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Bucket Fillers and Change Makers!

Posted by on May 23, 2012

What a GREAT book ... "Have You Filled a BUCKET Today?" Photo by Mya

Are you a bucket FILLER or a bucket DIPPER? Yesterday, we read a book called Have You Filled a Bucket Today? It was written by Carol McCloud and illustrated by David Messing. This book was about filling people’s invisible buckets. We BET you are wondering what in the world an INVISIBLE bucket is! Each of us has a bucket and this bucket has only one purpose. Our buckets hold all our good thoughts and feelings about ourselves. We feel great when our buckets are FULL and glum when our buckets are empty.

To be a bucket FILLER  means that you are a kind person who does caring things for OTHER people! If you are a bucket DIPPER, on the other hand, your actions make people feel badly. This might mean that you hurt  people’s feelings … or that you are bullying them. You might be thinking that you can fill your OWN bucket, but the author tells us that the only way to FILL your own bucket is to do good deeds for OTHER people. When you do this, you fill THEIR buckets … and it makes you feel GOOD inside. This ALSO helps to fill your own bucket!

We have been reading about “quiet” Change Makers around the world because we are interested in making changes ourselves. As we wait for our NEXT Skype with Ashli to hear all about how the Q’enqo community is doing with their new library, and how Mosqoy is doing with their Capacity Building, we have learned a LOT about adults and children who are GLOBAL Citizens … making a difference in other people’s lives. They are filling invisible BUCKETS!

Learning MORE about people working to change the world ... one good deed at a time!

“Do you know how to fill a bucket?  A kind young lady did … by doing an ARK … for her friend’s birthday!  You probably don’t believe it, but in our story a lady bought birthday cakes for ANNONYMOUS people!  When she asked the ladies at the cash register if she could have permission to pay for other people ahead of time, they said ‘No!  We will get FIRED!”  So, that night, she phoned BOTH managers and … they both said YES!  The next morning, the lady went back to the same bakery.  One lady remembered her, but the other did not.  She explained how the manager said “yes”.  So, she began paying for a random number of cakes … for people she didn’t even know!  Now THAT’S filling a bucket!”  ~Damian, Brenden, Natasha and Mya

Be a bucket FILLER ... NOT a bucket DIPPER!

“Bob is a man that inspires kids to read books.  The kids want to read the same books that Bob is reading.  After he is finished reading, the kids go to the library to sign out the books he has volunteered to read to them.  He reads books to grades 3 to 5.  This is why he is a huge change maker because he tries to inspire kids to read books.  He tells them that books are important in life.  He thinks that books are important because they can help you to write and get a job.  Bob is an every day hero.  He shares his time to help kids read.  Bob is a bucket filler, not a bucket dipper.”  ~Kaylee, Jesse, Julia and Zahra

“Can you believe that a FIVE year old girl is a change maker?  Today, we read about Hannah Taylor.  Hannah was walking down the street and saw a homeless man eating out of a garbage can.  Hannah was very surprised.  She felt very sad for the man.  One glorious day Hannah skipped to school and she thought of a solution.  She saw a homeless woman pushing her belongings in a cart.  Hannah wanted to make a difference.  She got really into ladybugs, so she created the ladybug jars.  She painted baby food jars like ladybugs and put them places like businesses to collect money to help these homeless people.  Five years later, she had raised $500, 000 for the “Ladybug Foundation”  This foundation helped to build an addition on a building to make room for more beds for homeless people.  They call it “Hannah’s Place”!  We never knew that a five year old could make a difference in the world!”  ~Elijah, Eric and Alexia

“We read about a man who helped an extremely old lady.  The old lady sat on a noisy bus in India.  The man saw that the old lady was upset by the loud noise.  So, the man lent his earphones to the annoyed old lady.  Of course the lady didn’t understand English because she was from India.  The man stopped the music to see if the lady was enjoying it.  She said “Ye badhiya he! Chalu rakho!”  In English, that means “This is awesome!  Keep it going!”  We think that the man is a bucket filler because he helped the lady by sharing his earphones.  Bucket filling is making a difference in other people’s lives!”  ~Tormod, Henrik and Martin

“Imagine walking into a cafe and the waiter asks you “How much do you want to pay for your food?”  Well, that’s what happens in Cafe 180, in Denver!  Today, we read a story about Cathy Matthews, who let’s every customer choose what they want to pay for their meal.  All the money goes to making the food.  If you pay one dollar for a pie, you can clean dishes or help set the tables to help pay for the rest of the money you owe!  If you are not homeless, you can pay more than you have to.  One worker, Ellie Mae, says she does everything Cathy Matthews asks her to do.  Bob, who lives just down the street from Cafe 180, says it’s not something I have to do, but I do it cuz I can!  We think Cathy fills buckets because she is caring, full of kindness and uses common sense with the customers.  She is a bucket filler!”  ~Sophie H., Ava and Rijul

“Today, we read about a man that paid for some groceries that were not even HIS!  The groceries were an elderly lady’s and she was walking as slow as a turtle.  He found her when he was walking at lunch time.  Then, he saw her walk into Iceland, (a store like Safeway or SuperStore).  He started to walk after her to help her.  He felt a little strange so he continued walking.  He saw her getting groceries, putting them on to a “push chair” she was using.  She was probably too poor to have a walker to push.  He went to the check out and started explaining that he was giving the clerk money for her.  When he was done explaining, the cashier looked confused.  So, the cashier called a colleague and they explained it again.  They finally got the idea.  He hoped that the surprise would put a smile on the elderly lady’s face.  A few days later, he went back at lunch time to see how she was doing.  She was doing well and it made him smile.  Make sure YOU make someone’s day!”  ~Larissa, Galen and Jun

“What if you bumped into a stranger and he gave you some flowers?  How would you feel?  We would be thankful!  It would fill our buckets for the day!  When you do something for others you also feel GOOD inside.  You’d fill their bucket and yours TOO!  Yesterday, we read an article.  it was called The Fun of Giving Free Flowers.  It was about a man who gave a bunch of flowers to a total stranger – a young mother and her child.  The man who gave her the flowers felt so good about his ARK, (Act of Random Kindness), that he decided to do it again the FOLLOWING month!  We think that the man was not just filling HIS bucket by helping someone else … he was filling the STRANGER’S bucket TOO!”  ~Zack, Max, Thalia, and Sophie G.

Mayor Nenshi encourages OTHERS to fill buckets TOO!  Photo by Wikimedia Commons 

On the news, at lunch today, Mrs. Renton heard about Mayor Nenshi and HIS challenge for CALGARY!  She told us all about it … and we checked out HIS blog!  The challenge is called The 20 Minute Makeover!  His 20 minute challenge encourages Calgarians to pick up garbage in their community for just 20 minutes between June 6th and 9th.  In Mayor Nenshi’s words:

“If one in four Calgarians takes 20 minutes to pick up litter, we will invest 5,000,000 minutes, 83,333 hours,or 2,222 work days cleaning up our city. That’s a major makeover! If each of us gives just 20 minutes picking up litter in public spaces, we will all benefit from a cleaner, safer city.”

We don’t know about YOU … but … many of us think that when we hear many of stories being shared on the news, they make us feel kind of sad.  Lots of us though, lately, have been noticing stories about Change Makers being shared on the television.  At first we thought they might have just STARTED telling stories about quiet heroes … but now we realize that it’s because WE are paying more ATTENTION.  We are drawn IN and it has become important to EACH of us.  This morning, one of our Grade Three Bloggers came in and told us about some young people who are helping to build playgrounds in the poorer regions of Mexico.  Guess what?  She heard THIS on the news this morning!

We wonder:

  • Have you ever read Carol McCloud’s “Have You Filled a Bucket Today”, or any of her OTHER bucket books?  If so, what did you think?
  • If YOU will take part in Mayor Nenshi’s 20 Minute Challenge.  If you don’t live in Calgary, will you do your OWN 20 Minute Challenge?
  • Are YOU paying more attention to the “quiet” change maker stories on the news?

19 Responses to Bucket Fillers and Change Makers!

  1. Sarah K

    Thank you, Grade 3 Bloggers, for reminding me of the power of kindness. We all need that reminder from time to time. It is interesting that you mention the book “Have You Filled a Bucket Today” because my daughter’s school has studied it, too. They have adopted it as a school-wide philosophy and there are posters up all over about being a Bucket Filler. The students get special stickers if a teacher sees them filling someone’s invisible bucket. I like that schools in Canada, in Brazil, and probably many other places are learning about being Bucket Fillers. This makes me hopeful that the world will be changed for the better!

    After reading your post I remembered a few of my favourite quotes about kindness. I have included them below for you to enjoy, too.

    Tomorrow I am going to find small ways to be a Bucket Filler. I will let you know how I do! Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

    “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~Leo Buscaglia

    “Don’t wait for people to be friendly, show them how.” ~Author Unknown

    “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” ~Author Unknown

    “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” ~AESOP, The Lion and the Mouse

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Sarah!

      Thank you for your FANTASTIC comment. It made us feel good that you left another comment on our blog! You always make us feel spectacular and you also often teach us stuff. We think it’s really awesome that your childrens’ school uses the book “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” as their school beliefs. Did you know that YOU filled TWENTY-FIVE buckets today? We know that you said that you were going to find little ways to fill buckets today … but you’ve already DONE that … by commenting on our blog!!!

      Your quotes remind us of “Individually we are one drop. Together we are an ocean”. It is by Ryunosuke Satoro. It is one of our favourite quotes … and we talk about it a lot!

      We would love to hear about how you filled people’s invisible buckets today … we bet you will have fun! Good luck!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  2. Mrs. Krebs

    Wow, what a wonderful post about so many different quiet change makers. You have inspired me! I loved the story about paying for someone’s birthday cake. How fun! I do not live in Calgary, but my students and I try to be change makers, and I have bookmarked your post to share with them when we resume class in the fall. I haven’t yet, but I will definitely be reading Have you Filled a Bucket Today?

    Thanks for sharing!
    Mrs. Krebs

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Mrs. Krebs!

      Thank you for your wonderful comment. We checked out your blog and we liked the goats’ names and how one of them is named after you! We are curious to know what grade you are teaching. Is it grade one or two? We are glad that you bookmarked our post to share with your class in the Fall … it makes us feel good to know that what we are writing is important to others. We are going to try to get the OTHER “Bucket” books, too, because we sure liked reading the FIRST one! You know, Mrs. Krebs, you have filled OUR buckets by leaving us an awesome comment. Thank you!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  3. Elisa Waingort

    Dear Global Grade 3’s,
    I am so inspired by all of the examples that you’ve shared of “bucket fillers” in our community and elsewhere. It will make me be more aware of this when I listen to the news which, I agree with you, can be disheartening since much of it is about tragedies and people cheating and taking advantage of each other. It’s amazing how much you’ve noticed. Keep reporting on these events. In fact, you should consider publishing these beyond your blog and on the pages of the Calgary Herald. We all need to know that there are people all over the world taking small, significant steps to make the world a better place. Good deeds mushroom into more good deeds. It does work!

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Ms. Waingort.

      Thank you for commenting on our blog! It made us feel good to know that you liked our post and that it inspired you! You are right – the news is full of “quiet” change makers … but … if you aren’t listening for it, you often only hear the sad stories. We are glad that we are focusing on the positive stories now because, since our journey with Q’enqo, we are interested in positive change in the world! Please check back … we will be continuing to share our adventures and learning with Q’enqo, and putting books on the shelves in the new library. We will also be talking more about the quiet change makers we are hearing about around us.

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  4. Ross Mannell

    Hello Global Grade 3,

    Yet another of your wonderful posts has come my way and another extended comment has been born to share with you. You’ll find it by going to the link below…

    May your invisible buckets always be full. 🙂

    Teacher, NSW, Australia

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Dear Ross:

      Thank you for another extended awesome comment! ( Amazingly, an empty invisible bucket DOES seem heavier … because when you feel sad, or upset, you most often feel tired and you almost feel like you’re dragging. Some of us even think that our BODIES feel heavier when we are down. You are right … a FULL invisible bucket seems so much lighter. Strange, isn’t it?

      We loved the “Clean Up Australia” story because it is about one person who started with an idea … and his idea keeps growing … it’s getting bigger and bigger. It reminds us, again, of Ordinary Mary, the Butterfly Effect and the power of ONE little act. We love it when we see people in the world moving from ME to WE.

      Maybe Mayor Nenshi’s 20-Minute Makeover will turn into “Clean Up Canada”! Wouldn’t that be COOL? There are about 1 million people who live in Calgary. If EVERYONE spent 20 minutes helping to clean up our parks, roadways and water systems … Calgary would be SPARKLING clean. It’s already pretty beautiful … but … we often see plastic bags, and other garbage, stuck in the bushes as we go for walks.

      Thank you for your awesome comment, Ross! We can’t wait to get to your NEXT extended comment, but it will have to wait until tomorrow because we have some mealworms that are transforming from larvae into darkling beetles today. We have been learning about Animal Lifecycles … and we have to spend a little time observing them before we set them free!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

      • Ross Mannell

        Dear Grade Three Bloggers,

        Possibly Mayor Nenshi could be shown details of the Clean Up the World Campaign so he can join the global community and extend his program. What I like about his plan is, it doesn’t ask for a day, only twenty minutes. Most people could find twenty minutes in a day for a good cause.

        There are things we can do every day to help the environment and community.

        Reducing litter would be much easier if we didn’t litter. Places things in trash cans (rubbish bins for us) rather than dropping them is something we can all do. If we don’t litter, we don’t have as much to clean up.

        When I am out hiking along roads as part of my outing, I often remove obstacles on the roads that might cause problems with cars. I don’t suggest you walk along roads but you can report problems if you see them. You might help save lives.

        In the supermarkets, I replace things people have dropped from shelves. I also straighten mats that might cause people to trip. Being taller, I can see items pushed back on shelves. I tend to move them forward to the front so shorter people can more easily reach them when they pass.

        I hold doors open for people if I at a door when they approach. It doesn’t matter whether they are young or old, male or female. It’s a simple courtesy and brings smiles in return.

        When walking into town, I always greet the people I pass whether I know them or not. If they’re a tourist they have the impression my town is a friendly place to be. If they are local, they are much more likely to smile when they see me coming. It isn’t practical when there are a number of people in our shopping area but people I have met before often greet me.

        Here are some words (I hope appear correctly) for you with the help of translation software…

        ابتسامة , 微笑 , glimlach , sourire , lächeln , χαμόγελο , חיוך , tersenyum , aoibh gháire , sorridere , 笑顔 , لبخند , улыбаться , sonreír , gwenu

        The languages, in order, are Arabic, simplified Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Russian and Spanish. I think you would find this word in every language in the world. I could have added many more.

        They all say the same thing. It’s something easy you can do and share. The word is…


        Teacher, NSW, Australia

        • The Grade Three Bloggers

          Hi Ross!

          You are RIGHT! If we each cleaned up after ourselves … the world WOULD be easier to keep clean! When we see garbage laying around on the ground, it makes us feel frustrated AND mad. Mrs. Renton told us a story about last summer. The story was about how she was doing yard work one day … and found a towel nicely folded and sitting under her tree. At first, she thought someone had lost their swimming suit. When she picked it up, though, she discovered that someone had left a dirty diaper tucked inside. She had to put it into the garbage and wasn’t very pleased about it. We thought THAT was pretty GROSS!

          Our school had a Carnival last week. The next morning we saw a WHOLE bunch of plastic water bottles and a TON of OTHER garbage on the ground. This was kind of shocking to us because we have Earth Day … we celebrate Earth HOUR … and we ALL believe that taking care of the Earth should happen all year ROUND … not just on Earth Day and Earth Hour. It was shocking because it was happening right in our very own SCHOOL yard. Right then and there … two of our classmates went in to ask for a plastic bag to pick up the bottles to recycle them and also to pick up the OTHER garbage.

          About the 20 Minute Makeover … we are ALL going to do it as The Grade Three Bloggers! We will go out as a class and help to pick up all the garbage that people drop … and all the stuff that blows IN to the school yard when the wind picks up. Of course, we are going to take TONS of pictures … and … we might EVEN blog about our experience! Not only THAT, but we are going to go home, after school, and challenge our PARENTS to do the 20 Minute Makeover TOO! If we HELP them … we will be doing the 40 Minute Makeover!

          While we are OUT there … we will smile (smee-lah) … that’s SMILE in Norwegian, because we know that we will be doing OUR part to take care of our BEAUTIFUL world!

          Ross – you do SO much to make the world a better place. If we ALL work together … IMAGINE what this world could look like. After all T.E.A.M. = Together Everyone Achieves MORE!

          SMILE (smee-lah), Ross … you’ve made US smile (smee-lah)

          The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  5. Lynn

    Bucket fillers eh?! I’m so glad to have read this post and to learn that you are learning that each one of us can be a bucket filler! Larissa and I are going to the library tonight and we are going to see if we can get that book out – I’d love to read it! Plato said “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle” and I believe that is true. Even a simple smile can lift a load and brighten someone’s day. Thank you for your blog! You have all encouraged me to be more intentional in my “bucket filling”. Our family will certainly take part in Major Nenshi’s 20 minute challenge. 20 minutes isn’t much but what a difference it can make! May we all work to put a smile on someone’s face tomorrow!

    Larissa’s mom 😉

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Lynn!

      Thank you for another wonderful comment! We really enjoyed reading your comment! It’s too bad that you couldn’t find the “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” book … Larissa just told us you couldn’t find it. She also told us that you found a DIFFERENT bucket book! We would LOVE for Larissa to SHARE this public library book, if YOU are okay with her bringing it to school one day next week! We think Plato is right because … you CAN’T tell if people are having a harder “battle” than you by just looking at them. Helping someone means that you can just give them a smile … and … it just MIGHT lighten their load and clear their day from their worries.

      This morning some of the kids in our classroom were picking up plastic water bottles that were left all over the ground after the Carnival yesterday after school. It really makes us glum that people who CAME to the Carnival just left their bottles RIGHT on the GROUND. That is LITTERING!!! So … several of us collected those bottles to recycle them … now THAT is bucket filling for the EARTH!!!

      We think that our WHOLE class will take part in Mayor Nenshi’s 20 Minute Makeover Challenge … we don’t know WHEN, but some time between June 6th and June 9th!

      Thank you for filling OUR invisible buckets by leaving us such an AWESOME message!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

      • Lynn

        Hi Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

        Thank you for your quick response! It’s great to hear that some of you are taking initiative and picking up the litter you see. I can imagine that the homes around the school that look down into the school yard really appreciated your efforts!
        Larissa and I did not get the “Have you Filled a Bucket Today?” BUT we were able to put it on hold! I certainly am looking forward to reading it! We did bring home the book “Growing Up with a Bucket Full of Happiness: Three Rules for a Happier Life” written by the same author Carol McCloud which we will read together this weekend. Larissa is welcome to bring it in to show you next week – I’m thinking on Monday.
        All this blogging about bucket filling reminded me of a poem I read a long time ago called “Smile” by Barbara Hauck, age 13. She wrote:
        She smiled at a sorrowful stranger.
        The smile seemed to make him feel better.
        He remembered past kindnesses of a friend
        and wrote him a thank you letter.
        The friend was so pleased with the thank you
        that he left a large tip after lunch.
        The waitress, surprised by the size of the tip,
        bet the whole thing on a hunch.
        The next day she picked up her winnings,
        and gave part to a man on the street.
        The man on the street was grateful;
        for two days he’d had nothing to eat.
        After he finished dinner,
        he left for his dingy room.
        (He didn’t know at that moment
        that he might be facing his doom.)
        On the way he picked up a shivering puppy
        and took him home to get warm.
        The puppy was very grateful
        to be in out of the storm.
        That night the house caught on fire.
        The puppy barked the alarm.
        He barked ’til he woke the whole household
        and saved everybody from harm.
        One of the boys that he rescued
        grew up to be President.
        All this because of a simple smile
        that hadn’t cost a cent.

        One never knows the impact of our smile 🙂

        Larissa’s Mom 😉

        • The Grade Three Bloggers

          Hi Lynn!

          Thank you for another AWESOME comment! The poem reminded us of some books that we have read lately. The first one is Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed. We think that you and Larissa should find it in the library because it is REALLY good. Another book it reminds us of is Because a Little Bug Went Ka-choo! It ALSO reminds us of a movie that Mrs. Renton told us about … Pay it Forward … but … she told us we were TOO young to see it yet! 😉

          It also reminds us of the Butterfly Effect that Ross Mannell taught us about in one of his comments to us not too long ago! Do you know about the Butterfly Effect? If not … Ross told us about it in a comment on Change Makers and Quiet Heroes. It was pretty amazing … but … we like to think about it in terms of people and positive change instead of butterfly wings flapping and causing tornadoes two years down the road.

          We can’t wait to hear about the book that you and Larissa are reading together … we would LOVE to see it when you are finished with it! Have a GREAT night, Lynn!

          The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

        • Ross Mannell

          🙂 Smiles costs us no money and little more than the energy to move some small muscles yet they can set in motion unexpected events which can change the world.The poem, “Smile”, reminds us kindness and caring can be contagious. Smiling is a disease we all should catch and let flourish. 🙂

          Teacher, NSW, Australia

  6. natasha

    what we are doing to help the world is amazing, and i am extremely excited about the 20 minute make-over as a class! All the hard work we have been doing pays off alot, when we know were having fun all the way thruogh this wonderful journey.And, pluss,all we can rememder is: “alone we are a drop together we are an ocain” ,” T.E.A.M. means together we acheive more”.

    Personoly i think that this blogg is an AMAZING idea for our learning!It always reminds me that , when your learning mistakes and questions let you travel world wide!For exampel I have tiping erres all the time but thats because i’m only in grade 3.And, learning takes time!

    Always remember to keep your heads up and keep looking fore-word!:)


    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Natasha (Fellow Grade Three Blogger)!

      Thank you for your wonderful comment! We liked how you said we really ARE helping the world together … T.E.A.M. = Together Everyone Achieves More … that is VERY true! We are really proud of you for the awesome comment you wrote. We all feel the same way. You are right, Natasha … we ALL make mistakes because … that is how we LEARN!!! Learning is SO cool together! We like this blog because we can hear what other people are thinking around the world! Keep up the awesome work, Natasha … we love when you share your thoughts with us!

      Your Fellow Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  7. Jennifer

    Hello 3rd Grade Students,
    I am so excited to follow your blogs! You are doing wonderful things, I could not imagine a life without an education and books, can you? . I am so glad that you have participated in the walk-a-thon. You should feel very proud that you have not only raised money but awareness to help the Q’enqo kids. It has encouraged me to help “fill the bucket”. I am out of the Calgary area (USA) I am motivated to look for ways to help out in our community.
    Thank you again for sharing your experience with me! I look forward to hearing more about your class.

    Jen (Natasha’s Aunt)

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Jen!

      Thank you for awesome comment. We feel very happy when our family members comment on our blog! We’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of different people, even strangers, comment on our blog … and we learn so much, often, through their comments.

      We can NOT imagine what it would be like with no books in our lives. We feel so lucky to have all the books that we DO have … we can read them whenever we want! We can tell how much the kids in Q’enqo WANT to learn because some of them walk SO far just to get there!

      When you find some ways to fill people’s buckets … we’d love to hear about it! Yesterday, we filled our Earth’s bucket!!! We are writing a post about it right now … so youu will have to check back to see how we DID it!

      Have a great day, Jen!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

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