Giving a smile can be easy: Blueberry Moments from Carman-Ainsworth High School

Carman-Ainsworth High School, coordinator Carrie Mattern

Choir Moment

Submitted by Chelsea Latchaw

A girl in my choir class could not afford to buy our choir shirt, so I paid for her shirt for my Blueberry Moment. I know how it feels to not have money, and it just really sucks. Our teacher said if you didn’t pay for the shirt, you would lose all your points from attending the concert, which was 100 points, so I knew what I had to do for this girl. It was too important.

I didn’t even think much about it, just reacted to her situation. I thought she was going to cry when I told her I would pay for her shirt. She said she would pay me back somehow, but I said, “No, I got this. Don’t worry. Just be kind to someone who needs it.”

My teacher was so happy, even though she tried talking me out of it. I said, “No, this is what I want to do.” Then I explained our EFA Blueberry project and she thought it was the coolest, sweetest thing ever! She said we need more people like you.

It made me feel really good! I am so proud I made two people happy by doing this project. Blueberry Card No. 0757

••••Senior Moment

Submitted by Anonymous

When I began The Blueberry project, I wanted to see if I could help someone. Senior year in high school can be very stressful. The idea of you going out on your own can be very stressful and having to handle it can be even scarier.

With that in mind, I wanted somebody to at least have one day that — instead of stressing about their future — they could walk these halls with a smile because they know that someone cares.

There was one particular girl that came to mind. She was so stressed out about her life and her future that she would crack under the pressure and cry. I knew she needed a smile.

I know that there is nothing that makes me smile more than a cupcake, so I got her a whole box, and right before the day started I gave her the box so she could start the day with a smile.

After I gave her the box, I explained how even though this is a difficult time, that she isn’t alone, that I will be there for her and that each cupcake is a symbol of that. She finally gave me the smile that I wanted and a hug in excitement.

I don’t really see her throughout the day, but I feel good knowing that someone can spend at least one day knowing that someone cares.

••••McDonalds Moment

Submitted by Anonymous

Recently I received a gift card to McDonald’s that I really didn’t know what to do with. I don’t often go there to eat, and I wanted to give it to someone who could put it to use.I’ve always been so touched by people who pay it forward that I felt compelled after listening to the Blueberry Organization speakers to go and do it myself. 

I went a little out of my comfort zone, ran up to the drive thru microphone, and taped the gift card, as well as the Blueberry Card. I felt a rush of nervous excitement and a warmth growing in my heart knowing that someone would receive a free meal from a stranger. This made me smile.

As a member of Carman-Ainsworth’s Empathy for All club, I have really learned to appreciate the beauty caused by people simply loving each other. It’s changed my life to be around such an amazing group of compassionate high school students.


Submitted by Anonymous

Everyone needs comfort though hard times and that is exactly what I tried to give through my Blueberry Moment. I decided to provide pillows to three homeless people as it can be a sense of comfort. On each pillow I taped a note that stated, “I hope this will help put your mind at ease. Everything will be ok.”

I thought the pillow could not only be used for its purpose, but also for the symbol of being able to put your mind to rest from all of the negativity, and to release stress through sleep.

My first delivery was to a person I saw at the corner of a Taco Bell. As I approached the person with the pillow, I was not at all nervous but rather filled with a new kind of hope. The hope of bringing a positive thought to his head or even a positive smile to his face. When I gave him the pillow, he looked up at me with a brightness in his eyes and said, “Thank you,” before I could even finish my introductory sentence. I told him that I hope this brightens his day and I walked away. As I got into the car, I glanced over at him and he continued to stare at the pillow. I hope that I gave him inspiration that he will be able to get though whatever his struggles are and that it can, and will, get better. As I drove away, I regretted not sitting down to have a conversation with him.

The second delivery was to a female who was standing near a Wal-Mart. She had brown hair and a duffle bag. I approached her with excitement and handed her the pillow. When I did, I noticed her hands. They were dirty and un-groomed, but I saw them as a hand reaching out for help — a hand that I had helped, which made me feel twice as much excitement . I told her I hope this helps and she replied, “It definitely will, and thank you.” I believe her.

The last delivery was also to a woman. She didn’t hold a sign stating, “Homeless,” but one that read, “Need Help.” I didn’t know exactly what she needed help with, however I’m hoping that my pillow improved something. As I drove away I noticed the vehicle behind me gave her money. It’s pleasing that there are others who do truly care.

••••Parking is on Me

Submitted by Anonymous

Inside an Easter Egg, I put a dollar in quarters along with a note that said, “Parking is on me, enjoy!” I took twelve of these eggs, went downtown, and placed one on each car. In Flint you have to pay to park, so I thought this would help someone who might need it after being in court all day, or even those who were there for lunch.

It may seem like something small. However that is the point of a Blueberry Moment. It seems small, but means a great deal to others.

After I set all the eggs out on the cars and got back into mine, I noticed two women conversing, walking to their cars. I decided to stay and watch what would happen. They both owned cars that I placed the eggs on, so I was thrilled! When they reached their cars, they pointed to the eggs and smiled. They picked them up with curiosity and as they opened them together, large grins framed their faces.

I was not only amazed at their reactions, but the feeling I developed observing them was pure excitement based on the fact that ten more people may have similar reactions when they reached their cars that afternoon.


Submitted by Emily Reddington

Students pack lunches for homeless people at an event called #HashTagLunchBag at Flint Local. A student Blueberry Ambassador also included her Blueberry cards in a few of the bags.
Students pack lunches for homeless people at an event called #HashTagLunchBag at Flint Local. A student Blueberry Ambassador also included her Blueberry cards in a few of the bags.

I am a student from Carman-Ainsworth High School who is a member of EFA (Empathy for All, a pro-hero club) and the girls soccer team. On March 22, both the JV and Varisty soccer teams gathered downtown at the Flint Local for an event called, #HashTagLunchBag. It is a charity event to help all the homeless people in our Flint community.

Our coach, Ms. Jessyca Mathews, was in charge of our girls, but there were others there to help also. We immediately got to work forming assembly lines. First of all we put on gloves, then took our place in the sandwich line, which was on both sides of a table. Everyone got snapping!

We made turkey sandwiches for each bag that we would later deliver. The group at the end of the table put the sandwiches we made into lunch bags, and also included inspirational comments on sticky notes to uplift the homeless person who received the lunch.

We had another small group decorate the lunch bags with hearts and hashtags. As I made sandwiches, it made me hungry, but inside I felt so awesome to be able to make a difference for someone in our own community who maybe wouldn’t eat that day without us.

Whether you are homeless or not, we are all the same, all humans that should care for one another. As we packed lunches we filled them with fruit, cookies, and snacks. There was the sound of laughter and pictures being taken as we enjoyed the process together!

When we placed the lunchbags into delivery boxes, I placed my Blueberry cards into different bags just to let the person know that I am thinking of them, and if they can pay it forward, we should all help each other with our Blueberry Moments.

••••Blueberry Inspiration

Submitted by Carrie Mattern

As a teacher, sponsor of EFA (Carman’s pro-hero club), mother, wife, and author, I am inspired to give when I can, as much as I can, because so many people in life have given to me.

After a teacher friend of mine bought my latest book for a baby shower gift, he handed me too much money and said, “Keep the change.” It’s not too often that I make money selling books, I usually break even, as many local authors do, so this was a sweet gesture.

Later that day my dad invited me to eat at the White Horse where he was taking my mom and her teacher friends to dinner before parent-teacher conferences. My dad brought a copy of my book to share the news with everyone, and bought all our meals for us as well.

The server reminded me so much of my grandmother, it was uncanny. Her demeanor, build, and diction all resembled this lady that I miss every day of my life. I didn’t want to bring it up to my dad, since it was his mother, and I was unsure of his reaction, so I kept quiet about it.

We conversed happily, sharing news of my brother’s new job in California, and just enjoyed our meal and the service. When I started packing up to leave, my dad told me to take the leftovers home for my husband and kids. The server packaged it up for me.

As I said farewell to my dad, he said, “Doesn’t she remind you of grandma?” I couldn’t believe it. I smiled and nodded. On my way out I grabbed the money that was still in my pocket from the book sale and handed it to her.

I hoped later on, when she counted her tips, she was happy for a little extra that day. I was happy to be reminded of such a great woman, and to take a wonderful meal home to my family. Blueberries for all!

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