Wednesday, June 6, 2012

RAOK: DAY 100 ... I'm Just so Darn Kind

Friday, June 1
Inspirational Quote: "Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives."


I actually had really big plans for today; really, I did. I honestly have not felt as exhausted as I did today in a really long time so I kibosh-ed my plans (I was going to finally get some balloons and go to the children's ward in the hospital), went straight home from work, and went to sleep. I know, a very anti-climatic Day 100. I did place the order for the honey fundraiser I talked about on Day 93, 140 jars of flavoured honey and $280 for the SRP! As for the daily RAOKs, I'm still going to make a conscious effort to do kind things, I'm just not going to keep track of them anymore, at least not daily. When I do something a bit out-of-the-ordinary (see below), I'll tell all y'all about it, but otherwise, just imagine me going around doing kind things whenever I can. Heck, do some kind acts yourself! Honestly, I am going to be dedicating myself to training for and blogging about the half marathon I am set to run in December. I'll also be focusing a considerable amount of effort on the fundraising associated with said half marathon.

Read my 21K for Change blog - here! Gimme ur money - here!

June 6 (that's today) is Tim Horton's Camp Day. I not only bought myself a coffee, but I also bought coffees for three other people at the university. I'm just so darn kind.

Friday, June 1, 2012

RAOK: DAY 99 - Show Me the Money

Thursday, May 31
Inspirational Quote: "I have a simple philosophy. Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. Scratch where it itches."
Today I offered to act as an administrator for a friend's "wish". Krystal lost 140 pounds and needs to have cosmetic surgery to have the excess skin removed. The surgeries are going to cost $35,000 and are not covered by Manitoba Health (for shame). Krystal doesn't feel comfortable handling money that is donated to her cause, but has been told time and time again that she should start a campaign for herself. Since Krystal doesn't feel comfortable handling the money, I offered to do it for her. We're just in the early stages, but once it gets going I'm her gal.

RAOK: DAYS 97 & 98 - Friends, Country Folk, and Joggers

Tuesday, May 29
Inspirational Quote: "A friend is one who knows and loves you just the same."
Today was all about friends and kindness. I had inside information that Carissa has been dealing with some dissension in the ranks of her workplace. I sent her a quick facebook message today letting her know how incredible I think she is. I was also randomly able to get together with one of my besties for coffee. Jocey has been my best friend for almost 5 years now and I owe a lot of my self-realisation to her. I'd have to say she's Carrie, Samantha, and Miranda all rolled into one (SATC). Jocey knows my deepest darkest secrets and loves me anyway. I bought her hot chocolate!

Wednesday, May 30
Because I keep forgetting to open quotes from my jar, I think those 30-days of inspiration will end up being closer to 40. Today, I didn't really plan anything in terms of an RAOK. I had a minor procedure done at the doc and kind of had a "blah" day after that. I did realise a few kind things today though; country folk (drivers to be more specific) wave at everyone. I remember those waves growing up in a small town; everyone waves to everyone. During a drive down a gravel road today, I made a point of waving back. It's a strange phenomenon that's hard to get used to after living in the city for so long, but a wonderful one none-the-less. The second kind thing I noticed is that joggers are similarly friendly. Joe and I went jogging today and everyone else we passed that was out for a nice brisk jog said "hello" to us. Of course, we smiled and said "hello" back. Joggers unite...in kindness!

Monday, May 28, 2012

RAOK: DAYS 95 & 96 - Trash Cans & Campaigns

Sunday, May 27
Inspirational Quote: "Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart."
After doing a 10K walk (all a part of this) I came back to my apartment building to find one of the trash cans laying in the middle of the parking lot. It was really windy so I guess that's why. I took it upon myself, even though my feet were already throbbing and I just wanted to get off of them, to lug the can back to it's 'home' at the entrance to the lot.

Monday, May 28
Inspirational Quote: "He enjoys much who is thankful for little; a grateful mind is both a great and a happy mind."
Today, WUSC launched their 100 Donors in 100 Days campaign. Today, I became a monthly donor. In terms of being thankful, WUSC has provided an essence to my life that will remain with me forever. The people I have met through WUSC, and especially the Student Refugee Program, have changed my life and ultimately shaped my future goals. I really could not be more thankful for the opportunity to get involved with WUSC and its many programs.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

RAOK DAY 93 & 94 - Honey and Jokes

Friday, May 25 
Inspirational Quote: "When we grow old, there can only be one regret - not to have given enough of ourselves."
I haven't mentioned the fact that I am selling honey to raise funds for the Student Refugee Program yet. Ash Apiaries in Gilbert Plains, Manitoba, Canada produces lemon, blueberry, cranberry, peach, cinnamon, maple, and chocolate flavoured honey. 12 oz jars are $5 and I think I'm making about $2 a jar. Today, I reached 100 jars sold!

Saturday, May 26
Inspirational Quote: "Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold." Today's quote is fitting considering I attended an opening reception for the Artist in Residence at Deep Bay Cabin in Clear Lake. It really has nothing to do with my RAOK, but it was a fitting quote for the events of the day none-the-less. I went up to the event with my poetry professor, talked about poetry, and plan to go back to see the presentations by the poets (and other artists) that are part of the program.
As for my act, today I told a joke to Miles. I read about Jokes4Miles on 366 Random Acts of Kindness and I thought telling a ridiculous joke for a super cause was the least I could do. I donned my nerd glasses and told "A Neutron Walks Into a Bar." I'll try and get my incredibly amateur video up on here soon and in the mean time, send a joke to Miles!

I also have to share something that made me feel completely wonderful and was a spin-off of my RAOK on DAY 30. Chris came to my office shortly after lunch on Friday and told me that the thing that got her through a really rough morning was the small piece of paper with "Courage" written on it that she had taken off of one of my signs! <3





Thursday, May 24, 2012

RAOK DAY 92 - Bought a Freedom Friend

Thursday, May 24
On my drive into work this morning I realised I, once again, forgot to open a daily quote. My kind deed for the day was brought to me by the L Project. I saw a post on facebook talking about Freedom Friends. Stoney Bear and Calico Cat are simply adorable so I had to purchase one. Freedom Friends helps fund the L Project and together they support the LGBT community, especially speaking out against bullying and gay teen suicide.

I also shipped 17 boxes of new and used textbooks to Better World Books. The money from the books and/or the books themselves will be used for literacy projects initiated by Books for Africa

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

RAOK DAY 91 - Donations and Thanks

Wednesday, May 23
Inspirational Quote: "I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." 
I did a few things today: donated $25 to Ang's Relay for Life team, donated $25 to Brooklyn's Big Bike for Heart and Stroke ride, and, in keeping with the themed daily quotes, sent a thank-you card to the Jan and Shari in the Arts Faculty Office for all of the assistance they gave me over this last year. I don't even know how many assignments I handed in and picked up from them or how many papers I picked up to mark and turned back in. Inside the card, along with my own words of thanks, I included this little ditty (see photo above).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

RAOK DAY 90 - Cheer Up, Buttercup

Tuesday, May 22
Inspirational Quote: "For myself, I am an optimist. It does not seem to be much use being anything else."
I decided on my way to work this morning that for my RAOK I would try to bring optimism to every pessimistic situation that I came across. At the time of posting this entry, I have commented on five pessimistic facebook statuses in an effort to cheer up those who were feeling down.
Let's see, what else? I packed up seventeen boxes of textbooks and scheduled a pick up for them to be shipped to Better World Books. I sent out mass emails for the flavoured honey fundraiser I am doing for our SRP; Day 1 and I have orders for 45 jars ($90) and counting! I signed up for Subway's Commit to Fit challenge. Here's hoping by eating healthier, working out more often, and committing to more personal wellness, I'll win $10,000 or at least some free Subway.
AND...AND...
You have no idea how excited I am to be typing this right now! I confirmed the acceptance of TWO students to come to BU with WUSC's Student Refugee Program this September. It's truly a dream come true for me. I've been working towards this goal of two students since I got involved with WUSC seven years ago and it's really happening. My heart is actually dancing!

RAOK DAYS 88 & 89 - Awesomely Polite

Sunday, May 20
Inspirational Quote: "Always set a high value on spontaneous kindness."
The word of the day was 'spontaneity' so when I saw a copy of The Book of (Even More) Awesome, the second in a series of books I was recently discussing with a friend, I bought it for him. Here's a taste of a few awesome things: finally getting that tiny piece of popcorn out of your teeth, when batteries are included, finally peeing after holding it forever. Honestly, though, what I think is really awesome is the feeling I get when my RAOK makes someone's day. While purchasing this spontaneous gift for a friend, I was also asked to donate $1 to The Children's Miracle Network. Of course, I did. 

Monday, May 21 
As is typically expected of me at least once a week, I forgot to open an inspirational quote today. I didn't really do anything overly spectacular today so I am going to sort of cop out and use my overt politeness that I make a habit of practicing as my RAOK today. 'Please' and 'Thank-you' are two integral words in my vocabulary. Whether it's at the check out at the grocery store or while making an appointment over the phone, I'm always extremely polite. I think it's important to be polite to everyone you know and everyone you don't know.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

RAOK DAYS 86 & 87 - Jobs and Sidewalk Chalk Project

Friday, May 18
Inspirational Quote: "Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love."
Today I did one of my many WUSC niceties. It's that time of the student sponsorship that we as a committee need to get our student in a position to be independent. The financial sponsorship only lasts the extent of twelve months. After getting Mubarak registered for his 2012-13 classes, I also helped him get his resume together and handed into to a job at the university that I found for him to apply to. I still need to write a letter explaining his situation and the usual difficulty the WUSC students face finding employment since it is their first year in Canada, but I'll get that done by Tuesday and hopefully he'll get the job.


Saturday, May 19
Inspirational Quote: "There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will."
I realised a long time ago that worrying about things that are beyond my control is futile. I just don't do it any more; it's exhausting. As for my RAOK today, I came across this amazing initiative online, Sidewalk Chalk Project. Remember I mentioned the sidewalk chalk art during my run on Day 84?! Well, it just so happened that I came across this project just after my run that day. It was simply meant to be. Anyway, I did some, Sidewalk Art, I mean. The whole purpose of the project is to create uplifting messages for walkers, runners, bikers, and really just anyone on their way by! Genius, right?!



Friday, May 18, 2012

RAOK: DAY 85 - Marquis Project Board

Thursday, May 17
Inspirational Quote: "Do not forget small kindnesses and do not remember small faults."
My act of kindness today doesn't have much to do with today's quote. I attended my second Marquis Project potential Board members meeting. At our next meeting, June 28, I'll actually become an official board member. The Board is run on a strictly volunteer basis and it is likely that I will be taking control of public relations and fundraising. I'm almost done my school work so it's time for another commitment. Plus, when someone specifically asks you to consider participating in something because of all the other great work you've done (her words, not mine), I think it's important to take part.

As for today's quote; if you've been following my blog, you'll know that I also give big kudos where it is due. I am also especially fond of sharing other people's kind acts in this blog along with my own. When it comes to faults; who cares about faults? I mean, really?!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

RAOK: DAY 84 - I am Grateful





Wednesday, May 16
Inspirational Quote: "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."





My Grateful List:

  • At 28 years old, I am grateful for a mother that I can call at 7:30 a.m. when I've had a bad dream. 
  • I am grateful to be working at Brandon University where I am given masses of used and unused textbooks that I, in turn, send to others in need. 
  • It's May and we are going to hit 30 degrees Celsius, for that, I am grateful. 
  • I am grateful for the friends I have currently residing in Kenya, Peru, Botswana, Thailand and the many friends who have traveled the world. 
  • As I walked up the hill to my apartment, I came across some chalk art. "The World is My Canvas" and "Love is All You Need." I am grateful for the stranger who brightened up my strenuous uphill climb.

Other things I did today included donating $20 to the Cadet Wake-a-thon I mentioned on Day 82 and donating $20 to a colleague who is participating in the Caged for Critters fundraiser for Funds for Furry Friends. She is being locked in a make-shift jail cell until she raises a $250 bail. 

I also entered and started bombarding people to vote for Brandon University's WUSC Student Refugee Program in a contest being held by Better World Books. The winning entry, a.k.a. the entry with the most votes, wins $300 for their cause. So VOTE!

Remember Day 83? The half marathon, the raising money for WUSC, the insanity? Well, here's my new blog all about it. 21K for Change!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

RAOK: DAY 83 - Announced More Insanity

Tuesday, May 15
Inspirational Quote: "Love has no desire but to fulfil itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving."
First of all, today's inspirational quote is beautiful. Second of all, the only thing my RA has in common with this quote is the word 'running'. Last of all, I've decided to run a half marathon and raise money for WUSC's Student Refugee Program while I'm at it. Beautiful? Not at all. Insane? Indeed!

Running a half marathon is something I've wanted to do for a little over a year now. I want to run The Strip at Night in Vegas on December 2, 2012. I figure if I raise money at the same time, I'll have a bunch of people that I am accountable to which should keep me from deciding to quit.

Fun Facts:

  • I have 28 weeks to train (that's a lot and I'm going to need it).
  • I'm going to do the run in my Vibrams.
  • My fundraising goal is $5000.
  • I'll donate $0.10 for every $1.00 donated (if I reach my goal, that means I'll donate $500).
  • The top 21 donors will get a during-the-race shout-out via twitter or facebook. One top donor for every km of the race.
Open your hearts. Open your wallets. And if you want to join me...let's do this!

RAOK: DAY 82 - Fun and Games

Monday, May 14
Inspirational Quote: "Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars."
To keep my RAOK in theme with the inspirational quote, I put together a list of fun games for a friend who is organising a Wake-a-thon with her Cadets. The group is also planning a trip up to the university's observatory so I spent some time looking for fun, astronomy-related activities as well. I managed to find a star chart activity that I provided Shirley to pass along to Melissa with the rest of the activities. I'll also be donating to the Wake-a-thon at some point as well; I just haven't yet because I never seem to have cash on me.

Monday, May 14, 2012

RAOK: DAYS 79, 80, & 81 - 'Say Cheese'

Once again, I stink at blogging daily!


Friday, May 11
Inspirational Quote: "No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted."
Today while having coffee, I spotted a lone quarter on the coffee shop floor. I picked it up and put it in the tip jar. I figured that could count as my small act of kindness for today, but I also left loonie in one of the soda vending machines outside of Wal-Mart. I'll also tell you that today I bought the fixings to make Inspiration Jars for my Mom and Baba. I wanted to have them ready for Mother's Day gifts, but with my insane schedule over the next two days and the fact that Mom is coming to visit, I just won't have the time. I'll post the actual giving of the gifts as a RAOK when I finally get them all put together. I'll try to remember to post a photo of my creations as well.

Saturday, May 12
And, again, I forgot to open one of the inspirational quotes from my jar. Today, it may have had something to do with the fact that it was World Fair Trade Day and I had a big day ahead of me. I spent the day at Ten Thousand Villages (I do so love that store) promoting Fair Trade and WUSC. We had a great day of sales, considerably above what a normal day would bring in at the store. The drum circle was great and I raised a little bit of money for our Student Refugee Program. $400 in sales from the coupons came in which means our SRP will be getting a cheque for around $60! Every little bit counts!

Sunday, May 13
Inspirational Quote: "Every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another."
I suppose I can't really count the Mother's Day stuff I did today, but I will tell you about it anyway. I wanted to do something different so Mom and I drove up to the International Peace Garden and spent the day with flowers, food, and fresh air. Entrance to the garden was free, Mom's were given a free petunia to plant in their own gardens, and the $13 buffet lunch was simply scrumptious. My RAOK did take place at the Peace Garden, I spotted a large family posing for a group photo and getting ready to alternate who would be taking the photo. I got up from my prime picnic table location and offered to take the photo for them so no one would be left out. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

RAOK: DAY 78 - Promoted Mental Health

Thursday, May 10
Inspirational Quote: "It matters not what you are thought to be, but what you are."
May 7-13 is Mental Health Week. Mental Health has played a big role in my life, from dealing with the disorders of family members to recently discovering my own disorder. I spent some time, today, looking at the Canadian Mental Health Association's website and did some e-advocating on behalf of people dealing with mental illness. I changed my facebook profile picture to the suggested No More Stigma image and linked to information on my own mental health issue; anxiety disorders. Too often, people with mental health disorders are labelled according to their illness (what they are thought to be) and treated accordingly. That stigmatised treatment is a dangerous habit. A person's actions tend to inevitably match the way in which they are treated. I urge everyone to get educated about mental health. My mental illness makes me who I am; I'm not ashamed to admit I have it; I'm not embarrassed to talk about it.

I also feel the need to share another RAOK that I was privy to today. A friend of mine was raving about the delicious steak he had at a work function today in addition to bragging about the leftovers that he was taking home with him. Later in the evening, he told me that he gave the cooked steaks, to a homeless gentleman sitting on the highway. Apparently this man is sitting there with his sign asking for any kind of help quite often...sounds like a RAOK of my own in the making!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

RAOK: DAY 77 - Threw Clay

Wednesday, May 9
Inspirational Quote: "Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others."
Leave it to Ang to find me something that I can use as my RAOK. She needed help doing some ceramics work today so after work I put my muscles to the test and helped her out. Here is my cheesy attempt to connect my RA with today's quote...My good action today required me to crank a huge wheel attached to a clay mold while Ang guided the clay. Good action = strength. Right?! In terms of inspiring good in others, that's the whole point. I know a lot of people who do good things everyday. I do good things everyday. The reason I tell all of you about them is to inspire you to do good as well. One of the best compliments I have received from this whole RAOK Challenge is when Stefon told me he paid for the order of the person behind him in the drive thru because of what I was doing. My heart smiled at that moment!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

RAOK: DAY 76 - Fulfilled a Birthday Wish

Tuesday, May 8
Inspirational Quote: "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." 
So today I intended on using this quote's notion of success to motivate myself to get some of my course work done. I did read a chapter from one of the books I need to read, but other than that no school work was accomplished. Although, technically, I did finish watching "The Watchmen" which is a film that I am going to do a religious synopsis of for my class. With a little stretching, I guess I did accomplish a little bit.
As for my real act of kindness, in honour of a cyber-friend's birthday wish, I made a donation to TransYouth Family Allies. I think I'll take a lesson from Lyn and make a charitable wish for my birthday next year.

Monday, May 7, 2012

RAOK: DAY 75 - Sent a Message of Hope


Monday, May 7
Inspirational Quote: "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
Today I sent a message of hope and encouragement to a homeless child at Covenant House. It's a US program, but is doing important work none-the-less. When a message is sent, AVIVA (it's an insurance company or something) donates $1 up to $100,00. So let's make sure they donate the full $100,000. You can send a message of encouragement too, and you really should.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

RAOK: DAYS 72, 73, & 74 - Wasn't a Bitch

So much for blogging daily - Apparently that went out the window with the dirty dish water (I don't really throw my dirty dish water outside).

Friday, May 4 (May the Fourth be with you!)
I actually forgot to open one my inspirational quotes today. My Mom was here to visit and we got talking about International Development issues - enter distraction! Ok, nice things - what did I do? O yes, I helped Ang with her cover letter for another job. Lately I've been able to count on Ang a lot to provide me with my random act of kindness. She is in job hunting mode and I am her token editor. I also put the finishing touches on the World Fair Trade Day preparation. Remember, Day 69?! We are all set for May 12!

Saturday, May 5
Inspirational Quote: "May your walls know joy; may every room hold laughter and every window open to great possibility." 
If I wouldn't have overdone it on the exercise today, I had full intentions of helping SIFE Brandon out with their Green Futures North Urban Farm. An opportunity to volunteer presented itself and I really was going to take it. However, after jogging six laps of the Sportsplex track, walking four, and then dragging myself back up the North Hill, I was so exhausted that the thought of shovelling soil into garden beds made me shudder. As for this new volunteer opportunity though, I do fully intend on contacting SIFE to see if I can help out over the summer with some of garden care. That counts as kind, right?! I also made dinner for and paid for bowling with a friend. Ok, so maybe today were only half-assed acts of kindness.

Sunday, May 6
Inspirational Quote: "If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it."
Alright, back on Day 71, the inspirational quote of the day mentioned opportunities for patience. Today, I went shopping at SuperStore, and if that is not an opportunity to express patience, I don't what is. That place is a madhouse.
I realised a long time ago that you cannot change other people; you can only change yourself. It just so happened that an opportunity to showcase precisely that, arose today. When a woman barked (yes, people bark too, not just dogs) at me that I needed to watch for people walking by when I pushed my cart out of the aisle, rather than saying what was going through my mind ("yes, I know, thank-you; that's why I stopped pushing my cart as opposed to running right into you!"), I just kept my thoughts to myself and continued shopping. With that said, can my random act of kindness today be - "Wasn't a Bitch" - ? If not, I also purchased tulips to put in the vase that I have to return to my professor. For helping her clean up on Day 67, Di gave me a vase of tulips to take home. When I saw tulips while shopping today, I figured why not return the gesture. As is typical of my trips to SuperStore, I also left the loonie in the cart for the next person.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

RAOK: DAY 71 - "Have a Nice Day"

Thursday, May 3
Inspirational Quote: "Deliberately seek opportunities for kindness, sympathy, and patience."
I got into a friendly debate over this quote today just for the sake of debating. All along, I actually agreed with Scott's opinion that sympathy, here, should be replaced with empathy. I do tend to look for opportunities to be kind, empathetic and/or sympathetic, as well as patient every day. Patience is a big one for me because I really am not a patient person. No opportunities to practice patience came up today, but I did have an opportunity to be kind. I was at the clinic bright and early this morning to get some tests done. Upon leaving the clinic today, I told the receptionist (who looked kind of grumpy) to have a nice day.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

RAOK: DAY 70 - Brightened Someone's Day

Ok - daily posts, here we go!

Wednesday, May 2
Inspirational Quote: "Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day."
To shape my act of kindness around today's inspirational quote, I decided to do something that would cheer someone up and bring some 'good' into their day. I bought a special gift for a friend who recently lost her son. It's a Care Angel pin and I hope it brings her some comfort.

Other kind things I did today: Let vehicles change into my lane on two separate occasions, paid for a friend's birthday drink & tried to add some light to a very intense situation involving another friend.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness (Days 61-69)

Finally, my last bulk-post! Day 70 (tomorrow) will mark the start of my commitment to not only do random acts of kindness daily, but also to blog about them daily! Excited, aren't you?!

DAY 61
Monday, April 23 - I signed up online to be a lifetime organ donor.
I've always filled out the organ donation card that accompanies my drivers license. This year, Transplant Manitoba initiated an online registry making it even simpler. Seriously, though, what do we need with our innards when we're dead and gone?!

DAY 62 
Tuesday, April 24 - I made a donation to my cousin's Jump Rope for Heart activity and took down outdated posters around campus.
My 8-9-10-year old cousin (shoot, I can't remember how old he is now) is participating in the Heart & Stroke Foundation's Jump Rope for Heart with his school. I used to take part in the activities put on by my elementary school and I'm always game for supporting a charitable cause especially when it's combined with the promotion of physical activity. I have a few, ok, maybe more than a few, pet peeves and one of them is outdated posters. For my sake and the people who inevitably end up taking them down, I took down every outdated poster I saw today and recycled it.

DAY 63 
Wednesday, April 25 - I posted an Administrative Professional's Day photo on facebook and tagged all of my fellow admin pros.
Today was, obviously, Administrative Professional's Day. Unfortunately, Administrative Professionals tend to be the only ones who actually know about the day meant to celebrate their efforts.

DAY 64
Thursday, April 26 - I rolled coins to deposit in our WUSC account.
When I say coins, I mean a massive amount of coins, mostly pennies, but some nickels, dimes, quarters, loonies, and twonies too. Disgusting money germ hands all in the name of charity!

DAY 65
Friday, April 27 - I attended a friend's thesis defence & wrote a poetic tribute for one of my professors. 
Johnson's creative writing poetry thesis was superb, even the part where everyone started talking about poop. As for the poetic tribute to my professor, Di Brandt is one of the most brilliant and passionate minds I have ever met. For the celebration of her retirement as the Canada Research Chair in Creative Writing and her nomination to Professor Emireta I compiled snippets from a number of poems I had written for her classes and put them together as a tribute to her.

DAY 66
Saturday, April 28 - I arrived at Di's party early to help out & read the poetic tribute for her. 
Without being asked, I came to the party a half hour early to see if the party planners needed any assistance setting up. I was placed on door duty to welcome the party guests and direct them upstairs to the proper room. It was my pleasure. After only a tiny bit of fretting over the content of my poetry, I sought out advice and presented loudly and proudly my, let's call it earthy, poetry.

DAY 67
Sunday, April 29 - I helped clean up after the party & took a new friend to Guys and Dolls
Because I was the only person who had key card access to the building, I received a call around noon asking if I would come and help with the clean up by letting everyone into the building. Of course, me being me, I couldn't just show up, unlock the door, and leave; I had to help with the entire clean up. That's just me; it's what I do. I planned to go to Guys and Dolls, the theatrical musical, not the movie, alone, but after getting an unexpected acceptance of the invitation to join me, I bought a ticket for a friend and had some company.

DAY 68
Monday, April 30 - I stayed late at work to allow a student to complete her exam.
My work day finishes at 4:30 p.m., but today, I stayed until 5:00 so that a student wasn't rushed to complete her final exam.

DAY 69
Tuesday, May 1 - I deposited money to the WUSC account, did final edits on World Fair Trade Day promotional materials and promoted Fair Trade and Healthy Brandon in Motion on facebook.
I might as well end my mulit-day blog posts with a bang! The coin I rolled on Day 64 finally got deposited today. On Day 51, I mentioned that I had planned World Fair Trade Day in conjunction with Ten Thousand Villages. I finally received an editable poster and coupon and so edited to my heart's content today. Fair Trade Canada is winding up to World Fair Trade Day by doing a fortnight of promotions. I registered our World Fair Trade Day event and shared the Take a Step for Fair Trade video to inspire others to do the same. For the month of May, Healthy Brandon in Motion is doing a series of give aways to promote physical activity. I'm planning on taking part in the initiatives or creating a healthy, in motion activity of my own every day this month. Today I went for a long power walk after the rain storm. The smell of the fresh air was divine.

And that is it, that's all for the l-o-n-g blog posts that no one is likely reading. One-a-day from now on!



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness (Days 51-60)

Ok, I am almost caught up. Today (April 26) is Day 64. I suppose it isn't all that random if it's planned, but I am planning to have one of my acts on Day 70 be to start pulling inspiration quotes from the gift Ang gave me on Day 50 and to start blogging about my Random Act, themed after said quote, everyday.

DAY 51
Friday, April 13 - I planned one volunteer event, executed another volunteer event, delivered an invitation from the university to the home of a colleague to ensure she received it on time & sent a best wishes message to someone I had a falling out with. 
World Fair Trade Day is May 12. I met with the manager of Ten Thousand Villages today to organise a collaborative event between the store and WUSC. We'll have entertainment and a small percentage of the day's sales will be given to WUSC. Today was also, Band-AIDS. WUSC raises funds for the Bike for AIDS (that's the AIDS part) initiative every year by holding a concert (that's the Band part). We held it on campus in SUDS and raised just under $300. I have to thank Shannon for helping organise the whole thing, Eddie from Hudsy for letting us crash his social and performing for us, as well as Misty Street and The Heavy Souls for performing for us. Natasha is the coordinator for the Psychology Nursery at BU and since she only works every Tuesday and Thursday she tends to get missed during important events. The senior administration at the university was holding an Employee Appreciation Breakfast on the 17th so I dropped off the invitation at her apartment so she'd be sure to get her chance to take advantage of the free breaky. As for the friend I had a falling out with, I'll spare the details because they are quite personal, but it was his final performance for his undergrad degree and I figured the least I could do was send a little token of kindness his way despite our differences.

DAY 52
Saturday, April 14 - I attended a high school play & sent a congratulatory email to the play's director.
Urinetown was performed by students from Neelin High School. $1 from every ticket purchase went towards Compassion Canada's efforts to build sanitary latrines in developing countries. The play was fantastic and like I've said before, it's important to me to give credit where credit is due so I emailed the director of the play and let her know how great I thought the play was. I also took the time to highlight some of the more spectacular performances by specific students. I received a very thankful response from her and a request to post the email on their public display board.

DAY 53
Sunday, April 15 - I took my Mom out for a birthday dinner and surprised her with a candle when her dessert came out & wrote a letter of support for a professor's nomination for a teaching award. 
My Mom turned 54 today! I took her out for dinner and made sure that we ordered dessert. When her's came out, I quickly grabbed the candle and lighter I had stashed in my pocket and made her yummy treat just a little more special. As you can see, the look on her face was priceless. I love you, Mom. One of my favorite professors was being nominated for the BU Alumni Excellence in Teaching Award and I was asked to write a letter of support for the nomination. Of course I did it, with the utmost pleasure.

DAY 54
Monday, April 16 - I posted a song to a grieving friend's wall.
The nature of the loss and the person's identity is best kept discrete. What I will tell you though, is that Angels Among Us is a song that has gotten me through a lot of trying times in my life and I thought it was fitting to share.

DAY 55 
Tuesday, April 17 - I helped a friend register for classes & attended a creative writing reading to support my friends. 
'Tis the time of year to register for 2012-13 classes. It's not really the easiest thing to do, so I helped Abraham out. Now he's all set to get his learn on come September. The creative writing reading was really for my own good. Hearing Kirsty, Johnson, and Ryan (among other students) read their fantastic work made me miss writing so very much. These types of events always reiterate to me the abundance of raw talent we have at BU, my friends being some of the best of the bunch!

DAY 56
Wednesday, April 18 - I helped a friend put the finishing touches on a powerpoint presentation & mailed an application for name reservation for a not-for-profit.
Barbara was getting ready to do a presentation at the Senior Colloquium (another display of phenomenal student talent) and she needed help getting some videos onto her slides. Yours truly, to the rescue! Friends for Development is the name of the not-for-profit that Immaculate and I (mostly Immaculate) are working to get recognised so that we can start doing some official work. We've been trying to get it underway for some time know, but hopefully now the name will be officially approved and filed by the Manitoba government and we'll be set.

DAY 57 
Thursday, April 19 - I paid for the friend I mentioned on Day 40 to take the class, attended a potential board members meeting for The Marquis Project & chose WUSC's SRP student for 2012-13.
I'm pretty sure paying for Abraham's class made my day almost as much as it made his. I cannot express the kindness that Abraham embodies and I am happy to be able to help him. A big thanks also has to go to Tina for suggesting we do this. A few weeks ago I was asked if I was interested in sitting on the Board for The Marquis Project. Today was the meeting for potential new members. It looks like I'll be taking a position on the Board, I'm just not sure what that will be quite yet. One more project = exciting! Every year as part of WUSC we go through files of potential students in refugee camps that have qualified for WUSC sponsorship. As part of the selection committee, I read the files (try not to cry) and rank the candidates in terms of who I feel is best fitted to come to BU for a post-secondary education. I wish we could bring them all.

DAY 58
Friday, April 20 - Attended a friend's presentation at the Senior Colloquium & facilitated a session later on. 
Remember Barbara on Day 56? It was her presentation on the exploitation of women in advertising that I attended. There are few things more rewarding than presenting work you've poured your blood, sweat, and tears into. Having friends to support you, is just an added bonus. O, and, of course, Barbara rocked it! Later on, I was the facilitator for a session on cross-cultural education. I was honoured to be asked to facilitate and happier to do it.

DAY 59 
Saturday, April 21 - I held the door open for people at the theater & let a family go ahead of me in the concession line.
American Reunion was the movie and I realised that it was 9:30 p.m. and I still hadn't done a random act. I held the door open for a few people exiting the theater and then as I got to the concession line, allowed a family that arrived at the same time as me to go ahead.

DAY 60
Sunday, April 22 - I spent time with a friend I haven't spoken to in a really long time. 
Every time I saw Tegegn on campus I felt guilty for losing touch with him. We had a tentative 'date' set for today and I almost cancelled because I felt like I should be studying for my exam the following Wednesday. I'm glad I didn't cancel because we spent nearly four hours just talking about life and it was great!

Almost there folks! One more 10-at-a-time post and I'll finally be posting my random act on the actual day that I do it!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness (Days 41-50)

This challenge really wasn't supposed to go past Day 40, but I couldn't resist. It feels great to actually take stock of the nice things I do for people. What's even better is when I hear that I've inspired others to do kind things as well.

WARNING: DAY 49 contains a profanity! :o

DAY 41
Tuesday, April 3 - I put cards with uplifting messages in them on random people's windshields & put money into an expired parking meter. 
The cards said: "Smile, it looks good on you!", "Don't Worry, Be Happy!", "Do more of what makes you happy!", and "Smile and the world will smile with you!". Each of the cards also said "40-Day Random Acts of Kindness - Day 41." Hopefully, I saved the other person from a parking ticket.

DAY 42
Wednesday, April 4 - I attended an LGBTT* awareness workshop, shared posts on facebook for Refugee Rights Day and SAARA Smile Awards & voted for the SAARA Smile Awards.
The workshop was put on by the President's Office at BU. I really learned a lot and had my mind opened to a few new ways of looking at LGBTT* issues. If you know me, you know that the plight of refugees is kind of my thing. Awareness is the key! As I mentioned before, I submitted a video to the SAARA Awards contest, but didn't win. The smaller Smile Awards ($500) were chosen by votes from the public. People are do amazingly kind things every day - take notice! Here are the first round winners!

DAY 43
Thursday, April 5 - I returned a stray shopping care to a store & gave Mom an Easter gift.
I've done the shopping cart thing before, but sometimes a duplicate opportunity presents itself and must be taken. I also bought my Mom a Phalaenopsis Orchid for Easter.

DAY 44
Friday, April 6 - I put flowers on strangers' graves & gave my Baba an Easter gift. 
Whenever I head home to Gilbert Plains, I try to remember to get flowers to freshen up the grave sites of my deceased family members. This time I bought a few extra flowers and placed them on random graves in the cemetery. My Baba also got a Phalaenopsis Orchid for Easter.

DAY 45
Saturday, April 7 - I joined and shared Stop Teen Suicide on facebook & spent some time looking into different non-profit groups to become involved with. 
I'm really just one of those people who enjoys finding great causes to support and advocate for.

DAY 46
Sunday, April 8 - I cleaned up the kitchen after Easter lunch.
Baba cooked, Mom and I cleaned, and I took the leftovers back to Brandon!

DAY 47
Monday, April 9 - I edited a friend's paper, committed to taking part in Sneak it in Week & gave a donation to two professors competing in Pie Your Prof.
Editing is what I do best; honestly if I charged everyone who I edited a paper for, I'd be relatively wealthy. I think this one was for Abraham, but I really can't be sure. Sneak it in Week was an initiative to get people active despite their busy schedules. The basis for the idea is that ten short minutes of physical activity is better than none. Everyday this week, I made sure I spent at least ten minutes, usually more, doing physical activity. Pie Your Prof was run by the university BUZS (Brandon University Zoology Students) to raise funds for the Food Bank. I gave $5 to the two Psychology Profs pitted against one another. In total, the group raised a little over $4500.

DAY 48
Tuesday, April 10 - I shared my Easter goodies with a somewhat unsuspecting acquaintance & edited two papers for a friend. 
Yesterday I mentioned to Glenys that I had borscht and Easter bread from being home on the weekend. She was jealous so I brought in some of my goodies to share with her. I mean, honestly, I can get my hands on that Ukrainian goodness whenever I want so sharing really wasn't a big deal. Editing, remember, it's what I do. This time I know it was for Immaculate.

DAY 49
Wednesday, April 11 - I contributed some 'art' to Angry Arts Week & bought a round of drinks for my classmates after our English exam. 
This little blurb is taken from the Angry Arts Week event that took place at BU: "In the 1960s, there was an event of art and protest fused together called Angry Arts Week that took place in New York. People were angry for a number of things such as war, and they expressed this anger through art which was a powerful agent in social change. Anger is a very valid emotion and people have a tendency to grin and bear it which fixes nothing". I should have taken a picture of my 'art', but I didn't. It was red letters outlined in black that said, "Why can't people just be fucking nicer to other people!" Today was also the last English exam of my undergraduate honours degree. I was a little drunk to write it and a little drunker afterwards. Drinks on me!

DAY 50
Thursday, April 12 - I went above and beyond at work to help out the other Office Assistants, made a point while shopping to compliment the service I received and thank those that assisted me & made an extra special card for a friend's birthday. 
Shirley and Maureen were both away from the office today and there were some important (according to the Dean's Office) invitations that needed to be delivered before Tuesday. Rather than leave it for them to do first thing when they returned Monday, I borrowed a key and delivered the invitations to all of the faculty members' mailboxes. I decided I needed some shopping therapy after work today so I made sure to thank the sales associates that were especially helpful. At La Senza I specifically told the manager (at least I think she was the manager) that one of her associates did a really great job. As for Ang's card, I always get these super thoughtful gifts from Ang and, to be honest, I kind of feel like a deadbeat friend sometimes. I put some extra effort into her card this year so she'd know, at least a bit more than usual, how much I appreciate her friendship.

**EXTRA SPECIAL BREAKING KINDNESS NEWS - Remember how I just said that I get the most thoughtful gifts from Ang? Ya, she did it again. For no reason at all, she gave me an Inspiration Jar, which is pretty much the coolest gift ever. Once I get caught up with this blog, I'll start picking a quote out of the jar everyday and themeing my days/random acts of kindness around the quotes. Can't wait!**

Random Acts of Kindness (Days 31-40)

Chuggin' right along...

DAY 31
Saturday, March 24 - I hung clothes back on hangers that I noticed had fallen off while shopping.
As I searched for the odd treasure among the abundance of clothing articles residing on the racks in Winners, I fixed any shirts, pants, dresses, etc. that were falling off the hangers.

DAY 32
Sunday, March 25 - I edited an application letter for a friend.
Honestly, I do this for so many friends, that I have no clue who I did edited this particular letter for. Maybe Ang? Maybe Haley?

DAY 33
Monday, March 26 - I paid attention in class, did a workout (RAoK to myself), wrote and sent a letter of support to a friend struggling with immigration, and sent e-cards to people I haven't appreciated enough lately.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation said that paying attention in class counts as a random act, so there. I included the workout because I used to work out all of the time...and then...I got sick and busy and stopped. It feels so good and I feel so proud of myself afterwards, so why can't I seem to make myself do it more often?! Sara is living my dream in Botswana right now. Motse wa Tsholofelo (Village of Hope) is just one of the wonderful causes she is working to support. What aren't included in my dream though, are the number of issues that arise with immigration when one is not a citizen of the country in which one is trying to do so much good. I wrote a letter of support for Sara and the incredible work she does. They better listen, or else! Suzi and Karen are two efriends (people I've never actually met in person) that have made a significant impact on my life. I sent them "thinking of you" e-cards to remind them of their importance.

DAY 34
Tuesday, March 27 - I paid forward the RAoK coffee I was given and brushed the snow off of another person's car.
I already had a coffee when Shelley brought me a Timmy's. I've been meaning to bring Glenys a coffee for some time now, but can never seem to get myself out of bed in a timely fashion to enable myself to get to Tim's before work. Today Glenys got my coffee from Shelley. Yes, snow. Wet, heavy, snow. I had to brush my car off, so I brushed off the car that was parked behind me too.

DAY 35
Wednesday, March 28 - I made and brought Reeces Stuffed Oreos to work and shared.
Ok, everyone who ate one of these will attest to just how freakin' amazing they were not to mention the sugar high they provided. YUM!

DAY 36
Thursday, March 29 - I shared "Gratitude" on facebook.
This video is incredible. Too often we take our existence for granted.

DAY 37
Friday, March 30 - I helped a friend with school work and finished putting together a slide show of my random acts to submit to SAARA to try and win some money for charity.
Abraham is a Math and Science genius. He's really good at English too, but it's just not his expertise so I helped. This video of the slide show is really amateur, but it does the job. I submitted it to the SAARA awards in the hopes of winning some money for charity. The winners were announced today and, sadly, I was not among them. Maybe next time!

DAY 38
Saturday, March 31 - I shared a classical music playlist perfect for studying.
I studied all day today with the occasional facebook break. I noticed that a few other people were engaged in similar activities so I decided to share my study playlist

DAY 39
Sunday, April 1 - I bought a friend coffee and baked cookies for another friend's fundraising bakesale.
Again, I really don't know who it was that I bought coffee for, Tina, maybe. Yes, I think we went to Starbucks. As for the bakesale, Pumpkin Spice Cookies for the win. Ang was having a fundraiser for her Relay for Life team so, of course, I helped out.

DAY 40
Monday, April 2 - I committed to continuing on with this challenge, made a donation to a friend's Relay for Life team & told a friend that I would help pay for him to take the class he wants to take in Winnipeg this summer.
Today was supposed to be the end of my kindness challenge, but this guy is on day 112 of 366 Random Acts of Kindness, so my measly 40 days seemed trivial in comparison. With that said, onward we go. Another friend, Shelley, also has a Relay for Life team, so today I gave her a $20 donation. The last one on today's list is the big one (the one I do every ten days). Abraham has the biggest heart of anyone I know. He came to Canada from a refugee camp in Kenya only two short years ago. He's in university with aspirations of becoming a doctor and there is a summer class offered at the University of Manitoba that he needs in order to graduate. He could wait and take it at Brandon University, but that would mean a longer study period. He sends a lot of his own money home to help his family back in Africa, so when the opportunity came up to take this class he couldn't afford it. Tina and I are helping him. You may be asking yourself why we would be willing to use $500 of our own money to help our friend. Abraham has been through more in his life than Tina or I or even you can imagine. He is the essence of humility and all that is good in this world. The look on his face when we told him we would pay for his course was magical. We couldn't ask for any greater reason than that to help him.

**BREAKING KINDNESS NEWS - Today Maureen brought me a special Easter treat, two chocolate cupcakes and a bunch of mini eggs - YUM!**

Days 41-50...up next!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness (Days 21-30)

I really am trying to get this blog caught up so that I can start posting everyday. In the meantime, here are Days 1-10 and Days 11-20.

DAY 21
Wednesday, March 14 - I held the door open for a woman with her hands full and cleaned up all of the disgusting trash in the bushes around my apartment building.
One of the things I picked up was one of those disposable aluminum baking trays. It looked like something you would bake lasagna in. Seriously?! Who throws something like that on the ground?

**BREAKING KINDNESS NEWS - In honour of Pi Day, I was given a piece of vegan strawberry rhubarb pie. (Corey, you're a saint!)**

DAY 22
Thursday, March 15 - I donated a case of juice boxes to the BUSU Food Bank and let someone pull into a long line of ongoing traffic.
Juice boxes were one of the high priority items on the Food Bank's list, primarily used for children's lunches. Superstore sells entire cases for $10, so cheap. You know when you pull into a parking lot and then try to exit into oncoming traffic? You know how you can sit there FOREVER? One person didn't have to wait all that long today.

**BREAKING KINDNESS NEWS - Because she loves me, Angie made me dinner!**

DAY 23
Friday, March 16 - I watered the plants in a public area.
The Brandon University Student's Union put some beautiful plants in the Mingling Area on campus. Sadly, it seems that they rarely get watered. Today they did!

DAY 24
Saturday, March 17 - I held the door at Starbucks open for a father carrying a baby in a basket and I checked in with a friend I knew would be having a bad day.
There are few things more adorable than a father carrying his baby girl in a bassinet. I knew one of my friends would be having a rough day due to some personal issues she needed to take care of. I tried to brighten her day as best I could from afar.

DAY 25
Sunday, March 18 - I cleaned up the trash at a local playground and in the bushes in front of my apartment (again). I also sent an email of compliment to The Olive Garden regarding one of their servers.
Spring rolls around and the garbage that people aimlessly toss on the ground throughout the winter sprouts up. Perhaps one of the worst places for this garbage to be 'growing' is in a place where children are going to be playing. As far as my apartment goes, I really don't know if it's just the wind that blows random garbage into my bushes or if people are just consistently throwing trash on the ground. Perhaps my building is really full of pigs as opposed to people. I am a firm advocate of giving credit where credit is due and Dennis was a fantastic server. I mean he even picked the croutons out of Jocey's salad!

DAY 26
Monday, March 19 - I paid for a friend's supper.
This one was easy; Tina and I went for sushi and I picked up the tab.

DAY 27
Tuesday, March 20 - I got Daffodil Days for the Canadian Cancer Society underway at BU, did some planning for a WUSC charity event & shared a couple playlists with a new friend.
I've organised Daffodil Days at Brandon University for the last five years. This year, it would not have been possible without Angie Currie who sat and sold flowers for me all day. Shannon and I put the finishing touches on WUSC's Shine-A-Light and Her Challenge, Your Challenge Coffee House showcasing the musical talents of Julia Watson, Deandra Tousignant, Natalie Bohrn, Emily Diehl, and Misty Street. Hopefully Allen enjoyed my Disney and Sweet Tunes playlists.

DAY 28
Wednesday, March 21 - I finished up Daffodil Days at BU and dropped off the leftover flowers and collected funds from the two-day sales so that the coordinator didn't have to pick it all up.
Again, word to Ang because I could not have pulled off Daffodil Days this year without her. Megan was incredibly busy running all around Brandon collecting flowers and money. It took me an extra fifteen minutes to drop the supplies off and likely saved her at least a half hour.

DAY 29
Thursday, March 22 - I promoted the L-Project today and left comments on a couple of blogs.
The L-Project is an ongoing anti-bullying campaign that recently produced a phenomenal video entitled "It Does Get Better". I added the video to one of my playlists and have shared it, more than once, on facebook. As far as leaving comments on blogs, which may seem insignificant, as a blogger (albeit a non-regular one), I rarely get comments so when I do, I know how great it feels: "Someone is actually reading me!"

DAY 30
Friday, March 23 - I made and posted "Take What You Need" signs in every building on campus and left a gift certificate at a coffee shop for a friend's birthday.
Today was an epic ten day...remember?! The best part of the signs, was seeing them in the days following with all or most of the slips ripped off. People actually took what they needed! I think Johnson (Jack) enjoyed his complementary birthday coffee and muffin, but you'd have to ask him to be sure!

That's it; that's all for those ten days! 31-40 soon; I promise!





Sunday, April 15, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness (Days 11-20)

Continuing on with my backlogged blogging...

DAY 11
Sunday, March 4 - I bought my Mom a surprise cup of coffee and put the change from the purchase in the Tim Horton's Camp collection box. I also posted an inspiration photo with quote on a fellow kind soul's facebook wall.
Today was another really rough personal day for me so it was Mom to the rescue as always. Yes, I am 28-years old and still need my Mom to comfort me. There is no shame in that. As for the fellow kind soul, Barbara always brings a smile to my face and is just one of those people that does kind things for others on a regular basis.

DAY 12
Monday, March 5 - I delivered a print job to a coworker so she wouldn't have to pick it up, held the door open for the man coming up behind me, complimented a different coworker on her hair style, let someone into my lane of traffic & provided moral support for a friend.
Ok, so today my kindness cup clearly overflowed. The Print Shop on campus is located in another building so picking up jobs we send over to be completed requires a bit of a jaunt. I had to pick my printing up and figured why not deliver someone else's too. Chris is actually in the same building as the Print Shop, but she's in the basement and it's on the first floor and that requires stairs. No one likes stairs! As for the opening the door - chivalry is not dead folks and there is nothing wrong with a little gender role reversal - it's all about equality, right?! It's always nice to have someone notice when you try something a little out of the norm in terms of hair styles so today I made sure Kristen new I noticed. I also know what it's like to put my signal light on and wait, endlessly, while people just blow by me. Today, at least one person didn't have to get frustrated. Providing moral support for my friends is just something I do because I am a good friend, but I thought I would include it here just for kicks!

**BREAKING KINDNESS NEWS: I was privileged enough today to be the receiver of a special gift. Angie Currie brought me a goody bag containing a book, chocolate, and a lolipop.**

DAY 13
Tuesday, March 6 - I did a last minute favour for a friend and tapped into my contacts to get "I don't eat meat" translated into Arabic. I also made a playlist of videos for BU's International Women's Day event and, once again, let someone change into my lane of traffic.
A friend messaged me today on behalf of a friend of hers to see if I knew anyone who could write in Arabic. It just so happened that I do know people who can and so, in preparation of her trip to Kuwait, I was able to get "I don't eat meat" translated for her. You guessed it; she's a vegetarian. The playlist for International Women's Day showcases a number of cultural messages pertaining to women's rights. I'll leave it at that and if you want to learn more you can just click on the link. Kindness =2 Road Rage = 0.


**BREAKING KINDNESS NEWS: Early in the morning I was brought a Tim Horton's double/double from a lovely friend (Shelley). In the afternoon, beautiful tulips were delivered to my office from another wonderful friend (Haley).**

DAY 14
Wednesday, March 7 - I promoted Kony 2012, but also provided an alternate view to the campaign. I encouraged a friend today & posted a unique image to a friend's facebook that I knew he would appreciate and chuckle at.
Kony 2012 became all the rave in a very short time, but while it is easy to simply 'jump on the bandwagon', it is entirely more important to educate yourself and form your own opinion on the matter. Again, with the typical friend encouragement; whenever they need it, I give it. As for the unique image, when I come across something that immediately makes me thing of a certain person, I share it with them for no other reason than I know it bring a smile to their face for at least a brief instant. Hopefully, the image made Will smile.

DAY 15
Thursday, March 8 - I had one of the baristas give away my free coffee on my Forbidden Flavours Loyalty Card, sent one of my girlfriends a special International Women's Day message, and traded vehicles with a friend to save her money on gas.
Once you've paid for ten coffees you get your eleventh one free, but today, a random stranger got my free coffee. Glenys gave the coffee away to an international student who she wasn't sure actually understood the significance of the gesture, but he got his coffee for free none-the-less. Jocey is one of my best girlfriends and one of the reasons I am proud to be a woman. She is a huge fan of Daniel Craig (aren't we all, girls?!) so when I came across an International Women's Day video showcasing him, I had no choice but to post it on her facebook wall. $100 vs. $40; we traded vehicles.

DAY 16
Friday, March 9 - I donated food to the BUSU Food Bank and sent out a mass email and facebook message to my contacts asking them to contribute some of the high priority items needed as well.
After the fire in late November, the Food Bank was left in a desperate state. Folks came together in a brilliant display of compassion to help replenish it, but there were still a lot of items in severe shortage. After talking to Graham, the coordinator, I sent out a list of high priority items and helped restock the shelves at least a little more.

DAY 17
Saturday, March 10 - I returned two shopping carts randomly left in the Walmart parking lot and left the loonie in the shopping care I used at SuperStore.
I deemed today, Shopping Cart Day.

DAY 18
Sunday, March 11 - I said 'hello' and/or smiled at everyone I crossed paths with while out for a stroll. I also created an account on We Give Books.
My random act for today was actually just going to be the fact that I got off my ass and went for a nice long walk, but as I started along my merry way, I realised I could add a little something to my walk by simply smiling and saying hello to the people I passed. Some people said 'hi' back, others smiled back, and some people looked at me like I was a crazy person; mission accomplished. As for We Give Books, you create an account, read books online, and for every book you read the company donates a book to a cause of your choice. I chose African Library Project.

DAY 19
Monday, March 12 - I mailed a "Thinking of You" card to one of my best friends. I also submitted an esmile to the Gallery of Smiles for Ronald McDonald House Charities.
I originally bought a Valentines Day card for Jocey in ironic honour of the fact that she and I both really dislike the Hallmark Holiday. Due to no real excuse, I didn't get around to sending it until well after V-Day was over. It's the anti-love thought that counts right?! I came across the esmile idea on 366 Random Acts of Kindness and thought it was such a simple and thoughtful idea, so I stole it! For every esmile submitted and accepted, HP donates $1 to a Ronald McDonald House.


DAY 20
Tuesday, March 13 - I left a card with a slip from a Tim Horton's roll up the rim for a free donut on a random vehicle's wind shield. I also shipped 18 boxes of textbooks to Better World Books.
Remember, increments of 10 get something a little extra special. The card containing the slip for a free donut was planned. The fact that the guy showed up to pick up the boxes of books just happened to occur today.
I've been shipping textbooks to Better World Books for about three years now. Working at a university makes collecting books incredibly simple, as you can imagine. Packing hundreds of textbooks and preparing them to be shipped, however, is no easy task. Once the books arrive at Better World Books, they are either shipped overseas, sold and the money is used to purchase supplies that are shipped overseas, or they are recycled. The money from and/or the books themselves is given to Books
for Africa, a literacy program in, you guessed it, Africa. When I was in Botswana, I had randomly stumbled upon a Books for Africa initiative, Botswana Book Project, and spent the weekend volunteering and seeing my work in Canada come full circle. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

NEXT UP...DAYS 21-30!




Friday, April 13, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness (Days 1-10)

In November of 2011, I started and almost completed a 40-Day Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. Yes, I said 'almost'...shamefully. In February of 2012, after an awful bout of illness and a few other bad news scares, I made a promise that if everything worked out alright, I would start (and finish) another 40-Day Challenge.

I am currently on Day 51 and plan to continue going, inspired by 366 Random Acts of Kindness which I stumbled across while searching for random act ideas. I wish I taken the time to blog each day's acts as I've been going along, but I didn't and, so, am now going to play 'catch-up'.
Here goes:

DAY 1
Thursday, February 23 - I put spare change in parking meters at the clinic & held the door open for two mothers and their waddling toddlers.
As I walked towards the clinic for my appointment, I promised myself and the powers that be that if everything turned out alright after said appointment, that I would start my Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. In fact, I started the challenge before I even went in for my appointment in the hopes that good karma would come my way. The spare change in my wallet was transferred into random parking meters. On the way out after my appointment, with the good news I was hoping for, I held the door open for two mothers and their just-learned-to-walk toddlers.

DAY 2
Friday, February 24 - I made sure to hold the door open long enough so the people leaving behind me didn't have to re-open.
Today was a rough personal day for me, but thanks to my wonderful mother, I was still able to get into Winnipeg to see a play (The Fighting Days) I had bought tickets for. I didn't feel much like doing nice things for people, but at the very least, I ensured that the door of the Manitoba Theatre Centre didn't hit other people in the face.

DAY 3
Saturday, February 25 - I let a girl go in front of my indecisive self in the Subway (eat fresh) line up & finally picked up the trash in front of my apartment that I walked by every day.
I figured since I couldn't make up my mind, there was no reason to make the girl behind me wait, so I told her to go ahead. As for the garbage, apparently some of the people that live in or visit people who live in my building feel the need to throw their trash on the ground rather than carry it the few extra steps until they get inside to a garbage can. In short, I cleaned up their mess.

DAY 4
Sunday, February 26 - I gave someone a ride across the city because the transit system doesn't run on Sundays & started house/pet-sitting for friends.
Yes, apparently the transit system here fails to operate on Sundays. I guess people don't need to go places on Sundays. I drove down to the south west side of Brandon from my apartment in the north east, picked up this person (sort of an acquaintance, I guess), drove him up to his house in the north east part of Brandon, and then drove back to the south west part of the city to begin my 3-week stint house/pet sitting. Yes, 3-weeks, but I'd like to point out that I am only counting it as ONE act of kindness not 21...just sayin'. Did I mention that I was taking care of their home and 'extended family' because they were in Costa Rica?! But, honestly, I was glad to do it; Jocey's family is my family and I truly treasure them. (I got some pretty sweet swag when they got back too).

DAY 5
Monday, February 27 - I bought a coffee card for a colleague & switched vehicles with a friend so her fuel costs to Winnipeg would be lower.
Today was my first day back at work after being off sick for two weeks (strep, reaction to antibiotics, mono, strep again). Maureen did so much work for my while I was away that I felt I owed her at least a little something. As for Tina, at the time she was driving a huge beast of a Ford F150 that would cost her $100 to go into Winnipeg and back. My little Grand Am costs a small fraction of that at $40. It made sense to switch.

**BREAKING KINDNESS NEWS: As a 'welcome back to reality' gift, Tina brought me a beautiful orchid. (it's still alive)**

DAY 6
Tuesday, February 28 - I posted a link to a friend's blog - here it is again - Postcard Valet - and asked another friend to comment on it.
You see, Arlo and Oksana are travelling around the world, or they were; now they are living in Australia for a while. One of the places they visited was Cambodia and as a part of their travels, Arlo posts a blog with his thoughts on each place they visit. My other friend, Haley, lived in Cambodia for three months so I thought it would be fitting for her to comment on his comments. After doing a quick check, I realise that Haley hasn't actually commented...yet, but at the very least, I'm sure she's read it. She's in law school so I'm surprised she even has time to breathe!

DAY 7
Wednesday, February 29 - I bought a Frappe for an unsuspecting friend and brought it to class for her. I also left an uplifting photo and comment on a networking contact's facebook wall.
Carissa is a beautiful person who makes me smile with her simple presence; she was the recipient of the Frappe. The facebook contact is someone I met electronically because we share a mutual love of books. Jennifer always shares cheerful things on her facebook profile so I felt it would be nice to return the favour and tell her that I notice.

DAY 8
Thursday, March 1 - I donated a couple colouring books to the Psychology Nursery at work, filled the communal office photocopier with paper & bought lunch from a campus club (SIFE) that were raising funds to attend an international business competition.
As part of the Child Psychology course at Brandon University (where I work), we have a nursery that children attend. A while ago, I had bought some coloring books for cousins of mine who I realised were far too old for the nature of the coloring books. Rather than return the books, I gave them to the nursery. I really have no idea how many people use the copier in our faculty, but I do know that it never has enough paper in it. I filled all four trays so others wouldn't have to. Chili and a bun was my scrumptious lunch for a good cause.

DAY 9
Friday, March 2 - I made a donation to a friend who was participating in a stationary bike race for Cerebral Palsy & sent the lead actress in a play - "Miss Witherspoon" (who I don't know) a facebook message telling her how wonderful she did.
Judy participates in the stationary bike race every year. This year her team raised something like $9000 (I gave her $20); that's intense! "Miss Witherspoon" was performed by the Brandon University Drama students and, as always, they did a fantastic job. I always feel that it is important to give credit where credit is due and typically means a little more coming from strangers.

DAY 10
Saturday, March 3 - I paid for the woman's order who was behind me in the McDonald's drive thru.
When the day of the challenge reaches a multiple of 10, I try to do something a little above and beyond. I think the smile on the drive thru employee's face was the best part!

DAYS 11-20 - COMING SOON!