Kindness Grows Here

Kindness Grows Here Stories

Mission "Thank-You" with picture of people having a cookout

When Penelope was 6, she organized a community event to say thank you to the “helpers.” Penelope knew what good work first responders do and how sometimes they have hard jobs. She wanted to say thank you in a special way.

Penelope received a grant from Kindness Grows Here to host a thank you lunch for all the folks on the Anne Arundel County Crisis Response Team. She got Mission BBQ to donate the food and Starbucks to donate gift cards. She used the grant money to purchase other small gifts to create a gift bag for each “helper.” At the lunch, she held an awards ceremony and recognized every person on the team. It was the first time the entire team had ever been together just to have fun and socialize!

Penelope has received a grant every year since. The first two years she organized events to recognize more “helpers.” Recently, she has started to do kindness projects to show love and support for those that need help.

Teacher Appreciation with image of chalkboard that says "Best Teacher Ever!"

Alexander loves LEGO®, and he loves his teachers. So, this year he applied for and received grant funds from Kindness Grows Here to make LEGO® Hearts for all the teachers in his school!

Alexander didn’t just make the hearts himself - he brought together a group of friends to help make them. They made a LEGO® Heart and a personal card for every teacher in the school!

Alex said, “The teachers will benefit because they do a lot for us students, and they should really be appreciated for what they do!”

Thanks to Alexander’s great idea all 80 teachers at Marley Middle School received a LEGO® Heart on Valentine’s Day, which serves as a reminder of just how appreciated they are.

Pass It On with picture of three sticky notes that have inspirational messages on them

In 2022, Emily & Ethan wanted to spread kindness anonymously. They did this by putting gift cards in books and DVDs at the library with a sweet note that said things like “You’re awesome!” or “We hope this makes your day!” They were careful to put surprises in books all throughout Anne Arundel County, and in books/DVDs that would appeal to all different age groups.

One day, a 70-year-old woman who found one of Emily & Ethan’s gifts called Kindness Grows Here and said, “This made my day…no, it made my year!” She was in tears and said that knowing a young person cared enough to do this really meant a lot to her. Emily & Ethan really made a difference with such a simple, kind act.

"KindnessGrams" with picture of purple envelope that has an inspirational note in it

Magothy River Middle School (MRMS) shares a campus with Severn River Middle School and Arnold Elementary. The National Junior Honor Society at MRMS wanted to engage their entire school in spreading kindness to the two other schools they share a campus with.

They created a “KindnessGram” card and handed one out to every MRMS student. Each MRMS student then wrote a kind, encouraging note on it. The cards were packaged together with a small bag of treats, and every student at Severn River Middle School and Arnold Elementary received one.

Wow! They spread kindness simply, but on a huge scale! So many people were impacted!

Senior Game Days with picture of older couple playing chess

Joshua received grant funds in 2019 for a project that would provide companionship and activities for some local senior citizens. He used the funds to purchase board games and refurbish Wii video game consoles so that he and his friends could “go to the Regency Park Senior Center every month to play games with the grandmas and grandpas that live there.”

Joshua did a great job gathering his peers to hang out with folks who can get lonely sometimes. That is what kindness looks like in action.

Staff Party with picture of stack of books, apple, and balloons

Cami and Gigi looked around their school and saw that there were a lot of unsung heroes. They wanted to do something to celebrate these folks who make such a difference!

They applied for and received a Kid Kindness Grant to show appreciation for bus drivers, cafeteria staff and lunch monitors, secretaries, and custodians. They held a small party for each group and gave them cards made by the students. The support staff said, “We were so surprised! It felt so good to feel appreciated, especially because it was by the kids!”

See, kids can positively impact the lives of grown-ups at their school and in their community!

Candy-Grams with picture of candy hearts

Have you ever felt left out? Invisible? Like no one noticed or cared about you? Abby and Isabelle wanted to do everything they could to make sure that no one at Central Middle School would feel that way.

At Central Middle, the SGA sells Candy-grams (a piece of candy with a kind note) during the holiday season. However, each year, there are about 500 students who do not receive a Candy-gram.

Abby and Isabelle set out to make sure that every student in their school would receive a Candy-gram so they would know that they are appreciated and valued. And that is exactly what Abby and Isabelle did. No one knew they did it. But they personally made certain that every student received a Candy-gram, and no one felt left out.

Emergency Gift Boxes with picture of first aid kit

The Kindness Club at Piney Orchard Elementary received funds to “adopt” the Odenton Volunteer Fire Station for a year. They brought the firefighters and paramedics treats every month. They also sent them homemade cards for holidays as well as “no reason at all” cards.

Additionally, the students provided “Emergency Gift Boxes” to the station. The boxes contained toiletries and small, comforting items the firefighters could hand to victims of fires or other emergencies as needed.

It seems these students thought of everything! They not only spread kindness to the firefighters and paramedics, but also to the people they help.

Kindness Club with picture of two hands making a heart under a heart that says "Be Kind"

In 2023 Ava, Abby, Obie, Colby, Alexa, & Lily received a Kid Kindness Grant to start a “Kindness Club” at their school. They wanted to “spread kindness by dancing, creating and spending time together to build our community in our school and in Glen Burnie. We will meet twice a month to plan small in-school activities like a community dance, helping families in our school who need winter supplies for the holidays and making cards and gifts for people who are sick at Baltimore Washington Medical Center. Our Kindness Club wants to show our community that there is good around us.” With that goal in mind, they came up with the perfect name for their club: “See the Good.”

Sharing Cultures with picture of diverse group of people

Students at Crofton High School organize a yearly “International Night” to celebrate the many cultures at their school and in the Crofton Community.

Last year they had over 400 attendees and the event included food trucks, international performances, country displays, a talent show, games and more. The event is put on by the International Club board which includes 14 students, sophomore to seniors.

Their goal is to “spread kindness by creating an environment where people feel comfortable sharing their culture."

A Clean Act with picture of recyclable waste

Students at Meade High School saw that there was a lack of trash cans in certain “far corners of the school” and “outside in between portable classrooms.” They saw that there was a lot of trash and waste being dumped inappropriately as a result.

As members of the Meade High School Service Club, these students wanted to help solve this problem in a meaningful and sustainable way. They received a grant to purchase pressure-treated wood and screws to build trash can holders so that the trash cans outside wouldn’t risk being blown over. Additionally, they wanted to bring their peers together to build something they could be proud of and invested in.

They also had loftier goals of inspiring their peers in a meaningful way. In their application for a grant they said, “When our school appears to be neat and orderly, our community rises to the occasion and acts the same way.” These students saw a problem and found a meaningful solution. We applaud them for being kind to their community and the environment!

Feeling Seen with picture of diverse group of people standing in a crowd

The Annapolis High School SOAR: Students Organized Against Racism Club is a club where diverse students come together to talk about racial issues and to work together to take action in the community. This year, the SOAR Club applied for a grant to support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) children at the holidays.

This group knows that too often people of color are not well represented in books, toys, and games. The SOAR Club used Kid Kindness Grant funds to purchase books, toys, and gifts from Black-owned businesses to ensure that children in need in the Annapolis area would receive gifts around the holidays in which they could see themselves.

The students supported Black-owned businesses and children in need with one grant. And they made sure the children in need felt seen in more way than one. Great work!