Sometimes I feel small. When I hear about huge problems like human trafficking, child abuse and global hunger, I just feel small. Those problems are like giants, they are huge. What could I possibly do that would even make a drop in the bucket?

Maybe you feel the same way. But what if we all put our one single tiny little drop in the bucket? Eventually we’d have a full bucket. Eventually we’d gain some ground, build some momentum and perhaps even convince others to join our cause.

That cause doesn’t have to be about something massive like ending poverty. It could be just about shining light into the lives of people who feel like they are all alone.

That’s what is happening for a Michigan boy named Colin. Thanks to social media, his mom has been able to collect all of those tiny little drops of kindness and assemble them into the best birthday celebration ever. Here’s what she posted on Facebook:

“I am Colin’s mom, I created this page for my amazing, wonderful, challenging son who is about to turn 11 on March 9th. Because of Colin’s disabilities, social skills are not easy for him, and he often acts out in school, and the other kids don’t like him.

“So when I asked him if he wanted a party for his birthday, he said there wasn’t a point because he has no friends. He eats lunch alone in the office every day because no one will let him sit with them, and rather than force someone to be unhappy with his presence, he sits alone in the office.

“So I thought, if I could create a page where people could send him positive thoughts and encouraging words, that would be better than any birthday party. Please join me in making my very original son feel special on his day.”

I first heard about the “Happy Birthday Colin” Facebook page on a national radio station. At last count, nearly 3,700 people have “liked” the page. Within 24 hours of his mother’s post, nearly 700 people had added a message of encouragement.

We can’t change the experience a young boy in Michigan is having at school, but we can help him to know he’s not alone in feeling alone.

Fighting world problems isn’t always about one individual standing up and taking charge. Sometimes it’s about the collective effort of all of us striving to change the world, simply by being kind.

You can wish Colin a Happy 11th Birthday at



Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.


Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is an author, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Bison Men’s Head Basketball Coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday. You can also get a Daily Dose of Inspiration from Nicole at