Because the world needs more help in general…

I’m giving away a query and first 250-word critique to a random person who makes a comment on this post between the time it goes up until 8am Central Time on September 24th, 2018 (that’s Monday). All you have to do to qualify is tell me one small thing you did to help someone else within the last week. It could be a smile, taking someone coffee, laughing at someone’s terrible joke. I don’t care. I just need to see some good people doing good things.



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Thank you to every single person who shared their experiences and good deeds. I know it’s not usually in our nature to toot our own horn, but I also think it’s uplifting to see all the good that’s being done in the world.

And the winner is:

Debbie Burke

Debbie will be receiving an email from me.


  1. Thank you so much for this! Yesterday and today I went to visit my neighbor in the hospital. It’s her second time there this month and she has no family to visit, so I’ve gone between school carpool and heading to work. 💜

  2. I gave a couple people rides to/from the airport at a writer’s conference I was at a few days ago.

    And as a bonus, something nice someone else did for me was invite me to dinner with their group.

    1. That’s awesome! I really appreciate people doing that for me at cons and also–I <3 food. So bonus. That was so nice of you and them. Love the love.

  3. A nice thing I did? Well, I’m always one to hold open doors and such, but I think the best thing from this week was bought a copy of a book from an indie author who I could have just gotten it for free but I wanted to show my support and know that writing is hard. I’m in it myself after all.

  4. It feels awkward and weird to tell you what I’ve done today… so I’ll share a story from one of my kids today.

    today, I picked up my 16 year old and one of her best friends from our local community college (as part of a dual-enrollment program in high school/college classes). They were there during their “non-class time” to learn about local Native American culture and to study after the lecture/presentation. But during their study time today at the library, they were presented with an opportunity to volunteer as helpers for a club of special needs students. They spent their afternoon helping with coloring, making buttons, etc. And at the end of it? Told the librarian they’d love to do it again.

    This mama’s heart is overflowing.

    1. First–sorry you feel awkward! But you took your kids there so they could do that wonderful service! And I’m sure your example had something to do with them being willing to give of their time. Thank you for sharing that.

  5. Today, I surrendered an heirloom that I was the rightful and legal owner of in order to mend a breach in my extended family. I loved that piece of furniture but I know that family, even those who don’t appreciate us, are more important than material possessions.

    1. That brings tears to my eyes. This is no small thing. I’m wishing all the best for you and your family. I hope they know what a blessing you are to them.

  6. Hi! Last week I found out it was one of my student’s birthday and I surprised her by bringing in cupcakes and candles and celebrating in class. (I teach high school, so long gone are the days of class celebrations for theses kinds of things) it was rewarding to see her feel appreciated and seen in a setting where too often, the students and their experience are not put front and center.

  7. I bet we all do things all the time and don’t even think about it being helpful. What a nice way to remind us that we’re all better people than we give ourselves credit for. Tuesday I helped a woman with her arms full fit her baby carrier onto the stroller base. And today I fetched a forgotten umbrella for a woman on the streetcar that had left it behind.

  8. I’m going to drive my grandma to visit my brother’s new house this weekend! Grandma doesn’t want to drive all that way by herself (it’s close to an hour one way, and she’s never been there before), so we are making it a mini day trip. Thank you for doing this, I really appreciate the offer. <3

  9. I have a student who is applying to med schools. She asked me to proofread her application essays, and I happily agreed.

    I actually enjoy proofreading, and I’m eager to see my students succeed, so really it wasn’t much of a sacrifice.

    Thank you for doing this. It’s great to see people doing nice things for each other, as you said.

  10. School was cancelled for the third day this week. I had two of my daughter’s friends over to play because both of their mom’s work and I wanted to lighten their load just a little.
    Thank you for your kind offer.

    1. Anna–I’ve been on both sides of this and think what you’re doing is amazing. And I’m sure it’s doing the kids a lot of good as well. I’m so happy to see all these wonderful, happy experiences people are having.

  11. My mom just inherited some furniture from her late aunt and was worried that her three cats would scratch it all up, so I went over and trimmed their claws for her and also took her some catnip spray for their scratching posts to hopefully distract them from the new chairs. *fingers crossed*

  12. I’m bringing lots of brainstorming aids to Children’s Writers through my #amwritingkidlit Challenge and I spends lots of hours finding inspiration to help them out. And I do it with a generous heart! I LOVE to give back to the kidlit community.

    Thanks, Heather, for being so generous and helping spread kindness. I see many wonderful entries and I truly hope the most deserving person wins this awesome prize!

  13. Thank you for this opportunity! Sunday evening I baked brownies for my husband’s office. They were gone by 10am, so next time I’ll be making a double batch.

  14. Thanks for doing this! You’re right, the world does need help, and so does my query. I hope you have a good weekend.

  15. A dear friend and critique buddy lost her son to suicide a couple of months ago. She had withdrawn from friends. I went to a suicide prevention walk on Sunday b/c I knew she’d be there and invited her to lunch at my house, rather than a restaurant where she’d worry about people overhearing. We had homemade soup and she talked and talked and talked. After a while, we were laughing.

    She asked about a manuscript she’d helped me with some months ago. I recently finished the first draft and needed beta readers but…I wouldn’t ask her b/c the story peripherally dealt with teen suicide. She offered to read it. I said no, I don’t want it to upset you. She insisted, saying she needed a project to occupy her mind and that she’d already read the scene in critique group and would be fine with it. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. I finally agreed, moved to tears that she would reach out to help me in spite of her pain.

    We both benefited, maybe me more than her.

  16. Such a great idea! Thank you for your generosity.

    Last week I went to a writer’s conference. On the way home the airplane was full, so I opted to sit next to a woman with an active baby who wasn’t in the mood to sit for 2 1/2 hours on his mother’s lap in a confined spot. And the mother was visibly tired. So, I played with the baby, made faces at him, held his granola bar for him…and his crayons…and whatever he wanted me to hold. Whatever it took to keep him from crying and to keep his mother’s stress levels down. I have four kids of my own and I know how hard a trip like that can be if the people around you aren’t fond of kids.

  17. One of our secretaries has ill parents. Every day, I make a point to ask her how they’re doing. A few days ago, she started crying out of frustration. I took the time to listen even though I needed to prep for a class. By the time I got back to my office, she’d emailed thanking me for giving her the chance to let out her tears. You never know what a difference asking a simple question can make.

  18. Thank you for the opportunity.
    This weekend there is a county parade and some of us are cooking at the firehouse while some of us are cleaning the fire engine! It’s a group effort. 🙂

  19. This is so generous! It always makes me feel good when I hold the door for people. If I’m approaching the door at the same time as someone else, I always rush to go faster to open the door for them. I do this every morning when I get to work (so many times this week). I know it isn’t a big thing but I hope it at least helps one person every day.

  20. My grandma had her wrist joint replaced recently and my mother has been helping her out every weekend. My mom is away on a trip this weekend so my sister and I went over to help her clean and do mundane chores that we all take for granted. 😀

  21. My husband’s colleague and wife were coming from hometown to our place.We gave them dinner as she was just came and new to this place.

  22. Thank you for doing this!

    Well. I am a teacher. And today was hard but I told children I believed in them and taught them how to be kind anyway.

  23. Howdy from Texas. My query certainly needs the help, and this is a fantastic idea. A young man approached me at a gas station this week during my lunch hour needing a ride home from his work. Is very interesting getting to talk to people who have to live in different ways than us. He seemed so nervous to ask, and the drive ended up being much further than he implied, but that was fine. I enjoyed being able to help. Normally he would have been able to walk to and stay at a friends, but this time the friend was not home.

  24. I wait at Walmart one afternoon a week for my homeless son. I don’t know if it’s ‘kind’ or not, being parental, but he knows that I’m there if he wants to meet up. So far he hasn’t but I think he probably checks to see if I came.

  25. I visit my 98- year old father every day in his long term care nursing home. He lives in the darkness of dementia now, and everyday, I search his eyes, hoping that he’ll come back to me. He doesn’t.

  26. Thank you for creating this wonderful opportunity and for giving your time & attention. Yesterday I chaperoned several children to a physics program at the Jefferson Lab to learn about their particle accelerator.

  27. This is amazing! I’m a volunteer counsellor at a school, and I started with two new clients on Monday. I can only hope that providing them with the space to speak about whatever’s on their minds is helpful. 🙂

  28. Thank you for this opportunity. It is a joy to read how much good our community of writers do for others. I am making a booklet for my class for our 60th class reunion as it is getting too hard for us to meet as we are scattered across the United States. This booklet will bring our class mates together and keep us close.

  29. It’s a rough time of year to be a mom with the transition back to school. I was feeling very frazzled, dumped on and unappreciated as all moms too often do. (Because all parents spend a huge amount of thankless time doing things for the tiny tyrants that we love.) But instead of drowning my sorrows in wine or ice cream I decided to tell as many other parents as I could that they were doing a good job. The happy shocked look on my friends face when I told her she was a great mom let me know it was something she needed to hear. And each person additional person I told helped me feel better, too.

  30. My friend was headed to Disneyland, first time with her cute little girls. I delivered a stack of Minnie ears and a couple of phone power cells to make their trip more fun.

  31. Hi! Last week, one of my best friends was heartbroken. I took her out on a bff’s date: we went to the movies and went for her favorite dessert afterwards. I know I didn’t fix the situation but I definitely made her feel at least a bit better 🙂

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