all now.

Every now and again she comes to check on her house; basically to make sure it’s the same way she left it. It makes me sad to see that she can’t do much. The other day whole I was mowing my grandma’s yard, I decided to mow Betty’s too. As I worked I thought about how much things have changed for me over the past four months

When I first moved to my grandma’s house I hated it. She wouldn’t let me do anything if it didn’t involve school or work. But when I was mowing Betty’s yard, it made me glow. I knew I was helping her out just doing something little. It made me feel really good, so good I wanted to tell her it was I, but I didn’t. Now I don’t think it’s that bad living with my grandma. In fat, I like it here now.

From this experience, I have learned that the little things count a whole lot. They can mean so much to someone who is disabled. Betty is such a nice person to talk to; I just wish I could do more to help her out. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make someone happy. You know what they say; money is the root to all evil.

As a conclusion to my paper, I would like to say that I enjoyed doing this assignment. It was very fun to do something for someone and them not even know who it is. Everyone could use a little help. Remember to treat others how you want to be treated.

October 16, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

Many people take for granted their possessions and what many believe to be every day necessities. I hear people often complain about the size of their house, their type of car, or how much money they make. It is not common that one takes time out of his or her day to think about how fortunate he or she is. Many of my friends and family have been blessed with good fortune. However, there is one in particular that I believe could use a little help. Helping others out could really make a difference if this occurred more frequently. A group of people made The Secret Society of Serendipitous Service to Hal for their friend after he passed away. Hal was known as a good guy. He helped everyone in need. For that reason, when he died they wanted his good deeds and caring lifestyle to continue even though he was unable to. My English class’s teacher wanted us to experience the joy of giving anonymously, so she had us join this secret society.

Trying to think of a good deed that would mean a lot to someone was the hardest part of this assignment. I racked my brain for a few weeks throwing away every idea that was not extraordinary. I finally thought of the perfect good deed. Every day that I would go to work I paid attention to my friend, Laura. She is nineteen years old, just out of her schooling to become a facialist. At the time she was five months pregnant with little money to support her child. She does not make much at work yet because she is new and does not have an established clientele. Her boyfriend does not make very much money either with his Chinese restaurant delivery job. Out of all of the people that I know, she was the person that needed an act of kindness more than anyone. She would truly appreciate it.

I decided to give Laura a fifty-dollar gift certificate to Toys-R-Us so that she would be able to buys toys and clothes for her new baby. I went to work with the gift certificate in an envelope marked “Laura.” I placed it in her facial room in a spot that she was sure to see it. She had already left work for the night so she would find it the next morning when she went back in. I was sure she would figure out that it was me who gave her the gift certificate since I was the last one to leave work the night that I gave her the gift certificate. Sure enough, the next day she questioned me to se if I knew who had placed it in her room. Being the horrible liar that I am, my friend, Dustin, had to save me from the interrogation. He answered all of the questions for me. If she had not been so excited about the gift, she would have seen that I was avoiding her questions and lying whenever I happened to answer one. However, she never caught me.

After I performed this good deed, I felt higher than a kite. I felt better doing this good deed than I ever have doing good deeds when the person knows who I am. The reason that it gave me such a good feeling was because of the fact that it was unselfish. I was able to know Laura’s true feelings about the gift. I knew that she genuinely appreciated it. If she had that I gave the gift certificate to her, she would have said thanks and acted appreciative, but I would not have truly known how much it meant to her.

This assignment has taught me a lesson that some people go their entire life without figuring out. I truly have learned and felt the gift of the saying “it is better to give than to receive.” I know the joys of giving to someone that is truly in need of help. I did not even get a thank you, and, surprisingly enough, it felt better giving this present than any other gift I have ever given. I saw how grateful Laura honestly was. There was no fakeness to her thankfulness. It made me so warmhearted to know that I helped a friend out. I also now appreciate all of my possessions more because I see that I can be worse off.

Many people’s biggest flaw is that they do appreciate what they have as much as they should. They are too focused on having a bigger house or a better car. If people looked to try to see the less fortunate, they would see how grateful they should be. If more people paid attention to the people that are worse off than they are, they would want to do good deeds on a regular basis. Many would perform their acts of kindness anonymously because of the indescribable feeling that is gained from it. It makes me wonder how different the world would be if everyone was more like Hal.

 

October 16, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

Have you ever seen someone having a bad day? Everyone has seen someone, maybe a total stranger. Have you ever wondered if there was anything you can do to make them feel better? Doing a good deed by sending them flowers or helping them pay for something, or even leaving an extra tip just because, is something that will brighten their day.

The good deed I chose to do was to send flowers to my sister, Steph, who lives in Champaign, just to tell her thanks for everything. I didn’t sign my name to the card, but she knew it was from me. My sister is in her third year at the University of Illinois, she is a Kinesiology major. I don’t really know a lot about that field but I do know it takes up a lot of time and is difficult. Kinesology is a part of physical therapy, and my sister wants to go to medical school to finish it. I decided to send her flowers because my sister is working her way through college. She works two jobs and has to study for all her classes. Which doesn’t leave her much time to go out and have fun. But somehow she manages to do all that and keep her grades up.

My sister has been like my second mother. When my mom couldn’t help me with homework, my sister was always there to help. Even now that she is forty-five minutes away, she still helps me. No matter how busy she was she would always stop to help me. When we were younger all we would do was fight constantly, but now she would do anything for me and I would do anything for her. She always puts other people in front of herself; I admire that a lot about her. This is my senior year, which my sister makes time to come watch all my activities because they are my last. This deed had come at a really good time because my sister had just quit one of her jobs and was looking for another, plus she also had a couple papers due for her classes, which was stressing her out. When she called to say thanks and to talk, she told me that doing that had made her feel better.

I chose my sister for this deed because she is always there for me no matter what. I admire her because she can work her way through college, keep her grades up and still have time to help others. I wanted to find a way to tell her thanks and I appreciate all her hard work. I just wanted to let her know that she is important to me and how grateful I am to have her as my sister.

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

Have you ever wanted to make somebody’s day by performing a good deed without their knowing? You would be surprised by how much you could do for a person by helping them out a little. It doesn’t have to be anything big. It could be anything from leaving a stressed waitress an extra tip, or helping out a busy friend with their chores. It is not what you do for that person; it is the thought of doing it that counts. Performing a good deed should not only leave the recipient feeling good; it should also make you feel good about yourself knowing how much that person appreciates your thoughtfulness.

For my good deed I sent flowers to my grandmother. I went to Linda’s Silks and Flowers and picked out a very festive fall arrangement, thinking of my grandmother’s love for fall. Just Because was written on the card and Linda delivered the arrangement. My grandmother is the person whom I look up to and admire the most. She has always been there for me and has been my shoulder to lean on. She has given so much to me and I knew sending her flowers would show how much she means to me and thank her for everything. My grandmother works very hard in the field and I know this time of year is very stressful and demanding. Sending her flowers I knew would brighten her day and hopefully make the rest of the week bright and cheerful.

The feeling of performing the deed was the best part of the experience. I felt very good about being able to do something good for somebody without her knowing. Being able to perform an act of kindness is very important to me. I was able to put someone else’s feelings and needs in front of my own. Just knowing how my grandmother reacted makes me smile, because I’m sure as soon as she got the flowers her face lit up with a smile and her heart was filled with warmth. I wish that I had been there to see her expressions, but being able to imagine it is good enough for me. Being able to make my grandma happy is an indescribable feeling that lives inside my heart. Sending flowers doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but to me it means a great deal.

I learned many important things from this experience. I learned that it is more about giving than receiving. I learned that being able to do something good for someone could change someone’s day, or even change part of his or her life. I learned that not every person in this world is the same and that everybody needs different things. Being able to do those things for other people is very important to me. I also learned that doing something little for someone, could amount to something big for him or her. If everyone did something nice for someone, our world would have a more cheerful environment and we would be more thankful for what we have.

To conclude, doing a good deed for someone is a great feeling, even if it is only sending flowers to that person; it is the thought of giving that really counts. Being able to offer help and kindness to others is very important in our society today. Today people are more worried about receiving gifts rather than giving to others. I want to be able to make people smile and be happy. Making someone’s day can change your outlook on life. Writing this paper I learned a lot about the concept of life and how we should treat others. I believe everyone in this world should have to perform a good deed, and write about how it made him or her feel after they performed it.

October 17, 2003
SSSSH Writing Assignment

Almost everyone in the world has done a good deed for someone else. Most people think that they deserve recognition for it. I, on the other hand, learned from this assignment that I could do a good deed for someone and still feel excellent about myself for doing a good deed without recognition. The good deed I did was buying someone else’s pictures for them.

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