Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday Message to the American Soldier Video

This time of year I always think of friends that may be stationed overseas and how their self-less acts of patriotism pave the way for the average American to do whatever it is that their heart desires. When we crave that new appliance, video games system, or whatever material thing that I hear daily, remember the men and woman who fought in the trenches to give us the chance to accumulate wealth and possessions. Look around at other countries and consider how fortunate we are and that our children are. That thought alone is a very Merry Christmas.

Take the time and view this video. Merry Christmas to our soldiers.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Paying it Forward

Pay it Forward

As disappointed as I have been in many people for never backing up their word in 2010, there is always others out there that make you forget. It's no secret that I get frustrated with people that are promise breakers but tonight one family made me think what life is really about it. One can say many words but really you aren't much of anything till you back it up with action. Action is the difference between a talker and a doer. Action leads to paying it forward!

The Murray Family

It was a little after 4pm today at the Dollar Tree Store. All I could see was an outline of a little boy. Hood on and two eyes sticking out. Standing outside in -2 degree windchill ringing the bell for the Salvation Army donations. I am always moved when I see things like this. Kudos to you guys for doing one thing that many of us would never do because of weather. I am proud to know you. The world is a better place when people like this pay it forward. Getting out there in horrible weather and sacrificing one's self is truly what helping others is all about.

Thank you for showing your true colors this Christmas Season and for making my day. Really you can say what you want, but there is no paying it forward without action! Thanks Murray Family for taking action!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

116 Acts of Kindness

This entry is all about 116 acts of kindness. #29 is a daily act!

#1 Donate your professional clothes to an organization that helps people get back into the workforce
#2 Give gently worn home furnishings or household appliances to a person or family who might need them, or donate them to an organization.
#3 Take warm clothes, blankets or food to a homeless person that you often cross paths with.
#4 Donate toys and books to a homeless organization. Toys and books are just as important to kids as food and shelter.
#5 When shopping, buy a couple of extra non-perishable food items and take them to a food drive or pantry.
#6 Make an extra serving of dinner and bring it to a homeless person in your neighborhood.
#7 Donate age-appropriate learning materials to your local schools.
#8 Write notes of appreciation to schoolteachers, principals, nurses, custodians, and secretaries.
#9 Read with your children every day.
#10 Start them early. Bring toddlers and preschoolers to the library to choose books for reading at home.
#11 Give your gently used books to a local school or organization that can help under-privileged children.
#12 Spread the joy of reading -- read to your friend or neighbor's child too.
#13 Pick up trash on the playground or around the schoolyard of your local school.
#14 Rake leaves and pull weeds at your local elementary school.
#15 Thank the school bus driver for taking your kids safely to school everyday.
#16 Make improvements to the teachers' lounge at a school in your neighborhood.
#17 Give blood.
#18 Go on a walk with friends or neighbors for a little exercise or conversation.
#19 Assemble and deliver a basket of vegetables or fruit and a few flowers for a homebound person.
#20 Sew, knit, or crochet comfort items -- small quilts, hats, stuffed animals -- for the local hospital.
#21 When visiting a hospital, spend a few minutes with someone who might like a visitor, but ask first!
#22 On your way to the grocery store, ask a homebound or elderly neighbor if there is anything you can pick up for them.
#23 Accompany a friend to a doctor's appointment if they could use the support.
#24 Share your favorite healthy recipe with a friend or family member.
#25 Encourage friends who are trying to quit smoking.
#26 Teach someone about good nutrition.
#27 Be a daily medication reminder for someone.
#28 Take care of yourself first, with a healthy diet and activity.
#29 Tell your children why you love them. Be specific.
#30 Help them appreciate art. Create a craft project with a child.
#31 Make dinner with a teenager, or find any other excuse to keep them in the room with you for some conversation.
#32 Involve your children in your daily routine -- preparing meals, setting the table or cleaning up -- they like to feel helpful.
#33 Ask your children to go through their toys and donate some of them to those who are less fortunate.
#34 Children learn by watching -- lead by example.
#35 Offer to keep an eye on the kids of a busy neighborhood mom or dad if they need to run an errand.
#36 Do minor repairs on an elderly neighbor’s home.
#37 Make floral arrangements for senior centers, nursing homes, hospitals, police stations, or shut-ins.
#38 Talk, sing, or read to nursing home patients, especially those without family nearby.
#39 Help a senior neighbor with his errands, grocery shopping or other household tasks.
#40 Offer to drive an elderly friend to an appointment.
#41 Invite an elderly neighbor over for dinner, or bring dinner over to her.
#42 Teach an elderly neighbor how to use a computer -- get them connected!
#43 Share your favorite photos and memories with a senior. And ask him or her to share favorites with you.
#44 Help your elderly neighbors with strenuous tasks like lawn mowing, leaf-raking, or snow-shoveling.
#45 Bring your favorite grandparent -- it doesn't have to be yours -- some fresh flowers.
#46 Listen to music with a senior and compare favorites from yesterday and today.
#47 Keeping in touch keeps them going. Visit or call an elderly homebound person.
#48 Smile and say hello to an elderly person you don’t know.
#49 Help your elderly neighbors get the facts before they apply for loans, hire contractors, or donate money.
#50 Take good care of your pets. If you cannot give them the care they need, take them to a shelter or other pet adoption organization.
#51 Put bird food out for our feathered friends, especially in the winter.
#52 Check the products you buy to see they are not tested on animals.
#53 Share your friendly pets with those who enjoy being around animals but do not have any of their own.
#54 Visit a hospital or nursing home with your friendly pets.
#55 Donate your gently used towles, blankets, toys and supplies to your local animal shelter.
#56 Keep an eye out when you see lost pet signs, and help in the search if you can.
#57 Teach your children and others to love animals, visit a zoo.
#58 Share your umbrella with someone who doesn't have one.
#59 Write a thank-you note to a mentor or someone who has influenced your life in a positive way.
#60 Always say please, thank you, and you're welcome with a smile -- you'll get them back!
#61 Leave an extra big tip for a friendly waiter or waitress.
#62 Defend others. Speak up when you hear someone use a racist remark, whether it’s a family member, neighbor, co-worker, friend or stranger.
#63 Demonstrate a deep respect for other cultures, races and walks of life so that your children will, too.
#64 Discuss stereotypes and intolerance you see in what your child watches on television.
#65 Pick up trash at playgrounds, schoolyards, or other community areas.
#66 Vote. Educate yourself about issues affecting you, your community and our nation.
#67 Know your neighbors. Talk to them about safety, security and even noise level on your street.
#68 Organize a neighborhood clean-up day.
#69 Plant a tree in your yard or neighborhood.
#70 Replace harsh chemical products with environmentally safe cleaning and gardening products.
#71 Pick up trash, especially plastic or other non-degradable items that are in the street. Storm drains lead directly to our rivers and oceans.
#72 Start an office carpool. Save gas, money and get to know your coworkers.
#73 Reduce the amount of disposable products and packaging you buy and use.
#74 Recycle whenever possible. If you have a yard, try composting.
#75 Replace your standard light bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescent lights, also known as CFLs.
#76 Replace showerheads with more efficient, water-saving models.
#77 Recycle your cell phone. It's free and you’ll help support a healthier environment.
#78 Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when full.
#79 Soak pots and pans rather than let them sit under running water while you scrape them clean.
#80 Turn off water while you brush your teeth and save 4 gallons a minute.
#81 Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk. It saves water and prevents debris and oil from going down storm drains and into rivers and oceans.
#82 Change your car’s air filter. Cleaning your air filter regularly can improve your gas mileage significantly.
#83 Don’t speed. Being a good driver can save you some dollars at the pump. Speeding uses extra gas.
#84 Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. Longer grass retains water better.
#85 Remind everyone to turn off the lights, television and computers when they are done.
#86 Check out your child’s school recycling program. Ask whether recycling bins are accessible and if the kids are encouraged to use them.
#87 Spare the air, save a buck. Air conditioning can decrease your fuel efficiency by as much as 12 percent in stop-and-go traffic, so consider cracking the windows.
#88 Only heat or cool the rooms you need -- close vents and doors of unused rooms.
#89 Save energy by sealing and weatherstripping your windows and doors.
#90 Protect ocean wildlife. Remove fishing lines, nets or plastic items from the water when you’re not using them.
#91 Ask your school and workplace to purchase environmentally friendly paper and try to use less.
#92 Give potted flowers, plants, trees or seeds as gifts. They won't end up in a landfill.
#93 Instead of tossing old clothes or household appliances, give them to someone who could use them or donate to an organization.
#94 Donate Blood.
#95 Bring food or other useful items to emergency volunteers or locations.
#96 Write a letter thanking your local emergency management workers (police, firefighter, EMT) and let them know how they have helped make a difference.
#97 Help your neighbor organize an emergency plan and put together an emergency kit.
#98 Pitch in to clean up the wreckage after a disaster. Even if it happened in another place.
#99 Volunteer to distribute food, water or other supplies to disaster relief crews and victims.
#100 Lend a hand in your area of expertise – medicine, construction, cleaning, cooking, counseling.
#101 Ask that everyone buckle up when riding in a car.
#102 Help someone who might need assistance crossing the street, but ask first.
#103 Let staff know of spills or other dangerous conditions in their restaurant or store.
#104 Lead by example, wear a bicycle helmet.
#105 Learn the Heimlich Maneuver.
#106 Take a CPR training class and keep your certification current.
#107 Always obey the speed limit and drive safely and courteously.
#108 When driving, be aware of emergency vehicles and pull over to let them pass.
#109 Keep an eye out for kids in your neighborhood. Start a neighborhood watch program.
#110 Volunteer to take calls for a child abuse or crisis hotline.
#111 Report child abuse or domestic violence.
#112 Teach children water safety.
#113 Late at night, always walk with a friend to your car or anywhere you are going.
#114 Help a friend who’s being bullied.
#115 Warn children about going anywhere with strangers.
#116 Help your friends and family create emergency preparedness plans.

List compiled at http://www.dontalmostgive.org/ActsOfKindness/


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