Dear Readers,

Do you know what really amazes me? There are some individuals who, no matter their circumstances, just seem to find ways of giving and doing kindness for others.

When we were commissioning a moving company to transport our belongings to our new home one state over, the owner came over to evaluate and provide a quote. At that time, he told me some relevant information about packing. He also shared with me the number of a woman in our community who volunteers to help pack up people’s kitchens.

The woman, Lonny, has become an expert on packing up dishes, fragile glassware and all things kitchen-related. “She is retired and has free time,” he explained, “and she does an amazing job. I have never had anything in her boxes break on me.”

Lonny does this without charging, as her personal chesed, act of kindness. And what a kindness it is! Imagine the help she provides to frazzled mothers of young children who really can use the extra hand during such a stressful time.

I look around, and I am astounded to see so many other nondescript people who have found ways to use their time, talents or resources to help others and spread kindness.

A few blocks from my home, a family set up a small tent in their front yard with a table inside, a few chairs and a case of cold water bottles. A sign above the bottles encourages people who are walking to shul on Shabbat in the heat of the summer to rest and take a drink (of course, free of charge). Another home on a busy street just set up a bench on their lawn for those who need to relax for a few moments.

There is a classified section in our local newsletter offering free rentals of a variety of items—from colored tablecloths for special occasions to wheelchairs for elderly visitors. There are people who donate an hour a week to visit the sick or homebound, or who organize used clothes for recycling. Some people dedicate their acts of kindness or free rentals in the merit of a member of their family—sometimes, a young child, who sadly passed away.

Most of them don’t have extra financial means. Some are in challenging situations themselves, but rather than wallow in their own misery, they have found a way to reach out and give to others. And by giving, they, too, feel happier.

No matter our circumstances, no matter how rich or poor we may be, no matter how talented or gifted we are, we each have something to give and share. It could be a smile, a word of wisdom—packing someone’s dishes—or using something extra in our home to share and spread kindness.

Is there something that you would like to do to spread kindness?

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW