Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 181: Volunteered for Mikayla's Grace

On day 49 I made a donation to the group Mikayla's Grace.  They support families who have lost babies during pregnancy or labor.  Today, for my act of kindness, I volunteered at the hospital to help prepare care packages for these families through the group Mikayla's Grace. My wife (pictured above) also helped! I can only imagine how difficult something like this would be to deal with and it is great that there are people/groups out there to help with the process.

I also didn't get a chance to document my kind act for yesterday so I did an extra act today to make up for it.  For my make up act, I bought lemonade from the neighbor kid's lemonade stand.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Day 179: My Favorite Shirt

I think I have mentioned it before but I tend to wear the same few shirts when I go out.  The one in the picture above is one of those shirts.  Being that I wear it so much, my dad has gotten accustomed to seeing it and every time I wear it he mentions how much he wants one. These shirts are actually really tough to get.  They go on sale a few times a year and usually sell out in minutes.  Earlier this week they went on sale and I was able to get another one that is slightly different.  My original plan was to add this to my two shirt rotation however when my dad made another comment yesterday about how much he liked the shirt I knew what I should do.  So for my act for day 179 I gave my new shirt to my dad.  I can guarantee you this will be one of the only shirts he wears in the future.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day 178: Gatorade

Today was a very long day.  Towards the end of it, on my drive home, I stopped to get a Gatorade. I noticed on the corner of the gas station there was a homeless guy holding a sign that said "anything will help."  So today for my act of kindness, I grabbed two Gatorade's instead of one and I gave on to the homeless guy.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 177: Appetizers

Today I had a work event that was an all day affair.  I had about 12 other people who also worked this event and really helped me with making sure it was a success.  After we were done for the day we decided to go out to dinner as a team.  To say thanks for the help and to show appreciated I bought a round of drinks and all the appetizers for the group.  It was the least I could do for all the hardwork they had put in for the day.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day 176: Rented a U-Haul

This morning I rented a U-Haul.  I will be driving it around over the next couple of days and since the hog only gets like 6 miles per gallon I felt like it might be appropriate to center my act of kindness around helping the environment.  Good thing U-Haul had thought of this situation beforehand.  When I went to checkout I was asked if I wanted to make a small donation to "Go Zero," a company that helps offset people's carbon footprint.  So that is what I did for my act today.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 175: Letter to a Soldier

So far, over the course of this year I have done a few things to help the people who risk(ed) their lives to protect this Country.  On day 72 I donated to a charity who supports veterans.  On day 80 I bought lunch for an active member of our armed services, and on day 128 I sent a care package of beef jerky to a soldier overseas.  A couple of weeks ago on got a letter from that soldier I sent the care package.  I thought that was pretty cool.  He was very appreciative of what I sent and that he let me know how nice it was to know people were thinking of them back in the states.  This gave me an idea for another act of kindness.  I wanted to let another soldier know that they are in our thoughts.  So today, for my act of kindness, I wrote a letter to an active soldier serving overseas.  I found a really cool website that makes it very easy to send some thoughts over to our soldiers.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Day 174: My Grandparent's Graves

This weekend I was in Chicago to see The Book of Mormon (hilarious musical). My hometown is Racine, WI and Racine is right in the middle of Chicago and where I currently live.  When we left Chicago this morning I decided to make a quick stop in Racine to do something I should have done a long time ago.  My Grandma died 11 years ago and besides the day she was buried I have never gone to the cemetery to visit her.....until today that is. Today for my act of kindness, my wife and I walked around the cemetery for a solid hour trying to track down my grandparents.  With the help of my Aunt over the phone we were eventually able to find them.  I never met my Grandpa (he died six years before I was born) but I was very close with my Grandma. She was the Grandma who never said "no." I just remember having so much fun whenever I was with her.  And, of course, she always had candy in her purse!   She was such a great woman and I miss her very much. It was more emotional than I thought it would be to be around their graves.  I guess being so close to them made me realize how much they are missed.  However, I was very happy that I went to see them.  I definitely won't be waiting another 11 years before the next visit.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 173: Chicago Traffic

I apologize for writing this post so late. My wife surprised me with a surprise bday party in Chicago (Thanks Gina).

Anyone that knows me knows that I hate stop and go traffic. Needless to say I was pretty frustrated on my way into the city today. They only thing worse than sitting in traffic is paying tolls along the way so today for my act of kindness I decided to take care of that frustration for a stranger. While going through a toll I paid for the car behind me. I hope they appreciate it. I know I would have!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Day 172: Carried Boxes

Today was another one of those acts that if it was six months ago, I probably wouldn't have done.  But since I am always on the lookout for ways to help it was a very easy one to do, and it made some strangers day a little bit easier.  While I was walking in to a FedEx store tonight I noticed the person who pulled into the parking lot before me had 3 big boxes to carry in.  I only had an envelope I was carrying so i had some hands free.  I asked if they could use some help carrying in the boxes. They said yes and 30 seconds later my kind act was done. :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 171: Helping the Homeless

A couple of nights ago a homeless man in Madison, WI was beaten within inches of his life.  He was rushed to the hospital and tragically died a day later.  I really don't understand things like this.  Haven't homeless people been beaten down enough?!  We need to help them, not attack them.  This type of thing just sickens me.  So today for my act of kindness, I found and donated some money to a local group called Porchlight who helps support the homeless in the Madison area.  I also plan on volunteering my time later on in the year for another act of kindness.

On a side not, I wanted to give credit to my wife who has done a lot of acts of kindness over the last week or so for me.  With Father's Day last weekend and my birthday today she has made both those days really special for me.  Check out my sweet birthday cake I got today...(it is exactly what I asked for).

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 170: "Like" for a Good Cause

I am sure you have all seen those Facebook posts of people just trying to get "likes."  A lot of times they consist of someone holding up a picture saying something like, "If i get 50,000 likes my parents will take me to Disney World."  As I am sure most of you know, most of these are lies.  I think I might have fallen for the first one I saw but I caught on fairly quick.

Well today I stumbled on a Facebook page that is looking for "likes" and is not a scam.  It is in support of a little girl name Amy who is 11 and battling a brain tumor.  I read more about her story and also watched a few of her interviews and I was inspired.  It is always amazing to me how people can be so strong when faced with such adversity.  Amy is also a big music fan and one of her wishes is to meet Taylor Swift. There was a Facebook page that was made to raise awareness of this wish and it is looking for "likes" to help get the word out.  So today, for my act of kindness, I helped get the word out to raise awareness by liking Amy's page.  I also purchased a song of hers for 99 cents.  All proceeds go to helping Amy in her battle.  If you would like to read about Amy or "Like" her page just click on the link below!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 169: Helping My Wife

I almost wasn't able to write the blog today.  I have been knocked down with a bad fever and cold tonight.  Plus I wasn't able to do my planned act of kindness.  However I did still do some other kind acts that will have to do for today.  We are currently selling our house, so every time someone looks at it we need to make sure the dog is taken out of the house.  I don't think prospective buyers would like to be greated by an 80 lb dog they don't know.  The last couple times my wife has been the person who needs to get Paisley out of the house.  This has been very difficult for her to do because Pais can't jump in the back of our Pilot and Gina has a hard time lifting her.  So today for my act of kindness, I left work a little early to make sure I could get home in time to handle the dog.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Day 168: Volleyball Group

I try to play volleyball a couple times a month with a group of people at work.  I work for a big company so most of the time I don't know anyone I play with but it is a lot of fun and a good way to blow off steam. I have also met some pretty nice people while playing. Unfortunately one of the guys that plays in our vball group was in a bad dirt bike accident yesterday and he had to be medflighted to the hospital.  Thankfully he is ok, but he suffered a lot of broken bones and will have a long road to recovery.  When we found out about the accident someone in the group started a fund to help out with costs.  So today, for my act of kindness, I donated some money to help out. Hopefully he will be back on the volleyball court soon.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Day 167: Coupons for Pizza

My wife and I get Papa Murphy's at least once a week.  For those of you who don't know this is a pizza place where you pick it up and then bake it yourself. It is also a pizza place that you can always find coupons for.  If you ever pay full price for a Papa Murphy's pizza, you are doing something wrong. Today, while I was picking up my pizza I asked the guy behind me if he had any coupons...he said no.   I so happened to have a booklet of coupons with me so today for my act of kindness I gave a stranger a coupon to help him save a few dollars.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Day 166: $1 Filp-Flops

I have made an effort to work out to some level everyday.  This has proven to be nearly impossible with how busy my schedule has become. Recently however I have found a way to make it work.  I have two coworkers that I work out with over our lunch break. Having people to work out with has definitely made me more accountable, and being able to do it over lunch has helped with my schedule since when I get home from work I usually have family stuff that I do instead of working out. 

Last week, one of my workout buddies mentioned that they wanted to get sandals for the showers.  Well, it just so happened that Old Navy had flip-flops for $1 today so for my act of kindness today I picked up a pair for my friends and myself.  Those showers can be gross!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Day 165: Sharing With the Neighbors

I am very thankful that I live in a great neighborhood where we all look out for and help each other when we can. Whenever I need to borrow anything I know I will be able to get it from one of my neighbors with no problem.  Today, one of those neighbors, came to us to ask for help.  They are going out of town for the week and they needed something for their two year-old to sleep in. We had a pack'n'play that we won't be using for awhile.  So today, for my act of kindness, I borrowed my neighbor a pack'n'play.  A very simple act, but one that help make their lives much easier.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Day 164: Summer Break Time

My wife is a teacher and today was her last day before summer break.  When I was younger I remember the feeling of getting out of school on the last was amazing.  I also always thought this feeling only was felt by the students.  However now being married to a teacher I realize they look forward to summer just as much as the kids.

This is an especially big day for my wife since this is the end of her first work year since being a mom. It was tough for her originally going back to work, but it was a sacrifice she made for the family.  I know she is very excited to spend the whole summer with Emma and I am very happy for her.  That is why, for my act of kindness today, I brought her home flowers to say congrats on finishing her first school year as a mom!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Day 163: Only Took a Penny

I was a cashier when I was in high school.  I remember that whenever someone purchased something that was $19.99 the total would come out to $21.01.  People used cash a lot more back then so I chose to give a lot of pennies away as opposed to giving someone .99 cents back in change.  Today after work I had to pick something up at Target.  When I was checking out the person in front of me ended up getting the dreaded total of $xx.01, and they were also paying with cash. I analyzed the situation for about a second and realized that the person paying didn't even realize they were about to get a fistful of change, and also the cashier was not giving it away that he was about to loan a penny.  So today, for my act, I gave a penny to the cashier to even out the change.  The guy thanked me for the gesture and went on his way with cash instead of change.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 162: Using My Vacation Days

Today I decided to use my vacation days before I lose them for my act of kindness.  I know, I probably are saying to yourself "how is taking vacation days an act of kindness?" Well I will try and do my best to explain my thought process on this one.

I am one of those people who never uses vacation days.  Besides my honeymoon, I think I have used two days in my last seven years of work.  My past employers either had the vacation carry over, or paid it out so I never could really justify using days.  Plus I didn't have a daughter I was dying to get home to when I worked at those other places.  With my current employer, if I don't use the days I lose them and that is what I was about to do until I decided today that I really wanted to spend some more time with my family over the summer.  So today, I strategically scheduled my vacation days which will give me a few 5 and 6 day weekends over the next couple months. This will give a couple extra days when we visit my family in Door County two times this summer and also a few extra days to just be at home and hang out with my wife and daughter over my birthday weekend. This will definitely give me a few nice breaks from work but more importantly (and where the act of kindness comes in) it will give my parents a lot more Emma time and also give Emma a lot more Daddy time over the summer.  I guarantee you, my parents and Wife will definitely consider this a worth kind act. :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Day 161: Letter to an Old Coach

I was very lucky growing up, my dad was my coach for every sport I played and most of my childhood memories consist of playing some sort of sport with my dad as the coach. When I got to high school it was a little bit of a rude awakening having other people coach me.  For the most part I hated it.  However, I did have one coach (besides my dad) that made a big impact on my life and that was my volleyball coach.  So today, for my act of kindness, I decided to write him a letter to let him know how much I appreciate him as a coach and a person.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Day 160: Donate Clothes

I have an excessive amount of clothes and it is not because I buy a lot of clothes.  It is because I hold onto them forever.  I have some shirts that are decades old.  I am also one of those people that wears the same three items all the time, so it is semi-ridiculous for me to have a closet full of shirts. So today for my act of kindness, I went through my clothes and was able to fill up a garbage bag of stuff that I felt like I could part with.  I then took the clothes to a donation box (picture above).  I am sure they will get much more use now that they are out of the bottom of my closet!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Day 159: Donation for Alzheimer's Research

I have made it a goal of mine to face the situation my family is in head on and not go with the "out of sight, out of mind" approach anymore. A few days ago I became a "champion" for Alzheimer's which means I will be kept in the loop about research, news and events pertaining to this devastating disease. I felt like it was a good first step to take. Today I decided to take another step.  For my act of kindness today I donated a small amount the Alzheimer's Foundation.  Understanding this disease is 90% of the battle and research is costly so I am happy that I was able to contribute.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Day 158: Donuts for Police

Happy National Donut Day everyone! Didn't know there was a day dedicated to donuts? Well I didn't either until my wife told me about it last night.  However I looked it up and it actually is in fact true.  In honor of donut day I decided to revolve my act of kindness around those delicious pastries.  When thinking about what to do I of course immediately though of police officers.  So today, for my act of kindness, I brought a box of donuts over to my local police station.  When I dropped off the box I told the receptionist that is was too much of a cliche not to do.  She thought it was funny (phew) and said the officers would definitely enjoy them.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Day 157: Farewell Bossman

I have been pretty fortunate to work for some really great bosses so far throughout my career.  Today was a going away party for one of those bosses. It is definitely sad to see him go but in the year I have been at Lands' End I have learned a lot from him and really appreciate the type of leader he was for this company.  

Whenever we have after work events, I always need to make a decision.  Emma's (my daughter who is one) bedtime is around 630pm so if I go to anything after work hours I don't get to see my daughter that day.  In most cases the decision is pretty simple.  I love spending time with her and it is always the best part of my day.  People might sometimes think I'm boring, or don't do anything but I do not care.  Family comes first.  However there are somethings I do make that sacrifice for. So today, for my act of kindness, I didn't see my daughter tonight and instead went to say farewell to a great boss at his going away party.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Day 156: Could've Been Worse

Tonight when I was stopped at a red light.  The person behind me apparently thought the light was green because she out of no where decided to start moving forward.  She realized it too late and ended up rear-ending me.  Thankfully she was going at most 3mph so I was never in any danger.  However my car did jolt.  It took me a few seconds to register what happened, but when I did I quickly got out of the car to see if there was any damage.  There were a few scratches, but nothing I couldn't buff out. The other driver was very apologetic when she got out of the car.  If I wanted to make things difficult I probably could have but instead, for my act of kindness today, I decided to make it very easy for the driver.  I told her not to worry about it and have a good night.  I hope she appreciated the gesture and does the same thing if something like this happens to her in the future.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Day 155: Became a Champion for Alzheimer's

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, my father was recently diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's at age 60. My grandma also passed away from the disease about 10 years ago so you could say my family has been greatly affected by this horrific disease. It has been the most difficult thing I have had to deal with in my entire life. However, there has been a silver lining.  I do now have the gift of knowing not to take time for granted.  I have a friend whose dad died of a brain aneurism when he was in his teens.  Basically his dad was healthy one day, and the next day...gone.  I can't imagine how difficult this would be and i hope to never find out.  What I'm trying to say is I am very fortunate that I am 30 years-old and get to spend quality time with my dad.

On the flip side, the hardest part of this is knowing what the future holds having seen my grandma go through it. One way I have dealt with it, poorly I might add, is going with the out of sight, out of mind mentality.  In a way I sometimes pretend that it isn't happening. Well today, for my act of kindness, I decided to change my method of coping.  Today I became a champion for Alzheimer's for my act of kindness.  Basically what that means is I will get weekly news updates and calls to action to help fight the battle against Alzheimer's.  I will also be participating in a Alzheimer's walk in Madison in September.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Day 154: My Parents Lead by Example

Today is my parents 41st anniversary.  Which is just crazy for me to comprehend.  They have been married 12 years longer than I have been alive.  If I have half as good of a marriage than my parents have I will be happy.  I am very fortunate to have grown up around such a good example of marriage.

My parents have also gone through a pretty tough time recently with my dad being diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's. However, It has been amazing to see how much they lean on each other in times like this.  It only goes to show how important that other half can be.

Usually I get my parents a card for their anniversary but today, for my act of kindness, I got them a little bit more.  I came home from work with flowers to give to my parents for their anniversary (picture above).

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Day 153: Traffic Control

I am in the process of moving.  Today I had to rent a big truck to take a bunch of stuff to storage. I think driving big trucks like the one I rented today can be somewhat difficult.  The turning sucks, everything is a blind-spot practically and the acceleration is awful.  Apparently I am not the only person who thinks this.  When I was leaving the rental place parking lot...I came across someone who couldn't get out of the parking lot.  It was liking that part in "Austin Powers" where he is stuck in the hallway with the vehicle just going back and forth.  Now I will say the parking lot of this place is terribly designed.  When I saw this person struggling I say an opportunity to help. I got out of my truck and asked the guy if he needed help. He did.  So today, for my act of kindness, I helped direct a stranger out of the parking lot.  Hopefully the rest of his ride went smoother than the beginning.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day 152: Helped a Neighbor

I have owned my house for almost four years.  The first year after trimming the bushes and trees I made the mistake of putting the trimmings on end of my lawn by the street.  I assumed someone from the city would pick them up soon after I put them there.  Well I was wrong and fast forward to present day, i am still trying to regrow the patches of grass that were killed that first summer.

Today, I had to take a trip to the compost site nearby.  When I was loading up my car I noticed my neighbor across the street had tree branches at the end of his lawn.  So today for my act of kindness, I took the majority of the branches he had to the compost site.  Hopefully this will save that portion of his lawn.