Texas Wonder Woman

TWW Ricki 2You’ve probably heard the phrase, “she be small, but she be mighty”. That pretty much describes Ricky Polcer of Tyler, Texas. Though a woman of small stature, that has not deterred her from finding needs and filling them. Like others profiled on this blog, she radiates goodness.

Her story begins with quilts, simple quilts that comfort people across the United States. She learned the craft from her aunt who taught her how to piece together fabrics at the age of eight. She didn’t get serious about quilt making until her retirement from the civil service in 2001 and then she began making quilts and more quilts and yes, more quilts. To date Ricky has made over 1,120 quilts since she hung up her day job and began using her talents for helping others. Of course you must be wondering what one woman needs or does with 1,120 quilts. Charity. She makes quilts for charity. And are they grateful!

Of that mind boggling number she has made and donated 146 quilts to the National Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study Quilt Project that provides lap sized quilts to TWW quiltspatients who participate in Alzheimer’s research. Her father suffered from Alzheimer’s for over 10 years, the last eight months in a coma, and knew well what patients and their families endure. She says she makes quilts for the project because “it’s one way I can give back in his memory.”

Ricky also sews for the Quilts for Kids chapter in Austin, Texas, an organization that provides quilts to children with life – threatening illnesses and children of abuse. Ricky’s says “I love knowing I’ve provided someone with warmth and love, giving throughout the year, it’s a good feeling.” She had made and donated 982 quilts to QFK to date.

Those child and teen quilts go to a variety of local kids’ causes such as CASA, (Court Appointed Special Advocates), for newborns to teens aged 18, who are removed from their homes due to neglect, abuse, parent incarceration or death. Another group that receives her quilts is Hospice Austin for newborns to kids up to 18 who are either a Hospice patient or have an immediate family member in Hospice. A third organization who receives her quilts is the Dell Children’s/Ronald McDonald House for children undergoing long term treatment for a life altering disease or condition.

And then there are the girls at New Life. These children aged 11-18 have suffered the unfathomable: severe physical, sexual and mental abuse.  The girls who live in and go to school at New Life undergo psychiatric intervention to turn their tumultuous lives around. Many are suicidal when they enter New Life.  My gosh, what do you do for a kid like that? Ricky knows; she has made a bunch of quilts for the girls as well as 288 pillow cases that the girls received at the holidays. To give the girls something fun to purchase in the New Life facility store, she whipped up 104 cosmetic bags that they girls can “buy” using good behavior points that work like money.  To make sure there was makeup the girls could buy to put in the cosmetic cases Ricky purchased 200 e.l.f. cosmetics to line the store shelves. She also made 36 fleece throws and 153 totes the girls can purchase in the little store.

TWW two pupsDoes this woman have a heart as big as Texas, or what? She makes the Energizer Bunny look like a slacker especially because that’s not all this spunky woman does. Ricky is as passionate about her other “hobby” as what she sews for those in need.

Since 2007 when she took in her first greyhound and got involved with Greyhounds TWW Ricki & pupsUnlimited of Dallas, Texas she has been fostering and adopting the elegant former racing dogs. To date Ricky has fostered 10 “greyts” with medical issues, and adopted eight. At this time she cares for two greyts, an eight year-old named Jinx and seven year-old Manuel. To be expected she sews for the dogs too, items like fleece belly bands to keep male dogs from marking the inside of a house. The woman’s energy knows no limits.

I’m not sure that this dynamo eats or sleeps, how else does she do it? I imagine that joy and the elation of giving back plays a big part. When asked her favorite part of quilting she answered, “I treasure the quiet time with my greyhounds at my feet helping.” For Ricky, quilts and greyhounds go hand in hand. Quilts and greyts, what a sweet combo.

Do you know of a selfless hero or heroine like Ricky Polcer in your town? If so, I’d like to hear about it. Please leave a comment below.


Cool Kids Chillin’ in Buffalo

Chill Kneeling with kidsIt’s summer, it’s hot and muggy, and it’s impossibly hard to cool down, especially in the inner city neighborhoods. Then a guy comes by on a bike, an ice cream bike, and relief is within reach, except for one little problem. You’re a kid whose family hasn’t much, even enough for an ice cream. So you stand to the side and watch and salivate and wish you could have an ice cream.

This scenario is not so unusual and it’s why I particularly love what James Karagiannis of Buffalo is doing for kids in his community. He’s the perfect example of how one person can generate a smile in a second and make a difference.

In his upstate New York hometown locals know James as the Ice Cream Dude, and what a dude he is. In 2007 he started a bicycle ice cream business, sort of like the ole musical ice cream truck, only it’s a cart of frozen treats connected to his bike. He doesn’t charge a lot for his ice cream novelties, just a buck a piece, but for some kids who have nothing, even that is too much. From the start he encountered a dilemma—how to help out these kids without giving them a handout.

He says that “one of the hardest parts about being an ice cream dude is seeing the disappointment on a kid’s face when all of their friends buy ice cream but they’re left out because they don’t have a dollar.”

While he says that he has the latitude to give away freebies he can’t afford to give to every single person. “Trust me, we get asked a lot!”

Chill James and more kidsHe adds that he doesn’t like just giving something away to a kid “without at least trying to teach a lesson. We’re in these neighborhoods every day and are a part of these kids’ lives; we have the responsibility to be positive role models.”

He came up with a way to teach them a lesson while being a positive role model and giving them the ice cream they want. He makes them earn the ice cream by answering questions, a quiz.

“They love questions,” he says “and I love that I’m teaching them things. I would have been a teacher if I wasn’t an entrepreneur.”

James makes it fun while making the kids feel that they earned their ice cream, which he ensures they do.

“I let them choose their subject, but often times it’s easiest to pull a dollar out of my pocket, tell them I’ll give them the dollar if they can tell me the city it was printed in. I give them clues, for example, San Francisco would be ‘there was a gold rush here in 1849.’ They can’t figure that out until I have them draw the connection between the football team and the meaning of 49ers.”

Answering questions doesn’t always work out for every kid, so he came up with another idea. “If they want a free ice cream, they’re going to have to write a thank you note.”

And boy, oh boy, have those kids been writing thank you notes! James thought that the thank you cards would be a nice because he personally appreciates personal thank you cards, something you don’t see much these days. A lost art.

“For years people have been giving me a few bucks to buy ice cream for the next group of kids I see. I thought the thank you cards would be a nice gift for them while teaching the kids in the process.”

Another reason he decided to have the kids fill out the cards is because the people who donate money never get to see the joy on the children’s faces when he gives out the treats. The cards work both ways.

Chill TY postcards“Now there’s an opportunity to put a smile on someone’s face and receive one in return,” he says.

The process is pretty simple. For anyone who donates he has the kids write thank you notes, which James mails to the donors. The thank you notes do just as much for the donors as the kids.

“Maybe it arrives in your mailbox long after you’ve forgotten about it, maybe it arrives on a day you could use an extra smile.” James just loves the idea of helping the kids and showing them how they can express appreciation.

Oh, and I almost forgot, he’s so humble all he sees is the goodness in others. When asked what’s his favorite part of the job he said “when a kid who only has $1 offers their ice cream to a friend, sibling, or parent. Totally selfless. I always buy those kids an ice cream.”

James says that there are eight of them on the ice cream bikes and each of them does something extra for the kids. All of them have the kids fill out the thank you cards, but each has an extra thing they like to do with the kids. James asks questions and sometimes races his bike with them.

“Rex likes to shoot hoops with the kids. He gives them a freebie if they make a three point shot. Jerrod likes to do science experiments.”

Chill girls with ice cream mess

Ice cream on a hot, sticky day, giving back, and having fun in the process, ah, life is sweet, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Be sure to check out the Ice Cream Dude’s website and Facebook page to see more photos and videos. And if you’re feeling inspired and want to support the ice cream fund, it’s easy.

What do you think—is James’ idea cool or what? Leave me a comment.



Unleashing Hidden Talent Restores Dignity

Though Alzheimer’s devastates individuals and their families, occasionally a bright light shines from its dark tunnel. Sometimes innate gifts obscured through the toils of daily life emerge. Like what happened to Lester Potts, the late father of Dr. Daniel Potts, a well-known Alabama neurologist.

UHT HummingbirdLester was a rural Alabama saw miller who became an acclaimed watercolor artist after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s (AD). Prior to developing AD he had never before shown any artistic talent. Art and music therapy at Caring Days, a dementia daycare center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama fed his creative expression, improving his cognition, mood, and behavior.

Daniel and his wife Ellen witnessed a transformation in Lester quite unlike anything they had ever seen. Moreover, what impressed them was how these therapies helped to restore Lester’s dignity and improved his quality of life. It was nothing short of extraordinary. Ellen remembers the time clearly.

“The only thing Lester had drawn before was of something to build. He was practical, the most utilitarian soul ever. For him to become an artist, it was so out of character. The more his disease progressed the more he painted his memories. This part of his psyche was released as his frontal lobe deteriorated. Where (Alzheimer’s took) the sense of self went away,” she explains, “his right parietal lobe was pretty much untouched until late in the disease process. All that creativity was probably there all along.”

Ellen explains that the frontal lobe inhibits creativity that may be buried deep within. “You’re inhibited from doing things you may have the talent to do because you don’t think you have the ability or you’re too inhibited to try. All that creativity was untouched until late in the disease process. It was probably there the whole time. The fact that he of all people would become an artist was the most miraculous thing of all.”

Lester’s new abilities influenced his son. “Before we knew it the art got a hold of me and I was staying up all night writing poetry, which is something I’d never done in my entire life,” Daniel says. “I went to Ellen and said we ought to put a book together of Dad’s art and my poetry.” In 2006 they put out The Broken Jar featuring his poetry and Lester’s art.

You’d think that a story like this would be enough, right? Not this couple. They took it and ran in order to give other dementia patients the same good fortune. They developed a program in collaboration with the University of Alabama Honors College, called Bringing Art to Life.

UHT GroupEach semester the program pairs five participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s with three Honors students.  Before the start of the art therapy sessions the students receive instruction on Alzheimer’s, person-centered care techniques, art and other expressive arts therapies, and are taught the importance of honoring and preserving the life story.  For the next eight weeks the students and patients work side-by-side in group art therapy.  During the sessions, the students capture life story elements for later use in crafting a memoir.

According to Daniel and Ellen, one of the most heartwarming aspects is watching how the students develop empathy for the dementia patients and for their caregivers.  The Potts’ based the course on A Pocket Guide for the Alzheimer Caregiver, a book they co-wrote in 2011. Lester was not their only family member with Alzheimer’s. Between the two of them they have lost eight family members to Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. They demonstrated every situation in the book with a family story.

Daniel explains their motivation for establishing the program. “We were trying to use our experience with Dad and others to show that the person is still in there and build on that. Our focus is honoring the human being, the dignity people still have, despite this disease. We can still have a relationship with them that can be transformative for everybody. The art and the music help you tap into that.”

Ellen says “Through the pairing of the students and participants, it’s been nearly miraculous how some of the participants were able to come out of their shell.” She describes how the students and dementia patients found a connection, adding that previously many of the patients had been withdrawn and had stopped interacting with their families. “In the art therapy and reminiscing sessions they came to life.”

They tell the story of a well-known Southern artist, Sara Turner, who lost her sight to macular degeneration and developed Alzheimer’s. She joined Art to Life in 2014. Daniel remembers the day the 95 year-old joined the program.

UHT Hands

“Sara came into the room the first time and said she used to be an artist but didn’t think she could do the art project. Her students helped her, guided her hands, talked her through it, and asked her favorite colors.” She was elated and told the students “I can feel colors again”.

“Sara was completely authentic; the Alzheimer’s couldn’t mask that. The students were completely inspired by this blind woman with Alzheimer’s,” he says. “She was so full of gratitude, just to be alive and present. It made the students have introspection and look at their own lives and their own fears and the things they’re dealing with. Interacting with Sara brought all that out. It was therapy for those kids to be in the presence of this woman.”

UHT Sara CelebrationHe remembers sitting back and watching and being in tears. “Sara named the finished piece, Celebration – it’s a new beginning. It was a celebration and a new beginning and it was one of those Art to Life moments that has changed so many lives over the course of the last five years.”

Indeed. And to think it all started with a rural saw miller who had never painted a day in his life. I imagine that Lester is still painting, and smiling down on Daniel and Ellen, proud of how they’re changing lives through art, proud of all the goodness they’ve instilled. And maybe he’s just a little bit proud to have been the inspiration. How could he not be?

To see The Broken Jar, click here.

To learn more about Bringing Art to Life please visit them here.


Hitting It Big, Giving It Back

Who doesn’t harbor a secret fantasy of winning the lottery? It’s not uncommon for people to dream what they would do with the money should they hit the ‘big one’. A new car, a new house, travel, maybe a small tropical island. Anything is possible depending on the amount of the win.

HIB Win Photo

Back in late 2012 when Mark and Cindy Hill of Dearborn, Missouri won half of an astounding $587 million Powerball payout (netted to $136.5 million after taxes) they were simultaneously shocked and ecstatic. I mean, who wouldn’t be?

When asked at a press conference held at the high school where they met how they planned to spend the money, Mark, a mechanic, said he was thinking about buying a red Camaro. Not a Jag, not a Lamborghini, a Camaro. That gives you an idea what kind of humble people the Hills are. Ultimately Mark bought a pickup truck.

HIB Messsage on FBCindy, a laid-off office manager had been looking for work. They had already adopted a little girl from China and with the influx of money were thinking of adopting another. They also planned to help family members, by paying for their four granddaughters, nieces and nephews college educations. Their other big plan was to take their little daughter to the beach because she had never seen one.

Not much has changed for the couple, except that Cindy gave up her job search and Mark retired. He still meets friends for coffee every morning at a local convenience store and they still live in the same home and keep up with all their usual activities. No fancy cars, no tropical island, no exotic cruises to places they can’t pronounce. Instead they have slowly begun using their windfall to give back by funding civic projects in their local community, as well as in Mark’s home town, Camden Point, Missouri, a small settlement of less than 500 residents.

HIB Dearborn signSo far they’ve donated a scholarship fund to nearby North Platte High School in Dearborn, where both graduated, paid for a new ball field for children, safely built far from the dangers of traffic, and donated $50,000 towards the sewage treatment plant.

Who uses their lottery winnings to fund a sewage treatment plant? Good people with their priorities in the right place, that’s who. The new sewage treatment plant will allow residents to remove their personal septic tanks. Ever had to deal with a personal septic tank? You know this is a biggie.

HIB Fire StationAnd then there’s the fire station they funded in Camden Point, a gesture to thank local firefighters for twice saving the life of Mark’s father. Mark took a vested interest in the new fire station by working with architects, contractors, and members of the local volunteer fire department to make sure they got everything just right.

The new station, built to be larger than needed so it could meet demands as the community grows in the decades to come will be dedicated mid-July. It’s built from reinforced concrete to make sure it lasts for generations. In local reports city officials estimate that these projects would have taken around 25 years to complete had the city needed to rely on its existing tax base.

Often big money, like a lottery win, changes people. It’s gratifying to hear of a case where it didn’t, where people stuck to their values. At the press conference that announced their huge windfall, Cindy Hill explained their plans in the humblest way she knew how. “For some reason (God) put it in our hands,” she said, “I think to make sure it goes to the right things.”

If it were up to Mark, he would have kept the fire station a secret. He told a local news station, “If my wife and I could have built this without anybody knowing, that’s exactly what we would have done.” He doesn’t want people making a big deal over the gift because it’s simply their way of giving back to their neighbors, to their community.

Now if these folks aren’t the epitome of The Goodness Principle, I don’t know what is.


Hailey, the Extraordinary Kid Caregiver

Hailey 3

There are good people everywhere, and then there are remarkable people like Hailey, who takes care of her grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Not so unusual? Actually, it’s quite unusual because Hailey is nine years old and began caring for her beloved grandmother at the age of four. She adores her grandmother and has gone to extraordinary lengths to give her the best life possible.

What you may ask can a child do for an aging grandparent with such a challenging disease? Well, let me tell you. This child, who is as insightful as someone 50 years her senior, makes her grandmother’s world an easier place to live in, and one where she knows she is loved, deeply loved. How does Hailey get through, how does she communicate with her?

Hailey 5“I manage it by doing puzzles with my Grandma,” Hailey says. “Even if we don’t solve it exactly right it still makes Grandma happy.”

Hailey’s mom, Emma, says that her mother is still able to speak and she still recognizes them. That’s a big deal when it comes to dementia; there is nothing so heartbreaking as your loved one not knowing who you are. Emma says they are grateful, while acknowledging that there are other behaviors associated with the disease that can be difficult at times, such as frequent repeating. Anyone who has spent time around someone with Alzheimer’s knows that repeating is one of the more taxing aspects of the disease. It can be incredibly frustrating. Leave it to a nine year-old to come up with an effective tactic.

Hailey explains, “When Grandma keeps repeating herself I usually talk about a different Hailey 1subject, I say words she can’t repeat, like I say ‘I love you, Grandma’. Or I ask her a question.”

As her mother plunged into dementia Emma looked, but didn’t find any books for kids that would lend support; books that might help them cope. When it became quite apparent that Hailey had figured out a few innovative ways on her own Emma encouraged Hailey to create something that would help other kids navigate the caregiving waters.

“I started thinking that I needed a blog to help kids, so that they know they’re not alone and show them ways that they could care for their loved ones,” Hailey says. “On April 5th it was published.”

Emma set up the blog for Hailey, who took it over. She uses the hunt and peck system and for smaller entries she completely types it on her own. Emma, a teacher, proofreads and edits if necessary. Sometimes Hailey dictates entries to Emma who types it for her. Emma emphasizes that Hailey definitely does most of it on her own. Hailey comes up with posts, such as her caregiving tips and strategies. She’s even featured her friend, Katie, as a guest blogger. The blog has become a passion for Hailey and for her mother, too. The following post that Emma wrote on Hailey’s blog explains why it was so important to launch the blog and the new community it is building:

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving there are at least 1.3 million children between the ages of 8 and 18 who are caregivers. Hailey realized that children can make a big difference in the world. Unfortunately, Hailey and I had difficulty finding other kids who are going through the same thing as Hailey. There were times, when Hailey would have loved to know that there were other kids “out there”; who are also going through similar experiences. As the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention”, so Hailey created the type of support group that she would have loved for herself. Her goal is for kids to have a platform to share ideas, offer tips, and get advice. She shares her experiences, to model for other kids.  Kid Caregivers is in its infancy, since the seed was launched in February (2016). I am excited to report that there are readers from: India, Africa, Greece, Germany, Israel, Russia, UK and the United States. Clearly caregiving is a worldwide issue and for children a very sensitive one. Her goal is to let other kids know that they are not alone. Hopefully, her dream of reaching “hundreds” of kids will become a reality.

Hailey 4Hailey’s efforts don’t stop there. She is the Assistant Director of Puzzles to Remember, an organization that provides puzzles to seniors in various types of facilities. And then there’s a prototype she’s working on called the Memory Walker Alert. Not long ago her grandmother forgot to use her walker one day, fell, suffered a subdural hematoma and broke her hip. Hailey reports that her grandmother had to have surgery and is doing much better. But the incident disturbed Hailey; she wanted to figure out a way to get people with dementia to use their walkers. Emma told Hailey about a device called a proximity sensor. Though not an engineer, Hailey is working on a dual-sensor system where one sensor would attach to the walker and the other would attach to the senior. If the senior steps too far away from the walker it would give off a voice command “Walker! Use your walker!” and a sound would beep image source. As Emma is quick to point out, Hailey does not know how to build the circuitry, but she understands the mechanics behind it. She’s already sketched out her idea.

Hailey 2“As the adults, her father and I are trying to figure out how it can be done,” Emma says. “She came up with the seed of the idea. She told me ‘we need to come up with some kind of alarm system, Mommy, so Grandma doesn’t leave the walker.’ We showed her various videos of proximity sensors and she’s been working on it” Emma says proudly.

At the center of Hailey’s mission is heart. A big heart. Most children are content to play and be a kid. Hailey is a different kind of soul. Of course she is a kid, and does all the usual kid things, but she also has a rare vision not often seen in a nine year-old. That vision means both making life better for her grandmother and helping other children, showing them that they’re not alone in caring for someone they love. If her blog accomplishes that one task, if it helps just one child, she will be elated, because all the effort will have been worth it.

For more information visit Hailey’s Kid Caregivers blog and her FaceBook page.

Be sure to watch the music video Stay for a Little While. Written by David Light and Bakhus Saba, it reflects on how children connect with dementia patients and features several photos of Hailey and her grandma.

Tidbits of Love… The Biggest Little Thing

TBoL be braveIf you strolled along the Coast Highway in Encinitas, California on the pedestrian path, you’d come upon a Nantucket style fence with little pieces of whimsical artwork tucked under the wires, free for the taking. Or maybe you’d see one left behind in a café, on a park bench or a little box filled with them in a local gift shop. If you were really lucky, maybe someone handed you one featuring a colorful dragonfly, you turned it over and read “Be brave. Believe in you!” And suddenly you know that you’ve been handed an unexpected gift because that was exactly what you needed to hear that day. It happened to a runner named Jenna. She saw that little piece of artwork featuring a wave along the Coast Highway the very day she was going for a job interview. She needed that encouragement to be brave.

So what are these little cards and who is behind them? They’re called Tidbits of Love® and TBoL Sharonare the brainchild of local artist, Sharon Belknap. She was born with a natural ability to draw that lead to a degree in art and a career in graphic design. But as Sharon says, when the field entered the age of computers the whole tactile sense of drawing became lost to her. Not every graphic artist would notice that loss, but Sharon did.

“I felt something was really missing in my life,” Sharon remembers. “Two years ago I started sketching again. It wasn’t that I wanted to get back to my drawing, it was that I left something important behind.” In other words, Sharon needed to get back to drawing, back to the pencil on paper, the tactile part of creating art.

She took online classes at SketchbookSkool.com and found a global community of like-minded aspiring artists. Sharon began drawing and posting her work on her Facebook page. She was provoked by one comment in particular.

“Up comes a friend from 8th grade, Heather Walsh, who even in 8th grade would tell you what you needed to do. She just had a sense of things. She’d been watching my sketches and challenged me to do seven consecutive days of positive Facebook posts with sketches. A lot of work! I thought what can I do that’s small and from my imagination?”

TBoL painting

Sharon drew seven little sketches, outline only, just the pen and ink, applied watercolor paints, photographed, and posted them on Facebook. Subsequently, she remembered her community of sketchbook skool artist friends and posted to them as well. The comments came at her like a hard summer rain, relentless. She sat for hours reading and responding to everyone.

“That was my seminal moment – all this love, genuine appreciation of the style, the imagery, the colors, the idea to do little drawings,” she says.

She wasn’t yet developing a product; she was only fulfilling a challenge from an 8th grade classmate. Then came a comment from a woman who wrote “they exude joy”.

“When I read her words something shifted in me and I realized I had a responsibility to do something with these drawings, because I’ve always had a personal commitment to bring more joy into the world with every interaction. I felt a responsibility to use my talent.”

TBoL little girl

Around that time Sharon decided to take her art out of her home and into a studio space, a place that would support her creativity, apart from her graphics and home. She’d moved her design business home 28 years ago to raise her two children. It was time to fly. She rented what can only be called a tiny cottage on the Coral Tree Farm in Encinitas. It’s an organic farm right in the center of town. One moment you’re in a neighborhood and the next you’re walking by trees laden with fruit and vegetables as bountiful as waves on the nearby Pacific Ocean. From somewhere at the back of the property you hear the bleating of a goat. And then you see Sharon’s tiny studio; you step inside; Sharon’s creative genius envelops you.

With a place to create her art and a vision Tidbits of Love® was born. At this point you may be wondering what exactly is a tidbit of love? They are tiny cards with a big heart. Have you ever heard the phrase that from little things come big ideas? Small as they are these tidbits are big for all the good they do. Tidbits come in small boxes of 40. The fronts feature Sharon’s whimsical hand drawn sketches inspired by nature like a sun, a ladybug, a water lily or a butterfly, to mention a few.  Five of the backs are blank for writing your own messages, the rest express messages like “Smile! You’re appreciated!” and “Thank you for you!” and “Enjoy the journey, it’s all yours!” I especially like the one with an endearing crescent moon surrounded by stars and on the back: “A shooting star for you.”

I’m not the only one mesmerized by these little wonders that Sharon calls her ‘little bits of magic’. Once people receive one or see them, they get it right away and understand the powerful message that the tiny cards pass onto others. They feel supported and appreciated and the little card is theirs to keep, to cheer them on.

TBoL make a wish

“I’ve sent boxfuls to places where tragedy has occurred,” she says. “I sent a box to a friend in Arizona who is a principal at a school for kids who are high risk. They are now part of their weekly accountability chart. I sent several boxes to the White House and received a lovely thank you.”

Sharon says that people are working them into their daily lives, and finding their own ways of using them. In the first year she went through 2,000 boxes, selling and giving them away to promote what she calls ‘random acts of kindness’.

TBoL Bill Tall

Recently Sharon asked her Facebook followers how they’re using Tidbits of Love® and what kind of responses they’ve seen. A few of their answers tell the story:

“Making the world a better place, one tidbit at a time.”

“One of the many things that resonates with me is that most recipients look at the tidbit and then press it to their heart in thanks!”

“I gave a box of tidbits to my dear Aunt following a diagnosis of terminal cancer. She said they gave her gratitude a voice. She warmly shared them with friends and caregivers. I believe they made her final days a bit warmer.”

“I love sneaking tidbits of love into unexpected places like the Goodwill donation box, or in the mail box for the mailman to find, or on random windows in the parking lot. It’s fun to give people an unexpected smile and warm up their hearts.”

“Typical responses to receiving a tidbit? Smiles, smiles, and more smiles!”

Tidbits of Love. The biggest little thing. Visit Sharon at her website and tell her what you think.