Welcome to the United We Read - Act of Kindness Story Page
Thank you for your willingness to share your story of kindness.
We look forward to sharing it with others.
The Kindness of a 13-year-old
I work at a junior high and, frequently, when I tell people this they groan. Thirteen is not any easy age for anyone. Today, however, I witnessed a true act of kindness. Eric (name has been changed) is a student who is loud. He can be obnoxious, rude, loves to get a reaction, and is out of his seat 90% of the time. He is a student who elicits a knowing sigh in the faculty room from all who have him. He can be exhausting. Today, he was acting up as normal. He would not sit down, would not be quiet, and would not leave other kids alone; however, he noticed a girl crying. He very loudly asked me why she was crying and I said, "I don't know." Instead of making fun of her or moving on with his day, he got out of his seat (I know...) and went over to her desk. He kneeled down on the floor and put his face right up into hers. He talked quietly with her for a few minutes and then with all of his usual Eric-ness yelled "What do you do Mr. Poopoo?!?" and wobbled around the class, goofily to try and get her to smile. Sure, we weren't getting anything done. Sure, maybe she didn't want the attention. But for someone like Eric to take attention off of himself, for even a minute, and to use his time to try and cheer her up was something remarkable.
Submitted by: Amanda Hatton -- on February 14
Protect and Serve
This is a story of kindness that I have heard many times. Law enforcement are called out on a suspicious person – a man who appears homeless and is loitering outside a store or is digging in a dumpster. When the officers arrive, they realize the man is down on his luck. He means no harm to the store or others, but is hungry and disoriented. The officer buys a warm meal for the man – coffee, food, sometimes a blanket. The story often goes further. Sometimes the officers take the man to a local motel and pay, out of their own pocket, for the man to have a place to stay for the night, to have a warm shower, to wash his clothes. This is often what is needed for the man to be able to see his children. In some cases, the officers see the man for months after the initial contact and a positive impact is observed. Housing is obtained, perhaps even a job – all because the officer cared. The first time I heard this story I was moved to tears – an act of kindness by people in uniform who many individuals have come to fear. By the 20th time I heard this story, in every jurisdiction across Utah, I realized this is the kind of loving heart that is attracted to serving the community – to protect and serve. I am amazed by the humility and kindness of the men and women I have met in law enforcement.
Submitted by: Amanda Dickson -- on January 11
Sub for Santa
When reviewing the needs for several Sub for Santa families, a library employee discovered the families were receiving toys. Unfortunately, they were not receiving needed items. Our employee started a drive among our team members to purchase food and clothes for these families. One of the families did not have a kitchen, just a hot plate. With the money donated, the library was able to give them a microwave.
Submitted by: Trish Hull -- on January 11
Seth is 19 years old, autistic, nonverbal, and is no longer able to attend school. He and his family have been patrons at the County Library’s Magna Branch for many years. For the last few years, Seth has become a regular computer user. His dad, Michael, was his full-time caregiver and they would often come to play video games and watch YouTube. At the end of 2015, they learned that Michael had stage four cancer and his life expectancy was a few weeks. By the end of January 2016, Michael died. The day Michael died, Seth’s mom, Chrissy, came to the Magna Branch to let us know. She also told library staff that Seth’s first request, after spending a few last minutes with his dad, was to visit his “happy place” – the library. They spent the last hour of their day doing what Seth loved doing with his dad, visiting the library. Seth has a new part-time caregiver and, with the help of his sister, he still visits the Magna Branch. This year, for the first time, Seth is attending Yule Ball. This is a really big deal because he often gets overwhelmed by high sensory events. We're so excited for him to experience the Yule Ball for the first time! This picture is Seth and I at Halloween, when we he stopped by the library to show me his ninja costume.
Submitted by: Spring Lavellee -- on January 11
Be kind even to the smallest
Be kind even to the smallest
Submitted by: Liesl Seborg -- on January 09
One afternoon, a gentleman asked if we had a prayer room or somewhere he could pray. As part of our Year of Inclusion, I have been focusing on how I can be more inclusive and aware of the different cultures, ethnicities, and communities we serve. So back to the question, “Do you have a prayer room?” I could've just said, “No.” I knew that, at this time, both the meeting room and conference room were booked--so no luck there. Instead of telling him, “I'm sorry we don't,” I started brainstorming what places we had that might work. Turns out we have a passage way from the kids’ area to the auditorium that is closed off with doors on each end that we use as an entrance when we have storytime. This location worked. This was an unconventional idea; however, being able to help a customer find a place where he could privately pray felt really good. I am so proud to work in an organization that encourages respect and inclusion for all.
Submitted by: Allison, Librarian at Salt Lake County Library -- on January 03