The world is wonderful because of the kind people who care and tackle the greatest threats facing us. They are people with compassion and who get out there and do it. As passionate social entrepreneurs, at InspirEngage, we are always on the look-out for inspirational stories, particularly from young people who are making a difference. This is Alex’s story. Apart from the vast social impact she and all her supporters have had, it’s also a moving tale that shows you can start small (and be just 4 years old) and yet, begin a powerful movement about a cause that means a lot to you….

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is an amazing organisation that was started by an inspiring little girl at the young age of 4.

Before Alex turned 1 years old, she was diagnosed with a form of childhood cancer. The doctors informed her parents even if she beats it, it would be doubtful that she would ever walk. By her second birthday she was crawling and able to stand with leg braces. By a shocking discovery the cancer started coming back soon after that.

During her treatment on her 4th birthday she told her mum “when I get out of the hospital I want to have a lemonade stand.” She said she wanted to give the money to doctors to allow them to “help other kids, like they helped me.” True to her word she held a lemonade stand later that year with the help of her brother and raised $2000. Alex and her family continued to hold yearly lemonade stands in her front yard to benefit childhood cancer research.

News spread of the remarkable sick child dedicated to helping other sick children. People from all over the world, moved by her story, held their own lemonade stands and donated the proceeds to Alex and her cause.

Alex passed away in 2004 at the age of 8 knowing that, with the help of others, she had raised more than $1 million to help find a cure for the disease that took her life. Her family continues to keep her legacy alive today and thriving through this amazing foundation.

Interested to support this wonderful cause? Check out http://www.alexslemonade.org (@alexslemonade on Instagram)

I witnessed a lovely Random Act of Kindness in my community. When I told the person that what they’re doing is a lovely thing, they told me that people probably wouldn’t care. I wanted to prove that wrong……

Ed and his lovely dog Daisy

Meet Ed and Daisy. In the past week, I have noticed Ed walking his dog around my area and whilst walking around, he picks up other people’s litter. I talked to him one of the days when I was out walking with Kian (my 10 month old son), and I told him what a wonderful thing he is doing. I asked him if I could take a photo as I wanted to share his random act of kindness with all of you. He laughed and said- people will probably not care! I wanted to prove him wrong. That evening, I posted the following across my twitter, instagram and Facebook social media accounts (with the photo above):

“This is Ed & his dog Daisy. They live in my area. Every night after work, Ed takes Daisy for a walk and whilst going around, he picks up litter in his little plastic bag. And he does this with a smile on his face! Have spoken to him a couple of times and tonight when I approached him and asked if I could take a pic and post about what he does to you guys, he was surprised about why anyone would even care or that is in fact a big deal. Next time I see him on my walks with Kian, I’ll let him know what you guys have said! People like Ed make an area, a community. Show them love! ‪#‎community‬ ‪#‎kindness‬ ‪#‎randomactofkindness‬

Sure enough- the love rolled in! Comments like:

All your comments + my note to Ed

Peggie Allison: It’s all the small things that really matter in life.

Jay Miah Bless him! We need more people like him in the world! keep it up ed! Ur awesome

Farzana Nazir-Mohammed Melody this is amazing and good for you for highlighting such great acts of kindness . People like Ed deserve to be popular on social media because they actually set a great example for others to follow. Best wishes to Ed and Daisy and may nothing but good be returned to them. XOXO.!

In 24 hours, my posts had been viewed by some 11,000 people with 3 pages worth of lovely comments! I collated it all, printed it and put a little note on it. The next day, I gave Ed this. He was absolutely shocked as he looked through your beautiful remarks about his act of kindness. He’s a very manly man! He said he doesn’t know how to react to compliments, as he almost welled up!

With Ed & Daisy after giving him the print-out (in Ed's hand!)

There are so many people in our communities who do their little bit to make our world better. We need to create a society that recognises this and makes those people feel appreciated. Kindness is infectious – it gives people energy. Thank you to those who contributed in making Ed feel appreciated. Next time you see kindness, make that person feel good about themselves. It will undoubtedly make them want to do more. The little things matter.

Love,

Melody x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you all know, I love working at the library from time to time. Something about sharing a desk with complete strangers in a community space, is intriguing to me. Last week I witnessed bullying in the library; (see blog: http://www.melodyhossaini.com/2015/04/witnessing-bullying-that-look/)

Today, I was sitting across from a beautiful black girl and her Chinese friend. The girl was writing an essay on the civil rights movement, connected to the music industry.

They were working very hard-I was utterly impressed, firstly it was Saturday, secondly, they were both so respectful, so mature and extremely driven about their careers. We started speaking, they told me subjects they’ve applied to study. I shared with them some advice on how to make the most of their University experience for the benefit of their career. They shared with me how excited they both were about going to University and starting their adult life.

The girl was speaking about how stressed she was about applying for Universities – she wanted to get the accommodation of her first choice but wanted to visit it to ensure she was making the right decision. Her friend advised her that it’s better to do it sooner rather than later. She calls her mum explaining this. Her mum says something that visibly disappointed her.

Her friend asked what her mum said. She responds “she said we can’t travel up yet, as don’t have the money. I don’t get paid til after.” Her friend asked how much it is, she replies; “it’s only £14 on the Mega Bus”.

The note I left her in the envelope

The reason I wanted to share this (I certainly don’t share every act of kindness publicly) is to encourage all of us to do more. We should all feel responsible for creating the world we want to live in. If people receive kindness, they are more likely to be kind to others. I do what I do with InspirEngage International, to give back for the kindness people showed me. That’s what life is about. x

Putting other people down to make yourself look big is one of the most cowardly things one can do. Ever thought about why bullies behave the way they do? Felt angered and just put them down to a lost cause? We speak to a lot of young people who are victims of bullying and we explain that those who attack and generally feel the need to belittle someone, are very troubled individuals themselves.

If you think about it, no one who is confident, stable and happy would feel the need to put someone down. Nothing is gained. However, unfortunately, it’s a very common coping mechanism for others. What we do and say is a reflection on us, not on the person it’s said about.

In 2011, I took part in BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ – and a competitive show like that does push you to your limits. Although it was a little cringe at times when watching back me justifying why I was the worthy winner, it did make me proud to know that I don’t put other people down to make myself look big. Focus on what you can bring to the table and what you can do, rather than relying on why other people can’t, because otherwise, when that component is removed, you’re not left with anything.

You can disarm people with kindness. Sometimes that shocks people more than being mean. I spoke about this in a previous video which can be seen below. Ultimately, that gives you a good kind of power. That’s what’s important and that’s what will make you big- by helping someone else. Blowing out someone’s candle, won’t make yours shine any brighter.

So here’s the challenge we’re setting you- next time, you come to say something negative about someone, don’t and replace it with expressing kindness or a compliment. This will help them and you.

Tweet us your thoughts and experiences on this @InspirEngage/ @Melody_Hossaini

Watch the video explaining how you can disarm people with kindness!