Friday, May 17, 2013

Shopping Carts

Date: May 16, 2013
Time: 6pm
Location: Walmart
Number: 19

I know everyone hates putting their carts away after shopping.  I mean you just pushed the thing all the way out to your car and the collection area is like 10 parking spots away.  That's just too far.  Trust me, I'm totally one of those people, but maybe I shouldn't be.  I know I hate when I try to park somewhere but there is a shopping cart in the way, so why put the burden on another person to move the cart?  

Well I knew I was going to go ahead and walk my cart back up to the collection area, so I figured I'd grab the elderly woman's cart and do the same for her.  She was parked beside me and was unpacking her cart into her car.  I waited a few seconds and asked if I could take her cart for her.  She was happy I asked and told me "thank you."  It's nice to do nice things for random people.  It makes me feel good when I do something for someone I know nothing about.  

Try it out!

Hebrews 13:16

Round to the next dollar

Date: May 14, 2013
Time: 3pm
Location: Farm Fresh
Number: 18

This was one of the easiest acts of kindness that I've done so far.  I went to Farm Fresh after my workout to get some raspberries, face wipes, and Benadryl.  When I went to check out, the cashier asked me if I wanted to round up to the next dollar and donate the change to CHKD, so I did.  While my change wasn't much, if everyone does it, it adds up.

CHKD posted this article about Farm Fresh.  Check it out!

Photo from Google Images
It is easy to spare a bit of change to help save a life.

Hebrews 13:16

Monday, May 13, 2013

Stuff Stuff Stuff

Date: May 9, 2013
Time: 5:00pm
Location: Family Thrift Center
Number: 17

I have so much stuff.  Clothes, hair accessories, purses, books, etc.  Seriously just stuff.  I know I'm not the only one because I have seen tons of articles on "organizing your stuff."  We, as Americans, kind of have a problem.  Since coming home from my experience abroad, I have noticed just how much I have.  Not only in comparison to other countries, but in comparison to other families in America as well.  Yeah, so I don't have the most expensive items out there, but I do have a lot.  Studying abroad and seeing how other countries live made me realize that I don't need everything I have and that I need to be more thankful for how much I do have.

I am certainly not saying I got rid of everything in my room, but I did have a small basket of items to give away this week.  My goal is to go through all of my stuff and give it away.  I don't need 30 teddy bears or 4 winter coats, but there may be 30 kids that need a teddy bear or 4 women that need a coat.  I kind of see it as I'm taking away from 30 kids by having these bears lined up in my closet.  Hopefully I'm not the only 20-something that still has teddy bears.  If you're reading this & you have some that you want to get rid of, let me know & I'll take them off your hands.  I am going to see if I can donate them to the Ronald McDonald House in Norfolk for the children in the hospital to have, or at least for their siblings to have while staying in the house.

Giving your stuff away is one of the easiest things you can do.  Some collection companies make it so easy they will come to your house to get the items off of your hands.  It's hard to part ways with things you've had forever, but remember that your Tigger stuffed animal could go to a child that doesn't have anything.  That extra pan you never use could help a family that can't afford to buy a brand new one.  All those blankets grandma gave you 10 Christmas in a row that are sitting in the attic - they could keep a homeless man or woman warm this winter.

I challenge you to get rid of some stuff this Summer.  It's nice to have room for new things and it feels amazing to help someone in need.  The awkward and confused looks on their faces when you do help them is priceless.  Try it!  Spread God's love!

Hebrews 13:16

Laundry Detergent

Date: May 9, 2013
Time: 1:30pm
Location: CVS
Number: 16

My church (First Baptist Church of Norfolk) is constantly serving our community and world.  This is one of the reasons I love my church so much.  I tried other churches last summer, but nothing really compares to the compassion FBCN has for Hampton Roads and for people all over.  Currently we are collecting items for The Gosnold Apartments in Norfolk.

I was at CVS and saw laundry detergent that was on sale for $1.99.  I grabbed two of them to donate, spending only about $4 on 60 loads worth of laundry detergent!  I am going to try to keep this list on hand at all times so if I see a really good deal, I'll snag it to donate.

Below is the list of what we are collecting.  Let me know if you have any you'd like to donate.  I will come to you, or better yet you could come drop it off at church on Sunday!

4 roll packs of toilet paper
Wrapped single rolls of paper towels
Dishwashing liquid
All purpose cleaner
Laundry Detergent
Fabric softener
Body wash

Hebrews 13:16

Friday, May 10, 2013

Dunkin Donuts

Date: May 9, 2013
Time: 1:00pm
Location: Dunkin Donuts
Number: 15

I was driving around after picking up my glasses (yep, officially a nerd and proud) and saw a Dunkin Donuts.  Now if you know me, you know I have a major sweet tooth.  It's seriously a problem and I'm afraid I'll end up obese in the near future if I don't slow it down.  Anyway, given my "need" for sweets, I decided to make a stop and grab a donut.  (I mean I had to celebrate being able to see, right?)  I won a $10 gift card on Deal Dash (check it out, it's awesome for Christmas time) a few months ago and hadn't used it all yet.

I got my donut and decided to leave the gift card for whoever came next.  When I told the cashier, she was very confused (seriously one of the best parts of doing this is seeing the looks on people's faces when I do something nice).  I tried to explain that I just wanted to do something kind for whoever came next and she seemed to understand.  The gift card only had a little over $5 left on it, so I don't know if it will cover the next person's "meal" (yes, I just called donuts a meal), but it will cover at least a little bit of it.

Once again, this is a very simple thing to do and it only cost me about $0.05 since I won the gift card for very cheap on Deal Dash.  I am going to attempt to win more gift cards and start handing them out.  Hopefully it works out that way!

Hebrews 13:16

Mom's Birthday Present

Date: May 8, 2013
Time: All Day
Location: My Home
Number: 14

Wednesday was my mom's birthday! She is such a special woman and I am proud of her just for being her honestly. She taught me at a very young age to be kind and to do good for others. 

Traveling Italy and Europe for 3 months drains your bank account. That being said, I had to be extra creative this year for her present. She told me just to make her a card, but I wanted to do at least a little bit more for her. 

I wanted to make her a cake to take to her work, but all we had in the house was muffin mix. I figured it's the thought that counts, so I made the muffins. I took them to work and we sang "Happy Birthday" to her. She always makes a cake for everyone else's birthday, so I wanted to make sure she got one for hers. 

Before I went to the shop, I decided that her real gift would be a clean house. It cost me nothing and it is something I know she wants and needs. I know no one likes cleaning, but I really don't like it. While that's true, I knew it would make my mom happy, so I did it anyway. (Acts of kindness aren't always things you love doing. It's important to humble yourself and do the "hard" stuff or the stuff you don't like sometimes.) When I said I cleaned house, I meant it. I got down on my hands and knees scrubbing the baseboards and even cleaned the bathroom (my least favorite thing to do). You can see the full list of what I did for my mom's birthday in the photo below. It made her happy, so I was happy. 

I know y'all may be thinking, "Well it's her birthday, you had to do something," but that's not completely true. While I knew I was going to do something, I easily could have stopped at the card and the muffins. It would have been much easier just to buy a gift than to work on cleaning the house for a few hours, but I knew this was something that needed to be done and something she probably wouldn't expect. I'm counting as an Intentional Act of Kindness because cleaning is not something I'm not a big fan of doing, but I wanted to be kind to my mom on her birthday! 

Hebrews 13:16

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Band & Trash

Date: May 7, 2013
Time: 8:45pm
Location: Windsor High School
Number: 13

I (finally) got to go see my youngest brother play trumpet in his band concert tonight. All of his past concerts were either while I was away at college or in Italy. I was so excited to finally get to see him play! He did amazing. (I mean he's my brother, how could he not?) I am so proud of the young man he is becoming. 

At the end of the show I saw some trash on the ground. I know it's not much, but I picked it up and threw it away. I'm sure that wasn't the only few pieces of trash on that auditorium floor, but by picking it up I hope to make the janitor's job a little easier! They will never know it was there or that someone helped them out, but that's part of this journey. I am learning to be kind without the expectation of anything in return, including a simple "thank you."  

Think about it, when was the last time you did something good that no one would ever know about unless you told them? Something no one would notice? 

Hebrews 13:16

Monday, March 25, 2013


Date: February 9, 2013
Time: 9:30pm
Location: Venice, Italy on a vaperetto (water taxi)
Number: 12

I completely forgot about an act of kindness I performed in Italy. It was the end of the day during the Venice Carnival and a group of us were on our way back to the bus via water taxi to take us back to Florence. The taxi was full to the brim with the huge festival going on. An older couple got on the boat and were unable to sit down. Now this isn't really a huge act of kindness, just manners, but is a simple thing anyone can do. I gave up my seat for them. He let his wife sit down. I was actually shocked that no one else on the boat was willing to give up their seats for the other older adults standing. 

My mom taught me that at a young age on the short bus ride to church from the parking lot. Then I was always looking for an excuse to stand up while on the bus, but I now realize it is just curtesy. The couple was happy I gave up my seat and told me thank you a few times in Italian. They were a very cute couple, a couple I hope to embody one day. He was kissing her hand and holding her shoulder the whole time he was standing beside her on the boat. It was a great testimony to a lasting love.

Hebrews 13:16

Monday, February 18, 2013

German Love

Date: February 18, 2013
Time: 9:30am
Location: Wiesbaden, Germany
Number: 11

This may sound like an excuse and I guess it kind of is, but doing acts of kindness is hard with a language barrier. I can't explain my intentions well enough for them to understand, and it is hard to do something they would appreciate without fully understanding their culture.

Today I finally had the opportunity! A woman came up to me in Germany while I was walking back to our apartment. She was having trouble with the parking meter because it didn't take small coins. She asked if I had a 1 Euro coin to trade for her smaller coins. I was happy I did have one so I have it to her. She tried giving me the smaller coins to trade but I just told her to take the 1 Euro and have a nice day. It may not sound like a lot, but it put a smile on her face!

I hope more opportunities like this arise while I am traveling!

Hebrews 13:16

Sunday, January 6, 2013

10% Complete!

I was just looking through my blog to see if I have posted anything unrelated to my 100 intentional acts of kindness goal and saw that I have reached act #10!  I guess this kind of slipped my mind as I was writing my last post about act number 10.

I just want to create a sort of roundup of my first 10 intentional acts of kindness and how I am feeling after doing them.

Chai Latte
Angel Tree
Campbell's Soup
Hot Chocolate
10 Kiddos

I have to say looking back at what I have done feels good.  I know that I am making a difference in the world by being kinder.  It may not completely change the world, but I'm planting a seed of change that can grow and blossom.

I am proud of myself for completing 10% of my goal in one month.  I want to continue doing good and loving on others!

Hebrews 13:16

Friday, January 4, 2013


Date: December 30, 2012
Time: 9:30am
Location: First Baptist Church of Norfolk
Number: 10

For those of you that don't know, I'm obsessed with babies.  It's a little severe.  Check out my Babies Babies Babies Pinterest board.  70 pins and I'm no where near getting ready to have kids.  I seriously just love babies.  They make me remember how God works miracles by just giving us life.  Plus, they're cute.  Who can argue with that?

Anyway, my love of babies and children in general is a gift I have.  I know for a fact that there are people who just don't love the kiddos and are not good at playing with them.  It's sad to say, but I've seen parents who don't seem to know how to play with their little ones.  This is not me.  I will play with  kids for hours, and often do.

My senior year of high school I was not super close with God.  I was upset my parents dragged me to church, so I tried to make the best of it.  As much as I love listening to the sermons now, it just wasn't for me then.  I didn't get much out of it.  Probably because I wasn't listening quite right, but either way it just wasn't happening for me.

I reached out to the children's ministry and somehow got connected to start volunteering in the preschool/nursery ministry.  I loved it.  This was one of the times I knew I wanted to be a teacher because of how I felt when I was around the kids.  I felt love.  Real love.  God's love.  I knew how much He loved those babies and thus how much he loved me for giving me the ability to work with them and make them smile.

Being back at home gives me the chance to work with the ministry more.  This Sunday I got to volunteer in the nursery with the infants.  They're a blast.  No, they don't talk, but their facial expressions and the noises they make are priceless.  I laugh every time I'm in that room.  I have to admit, the crying is a little over my head and I'm a not good at getting them to burp, but I'm learning and trying.

Giving my time is something easy I can do because it is free!  Giving my time to something I love and have a passion for is even easier.

Hebrews 13:16


Date: December 30, 2012
Time: 9:30am
Location: First Baptist Church of Norfolk
Number: 9

During the Christmas Eve service at my church I was reminded of the church's need for computers and computer equipment.  My family had told me about it once before, knowing my old laptop was laying on the floor in the corner of my bedroom, but I had forgotten.

I can't lie, this computer was dead, had stickers all over the back of it and was obviously owned by a middle schooler.  The laptop died when I was in high school.  It was an old Gateway and I bought it for about $300 when I was in like 7th grade.  I got a few good years out of it, but eventually I let the virus protection run out and, obviously, it got viruses.

I knew I needed to get rid of the laptop, especially now that I have my Mac.  I had no need for it, and no one in my house could get it to work.  I was planning on trashing it, smashing the screen like my brother and I did to our old family computer that died.  Realizing the only reason we did that was because of tax stuff that was on it, I decided it would be silly for me to do that.  Even if it would be fun.

My Gateway and I parted ways on Sunday when I donated it to the church.  I have no idea if they will be able to fix it or get anything out of it, but I figured it was better to give it to them and let them try than just throw it away.

Unfortunately I don't have a picture of this glorious laptop for you to laugh at, but I'm sure you can imagine its beauty.

Remember, giving is all about giving what you can.  I couldn't donate a working, new computer, but I was able to give something.  Who knows, maybe someone will learn how to fix a computer thanks to this donation.  I'm sure God can use this act of kindness to glorify His kingdom some how!

Hebrews 13:16


Date: December 23, 2012
Time: 6:30pm
Location: Goodwill
Number: 8

You can easily look in my closet and drawers and see the abundant amount of clothing I own.  It's crazy.  All the t shirts I've accumulated over the years, the "sale" clothes I buy for no reason.  I am blessed beyond reason.  I love my clothes, but I noticed this year at school how much I brought with me and how rarely I wear certain pieces.  

I like to say I'm a giver, but it is hard for me to part with clothes.  I can donate old toys and shoes and trinkets all day long, but clothes are hard for me.  It's not like I can't give them away because I won't have any left.  I'd still have enough for weeks if I gave half my wardrobe away.  

Coming home from school with boxes of clothes and stuff made me a little stressed out.  Where in the world could I fit all of the stuff I have?  I don't have a clue how it fit in my room prior to me moving it out for school.  I decided it was time to do a sweep of my room and grab a few bags to donate or trash stuff.  

I ended up with a giant bag full of everything you can imagine: t shirts, teddy bears, pants, shorts, dresses, shoes, erasers, etc.  There was seriously some random stuff in there.  I found it hard to part with certain shirts because of their sentimental value.  (I'm strange that way.)  I had to remind myself that it was only a shirt, I had the memories, and that someone else needed it way more than I did.  

Here is a blurry (sorry) picture of the bags I brought to Goodwill a few days before Christmas.  The bag on the left from Steve and my mom cleaning out their closets and the one on the right is mine.  Hopefully someone finds these clothes helpful and keeps them warm this cold winter!

Hebrews 13:16


Date: December 22, 2012
Time: 12:30pm
Location: Panera 
Number: 7

I was finishing up some Christmas shopping when I realized it had been a while since I had done an act of kindness.  My mom was getting hungry and wanted to go to Panera.  I asked her what she was going to get and she said she wanted one of the sweets.  I remembered I had a "free sweet" on my My Panera card.  I asked my mom if I could treat her and she said yes.

Remember, you don't need to be kind only to people you don't know or spend tons of money on them.  The Lord rejoices when you are kind to anyone and in any way.

Mom with her sweet!

Hebrews 13:16