Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Day 120: Small Act Recognized

Today's act was an unexpected one.  When I was driving to St. Louis this morning I stopped at a McDonald's to get something to eat.  When I was walking in, I noticed an older guy walking towards the exit so I held the door for him and then went and opened the next door for him.  When I walked into the restaurant after holding the door an employee behind the counter commented that what I did was very nice.  She then asked what I wanted to eat and told me that it would be free.  This was very unexpected but I though it was a very nice gesture.  Then I looked up at the menu and realized it was only 10:15am and they weren't even serving lunch yet, which is what I wanted.  So I thanked her for her offer but told her I wasn't going to get anything.  I then asked her if she would do me a favor and offer my free meal to the next person who came to order.  She said she would do that, so today, for my act I got a free meal for the next person in line, due to a kind act of another person, due to me holding a door.  Just goes to show how kindness is contagious.  Pretty cool.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Day 119: Jason Collins is Gay

I knew it was only a matter of time before an active athlete from one of the main sports in this country came out.  Well today was the day...Jason Collins, who is currently a free agent in the NBA came out of the closet. I can only imagine how difficult this was for him to do.  Being gay and coming out is, I'm sure extremely difficult, but being the first active NBA player to come out must be nearly impossible.  Which is probably why no one has done it until now.  I am definitely interested to see what the response will be from this.  This country has come a long way in the last few years, but there is still a long way to go.  I for one, think it is courageous what he has done and I am very proud of him.  So although it is not a huge gesture, for my act of kindness today, I shared the above picture on my Facebook timeline to help spread the word.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Day 118: Supporting Kid's Health and Fitness

I live on a street that has a bunch of little kids.  Whenever the weather is nice they are always outside being active.  The kids are either riding bikes, playing games or just running around in general.  This is pretty nice to see because it seems like that is pretty rare nowadays, especially with how popular video games have become.  I definitely want Emma to be a kid that loves to be outside and active so when a couple middle schoolers  came to my door today asking for donations to go towards a fundraiser at their school to support health and fitness I felt like it was a no brainer for my kind act.  So today, for my act of kindness, I donated money to a local school fundraiser to support health and fitness, which I think is very important.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Day 117: Friend's Attire

This needs to be another short blog today because I am in the middle of a bachelor party. If that doesn't show dedication to this blog I don't know what will.

A friend of mine commented that he had zero nice shirts to wear to work.  It just so happens that I work at a clothing company and have way too many dress shirts. So today for my act I brought him 7 new dress shirts with the tags still on them. I'm sure he will get much use out of them than me.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Day 116: I'll Take the Floor

I am up in the Twin Cities for a bachelor party. When we checked into our hotel this afternoon there was a mix up and the only room available was one with a king bed. With four guys you can imagine this might be a little bit of a problem. Thankfully the room has a pullout, however we still are left with one person needing to take the floor. Well instead of arguing or pulling straws, I decided that for my act of kindness today, I would volunteer to sleep on the floor.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day 115: Farewell Lunch

Being in sales I have gotten pretty accustomed to seeing reps come and go.  It is a tough part of the business but it is what it is.  Tomorrow is going to be the last day for one of my friends at Lands' End because he is leaving to work for a different company.  Since I have the day off tomorrow, today was actually the last day that I would be in the office with him so I decided to buy his lunch today for my act of kindness.  It is a small gesture but I thought it was a nice way to say good bye and good luck.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Day 114: Mother Nature Approved

Today for my act I did something that doesn't help a stranger, friend or family member but instead the environment.  Which I guess, if I think about it, helps everyone in the long run.  My company was giving away baby tress to anyone who would like them for Earth day on Monday.  I decided to grab one and today, for my act of kindness, I planted the Norway Spruce in my backyard. Your'e welcome Earth!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Day 113: Directions

With practically everyone having some sort of GPS, this opportunity to help does not appear as much as it used to.  Today I went out to lunch, when I was getting out of my car I was called over by an older couple who needed help.  They needed to take their car in to get checked out because they thought something was wrong with their tire however they were not from around here and had no idea where to go.  Now, I am usually the last person to ask for directions because I am so dependent on my GPS however I knew where to direct them.  So today, for my act of kindness, I gave directions to a couple strangers who were in need of help.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Day 112: Meal for my Parents

My wife and I are very lucky.  Emma only needs to go to daycare twice a week because our parents are able to watch her the other three days. My parents take two days, and Gina's parents take one. My parents drive down from Door County every Sunday night and stay through Tuesday.  It is a great help to us because the mornings are easier and we save some money, and it is nice for them because they get to spend a lot of time with Emma.  Usually my parents bring down food to cover dinner for one night but this time they weren't able to do that because they were both pretty sick last week.  So today, for my act of kindness, I brought home dinner so they wouldn't need to worry about it.  They help us so much it is nice to be able to help them sometimes.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Day 111: Gift Card for Next in Line

Whenever I use a gift card I try to make sure to use it all up because it is annoying to me when I have a small amount left on the card.  I typically will then buy something I don't need, or will pocket the card and end up losing it.  I decided to go with a different option today.  I went in to Home Depot to pick up a dust buster.  When I used my gift card to pay, I ended up with a balance of $5 left on the card.  Instead of going with either of the previously stated options, I thought I would help a stranger instead. So today for my act of kindness, I gave my gift card to the next person in line.  The person I gave it to said I made their day so I feel like it was a much better choice than eventually losing the card or buying candy or something else useless.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Day 110: Helping Strangers

I wrote a little bit about the Boston Marathon bombing earlier in the week but I wanted to write a little more about the topic. I always find it amazing how united the country becomes when something like this happens.  Since the bombing on Monday the  country has been glued to their tv and have done so much to support the communities and victims affected by the Boston Marathon bombing.  After the second suspect was brought in to custody last night, it was amazing to watch the coverage of all the people celebrating in the streets. It just goes to show that, although this country can be very divided sometimes, when it comes down to it we are all here for each other.  

I came across a story about a couple who were both severely hurt in the bombing.  To try and help cover some of the medical bills and out of pocket costs some of their friends set up a donation page.  Currently they have raised $531,089! For my act of kindness today, I will be adding to that number. This is just one more example of how united we are.  To raise that amount of money in five days from primarily strangers is amazing!  I have never been more proud to be an American.  If you would like to learn more about this couple story or donate, just click on the following link. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Day 109: Random (f)Act of Kindness

I decided to change things up a little bit today.  Instead of an "act" of kindness, I am going with a "fact" of kindness today and hopefully that will turn into a kind act because up until yesterday afternoon this fact has alluded me for 29 years and is something I wish I would have known, so hopefully I few of you don't know about this random fact.

I drive a lot of rental cars for my job and whenever I need to get gas I never know what side of the car the gas tank is on.  I then proceed to try and stick my head out the window to catch a glimpse of the lid.  When that tactic fails, I go with my gut and pick a side.  Without fail, I always guess wrong and I need to get back in the car and turn the car around.  Well yesterday a friend showed me that most cars and pretty much all newer cars have an indicator that shows you which side the gas tank is on.  Take a look at the picture above....that little arrow you see on the left side of the gas tank indicates that the fuel is on the left side of the car.  I can't believe I never noticed this before but now I will never need to worry about guessing wrong again.  I hope this helps some of you, it sure helped me yesterday!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Day 108: Father in Practice

The first entry in this blog talks about how I wonder sometimes the type of person my daughter is going to grow up to be and about how I know I will be playing a big role in how she turns out.  What I've found through the first year of being a father is I am learning a lot of things on the go, and that is perfectly fine but sometimes I can feel a little bit lost.  So today, for my act of kindness, I decided to get ahead of the curve.

I read a decent amount of books when I am on the road.  I just finished reading the Game of Thrones books (I know....I am a nerd, but I love it). The last couple of days I have been looking for a new book to read and was struggling to find something that kept my interest.  Well, I was at a work event last night and got to talking with a new friend about family.  After a few minutes he told me about a book, "Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters" and highly recommended it to me. Although it might be a few years before a lot of the things in the book will apply to my situation I thought it would be a good book to read and get ahead of the curve. So today, my act is one that is for self improvement.  Instead of reading another sci-fi book, I purchased "Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters."   

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Day 107: Downpour

I am in downtown Chicago for the day and I was caught in an absolute torrential downpour when trying to get back to my hotel.  I was with a coworker and we were stuck underneath an awning a few blocks away from our hotel.  So today, for my act of kindness, I told my coworker to wait under the awning and I ran across the street to a convenient store and bought an umbrella for the two of us.  We still got fairly soaked walking back with the umbrella but at least it made it possible. At least it is better than snow! Come on Spring!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Day 106: Support Boston

There is definitely evil in this World that I will never understand. I don't care why this person/group did what they did, or who they are....all I hope is that they are found, and made to answer for their crimes. That being said....there is also good in this World, and the good outweighs the bad by an exponential amount.  Just take a look at the videos from yesterday's tragedy....you will see person after person running TOWARDS the wreckage to help out in any way.  Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a horrible thing to happen like this to really bring out how great people, and this country can be.  I have had the event on my mind a lot over the past 24 hours and today for my act of kindness I wore one of my "race" shirts in support of all the people affected by the Boston Marathon bombing.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Day 105: Middle School Help

There have been a few acts this year that have revolved around education and teachers.  Maybe that is because I live with a teacher (wife) or maybe it's because I was raised by one (mom), or maybe it is because of the simple fact that teachers can make such a profound impact in our lives.  And I feel like a lot of times, they might know they are making an impact, but they don't necessarily get confirmation of that by their students.  Well today, for my act of kindness, I wanted to make sure at least one of my former teachers got that confirmation so I took the time to write a letter to my middle school band teacher to tell him how much I appreciate him as a teacher and to thank him for making a positive impact in my life.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Day 104: Paws for Piper

A couple of weeks ago a great fundraiser called Paws for Piper Cut-a-thon was brought to my attention  (Thanks Wendy Ellis). This fundraiser is for a cause that is very similar to one I donated to earlier this year on "Day 12".... Canine for Caden. In this case, a 6-year-old girl named Piper has type 1 diabetes in which there is no cure for.  However, a service dog who is trained to sense when blood sugar levels are dangerously low could be a huge help for the family.  The only problem is the cost of this dog is $18,000.

So today, for my act of kindness, I participated in the fundraiser, Paws for Piper.  It was so cool to see how many people were in support of this cause, and not just by the people who supported it by donating money like me.  There were so many other people who helped.  From the stylists who took time out of their schedule to cut hair and paint nails, to the people who brought in baked goods and worked the doors.  It was a true sense of community on display this afternoon and I was happy to be a part of it.  Plus, I got a really nice haircut out of it as well!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Day 103: Scouting for Food

It has only been 103 days since I started my random acts of kindness year, but I have realized very quickly on in this journey that I have been taking a lot of things for granted, and one of those things is food. I am lucky enough that whenever I feel hungry I can just go to the kitchen or the nearest drive-thru and get whatever I want. Millions of people in the United States alone aren't as lucky, so when I saw that the boy scouts were having a food drive today I wanted to do my part.  So today, for my act of kindness, I filled a bag full of food and donated it to the food drive.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Day 102: It Can Wait

So my kind act today is one that I know my wife will be very happy about. I am one of those people that text while I drive periodically. I know, I know....it's awful.  However my justification of it is that I only do it when there is hardly any traffic. But, when I sit back and think about it, it is such a stupid thing to do.  No text message is worth taking my attention from the road and endangering myself, my family and the other people on the road.  So today, for my act of kindness, I went to the website, itcanwait.com and took a pledge to never text and drive again.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day 101: Little Extra Tip

So the last couple days have been pretty eventful.  Not sure if it was something I ate or if I came down with something but I have felt absolutely awful the last two days.  Couple that with the fact that my hotel didn't have power last night because of the tornados and you can imagine it was a struggle.  About 8pm last night I realized I hadn't eaten all day so I decided to take a trip to Walgreens.  I wasn't hungry but I figured I needed to try and eat.  When I got to Walgreens I found out their registers were broken so it was cash only and they needed to calculate everything with a calculator.  It was a nightmare, but after about 40 minutes I left will three cans of chicken noodle soup.  When I got back to the hotel I found out after the first bite that I would not be able to eat anything. Fast forward to this morning, I felt a little better but I still wasn't ready to eat.  So instead of having the food go to waste I decided to leave them included with the tip I left for housekeeping when checking out of my hotel.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Day 100: Free Coffee

So this post needs to be really short.  Sirens just went off for a storm and I am on the 3rd floor of the hotel.  Today I left $5 for the next customer at Starbucks.  Coffee is way too expensive so hopefully the next person in Starbucks appreciates my gesture!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day 99: Brain Fart

Usually about once a week I have a situation where I do something that would constitute as a brain fart. The biggest reoccuring one is where I will spend time to write an email where I allude to an attachment I included with the email.  I then click send right before realizing that I never attached anything.  This kind of thing drives me crazy.  Well today I witnessed a brain fart and was able to help.

I had fast food for lunch today.  Prior to ordering, the person in front of me ordered their food, paid and when they got their change back, they left.  Seemed normal to me...until I realized this person completley forgot to take the bag of food!  So today for my act of kindness, I acted quickly and grabbed the bag and ran out to the parking lot to give them the food they just paid for.  When they realized that they didn't grab the food, you could tell they were pretty embarrassed, but I could tell they were also happy someone noticed, so that made me feel good.  I told them it happens to the best of us. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Day 98: Good Parenting

Anyone that knows me will tell you that I am someone who is very aware of their surroundings and this can be very annoying for me.  Take for example whenever my wife and I go to see a movie, even if we have our pick of all the seats, we will take the two seats on the far side of the theater because there is an aisle between anyone who would sit next to us.  I have been burned too many times by picking a seat in the middle and then having an inconsiderate/loud person plop down next to me.  Again, I am not sure if this is truly the case of them being loud, or just me being over-sensitive.(If you ask my parents, they will probably say the latter because of all the looks I have given them over the years while eating/watching shows with them.  My father has the loudest mouth when eating in the history of mouths while eating.  It defies all logic.  I sometimes just listen in amazement.  I almost think he is intentionally chewing loud to get at me.  How can one person's mouth be so loud will eating something like soup?!?)  I think it might be a little bit of both.  Never mind the fact that with the options theaters give you, it is nearly impossible to be quiet.  I have never understood why popcorn and candy in plastic bags are the most popular items to get at a movie.  It seems illogical if you ask me.  No one is going to the theater to hear the person next to them chomping down on some crunchy popcorn, followed by listening to them search through a crinkly bag to find a red sour patch kid.  Even thinking about this gives me anxiety.  I just want to watch my movie in peace!!!! If I owned a movie theater popcorn would not be available.  Stuff like cotton candy would be an option. Wow this was a tangent I didn't entirely mean to go on....my whole point of this was just to illustrate that I can get frustrated when I have noisy people next to me and I have no where to go.

Today, when I was finding my seat on the plane, I realized I must have pulled the short straw when selecting my seat because I got the dreaded pleasure of sitting next to a toddler for my flight.  Plus this toddler had a line-up of snacks ready to go.  I buckled in for a long flight of gross displays of eating and lots of noise.  However, my flight neighbor turned out to be the most well behaved people (not just kids) I have ever sat next to. It was a fantastic flight.  So much, that for my act of kindness, I followed the kid after the flight (keep reading...this isn't how it sounds) until he connected with his mom in the tunnel.  I had to compliment her on having such a well-behaved kid and let her know how much I appreciated it!!  She was very happy to hear the compliment.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Day 97: Clean Planet

About a week ago, when I did my "tape for everyone" kind act, one of my coworkers was there with me.  When were leaving the post office she commented on how my act was spontaneous and how that was pretty cool. She then asked if that happened often or if I usually planned my acts ahead of time.  I told her that I originally thought I was going to need to plan most of my acts, however I found very early on that if I keep my eyes open throughout the day that opportunities usually find me.  I told her it was a matter of just being aware....ironically right after saying that I neglected to be aware of the curb I was stepping off and ended up twisting my ankle.

Today was another one of those days of my act finding me.  I can't tell you how many times someone has hung something on my door and I didn't even look at it for more than two seconds.  However today I took the time to read it.  Turns out the Boy Scouts in my area are doing a drive to collect used electronics.  So today, for my act, I went around the house and collected two old cell phones that I no longer need and dropped them off for the drive. Not sure what they are going to be doing with them but at least someone will be putting them to use.  Otherwise the phones would have just rotted away in my drawer.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Day 96: I Almost Forgot!

This is the first time all year that I almost forgot to blog about my act.  Thankfully my wife reminded me.  It is now 11pm and I am completely exhausted, plus Emma is teething so it could be a very long night so I need to keep this short and go to bed.  Today, for my act of kindness, we invited some friends over and made them dinner. it was our first of many grill outs of the year.  I hope they enjoyed it.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 95: March for Babies

One of my friends and his wife are participating in a fundraiser called March of Dimes in mid April.  For 75 years, March of Dimes has helped babies get a healthy start in life. The money for this specific walk will go towards supporting programs that help moms have a healthy, full-term pregnancy and will fund research to prevent premature birth and birth defects.  We were very fortunate to have a full-term pregnancy, but I can remember the anxiety I felt until we got to the full term stage.  It is so important to make sure the babies can develop as much as possible before they come into this World.  So today, for my act of kindness, I donated a small amount to sponsor my friend's wife for the March for Babies.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Day 94: Don't Worry About Dinner

My daughter goes to a daycare two days a week.  It took us a long time to find someone that we felt comfortable with and we are very happy with where she currently goes.  The woman who runs the daycare, Jennifer, had surgery today to remove her gallbladder so my wife came up with the great idea to bring them dinner.  So today, for my act of kindness, my wife and I made one of our favorite meals, taco casserole, to give to Jennifer's family.  Having surgery like this can really mess up a schedule and the last thing that Jennifer should have on her mind is worrying about what is for dinner.  So we covered that today for her family. I hoped they enjoy it.  It was torture making it and knowing I wouldn't be eating it.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Day 93: Art is Not a Skill of Mine

I have never been very good at arts and crafts.  It is just not how my brain works.  However today I did my best for a coworker.

My co-worker owns a restaurant (MP Dining Company) with her husband. Recently their restaurant was reviewed in a local newspaper.  The reviewer gave MP Dining Company a glowing review and had nothing but positive things to write. I can imagine this was a pretty exciting moment for my co-worker and I wanted to do something to say congratulations.  So today, for my act of kindness, I tracked down a copy of the newspaper, cut out the review and framed it for her.  I put it on her desk with a little note that said congrats.  It is not a great piece of art but I tried my best. I'm happy with how it turned out because I know she liked it. I know this because after she saw the frame she came over to my desk and said, "I don't want to be a creeper, but I am going to need to give you a hug." :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day 92: Tape for Everyone

I had to go to the post office today to send out a couple of things.  One of the items I was shipping was in a box that wasn't sealed.  When I got to the front desk I asked if I could borrow some tape.  The employee there was very nice but she told me that they don't offer tape for customers and that I would need to buy a roll of tape if I wanted to ship my item.  So that is what I did...I bought an entire roll of tape and used about 12 inches of it to seal the box.  Although I understand why they do this, I was a little frustrated that I had to buy an entire roll.  The employee who was ringing me out also seemed a little embarrassed that she had to charge me.  So today, for my act of kindness, I asked the employee if I could donate the tape and they could use it for the next fifty or so customers that came in needing it.  It only cost me $3 and hopefully will end up helping a lot of people!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Day 91: One of my Pet Peeves

One of my pet peeves is when there are shopping carts left in the parking area instead of in the shopping cart corrals.  I am in a carpool for work and our meeting spot is at a Target.  Today when I was dropped off I noticed a cart on the loose so I went over and took it to the corral.  When I returned the first cart I saw another cart that had lost it's way.  Today, for my act of kindness, I found six stranded carts and took them back to their home.  I know it's a small things but I felt good about it because if anyone else shares my pet peeve they would not be bothered by it after I left the parking lot.