Friday, December 12, 2014

As We Mark Our 5th Year

As we mark our the 5th Birthday of SPPRAK! It is hard to believe that we are where we are today. The lessons we have learned from all of you, our fellow SPPRAKers, are amazing. As we reflect on how we started, as a “fun” raiser for the local Light House Mission to collect personal items for the residence there, to our latest completed project (the Kindness Mural on Brown Ave in Terre Haute), we at SPPRAK realize how blessed we are to have embarked on the kindness journey with all of you! 

So, on our birthday we celebrate all of our friends and co harts in the kindness journey. We encourage each of you to continue performing random acts of kindness, and the not so random acts. As always, and especially today, SPPRAK is grateful for each of you and all that you have done! Here’s to many more years for SPPRAK’s mission of kindness!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Thanksgiving. Just saying that word gives you a good feeling, doesn't it? This is the time of year when people show their generous side. We also are shown the needs of people. As long as there are people, there will be problems. The saying, "you never know what battle someone else is fighting", rings a little more personal around the holidays. The battle is not important; it is how we all fight the war that matters. Orange Friday just ended, a successful campaign to feed the hungry on the Friday prior to Black Friday. It is vital to take care of those organizations that help feed the hungry in each of our communities. But what about the people we interact with everyday? Two agencies; VNA and Hospice of the Wabash Valley and Signature HealthCARE, in Terre Haute have decided this Thanksgiving to take care of the people that can’t really do that for themselves. Let’s talk to Jody Pomfort and Hailee Lauritzen from VNA and Hospice of the Wabash Valley. These two, both social workers at the agency, took it upon themselves to collect food baskets for patients that they knew needed them. “People who are sick don’t necessarily know about community resources. They miss deadlines due to being ill and family members are preoccupied or unable to help,” stated Jody. Just because those available resources are out there does not mean that everyone knows about them. “When we have a chance to help our patients, or anyone really, we should take that opportunity, don’t judge, just give.” Both agreed that the staff at VNA and Hospice are very helpful in getting in touch with people and letting them know about these resources. While our community has great initiatives, taking care of patients by going that extra mile is something both enjoy and feel are important in healing and making people feel more secure. 

Marsia Lorick, HR Director and Sheryl Robinson, ADON at Signature HealthCARE, spearheaded collections for their employees that needed a little help this Thanksgiving. When asked why they decided to give to their employees who needed a little assistance, Sheryl stated that the people that they work with are considered family. That is what family does; they take care of each other. This is their second year of doing the Thanksgiving assistance program for their fellow employees and they both hope to carry it on.  In addition, during Christmas the pair adds a Christmas Angel Tree to the mix for their employee’s children. 

Both agencies are very active in the community. Signature HealthCARE is active with the Alzheimer’s Association as they host a Coffee and Caregiver group for unpaid caregivers. They also recently had a Thanksgiving dinner for residence and family. 

Marsia stated she believes, "It's not just important to get involved in your community, but the place you work is considered your community." Sheryl summed up the sentiments of each of these women very well. When she was asked what the experience was like, she stated that it might be for selfless reasons that they continue to do the program, the pair gain far more than they give. It is a pleasure to be able to help others. They plan to continue their efforts. 

Sheryl, Marsia, Jody and Hailee: SPPRAK® thanks each of you. All of you out there every day taking care of not only the needs of our community, but the needs of people close to you. You never know the good you have done, the ripple you have started and the lives that these gestures has changed. Well done ladies, well done! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Be Kind Where You Live

“We want people to … not just be kind where you live, but love where you live,” 
We want to encourage people to take an active part in your community.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How is your company kind hearted?

Here are a few stories about companies that have encouraged their employees to give back as part of their working culture. Our hope is that once you read these you will share the amazing stories of your company or those you know of who have made a difference in your community!

First up, VNA and Hospice of the Wabash Valley. This home care and hospice is based in Terre Haute Indiana and, as a not for profit itself, understands the importance of giving to others. One of the ways they give back is by their monthly Blue Jean Fridays. Employees get to wear jeans, but have to pay $5 to do so. This in turn goes to the charity/nonprofit chosen for donation that month. The original Blue Jean Friday was a fundraiser for Orange Friday, an event that SPPRAK President Robin Heng, helped create. From that beginning in November 2009 through today Blue Jean Friday has resulted in $23,890.24 raised for local charities and occasionally the money has gone to employees in need. Many times, employees will give much more than the $5 required donation, resulting in this being a successful and fun fundraiser for the employees. VNA and Hospice has also been a supporter of SPPRAK since the beginning, and was the drop off point when we collected donations for Harrisburg IL tornado victims. 

Next up is Regional Hospital, part of HCA group based in Nashville TN. HCA is a large corporation and their giving nature makes them even bigger! Terre Haute Regional Hospital is a supporter of SPPRAK, and their mission of kindness. Regional Hospital has adopted the SPPRAK pack program in their facility.  The employees have also donated to our efforts when we traveled to Moore OK and Harrisburg IL. The employees and our friends that work there have risen to the occasion many times, collecting money for Orange Friday, other charities and fellow employees in need.

And last for today, but certainly not least, is Indiana American Water. Apparently this company encourages their employees to give back to the community in which they live and work but letting them have a paid day of service. Now that is putting their money where your heart is! On September 30, they spent time cleaning up a much graffitied fence. Where there was once an eyesore, the employees made an example of helping a property owner reclaim what is his. It is nice to get paid to help out, but the real reward is making a difference paid or not. Check out the pictures and video on our website! Indiana American Water was also instrumental in bringing the SPPRAK pack to the Vigo County Schools. 

Now it is your turn! We want to tell your story, or better yet, have you tell your story! Is your company kind hearted? If yes, please share, if not, well now is a good time to start! No one said the president of the company has to start the trend, it can start with you! Share it, live it, because kindness matters!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Can An Act Of Kindness Make A Difference?

This week was the anniversary of a tragic event in America, the repercussions of which reached far beyond our shores. The children who were not even in school when this happened are now seniors in high school and college freshman. As those of us, who can remember clearly, remember and honor those who died in this and other events that are part of who we Americans are, wonder how can we change the world into a kinder and gentler place.

Can an act of kindness really make a difference? We talk about it, we practice kindness every day, and yet is it making a difference? The short answer is of course it is. The long term answer we have to wait and see. Our mission at SPPRAK® is to change the culture for our children, it is the reason for the SPPRAK® pack and why we want people to share acts of kindness with us on our Facebook page.

 As a nation America has been a welcoming place, but due to the circumstances that has had to change. Unfortunate but true. This makes our mission more important. Acts of kindness can change people, your volunteering to serve your fellow man is not in vain.

 While opening a door for someone, or buying another person coffee may seem like trivial acts in the big scheme of things, they really aren't. Because you don't know the effects that your kind actions have on someone. Like the saying goes, be kind because everyone is fighting some kind of battle themselves. Being kind isn't a Polly Anna activity, it is meant to make other people feel they are important because they are.

 Kindness should reach across all barriers and shouldn't really have to diminish your beliefs, unless of course there are issues with those in the first place. Kindness does not require you to lay down, but to rise up and conqueror the unjust. Mother Teresa certainly did not have monetary gains but she was one of the richest women to have ever lived, simply because of her loving and kind spirit. She has effected millions with this message.

Today is a day to be kind, today is the day to change someone's life, to offer a hand up instead of beating someone down. Think about your words, your life will be richer by making someone else's life richer. Then share your story with us and our followers on SPPRAK® Facebook page

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Littering Sidewalks With Kind Words

Recently SPPRAK spent a Saturday asking people to write a word that meant kindness to them on the sidewalk with chalk. The goal was to litter the sidewalk with kind words. Another goal? To litter our world with kind words.

Every day we can spread "joy" "beauty" "thoughtful" "helping" "love" "respect" into the lives of those we know and those we don't know. Make someone's day-#kindnessmatters.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Attention!! Blog With A Twist!!

We are always writing our opinion of what kindness looks like, how to make others feel better and so on. Easy to say right?  How about a link to a kindness story?

Basically it is about 5 friends who travel the country spreading random acts of kindness. They are young, which explains why living in an RV might not be too much of an issue! The reason this is important to SPPRAK? It is the fact that these are more young people living random acts of kindness. The world is not lost to our children, they are well aware that there are issues. The part that they may have trouble with is the ability to find the solution.

We, as human beings, are capable of both extreme heartlessness and extreme kindness. We each have to choose, and while the world out there does need our prayers, it also needs us. You can make a difference where you are, it is up to you to choose what kind of difference you will make. Will you be a positive force in the world, or will you just watch others be negative forces?

The world needs you, the world needs kindness. #kindness matters 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sharing Kindness at School

Remember the good old days? Sure you do, it is what we talk about constantly, how things have changed, and we seem to focus on what’s wrong not what’s right. But today is our children’s good old days! There have been some changes for the better; today instead of cowering from bullies we refuse to accept that behavior as a right of passage to grow up. 5 year olds can operate an IPad without a second thought, have an app problem? Ask your ‘tween and they will solve it in no time. One problem with today’s world for children and adults alike is the inability to shut off the world. Use to be you could go home and shut your bedroom door and read and dream and escape.

Today that is not nearly so easy for any of us. However, no matter the time we live in, we still want to raise good decent human beings, with compassionate attitudes toward others. The earlier these values are taught (or caught) the better. We all know that a 5 year old is a sponge who wants to learn everything, and will one day be that 15 year old who questions everything. That is a fact no matter the time!

What can we do to help children learn these values? In a way that is non threatening and speaks to the fun side of learning? Shameless plug for our SPPRAK pack program! Colorful kindness notes plastered all over a large banner, what could be more fun? Catching others in the “act” makes for much more compassion than complaining about the youth of today.  Our program is unique in that everyone gets recognized, for simply being kind to another. There may be a citizen of the month, but there will also be a banner full of kindnesses that will continue to grow. We can’t turn back those clocks but we can take advantage of what we know and teach our children about being kind to one another.

Children catch whatever we throw their way, kindness and compassion or hatred, what do you want to be caught? Right now, stop and take a look at our banner program. If you don’t have children of your own, or your children are grown, please do not dismiss this as not including you. There are many schools that would love to have this program that cannot afford the cost. But if you can bless them with one, think of the positive change you can effect. How will you know? Well, SPPRAK follows each school with the program, trust us you will know! 

Get to clicking, watch those videos and share SPPRAK with your friends, because (say it with us) Kindness Matters!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sharing Kindness

Be the kind of kind friend that you would want to have! What? We all know those people, the ones that remember everyone's birthday, take a few extra minutes in the morning to say hey, let someone else go first. You get the idea. Do you ever look at them and think, wow, I want to be more like that. It's like they read the “how to be kind to others without thinking about it” book. Is there even a book like that? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, how did they learn to be kind and how can you, in turn, follow their example?

One piece of advice: Start small and simple. For instance, today say hi and smile at every one of your coworkers. Including the one that you do not care for. Remember you are practicing kindness, it isn't about YOU, this kindness thing. Lets say you smile at 20 people today. Your face may hurt a little, and some may wonder what you had for breakfast instead of coffee, but those 21 people had a little better day, (we included you!).

You spend a significant amount of time with the people you work with, more sometimes than you spend with those you love. What kind of work environment do you want to have? It doesn't even matter to us where you work, YOU can change the workplace. We know, everyone at your place is _____, we will let you fill in that blank. Guess what else we know? Everyone at your place also likes kindness. They like it when people are kind to them, and they like to have the opportunity to be kind.

So, today is your day! Your opportunity to show a little kindness, to be the change you want to see! Get up, get out and get to SPPRAKin! Oh, and share your kindness tales with us at SPPRAK!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Kindness Matters

Kindness matters. It is what we say, it is what we do. But does it matter? Are people watching? Is anyone paying attention? SPPRAK believes it matters, but do you? Are you buying into this Kindness movement?

 After last Friday, there are 500 additional people running around with SPPRAK green sunglasses. Maybe they leave them in the car, maybe they gave them to their kids, took them to their office, etc. That makes 500 additional people thinking about kindness. If each of those 500 people perform one act of kindness a day, that means 1000 people will be affected, since performing an act of kindness makes a positive difference in those that perform the act as well as those that receive the kindness. So then those 1000 people go on and perform an act of kindness the next day, well there you go 2000 people affected.

Doesn't it reach even further than this though? Think about yourself and the last time you performed that act of kindness. You felt so good, as did the person you were kind to. Put you in a better mood for that whole day didn't it? You were nicer. More than that one person benefited from your act of kindness. And that is how this Kindness movement works, it matters little the size of the kindness, it matters that we do it because it does matter. In a world that is full of bad news and people behaving badly, you can be the change you want to see.

Be kind today, it matters!

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Conversation About Helping Others

Today, a conversation about helping others. Not the one that you give money to the cause, understand that we do not want you to stop doing that EVER, as many problems can be solved by money. Some things though, take another kind of help.

Personal, get involved and get dirty help. And sometimes that kind of help comes with another payoff we don't expect: pain. There are people out there and we are sure you are one, since you are reading a kindness blog that have this heart and drive for helping others. Those are the ones that this blog is for. It is for the friend who has given anyone a shoulder to cry on, then taken another step to help even complete strangers. Need food? Here is where you can go. Sick? Here is a clinic that may be able to help.

We don't do this for the glory, we do it for the good. It is our mission. You become invested in that person, many times not even knowing the full story about how they got to where they are. Their success becomes our badge of honor of sorts even if the helpee is the only one who knows what we have done. And then it happens...failure.
The person who had such promise returns to the life, to the unhealthy habits or relationship they fought so hard to escape. And, as when they succeeded, we now wear their failure, what could we have done? After all, things are supposed to go well, people are changed and saved from their circumstances every day. That is the thing to remember though, that people are changed and saved from their circumstances every day. By people who are kind enough to help. Sometimes many times. Should we stop trying? NO. Should we take another's setback personally? NO.

There are times that these trying circumstances might be our test. How serious are we about showing kindness to people who are not the easiest to receive it? Or those that we think are not really trying to help themselves as much as WE would like. In most things in life, there is probably a payoff. The payoff to changing is a new and different life. The payoff to not changing is comfort, because even if it is bad, it is their bad. The payoff to being kind is knowing that no one can take that kindness away from that person, that where ever their personal journey may take them, be it gutters or mountains that you were there, you were kind.

What you do does matter. The times that make all this advice of kindness difficult is when it involves people we love, family, friends. We are not objective in these times because we are invested in the outcome. We expect more of them then we do complete strangers and when they fail we feel it so much deeper. There is no advice, no answer for these times.

 However, maybe these few lines from the poem, “Anyway”, by Mother Teresa may help you in your kindness mission:

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

International Happiness Day 2014

Happy Happiness Day! 

March 20 is International Day of Happiness, According to, International Day of Happiness is celebrated throughout the world on 20 March. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly on 28 June 2012. Assembly Resolution A/RES/66/281 states in pertinent part:

The General Assembly Conscious that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal. Recognizing also the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples, Decides to proclaim 20 March the International Day of Happiness, Invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Happiness in an appropriate manner, including through education and public awareness-raising activities. (1)

What a great way to start, spend and end your March 20th every year! We at SPPRAK like the idea of happiness as much as we do the idea of kindness! Happy people are kind people. Wonder why that is? There are probably many studies that prove this sort of thing, but let’s face it we do not need a study, we all know that when we feel better, when we feel loved, secure and happy we find it easier to be kind to others. On March 20 this year we can all add a little happiness to our lives and those of others. Fix breakfast for your family as usual but instead of the usual fussing and hustling through it, try winging the pop tarts as you whistle a little tune. Ok, maybe not the best suggestion but there are ways to work happy into your normal day. The thing is you will have the power on March 20 or any day really to change the course of someone else's day, the choice of happy or sad, with your family, your coworkers. Make it a good choice, make it a happy choice. Then share your stories with us on our Facebook page! SPPRAK loves to hear these stories and how you are making a positive difference in the lives of others!

Want to learn more about what Wikipedia says about International Day of Happiness? Here is the link:

Friday, March 7, 2014

Teaching Kindness

Recently there was an article written in the Terre Haute Tribune Star (here) regarding kindness. The author, Mike Lunsford, brought up several excellent points about who is responsible for teaching our children to be kind, and who taught us to be kind. While everyone did not grow up with the same examples of kindness being taught in their homes, in their families, is it safe to assume that kindness is certainly taught, learned, caught, in our families? As parents, is this our responsibility? How about grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.

Why is being kind an important quality to learn from those you are closest to? We worry that our children have the latest style of clothing, that they excel at sports, and academically. But what if we worried that they weren't being kind enough? What if we made the Golden Rule the rule to live by?

Not that that would be easy, since it would require that we live that way as the parents and other adults in our children's lives. Road rage, nasty treatment of our spouses and our siblings, wait staff. you get the idea, would be out. The thing is, we all want children not to be bully's we want them to feel secure and safe, so that the violence will stop. Why are our children feeling so desperate that being mean or violent is the only answer they seem to be able to come up with? Being kind to each other may not be the answer, but it couldn't hurt could it?

Get up right now, go look in the mirror, and then go and make the world a kinder place, it does start with you, it starts with me. The lessons we teach by showing kindness are not lessons lost, they are lessons caught by the generation that is watching us constantly and learning more by what they see, what we do, than by anything we say.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Calling all SPPRAK warriors!!

Calling all SPPRAK warriors!!

Today is the day to sign up to take part on February 17th the National Day of Kindness or take your video and send it in to http/

Here is the story of “what's up” from the Tribstar:

Are you an artsy type? Here is your opportunity! 

You can even try to catch someone in the act of performing a kindness, like this video of a policeman stopping to play catch with a boy:

It is a great time to get involved, grab your friends, grab your coworkers. Even if you are not in Terre Haute, IN don't think you can't take part. What does kindness mean to you? Take a chance and take your video! And if you are not so video inclined, how about a story? A story about what kindness means to you, a kindness done for you or by you. This blog may seem like a commercial for the Unleashing Kindness in Terre Haute, but what it really is an invitation, to take kindness to your street to your community and into the lives of all the people you come in contact with! SPPRAK is out on the kindness revolution, and we want you to come along! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Is kindness getting us anywhere?

Do you ever wonder if all the talk of kindness is really getting us anywhere?

It is easy to feel that way, when we see what is going on in the world today, and when we find ourselves, personally, dealing with problems, what difference does a simple kindness do? Add to that those people who seem to have no problems. The people that come and go through our lives, strangers and friends alike, are all going through something. And while these people may continue to fight their battles in private and not share, shouldn't we all just take a few minutes to show a kindness to another?

Take this video of a policeman stopping to play ball with a boy:

Kindness empowers the receiver, it reinforces the belief that someone cares about them. Time is kindness, being present with the person you are with is kindness, smiles, a greeting, a word of encouragement, all kindnesses. We sometimes get hung up on the “big” kindnesses, like keeping the “buy the next person in line's coffee” at Starbucks kindnesses. These are the stuff stories are made of but what kindness is really about is making someone else's life, day or even moment better.

While we at SPPRAK love the stories of great acts of kindness, it is the little acts that make our mission successful. Don't forget to share your stories of kindness on our Facebook page, or with us at http/ .

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Years Blog--One Week In

Happy New Year and welcome to 2014! We are all excited about the change of the pages on the calendar. We look at the 365 days in front of us, with hope and anticipation. We also reflect on the 365 days that have past. Today we will talk about those.

While there are a few who have taken their goals from the last year, met them and today are looking back at the past year with happy pride, there are just as many (or more) who have ended one year and began the new one in the same place. This is a new year and the possibilities are limitless and yes, it is in your reach to meet or even exceed your goals.

Before we start down that road today it would be a good day to say a kind word or two to yourself. Why? Because the kindness you show toward others needs to be shown to ourselves. It is not an easy task for some. We judge ourselves harshly, which in turn does lead us to judge others harshly. Why is it some of us have no problem being kind to a stranger on the street, but when it comes to the person in the mirror it is a different story? You know those movies where the person who fails smacks themselves in the head saying stupid stupid stupid? Stop it!

This year kindness starts in that mirror! We need you! SPPRAK has big goals this year and it is going to take each person being special to meet those goals! The person in that mirror is going to be the biggest part in making our goal of building a culture of kindness a reality! So dust off those goals, give yourself a hug and let’s get started on 2014, the year of Kindness!