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Teen Turns Grief into 89 Acts of Kindness

When we lose someone close to us, it’s easy to lose sight of everything but our sadness. As Christians, we have the awesome comfort of knowing that our loved one is in a better place and that the loss is part of a greater design. Still, to be able to take the pain that comes from death and turn it into motivation for good deeds shows undeniable strength.

Ohio 18-year-old Samantha Manns recently lost her 89-year-old great-grandmother. Instead of making her bitter, her grief inspired her to do 89 random acts of kindness over the next 18 months. Her first act, in February, was simple but powerful. While at a McDonald’s drive-through, she paid the $5 bill of the customer behind her. Manns told Yahoo! Shine about the ecstatic happiness of the woman behind her: “I saw it in my rear-view mirror. It made me feel pretty good.”

Manns told her local paper that the acts are important to her because she knows her great-grandmother didn’t want her to be despondent after her passing. “Some of her last words were, ‘I don’t want anybody to be upset.’ And I was really upset for a few days,” Manns told The Chillicothe Gazette. “Then I thought, maybe I can’t be happy right now, but I can do things to make other people happy.”

So what else is she planning to do? Donate items to the Humane Society, hang out with orphaned puppies there and “be a happy presence,” and bake a birthday cake for a friend. She also started a Facebook page, 89 Acts of Kindness, where she is offering to help others who want to emulate her project. She even has a packet with suggestions for good deeds, plus a photo and bio of her great-grandmother, Virginia Booth.

“I want people to feel the happiness that comes with giving selflessly and with caring uncontrollably,” Manns wrote on the Facebook page. “While it’s a good feeling to be known, it’s an even better and more rewarding feeling to know I’m inspiring people to commit their OWN acts of kindness!”

Are you inspired by Manns’ commitment to do good in her community? Has the death of someone close to you ever inspired you to act in a similar way? We’d love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments below!

Source: Yahoo! Shine

Image: Brent Lewis


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  1. thespiritualwarrior7

    Posted by thespiritualwarrior7 on March 19, 2013 at 17:55

    I saw another video on here for a guy who did 22 random acts of kindness for his 22nd birthday, and I’m doing it for my 14th on March 31st. I think I might make a tradition of it. Any ideas for stuff to do?

  2. twardymak

    Posted by twardymak on March 19, 2013 at 17:32

    This is wonderful! I’ve always wanted to do something like this!!!

  3. EmilyRW

    Posted by EmilyRW on March 19, 2013 at 15:14

    Wow….this is really inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

  4. IdaPahus

    Posted by IdaPahus on March 19, 2013 at 09:44

    Awesome!! I lost one of my best friends last year, she was only 14 years old. I decided to be happy for the time we did have together, instead of being angry and sad for the time we didn`t get to spend together.