All Goes Swimmingly

980_450_63rd_st_poolI had made a promise to myself to try to add a Karri Hour about once a month, and since my last post, unsuccessfully looking for another Karri Hour in the streets of Manhattan, one suddenly presented itself to me last week when I was swimming at the gym.

As I’ve said before, the busy life of NYC-ers leaves little room for others. Less so even at the gym, when people come mid day on their break to try to get in a work out. Although I enjoy going to the gym at that time when there are less people, everyone is still in a hurry to get some exercise done quickly before they get back to their seats at the office.

Last week, while I was swimming, a guy started to share my lane, no acknowledgement, just hops right in and starts swimming a little aggressively in the lane I was using. I thought he was sort of a jerk, but I let it roll off my back, knowing I couldn’t change him and knowing that he probably was in a rush to get back to work. A little bit later a woman comes in and looks around the pool. It’s clear she’s lost something and starts crying… I was about to go up to her and ask what it was she was looking for and to see if I could help, but before I could get a word in, the guy who I thought was rude gets there before I do and immediately starts looking for the necklace she’s lost. He and I scoured the pool together, while the other 5 people swimming in the pool barely turned their heads. We both spent the majority of our time at the gym looking for her necklace, and I was so amazed at how concerned this guy was, the guy who I thought was a jerk. Not only is it nice to be pleasantly surprised by people, but you could tell that even though we didn’t find her necklace, she was comforted a little by the fact that two people really cared, and really wanted to help and make her feel better. Although she left empty handed, I could tell that we made her day a little easier.

Rebecca Hirschfeld

For the doggies

imageKarri hour? These girls are living a Karry life! Meet Marianna Badillo Rivera and Neryda Rivera.

While there is an official humane society in Baja Mexico, these girls have taken it upon themselves to create an un-official one. They rescue dogs from the streets of Los Cabos and even will “steal” a dog that they see being abused (not uncommon in Mexico) and bring them to a “squat” in the dessert where they have set up a rough shelter. They get donations for food, vet care, and for upgrades to the facility. They spend all of their free time committing Karri Hours to keep these dogs safe and fed.

I have had the pleasure of volunteering with them for a while and recently shot this video in the hopes of raising some additional funds. You can also visit their Facebook page

Alex Hugessen

El Ranchito from Melomec on Vimeo.

Grampa knows best

yard-wasteI went by a house in Guelph and saw this pile of yard waste that missed the city pickup. I went over and put the yard waste in my truck and took it to the dump for the home owner as a Karri favour.

Why I am posting this is because when I think of Karri I am always sad but while doing this I thought of Karri and I was not sad.

Grampa George

Karri Hour Collage

Just an assortment of pictures we have amassed showing the impact of the Karri Hour movement

A NYC state of mind

CIMG0110I got introduced to Karri Hour through a friend I met in Southeast Asia. The region itself promotes a kind of compassion and caring for others not readily found in other cultures. Returning to the US, I was nervous that I would turn into the usual frowning speed walker that is all too common in my hometown of NYC. I made it one of my goals to maintain, at home, the feelings of goodwill, patience, and kindness that I enjoyed while traveling and meeting new people. There is little better way to do this than through constant Karri Hours, continuing these acts of faith not for myself but in honor of someone who was cherished by a close friend I made through my travels.

In New York it is sometimes hard to find the opportunity for a random act of kindness, but today the moment struck me. Exiting from the subway at a quick pace, a man who was handing out free AM papers was saying something different than normal. He was saying, “Help me out, please help support me by taking a paper, there’s good stuff in here.” I sped past him, but quickly realized that this could be my first of hopefully many Karri Hours. I remembered that those guys, the ones with the pamphlets, papers, and coupons had a thankless job; a job that relied entirely on other people. The faster they give away their papers, the more they get paid, the faster they move up the ranks, and in all likelihood they better they feel about their lives. Those jobs are probably the lowest you can have, and definitely the most challenging. The individuals doing it most of the time are just scraping by to support their kids, and are doing the only thing they can – any job is better than no job, and probably no one wants that one. [Read more…]

From T & Simo

imagesWe were just in London England visiting Katie and Liam and on our way home one night, we saw a man laying on the cold cement outside a storefront window. We all decided to grab a blanket, pillows and some food from their place, to take back to him. We weren’t sure how he’d react, nor wanted to make him feel uncomfortable, however decided to try. Kate, was so gentle and kind, offering her hand to him, asking his name, telling him hers, explaining to him that we just wanted to offer some assistance where it seemed to be needed. He didn’t speak, only shook his head in acceptance. Leaving the scene, we only hoped he’d spend the night a little less chilled with the love of a few strangers in his heart.

T & Simo Sgarbanti

One Stop Bus Stop

679923_442328962495667_1620116245_oA month ago or so on St. Patrick’s day, me and my friends were going out to a party. We were transferring onto a bus from downtown and I realized that I wasn’t really in the mood to go out and I really just wanted to stay home. I called a friend to pick me up and my other friends caught their bus. I waited downtown in the snow for about 25 minutes. As I sat on a bench outside of Old Quebec St. mall, a man with dirty, worn clothing wished me a happy St. Patricks day. I wished him the same. He sat on the other side of the bench and I was pretty nervous and scared and I was tempted to get up and leave a number of
times. He tried to start conversation a couple times and I would be polite but wouldn’t attempt at continuing it. After a while I realized that although he was pretty drunk, he was a genuinely nice guy. We talked for a while and he told me about himself. He was 23, lost his job, evicted from his appartment with nowhere to stay. He told me about his childhood, and how tough it was being in an unstable home [Read more…]

Completely Anonymous

imageJust saw your post on karri hour about ramping up the good, as i peeled off my wet clothes. I started with my aunts driveway, shoveled it clean, and started to do the sidewalk and just then noticed an old man a few doors down shovelling. I went up and asked if he wanted a hand, but he was finishing up. I introduced myself and told him id do it next time it snows. In the 2 minutes of talking he mentioned how his wife had been to Whistler more then him, and that she passed away last year. I could tell he wasnt going to pass up the offer. I shook his hand, and that was me signing a contract: More good. I kept shovelling though, and cleared the sidewalk on both sides of the road on my block. Great work out for me, and as I write this looking out my front window 3 people have walked by. I know that as small a thing as it is to have a clean sidewalk in front of them, its appreciated and i feel better knowing that anyone that walks by will be touched by my deed. Had to rant cause I did it for karri hour. Soon enough it will all become muscle memory. I wont have to think about it, I just do it. More good, all the time.


What a Turkey

portrait_of_a_mailman_holding_letters_and_smiling_255-26057Karri Oksanen is my nephew, his father Peter is my younger brother. I usually let people go ahead of me in a grocery line if they just have a few things, it is just a nice thing to do and we have to stop the mad hurry all the time, at least I do. A few times 2 or 3 shoppers have gone before me. One day before Christmas a guy behind me was holding a big bag of potatoes in one hand and a frozen turkey in the other. At first he said no, he would wait but after a few minues he agreed to go first. During the switch I thought he looked familiar and told him so, it turned out that he is our mailman. So even though I have stepped up
and do nice deeds more consiously in memory of Karri now, it would have been embarrassing had I not let my mailman go first with his small load.

Susan Kolyvek

Have a Rice Crispy day

rice_krispies_treatI am a student at the Universty of Guelph and I have never experienced such selfless kindness from a stranger on or off campus. Yesterday I was having one of those days where nothing goes right. I was at the UofG library making calls trying to get heat in my apartment and feeling sorry for myself. When I left my table I returned to find a rice crispy square and a note that read: I heard you were having a bad day, hope this will sweeten it up. Don’t worry, everything is going to be okay. I didn’t know this person and they didn’t even stick around the library for me to thank them. That turned my day around instantly and brightened my outlook on life.

Jahnaya Wright