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:

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.

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.

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.

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).

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)**

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!

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.

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.

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!