Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 151: Can I Help You With That?

Happy Friday!

I took a trip to Home Depot today.  While I was taking my cart out to the parking lot I noticed an older lady trying to load some big boxes into her car.  It was painful just watching her so I decided to go up and help her load her car.  When I asked her if she needed help you should have seen the relief on her face.  She then told me she had been trying to fit everything in her car for the last 15 minutes.  I was happy I asked her if I could help when I did because who knows how long she would have been trying to put the boxes in her car.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day 150: Inconsiderate People Suck

I mentioned in my post two days ago that traveling brings forth a lot of opportunities to help as long as you are aware.  What I have found it also does is it brings forth a lot of opportunities to be inconsiderate as well.  I'm not always sure if people are deliberately being rude or they are just so wrapped up in what they are doing they don't know what is going on around them...either way it annoys me.

Today when I got to the gate for my first flight I realized the plane was going to be a full one because there were so many people at the gate.  I went around looking for a seat because I still had about 30 minutes before boarding.  It was tough finding it seat but I eventually found one.  What I also found was a guy laying on an entire row of seats (5 in total). Now this wouldn't bother me if there were a lot of seats open however in this case there were people standing because they couldn't find seats at the gate.  I watched for a few minutes to see if the guy would move and for a second I thought he was going to, but instead he looked around, stretched and went back to laying on the five seats. Something about witnessing people being inconsiderate like this really gets to me.  I almost get anxiety over being around it.  So today, for my act of kindness, I went over to the guy and politely asked him to sit up so other people could sit.  He seemed pretty annoyed that I had asked him to sit up and mumbled something incoherent but he eventually sat up. Right away four people came and sat around him. While boarding the flight I had three people come up  and thank me for saying something.  Thankfully this guy did not have the seat next to me for the flight.  That would have been awkward.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 149: Helping my Elders

Even though she would probably disagree, I consider my grandma a pretty savvy person when it comes to technology. She has her own iPad that she takes everywhere.  I don't know too many grandmas who are caring around iPads.  However, there are some things that she still needs help with.  Last time I saw her she asked if I could help her order some bed sheets online.  I know this would be a pretty difficult and potentially confusing thing to do. So today, for my act of kindness, that is what I did.  I ordered my grandma sheets online. I know this isn't a huge act of kindness, but anytime I can help my grandma with something it make me feel good.  So this time I decided to write about it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 148: Traveling Brings Opportunities

I have found that when traveling it is very easy to find opportunities to help people.  The only thing is you need to be aware and looking for the opportunities when traveling.  I sometimes am so focused on what I am doing and where I need to be that I get tunnel vision and miss opportunities to help. Today's act is very similar to one I did earlier in the year.  When I was boarding my flight today, I was lucky enough to have an open seat next to me. Being that I was on a 3.5 hour flight...this was going to be very helpful.  Then I noticed a mom and her 1 year old crammed in a seat across the aisle. I figured she would appreciate the extra room more than I would so, today for my act of kindness, I offered up my seat to her.  She couldn't thank me enough and this made me feel really good.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 147: Memorial Day

I know I take for granted sometimes the sacrifices members of our armed forces make each and every day. Freedom is definitely not free and unfortunately sometimes the ultimate sacrifice is paid. That is why Memorial Day is such a great day.  It is a day that we pay tribute to all of our armed forces.  Especially to the ones that lost their lives for our freedom.  So today, for my act of kindness, my wife and I participated in the national moment of silence at 3pm.  My daughter, who is one, also participated in her own way.  While Gina and I were having a moment of silence my daughter decided to play with one of her toys. Ironically the button she pushed played the song "Yankee Doodle."  It was perfectly timed on her part.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 145 and 146: Best Man Duties

Jonny P and Me

The next couple of days are going to be centered around my best friend's wedding.  I was lucky enough to be named the best man so it's safe to say over the next two days that there will be plenty of acts of kindness going on.  What is not safe to say is how much time I would have to write about them.  That is why I am writing about what I am going to be doing as opposed to what I have done.  I will come back on the post on Monday and list out the acts of kindness that were performed for both today and tomorrow.  Have a great holiday weekend everyone!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Day 144: A Little Help for the Homeless

Ever since I was a little kid I have been a sucker for the candy and food at the cash registers of stores. I used to bug my mom to buy me something every time we were in line.  Today I went to Home Depot and couldn't help myself when I went to checkout.  The sour cream and cheddar chips were calling my name.  On my way home right before I was about to open the bag I saw a homeless guy on the corner with a sign that said "hungry...anything will help." So today, for my act of kindness, I gave my bag of chips to a homeless guy.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 143: Simple But Important

Today's act was a very simple one.  JCPenny and Blake Shelton teamed up to raise money for the tornado relief fund for Oklahoma City.  JCPenny decided to donate $1 per Facebook share up to $50,000.  So that is what I did for my act of kindness, I shared the page and helped contribute to the fund.  It is a very simple act but when combined with the masses it can make a profound difference.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 142: Congrats to a Co-worker

I work with someone who has been going through a tough time in her life recently.  She is currently fighting cancer.  Yesterday she finished her final round of Chemo.  So that round of her journey is complete.  Now she is on to the next stage which is radiation and that will last six weeks when started. Throughout this whole process, my coworker has had such a positive attitude.  There hasn't been a day that I've seen her not smiling from ear-to-ear. She has never played the pity party when it is something that no one would blame her if she had.  This type of attitude is inspiring and helps put a lot of things in to perspective.  So today, for my act of kindness, I helped her celebrate this victory in finishing Chemo by writing her a card to tell her how happy I was for her.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 141: Oklahoma City Tornado

This is another one of those acts that I wish I never had to do.  As all of you I'm sure know, yesterday a massive tornado demolished areas of the state of Oklahoma. I have seen videos that look like they are straight out of the movie, "Twister." Watching these real life videos are heart-wrenching. However, with any tragedy that occurs comes the opportunity to help and there have already been many examples of people/groups putting in the effort to do all they can. One example of this is Kevin Durant who plays in the NBA for the Oklahoma City Thunder pledged to donate 1 million dollars to the relief. Now eventhough he made about 16 million this year, a million dollars is still a lot of money....and money that will help a lot of people.

Unfortunately I do not have that amount of money to give (I got one number right on Powerball Saturday) but I did want to give something.  So today, for my act of kindness, I donated $10 to the relief fund by texting REDCROSS to 90999.  I encourage any one reading this to do the same! Oklahoma City needs all the help they can get.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 140: Duplicate Act

When I first started this year of random kind acts I originally had the plan of not duplicating any of the acts, however I have decided to not follow that plan.  I am going to try my best to keep the acts different, but I have found that I really enjoy some of them and I would like the option to do them again throughout the year.

Today's acts of kindness is a duplicate from the first month.  I was driving back from an appointment tonight and I stopped at a drive-thru.  When I paid for my meal at the window I also picked up the person's meal behind me.  I didn't stick around to see their reaction, but I am sure they were happy.  I know I would be thrilled if this happened to me!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day 139: Card for Brother

Growing up I had a lot of different thoughts on marriage but I never had to worry if it would ever be legal for me to marry.  My brother has had to deal with issue.  He currently lives in Minneapolis, MN and if you follow the news you know that Minnesota became the 12th state to legalize gay marriage last week.  I was very happy for my brother and this country when this happened so today, for my act of kindness, I took sometime and wrote a note to my brother telling him how happy I was for him that he lives in a state where he can legally marry.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Day 138: Neighbor's Dog

Paisley at 6 weeks

Before we had a baby, I would always say that our dog, Paisley, was good practice for ever having a baby. I'm not exactly sure I would agree with now that I have gone through the first year of parenthood.  However, having a dog definitely is still a lot of responsibility.  Today, my neighbors who have a dog, went to Miller Park to see a Kenny Chesney concert.  Because it is a little bit away and I'm sure will involve a lot of drinking they will not be back until tomorrow morning.  So today, for my act of kindness, I went over to their house to feed and let out their dog.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Day 137: Moved Seats

My wife and I went to dinner and a move tonight.  It is the first time in a few weeks that we went out like this.  We got to the theater about 15 minutes early so we pretty much got to pick our seat.  So we took a couple seats in the center middle.  About 1 minute before the movie started a mother came up to us and asked if we could move over a few seats so she could sit with her husband and son since there weren't three consecutive seats left in the entire theater. We told her no problem and she was very appreciative.  So that is what I did for my act of kindness.  It was a small gesture, but one that made a big difference for a mother wanting to spend time with her family.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Day 136: Healthier Act of Kindness

Two days ago, for my act of kindness, I brought in donuts to share with my office mates.  Although it was a kind act, I did get a few comments about the unhealthy choice I decided to bring in to share.  One of my co-workers (jokingly) blamed me for her not being able to concentrate on work in the afternoon because she was on such a sugar high.  Well today I decided to bring some food in again to share, but this time I decided to go with a healthy option.  So today, for my act of kindness, I brought in strawberries and raspberries.  No one complained. :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day 135: Jumping a Car

I was starting to question if this day was ever going to happen.  When I started this challenge 5 months ago I made a list of kind acts that I had in mind.  one of the first things that came to my mind is help a stranger jump their car.  I thought this one was going to take care of itself within the first few weeks.  It seemed like I always saw someone who had a dead car battery and could use some help.  Well, this act was much harder to complete than I thought...until today that is.

When I was walking out to a parking lot after work I had a stranger come up to me and ask if I had jumper cables.  I told her I thought she would never ask!  So today for my act of kindness I jumped a strangers car

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 134: I'm Not a Baker

There are somethings I know I am just not very good at.  Baking is one of those things.  It is too bad because I work in an office where people always bring in delicious baked goods and I feel like I do not contribute in the baked goods department.  Well today I decided that even though I personally can't make donuts that doesn't mean I can't bring some in.  So, on my way to work, I picked up some donuts to share with my coworkers for my act of kindness today.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Day 133: American Cancer Society

On my way home for work I had to stop at Walgreens to pick up a few things.  When I was checking out I was asked if I wanted to donate to the American Cancer Society.  I was pretty happy they asked because up until this point in the day I had not done an act of kindness yet so it was perfect timing.  So today for my act of kindness that is what I did, I donated a few dollars to the American Cancer Society.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Day 132: Mother's Day

Well I didn't help any strangers today and I didn't have my act of kindness benefit any's act was to sure my wife had the best day possible.  Today was Gina's first Mother's Day and I wanted to make sure she had a good one for my act of kindness today. Our daughter had been going through a little bit of a rough patch recently sleeping, so I had originally planned that when she woke up crying in the middle of the night I was going to make sure Gina didn't need to get out of bed.  Well, that plan didn't turn out because Emma sleep completely through the night.  I am thinking it was her gift to Gina for Mother's Day.

The first thing I was able to do for Gina was make her breakfast.  After that I had her open a present I made her and cards from both Emma and myself. The rest of the day consisted of cleaning up the house, doing yard work and giving Gina a massage.  Basically whatever I need to do to make this day as relaxing as possible.  I hope I was able to make this day a special one for her.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day 131: An Honest Mistake

When I was in high school I had a job as a cashier at Best Buy.  At the end of each day we had to balance out our register to make sure our amounts were correct.  I was one of those people who if the change came out to 99 or 98 cents I would always give the customer those cents so they could get a bill back instead of a handful of change.  Because of this my drawer was usually off a few cents which wasn't a big deal.  However if it was off much more than that it would have been an issue.

Today I went out to the lunch with my family.  When the bill came we split it up by paying with two debit cards and a $20 bill. I told the waitress to use the cash and then split the rest between the two cards.  When she came back I discovered that she did all this correctly but there was one thing incorrect....although she deducted the $20 from the bill, she didn't take it.  So now I had a decision to I overlook it and pocket the cash making me $20 richer and her drawer $20 off, or do I let the waitress know about the money?  To be honest, there wasn't really a decision to be made in my mind...for my act of kindness today I returned the money to the waitress to make sure it didn't mess up her balance.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Day 130: Sympathy Card

As I stated earlier in this year, I am a huge dog person.  We have a three year-old boxer named Paisley and she is a huge part of our family.  My wife never had a pet before we got Paisley so she was a little leery of getting a big dog however if you ask her today about how she feels about having a dog she would tell you that she could't imagine not having Paisley in her life.  That brings me to the one negative about having a dog....the inevitable day that always arrives too soon; the day you need to say good-bye.  Wether it is old age, illness or an is always very difficult.  Our friends, a few days ago, went though this with their dog.  Our thoughts are definitely with them so for my act of kindness we sent them a sympathy card today telling them how sorry we were to hear of their loss.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Day 129: Be Positive

So I have tried to do this act a few times already this year however I wasn't able to complete it any of those times.  Today I was able to complete it.  My act of kindness for today was to not say or think one negative thing for the entire day.  I even had my carpool friends hold me accountable.  On the ride in this morning I told them that if they heard me say anything negative today that they should call me out on it and I would not use it as my act for the day.  Yesterday when I tried this, I didn't even make it through my ride to work.  This was definitely a difficult act to follow through on.  There were a few times throughout the day where I had to catch myself before saying something negative.  I must say though, because of my mindset, I was in a pretty good mood all day long.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 128: Care Package for a Soldier

A couple of months ago a person reading my blog wrote me a message telling me about a really cool website, This is a site where you can send letters/care packages to soldiers.  I thought this was awesome.  I think a lot of times people want to do stuff like this but don't know where to start. Well, this site makes it very easy to give a little something to a member of our armed services.  So today, for my act of kindness, I sent a care package of beef jerky to a random soldier overseas along with a little note expressing my gratitude for all that they sacrifice to protect this country.  I hope they enjoy it!

I also wanted to add on here that if anyone reading this have some act of kindness ideas please send them my way.  I love reading the suggestions and plus I have over 200 days left to go!!  Please help if you can :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 127: Teacher Appreciation

This week is teacher appreciation week.  Because of this, Chipotle had a deal going on today where if you are a teacher you could get a buy 1 get 1 free burrito.  Well, I figured if Chipotle was doing something to show appreciation to teachers, I could as well.  Especially since my wife is a teacher.  So, today for my act of kindness, I bought my wife new shoes along with flowers and surprised her with them when I got home.  This was just a little thing I could do to let her know how much she is appreciated.  She is such an amazing wife/mom that sometimes I can forget how great of a teacher she is as well.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Day 126: Post Office Run

I usually don't get home from work until about 6pm every night and with my daughter's bedtime being 6:30pm, it only gives me a small window to spend time with her.  So today's act might seem like a small one, but when I get home 30 minutes later than usual, it is actually a pretty big deal.

A friend at work is trying to get tickets to an event for this summer and it is essentially luck of the draw to get tickets.  To better his odds of getting tickets, he asked me this morning if I would send in a check to try and get tickets as well.  I said no problem, however I did not have a checkbook at work and in order to qualify for the tickets the mail needed to be dated for today.  So that basically meant I would need to grab a check when I got home and take it to the post office before it closes at 7pm.  So that is what I did for my act of kindness today.  I hope he gets the tickets!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Day 125: Jump Rope for Heart

I remember participating in Jump Rope for Heart in elementary school.  It was always something I looked forward to.  I am a very competitive person and even though I was very young, I still wanted to raise the most money to "win."  Well, one of my friends from work got an email from a teacher friend of hers asking for donations for her school's Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser.  They have a goal of $2000 and they are currently at $800 with a week to go.  So today, for my act of kindness, I decided to donate and get them a little bit closer to their goal.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 124: Catered Lunch X2

I remember the first few weeks after Emma was born being a pretty hectic time.  I think we had 26 straight days where we had at least one visitor over to the house.  Although we welcomed it all, it was still very tiring.  One thing that helped is when the visitors brought over either lunch or dinner.  We were so busy during this time, the last thing on our mind was what we were going to eat, so it was very helpful when friends and family would help out with that.

I became an uncle a few days ago when my sister-in-law gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.  I have had a little bit of a cough the last few days and I didn't want to get the baby sick so I haven't gotten the chance to meet her until today. My wife and I went over to their house around lunch today, so today for my act of kindness, I decided to be one of those helpful visitors and bring them lunch of their choice.  I know the next few months will be a big challenge so I was happy to help out in any way I could.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Day 123: Catered Lunch

My wife and I are very lucky with our daycare situation every week.  My parents watch Emma every Monday and Tuesday and my mother-in-law watch Emma every Friday.  This arrangement has saved us a ton of money and anxiety and we are very grateful.  Today I was running errands around lunchtime and I got a craving for Chipotle.  After talking with my wife (who had the same craving) I decided to pick up food and bring it to my mother-in-laws so we could eat and hang out with M for a few minutes.  We also thought it would be nice to pick up lunch for Gina's mom.  So today, for my act of kindness, I brought lunch over to my mother-in-law's house.  We will never be able to repay her with how much her watching Emma every Friday means to us, but this was just a small thank you that I hope she appreciated.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Day 122: FBI Manhunt in my Neighborhood

Pretty much every act that I have done this year I have enjoyed doing.  Today was not one of those acts.  At about noon today I learned that there was one of the FBI's most wanted on the loose near my neighborhood.  Obviously, my first thoughts went towards making sure my family was safe.  Thankfully they were.  My next thought went to everyone else in my neighborhood.  I live on a street where everyone looks out for their neighbors which is amazing.  It is one of the biggest reasons why I would have such a hard time ever moving away.  Having good neighbors is invaluable.  Today, for my act of kindness, I went through all my contacts who lived in the area and gave them a call to make sure they were aware of what was going on.  I also hailed down a stranger who was walking their dog on my street and told them about the manhunt.  Again, this wasn't an act that was fun....but who knows, it might have made a big difference in someone's life.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day 121: Public Speaking Anxiety

I think I read it somewhere that the number one fear of people is not spiders, or heights, or sharks, but public speaking.  I can understand this.  Although it is not my biggest fear, it is definitely something that gives me anxiety.  Over the years I have found how to combat this fear, and that is to be really really prepared for what I am going to say.  With that being said, I am the best man in a wedding coming up in three weeks which means I will be needing to give a speech in front of hundreds of people. I can already feel my palms starting to sweat. I think the best man speech is something that is really important to take seriously and put some thought in to.  My brother gave an awesome speech at my wedding and it is something I will never forget.  So that is why for my act of kindness today I took time to write my speech for the wedding.