How A Simple Act Of Kindness Inspired A Movement

As I shared in my last post, I’m kind of a coffee addict.

Some people (MaryBeth Fortner) would say I’m also an Internet-smartphone-Apple-Facebook-Twitter-LinkedIn addict.  I like to say I’m an “admirer and eager user of technology.”  But that’s me.

Well, one day last year my eagerness led me to a website called I Like Giving.

In the creator’s words it’s “…a campaign to inspire generous living. It is a collection of stories from around the world about people who have done the unexpected without expecting anything in return.”

Many of the stories are told through videos that are incredibly moving and beautifully produced.

One my favorites is called, in all its irony,  “I Like iPad.”  It tells the story of Frances, a young woman, who gives up something she needs, or thought she needed, to her cousin who has autism.

Frances first learned about her cousin’s condition from her grandmother who said her cousin was struggling to put words together and communicate at an age he should have been able to.

Holding out hope that perhaps he was just a slow learner, time went by.  After close to two years, it was clear her cousin was autistic.

Not knowing what the future held for him but knowing the importance of communication, she started researching.

She came upon an article about a school that was using iPads and specific apps to help kids with autism communicate.

From that point forward, Frances said every time she used her own iPad, she thought about her cousin.  So, one day she drove to the post office, boxed it up, and sent it to him.

After word got around, people began donating iPads to Frances to give to other children with autism.

She said as the story got told it wasn’t about her giving something, rather it was about the kids receiving it and it caused this movement of overflowing generosity.

In Frances’ words, “It’s what I was supposed to be doing.”


That was what Frances said she was supposed to be doing.  Not for accolades, praise or prizes.  Just giving to someone who needed something more than she did.  This is the type of giving Jesus says we all should practice.

1 “Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them.  If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you give it to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men.  3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so your giving may be in secret.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1-4)

Yes, Frances made it happen. You can watch her do so here.


3 thoughts on “How A Simple Act Of Kindness Inspired A Movement

  1. Joel, this was wonderful. I have an autistic nephew, and I know how an iPad has changed his life and his ability to communicate. To know that one simple act could snowball like that is really amazing.

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