Sowkind Stories

Darla Crawford
I am so excited that I almost completed my #sowkind bingo board within the month of March. I only missed out on two opportunities. I tried to volunteer at the food bank over spring break but their calendar was full all week. I don’t know any college students so that one didn’t happen, either. However, the remainder of my board is complete. I looked forward to completing each challenge but saw them all more as opportunities to bless others. I haven’t personally had any feedback but I know God directed me where He needed me. Although this was intended to bless others, I feel so blessed. Thank you so much, Alyssa, for sharing the bingo challenge. I hope I blessed others and much as I have been blessed.

Robin Landi
I have been sick one way or another my entire life. I was diagnosed with migraines at age 8, and a rare auto-immune disease called Behcet’s Disease, at 27. I don’t work, I don’t go out a lot, and I live in chronic pain. The opportunity came up for me to visit a friend in Texas, for the first time, and I acted quickly because I was desperate to go. But the likelihood of me having to cancel the trip was great, as I never know when I’m going to have a good day or a bad day. As the time to leave came up, I literally had no clue what to do, fight it out and go to Texas, or fall back asleep on my couch where I would inevitably stay for days. I decided to go, and ended up so grateful because I had the most amazing trip. I was totally in awe of Texas and I was happy there, and could withstand the pain. On my last day there, at Houston Hobby airport, I walked into a stall in the women’s restroom. I was thinking how sad I was to leave and return to my “sick” life. Taped to the inside of the stall was a handwritten note that said, “A low tide never follows a low tide... Hold on. Your high tide is coming. Don’t give up. The world needs what you have.” Along with the hashtags sowkind and sowkindmovement. I took a picture and am pretty sure I forgot about it 10 seconds later. This few weeks back home have been rough. I have been so sick and nauseated my mom has had to come over each day just to care for my dog. I was super bored of the tv and needed space on my phone so I was looking through my pictures today and found the pic from the bathroom. I didn’t even know how much I needed to hear (read) those words at that exact moment. It felt like a total God shot, which is so weird because I’m not religious. I immediately looked up sow kind movement and it is super rad. Thank you to whomever took the time to write a note to a stranger, and for spreading a little light into this sick girl’s world.
3 people prayed for this request!

Amy Moreland
I’m a bold personality. I haven’t always been that way. And I haven’t always thought it was an attractive quality. But my friend Alyssa started using the words bold and courageous to describe me years ago, and it’s kind of stuck. I’m so grateful for her intentional words. She routinely tells me she borrows my boldness. But there’s one area she always beats me to bold. Kindness. She sees people other people don’t see. She loves people other people don’t love. She always seems to have the right words to say to make them feel like they matter. You could say it’s her superpower. You could say it’s what she was made for. Last year, for Alyssa’s birthday, we took our teenage daughters to a popular local venue and handed out cookies and hand-written notes. Y’all. This is NOT comfortable for me. I’d wager a guess that it’s not comfortable for most people. The girls and I were a little nervous. Turns out, people look at you weird when you try to give them things in public places. They are suspicious. Why? Do they think we are trying to poison them? Convert them to a cult? I don’t know, but I’m not sure I’d react much differently. Kindness to strangers is not the norm. But Alyssa was in her element. She gently approached a pair of young people in uniform just getting off work and said, “You look like you’ve been working hard. You deserve a cookie.” And just like that, their faces went from tired to delighted. She saw a man working hard with a huge smile on his face, and patiently waited for an opportunity to bless him as well. She moved through the crowd with a practiced eye, seeking out the unseen, and thoughtfully blessing them. It was a masterclass in kindness that I will never forget. For some of us, seeing others and calling out the good in them does not come naturally. It is definitely not my forte. If you’re like me, I recommend finding yourself a friend like Alyssa. Borrow her kindness. Let her example be your teacher. You just might find that random words of kindness to complete strangers come more easily to you. You might just develop a whole new vocabulary that blesses your family. You might just become #sowkind.
2 people prayed for this request!

Elizabeth Sheraden
I had missed seeing a certain new friend in our Adult Bible Fellowship class for several weeks. It took me a few days to act on this heart prompting from the Holy Spirit. I did send her a text stating I had missed seeing her in class and hoped she wasn’t having any problems. Probably four or five days later she replied she would be there the next Sunday. I was thrilled to see her and told her. When we talked before class she shared she KNEW she needed to come back and receiving my message gave her the courage to do it! Bottom line: listen with your heart for the Spirit’s prompting ~ then ACT!!! #sowKind #sowSimple!
2 people prayed for this request!

Valerie Phillips
I will never forget reading the original #sowkind story and premise. What? This is what I used to do all the time. I would drop a card in the mail or send a note or letter for no reason. But, with social media, emails, and texts...well, I stopped. I am self-described as way too sentimental; but I love any reason to celebrate others. So, I sat down for my very first attempt at sowing kind and left two very dear friends in tears and speechless. I have a heart for both of them stemming as first their children's first babysitter, to lifelong friends. When I chose them as the recipients of my first cards. I had no idea what I was doing for myself. The decision was made to send at least 1 letter or card a week, and to not overthink what I wanted to say. I chose to Love, Listen. and Lift Up with no expectations. It has blessed me way more than I expected. What began as a note to dear, lifelong friends became a path to recognize the smallest act of kindness. I sent notes to my tribe, to my person (y'all have your own person too!), to the person that prays for me when I cry all over her lunch date with her hubby, and even to the person that always invited me and I always made excuses to not go... Let me say more on that. It opened a line of communication in us and when I was "stuck" rooming alone with her overnight; she and I were able to share our hearts about each other, about our families, and our hurts. She is now someone I feel closer to than I ever thought. So, as you consider how you can #sowkind - let me suggest notes, cards, and letters are a great beginnings. But, there are so many other ideas: Take donuts to your favorite coffee house! My Starbuck's people love these surprises. Serve those that always serve you. Drop treats in the mail - or at the house of a dear friend. Invite the person you see never getting the invitation - and if they continually refuse, KEEP ASKING! Pray. Pray for the person you want to bless. Sometimes this is all we need to do to #sowkind. Alyssa, Thank you for beginning this movement. It has healed my heart and helped me find joy in the simple things... kind words and kind deeds. I love you.
3 people prayed for this request!

Koru Lynn
I've always been in service (voluntarily) to any community I work in or walk through. When I first moved, I knew no one. No one knew me either. One day, downtown, I decided to simply just keep on doing what I do and strike up some kindness which I have found strikes up a lantern in someone's soul, or at least spreads it from my own. I ventured upon an elderly woman covered in dark splotches reminiscent of prior sin as well as street life; she was homeless. As she stood by her cart I could see the look of hesitancy when I walked up to her and just simply started up a friendly conversation; she was not used to that out of fear. Upon getting to know her a bit, and after hearing her life's story and how she was in a transformation stage, so she could "honorably" put pieces of her long-given up family back together, I simply felt need to CELEBRATE her accomplishments, even knowing her plan to achieve so much more. I asked her when her birthday was, and it was long past. Ergo, I then requested if she would honor me in celebrating her non-birthday and allow me to take her to her favorite restaurant. Hesitatingly again, we started walking down the street together along with her loaded grocery cart of cans she recycles for money, so she "can resist temptation to do other things for money, as a way to redeem myself and my honor." Along the path, because it was her un-birthday, I asked if she would allow me to push the cart for her. Initially, she wanted to protect me (of all people) and said, "Honey, you do not want to touch this dirty thing." I still insisted and eventually, I was pushing her cart down the sidewalk to the restaurant she decided upon. By this time night had fallen, and we were just two women, sharing narratives, walking down the sidewalk as soul-connections. I do believe God put me in her path! Once at the restaurant where so many were eyeing her with disgust, I simply kept on talking with her suggesting we both go wash our hands before eating. She was in that bathroom for what seemed like eternity, and yes...I will fully admit I was wondering what substance she might have had on her and could possibly be doing. The Lord convicted my heart right at that instant moment, and I knew I was not one to assume or judge of anyone because it was not my job, but His alone. When she walked out, I was AMAZED! She'd been in there so long because she did not want to embarrass me! She'd scraped and scrubbed at all of the black and dark blotches until she had no more remaining (almost as though she'd Baptized herself). She'd used the sink to also wash and slick back her long white hair enough to look presentable for her important un-birthday and straighten her Barret. It was a very stunning transformation that allowed her spirit to be seen as it should have been seen all along. She, too, was a brilliant and vibrant child of God! We dinned together as friends and she'd had her first full meal in a long time that was not taken from trash dumpsters. At the e
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Jill Stewart
I accomplished my first #sowkind at a campground in Yellowstone! I watched a mama serve her family and children with so much love. She was Indian and covered from head to toe, only her face and hands could be seen. As I watched her I realized how alike we were, yet I was probably smiled at and greeted so much more as we toured the park. As she walked back from the bathroom, I said hello and struck up a conversation with her and her little girl. She was so nice and as we said good by she told us if we need anything to come ask. I could tell she meant it. If WE need anything?! We were in a RV, full of supplies and she was tent camping with a large family. It touched me to the core. So I whipped out my handy dandy note cards and told her how much I admired how she mothered and served her family. After added a few other words, I snuck it on her door. She smiled and waved and called out “safe journeys” as we left. Lots of amazing moments in all our adventures, but this one left an impression on my heart. Thank you Alyssa for challenging me. You are a woman with a HUGE heart for people of all kinds. Even me. Your #sowkind note to me was one I will always treasure. Thank you Alyssa for loving me, inspiring me, and encouraging me.
3 people prayed for this request!

Sue Rogers
My story is not about a single act but more about the collective power of #sowkind letters and their power. As a coach and teacher, I would write a note to each student or athlete in May. My athlete letters were much longer because I felt I knew them on a much more personal level, whereas my student’s letters included the lyrics from the song I Hope You Dance and and a brief note (since at times there were close to 200 of them). I usually wrote about a trait or gift I appreciated in them and well wishes for their future. I was always taken back by two things. First, and this occurred especially with my athletes, was that to some my words were a surprise. My care and admiration, that I had hoped I had communicated over the four years I coached them, may not have reached them until it was put into words. The words on paper were so much stronger than anything I said and they were permanent to be etched over and over again in their heart. And the second thing I learned is you never know which letter will make an impact or how it will effect someone. The students that come back to express gratitude, maybe even years later, aren’t necessarily the ones I knew the best or for whom I wrote the longest letter. It is random, as if you scatter the words and God decides whose heart they nurture. The power of words is evident and lasting.
3 people prayed for this request!

Dawn Hauer
While conversing with a coworker we got into a conversation about peanut butter. She was telling me a story that had happened in her home and that after the incident no one would be eating out of that jar except for one person. I had an errand to run at Target, so while I was there I picked up a small jar of peanut butter and left it on her desk. She knew it was from me once she saw it, that was ok. She thanked me and we laughed how this would strictly for her. Another day, I was looking at the calendar and noticed Boss's Day was quickly approaching. I have only been with my current job since February of 2018, so I didn’t know if they celebrated in any way. The partners had taken us to lunch for Administrative Day, so I thought it was probably the normal thing to celebrate them in October. I asked the ladies at work, and they said nothing normally was done but if I wanted to do something we could. I sent an email and we all brought food on Boss's Day. They were so appreciative. One of the partners said in 43 years he has never had that. Kindness isn't made up of many small gestures to show you care.
3 people prayed for this request!

John DeLosSantos
"THE POWER OF KINDNESS: In light of recent tragedies that have taken place in high schools across our nation, I wanted to take this #sowkind moment to highlight a positive experience from my senior year. I do believe that a factor that affects many of the students who have committed an atrocity against his/her fellow classmates, is the isolation or total rejection which they may have been dealing with for a long time before they crossed into the point of no return. It was 1985 and I was a senior in the 4th high school of my career – translation; I was a loner in what should have been one of the greatest times of my life. I will not bore you with the tearjerker stuff, as it is not the intended focus of my message. Suffice to say that by this time, I had walled myself off emotionally and would walk the hallways and in & out of classrooms like a ghost – I did not speak to anyone nor did I want anyone to speak to me… though the truth was, I simply could not handle any more rejection, perceived or real. It was my first day as a new student in Physiology – Lord knows I had no business – and I immediately bee lined for the empty rectangular, bar-height table and positioned myself on one of the stools. I tried hard to ignore the curios looks from the other students in the classroom, but one table persisted. I could not shake their stares, so I made eye contact. A male and female student were collectively motioning me to come and join their table “come join us” one said followed by “there’s room for you… you don’t have to sit alone”. After a brief introduction, we got on with class and that would remain my spot for the rest of the year. Betrayed by foolish pride, I was never able to express my gratitude for their graciousness towards me, in that moment or ever. I do not recall the male student’s name, Brian or Kevin maybe but the female I remember because I had recognized her from the first high school I had attended. Her name was Karen Almaraz (sic) and I never took the opportunity to let either of them know just how that affected me that day. Perhaps it even helped to right a ship that was set to go off course; a simple gesture of kindness shown had a ripple effect on this soul. To Karen and whomever that equally gracious classmate I now say thank you! I will never forget it and I hope to spend the remainder of my life sowing similar seeds of kindness whenever an opportunity presents.
3 people prayed for this request!

Barb Welk
I have a friend/good acquaintance, married with 2 little boys. Their home was broken into and all of the boys ‘devices’ were taken. I put some money, not a huge amount, mailed it as anonymously as I could, (this is a small town), and marked the envelope #sowkind. This sweet movement doesn’t have to involve $$. I’ve written notes of appreciation, and hope those might mean more than any dollar amount. That being said, the past few years, I’ve gone to the Dollar Store before Christmas and hidden dollar bills on the shelves. This year, I will write #sowkind on them and hope that whoever finds them might turn that kindness around to someone else. #Sowkind is easy, doesn’t take much time, and gives more than we can imagine. Thanks to Alyssa for being #SOWKIND!
3 people prayed for this request!

Jen Forbes
I had the unfortunate opportunity to #sowkind by sharing a treasured gift. When I was 8 months pregnant with my oldest, I was called into the office of my Deputy Director, for whom I had little to no direct interaction. When I walked in, she presented me with a beautiful blanket she had hand-crocheted for my sweet girl. I was completely overwhelmed. Fast forward 14 years, this generous soul recently passed after complications from a long-term illness. I was unable to attend the funeral, but found out that her daughter was pregnant with a sweet baby girl. I was heart-broken, having lost my mother-in-law before either of my kiddos were born, but still having a very close relationship to my own mom - I could only imagine what she was going through. After some discussion, I asked a co-worker who was attending the daughter's baby shower if she would take her the blanket her mom had made and given me for own daughter. I had a lot of anxiety over how the gift would be received - my fear was that they would think I didn't care enough to keep such a heart-felt memento. My intention was to share and give back a piece of her mom. Family means everything to me - an opportunity to give her something that her mom had made would maybe bring her a little peace in a very difficult time. I was overwhelmed to find out the beautiful blanket I was able to share was accepted very graciously and I received my own kind note in return explaining how much it meant. #sowkind every chance you get!
3 people prayed for this request!

Liz Sheraden
One day I needed to stop at a gas station to “rest’ and get my daily 32 ounce 1/2 leaded ~ 1/2 unleaded soda. While walking into the restroom I heard a young child saying “momma have I been good?” his mother answered “yes you have been good.” The boy quickly replied “you said if I was good I could get some Skittles.” As I exited the restroom on my way to the soda machine I noticed a display for king size M&M’s and king size Skittles: buy one for $2 and get the second one free. I decided I would get one of each and give the Skittles to the young boy. As I stood in line to pay for the candy & soda the mother & son existed the restroom. I stopped the duo and asked if her son could have the Skittles. He accepted them and both mother & son thanked me several times :) #sowkind
4 people prayed for this request!

Alyssa DeLosSantos

Storyteller, Hope Hunter, Ragamuffin