My intern, Isabella Noe, a senior at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati is a very special person. It gives her such satisfaction to reach out and help others. Below is her story, in her own words, of how a simple acts of kindness touched her; and how she thinks about that impact.
At my job at the Fresh Healthy Café in the Kenwood Towne Centre, in lieu of a tip jar, we have a jar for the homeless. Most people drop in their change, while others dig into their wallets for a few extra dollars. This may not seem like much, but during the holiday season, the mall is bustling with excitement. When each person donates a spare quarter or two on average, it adds up. A few weeks ago our donation jar topped $100. Each day we collect change so the Fresh family can donate a large sum of money at once, rather than multiple small donations. While it is certainly not enough to make a huge impact, it feels good to be doing something to help.
Especially around the holidays, I was extremely concerned for the homeless. As temperatures drop, I think of all the people who do not have a warm meal or place to stay the night, or even a family to celebrate with. I feel incredibly grateful for how privileged I am, but often find myself wishing I could do more for those who are not as lucky. I hope someday I can make more of an impact because it is sometimes difficult as a teenager to bring about huge change. However, I have come to realize that change doesn’t need to be earth shattering- one can make a big difference in small ways, such as delivering for the St. Vincent de Paul food pantries. My grandfather and I spent a lot of time working together at his local pantry, which I enjoyed very much because it taught me about kindness. The pantry was often at capacity due to a huge influx of donations, which warmed my heart. It was an incredibly humbling experience.
I often think of the food pantry or other similar organizations when I see people drop their change into the small jar at work. I remember the ease of picking up and delivering food, and how something so simple for me could make such a huge impact. Kindness works in many ways, and doesn’t have to be big. Small acts of kindness can make a huge difference, just as spare change can add up to a warm bed and a hot meal for someone in need.
Written by Good Things intern, Isabella Noe, a Walnut Hills High School senior in Cincinnati.
“Typically on Good Things Going Around, I have the pleasure of telling other people’s incredible stories. Today, however, I get to tell my unbelievable story of how I met one of my dearest friends. When I was eleven years old, I traveled to Japan with a program called CISV, or Children’s International Summer Village. The program focuses on instilling ideas of world peace and wanderlust into children to create more empathetic and worldly adults.
While there, I met a plethora of people from 12 different countries. One girl who I met while in Japan was Carmo Gomes, from Portugal. We went on our second homestay together and although she couldn’t speak perfect english, we became friends.
Fast forward six years. We had not really kept in contact other than occasionally liking or commenting on each other’s Facebook posts. I never thought much about her until my senior year of high school. Sitting in my fourth period class, I saw a girl who I could not place, but who looked incredibly familiar to me. My teacher asked me to show her to the office, and I agreed. As we walked to the office, I turned to her. ‘This is going to sound incredibly specific,’ I said, ‘but did you by chance travel to Japan when you were 11?’
She looked at me quizzically and said ‘yes, I had (in perfect English).’
I reintroduced myself, and within a second we were jumping around the hallway, screaming in excitement, and hugging. Carmo explained that she was with a program called AFS, living for a year in Cincinnati, Ohio. As the day progressed, we discovered we are both involved in theatre and have many of the same interests. It has now been a month and a half since Carmo and I rediscovered each other. Now, we see each other every single day and spend almost every single weekend together. We go to football games together, we are in Julius Caesar together, and she enthusiastically joins me at Good Things Going Around events.
So quickly I have realized how lucky I am to have her back in my life. We never connected on this level as 11-year-olds, so without this incredible miracle of fate, I never would have known one of my best friends. She has already invited me back to Portugal with her, and I look forward to what the rest of this year brings us.
“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.” -Marcus Aurelius
Among the gifts this blog has given me has been the opportunity to get to know, inspire and explore with young minds who want to grow. I have loved seeing the ways in which they have grown from the experience.
One of the greatest compliments came several weeks back when Isabella Noe, a senior at Walnut Hills High School, reached out to me at the suggestion of my former intern Andrea Francisco. They are working together this summer and Andrea recommended Isabella get in touch with me. I am so very proud of Andrea and her personal growth, and I am so grateful to have been part of her journey.
It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you my newest high school intern…Isabella.
Isabella has a great interest in photography and theatre. When she isn’t out photographing the world, she inhabits the Walnut Theatre Department, acting, directing, stage managing, set designing, and set building. She is an omnivore but thoroughly enjoys spending time in the kitchen making vegan snacks. Most nights she can be found working at a local healthy cafe or at the gym.
These are Isabella’s own words…
I started with a film photography my sophomore year of high school and my love for it has continued throughout the years. I love both film and digital manipulation and spend quite a bit of time in the dark room at my school. I intend on continuing my photography journey throughout my life. Long term, I want to go to school for directing. I hope to pursue acting and directing as a career because I have never seen another future for myself since playing God in my first grade Christmas play.
Someone who really inspired me while he was alive was my grandfather. He found value in every single human being he interacted with. This belief has shaped who I am as a person and made me want to pursue that goal of seeing value. I love and miss him dearly but I remember him every time I follow my dreams, as he always supported me in everything I did.
My goal each day is to make one person’s day just a little bright, and I hope my articles for Good Things Going Around do just that!