This is part of a series highlighting the random acts of kindness performed by student Blueberry Ambassadors as part of an initiative started by Flint businessman and philanthropist Phil Shaltz.
After the creation of a Blueberry Ambassador program last year, Shaltz and The Flint Journal are partnering again — this time with an estimated 400 ambassadors at schools around the county.
Open to students in fourth through 12th grades, participants are asked to perform at least two acts of kindness and are given Blueberry cards asking the recipients of that kindness to pay it forward. Students are then asked to write about their acts of kindness.
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BURTON, MI – The Blueberry Ambassador program helped several Bendle High School students take a step back and ask how they could help others.
“As high school students, they can easily get caught up in their own lives,” teacher Gina DeSimone said. “These students take some time out of their lives to pause and reflect on what they can do to help others.”
Read their stories below:
Card No. 1110
I mowed a lawn of a client in my lawn-mowing business (she has been a loyal customer for 2-and-a-half years) for free. She has been going through a tough time lately.
It felt good because it was helping a friend out when they needed a little boost.
Card No. 1763
I was in the grocery store the other day, looking at produce. There was a gentleman next to me in a wheelchair. When I looked over at him, he was struggling with one of the small bags you put your produce into. I asked if he would like some help, he said, “Yes, thank you.”
Once he gave it to me, I struggled with getting it open … those bags are terrible to open sometimes. I said, “How many people does it take to open one of these bags?”
We both laughed. By that time, someone who was with him came over and said thank you. Just to see the smile on his face was amazing. It wasn’t much, but it made me smile.
Jeffery P. Maddox
Card No. 1732
Today I saw my neighbor, Ellen; she came over to talk to me and told me about her cat. Her cat had passed away during the night. Ellen had no one to help her bury her cat.
I offered to dig a hole for her cat. I went outside with her and started digging the hole and she looked upset. She wanted to pay me but I told her no, keep the money. That day for me felt amazing because I helped out my neighbor in a time she needed someone’s help. It makes me feel like I made her day by helping her with her cat.
Card No. 1741
My aunt just lost her husband and I decided to go over there and rake her leaves for her. Usually, my aunt and uncle rake the leaves together but she’s going through a hard time knowing that he is gone.
I figured I would help her out the best that I could. It makes me feel good knowing that I can brighten her day and help her around the yard. I’m sure she is blessed to have me there for her when needed most.
My name is Kayla Kimball and I go to Bendle High School. I love my school and everyone in it, that’s why I was so eager to be a part of the Blueberries group.
I got so excited when my teacher told us about this wonderful activity I immediately started thinking of things I could do. But nothing seemed right, my ideas where all over the place. I wanted to do something big but not too big, big enough to leave an impact but just small enough to not seem like I planned it so well.
I was too busy thinking away of all the things I could do when the perfect opportunity hit me.
My friend Austin loves plants and he intends on going to college to study and work with plants. So Austin was looking worried and upset about something, so I asked him what was wrong. Austin told me that he really needed help in our school’s green house and that no one was willing to help him. I told him not to worry, that I would help with whatever he needed.
Austin got so excited he started telling me all of his ideas of what to plant and where to plant it, all kinds of stuff. Later on that day after school, Austin and I started working in the greenhouse and Austin needed more help than what I thought.
There was dirt everywhere, and the broom he had was not doing the job it was supposed to. Austin also only had two types of plants. To get to the point, Austin really needed some gardening supplies.
Unknown to Austin, after we left the greenhouse I went to the store and picked him up a few things. During the time I was picking out supplies it not once occurred to me that I was doing this for the Blueberries, I was doing it because my friend was so passionate about getting the greenhouse up and running and I wanted to help him. The next day before school, I left all of the supplies in the greenhouse so it would be a surprise when Austin walked in after school, and it was. I wish that I had got a picture of his face when he saw what I got him.
And the awesome thing is that all I got him was a new broom, a lot of different types of seeds and a few pots. I felt so good inside that I had made someone this happy. The feeling is almost indescribable — that’s how amazing it feels. Every time I tell this story I feel so warm inside and I can’t wait to tell it to more people, it just puts a big smile on my face. I want to do more acts of kindness; I want to put smiles on other people’s faces. That is my new goal in life.
The picture that I have has both me and Austin holding two of the pots that I gave him and the plants that are growing so well. Now unfortunately the picture cuts off the broom that Austin is leaning on but his smile makes up for it. The Blueberry cards number that I passed on to Austin was No. 1744.
Austin has already passed the card on to someone else.
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