Genesee Career Institute Blueberry Ambassadors learn valuable life lessons through acts of kindness

BLUEBERRY AMBASSADOR MOMENTS
Genesee Career Institute, coordinator Linda Smith

Kaitlyn Ball
Blueberry Moment 10933
For my Blueberry Moment I spent my snow day on Tuesday shoveling my neighbors drive way. They have three kids all under the age of 12 that usually do it, but they were out of town that morning. When the kids got home they were ecstatic! I’m not sure who was more excited the kids or the parents! It impacted me because it showed me that it’s truly the little things in life that go a long way.

Blueberry Moment 10931
For my Blueberry Moment I was outside with my family when we noticed my neighbor was struggling putting up his Christmas lights. I went over and asked if he wanted help and he was very grateful I did! He thanked me and told me I was very helpful. This experience impacted me in a few different ways. One was that I realized helping someone really doesn’t hurt nor take long. Also, I got to help spread Christmas cheer and see it through my window every night!

Haustin Rich
Blueberry Moment 6658
On my daily drive home I enjoy listening to music. I think it opens my spirit and makes me a more genuine person. As I get off at Center Road to go to my house, I see a homeless woman. Everyday I pass the person, not knowing her name or what her story is. Just a simple sign in her hand that says, “Anything helps, God Bless,” is the only information I know about her. I notice she is cold in the 15 below weather that she has been standing in for the last four hours. I notice that she does not have the essential things I have, to come home to on a day to day basis. Things I take for granted. Things one wouldn’t even think twice about having, until they did not have them anymore. I pull off the exit and get stopped at the red light, literally three feet from her. I make eye contact with her and see what looks to be about a 35 year old woman that looks extremely miserable. I roll my window and begin to speak, “Hello, I notice you need a little boost, here’s a few dollars. I know it’s not much but please get some warm food in your belly and maybe a pair of gloves.” She thanks me and explains she could not be more satisfied with the fact I gave her some money to get a good meal. At this point in time, the light turns green and I go on my way, leaving her with what I believed was not enough. I thought more and more about it that night, and figured I wanted to do more than just give her a few dollars. At about five, that night I ended up going to my local Walmart and picked out a few items such as a toothbrush, some toothpaste, hand sanitizer, a $5 gift card to McDonald’s, and a pair of gloves. I told myself that when I passed this woman tomorrow on my way home from school, I was going to give her a goody bag with things I feel she might find some use for. Later on that day, I was at my friend’s house not far from the exit this woman was at, and saw her walking down the road. I immediately ran outside and got in my car to drive towards her and when I stopped, I got out and gave her a hug as well as the goody bag I had just put together hours before. It was like it was fate! This woman was so surprised. She remembered me earlier that day and because of me going out of my way and doing something so small, it made her all the more grateful. Margaret is her name and she began to hug me and the fact that I helped her actually brought tears to her eyes. She explained to me that she had two daughters that lived out of state and she did not have contact with them. She also explained her business bankruptcy and her ultimate decision to sell her house. We talked outside for about five minutes. In those five minutes, I learned more compassion and love that I had never learned in my 18 years of life. Even though this woman is homeless, many Americans do not see a story. Instead they see an epidemic, someone who can help their situation. On this day, I learned something very beneficial that I will carry wherever I go, and that is that we are all the SAME. No matter our situation, there’s always someone out there who has less to work with, and because of this I would like to thank her for showing me everyone has greatness and everyone has a story.

Blueberry Moment 6657
Throughout life many drastic things happen, but through them all we as people manage to get through them. How you ask? We look towards our human like entities we call “friends”. This meaning is special in the English language. By definition, a friend is; a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection. Through all my years of high school I have had many friends. Many are still my friends. Many are NOT my friends. Looking back, I have always had an urge to hang out with the older crowd. I never would have pictured myself becoming best friends with a sophomore as a senior. Back at the end of my junior year, I met a girl named Shianne Covert, who attends the same high school as me. I remember meeting her through her brother, Matteo. Who is in the same grade as me and I knew from a school prior to this one. I got reacquainted with Matteo through seeing him in my class, and realized we used to be really good friends when we went to the same school together at a time that seemed not long ago. After talking to him I remembered that him and his sister had a younger brother, Brandon, who passed away 26 days after my mom did the year we met. Thinking back all types of emotions raced through my head as I realized that we knew each other so well, after class that day we hung out at his house and since then hung out about every day. I met his sister and we became super close. After meeting her, I began to notice she did not enjoy school as much as the average sophomore in high school did. I noticed her attendance to decrease on the incline, and her having what one would call “disciplinary problems”. Although I had not thought about it too hard, Shianne and I being close really bothered me because I wanted her to succeed and show her potential in school. Shianne is one of the smartest girls I have met, and I knew there was something I could do to encourage her to keep trying. Shianne has explained to me that her life has not been easy. She explains her daily complications with her mom, with missing her brother, drama at the high school, etc. All being the leading causes as to why she does not have the motivation she once did. Her explaining this to me touched me in many ways, and made me want to be a better person. Not only myself being a better person, but to help her become the person she is capable of being. I began coming up with ways that I can help change Shianne’s motivation. I sit down at the table in the library at my school and start reading a book called, “How to survive change you didn’t ask for”. This book gave me many ideas and learning lessons on how people adapt to things they may not necessarily be ready for. In this book it talked about a similar situation Shianne deals with. Shianne often feels alone and unwanted. I’ve noticed that she struggles to maintain things like “self esteem” and “acceptance”. I began to relate my situation (losing my mom) to her situation (losing her brother). With the constant push I give everyday I will spend the rest of my high school career helping her become the person I believe she is. With months passing and my constant struggle to push her to go to school and stay out of trouble, I noticed she started doing much better. I noticed she started smiling more, started getting better grades, and even joined a few extra school activities. When it all comes down to it this is more than a Blueberry. This to me is an amazing friendship. On a day to day basis I spend my time hanging out with Shianne and being her mentor to strive for greatness! I always insist on spending our time walking through nature reserves, doing homework, and even the occasional ice skate. This is my way of keeping her mind occupied with activities that make her realize life is full of great adventures, and even though sometimes we are down, it takes one person and one minute to change someone’s perspective, mind, and attitude for something they realize is essential for life. This Blueberry goes out to Shianne for working so hard. I went to Walmart and got her a “rose of encouragement”. I know it’s not much but I want her to know that I am so proud of the young women she’s turning into. I want her to know I am always here to see her strive for better, to help her, encourage her, and make sure she sees there is more to life than just high school. Her making all A’s and B’s for her second marking period is what says it all! When I was able to give her the “rose of encouragement,” she cried and held me for a few moments and said, “Thank you for believing in me.”

Mattahya Jackson
Blueberry Moment 6670
I was at my friend’s house and her mom, Tara Fielder, was cleaning dishes to make dinner. Earlier my friend, Rylie Fielder, broke a glass cup but her mom forgot. As she was doing the dishes she got a piece of glass stuck in her finger. I’m in the medical class at skill center so I helped her get the glass out and I help her wrap it up. She was very thankful that I helped her get it out because she was super scared. The experience impacted me because it showed that I do really want to help people when I do get in the medical field.

Blueberry Moment 6669
On Thursday January 12, we had a snow day. My house also happened to not have power. Once everyone got up, we were all hungry. I offered to take my grandparents and brothers out to breakfast. We went to IHop in Richfield Hills. They were all very shocked that I did this, but yet they were all very thankful. This impacted me because I have never offered to take my family out to eat, and they really enjoyed that.

Blueberry Moment 6668
On Wednesday January 4, 2016 Megan Rossbach was talking about how she wanted to learn how to ski but she didn’t want to pay for a lesson. I have known how to ski since I was two, but I haven’t done it in a while. I then offered to teach her so she wouldn’t have to pay for a lesson. She was shocked and so excited that I offered to teach her. All throughout the week she just kept on talking about how excited she is. On Saturday January 6, 2016, we meet up at Mount Holly ski and snowboard hill in Holly, MI. She was a little nervous at first but in the end after I taught her she was so happy she learned. I gave her a Blueberry Card. This experience impacted me because when she went down the hill without falling she was so happy that she started crying. It really touched my heart seeing someone that happy from just learning one thing.

Asher Laffery-McGill
Blueberry Moment 6628
For my first Blueberry Card that I completed, I helped my sister with her Social Studies homework that she was struggling with. She was almost to the point of tears because she was so frustrated and was very happy after I helped her and explained to her all that she had to do on the worksheets. This experience impacted me because I have felt helpless and stressed before when doing my homework and anytime I felt that way, no one was available to help me. Not the internet, not friends who had a similar class, not family. I don’t think anyone should have to feel that stress or helpless because when that happens, not only is your self-esteem effected, but so is your way of thinking. I’m really happy that I got to help her and still continue to help her when she needs it!

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I gave my second Blueberry Card to my friend Danielle Toomey! On the day our CAD projects were due, we all had to write a reflection of learning paper. Since it was the beginning of the week, everyone was tired and couldn’t type right or work well with the computers. Our papers were supposed to be MLA formatted with your name, teacher, class, and date in the upper left hand corner, but Dani had put it up in the header on her Google Docs paper. I noticed this, since I was sitting next to her, and mentioned it to her because I didn’t want her grade to go down for it. She couldn’t figure out what I meant, so I asked if I could see her computer and showed her how to fix it and where it was supposed to go. She was happy when we finally got it fixed and thanked me for it! I know what it is like to get marked down for small things and have your grades suffer for it, so I was really happy to help her fix the mistake!

Blueberry Moment 6677 
For my last random act of kindness, I helped my step mom put away the laundry that she had done the night before and had not been able to finish. She hasn’t been feeling well lately due to the weather and I knew that she would just like to relax once she got home. I texted her when I got out of school to see if there was anything she needed to get done that I could do for her and she said that she needed to fold and put away the laundry and it would be great if I could do it for her! She also said it was very sweet of me to ask her and to put aside my homework for a while! This experience impacted me because everyone knows when you aren’t feeling good, all you want to do is relax and lay in bed, and because I was able to get that done for her that’s exactly what she got to do when she got home! I felt very good about doing this because she got in some extra rest that was needed and is already beginning to feel better!

Kyla Harris-Rucker
Meet Ms. Amber Racki! She is the Associate Director for the Flint Children’s Museum! I had the honor of working with her today, and discovered that the Children’s Museum is a non-profit organization, and it gets pretty hard to do things when they have a select few of staff. She told me she was very pleased that I contacted her to volunteer here because a lot of people are scared to take the initiative to contact her or let alone do it. I took from this experience, that it is hard to balance everything and get things done in a timely fashion, but when others are there it’s true what they say, “Team work makes the dream work.”

Meet Ms. Heather Fornath! She works at Grace Hospice. I will be volunteering for her more often thanks to the information she gave to me. She was very pleased that I wanted to volunteer with Grace Hospice to make their company run smoother. This has helped me to know that even the greatest and successful companies need help.

Meet Miss Afton Shavers! She is a Co-Chair for the illustrious Delta GEMS (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully). She has been my mentor for a few years now. When the opportunity came along to volunteer for the Santa Run, I just couldn’t refuse. She was very excited and happy that her mentees put aside their wants and needs to help others cross that finish line. I gained a lot from this experience! I learned to keep pushing even though you just want to give up. Surround yourself with others that want to do good as well.

Emily Feetham
Blueberry Moment 6636
For one of my Blueberry Moments, I went to a local nursing home where I live and visited with people. There was one special lady who enjoyed my company very much, you could tell she didn’t get many visitors. As we were talking, I began to explain the Blueberry Project and what it was all about. She thought the idea was amazing and wanted to be a part of it. I explained to her what she could do to be a part of it and proceeded to asked her to take a picture with me and then pass along the random act. This definitely had the biggest impact on me of them all because growing up with a lot of tragedy in my life and seeing how much it helped getting to be with family, I couldn’t imagine having to be away from mine and not many of them come visit me. I plan to continue to go visit at this nursing home because just the simple smile and thank you from the lady was the best feeling in the world. 

Skyler Ruiz
Blueberry Moment 6640
For one of my Blueberry Cards I helped a good friend to the family out. She just had a stent inserted in her body for her kidney stones and she couldn’t really move around all that good. So I went over to her house everyday for around a week or two to help her with her dogs, clean up, go to the store, and I even made her food some of the days. She really enjoyed my company when her husband was at work for the day and really appreciated everything that I had done for her while she was in pain. The experience was actually really nice knowing that I was helping someone out that needed help. I always like to help people get through problems or help them out with activities so this was another great experience.

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The second Blueberry Card was shared with a friend named Grant. I really didn’t know the kid all that much before I helped him out but he came to our lunch table one day talking to my friend Carl asking him for help in algebra and I volunteered. We set up a couple days out of the week to help him get a good grade on his quiz and test. So, I went over to his house on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday for two weeks to help prepare him and then after the couple weeks he got his test scores back and he got full credit on both of them. He was so excited to see these scores. He constantly come up to me and brings it up and it actually cheers me up inside that I took a few days out of my week to help someone and really impact them.

Blueberry Moment 6638
For my last Blueberry Moment, I helped out my girlfriend’s grandma out around the house and brought her food. I went over to her house and helped put away all of her Christmas wreaths and magnets on her garage and stored them all in the attic for the year. While I was taking reefs down and magnets off the garage I noticed a light bulb had burned out on the side of the garage. So, I offered to change it for her. Then a few days later, I decided to surprise her with food. She loves her patty melts from Mega Diner, so I decided to go to Mega and get one for her and surprise her. When I put the Christmas decorations away, she was thankful because she’s getting to the age where she shouldn’t be getting in the attic and then with the food she was excited that I remembered what she liked and surprised her with it. All these little moments make a big difference to the people who receive this kindness.

Rylie Golembeski
For my Blueberry Moment, I chose to donate items to the Genesee County Humane Society. I collected donations from my family and chose a day to go out and buy everything they need that is listed on their website. Some of the things I bought include dog and cat toys, dog and cat food, blankets, bleach, paper towel, cleaning supplies, and treats. I then delivered them to the humane society on Tuesday, January 17th. They were very thankful and even wrote me a letter that thanks me for my donation. I love being able to see the animals and talk to each one for a short bit to give them the love and attention they deserve. This is my second year doing this and I really enjoy it because I know it helps the animals out a lot. I can’t wait to do it next year. I had to go to some other places to pick up items the dollar store didn’t have. This is my favorite thing to do because I have so much compassion for animals.

For my last Blueberry Moment, I secretly paid for my coworker, Tamarah’s, meal. She had been saying all night that she was hungry but barely had enough money to drive from Flint to our restaurant in Fenton. She was just going to see if she could get a better discount than her 50% employee meal and if any of us could help out. She got her food and then secretly I paid for it. She was very happy when she found out and very grateful. I gave her the Blueberry Card and encouraged her to help out whenever she can. She even gave me some of her candy that she had won in a contest we had. These moments truly taught me to give back wherever and whenever I can and that even the smallest act of kindness can make somebody’s day.

Talyn Tureaud
Blueberry Moment 6642
I gained a friend that wasn’t so confident in herself. She didn’t think she was pretty or good enough for anybody. She always told me how she loved how confident I was in myself. Her feeling this was about herself didn’t sit right on my heart. I texted her every morning saying things that were inspirational. We went places and I told her to hold her head high. I boosted her confidence within herself. I talked her out of wearing lots of makeup and clothes that didn’t fit. I constantly told her she was beautiful until she believed it. She slowly be surely started believing that she was beautiful and that nobody could stop her. Every day she thanks me but I thank her because she could of been stubborn and not listened. We know have the greatest bond and I know I can trust her with anything.

Jackson Bitterman
Blueberry Moment 9084
My Blueberry Moment was bringing in the donuts for the security team. It was on a Wednesday and I think that it added to the surprise because it was right in the middle of the week. The donuts made them feel good but I think they liked the idea that I was giving it to them because they do so much to keep the school running and I think they felt appreciated. It made me feel good because the rest of the day they were all smiling.

Blueberry Moment 9085
My Blueberry Moment was putting salt out for a neighbor. My neighbors are not in the best health so on one of our snow days I decided to spread some salt on their driveway so it was not covered in ice. It made me feel good because I knew that they had a lot better chance of not falling. Originally, I could not see their reaction because I salted there driveway and then left the card but later that day they stopped by to let me know how much they appreciated it.

Blueberry Moment 9086
My Blueberry Moment was bring my dog over to a neighbor’s house because her dog had been put down and she needed a little puppy time. For me this was the most rewarding because I could see how happy she was playing with my dog and it brought back some happy memories of her dog. It made me feel good seeing her not so sad and playing/ having fun with a dog again.

Robert Hooks
Blueberry Moment 10987
I helped one of my classmates, Garrett McArthur. This school year, I have seen him struggle with understanding Algebra II. I took the initiative to help him with his homework. He felt more confident in the subject and thanked me for my help. This experience has showed me how much I really enjoy tutoring people in math.

Blueberry Moment 10988
My friend and VEI Entrepreneur classmate, Scott Birchmeier, has been building a model trike. I have been helping him complete this project. Scott has been challenged by this task and is so relieved that I have decided to work on this with him. From this experience, I am learning to be more analytical, creative, fun, and hands-on.

Blueberry Moment 10989
My best friend, Skylar Ranger, has been going through a tough time right now. She moved out of her parents’ house because of the problems of living there. She had nowhere else to live. I took her in and helping her obtain a job to learn to be independent. With experience, I have learned to not take advantage of people and help whenever you can because you might need them later in life.

Kimberlee Everett
Blueberry 6651
Miss. T is my bus driver to GCI. I bought her bite sized Krispy Kreme donuts, so she could eat the donuts and still drive. She reacted by this random act of kindness by giving me a hug and smiling from ear to ear and also thanking me. On January 2nd of this year, I got into an accident and totaled my car so I couldn’t provide myself with transportation to GCI so I started to ride the bus to get myself to GCI. She has the biggest heart I’ve ever witnessed. This Blueberry experience impacted me by thanking people who actually need it and sometimes buying something for cheap and giving it to whomever can make someone’s day 10x better. Yeah money may be tight for me now because I just purchased a car but sacrificing my money on other people is worth it sometimes and can make a change in the world.

Blueberry Moment 6650
For this Blueberry Moment, I bought Krispy Kreme donuts in for the office ladies. I chose to do this because they do so much for this school and nobody shows them appreciation besides their pay checks. They’ve always been nothing but generous, kind, and helpful to me. I’ve had some pretty tough times at Davison High School and they always seem to be there for me whenever I need something. There are two office ladies; Mrs. Trombley and Mrs. Brand. When I walked into the office and said I had donuts both of the ladies had nothing but smiles on their face. They thanked me and both hugged me. This Blueberry experience impacted me because showing people appreciation when they need it and maybe they were having a bad morning at home and I brought them donuts and a smile, which could have made their day which means mine was made. The office ladies are the sweetest ladies at this school.

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For this Blueberry Moment, I decided to pay for these two guys’ bill. I paid for their bill because that older man was so polite to us waitresses at Flag City Diner and he needed to be treated the way he treats others. If we are ever in a rush and I am serving him and cannot quite get to him as fast as my other tables he NEVER gets impatient he just says, “Whenever you get time, don’t worry about it.” I’ve never waited on anyone that is ever as polite and generous as he is and I have been serving for a year and a half. They were very shocked when I told them that I had the bill covered and that it was on me. They almost didn’t let me pay for it because it was about four days after my accident and they wanted me to save my money but it was my pleasure doing that for them because they definitely do deserve it! This Blueberry experience impacted me a lot because they are so nice to me and treat me so well so it was my time to show them that I really greatly appreciate them and how much they meant to me.

Hannah Houston
Blueberry Moment 10923
For my Blueberry Card, I decided to make a blanket for my neighbor. I decided not to take a photo with the woman I gave it to because she had just lost her mother and I did not want to seem insensitive. My neighbor’s name is Beverly Newcombe and she was one of the nicest people you could ever meet. She just recently passed away from a major heart attack in her sleep and her daughter personally came over and told us what had happened. Our family has always been close to this neighbor specifically because my parents have lived next to them for 25 years. My mother and I knew we had to do something special for the Shelly the neighbor’s daughter. We decided to make her a blanket and brought over some homemade cookies. She was very gracious for the gift and I could tell that the passing of the mother was very difficult. I could not ask to take a photo because of how upset she was. Shelly and her mother were extremely close and you could just see how hurt she was.

Blueberry Moment 10922
My first Blueberry Moment was on December 12th. I was at my school when I saw a girl struggling with her homework, I asked her if she needed any help because I had a free hour due to my dual enrollment and I could see the raw struggle on her face. She said yes and I proceeded to sit down with her and help her with her pre-calculus homework. I knew how challenging the homework was because I had the class last year. I ended up staying with her for 45 minutes where she proceeded to tell me how she wants to drop the class and how she is struggling this year in the class. I explained to her that she still has time to bring up her grade and that exams are right around the corner and that she cannot give up. I could see the determination in her eye and I knew right then that she would get through this class. She thanked multiple times and I told her it was no big deal and I am always happy to help again. I got up to leave when she said, “it is so nice to have someone do something nice”. If you could of see the light in my eye when I remembered the Blueberries we are doing for NTHS that was when I gave her my card and explained to her what it was. She had a smile that will always remember.

Blueberry Moment 10921
My last Blueberry was for a girl that is also in skill center. She is part of the emergency medical program 3rd session and I am part of the advanced nursing program 1st session. I arrive back at the school at 9:30 every morning. All of the first session goes to the media center in our school until the next hour begins. I saw this girl whose name is Elizabeth working hard on some computer program and she turned around and said, “Hey, aren’t you in the medical program at GCI?” I proceeded to tell her what program I am in and she then asked if I could help with her FEMA homework. We spent the next 15 minutes completing different modules. I tried to help the best I could because I don’t know much about emergency medicine. She was so grateful for my help. She thanked me countless times and I of course again told her it was not a big deal and that it was actually pretty fun work. I told her about the Blueberries we are doing for GCI and she thought they were super cool and she hopes she can find someone to pay it forward to. I gave her the card and later this year she came up to me telling me how great she did on her final exam. It felt so good to do a random act of kindness, it makes me look forward to other events in life like these.

Hannah Fleischfresser
My act of kindness consisted of me buying a man’s shake for him. I work at a Coney Island and I’ve seen him many times before he always gets the same thing an extra-large coke or a chocolate shake. So, on December 12, 2016 I had told him I would buy him his large chocolate shake. His reaction was priceless and he was in awe that I would do such a thing, then I told him about the Blueberries and how we encourage random acts of kindness and gave him the card and shared how we are supposed to pass it on to another and days later when I had seen him he told me he had passed the card on!! I love helping others and I believe the Blueberries take it to a whole other level and I love the way it impacts other’s feelings but also mine. I do not believe you can help too much.

Blueberries is a random act of kindness. My act of kindness consisted of me buying someone’s meal in the McDonald’s drive through on January 4, 2017. The person’s order had only been 6 dollars but I paid it for them. I had given the Blueberry Card to a male that was collecting the money and I just simply asked if he could give the Blueberry Card and the paid receipt to them and he said yes!! I could see happiness in the boy’s face and I hadn’t even done the good deed to him! This shows me that I don’t even have to see the person to be kind or do a small gesture for them and I can only hope they pass it along as well.

Blueberries is a random act of kindness. My act of kindness consisted of me leaving a bag of quarters on top of the dryer along with the Blueberries card in the laundry room on January 17, 2017 at my apartment complex. Laundry can be expensive especially if you don’t have your own and have to pay so much every time it adds up!!! I hope this brightens someone’s day and continue to pass it on. Doing these random acts of kindness has made me do them more often and most time I don’t even notice I do them, so i hope to keep doing them and passing kindness on!!

Danielle Toomey
Blueberry Moment 6684
My grandmother had knee replacement surgery at the end of November, so when Christmas came around she had trouble decorating her house. I went over and helped her put out her decorations that she could do. She was relieved that everything was up and set up like she wanted. She had been worried that the decorations wouldn’t be put up in time and she was grateful that I was willing to help. I always like decorating for Christmas whether it’s my home or someone else’s it is fun for me. So, when she asked I readily said yes and started right away. It was a great experience for me, because other than telling me the general area of where to put things she let me choose designs and the specifics.

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In my GCI class we had a drawing project that we were working on. And my classmate was having a difficult time trying to draw a part of it. I helped her decide what to do and how to do it. She had been stuck on that piece of the project for a while so she was grateful for my help. She would not stop thanking me for my help. I was happy to help her, while I didn’t think it was a big deal she acted like it was. It is nice to do something that a big deal for a person but is easy for you.

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My school has a jazz band elective that I am not a part of, but they were short on members. I was approached by the band director and she asked if I would be able to play with them for the Christmas Concert. I had been very busy around that time but agreed anyway because I knew they needed help. She was very thankful and happy that I was willing to help out. It always makes me happy to do something nice for someone else, even if it means having to take time out of an already busy schedule. It was worth it to help the band succeed.

Mitchell Conely
Blueberry Moment 9210On January 13, 2017, I surprised the office staff with donuts. The office staff receives no recognition from any of the students, or hardly the teachers. In my opinion, the office staff works just as hard as the teachers do. The entire office staff was totally surprised when I walked in the office carrying a box of donuts, and it helped them get through the day!

Blueberry Moment 9083
Thirty minutes before my girlfriend and her family had to leave for Bay City for my girlfriend’s sister’s cheer competition, their car wouldn’t start. I immediately volunteered, saying it was an honor to drive my girlfriend, her sister, and her mom out to Bay City so they could make it on time. They were shocked due to how fast I volunteered and jumped up to help them. It was a fun time, and I enjoyed the long drive with them.

Blueberry Moment 9215
On one of my snow-days, I snowplowed a family friend’s driveway before they arrived home from work. I am always hearing them complain about how much they hate the snow, and how they hate snow blowing. This was an easy opportunity to change their day. After they arrived home from work, they called me, (I had left a note saying that I was the one who plowed the driveway), saying how happy they were that after a long hard day of work, they didn’t have to worry about their least favorite thing in the world.

Shambriell Hardin
Blueberry Moment 6646
There was these two girls name Sarah Washington and Deasia Brown who goes to my school. I never noticed them till I heard my friends and the boys talking about how they dress and look. So, because of skill center I had to get my class switched to a GenNet class that Sarah and Deasia were in too. I started talking to them and introduced myself. They both thought I didn’t want to talk to them but I did and I didn’t mind the way they looked or how they act. I actually love the way they act; they act goofy and are always smiling even when they are hurting. I started helping them with work and tutoring them in classes they needed help in. About two months ago I started to really get to know them and I found out that Sarah has a lot of personal stuff going on in her life at the moment. So, every day that she comes to school I tell a joke or do something really goofy just to make them both laugh. I just felt that that was the least that I can do since I can’t change how she is treated outside of school. Deasia is not good with making friends and she is very shy and will be very nice to even those who are not so nice to her. I still talk to them till this very day and I will continue to because you never know what someone is going through and I do not like to judge someone before knowing them.

Blueberry Moment 6645
My sister, Toccara, has always wanted a big birthday but hasn’t had the chance to have one. My mother didn’t have the time to have a big party like she wanted but she always had a little get together for her. Since it will be my last year here with her for her birthday I thought why not have a nice 11th birthday party for her. I started planning it and with the help of my mom we decided to have a party at the Hamptons Inn hotel. It was an emoji party and I invited all her friends and all my little girl cousins to come have fun with her. My sister was very happy and she was surprised. We had pizza and cake with two rooms so everyone will have somewhere to sleep. We played water games, raced each other, had dance contest to see who is the best dancer and we also pranked the girls who went to sleep first. It was a blast and a great accomplishment to see my sister with a smile on her face. The next day we left and at least I knew I did well by having her a party that she always wanted.

Blueberry Moment 6644
I went to attend an event at the Dort Federal event close by my house. When I first walked in it was amazing they have games, stations for careers, cartoon characters and even karate shows going on. What caught my attention were the news reporters over on the right side of me. I told my sibling lets go to them first since there wasn’t a line. When we got up to them, it seemed like they weren’t ready for us yet. As I looked closer they were having trouble with their screen showing up on the television. I asked if I could try to help out and the lady told me, “Yeah if I knew how to work with technology”. It turned out they just had the wrong cords hooked up to the box. The reporters were surprised and excited that I figured it out and were thankful that I was there to help out. We got to act like we were reporters and had the chance to stand by the weather curtain pretending to know the weather. I had fun there that day and was so glad I could help them; otherwise they probably wouldn’t have been able to let anybody do the acts they had planned for the day.

Octabia Brooks
Blueberry Moment 6671
Necia had an economics test first hour, and she studied but still felt unprepared. She had flashcards; I offered to help her study using her flashcards. I asked her the questions and she answered them, we went through them several times. After fifteen minutes of helping her, her whole demeanor change she sounded and looked more confident, she was really appreciative of me to help her. This experience impacted me to understand that some people just need a little help to boost their confidence.

Blueberry Moment 6672Paying it forward is a random act of kindness. The irony of that is that it happened on Thanksgiving. Skylar is my best friend in high school, she recently encountered a tragic in her life, and her house caught on fire a day before Thanksgiving. She told me that she lost everything. I was devastated for her; I invited her and her family for Thanksgiving dinner and gave her a pair of my barley worn boots. I know I can’t replace everything but to see the shock and the little smile on her face was enough for me. Through this experience this impacted me to know that this is not just a pay it forward assignment for a grade, but this is a life changer. Showing people that you care and hopefully will be shared.

Blueberry Moment 6673  
Who would have known that a small greeting like “Good morning,” would bring someone so much joy. It was an early school morning, I was sitting at the table in the library as usually. Unexpectedly, a doleful looking girl came and sat at the table. By the look on her face, you can tell she needs someone to talk to. I said “good morning “and she said it back, but it sounded so sad. I said, “It doesn’t really sound like you’re having a good morning,” and she explained to me how she didn’t get to play in her basketball game. We talked for about five minutes and you can tell it really benefited her. She left and I told her to have a good morning, she thanked me and said she will. This experience impacted me to realize that it doesn’t take much to better someone’s day. I wish she will too pass it on.

Garrett Lampe
I was at Meijer and I saw Mike standing there looking at this Jeep and a trailer. This was before Genesee Career Institute started. I pulled up next to him and asked if he needed help. He replied yes and said he needed help loading his Jeep up because it broke down. So, I hooked it up to my truck and helped pulled it up the trailer. We both made it in time for class.

There was a boy stuck in the parking lot. I stayed after school that day to finish up some work and when I walked out there he was standing there with his hood up. So, as I walked by I said dead battery? He said yeah could I have a jump start? So, I pulled my truck around and helped jump start his truck to get home.

One of my friend’s buddies had a flat tire by my house. So, on my way home I looked for him and had him follow me to my house and we filled up his tire. Ended up becoming good friends.

Macheala Bierlein
Blueberry Moment 6674
My first act of kindness presented itself at work. I work at Bob Evans and one day a man came in and sat at the counter by himself. He looked like he was having a rough day and I made light conversation with him; he turned out to be a great guy who was incredibly funny and very outgoing. Come to find out he was looking for a job at the time so I grabbed him an application and paid for his lunch! He was very grateful and surprised that I did this for him. He thanked me, filled out his application, and was on his way. When he left I put in a good word for him with the manager. This left me feeling grateful that I am blessed enough to have a job that I am happy at and I also felt satisfied from doing something.

Blueberry Moment 6675
My second good deed was something I thought of at school. We have a couple vending machines and I decided to stick a bag with my Blueberry Card and a couple dollars on the front of it with a note. I waited on the benches for a couple minutes nearby and eventually boy that looked a little younger than me came up to it and read the note. He looked skeptical at first but then took it happily and bought a drink for himself. It’s the small things like this that make a big difference. Though he didn’t know it was me who left it there, it felt good knowing that this deed may have impacted him enough to pay it forward for someone else soon.

My last Blueberry Moment was something I didn’t get to see firsthand but checked back later to make sure they saw it. Across the street some new neighbors just moved and I haven’t gotten over there yet to say hi and introduce myself; so, for now I wrote them a little note and stuck a gas card and Blueberry Card along with it. I hope this inspires them to do something nice for someone else!

Devyn Omron
Blueberry Moment 49
For my first Blueberry Moment, I wanted to do something nice for a foreign exchange student at my school named Dasha. Since the beginning of the year Dasha had sat at my lunch table and never really talked to many people. After seeing this, I decided that I wanted to be the one to make her feel comfortable and talk to her. I asked her about her country, and culture, and everyday life. As time went on, I began to connect more and more with Dasha. I came to learn that she was interested in the medical field like I was. She told me about the volunteering she did for Hurley and I told her about the medical program I was taking at GCI. I also learned that she was from Ukraine, which was interesting to me, knowing that my grandmother is full blooded Ukrainian, and that I have Ukrainian in me as well. When I was introduced to the Blueberry project, I knew that I wanted to do something for Dasha. It was around the holidays, and I wanted to make her feel welcome, especially knowing how much she missed her family. Because of that, I decided to make her one of my family’s traditional Ukrainian recipes of nuts and bolts. I thought that would be perfect knowing it would connect to her culture. When I gave it to her at the lunch table she gave me a big hug and couldn’t stop thanking me. It was nice to see her happy and so appreciative of something that was so small. The experience made see that the little things really do matter. Whether it be sitting with the new kid at lunch or taking time out of your day to give someone a meaningful gift, small selfless acts of kindness really do make a difference in showing someone that you care.

Blueberry Moment 48I’ve had plenty of bus drivers throughout my years in school and I feel like I think of them all the same, just someone getting me from point A to point B. This year, my bus driver is a lady that goes by Miss T. She has always been very kind and personable. Every day when we get on the bus she greets us and asks how our day is going. On our request, she will also tell us her schedule so we know ahead of time when we’ll have a substitute driver. Aside from her kindness, she is also a very hard worker. She is the driver for all three sessions at GCI and many of the times has field trips to drive to in between pickups and drop offs. One day I had to catch the bus at 6 a.m. during first session and it was freezing, not only outside, but also in the bus because of all the windows that don’t close properly. When I asked her how she does it every day, she told me that she is used to it, but the biggest thing is that she can’t ever seem to get her toes to warm up. Whenever I ask the other students, they all agree that she is one of the nicest bus drivers they’ve ever had. So, one day a couple of students and I decided to do something nice for Miss T. We bought her a Subway gift card and hand made her a Christmas card with words from each of us. I also personally got her a pair of warm fuzzy socks remembering how her feet were always cold. When we gave it to her she seemed so surprised, like no other students had ever done something like that for her before. She thanked us all so much and told us that she was even going to frame the card! This experience impacted me by showing that it is worth giving thanks to someone that shows so much hard work and kindness towards others.

Blueberry Moment 47
My favorite teacher I’ve had throughout school has been my ninth grade Physical Science teacher, Mr. Smith. He was always so thorough with his teaching and what I liked most about him was that he treated each of his students as individuals. He pushed students to always reach for their highest potential by holding competitions and making learning fun. While I was in his class I had a lot of medical issues and had to drop out after only a month. But, even in that short amount of time, Mr. Smith still sent me letters so I felt like I was not forgotten. When I returned back he treated me as if I had never left and said, based on the quizzes and tests I’d taken in that first month, that I was one of the smartest students in his class. This made me feel so happy knowing that I was noticed for my potential and not forgotten about while I was gone. Now, even two years later, I still talk and visit with Mr. Smith to see how he is. Recently I learned that his wife was suddenly diagnosed with cancer and that she has been staying at the hospital. With my experience with an illness and being in the hospital, I knew how much my family had to pull together to take care of me and each other. Because of this, I was concerned for him knowing that he has two kids to take care of while also having to go to work and be there for his wife. It just broke my heart seeing how such a kind person could go through such a terrible time. I knew that I had to do something nice for him just like he had done for me when I was going through a tough time in my life. I had given him many of cards throughout the beginning of the school year and then around the holiday season I decided to prepare him some baking. When I gave it to him he thanked me and gave me a hug and said I was like the daughter he had never had. The next time I saw him he said that his boys ate all of the baking that night. I was so happy hearing that they liked it and feeling like I could help. It made me want to do more for him and his family in the future, like make them a home cooked meal. After going through this experience, it made me see the beauty of giving and the importance of being there for someone when they need it the most.

Riley Stevens
Blueberry Moment 10918
Blueberry Moments have been very fun and joyful for me. In this specific moment, I had purchased a peach tea by Snapple. I had arrived to my home school, Swartz Creek for a varsity basketball game. I had seen a man sitting alone and thought this would be my perfect recipient. Jon loved the idea and the fact that a teenager had thought of giving someone something out of the kindness of their heart instead of being rude to an adult. He appreciated it. As for me, I loved this. For the fact Jon was a home school fan, there for the same reason I was, and he was super kind about it. I loved doing this and helping quench his thirst. I hope Jon see’s this one day and realizes it meant just as much to me as it did to him!

Blueberry Moment 10963
For my Blueberry Moment, I went to the movies, with a free movie ticket in hand. I had decided I was going to give it to a family with many kids and\or adults. The specific family would like to remain unnamed, however these are the three children on the family. I walked into the theater lobby, found this great family, three adults and three children. I decided this family because growing up I knew it wasn’t cheap going out to places like this. This moment created a sense of joy in my heart. I swear I couldn’t stop smiling after this moment. The feeling of creating happiness for other people was great. This family was very appreciative. They loved what I did for them and they made sure I knew how grateful they were. It was an amazing experience.

Megan Rossbach
Blueberry Moment 6666
I paid for Mattahya’s skiing trip because she doesn’t have a lot of money. She can’t really afford to go to Mt. Holly. I decided that since she loves to ski/snowboard that I would buy her ticket to Mt. Holly so we can have a fun time. She was very happy and appreciated that I paid for her. It made me happy that I could make her happy.

Blueberry Moment 6665
When I went down to South Carolina for my boyfriend’s graduation from boot camp, I decided to pay for the soldier’s game that was standing in line behind me. It made me happy that I could pay someone back for risking their life for our country.

Blueberry Moment 6667
When I was visiting my family from Tennessee, we went out to eat at a diner. Our waitress was very nice and she was at an age where she should not be working! I felt that just a 15-20% tip would not be enough! I decided to pay her a $20 tip to help her because I may not know her background, but that’s okay. I made her day! That made my day that I could make her happy.

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