Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Mensch of Malden Mills

We've heard the Enrons of the world file for bankruptcy. Massachussets based Malden Mills did the same -- but for entirely different reasons. In 1995, when the Malden Mills caught fire, the CEO and owner of the family run business decided to continue to pay his thousands of idled workers for a full six months! It was a decision that ended up bankrupting the three generation old company, but Aaron Feuerstein, the CEO and owner, says: "Maybe on paper our company is worthless to Wall Street, but I can tell you it's worth more." Watch this inspiring video as Aaron shares his rationale for making the ethical choice.

Would You Help A Little Lost Robot?

In New York, we are very occupied with getting from one place to another. On the way, imagine you encounter a tiny, cardboard skinned robot making its own way down the streets of New York City, asking for help. Would you help this lost little robot?

Tweenbots are human-dependent robots that navigate the city with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal.

Given their extreme vulnerability and the possibility that no one would be interested in helping a lost little robot, I initially conceived the Tweenbots as disposable creatures which were more likely to struggle and die in the city than to reach their destination. I set out on the first test with a video camera (see link to video below) hidden in my purse and walked far enough away that I would not be observed.

The results were unexpected.

Over the course of the following months, throughout numerous missions, the Tweenbots were successful in rolling from their start point to their far-away destination assisted only by strangers. Every time the robot got caught under a park bench, ground futilely against a curb, or became trapped in a pothole, some passerby would always rescue it and send it toward its goal. Never once was a Tweenbot lost or damaged. One man even turned the robot back in the direction from which it had just come, saying out loud to the Tweenbot, "You can’t go that way, it’s toward the road.”

The Tweenbot’s unexpected presence in the city created an unfolding narrative that spoke to the power of a simple technological object to create a complex network powered by human intelligence and asynchronous interactions. But of more interest to me was the fact that this ad-hoc crowdsourcing was driven primarily by human empathy for an anthropomorphized object. The journey the Tweenbots take each time they are released in the city becomes a story of people's willingness to engage with a creature that mirrors human characteristics of vulnerability, of being lost, and of having intention without the means of achieving its goal alone.

--posted by hiteshee on May 17, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sport's Genuine Good Guys

GOOD deeds on the sports field are rare these days. Even so, another one emerged last weekend when an old friend of mine, Ian Chadband of the Daily Telegraph, told the splendid tale of the unwanted Olympic silver medal from the men's 200 metres at last year's Olympic Games in Beijing.The medal was won by the 2004 champion, the American Shawn Crawford, who had crossed the line in fourth place only to benefit from the disqualification of two of the three men in front of him.
Usain Bolt won the race in a world record time but the third place finisher Wallace Spearmon of the United States was the first to be disqualified for running out of his lane.
In turn, the Americans appealed against the second place finisher Churandy Martina of the Netherlands Antilles who had committed the same transgression. He too was thrown out.
But Crawford found it all rather unseemly. And eight days later on the eve of the Weltklasse meeting in Zurich, Martina received an unusual present.
Delivered to the reception of his hotel in a spike bag was a red case and a note which read: "Churandy, I know this can't replace the moment, but I want you to have this because I believe it's rightfully yours – Shawn Crawford".
TIN.adverts.adWriteDC('article-detail-impact-tile', '452x118');

Inside the case was the Olympic silver medal.
It's a deed that makes my top ten sporting gestures. Here, in no particular order, are the other nine.
The 1969 Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale had not been played in the best of spirits. The home side had been largely responsible with the non-playing captain of the GB&I squad, Eric Brown, instructing his players not to help look for their opponents' balls in the rough.
But after three days of often bitter competition, the outcome hinged on two putts on the final green of the final singles match involving Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin. First, the American holed his from four feet leaving Jacklin to make his from roughly half the distance to halve the match and ensure the first tie in Ryder Cup history.

Nicklaus conceded the putt and his words to Jacklin entered golfing folklore: "I didn't think you were going to miss that putt but I didn't want to give you the opportunity."
Football had never seen anything like it. August 2007, the City Ground, and the Carling Cup re-match between Forest and Leicester City. The first game had been abandoned when the Foxes' Ireland international Clive Clarke suffered a heart attack at half-time.
Clarke had to be revived twice by paramedics using a defibrillator after his heart stopped and efforts to use mouth-to-mouth resuscitation had failed. Forest were leading 1-0 at the time but swiftly agreed to the game's abandonment. Former Forest boss Gary Megson, then manager at City, earned plaudits with his gesture at the start of the second game.
Leicester players stood aside allowing Forest goalkeeper Paul Smith to take the ball from the kick-off and score allowing Forest to regain the advantage that they had when the original game was abandoned.
Australian athlete John Landy may have narrowly missed out on becoming the first sub four-minute mile but he will be remembered as the finest gentleman to have run the distance.
Two years after Roger Bannister's feat in Oxford, Landy was targeting an improvement of the world record at the 1956 Australian championships. The race was being led by another great distance runner, Ron Clarke, when he stumbled and fell.
As the rest of the field streamed past, Landy stopped, jogged back, and helped his rival back to his feet. Landy then got himself back into the race and, remarkably, won it. He missed the world record by just six seconds
Former West Ham footballer Paolo di Canio has political leanings that may not be to everyone's taste but his sense of fair play is one that virtually every current day Premier League player would do well to adopt.
It was December 2000 and the league game against Everton was drifting towards a 1-1 draw. But then, with moments left, the ball was swung in from the right and Di Canio was presented with an empty net into which it would have been a formality to head the winner.
Instead, having spotted the Everton goalkeeper Paul Gerrard lying injured on the ground, he caught it instead.
The 2003 Tour de France had reached a crucial point. It was the final climb to Luz-Ardiden in the Pyrenees and the two main protagonists, Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich, were clear of the peleton and scrapping for the yellow jersey.
Then Armstrong was clipped by a spectator and fell. Instead of kicking on up the climb, Ullrich stopped riding and waited for the American to remount. And once he was back on terms, the pair resumed racing again with Armstrong going on to take the stage and establish a winning margin with just five stages left.
The gesture was widely acknowledged as payback for an earlier good deed when, on a sharp Pyrenean descent, Ullrich plunged off the road and Armstrong denied himself the opportunity to make good his escape.
"What goes around comes around," Armstrong said, "because I waited for him on the Peyresourde climb when he had a serious crash two years ago, and I think Jan remembered."
Fencer Judy Guinness was just 21 when she represented Great Britain at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. Could she become Britain's first gold medalist in the sport?
She reached the last two in her discipline and, after a closely-contested final against Ellen Preis of Austria, was declared the winner by the judges. But the result was reversed when Guinness pointed out that the officials had missed two hits by her opponent. It cost the Briton the gold medal.
Bobby Jones was the greatest golfer of his generation. The American won 13 Majors between 1923 and 1930 and would have won 14 were it not for an incident in the first round of the 1925 US Open.
Having hit his drive into the rough at the 10th, Jones was addressing the ball when it moved fractionally. No one else noticed. But Jones called the infringement on himself and, with it, a one-shot penalty. Jones went on to lose the championship by one shot and, after being commended for his fine deed of sportsmanship, said: "You might as well praise a man for not breaking into banks."
At the 1936 Olympics – and with Adolf Hitler watching from high above in the daunting stadium – the black American athlete Jesse Owens was struggling in the long jump.
Twice already, Owens had over-stepped the board and was in danger of elimination. His main rival for the gold medal was the German Lutz Long who suggested to Owens that he recalculate his run-up. Owens took the advice and went on to take the title at the expense of the German.
"You can melt down all the medals and cups I have won," Owens said, "and they wouldn't be worth the plating on the 24-carat friendship I felt for Lutz Long at that moment."
Former New Zealand captain Jeremy Coney was an unremarkable Test cricketer but a great sport. He demonstrated this at the 1986 Lord's Test when England wicketkeeper Bruce French retired hurt after being felled by a bouncer delivered by his former Nottinghamshire team-mate Richard Hadlee.
When the Kiwis came to bat, French was still not well enough to resume. It was the Test when England used four 'keepers. First, Bill Athey took the gloves. But then Coney agreed to allow England to draft in 45-year-old Bob Taylor who was long retired but sitting not so very far away in a hospitality tent.
The former Derbyshire man did an admirable job for the rest of the day before – again with Coney's approval – the Hampshire keeper Bobby Parks was introduced the following morning to the game.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pass on an Angel

Years ago, I was in a doctor’s office and saw a sign that said “Kindness. Pass it on!”
So I started doing more acts of kindness as often as I could. I was amazed at how much it brightens others’ lives.
One of my co-workers’ sister was sick. She shared with me one day how much her sister loved angels. I bought her two angels and gave them to her to give to her sister.
She did and she told me her sister was so happy. Just a small act of kindness.
Here are some ideas that were on that sign: give a flower; listen with your heart; visit a sick friend; clean a neighbor’s walk; say hello; call a lonely person; plant a tree; help carry a load; thank a teacher; leave a thank you note; let another go first; encourage a child; forgive mistakes; drive courteously; and share a smile.
— Melissa Jeffries-Deans, Greensboro

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Heart of Town

How one man proved that small kindnesses add up.
By Harry Stein

My family first encountered Wally Urtz, the gentle, self-effacing manager of our local supermarket, on a blustery day nearly 20 years ago just after we'd moved to Hastings-on-Hudson, a New York City suburb. As my wife made her way to the store's exit, juggling her groceries and two small children, Wally hustled up beside her. "I'll get those, young lady," he said brightly, taking her bags and leading her to the parking lot. Now that may seem like no big deal -- except that these days things like that so seldom happen.

Our story, it turned out, was typical. Among Hastings's 8,000 residents, almost everybody had at least one about Wally's decency and generosity. There were the times he'd reach into his own pocket when someone was short; the times he'd show small kindnesses to someone who'd just lost a loved one or who was in the midst of divorce; the many, many times he'd put himself out for older people.

"He just appreciated that when people get older, their lives get smaller -- they don't drive, their friends have passed on -- and how much it means to be treated warmly," one woman, Kathy Dragan, said. "When my mother was in her 80s, it was a treat for her to go to the store. Wally would call out to the butcher and say, 'You give her whatever attention she needs.' She'd tell me, 'He's kinder to me than some people I've known all my life.' "

Yet few of us fully understood what Wally meant to the civic life of our community -- until he was assigned to another store 20 miles away. In its unfathomable corporate wisdom, the Food Emporium chain had decided to replace 67-year-old Wally after 26 years due to "operational issues related to operating a store the size of [the one in] Hastings."

No one could believe it. Word spread quickly. Neighbors called each other seeking solace. Some plotted strategies for bringing Wally back and staged protest marches outside the store. Others flooded the local newspaper with angry letters. The mayor took up the cause. Even the police tried to set things right.

A grocer seems an unlikely figure to set off such an emotional outpouring. That he did shows the remarkable effect Wally -- a man of endless warmth and good humor -- had on people.

The police say no one was more helpful -- that at Halloween, he was the only merchant they never had to tell not to sell eggs and shaving cream to teens, and that his keen knowledge of the town made him especially adept at spotting criminals. "He's probably made more arrests than anyone who works here," Lt. David Bloomer said with a laugh. "Not just shoplifters, but people who'd show up with stolen credit cards. He was uncanny."

Bloomer added that "we'd often have kids who needed a job -- not honor students, kids in trouble, who'd been before the judge -- and Wally would hire them every time. Nine times out of ten, it probably wouldn't work out, but he never hesitated."

Betty Hudson, pastor of the Grace Episcopal Church, agreed: "He was always willing to take risks on people. He used to say to me, 'You and I are in the same business -- the people business.' "

One story I heard about Wally stands out: Once, in the 1980s, an elderly woman shopper, unapologetically racist, refused to be checked out by the only cashier on duty, a 16-year-old black girl. Wally gave the woman a choice: be checked out by the girl or not at all. But the teen, badly shaken and in tears, said she couldn't work the register. Wally took her aside.

"You're not going to let her get the best of you," he said. "There are some tough challenges in life. Learn to deal with them." Then he stood by the girl as, laboriously, item by item, she rang up the older woman's purchases.

That girl, Nicole Gamble, is a prosecutor in Manhattan now. When I told her about Wally's transfer, she was stunned. "How could they do that?" she exclaimed. "Don't they realize how rare that kind of character is?"

Rabbi Edward Schecter of Hastings's Temple Beth Shalom said: "In his quiet way, he was a towering moral figure in our community. I don't know that there are any others -- no elected officials, no clergy. In Jewish mystical tradition, the question is asked, 'Why does God sustain the world in light of all the evil in it?' And the answer is, 'It's because of the 36 righteous.' Anyone who thinks he might be one of the righteous by definition is not. But Wally -- he is one of the righteous."

As if to confirm the rabbi's view, Wally himself sounded baffled about all the controversy. "All I was doing is my job," he said, crediting his parents and his deep religious faith for making him what he is. "You're selling groceries, but what really matters is your relationships with people. The way people are in this town, that was easy."

Sadly, the push to bring Wally back failed, though not totally: He was assigned to a store closer to his home -- the store where 40 years ago he met his wife, when he was a clerk and she a checker. "Don't worry, I'm doing fine," he said. "If you treat people right, things usually work out for the best."

Sociologists and academics like to bemoan the loss of community in daily life. In his book Bowling Alone, for instance, Robert D. Putnam fondly recalls "the grocery store or five-and-dime on Main Street, where faces were familiar," and laments how today's "suburban shopping experience does not consist of interaction with people embedded in a common social network."

For those lucky enough to know him, Wally Urtz was a one-man antidote to all that.

Make It Matter: Sea Change

How one couple introduced kids to the beach--and a world
beyond the next city block.

Some of the kids have never felt sand between their toes, inspected a seashell, or excavated a moat around a sand castle. They've never sprinted headlong into a flock of seagulls to watch them flap and scatter. Some have never even seen waves. It's not that they live so far inland. They're from the Philadelphia area, only an hour's drive from the beach.

Yet their summers more likely involve city recreation centers, steamy blacktop, or a splash in a public pool or a fire hydrant turned fountain.

Vince and Jeanie Hubach always wanted to share the sandier side of life with others. The couple, who grew up in small towns outside Philly and spent their childhood summers on Jersey Shore beaches, founded and run a nonprofit called Angels on the Atlantic that makes it easy—and free—for local city kids to visit the beach.
Vince and Jeanie Hubach
Photographed By Metin Oner
Vince and Jeanie Hubach love sharing the shore with others.
The idea for the organization began to germinate 16 years ago. Vince, who buys and sells restaurant equipment, was setting up pizzerias and delis in poorer sections of cities like Camden, Philadelphia, and Trenton. "Kids would be hanging around while I was working," he recalls. "I'd say, 'Why don't you go to the beach?' They just looked at me like, 'The beach?' "

Vince shared those stories with Jeanie. "Without children of our own, we wanted to do something for these kids, but in our own way," Vince says. In 2004, they bought a two-acre beachfront property in Ocean City, New Jersey. It came with a restaurant, which they ran as a breakfast and lunch spot, putting profits toward getting their nonprofit on its feet. (It was their first attempt at running a restaurant, but a local magazine named it one of the best places for breakfast.) Within two years, they had generated enough cash and lined up enough volunteers to start inviting urban community organizations to bring kids to their swath of public beach for a day.

At first, the groups that Jeanie called were skeptical. Two strangers would provide beach tags, bathing suits and sunscreen, T-shirts and towels, shade tents, and all the hot dogs, hamburgers, and Popsicles the kids could consume? All they had to do was get there? Vince recalls that first group of 40 kids: "They were running into the ocean, screaming and having the time of their lives. We knew at that moment that no matter what it took, we were going to build this thing." Over the years, the Hubachs have played host to over 4,800 kids, mostly 6- to 14-year-olds. This summer alone, they're expecting 5,000.

Vince, 41, lives at the shore from June to September to run the program full-time, and Jeanie, 43, joins him on weekends. During the week, she coordinates the group visits and works as a personal assistant to a business executive. Next on the agenda: raising money to build a 6,000-square-foot beachside pavilion to house the Angels program as well as allow physically challenged local residents easier access to the beach.

While some neighbors have had zoning and overcrowding concerns, community support, overall, has been tremendous. Brownie troops have run swimsuit drives, schools have collected loose change, and scientists from GlaxoSmithKline have developed Science by the Sea, a hands-on class involving sand, seashells, and microscopes.

Ultimately, the kids are happy tossing a ball, building sand castles—and letting their guard down. Vince recalls the day he overheard one boy say to another, "I don't think we're gonna hear any gunshots today."

Not surprisingly, the kids often tell the Hubachs that they've had the best day of their lives. That's the thing, says Jeanie: "This program helps them see that there's a whole big world out there to explore and that they're welcome in it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

"Pay It Forward" - What does it mean?

How to Pay It Forward
The world can seem like an unfriendly, threatening place, yet we all want safety, health, and happiness for ourselves and our loved ones. How can one ordinary person -- you or me -- make a positive difference in this world? One way is the practice "paying it forward." While the steps might be simple, the outcome could change the world.

  1. Be attentive wherever you are for opportunities to help someone. Perhaps you have an elderly or disabled neighbor who is too proud to ask for help with their yardwork or maybe you're in a restaurant and see someone who looks like they could use some kind stranger to pay for their meal. You can change people's attitudes about the world through your unobtrusive acts of kindness.
  2. Do something nice for someone you don't know (or don't know very well). It should be something significant, and not for a person from whom you expect a good deed -- or anything at all, for that matter -- in return.
  3. Spread the word. If the person thanks you and wants to "repay" you (that is, pay it "back"), let them know that what you'd really like is for them to pay it "forward" -- you'd like them to do something nice for three people they don't know, and ask those three people to do something nice for three more people. The idea is to consciously increase the goodness of the world.
  4. Pay it forward. When you notice that somebody has done something nice for you, make a note in your mind to practice three acts of kindness towards other people, as described in Step 2.


  • The "pay it forward" concept was popularized with the book Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde, which was later made into a movie with the same title, starring Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment, and Kevin Spacey.
  • Even small acts, such as paying the bridge toll for the car behind you when you pay for your own, counts. If it makes the world a friendlier place, you succeeded!
  • Practicing the "pay it forward" principle will make you alert to unexpected kindness from strangers toward you, and you may find yourself becoming more grateful for everyday kindness and consideration from people you don't even know.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Children Watch and Learn From Us

Teenagers! What can I say? My daughter is 12. Sometimes she is a crazy bundle of fun and sometimes she seems to have the weight of the world on her shoulders. This was one of her down days.
She was bored and sad (and making a meal out of it!). Every time she complained about being bored I would suggest something she could do, but there were always bucketloads of reasons why she couldn't do any of them. The suggestion that she might enjoy tidying her bedroom just provoked a look that reminded me of thunderclouds -- she's been good at that look since she was two!
I was getting a little fed up with all this negativity, but I kept my patience. I gently suggested that possibly the very best way in the world to have a good day was to try and make it a better day for someone else. Then I suggested a few kind deeds she might like to do.
To my amazement, she seemed interested. Not so much in the kind deeds as in what I had said. When she spoke there was no hint of sarcasm or teenage attitude. Just honest-to-goodness curiosity. It was like my little girl had just come back into the room. "Does that mean that every day is a good day for you?" she asked.
I told her it did, we talked some more, then I left the room. I had to because I was welling up.
We all share good stories on this site, but they are only a snapshot of life. I have plenty of less nice aspects of my personality. I'm only too aware of them and they constantly bother me. But my daughter, who knows me better than most, seemed to think I spent every day making the day better for others.
Oh, wow!
Our children do watch us, and while our best (or worst) example often doesn't seem to have any visible effect on our children (especially teenagers!) that doesn't mean we should stop trying to be all we would want them to be. We teach our children through our lives. Helpothers

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lasik for Good Deeds in Washington DC

Eye doctors of Washington offering free LASIK treatment for good deeds

April 21st, 2009

It's a totally different stroke played by one of the most respected vision care facilities in the area.
Washington, DC LASIK facility, who last year sponsored the successful Destroy Your Glasses contest, is sponsoring a new contest “Changing the Way People See the World” to encourages individuals in the area to do anything positive that helps someone else, and capture it on video.
Each person that submits a video will receive a $1000 discount on LASIK, and the winning entry will be awarded a 100% free LASIK eye surgery procedure.
In addition to rewarding those who enter videos, Eye Doctors of Washington’s Washington, DC and Maryland LASIK practice will donate a free pair of glasses to charity for each video submitted.
Participants may videotape any good deed of any body. They can videotape themselves, a friend, a family member, or even a stranger doing something positive for someone else, and the “good deed” can be either big or small.
Contestants can submit their videos from now until May 31st, 2009.
The initial batch of entries will be judged on creativity, uniqueness, and authenticity, and whether the “good deed” is clearly and adequately shown in the video.
The top five finalists will be announced on June 1st at, and voting can be implemented directly on the website between June 1st and June 12th. The winner will be chosen on Monday, June 15th.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Acts of kindness bestowed upon 600 weary Israeli soldiers.

A story worth repeating 100 times as we near Yom Hazicharon (Israel Rememberance Day) and Yom Haatzmaut

by Shula Wisper A personal account of an act of kindness bestowed upon 600 weary Israeli soldiers.
A year has passed but First Lieutenant M. has not forgotten the Second Lebanon War or his visit to Migdal Ohr.
"I remember the two weeks of near face-to-face combat, the confused orders and insufficient combat gear, the intense hunger, physical and emotional exhaustion and toughest of all, the self-imposed silence and disassociation with our surroundings. 'Now is not the right time to complain, but when it is over,' we thought to ourselves, 'when the air raid sirens stop and we are out of these fatigues, we can talk and the truth will be known.'"
When the news came that we were receiving a day off, our hearts soared. We suffered so much stress and hardship. Where would we go? How should we take full advantage of this gift?
Rumors begin to circulate that we were going to some school in Migdal Ha'Emek. "This must be a joke! Who ordered ten buses to bring us to some yeshiva with some Rabbi who is just going to try and brainwash us?"
Then a few of the guys remembered. "Rabbi Grossman, that's the Disco Rabbi right? The guys all give him great respect." But what do they know? He is still some rabbi.
Tired and emotionally drained, we got off the buses and stood face to face with an old-world looking Jew, complete with a white beard, side locks and long jacket. "So here it comes," I thought, "the push to put on tefillin or to say prayers together. Some day off."
"Boys," the rabbi's words thundered, "I suggest that first thing you do is take a dip in the pool and freshen up. In the meantime, we will make you something to eat."
"What's the problem? 600 soldiers? They should all come, of course we have room!" In amazing simplicity Rabbi Grossman heard in passing that the brigade was looking for a home for a day, and he immediately volunteered his campus. "What's the problem? 600 soldiers? They should all come, of course we have room!"
With the echoes of war from the battlefield still in our ears, it seemed like a mirage or hallucination. Soft music came from everywhere and flowing water and greenery surrounded us. Within minutes the tables were set with cold refreshing watermelon, cakes, and beverages, followed by cheeses, fresh vegetables, and soft rolls.
Then we heard, "Out of the pool, get dressed and eat something." We saw piles of new undergarments. 600 new undershirts and underwear appeared as if out of nowhere, laid out on tables for our choosing.
Rabbi Grossman sat with us and laughed, "Have a good time boys! Have a great time! This evening, I will put on the most spectacular performance you have ever seen."
I am not a religious person by any means, but I can't help but envision the first Jew, Avraham, standing and personally serving his guests perfectly naturally and without the slightest hint of condescension. He respected each individual and cared for all their needs. Like Avraham, Rabbi Grossman saw in this an obvious act of kindness, a mission of a mitzvah that had fallen into his hands. As the evening continued we learned quickly that this was the essence of who Rabbi Grossman is and what he is all about. He loves everyone and accepts everyone as they are with all his heart and soul.
"Tell me friends," Rabbi Grossman said, "I heard you are lacking different pieces of equipment. Do me a favor. Here is a pencil and paper, just write down everything you are missing and leave the paper on the table."
That night, we enjoyed the entertainment and afterwards, slept in soft beds and air-conditioned rooms. Like in a fairytale, we awoke in the morning and could not believe our eyes. Mounds of gear which we so desperately needed had arrived at Migdal Ohr. Attached was a small note from Rabbi Grossman, "To my dear soldiers, from all my heart!"
Rabbi Grossman had personally raised over $60,000 worth of equipment from friends literally overnight! The essential equipment included ceramic bulletproof vests, helmets, canteens, knee pads, backpack water canteens, night vision goggles, toothbrushes, socks and more.
A few months before the war began Rabbi Grossman had been offered a new Torah scroll for the main Midgal Ohr study hall by a generous friend of his in France. For some reason Rabbi Grossman requested to postpone the event until an unspecified later date. Rabbi Grossman immediately made arrangements and in an early evening ceremony, we participated in the completion of writing the Torah. While the scroll was carefully laid on the table next to a special pen and ink, Rabbi Grossman addressed the soldiers.
"Each one of you should pray that the merit of the letter he has completed in this Torah scroll will protect him in battle." "My holy ones! I am going to bestow upon you the merit of a holy mitzvah, which can be considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Each one of you will complete a letter in the Torah scroll. While you are executing this holy task, each one of you should pray the prayer of his heart and request from God that the merit of the letter he has completed will protect him in battle. Holy sparks will emanate from these sacred letters and disperse around you, creating a protective shield which will keep you safe and bring you home safely."
Those moments were the most exciting and emotional ones of my life. Shaking from the intensity of the immeasurable experience, still not believing, we held the edges of the Torah scroll while we felt our hearts beat rapidly. There was complete silence all around. One after the other, we dipped the quill in the ink and completed a letter in the Torah scroll.
A bystander would have seen a breathtaking scene of incredible elation and spiritual exuberance. The world seemed as if shrouded in silence. The strings of our hearts felt strummed and the tears flowed freely down our cheeks.
After the completion of the Torah, the ceremony continued. Leading the procession was a decorated car with multi-colored lights strung all over it and with a crown of lights spinning around on its roof. Following the car, bearers of a decorated canopy marched while people danced around it. Under the canopy, others held the Torah scroll, which was clothed in white and crimson with a silver crown at its top.
600 soldiers and thousands of the town residents marched and danced in the procession, a loudspeaker accompanying them, playing traditional Jewish music.
As the ceremony came to a close Rabbi Grossman approached every soldier and kissed him while placing a half-shekel coin in his hand and said "Messengers of a mitzvah are not harmed." Rabbi Grossman concluded, "When you return, God willing, healthy and unharmed, you will fulfill this mission I am placing upon you, and you will donate this money to charity."
A moment before they returned to Lebanon Rabbi Grossman told us, "In the merit that you said Shema and put on tefillin, wrote a letter in the Torah, and are messengers of a mitzvah, I promise you, that you will all return safe and sound. None of you will be wounded or killed."
Rabbi Grossman told the soldiers that the first place they must come back to -- before they go home -- is Migdal Ohr. "We will thank God together and from there we will say goodbye," he said. "Think of this as an emergency call-up. Do you accept?" the Rabbi asked and the commanding officer replied in the affirmative.
The night came. Twelve buses made their way atop the Galilee Mountains. Heavy darkness engulfed us, yet behind, in the growing distance, a bright flame pierced the night sky. In the midst of war and violence, we found love and unending human compassion at Migdal Ohr in the welcoming arms of Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman.
Two weeks later around midnight, Rabbi Grossman received a phone call. "Rabbi, your blessing has come true!" exclaimed the commander over the phone. "Everyone is safe and we are on our way to you. We will be there by two in the morning." Rabbi Grossman immediately contacted the kitchen staff and asked them to prepare a meal while he worked to organize a band.
"I felt as I had never felt before," recalls Rabbi Grossman. "Each one told me his personal miracle." At 2:30 a.m. the soldiers disembarked from the buses, each one carrying 60 kilo of equipment on his back. The band started playing music and the soldiers approached Rabbi Grossman, each one lovingly received with a hug and a kiss. This continued for two hours. "I felt as I had never felt before," recalls Rabbi Grossman. "Each one told me his personal miracle."
After the warm reception, the soldiers recited a prayer of thanksgiving said by someone whose life has been saved, and together with Rabbi Grossman, they sang and danced until daybreak. "To this day," says Rabbi Grossman, "we maintain contact with each soldier and have become one family."
Rabbi Grossman is a recipient of the "Award of Recognition" for his Actions on Behalf of Soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces and the Second Lebanon War.

Video shows how to 'pay it forward'

Thursday, April 16, 2009

By Michael A. Fuoco, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In a virtual world filled with narcissism, rip-offs and come-ons, the YouTube video "Pay it Forward -- Pittsburgh to Chicago" feels like a much-needed visit to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

The narrated 10-minute video documents the 1,175-mile round trip an anonymous South Hills man -- screen name "friendinpittsburgh" -- made to the Windy City the weekend of April 3-5 for no other reason than to do good deeds for strangers in the hope of having them do the same onto others.

The term "pay it forward" refers to the idea where one person does a good deed for another in the hope that it will be repaid in the form of another good deed for someone else. The good deeds then become an ever-expanding pyramid of charity. The notion was popularized in a 2000 film by that title.

In Chicago, a city he randomly chose, he bought a car battery for an unemployed man, gave another man a ride to pick up a truck 35 miles away, helped dismantle a swing set, lugged construction materials from a demolished bathroom and made a clothing donation to a homeless agency.

He posted the video of his adventure on YouTube a week ago and it's been viewed more than 1,000 times. The video caught the attention of The Windy Citizen, a Chicago-based news Web site, which on Tuesday posted a story about the Good Samaritan from Pittsburgh who they referred to as "Joe," which is not his real name. The 29-year-old, who holds a white-collar job for a small business, requested anonymity for fear his deeds will be misinterpreted as self-aggrandizement.

As of yesterday, The Windy Citizen story had nearly 3,500 hits. Numerous Web sites, including the Chicago Sun-Times, have linked to the upbeat story, starting conversation threads about the need in a troubled world to follow Joe's example of selflessness, kindness and charity.
"Awesome!!" wrote one YouTube poster. "Let's all learn from this and do one pay-it-forward act to keep the momentum going!! Let's make friendinpittsburgh's good deed multiply exponentially!! Send this on to everyone you know!!"

A poster on The Windy Citizen site wrote: "In addition to enjoying hearing the Pittsburgh accent in the video, I enjoyed the guy's Pittsburgh attitude -- some of the nicest people I have ever known are from P-burgh. This guy is cut from that bolt!!"

As for Joe, he couldn't be happier he went through with what he conceded seemed like a crazy idea at the start.

"Positive energy rubs off on other people," he said. "I figured if I posted something and got a couple of hits on YouTube then other people would do good things, pay it forward, and there would be a chain-reaction. I didn't expect anything to this extent.

"I thought maybe it would make a dent. I'm not talking about world peace or anything. I was thinking that maybe some homeless people would get some clothes."

Going to the Craigslist Web site, he scrolled his mouse without looking and then stopped. The cursor was on Chicago, so that's where he decided to go. He posted an ad on Craigslist for Chicago, saying over the weekend he wanted to "help a few people that need help ... All I ask is that you Pay It Forward." He didn't say he was from Pittsburgh.

He received about 150 responses, most of them lauding him for his offer, several seeking money and one thinking he was offering sex. He picked those he thought legitimately needed help. He told no one of his plans, other than to inform his parents that he was spending the weekend in Chicago.

"On the way up, I was really nervous -- nervous that I wasn't coming home. I was going to a whole other city, probably looking like a schmuck. I could have had my car stolen, my money stolen. I was taking a big risk," he said.

He arrived Friday night, got a motel room, and the next morning met the man who needed a battery. His fears were gone.

"He was a super-nice guy. I thought, 'This is going to be easy. These are nice people here.' This is the reason I got this idea, to see a smiling face."

The 54-year-old man who needed a ride to pick up a truck, who asked in a telephone interview to be identified by his first name Mike, said he not only got a ride but gained a friend. He was dumbfounded when he learned Joe was from Pittsburgh with no reason to be in Chicago other than to do good. He said he tried to force Joe to take $20 for gas but he refused.

"He said 'All I want you to do is a good deed for somebody else, to perform for some other stranger a random act of kindness.' I said, 'That's no problem at all.'

"I went through a long period where I kind of just lost faith in humanity, a long span of thinking it was a dog-eat-dog world and people aren't considerate of their fellow man. And then you run into a guy like this and it just restores all the faith you ever thought you lost in humanity. He's 100 percent genuine."

Joe didn't have to wait long to see his pay-it-forward plan pay off -- the day after getting a ride, Mike showed up to help Joe tear down the swing set for a woman neither man knew.
The trip cost Joe $750 and a weekend but he feels he gained much more than he gave because of the positive effect it has already had.

"Hey, who knows, it may start spreading like the butterfly effect, it may start spreading positive energy. We need it."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Sporting Good Deed

Natalie Gilbert, a 13 year-old, began singing the National Anthem before a basketball game between the Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks on April 25, 2003. When Gilbert struggled to find the correct words for the song and became flustered, Trail Blazers’ Coach Maurice Cheeks came to her side. He initially suggested the lyrics to Gilbert and then joined in on the singing. Soon, the Rose Garden Arena crowd sang with them. What at first looked to be a small disaster, turned into a touching moment — a feel-good story. Cheeks’ inspirational leadership touched many who watched. Cheeks and Gilbert received a standing ovation upon the song’s completion.

As is later revealed, the young Natalie Gilbert, had been fighting the flu and was still sick the day of the performance. When Cheeks was asked what motivated him to go over and start helping Natalie, CNN quoted Cheeks as saying, “You know, I don’t know. I think as I saw her stumble on the words, she looked helpless, and I just started walking. I had no idea what I was going to do, what I was going to say. But as I approached her, I just wanted to help her, and I didn’t know if I even knew the words…You know, I just wanted to help her out. I didn’t want her to stand there helpless, nothing to do. So I just wanted to help her out.”

Prior to coaching, Cheeks played 15 years in the NBA, most notably with the Philadelphia 76ers, and earned a trip to the All-Star game 4 times. Helping a young singer in her time of need was another All-Star moment for Maurice

Free Hugs

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Contest #3 Winner

Congratulations to Just 1 Good Deeds Contest #3 Winner: Fern C. of PA

You can still watch the inspiring video "Stimulus Package" and let us know what you think.
Heres what some people had to say:

"Inspiring because it is not dead ended and keeps on giving. That is real charity." Linda G. NYC

"Meaningul and postive to see people helping each other in a way that makes feel supported and encouraged even if the dollars are a short term relief that won't necessary keep a business from closing. It is true that we often lose sight that every $2 dollars can add up and make a cumulative, measurable difference. " Jackie D. CA

"Its nice to regain faith in the human spirit" Dan L. NJ

"Nice to know that people are doing good deeds" Sharon S. NY

Thank you to all the contestants for participating. Don't forget to "Pay it Forward"

Dear Abby Pay it Forward

Dear Abby: Please let the world know that kind people still exist. I was on my way to two job interviews. Not surprisingly, I was nervous, so before I got off my train, I took my phone out to check the directions to the first one. A short walk later, I reached the subway, but when I went into my purse for my wallet to buy a MetroCard, lo and behold, my wallet and new glasses were missing.

I retraced my steps and ran to the courtesy counter to ask if anyone had turned in my wallet and glass case. The woman in the booth told me the train was still in the station and to hurry there immediately to check for my things. Long story short, no luck.

Heartbroken, I returned to the courtesy desk. Not only would I miss both of my appointments, but I was stranded with no money. I burst into tears, as I explained the situation to the woman in the booth. Abby, she reached into her purse and handed me $7!

"It's all I have right now," she said. "Use it to get to your interviews."

I went to my interviews and aced them both. When I came back to thank her, she was gone, but she had described me to the woman on the next shift who handed me a courtesy ticket home.

Abby, that woman's kindness was overwhelming. And just when the day couldn't get any better, I received a call. A conductor had found my wallet and glasses and would meet me on the train the next day.

I just want to share that kindness can happen when we least expect it. When it happens, we should pay it forward. - S. Smith, Asbury Park, N.J.

Dear S. Smith
: And I know you will. Good deeds are like wildflower seeds. Throw enough of them around and a desert becomes a garden.
Tampa Bay on-line

North Dakota sets an example

Fargo, ND and surrounding areas were hit hard and are still at risk, but North Dakota residents are setting an example with acts of random kindness.

"The generosity is so common that even as thousands of people are driven out of their homes by the overflowing Red River, most storm shelters are virtually empty."

"Locals don't consider the outpouring of kindness at all unusual"

See the full story here:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Good Deeds "Spotlight on Facebook"

The Gown Gemach
Jodi S. of Brooklyn runs this organization and the Facebook group. They not only provide a commnunity service but also give a percentage of proceeds to Charity.
Check them out at:

Do you run a Good Deed organization or have a Good Deed Event you run? Let us know and we'll give you a "Spotlight" and a "Tweet".

Good Deed Inspiration

"When one begins to purposefully perform acts of kindness, the spirit changes and soon doing good deeds becomes a focal point for our life; doing good begins to be the same as feeling good. The periods of emptiness when we search for the 'meaning of it all' begin to fill with acts of kindness."
-Gary Blair
[As posted by: Debbie from Living with Gratitude]

The "Postive Patrol"

The Federal Way Boys & Girls Club recently won a Merit Award for their "Positive Patrol" program. The Merit Award is given by BGCA to local clubs for incorporating programs that are fun, creative and effective.

Local News

The Federal Way Boys & Girls Club recently won a Merit Award for their "Positive Patrol" program. The Merit Award is given by BGCA to local clubs for incorporating programs that are fun, creative and effective.

"Positive Patrol" rewards kids for good deeds
Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Congratulations to the Federal Way Boys & Girls Club for winning a Merit Award for their "Positive Patrol" program. The Merit Award is given by BGCA to Clubs for incorporating programs that are fun, creative and effective.

Last spring, the Federal Way Club started running a program called "Positive Patrol." The program allows Club kids to acknowledge the positive actions of fellow members.

If a member is "caught" doing something good, their name and good deed is written on a piece of paper and placed in a jar. Once a week, three names are drawn and the Club kids who get picked get a special prize. In addition to these weekly treats, every patrol member receives a "Positive Patrol" T-shirt, an official badge and two tickets to the local skating rink.
[As reported by: Federal Way News]

Hollywood promoting good deeds

Jennifer Aniston narrates kids book
Mar 24, 2009, 08:32 AM | by Margeaux Watson

Categories: Books

Jennifer Aniston and her father John (Days of Our Lives) have teamed up to narrate the bonus CD of a new children's book by Nick Katsoris called Loukoumi's Good Deeds. Other celebs who contributed to the project include singer Gloria Gaynor, actress Olympia Dukakis, CBS news anchor Alexis Christoforous, and former American Idol contestant Constantine Maroulis. Priced at $15.95, Loukoumi's Good Deeds will be released on April 1 by Dream Day Press/NK Publications, with proceeds benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. [ weekly:]

Monday, March 23, 2009

Good Deed Contest #3 - Stimulus Package

Who knew stimulating the economy could lead to so many good deeds. One mans plan brings a smile to so many faces, but especially his employees. Some employees even come back to work for free?

Enjoy this inspiring story and Enter the Just 1 Good Deed Contest #3

Win a beautiful glass Seder Plate for yourself, your parents or your host!
The contest is open to everyone and it’s very simple:

1. Watch the video

2. Read the question written below the video

3. Send us your answer by filling out the form below by March 29, 2009

4. Share this good deed video with your friends and family

Question: What denomination of bills did the Pharmacist give his employees?

Your answer must be received by Sunday March 29, 2009.

The winner will be chosen by lottery from all contestants with the correct answer. On Monday March 30, 2009 we will announce the winner of the beautiful glass Seder Plate made in Israel by SusanArt, a Jerusalem based organization that designs beautiful glassware by employing and training teens at risk from the streets of Jerusalem.

Share your good deeds with us via twitter @just1gooddeed or email:

Join our facebook group and meet other community members

A Heros Ultimate Good Deed

Do you remember? The attack at Otniel in 2002?

This story and video of Noam Apter is not just about a heroic act, but an example of complete selflessness and self sacrifice. The ultimate good deed.

Sublime Heroism

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Here's the challenge:
In your last seconds of life, with terrorists spraying bullets at you, would you:

(1) try to kill those who are trying to kill you and all your people?

(2) run for cover rather than be blown apart by bullets? Or

(3) Make Noam's choice, turn your back on the terrorists, even though you have a sidearm, and leap to lock the doors and hurl away the key, so that the murderers cannot kill the dozens of your fellow students in the
room beyond?

We will never know what choice we would make. But we do know what choice Noam Apter made, and he deserves our attention and gratitude. How often does it happen, that a soul is revealed, in its essence? The pure, virtuous soul of Noam Apter was revealed on Friday, December 27, 2002. Most of the world missed that profound moment.

Not a single mainstream media source mentioned Noam's actions, nor even his name, outside of Israel. We are so caught up in the next deaths, the next bombings and the latest number of body parts. When a sublime act of heroism occurs, we don't even notice.

Here's what happened. Listen, remember, and tell the story to others. It deserves to be told.

Boys from the Otniel Yeshiva (religious university) outside of Hebron, were hosting young men from another yeshiva, Har Etzion, for Shabbat. The boys gathered together for Friday evening services, then made their way to the dining hall. Noam Apter, 23, was in charge of the kitchen crew that night. The Otniel boys all take turns cooking and serving. Yehuda Bamberger, 20, and Tzvi Ziman, 18, were also on kitchen duty. So was Gavriel Hotter, only 17, who was waiting for his 18th birthday so that he could officially join in the complete Hesder program.

Otniel and Har Etzion are Hesder Yeshivas. Students in these schools, although religious, also serve their country with rotations in the Israeli Defense Forces. They alternate Torah study, their religious duty, with military service, their national duty.

Otniel is known as an "artsy" yeshiva, with courses that include drama and dancing. Noam's mother, Pirhiya, recently recalled his entrance interview. Noam and the admissions Rabbi spent the time discussing the book Noam was reading, Catcher in the Rye.

After sunset, the boys streamed into the dining hall. The Otniel hosts were already serving the first course of fish, salads, hummus and tehina. The plates were cleared, and the soup course was underway.

As the crew arranged the soup bowls on the platters, two terrorists dressed in Israeli military uniforms burst into the kitchen through an open service door. Their guns pumped bullets into Tzvi, Gavriel and Yehuda, who were gunned down where they stood. Tens of bullets were found in each of these boys.

But Noam.

Noam, the "one in charge," had a sidearm. But with the bullets slicing the air and his friends, he never turned to fire. Noam lunged toward the door leading to the dining room. Though already shot in the back, Noam managed to lock that door, and hurl the key out of reach. Noam's body was recovered there, at the door, riddled with bullets. But the terrorists could not get through the door to complete their mission: to gun down as many as possible of the dozens of young men inside.

This child of God, this Zionist soldier, with his last breaths, saved the lives of dozens of others, rather than his own, and rather than try to take the lives of the murderers. This is a story of humanity at its apex.

The news reports, the few that ran, referred to Noam Apter as an unnamed
"Yeshiva student" and "settler" who was one of four killed by Palestinians. Of all the print media in the United States, there was exactly one mention of this young man by name. Only The New York Post shared the miracle of Noam with its readers.

I met Noam Apter last summer, when I and several friends went to Israel on a study and solidarity mission. Noam, an adorable young man with an M-16 rifle (it isn't incongruous in Israel), accompanied us as our guard. We were a bunch of middle-aged, fairly knowledgeable, somewhat observant, mostly left-leaning American Jews. But this young man touched us all. I told him to forget his girlfriend, because I have two daughters and I wanted him to marry one of them.

I just spoke with Yossi Apter, Noam's father, to share his grief. During our conversation he remembered Noam told him what I said about my daughters. How sweet, how tragic. That trip to Israel was as close as I will ever get to knowing a hero.

If you share this story, you will be spreading the tiny drop of pure goodness and decency in the sea of madness flowing from the Middle East.


postscript: I still think of Noam very often, and always on Shabbat. I think about Noam, and weep, when we sing Etz Chaim.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Philadelphia, PA USA

Contest #2 Winner

Congratulations to Michele A. of VA the winner of the Just 1 Good Deed Contest #2

Thank you to all our contestants we hope you enjoyed the Short film Validation. Look for another inspiring video and Contest #3 coming soon!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rave Reviews - Validation the Short Film

Some Rave reviews of the Short film Validation

Rabbi Dave: "I love the whole thing. What is especially meaningful to me is that he had given up on effecting her after all that work and then in the end he did effect her without even knowing it. Our acts of kindness (good deeds) have far reaching effects on people and in ways we do not know or probably ever will! Keep planting seeds and The Almighty will make them grow and spread."

Mordechai S. of Florida " Great video! I will be showing it to my middle school students as part of a behavior improvement program at Hillel Day school of Boca Raton!?

Mordechai H. of NY: "It was a very cute story that really drove home the message of treating each other well and validating the other and the impact that can make."

Michelle A. of VA "Made me remember that if you say a kind word to someone, it is echoed through others."

If you haven't seen it yet don't miss out, click here:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Chicken Lady

Great Aish online movie clip about a one woman chesed machine. Please spread this good deed video around.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Purim Act of Kindness #1 - Giving Food Packages (Mishloach Manot)

When the Town Robber Gave Charity

Just in from our Twitter friend @dovidzak another great good deed story

When the Town Robber Gave Charity

Good Deed "Spotlight Story"

Our Thanks to Debra from Yedei Chesed for her inspiring response (below) to one of our previous posts

I am Debra (Wallin) Kapnick- former New England NER NCSY'er and Regional President (1971-1976) and later, NER Regional Director(1977-1979) I have been in the field of Jewish Special Education for the past 32 years, and have been blessed to see these kind of good deeds each and every day with my special needs students and clients. 

Thirty two years ago, when I began to work in the field we had a difficult task ahead of us, as acceptance of these individuals within the community was not on the level we have achieved today. As a counselor for a number of years, and eventually, as the head counselor at Camp HASC, I was privileged to see campers with special needs reach out to fellow campers who were unable to complete a task. 

These moments always brought a lump to my throat- a camper holding up a lower functioning camper during roller skating or showing another the correct place in the Siddur during davening. The counselors I worked with over the years were heroes of kind deeds, as they gently coaxed and encouraged each camper to achieve their fullest potential. Whether participating in a bunk night, Color War cheering competition, or just comforting those who had no guests on Visiting Day, these teenagers and young adult counselors were heroes of a multitude of good deeds. 

I am fortunate to still be close with many of these counselors who have turned into the leaders and role models within the greater Jewish community today- and many are still actively working in the field of Jewish special education.

As the curriculum Director at Chush/The Jewish Center for Special Education in Brooklyn, I watched the coming together of staff members from very diverse segments of the Jewish community- Chassidish, Litvish, and modern, all pooling their talents and efforts on behalf of the special students within our school. 

One recalls Rebbes who took students to visit bedridden classmates, teachers who took their classes to participate in Tzedakah projects for other worthy causes, and staff taking students into their homes for Shabbos and Yom Tov. They too, are examples of what the Jewish community, and the world, could accomplish if people truly put aside their philosophical differences and worked to make a difference for others.

Today, I am honored to serve as the Director of WorkPoint/Day Habilitation at Yedei Chesed, an agency in the Monsey, New York area that provides advocacy on behalf of the developmentally disabled- serving a diverse range of disabilities and a population including infants through adults. Again, I am lucky enough to witness each and every day a multitude of kind acts being performed. 

My staff members reflect a cross-section of the Jewish community and their backgrounds widely differ. Yet watching them mentor our special needs adults is an honor. They gently coax the best behavior and some verbal response from a client who was previously perceived as unmanageable. They encourage kindness by taking these adults to prepare and deliver meals for hospitalized patients in conjunction with Bikur Cholim of Rockland County. They take these young people out into the community- and give them a chance to socialize, work, and enjoy educational and recreational activities. Isn't this perhaps, the greatest kindness of all- allowing someone to simply feel that they are "just like" everyone else in their own community? 

I truly feel blessed that G-d has allowed me to work with these Heroes of Kindness... and I pray that He will give all of us the strength to continue to perform these daily acts of kindness for many years to come.

Do you have an inspiring good Deed story to share about yourself, a friend an organization? Email it to us at and you may be the next Just1gooddeed "Spotlight Story"

One Good Deed Deserves Another

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Good Deed Contest #2 - Validation

If you only watch one video in your whole life - we want to recommend this video of personal empowerment and love - this is a life-changing short film that should be emailed to everyone you know!

Enjoy the short film and Enter the Just 1 Good Deed Contest #2

Win a beautiful glass Seder Plate for yourself, your parents or your host!
The contest is open to everyone and it’s very simple:

1. Watch the video

2. Read the question written below the video

3. Send us your answer by filling out the form below by March 22, 2009

4. Share this good deed video with your friends and family

Question: What is the career change made by the validator?

Your answer must be received by Sunday March 22, 2009.

The winner will be chosen by lottery from all contestants with the correct answer. On Monday March 23, 2009 we will announce the winner of the beautiful glass Seder Plate made in Israel by SusanArt, a Jerusalem based organization that designs beautiful glassware by employing and training teens at risk from the streets of Jerusalem.

Share your good deeds with us via twitter @just1gooddeed or email:

Join our facebook group and meet other community members

Thursday, March 12, 2009

And the winner is....

Michael P. of New Jersey is our Just1gooddeed Contest #1 WINNER!

"I love to hear of or see "ordinary" people doing something good simply because it's good, not knowing what the result might be. When you have the choice or opportunity, take advantage -- don't let it escape! " Michael P. of NJ

Congratulations Michael from everyone at Just1gooddeed

Contest #2 coming soon....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kindness 101

During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz. I breezed through the questions until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was a joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade. "Absolutely," the professor said. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello." I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy. ~Joann C. Jones

Monday, March 9, 2009

Drive-In Good Deed

Just received the following tweet from one of our twitters:

"I went to pay at a drive thru, only to be told the person ahead of me paid for us both. I did the same for the next car"

Isn't it great how a good deed is contagious?

Please share good deeds that you heard about, experienced or were involved in and don't forget to post your pictures and videos of people giving out Mishloach Manot on Purim on our facebook group -

A Good Deed

Good deeds are done by many different people for many different reasons.
Here is a couple that set up a personal good deed and invited others to join in

One womans journey

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Just 1 Good Deed Facebook Group

Just 1 Good Deed is on Facebook and we have a request

Take pictures or video of you, your family, your friends, strangers delivering Mishloach Manot for Purim and post them on the just1gooddeed Facebook group

Any age, location and character is welcome to post.

Show us what you've got!

A Tradition of Good Deeds

Check out this 11 year tradition. Keep up the good work!

Solomon Schechter Day School in Newton holds annual day of good deeds - Waltham, MA - The Daily News Tribune

Does your school, organization or social group have a Good Deed tradition? Tell us about it at

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Help Miles of Smiles -- A Kindness Story

Good deed for the day - Smile

Some good deeds are just simple and cost no more than a second of our time. This group spent a little more than a second, but found that an unexpected smile can go a long way for all involved

Help Miles of Smiles -- A Kindness Story

Enjoy the story and smile!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Focusing on Good Deeds

Today I decided to do a google search on "good deed contests". 

Well look what I found...

It was such an uplifting sight to see pages of google reslts for contests focused on spreading good deeds.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Good Deed Contest #1

With the Jewish holiday of Purim approaching and the spirit of chesed/good deeds and charity, we wanted to kick off the new month with a small good deed contest to get people into the spirit of chesed and good deeds. 

It's simple, it costs nothing, you can win a great prize and you help generate an atmosphere of chesed/good deeds by spreading this information on to others.


The good deed contest to win a beautiful glass Seder Plate (a perfect gift for your loved ones or your Pesach hosts) is very simple:

1. Watch this video 
2. Read the question written below the video
3. Send us your answer either via twitter (@just1gooddeed) or email ( - all info. is noted below the video as well
4. VERY IMP: Please tell us your name and location
5. Share this good deed video with your friends and family

Send in all your answers by Purim day, March 10th to win the beautiful glass Seder plate.

On Shushan Purim, March 11th, we will have a lottery and choose one winner from all the people who submitted the correct answer. The chosen name will receive a beautiful glass Seder Plate made in Israel by SusanArt, a Jerusalem based organization that designs beautiful glassware by employing and training teens at risk from the streets of Jerusalem. The winner can use this beautiful glass seder plate for themselves or use as a Pesach gift for family or friends.

On March 12th, we will announce the winner of the good deed contest.

Click here to see the beautiful glass seder plate, watch the good deed video, take part in the contest to win and share this good deed video with everyone you can.  

If you have a few minutes to come up with your own good deed story to share, then we would  love to post that as well and send it out for all to see. The goal is to create an atmosphere of good deeds and chesed, join us in making this Adar a month full of good deeds.