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.
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!