TSUNAMI VICTIMS IN SRI LANKA HELPED BY A KINDNESS CARD
Shyann's preschool friend, Batia Tanenbaum, was inspired by a kindness card received at Shyann's Celebration of Life Service in 2005. Batia made a flyer with the kindness card attached and asked for donations from individuals and local businesses and raised over $3,000 for the purchase of a water purification system for the tsunami victims in Sri Lanka. As Batia presented the check to World Care, local television coverage told the story of how the friendship of two little girls was making a difference for so many others.
HOW SHYANN & A KINDNESS CARD INSPIRED ME
"I know you are not taking any more children on your case load, but you will love this family," said Donna. "She is the cutest little girl you have ever seen, and I promise the mom Sandy will do everything you ask her to do." Donna Alverado was, and still is, the person you want to do favors for. So after much thought, I told Donna that she could give my number to Sandy and put in the referral.
Never have I met such a gracious, dedicated family. Time didn't matter. Location didn't matter. The only thing that mattered was Shyann. I began seeing Shyann when she was in first grade. She had just received a Vanguard communication device. Sandy spent countless hours programming and placing pictures on the device in order to customize it to Shyann's needs. Donna was right, Sandy would do whatever I asked, and truly seemed to "get it." Shyann and I worked together for four months before I received the call that she was in the hospital. The day I went to visit her, she had died.
It was at Shyann's memorial service that I received the "Random Act of Kindness Card." I knew I was supposed to do something with it, but I didn't know what that something was. So I held onto it. My friend, Susan O'Cain, and I had been thinking about starting an agency and holding a summer camp. We had recently applied online for an LLC. After receiving the "Random Act of Kindness Card," I approached Susan with the idea of dedicating our first summer camp to the memory of Shyann. It didn't happen quickly, nor has it ever been easy, but we forge ahead each year because of the littlest angel, Shyann Rosati. We are going on our third year of Liberty Center Summer Camp and each year is a little better.
Having known Shyann, even for such a short amount of time, was my greatest pleasure. Over the years I have worked with hundreds of children. Each one has touched my heart in a special way, but none has inspired me like Shyann. I can honestly say that I am a better person for having known her.
HOW I WAS TOUCHED BY A KINDNESS CARD
At the homeless feeding program where we brought our Kindness Gift-Giving Program, a little girl who had already received her gift package came over to talk to me. Pointing to Glenn, she told me he was Shyann's dad. I told her I was Shyann's mom, to which she replied, "you must miss her." I told her I missed Shyann very much.
She came back a few minutes later and asked me to sign the back of her kindness card where she said she had written a message to Shyann. I couldn't make out what the card said, but saw Glenn's name on it and asked if she wanted me to write my name or what Shyann called me. She said she wanted me to write what Shyann called me, so I wrote "Mama" on the card. She told me she was going to go read the card to Shyann's dad.
A few minutes later she came back and read the card to me. It said, "Hi, my name is Nybol. You don't know me, but your mom and dad miss you." I told her with tears in my eyes that I was going to keep this card and would think of her every time I looked at it. She said, "Don't think about me, think about Shyann." To my answer of "I'm always thinking of Shyann," she replied, "Keep thinking about her."
I think everyone will understand if I don't pass along this very special kindness card.
A STRANGER TOUCHED BY A KINDNESS CARD
Glenn enjoys using a kindness card to pay for the car in back of him when he goes thru the Starbucks drive-thru. He received this touching e-mail from Linda Johnson.
"I don't know where to begin, a good start would be thank you. I was at Starbucks last week one day picking up some treats for my daughter, Alexis. Alexis is 19 and had just had her hand broken the evening before due to an assault against her with a baseball bat by a group of drunken young men looking for trouble. Fortunately for her, she had some male friends with her at the swimming pool they were swimming in and they went immediately to her aid.
I noticed this vehicle in front of me in the Starbucks line that read "Shysdad." Of course I was trying to figure out exactly what this represented. I soon found out as I pulled up to the window to pick up our goodies. I was so profoundly touched. I have shared what happened with many, and they too realize there are still good people and angels out there.
I keep the card with me at all times waiting for the appropriate moment, the one that tells you it is time to pass this gift along.
I thank you so very much. God bless your beautiful daughter, Shyann, and her family as well. Place your burdens in God's hands. Shyann is needed to assist our God in ways we cannot even imagine. I lost my fiancé two years ago in a freak car accident. That is why I share the words mentioned above with you. Continue your work, it is beautiful....God is standing beside you and at times He is carrying you."
Linda has since contacted us asking for more kindness cards for her to use, which we are always happy to supply.
THE POWER OF KINDNESS
An example of the power of kindness occurred recently when a large, specially chosen backpack was delivered to a 7th grader at a group home for abused and neglected children. The young man had been needing a backpack for many months, and waited patiently, hoping that one would be found. An excellent backpack was located, personally donated and chosen for him by a caring, anonymous person. As it was hand delivered, I mentioned that a Shyann kindness card was inside, explaining the concept of passing on kindness anonymously.
The child stared thoughtfully at me for a moment, and gave me a huge hug and grin in appreciation for the kindness, and was excited for the chance to pass along another opportunity for caring. As I see this child regularly, he continues to use the black backpack for summer swimming outings and other activities. In the fall, he will use it for the heavy books from middle school.
He continues to help others whenever possible, and the warm hugs continue. I have seen him share his belongings with those less fortunate. That is what the power of one simple act of kindness can achieve.
KINDNESS PASSED ON IN IRAQ
Prince Elementary School Student Council
The Student Council at Prince Elementary School decided to do a spring service project as a way to pass on the kindness shown to them by The Shyann Kindness Project on March 6, 2008. After brainstorming different ideas, the students voted to send care packages to US service men and women overseas.
While planning their collection, they discovered the son of a fourth grade teacher had recently been deployed to Iraq. The teacher told the students the items that were most requested and needed. The Student Council made posters and went to each classroom to explain their project and the items they would be collecting.
Staff and students brought in items such as snack foods, drink mixes, chapstick, hand sanitizer, stationary, etc. The students wrote letters to the service men and women and put them in the care packages along with a TSKP kindness card and sent them to Sergeant Rizzuto and his unit in Iraq.
KINDNESS CARDS IN NEW JERSEY
For her Confirmation project, Rosati family friend, Kara Barbarino, chose to pass on kindness in Shyann's memory to children in St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson, N.J. Kara received great support from her school, church, and others, and collected enough items to put together kindness packages for 120 pediatric patients, each with a TSKP kindness card attached. According to Kara, she felt it was a great way to honor Shyann's life and to spread the word about TSKP to the East Coast.
When she arrived on the pediatric floor and saw all the children in their rooms, Kara felt good inside knowing that her packages would be handed out to them to put a smile on their face and help get them through another day or another treatment. She's also hoping that people realize it doesn't take much to be kind and help others.
St. Joseph's Hospital honored Kara with a "Champions for Children" certificate, along with a letter stating it hoped that it reminds her of all the kindness she passed on in Shyann's memory. Sandy and Glenn Rosati were very touched by all of Kara's efforts in performing this very special act of kindness in Shyann's memory, and thanked Kara for being such a great example of someone who passes on kindness to others.