Monday, January 23, 2012

Project 32-One Week, 32 Acts of Kindness

I have to be honest. It's kind of difficult to do 32 random acts of kindness in one week. Mainly because I didn't want to count things like "smile at a stranger." I wanted these to be BIG. Noticeable. Out of the ordinary.

Well, I failed. Most of them are not. I doubt any of these things made a large difference in anyone's life. Besides mine that is. It's amazing how much self-reflection occurs when serving others. I hope to make some permanent, good changes.

A complete list of all of the random acts of kindness for Project 32.

  1. At the beginning of the month, I set up the Love Project to take nominations of local families that deserve a free photo session. I'd like to do this three or four times this year. So far I have received nominations for some very inspiring families. If you know a local family (or couple) that you feel deserves a free photo session, please nominate them. You can fill out the (short) form here.

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  3. A friend of mine is going through a difficult time. When I prayed, I felt strongly that I needed to do something for her. I left flowers and a note anonymously at her door. I hope it cheered her a bit.

  4. Our women's group at church was collecting shoes to donate. The kids and I went through our shoes and selected a few nice ones that had been outgrown (or not really worn) and donated them.

  5. A few years ago, one of my friends happened to mention to Zak that she made her husband breakfast every morning. And I say, "Good for her. Sorry buddy." Though I still refused to wake up at 5 to make him breakfast, I did make a nice omelet on his day off. Hope it made up for the last seven years.

  6. Made mini loaves for Storey's teachers.

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  8. Took Storey through the drive through for a Happy Meal and paid for the car behind me.

  9. Gave away 32 patterns from my Etsy shop.

  10. Wrote my mother a much deserved thank you note.

  11. Hid money along the toy aisle at the Dollar Tree for other children to find.

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  13. Gave away a used infant car seat that I had sitting in my garage.

  14. Donated to charity: water (if you donate, please read Samantha's story first. It is amazing.

  15. Let the kids each pick a hideous Disney sweatshirt at the thrift store for our trip next month. Believe me, this is a definite act of kindness.

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  17. Gathered a bunch of scraps of flannel and gave them away.

  18. Went out to dinner for my birthday and left a hefty tip.

  19. As we were driving home from dinner Saturday night, we turned into our neighborhood only to find a young man crouched over a small dog that had been hit by a car, screaming. It was one of the saddest things I think I have ever seen. And I don't even like dogs. We stopped the car and asked if he needed anything. We waited until a few minutes later when an older woman (I'm assuming his mother) found them, scooped the poor animal up, and started walking home. I'm not sure if there was more we could have done. Hopefully showing concern helped a little. Unfortunately, we cannot fix everything.

  20. Sent a friend battling breast cancer a ribbon banner. I tried to think of the happiest thing I could sew, and that was it.


  21. Gave away Chick-Fil-A free stuff coupons on the Screamin' Deals Facebook page.

  22. Mailed a friend having a baby girl a handmade package of girliness.

  23. Left a loaf of bread for a friend who needed a pick me up.

  24. Bountiful Baskets-normally I wouldn't count this since I do it every other week, but last Saturday was insane. The truck was 40 minutes late dropping off our produce and then we found out that only half of the food needed for our 89 baskets had been ordered. I had to deal with that mess and then ask half of the contributors to come back that afternoon for round two. Like I said, it was crazy. I am so very grateful for all of the other wonderful volunteers that come each week.

  25. I'm in charge of little teacher appreciation days each month at Jak's school. This week I arranged to get Panera bagels donated and set them up at the school for their weekly staff meeting.

  26. My friend's little boys are collecting magnets from all over the world to display at their county's fair. I purchased them a Houston magnet 4 or 5 months ago. I finally mailed it this week. Oops.

  27. Gave away a $20 credit to Shutterfly on Facebook.

  28. My mother's assignment (calling) at church is to be in charge of the women's activities in our area. She sets up service projects, speakers, classes, etc. This past weekend was her large annual conference. I helped her out with the set up and taking photos during the activity. It was a big success (my dad and brother volunteered too-photo proof of their hard work).

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  30. On Monday I had so much editing that needed to be done. But Storey really wanted me to play a board game with her. After ignoring her requests a couple of times, I put the computer down and played with her for about an hour instead. I should do that more often than I do.

  31. My friend Sabrina is taking nominations for families who deserve a free photo shoot as well. After seeing a post of a family (a friend of a friend) whose young son is battling cancer, I got all of their contact information and set them up with her. A very small act of kindness on my part-large on Sabrina's. If you know someone who deserves a shoot with an amazing photographer in DFW, please nominate them here.

  32. Mailed all of my expired coupons to military families (they can use the coupons for up to three months after the expiration). You can do it too.

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  34. Sent bread and a thank you note to Jakson's teacher (there was a lot of bread going around this week).

  35. Tried to be more aware of the people around me. Remembered to compliment on new haircuts, things I admire, and just pay attention. This is something I'm hoping will continue-working hard to make it a habit.

  36. Picked a past photo client to give a $20 Shutterfly credit.

  37. Allowed myself to use an afternoon naptime to read. A rare occurence. (Hey, sometimes you have to do something nice for yourself, right??) I read this, (just in case you were curious). Very, very good.

  38. Went through my closet and donated tons of clothing items. As part of my mid life crisis (can that happen at 32?) I've decided to get rid of anything that doesn't fit my preferred "uniform". Why did it take me 32 years to get to this point???
While I was trying to figure out nice things I could be doing for others, I started realizing how much is done for me. Often without acknowledgement. My mom watches Storey every week while I take Jakson to therapy even though she's ridiculously busy, Zak cleaned the entire house while I was gone Saturday and did ALL of the laundry (a chore I hate), a good friend took me to lunch even though it's my turn to treat, my brother was able to retrieve all of the photos off of a hard drive that I thought were lost forever (and didn't charge me a dime), my parents babysat so that we could go out to dinner Saturday night despite the fact that they had spent the entire day running a conference for 300 women, and that's just a small sampling of the kind words and deeds that I am blessed with on a weekly basis.

I am so grateful for the amazing examples of service I have in my life and for the opportunity to do this again to celebrate my 32nd birthday. I definitely plan on continuing the tradition next year.

"Man’s greatest happiness comes from losing himself for the good of others." -David O McKay

If you want to read about last year (Project 31), you can see the post about it here.


Shenna said...

You did a great job coming up with things!! Way to be a great example for your kids and everyone else around you!

Crystal said...

don't forget that you helped give me advice on my sewing project!! That counts! Without you- I seriously would be sewing each and every balloon lol so, I say count that and my fingers and sanity thank you :)

Anne said...

I love to be able to read and see all of this. You are a wonderful blessing to so many, and a great example to all of us. I Love you!

Melissa Brown said...

You are such an amazing woman Beth!

Audra Bollard said...

A big huge thank you for #22! I was in the middle of a very thick and very tiring packet of math homework with Ethan yesterday and we decided to take a break and get the mail. Thank goodness there was something in there for the boys! It perked him up enough to continue on with the dreaded packet. Plus, it just made me happy to see your handwriting on the envelope (as well as embellishment by your kids-love it!). When we officially submit our collection I'm going to include a list of all the names of the many who have contributed. How's that for your 15 mins. of fame?

Love you Beth!

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