I just received an invitation to a "Baby Shower for Charity Tea" The hostess explained in her invitation that this will be just like a regular baby shower EXCEPT all gifts will be donated to a battered women's shelter. What a fun way to get together and help others at the same time. She included a list of the most needed items which included diapers, baby bottles, clothes (for babies and small children), baby wipes, baby blankets and snugglies, pajamas (for babies and children), etc.
"Where do you see kindness? No matter who we are or where we come from, when we take a moment to look around, we can see kindness everywhere" -Shelley Frost Yesterday morning I was feeling stressed because I needed to go shopping for some of the organizations I volunteer with. I really don't like big crowds and tend to stay away from large department stores and shopping malls at Christmas time. However, I was determined to make the best of it and have a good day. So I decided to play a game with myself. I would actively look for and count the number of times and ways I saw people being kind. With this mindset, I witnessed so many, many acts of kindness: Drivers letting other cars into traffic; people taking shopping carts back inside; customers waiting patiently in a long line at the cash register; kind words spoken to cashier who ... Read Full Story >>
I had to laugh when I randomly chose my smile deck challenge today. The first card I chose was "Make a bagged lunch for a family member and slip a joke in it". After he retired, my husband took a job as a custodian at the high school. He is also an avid fisherman. Well on our travels earlier this week, I happened upon a "Custodial Supplies" store. They had an insulated cup that said "Custodian by week, fishing legend by weekend". It was a little on the spendy side, but I knew he would get a kick out of it so I bought it for him as a surprise and had already packed it in his lunch box before I read the card. So I decided to choose a second smile card challenge which was "Take 10 minutes to write a song, poem, or note for a loved one". You guessed ... Read Full Story >>
"Donate your favorite book to the nearest library with a note inside on why you love it!" was my smile deck challenge today.
The daughter of a friend of mine and her children just started a "Little Free Library" (http://littlefreelibrary.org/) in their neighborhood. There are lots of kids in that neighborhood and so I knew this would be the perfect place to donate some of the books that I read to my children and to my grandchildren that they have now outgrown.
So I donated several books (including The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Velveteen Rabbit, Charlotte's Web, Where the Wild Things Are and others) to this Little Free Library
My grandson's cub scout den is doing a two month unit called"Planting Seeds of Kindness. They are practicing compassion and learning that good things happen when you are kind and help others by doing multiple small service projects.
At their meeting this afternoon they made seed tapes which they are donating to a senior living home. These seed tapes are much easier for the elderly residents to plant than the standard seed packets. Tomorrow the boys are going to visit the seniors and help them plant the seed tapes. My grandson was so excited when he told me about this activity.
According to my Special Days Calendar, December 7th was Letter Writing Day. But everyday is a perfect day to send a hand written letter and brighten someone's day.
Here are a few reasons you should send out a letter today. Or even better - get in the habit of regularly sending out letters!)
Letters are tangible and can be kept to be read and re-read
Handwriting is personal.
Mail makes everyone smile.
Writing a letter shows you took the time.
Today's Randomly Pick from the Smile Deck was "to give a houseplant to a friend". This was a great one for me, because my Friendship Plant (Pilea involucrata) has outgrown its pot and needs to be divided! I found some cute flower pots that I have been saving to re-gift and potted up three plants which my grandson and I will deliver to my neighbors tomorrow.
Today was our neighbor's birthday. He is a special needs adult who takes delight in the simple things we often take for granted. We took him to IHOP for a birthday breakfast (he L O V E S pancakes) and then on a horse-drawn trolley ride around town. We stopped at a bicycle shop and had him pick out a couple of accessories for his bike (he does not drive). His excitement and joy were a gift to us!
I was unable to post yesterday but the smile deck challenge that I completed was: Get in touch with an old friend who you'd like to reconnect with -- I visited a cousin whom I have not seen since my dad passed away 20 years ago. She recently moved close to where my son and his family live. It was great to see her.
Today's challenge was Pay for a stranger's meal anonymously. There was an old fashioned popcorn wagon at the Pumpkin Patch we went to with the Grand Kids. I bought some popcorn for our family and then paid for 5 more bags to be given randomly to other families.
I received a call from the summer camp that my grandkids will be attending in two weeks. They had a "problem" -- we had mistakenly paid for 4 kids but only have 3 grandkids attending. The camp's policy is to not offer refunds for cancellations less than 30 days out except in cases of emergency.
As the camp director tried to figure out how to refund us for the "mystery child", my husband and I quickly offered a solution: offer the spot already paid for as a "campership" to a needy child so that s/he could attend camp. The director was so excited as they do have a waiting list of kids who they would love to accommodate! I love it when I can turn a "problem" into a wonderful opportunity .
Survival Kits for Healthcare Providers: A few days ago, I saw a post from a fellow KS member talking about gift bags for the nursing staff at a hospital or nursing home. It got me thinking about the wonderful staff at the Assisted Care home I visit on a regular basis. So I found this run "survival kit" idea and purchased the items to make several of them. I am putting the kits together tonight and will deliver them to the staff tomorrow. These are the items I am including:all which all came from the Dollar Tree. - A package of mints: A reminder that you are WORTH A MINT - Roll of lifesavers: To remind you of the many times you have been one - Rubber Bands Because you often are called upon to stretch yourself beyond your limits - A Package of Band-Aids - For when things get a little rough (I ... Read Full Story >>
While at a restaurant this past weekend, I asked the waitress to give a "smile package" which included some of Mindy's peace doves, some coloring pages with markers, and a small gift bag of toys to a young family who were at the table next to us. There was a little girl about 6 and a couple of younger children. The little girl was so excited and when she read the smile card message, she got right up and went over to a family who had just entered the restaurant to gave their little boy the bag of toys. As she walked away she said loudly "SMILE -- YOU'RE IT! She totally made my day!
I recently joined a gardening club. When I received my first club newsletter, I noticed that the Editor was resigning. I love doing newsletters, so at the meeting last Thursday, I volunteered to take over as Editor if they needed someone.
Today I received a call from the president asking me to take over another project instead. I almost said no, because this project does not sound nearly as fun as producing the newsletter and it will be a lot of work.
But I realized that the new project was important and one that I could do -- and that the KIND thing to do was to say yes. So I stretched my kindness muscles and agreed to take on the project.
Today I volunteered at our "Friends of the Library" used book sale. Towards the end of the sale, a gentleman rushed in. I recognized him as the the 'father' of a very special family in our community. This man and his wife have adopted a large number of special needs children (I think the number is around 20 over the past 40 years).
The couple's grown biological children have now carried on the tradition. I helped the man choose a large selection of books for all the kids and told him there was no charge since the sale was nearly over. While he was talking to someone else, I put an envelope with some money in it and a quickly written smiley note in the top of his book bag. The amount was not large, but I hope it will help.
Today I was honored to attend a meeting of TAB (Teens Against Bullying) at the high school where my husband works. WOW! What a great group of kids! Today’s topic was “Supporting Each Other” and they handed each attendee a bookmark with this message:
Share your truth
Understand others have their own truth
Participate in many activities to get to know others
Pose Questions to understand
Offer encouragement – not judgment
Reach out – be a friend
Together we can make a difference.
One of the service / education projects this group is doing is working with kids in elementary students to stand up against bullying. They have set up teams of 3 - 4 high school students who work with groups of 10 - 12 elementary school students. One team is doing a project with a group of 3rd graders aimed at helping them to learn cooperation and encouragement.
Today the teens from our teen center helped the residents or our local assisted care facility plant flowers and vegetables in the raised beds the kids helped build last year.
They are a great bunch of kids and they are really bonding with the residents of the assisted care center. It is a win win situation for both groups!
Today is Random Acts Of Kindness Day and all around town, I have seen the results of people's kindness. While at the library today, I overheard two ladies talking about RAOK Day and its impact on the world. One woman said that "it has to start somewhere and if even just one person learns to be kinder because some did an RAOK the day will be a success!" :-)
Today at a meeting, one of the members stood up and explained a little bit about the challenges and heartache she is going through right now. She told us that she would really appreciate people calling and/or stopping by to visit as she is mostly house-bound these days.
It took a great deal of courage to tell her story and ask for help and support. After the meeting, a few of us got together and set up a schedule for one person to visit each day and at least one other person to call just to say "we care".
Friends want to help -- they just don't always know how or realize the immediate needs. Please don't be afraid to reach out and ask for help from your friends. It is a sign of trust and love.
My sister-in-law just sent me an invitation to participate in this fun activity that is taking place in our community. It sounds like fun and is something that any community or group could do! You can change the "rules" to suit your group or situation.
Here's how it works: Just paint a rock with art inspirational quotes of your choosing, write "Go to PNW Rocks on Facebook" on the bottom, and be sure to seal it so it holds up in our wonderful rainy weather. Then, hide it around town where people can come across it in their daily activities. If you would like, post a picture of your rock art. Give a hint as to where people can find it.
If you find a PNW ROCKS painted rock, post a picture of your find on the Facebook page. You can choose to keep the rock or re-hide it. The whole point is to use art to brighten someone's day! Please note that there is no guarantee your painted rocks will be found, and they are given freely.
I can't stop the waves, but I can learn to surf!
You think you are just a drop in the ocean but look at the ripple effect one drop can make!
Take me to ocean, let me sail the open sea, to breathe the warm and salty air and dream of things to be!
Today, I am saying "I Love You" with food.
About once ever 6 weeks or so, I prepare a few large batches of food that freezes well and make up meal packages which I then deliver to friends who need a helping hand or just to know that someone cares.
Today's I prepared meals for (1) a family with a new baby, (2) a single mom who just needs a break (3) An elderly neighbor who lives alone and a friend who is recovering from an auto accident. The meals are simple, but I hope they convey a message of love and caring.
Today I was the recipient of a wonderful kindness. My husband has been having some foot trouble, and today we went to a quality foot store to purchase some special shoes for him. The proprietor was extremely helpful and very knowledgeable. While thanking him, I mentioned that I also would like to get some shoes from him but would need to wait a couple of months.
He looked at my feet and shoes and told me that I was wearing the wrong kind for me. He said he thought he could help me and went into the back room for a minute. I was not sure what was happening, but the next thing I knew he brought out a pair of shoes that had been returned to the store and told me he was GIVING THEM TO ME. He then made me some special cushions using padding materials he had left over from other jobs.
These shoes are the most comfortable I have ever had in my life, and when I tried to pay him at least something for them, he said "No, just help someone else whenever you get the chance." WOW, WOW, WOW.
One of the members of the teen council at the teen center where I volunteer saw this idea and asked if we could do it at the Teen Center and use the money for special projects to help the community, It has only been up a few days, but the it has been amazing to watch the kids add change to the "bucket". I am so proud of these kids! (The bucket pictured below is from the web.)
My husband is retiring tomorrow. He asked his fellow employees at the high school where he works to donate to the school's scholarship fund instead of throwing him a party. The scholarship fund helps graduates with small scholarships to help with expenses at college or trade school.
Today at the thrift store where I volunteer,, I found a large bag of smiley faced stress balls. There was a reprint of an article in the bag on the benefits of squeeze balls for releasing stress.
It said in part:
"Squeezing a stress ball repeatedly gives you a feeling of relief from all the emotional and physical stress that you may be going through. In addition to stress relief, this ball is also good for exercising hand and forearm muscles."
I purchased the bag an now I am just figuring out ways to gift the balls in various ways. I would like to come up a cute little gift card encouraging people to squeeze the balls and concentrate on their blessings.
I Wheelie Like You Valentine's Day RAK
I am off to leave baskets of fun valentine's at the library and other local establishments. Each one has a toy or treat attached. Smiley ball ("I hope you have a ball - Happy Valentine's Day); plastic dinosaur (Raar means "Happy Valentine's Day " in Dinosaur language) a small car (I wheelie like you) or a dum dum sucker (I'm a sucker for you). A smile card is attached to each one. They were fun to make and will be fun to give out.
It snowed last night which is quite rate here in Western Washington State. School has been canceled for the day and the neighborhood kids are so excited!
A couple of my young neighbors knocked on my door and asked if they could all play in our pasture (it is almost two acres). I was happy to have them and soon they were making snowmen and having snowball fights.
I invited them in to have hot cocoa and homemade cookies. Our snow does not last long -- it is supposed to start raining this afternoon -- but I LOVE seeing the kids have so much fun while it is here!
The time share where we stayed while on vacation had a box in the guest lobby where you could donate your unopened food, soap, etc. to be donated to the local food bank. We were happy to do this, but we also had some opened items which we did not want to throw away, but also did not want to haul on the plane. After talking to the receptionist, we learned that we could leave these items for the cleaning and maintenance crews. This was a wonderful way to help others while also practicing 0 waste.
We found out that the local high school kids were doing a clothing drive for the homeless and as luck would have it, we came across a store that was having a closeout sale and were able to purchase several brand new, quality clothing items at a very good price. We were happy to help out in a community that had been so kind and welcoming while we were on vacation.