Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sharing Our Riches

I came across this link on social media. The article was interesting (church community raises enough money to purchase and renovate a building that will be used to house people who have been homeless) But I really enjoyed the video at the bottom - go watch it. I believe it is relevant either because of or despite the religious spin.

Ok, so now that you have watched it, isn't it inspiring to know that we are all rich?  It is so true. So very true. I have not done the calculations on my family's giving. We tend to give hodgepodge to the particular causes that my friends are fundraising for. While this method allows us to contribute to a wide range of needs perhaps some we would not have even considered otherwise, I literally have no idea of the scope/percentage. It is time to make sure we are contributing enough.

Since it is the beginning of the year, the time is ripe for tracking. I am going to have my wonderfully analytical husband create a spreadsheet (or tracking device of his choice).  If it is good enough, perhaps I can do a follow up post and share it, so that anyone who wants to use it will be able to.

Happy Giving!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Kids for Peace

I am SO excited about this.  One of my friends recently told me about an organization that is specifically designed to help kids make a difference in the world.  As a mom of two little ones, I am always looking for ways to teach them about being kind and contributing to the greater good.  We haven't yet attended any of their events, but I think their Peace Pledge says it all:

I pledge to use my words to speak in a kind way.
I pledge to help others as I go throughout my day.
I pledge to care for our earth with my healing heart and hands.
I pledge to respect people in each and every land.
I pledge to join together as we unite the big and small.
I pledge to do my part to create PEACE for one and all.

Kids for Peace

I am very anxious to see where this leads, and I suspect there will be some follow-up posts on this subject.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Jarring Gift

As I may have mentioned before, I really enjoy gift giving.  I try very hard to get gifts that people will thoroughly enjoy, and I try to personalize them as much as possible.  So, for my daughter's kindergarten teacher (a self-proclaimed soup fiend), my daughter and I made jars of soup mix.  We also made a jar of peppermint cocoa mix, with marshmallows.  It was a great personalized gift that my daughter was able to help make.  It turned out pretty cute, and her teacher just LOVED it.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I know, I know...

Okay, I know what you're thinking:  Here we go AGAIN.  Yet another post about the importance of blood donation.  Well, yes, you caught me.  It's just such an immeasurable gift, for a family in need, to receive.  It really doesn't take much time, and if you find a blood mobile, like I did (see below - can you believe they can do all that on a bus???), you don't even have to seek out your local donation center.

Consider giving the gift of life this holiday season, won't you?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Crocheting for a Cause (or two!)

Lately, I have been on a total crocheting kick.  I don't know why, but it seems to come in waves (usually when I have a specific event).  So, when I needed a gift idea, it just made sense.  The doctor that delivered my babies (the person I credit with giving me my children - LITERALLY, I would not have my children, if not for this man) is not only an incredible doctor, but he's also an amazing human being, who is extremely generous and kind.  I am always trying to think of ways to show my gratitude.  Every year, on his birthday, I show up at his office with some form of baked goods, and while he's always super appreciative, I'm certain I'm one of dozens of patients who do the same.  This year, I really wanted to do something special and meaningful, so in the spirit of putting others first, I tried to think of what is meaningful to him.  Among his many amazing qualities, he donates his time as a board member to multiple charities.  One of the charities is an organization called, "Jalen's Gift."  It is an organization that provides, among other things, care boxes to families that are dealing with infant mortality.  I decided to make two blankets, this year, to give to him for this great organization.  I actually forgot to take a picture of the blankets I made, but they were very similar to the ones I made for Project Linus this year.  See: 35 (Am I really that old?) Acts of Kindness.  Anyway, the blankets were a huge success, and I could tell that I really touched him with my gift.  He was extremely grateful, and he joked that he would have a hard time not keeping one for himself.  I told him I would be more than glad to make him his own, and I asked him what colors he would like.  He was really excited, and he told me to surprise him.  So, I took my girls to the store, the next day, and let them pick the colors (they're 5 & 2), and here is the end result...

Right now, I'm working on scarves to hand out to the homeless, with our bags of essential items.  See #9 on my 35 Acts of Kindness or #7 on my 34 Acts of Kindness.  I'll post pictures of those, when I have a few more done.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Back to School

It's that time of year again (okay, okay, so I'm a few weeks late on this one)...back to school.  This year, my oldest daughter started kindergarten (*sniff*  Where does the time go?).  Teachers work so hard and get so little appreciation that I wanted to send her with a small gift, to start the year off right, so I gave her teacher this box of supplies.

Usually, when I give a gift, I like to give something that I know the recipient will enjoy, but since I had only briefly met her teacher, it was very difficult to personalize her gift, but with a little paper, glue and creativity, I was able to give it just a little personal touch.

I used printable Scrabble letters, that I found online to spell out my daughter's name and her teacher's name, along with the words "Learn," "Teach," "Grow."  She loved it!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Kinnear's Kindness

I have been seriously lacking in my posting duties, but my husband and I were just discussing something that happened to us, a few years back, and I just had to share it.  Normally, I am not remotely interested in celebrities.  Frankly, I don't get the hype, but I do have a soft spot when I hear that one is genuinely kind.  So, when I experienced one of them being kind, first hand, I just about melted.  It all happened, a few years back, when my husband and I decided to take a trip to visit some family on the East Coast, for my daughter's first birthday.  We were lucky enough to get a direct flight, but we still arrived tired, and with a one year old in tow, we had a lot to carry (suitcases, snacks, diapers, carseat, etc.).  We made our way out to the car rental shuttle, and while we were waiting in line, I turned around and noticed a familiar face.  I mumbled, under my breath, that Greg Kinnear was standing behind us, but my husband couldn't hear me.  So, we got on the shuttle, and shortly after, Greg Kinnear got on too.  My husband was surprised to see him (as he didn't hear me), so he stuck out his hand and said, "Mr. Kinnear!"  Greg Kinnear shook his hand, but he was on the phone, so he didn't say anything.  He sat down next to us (we were on the bench at the back of the shuttle), and he sort of turned away from us.  I was a little annoyed and dismissed him as another self-absorbed celebrity, that is until he hung up the phone a few seconds later.  He began by apologizing profusely for having been on the phone, saying that it was his daughter's first day of kindergarten, and he had been talking to her about how it went.  He talked to us, the whole way to the rental car place, and when we arrived, without saying a word, he grabbed our biggest suitcase and carried it inside to the rental car counter!!  Did I mention it was POURING?!?  It was so genuinely nice that, to this day, I can't see his face without saying, "Awww," and thinking about that day.