Gifts Of Kindness


I have been so blessed to have been given opportunities to be inspired by some incredible young people – teens who have come to realize they have the power to affect change, volunteering at homeless shelters, organizing efforts for international epidemics, and helping neighbors in need; students whose resilience to their personal circumstance has given them strength of character and motivated them to succeed; and sons and daughters whose compassion for others grew as an extension from lessons taught by their parents.

Adam Hoover, a 15 year old student at Harrison High School, is one of my inspirations. His story is an example of how it’s not so much our life circumstance that brings out the best in us, it’s our choices about what we do in life – and not despite our circumstance, but because of it.

It was a little over a year ago when his teacher, his role model, his mom – Anna Abdim – lost her job and the income that was supporting them (including three other siblings). But Harrison is a close-knit community where neighbors take care of each other and people gave what they could to help. “It really makes you feel like there’s hope in our society,” Adam told me.

Paying it forward

One day Adam was looking around Craig’s List. He was searching for anything with the word ‘free’ on its price tag but what he was drawn to instead were the stories he found. Stories like that of a woman in Indiana who had used her last check to buy things for her children only to have their entire life collection destroyed in one horrendous night when their home succumbed to ravaging flames.

“It just clicked. There are too many people asking for help and not enough help to give,” Adam said. And so, he and his mom got to thinking. They could make a difference. They could help others just as others helped them.

Their program is called Gifts of Kindness. They collect gently used household items, clothes, toys, and just about anything that would be of value to a family who is in need. They can’t afford to rent a storage facility so their home has become a warehouse, stacks of donations everywhere. To date Adam and Anna have helped about 100 families but that number keeps growing.

Now Adam would like to hold a fund raiser. He has an Elvis impersonator group willing to donate their time but needs to find a facility willing to donate their space. If you a place, he’d love to know.

You can learn more about Gifts of Kindness at their web site

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