Kindness is Contagious


THE GOOD SOUL PATROL We could all use a little life-affirmation to get us through a tough day. Mt. Lebanon Magazine is collecting stories of everyday heroes who go out of their way to show a little kindness. We will publish them periodically.

Gail Francolini  We were brand new to Lebo last July and I was out weeding in front of our Woodhaven Drive home when a neighbor across the street walked over and said, “You must be the new neighbors. Welcome! How did your move go?”

I laughed and responded that it wasn’t over. That it hadn’t really begun in fact. She looked perplexed so I explained that despite being told the movers would arrive from Connecticut with everything we owned, they were nowhere to be found and not answering their phones so we were sleeping on the hardwood floors in our new home hoping to resolve the mess as quickly as possible.

We were less than five minutes into our conversation when this complete stranger insisted that my husband and I spend the night in their home across the street.  I politely refused until I had a chance to talk it over with my husband who shockingly said, “That sounds amazing. Let’s do it!”

So later that night we went over to get a tour of our living quarters and all the treats that had been left out for us.

We truly felt as though we had landed on a different planet where neighbors—despite being complete strangers—took care of neighbors.

Mister Rogers would have been so proud.

Catherine Jordaan, Mellon Middle School  As a middle school teacher, I see a lot of unkind acts among students, so I decided to start incorporating kindness into my classroom. In December, I challenged my students to complete 12 acts of kindness. The kids were to either film what they were doing or explain in a video what they had done. Some only did a few, some did all 12, and some went beyond. As I would receive the videos, we would watch them at the beginning of class, and we would applaud each person for their kindness after we watched their video. It was a very positive experience, and something I plan on continuing in my classroom. Some examples:

Raked leaves for a neighbor

Baked cookies and then spent four hours at a bake sale to raise money for chemotherapy patients

Donated 10 inches of hair to a company that makes wigs for people suffering from cancer

Asked to partner up with a new student who looked nervous and alone for a gym class activity

Made friends with a person who looked lonely at a party

If you have a random act of kindness story to tell, send it to, or to Merle Jantz, 710 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15228.