11.10.2011

Spreading Sunshine {One Act of Kindness at a Time}

Y'all.

I had no idea how much being purposeful with acts of kindness would change me.

You know how The Grinch looks down upon WhoVille at the Whos merrily singing without their presents or tinsel or roast beast and his heart grows 3X its size?

That's me.

For realsies.

Here's a rundown of some acts of kindness completed toward my birthday challenge:
01. Scott and I dropped off a 3/4 full bottle of detergent we can no longer use (we have to use HE stuff now) and put quarters on top of about 8 washers for future use at a local laundromat (I wanted to tape them, but Scott ixnayed that). I realized how much I take having a washer and dryer in our home for granted. What a drag to have to haul your clothes and unmentionables to a laundromat, wait for them, fold them in front of strangers and then haul them home. I hope this made a dreary task brighter for someone!
02. We taped $1.10 with a note to a Red Box for a free movie for someone.

03. We donated a children's book to a local hospital while shopping for a birthday present at Barnes & Noble. Annelise was thrilled to share Ramona--even in Spanish--with a girl in need.

04. Annelise put coins in a few games and candy machines at Cici's Pizza.

05. We taped .50 with a note to a pay phone.
06. As part of The Happy Day project this week I baked pumpkin bars for our neighbors. Annelise was our happy delivery girl. She took a pan to the neighbors on our left, the right and her grandparents who live two houses down from us. Why don't we do this more often? I don't know, I hope we will. The recipe makes a ton, so we had plenty to share and we got to treat ourselves a little too.
07. So I made some more pumpkin bars Monday night and Annelise gave them to the office staff at her school and her two teachers. This time I rolled forks up in fallish napkins just for kicks.

08. Day Two of The Happy Day Project was to send a handwritten note, which for some reason was the hardest to do so far, at least until I got in the groove of it. It's something I used to be much better at, but it became something I'd put off and rarely follow through with. I think that's why it was so hard to sit down and actually start writing. Once I got going though I ended up writing nine notes (!!) and Annelise even got into the swing of things and wrote a note to her Aunt and Uncle in Maine. I felt soooo much better when I was done because several had been on my to-do list for far too long. I hope I'll keep this trend going!
09. One of the notes was for Wren. That note was hard because I didn't know her, but I muddled through as best I could.

10. We tucked a small Kroger gift card in her note.
11. Day Three of The Happy Day project was to give gift cards to the homeless. I love the idea of having something ready to give when you see someone in need, but we've never been prepared. Today we bought five cards for McDonald's and put them in our glove box so we'll be ready. It didn't cost too much and will hopefully give someone not only a hot meal but provide us an opportunity to share some comfort and love. We'll be looking!

These things, along with the two from last week, bring me almost 1/3 into the ballpark of meeting my goal of 43 acts of kindness by my birthday. That's incredibly exciting! As I've been working on these acts of kindness I've learned a few things...

*No one looks at you funny if you tape coins to things with a note, even with zebra duct tape. This is cool. Or perhaps worrisome?

*I'd like to have a little printable, maybe with a scripture, but haven't come up with anything yet. Right now index cards are doing the job.

*One of the keys I think to a project like this is being prepared. How many times have I thought, "Oh I wish I had abc with me so I could xy and z" so I miss an opportunity. Now we have tape, index cards, coins, sharpies and the McD's cards in the car so we're ready. I'd like to start carrying  a few bottles of water and eventually blessing bags for even more opportunities to lift someones spirit.

*There is definitely a kindness-adrenaline-rush-endorphin high, both before and after. Who knew?

*There's also a snowball effect. You want to keep doing and giving!

*I'm seeing people more, thinking about others more, looking for needs, stepping out of myself. That feels so good!

*Yes, several of these things cost money, nothing huge, but it does add up. I'd like to focus on doing a few things that are free or dirt cheap for a bit but am having a hard time coming up with ideas. Can y'all help me out?

Let's spread a little happy y'all!
happy day
(y'all can still join in!)
(c'mon!)

6 comments:

  1. I'm having great fun with these but also find it challenging :) I'm excited to do my recap when it's all said and done. But hope to keep it going and hope others pay it forward.

    http://www.secretagentl.com

    is an awesome blog about RAOK and a friend of mine actually benefited from one once! It was very exciting!

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  2. My goodness girl, you are on a roll! Love this idea!

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  3. Here's a few (stolen) ideas for free or inexpensive RAoKs: :)

    * Write thank you notes to police officers and/or firemen.
    * Donate clothes to a homeless shelter or Women's Protective Services.
    * Make Thanksgiving cards and deliver to a retirement home.
    * If you're a coupon clipper, take any you won't use to the store on your next trip, and leave them on the shelves beside the items they're for.
    * Take old towels to the animal shelter.

    So fun reading about all the things you've done so far!

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  4. Ugh, long comment got eaten and disappeared. Glad you are doing so well. I'm trying and thinking of you lots as I seek opportunities.

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  5. amazing!! what great ideas and what fun. and what a blessing...to others and yourself. and what an example for A.

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  6. and, Love Notes is still a standard practice at Camp Hensel. Sometimes the kids think it's hard, or a chore. but when they get started, there are stacks of Love Notes and kids calling out that there is not enough time, they are not done....(after an hour!) and some just finish them after they get home!!

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