Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Day 212: Shared a Picture

My dog, Paisley, bolts.  Meaning if she gets out in the open, she is gone.  She has only gotten out of the house on us a few times in her life but those have been very scary moments.  Luckily after about 15 minutes of chasing her down we have been able to get her back in the house.  Because of her tendency to of my biggest fears is having her run away and get lost.... or worse.  So when I saw something on Facebook tonight about a dog that has been found but no one knows who the owner is, it made me want to try and help.  I can't imagine the feeling the owner has right now not knowing where their pup is. So today, for my act of kindness, I shared the story/picture with all my friends on FB hoping that someone would know the dog/owner.  I also put the picture above on even the off chance that one of you know the dog.  Fingers crossed....

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day 211: A Simple Act

A lot of times this year my acts have revolved around just being aware of ways to help and make people's lives easier. I think doing the little things everyday can make a huge difference. Today I had to get gas on the way home from work.  While I was filling up my tank a stranger was walking out of the gas station with a case of water. The lady happened to stumble a little bit which cause the water to fall on the ground.  About half of the bottles went rolling on the ground.  Now I know I am not supposed to leave the pump unattended but I felt like this was a good excuse.  I went over and helped the lady pick up the water.  She seemed partly embarrassed but mostly appreciative.  I think she thanked me probably 15 times in a 30 second stretch.  I was happy to help.  I always feel good when I can help people make their day a little bit easier.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 210: That Sinking Feeling

Don't you hate that feeling you get when you misplace something important like keys or a wallet? I couldn't find my wallet a few days ago and it drove me nuts.  It got to the point where I couldn't concentrate on anything else until I found it.  Good thing my wife was able to track it down for me and I was able to relax.

Tonight, after work, I went to pick up pizza.  When I was waiting for my order I noticed a credit card on the floor.  At first I thought it was mine but when I went to pick it up I realized is was a stranger's card. So today, for my act of kindness, I helped a stranger find their lost credit card.  I ended up bringing it to the employees and they were able to match the name to a person who just picked up an order 20 minutes ago.  They gave her a call and told her they had her card.  This was a simple gesture but one that I know was appreciated!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Day 209: Scratch Off

I just got home from the softball tournament and I am exhausted so hopefully there aren't too many mistakes in this entry tonight.

On the drive home we had to stop and get gas.  When I went in to pay I thought it would be fun to get a scratch off ticket and ask the cashier to give it to the next person who came in.  However I switched up my plan on the last second.  Instead of having the cashier give it away I decided to just give the ticket to t he cashier.  When I handed it to him he seemed a little bit confused.  I just told him I wanted to do something nice for a stranger today and said good luck.  He seemed very happy and thanked me a bunch.  Hopefully he won something!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day 208: Free Gas

Today I took my parents car to go to my softball game.  On the way out there I realized their car was pretty much running on empty and I would need to stop for gas.  Instead of just filling it up a little bit and bringing back the car with the same amount of gas I decided, that for my act of kindness, I would fill up the tank and bring it back full. With gas being nearly $4 per gallon, I am sure they apprecaited it!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Day 207: Coming Out of Retirement

I thought I hung up my softball cleats three years ago.  Little did I know I would be coming out of retirement for an act of kindness.  I mentioned that I am up in Door Couty for the weekend, well it just so happens that a buddy of mine from work is on a softball team that has a tounament in Sturgeon Bay (30 minutes South of where I am) every year.  He asked me a few weeks ago if I could play in the tournament because his team needed an extra player.  So that is what I did for my act of kindness today.  We won 11-7 and I am strongly considering coming out of retirement for good because of how much fun it was....

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Day 206: Door County Trip

I wasn't planning on using this for my act of kindness today, but then I had a conversation with my mom and I figured it was a good one.  We have had this Door Couty trip planned for a couple months now however when we got up here today my mom mentioned to me that she thought for sure that she was going to get a call from us cancelling the trip.  The reason she thought this is because with us being in the process of selling our house and buying another one, plus our busy work schedules, the weekends are crucial for us to get things done.  My mom figured I was going to call and say that we needed to use the weekend to get some work done.  Even though I know she would have understood, this would have been very sad news since they haven't seen their grandaughter in almost a month...and up until a couple months ago, my parents were barely going a week without seeing her.  They definitely needed their Emma fix.  So today, for my act of kindness, I put aside everything going on at home, and made the trip up to Door County for the weekend for some family time.

To be honest, cancelling on this weekend never even crossed my mind.  There will always be time to do work...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day 205: Juvenile Diabetes

Since yesterday's blog turned out to be more of a novel I figured I would keep today's very short for the readers.  I had to make a stop at Walgreens this morning and they are doing a fundraiser to support juvenile diabetes research.  So today for my act of kindness I donated to the cause.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 204: theCHIVE

I have a few websites that I check pretty regularly.  One of those sites is  This site consists of a lot of funny pictures and galleries that give me a much needed mental break sometimes during the day.  This is also where I get all of my Bill Murray shirts which can be pretty tough to get because they sell out so fast. The reason being is is sort of a community and having one of their shirts shows that you are part of it.  This website is also very big on helping strangers and people in need.  One of their galleries every few weeks just consist of examples of people doing random acts of kindness which is fun to look at and sometimes pull ideas from! There are also special cases where the website calls on theCHIVE community to come together and help raise money for a good cause.  Today was one of those days where we were asked to help so today for my act of kindness I donated to the cause below.  As usual The Chivers did not disappoint. Within hours their goal of $80,000 was raised and will have forever changed the life for the better for Jaiden and his family. 

Below is Jaiden's story.....

Tim and Natalie Rogers always wanted to have children of their own. When they discovered that wasn’t possible, both were undeterred. The Rogers felt there was room in their home and hearts for adopted children. Their first, a newborn daughter, was adopted from a Russian orphanage in 1989. The second, a 12 year-old boy, was adopted in 2005.
The two children excelled. Their daughter is working on her masters in psychology. Their son, a computer science major, will graduate in 2015 as a commissioned officer in the Air Force. With both children soaring off to make their own marks, the Rogers felt they had room for one more. In 2007 they took guardianship of a 2 year-old boy named Jaiden.
The Rogers entered Jaiden’s life not a moment too soon. After his birth mom signed over guardianship, Tim and Natalie were finally directed to a remote residence in Georgia. When they walked in ‘the smell was overwhelming.’ They found a little boy with fetal alcohol syndrome, neglected and malnourished, huddled next to his filthy car seat eating dog food out of the dog dish.
Natalie told me that for the first year they had Jaiden, he used to sneak into the Rogers’ bedroom in the middle of the night and feel their faces to make sure they were still there, then go back to bed. What neither Jaiden nor his new family could have known was that the only thing more horrifying than the first chapter of Jaiden’s life would be the second.
The trouble began innocently enough 3 years ago when Tim noticed a small lump on Jaiden’s right thigh just beneath his skin. He took Jaiden to a dermatologist who told them to keep an eye on it. Things were fine until early this year when the lump started getting bigger. Even more startling, the lump had started to spread…fast.
Tim told me “It was as if the skin on his right leg was only 1/8 of an inch thick with something very hard underneath, like stone. It felt like tapping on countertop.”
In a matter of weeks, the growth had wrapped around Jaiden’s right thigh and behind his knee. Once the hard calcifications invaded the joint, Jaiden began to lose mobility. The family rushed to Texas Tech for a biopsy.
When the results came back, even the doctors couldn’t believe what they were seeing. Jaiden was diagnosed with something called Stiff Skin Syndrome. Jaiden is the 41st documented case ever.
Stiff Skin Syndrome is a connective tissue disorder characterized by hard, thick skin, which can spread over the entire body causing immobility. Muscles become weak, short stature is common, and there is no known cure.
Jaiden’s doctors acknowledged that, of the known cases, they’d never seen such aggressive spread of the syndrome. In a month, it spread to Jaiden’s left leg, both hips, buttocks, and his arms. Spots have recently appeared near his spine. The once-hyperactive Jaiden is mostly confined to a wheelchair and no longer able to attend school with his friends.
Everyday the pain from the disorder grows worse. Jaiden is the first to point out new, hard spots of skin. Jaiden understands that he is sick as much as a 7 year old boy can, although he cannot fully grasp the intent of the sinister syndrome branching out just beneath his skin.
Jaiden is slowly turning into stone.
Over the last few months, the fight back has begun. Jaiden’s treatment started with rounds of chemotherapy to try to halt the spread of the calcifications. The chemo destroys both good and bad cells, leaving Jaiden weak and open to infection. He wears a medical mask to sleep to prevent bugs.
Jaiden has also started physical therapy, the most crucial component of his treatment. His muscles must be stretched to keep his joints limber. The stretching is immensely painful, yet still Jaiden smiles and jokes with his doctors. Jaiden submits to therapy 3 times per week. Ideally, he should be in therapy 6 times per week but the insurance co-pays are too costly for the Rogers family.
Because there are so few recorded cases, nobody knows what the worst case scenario is here. As aggressively as Jaiden’s calcifications are spreading, it’s likely the disorder will spread until Jaiden experiences total paralysis. Jaiden will become entombed inside his own skin.
We cannot allow this to happen.
Jaiden needs to ramp up his physical therapy to 6 times a week, and there’s a more wholesale solution to this than driving him to PT. We can build Jaiden a heated, covered pool so his family can assist with his physical therapy on a daily basis. Stretching Jaiden’s sore limbs in a heated, floating environment would put less stress on his body, easing his pain. This is no ordinary spa.
To accommodate Jaiden, the pool will need a wheelchair ramp, specialized heating systems, and a special enclosure to keep Jaiden warm during the harsh Colorado winters.
We’ve also been in touch with Dr. Hal Dietz at Johns Hopkins, a specialist in connective tissue disorders. He’s agreed to review Jaiden’s case pro bono. We need to provide travel and lodging for the family for the visit to a world renowned researcher who may bring new answers to help figure out this rare disorder.
Lastly, the Rogers would like to make their entire home wheelchair accessible. When Jaiden is having a a good day, he can sometimes walk on his own from one side of the living room to the other. But those days a fewer and fewer. Tim told me: “Often Jaiden’s poor knees will buckle, and he falls.”
Jaiden is a survivor. The first two years of his life he endured hardships no child should suffer. The lasting effects of which were imprinted so deeply he would sneak into his new family’s bedroom just to make sure somebody was there. Today, we’re all there for Jaiden.
We have the power to slow the pace of this disorder. Jaiden is willing to accept his part in the fight. This brave little boy is willing to step up his painful physical therapy sessions to six times a week, to have his stiff joints stretched despite the syndrome that assails his every movement. Jaiden wants to fight for every inch of his mobility and we’re going to provide him with every tool he needs to win the fight.
UPDATE: Off and running passing $10,000!
UPDATE #2$20,000 coming in fast
UPDATE #3$25,000 in an hour flat. Let’s do this!
UPDATE #4$30,000
UPDATE #5$40,000 – past the halfway point! This is where the Chivers traditionally lay the hammer down…
UPDATE #7: Just jumpled to $60,000. Holy shit, hitting the throttle when it matters.
UPDATE #8: $70,000. The home stretch…
UPDATE #9: $80,000!!! You’ve done it again!!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Day 203: Being a Friend

So tonight's blog is going to be a little short tonight because I just got home from a really long day and I am STARVING! So I apologize for that!

A friend of mine had a couple rough days recently. So I (and my wife) wanted to do something to cheer her up a little bit.  So today, for my act of kindness, I brought her some candy (a kind my wife knew she liked) and a note. Hopefully it made her day a little better.  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day 202: Lift With Your Legs

I have written about it a few times already this year...the whole idea that there are so many opportunities to help and sometimes is is just a matter of keeping an eye out for situations to help.  Well today, I didn't even need to keep an eye out, my act of kindness found me.  I had to make a quick run to our storage unit today.  After I loaded up what I needed I was just about to head home when a truck pulled up behind me.  It was a one way street so I mentioned to the guy that I was just leaving. Right before I was about to get in my car the guy in the truck yelled to get my attention.  He asked if I could help him unload a dresser really quick.  His buddy was still about 20 minutes out who was coming to help.  So today, for my act of kindness, I helped a stranger move a dresser to storage.  I not only helped the stranger carry the dresser, but I helped his friend save a trip. Double act of kindness!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 201: Packing is Not Fun

We will be moving into a new house in about a month.  Moving in itself can be pretty exciting, but with moving comes packing.....which is awful.  I only have about one free weekend left before we close on our house so this weekend has consisted of pretty much nothing but putting stuff in boxes and hauling everything to the garage.  There is not much enjoyable about this experience however there is a silver lining....we have found a lot of stuff to give to Goodwill! So that is what I did for my act of kindness today, we took about six garbage bags full of various things that we might not have use for anymore, but I hope strangers will be able to find use of them!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Day 200: Stay Hydrated

It has been ridiculously hot and humid in Wisconsin over the last few days.  It is pretty frustrating because we typically only get a few nice months of weather before Winter hits again, so during Spring/Summer I really want to take advantage of the weather and be outside.  Because it has been so hot...outside it the last place that I want to be.  This got me thinking how bad it must suck for people who are forced to be outside during this type of weather.  I also wanted to center my act today around helping a stranger who needed to be outside.  Today for my act of kindness, I put a Gatorade in my mailbox with a note for my mailman.  I hope it made their day a little bit easier dealing with this heat!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 199: Movies & Popcorn

You know how some things just go well together?....bacon and eggs, baseball and hotdogs, and sleepless nights and a teething baby (ugh).  Other things that I think go perfect together are movies and popcorn.  Because of that, for my act of kindness today, I wanted to make sure a stranger to go with one and without the other.  For my act of kindness today I went to the closest Redbox in my neighborhood and attached some microwave popcorn along with a note telling them to enjoy.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day 198: The V Foundation

I'm not sure if I have mentioned it before but I am a huge sports fan.  You can pretty much name any sport and I am sure I follow it (except soccer that is). Being the big sports fan that I am I always enjoy watching the sports award show ever year (The ESPYS), and those just happened to be on tonight.  Because of this I decided to have my act of kindness revolve around this.

I am sure most of you are familiar with the Jimmy Valvano speech that was given 20 years ago at the ESPYS.  If you aren't, I included the link below and encourage everyone to watch it.  It is truly an inspiration.  Even though I have heard this speech countless times, I never took action.  Until today that is.  Today for my act of kindness I donated some money to the V Foundation.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Day 197: Only Took $1

Sometimes it doesn't take much to make a difference in someone's day. A lot of times is doesn't take anything but taking the time to help.  Today however, it only took $1 to help a stranger.  I was in line at FedEx waiting to send out a package today.  There was an old guy in front of me who was trying to do the same thing.  When the cashier told him how much it was to ship his package the old man was taken back.  He had no idea it was going to cost that much and he didn't bring enough cash to cover it.  It turned out he was about 83 cents short.  I waited a little bit to see if the cashier was going to help....this just turned out to be a waste of time.  The cashier just gave a look to the old guy like....well that sucks.  This is when I decided to help out.  Today for my act of kindness I gave a stranger $1 to help ship his package.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Day 196: Alzheimer's Walk

Today was a good day for my family.  My dad was accepted into a research group with a neurologist in the Madison area.  This means that he will have fantastic care and if any break throughs are made, he should be one of the first in lines.  This is very exciting.  Because of this news I wanted to do something for the cause for my act of kindness today.  I searched for how I could help and I found a walk for Alzheimer's fundraiser that is taking place in Madison in September.  So, today for my act of kindness, I registered and started a team for the Alzheimer's walk.  I am looking forward to raising some money and walking with friends and family on September 15th.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Day 195: Pizza Sunday

I have found that some of the most fun acts that I have done this year involve a third party helping me out.  And the reason I think this is the case is because it gets more people involved in being part of kind acts which helps raise awareness! Today is Sunday, so that means I made a trip to Papa Murphy's to pick up some pizza.  When I was finished paying for my food, I grabbed $5 out of my wallet and asked the cashier if he would do me a favor.  I asked him if he could put that $5 towards the next person's order.  You could tell he was a little surprised at first and then he asked why I wanted to do this....I responded by saying I just wanted to do something nice for a stranger today. He was more than happy to do this and actually responded by saying, "Now that is something I can totally get behind." So even though I didn't see the reaction of the person who received the $5...I still could tell that my gesture was making a difference even before it was done, and that is pretty cool!

Day 194: Party Clean-up

Back in college, I was that person who was the last one to leave parties or the bar.  Since I have left college that has drastically change.  A late night for me is staying up later than 10pm on a weekend.  Tonight was a little bit of a different story....It's 2am and I am just walking in the door.  Since I was one of the last people to shut it down I felt a little bit of responsibility to help my neighbor clean-up his yard which was absolutely trashed.  I easily could have went to bed and not worried about it but I wanted to help, and it is something that will make his morning a little bit easier.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Day 193: Mosquitos Suck

Tomorrow is a big day for my neighborhood.  It is the annual Mammoth trail "block" party.  It is kind of a big deal for all of us on the street. We even get a permit so we can close down our street for the day so the kids can play in the road without worrying about cars coming through.  It is also a day all the adults look forward to.  it gives us all a little bit of an opportunity to relax, have some drinks and just have a good time.  I have no doubt that the end of the night will conclude with some sort of bonfire so today for my act of kindness, I want to make sure we were prepared.  I took a trip to a park nearby and filled up my SUV with wood to help keep the fire going tomorrow night.  It went well despite the mosquitos.  I got ripped apart, but it will all be worth it tomorrow. I think. I itch all over.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Day 192: Lunch Money

Today one of my friends/coworkers forgot to bring their money to lunch. So she sat there while the rest of us ate our lunches.  No, I'm kidding, I obviously wasn't going to let her go without lunch so today for my act of kindness, I gave my friend money so that she could get something to eat for lunch.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day 191: Cleaned the House

Tonight my wife went out with some friends to go see a movie.  In my opinion she doesn't make enough time for herself sometimes and is always busy helping others, so I was happy to hear when that she was going out.  When I got home today the house was pretty much a mess.  It definitely wasn't her fault being that she had a 13 month old to watch all day and still found time to have dinner ready for when I got home.  So it is pretty easy to understand why the house was out of order.  When she left for the movie I decided that today for my act of kindness I would make sure that when she got home, she walked into a clean house.  It only took me an hour or so, but I know she will be very happy when walking in the door.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Day 190: Left a Tip

I consider myself pretty lucky that I work at a place that has a frozen yogurt machine.  A couple times a week I like to take a little break and go get some froyo with a coworker.  Today I noticed a tip jar that I had never seen before.  I felt a little guilty when seeing this because with all the times I have gone there I have never left anything in the jar. I figure I am not the only person who didn't notice a tip jar there before I still felt kind of bad. So today, for my act of kindness, I left a few dollars for the tip to make up for those other trips.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Day 189: Yet Another Letter

Good thing I have a little bit of a journalism background because it has come in handy not just for writing this blog, but also for completing some of my acts.  A couple of days ago I wrote a letter to my grandparents to tell them how much they have influenced my life and how much I appreciate them.  While I was writing the letter I caught myself thinking of another person who has played such a big role in my life.  That person is my Aunt.  So today, for my act of kindness, I wrote a letter to my Aunt to let her know how I feel about her.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day 188: Held a Door

I have written a few times already this year that sometimes even very small gestures of kindness will be used for my year long journey.  The more I get to thinking about it...the more I realize that these small acts can make a big difference. And the reason I say that is because these acts take only a few seconds to perform yet they can make the same impression on people as the bigger acts.  On top of that, because they are so easy, they are also easy to pay it forward.  I truly hope that not only do people appreciate the acts of kindness, but that they get inspired by them and pass it on to other people.  Now I now it might be pretty tough to get inspired by a stranger holding the door for you but if you look passed the gesture itself and see the bigger picture....that a stranger is attempting to make another stranger's day better...that is where I feel the inspiration should come from.

Sorry I rambled a little bit there....on to my act for the day.

I alluded to it a little bit in the above paragraph but today when I was waiting in line for my pizza at Papa Murphy's I noticed a lady holding a baby and one hand and a pizza she just picked up in the other.  I could see it in her eyes that she was already contemplating how to open the door ahead of her.  So today for my act of kindness I got out of line and went and opened the door for her.  I then asked if she needed help carrying the pizza to her car.  She said yes and I helped with that as well!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Day 187: Letter to my Grandparents

A handful of people have made a big impact on my life.  Earlier this year I have written letters to a few of these people.  One was an old teacher of mine, another was an old boss however the people who have most greatly impacted my life are my family and I really haven't expressed that to them as much as I probably should have.  So today for my act of kindness, I wrote a letter to a couple of people who have always been there for grandparents.  I know they know I appreciate them, but it doesn't hurt every now and again to remind them just how much I appreciate them!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Day 186: Second Trip to the Little Library

This is a repeat act from earlier in the year but I think it is one that is worth repeating.  My family is up in Door County for the holiday and there is a little coffee shop that has a free little library where people can leave a book for a stranger to take, or they could take a book if one interested them.  So today for my act of kindness, I brought a book to the little library for a stranger to enjoy.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Day 185: Future Farmers of America

I have been driving for 12 of the last 24 hours.  This means lots of fast food opportunities! Today on the way back up to Door County we stopped at Culvers.  When I was getting my change back after I paid, the cashier asked if I wanted to donate to the Future Farmers of America. Since I was in the car for most of the day, I was a little worried I wouldn't have an opportunity for a kind act so I decided to make the donation to the FFA for my act today.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Day 184: Frank Bear

One of my wife's friends lost her baby during pregnancy a little over a year ago.  Her baby's name was Frank and one of the ways she healed/cope with this loss is she has a stuffed teddy bear named Frank in remembrance of her baby.  This teddy bear goes to lots of fun places.  We found out while volunteering earlier this week that Frank bear has never been to Door County.  We were going to Door County to celebrate the 4th so we asked if we could take Frank bear with us to visit Door County.  So that is what I did for my act of kindness today.  The picture above shows Frank bear just chillin' in The Door.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Day 183: For Maxy Boy

Max cheering on the Packers

Today was a difficult day for my family.  My parents had to put down there dog.  His name was Max and he was a great dog.  He had his flaws (aggressive with other dogs) but who doesn't.  He was the perfect dog for my parents and he will be greatly missed.

Today for my act of kindness I wanted to do something that helped animals in honor of Max.  So today, I made a donation to the International Fund for Animal Welfare. This group saves individual animals, animal populations and habitats all over the world. IFAW provides hands-on assistance to animals in need, whether it's dogs and cats, wildlife and livestock, or rescuing animals in the wake of disasters.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Day 182: Gave Advice

I found through out the first six months of this year that not every act needs to be elaborately planned.  I found that sometimes being kind is can just be lending an ear and listening  and when asked being there to give support and advice.  That is what I did for my kind act today. A friend was looking to talk and needed advice and I was there.  It is something that takes very little time, no planning and no money but can still make a big difference in someone's day.