Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What A Year!!

   2013 was an awesome year and I can't even begin to put in words all that this good deed journey has meant to me. I think I am most proud that I actually completed it. There were several days when I thought for sure that I wasn't going to be able to finish, but with the great support and help of so many I was able to make it though. I'm also really happy I documented it all so that my kids can go back and look at it as they get older. So as the year was coming to a close many people began asking me questions about 365 days and I thought I'd try and answer them here....

"What was your favorite act/deed this year?"
Well to be honest, I loved so many of them. I really liked anytime my kids joined in and helped out or gave me an idea for a good deed. Seeing them begin to understand the importance of doing for others was one of my main goals for 365 days and I'm happy to say it was accomplished. But if I had to pick just one act/ deed this year it would have to be.... one from August called Surprise Treats. That day I made up bags full of candy and snacks with a note telling the recipient that someone out there was thinking of them and then left them out on people's car windshields all over town. The reason that this one is my favorite is because later that day I got a message back from someone who got one of the bags telling me that she had been having a terrible week and kept asking for a sign from God that someone out there cared and then a few minutes later she found the bag of goodies on her car. This gave me chills and I was so happy that I reached that lady.

"What are you gonna do for 2014?"
 I'm gonna try and even things out and and just be a jerk everyday of 2014... just kidding. While I don't plan on making sure I do a good deed everyday and document it, I plan on continuing the long term acts that I began last year. For example I plan to keep serving at Journey home on Tuesdays, keep helping out in my daughters classroom on Fridays, continue to write to my friend battling chemo and also my prisoner friend weekly, etc....

"Do you think you'll ever do this challenge again?"
Probably not.... While I enjoyed everyday of this journey and plan to keep spreading kindness every chance I get, I don't think I'll repeat this challenge. But take on another challenge... Perhaps...

This year I learned just how easy and simple it is do to be kind and do for others. You don't have to be rich and give lots of money, just some of your time. Like I've said before sometimes the smallest act can have the biggest impact in another's life. I hope those of you out there who followed along with me enjoyed the journey and got some great ideas for kindness acts of your own. Thank you again to everyone who contributed and helped me along the way. I am ever so grateful.

Happy new year to everyone out there and I hope 2014 is all that you can dream of. Peace and love and if nothing else, please remember to be kind to one another.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Final Act

   Today is the last day of 365 days and I feel so many things.... More about that later. Today for my good deed/act of kindness I made up chemo care bags and took them to a local oncologists office for patients to have while getting their treatments. What are chemo care bags you ask??? Well they are bags full of items that people who are having a chemo treatment might find useful or comforting. In the ones I made I included crossword puzzles to pass the time, peppermint gum and hard candies to help with nausea and to get rid of bitter after tastes that chemo can sometimes cause, hand lotion and chapstick to help with the dry skin and lips that can be a side effect and tissues and wipes for a number of reasons. I also included a little note in each one telling the recipient that I hoped 2014 brought them good health and many blessings. I have seen and heard how harsh chemo treatments can be and I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemy, but I realize they are also a necessary evil to combat cancer. I hope these bags bring a little peace and comfort to those who are facing treatments even for just a moment.

Stay tuned for a review of this awesome year and afterthoughts...

Monday, December 30, 2013

I Made A Difference

   Well, this year I figured I have donated just about everything imaginable except for one thing... my blood. This was on the "bucket list" of good deeds/acts of kindness this year, but because of medications and health reasons I wasn't able to... until now. I'm really glad I was able to get this in under the wire you might say because donating blood can save lives. I'm sure you already know how important blood donations are but here are a few quick facts...

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.

More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.

A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S.

More than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer last year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.

A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.

One blood donation can save up to three lives
If you are eligible to donate blood I highly encourage you to do so, you never know whose life you may be saving.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Thank You... Thank You Very Much!

   AMAZING.... That's the one word that I feel best sums up the journey this year. I have so enjoyed getting to help out and do for so many great people and organizations. But the magnitude of how far this project has reached and how many people have been touched is in HUGE part to so many great people who have opened their hearts and helped me accomplish this feat. So today for my good deed/act of kindness I sent out thank yous to the awesome people who have supported me with things like ideas for good deeds, monetary and item donations, connecting me with and recommending people and organizations in need and sending encouraging words to help keep me going this year. There is just no way that I would have been able to do something like this without all of their help and I am so VERY grateful.

I also wanted to say that my husband and kids have been a big part of this as well. They have been my biggest cheerleaders from day one and have been there every step of the way. They have personally sacrificed by picking up my slack around the house and have missed out on things this year because I was doing for others. They have been a great inspiration and contributed so much this year.

Now, I do realize that there are still 2 days to go to complete this journey, but giving thanks to these folks has been weighing on me and I felt it important that they know just how important a part they played.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Doggy Dinner

   This year I've geared 2 or 3 good deeds to helping the furry and four legged friends and I felt I should do one more before the year is up. So today while I was out getting some food for our own dog, I picked up and extra bag and took it to the local animal shelter to donate to the doggies there. The employee at the desk was very happy to see the donation and I was very happy to see so many people there today looking to give the animals a new forever home. Our dog is a former shelter dog and I can't stress enough that if you are looking to add a pet to your family please consider adopting one from a shelter. You'll never find a pet that will love you more than one you rescue!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Baking Baking Baking!

  Today for my good deed/act of kindness, I'm baking loads of brownies for my best friend's wedding reception tomorrow. She and her husband traveled to Jamaica last month to elope and are now having a party to celebrate with family and friends back home. As if getting married on the beach in Jamaica wasn't fab enough... the reception is a DESSERT reception. Meaning tables full of cake, cupcakes, pies, candy and yes... brownies. I feel honored that she thinks enough of my brownies to have them at her reception so I am more than happy to bake away today to help tomorrow. I'm super excited just thinking about all the goodies to indulge in tomorrow, but for now I need to get back to making more brownies!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Little Bit Of This And A Little Bit Of That...

  Today we're still reeling from holiday overload and just trying  to relax and enjoy our time. With that in mind, I did a couple small good deeds while enjoying a slower, more relaxed day than usual. But sadly for my husband he had to go back to work and back to the real world. Since he had to go back to the daily grind, I thought it would be nice for my son and I to go visit him at work and go out to lunch with him. I knew my son would enjoy that as well and it made his day. Today I also sent a special delivery in the mail for a friend. Earlier this year I joined a program that pairs you up with cancer patients that are going through chemo and you send them a card or letter every week to help encourage them through their tough time. Well today I sent a special box of chocolates along with my weekly letter for her to enjoy. She for sure deserves it and I love brightening her day any chance I get. I have enjoyed my change of pace these last few days but I also enjoyed doing a little something for others as well.