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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.


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.


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.