year of kindness challenge: week 29

year of kindness button

Hi, friends! Hope your week is off to a great start! I’m feeling a bit sluggish after my busy writing-camp-filled weekend, but am slowly getting up to speed. I cleaned out some old papers in my room — always feels good to purge old clutter! — and went out to lunch with Greg and my Gramps. I’m trying to soak up as much time with my brother before he moves down to L.A. on Thursday to start business school. I’m so proud of him, but I’m going to miss him like crazy.

me and gb goofy

Here’s a quote I came across in one of my mom’s old issues of O Magazine that I’m taking by the library to donate this week. I really liked the sentiment of this quote, and I thought you might, too:

“I recognize that what brings me the greatest confidence is a willingness to be vulnerable. It’s knowing for sure that anything I’ve been through or felt, someone else has, too, and probably more so. It’s knowing that all our mistakes have meaning. And that being open to learning from those mistakes makes the difference between succeeding and getting stuck.” – Oprah

Now, on to the kindness! Last week’s kindness challenge was to compliment a stranger or acquaintance at least once every day, and/or give out ten compliments by the end of the week. I found that the more compliments I gave to others, the more cheerful and confident I felt myself. The world seemed like a friendlier place. It’s such a great feeling to make someone smile, especially for as simple a thing as saying a few kind words.

The Week 29 Kindness Challenge is to do a favor for someone without being asked. This might mean going out of your way to do a chore for someone else, calling a sick friend or family member to ask if you can pick up anything for them at the store, offering to babysit for someone who needs it, or maybe driving an elderly neighbor to an errand or doctor’s appointment.

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a wonderful week!
Dallas

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year of kindness archives:
– week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
– week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
– week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
– week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
– week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
– week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
– week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
– week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
– week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
– week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
– week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
– week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
– week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
– week 14 challenge: donate books
– week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
– week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
– week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
– week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
– week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
– week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry
– week 21 challenge: visit a cemetery and pay respect
– week 22 challenge: practice a little patience
– week 23 challenge: call 3 loved ones on the phone
– week 24 challenge: do something kind for a senior citizen
– week 25 challenge: pay for someone’s public transportation
– week 26 challenge: volunteer at a food pantry or soup kitchen
– week 27 challenge: send a care package to someone in the military
week 28 challenge: give at least one compliment every day

year of kindness challenge: week 27

year of kindness button

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Did you do anything fun to celebrate the 4th of July?

Last week’s Kindness Challenge was to volunteer at a soup kitchen or food pantry. This was one of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had so far in my #yearofkindness endeavor. I spent a morning working at a local food pantry: stocking shelves, breaking down boxes, and helping to distribute food to clients. Everyone I encountered was so friendly and genuinely grateful. I will remember one woman in particular who was beyond excited to get a package of ground turkey. She was nearly jumping up and down with excitement. Many of the clients were women who came in with their children. This food pantry also distributed diapers, baby wipes and baby food.

The experience made me realize what a gift it is to be able to go to the store and choose what I want to eat. The clients who came to the food pantry were entirely dependent on what the donations had been that week and what was available. For example, this week the staples we gave out were red onions, yellow squash, corn, canned peaches, rice, instant potatoes, tomato sauce and grapefruit juice, as well as a selection of canned soups, crackers, boxed pasta dinners, and a limited number of perishables such as milk, yogurt, and lunchmeat. I was surprised how in-demand beans were, canned beans and dried beans. We ran out of beans quickly. In the future, I will always be donating beans to the food pantry!

I’ve decided to become a regular volunteer at the food pantry for the rest of the summer while I am home. I’ll be working there once a week. I feel really grateful and blessed to be able to help out my community in some small way!

The Week 27 Kindness Challenge is to send a card or care package to someone in the military. Here are some great links:
– http://www.give2thetroops.org/
– http://www.military-missions.org/care-packages/
– http://www.operationgratitude.com/tag/military-care-packages/

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a wonderful week!
Dallas

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year of kindness archives:
– week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
– week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
– week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
– week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
– week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
– week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
– week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
– week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
– week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
– week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
– week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
– week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
– week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
– week 14 challenge: donate books
– week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
– week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
– week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
– week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
– week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
– week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry
– week 21 challenge: visit a cemetery and pay respect
– week 22 challenge: practice a little patience
– week 23 challenge: call 3 loved ones on the phone
– week 24 challenge: do something kind for a senior citizen
– week 25 challenge: pay for someone’s public transportation

year of kindness challenge: week 26

year of kindness button

Happy Monday! This week marks the half-way point for our Year of Kindness Challenge! Can you believe it?? How is the challenge progressing for you? Any neat stories or insights? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!

This past week, my entire family was filled with immense gratitude and awe over the kindness of our friends, family, and strangers — my dad’s Kickstarter project to fund the publication of his new book Wooden & Me reached its full funding goal!! Thanks to all of you for your encouraging words and support. I could not be more proud or thrilled for my pops! The book is now scheduled to be released later this summer. More info is available on my dad’s website. He was also a guest last week on the TV show Sports Central! Here’s a photo my brother snapped of him with the two hosts, Kristine Leahy and Gary Miller:

dad sports central

So cool! The project was a blessing in so many ways and reminded me again and again of how fortunate we are to share this world with such big-hearted, thoughtful people. We were astounded by how many people reached out to my dad and our family with amazing kindness and generosity.

This week I also came across this post by my blogger friend Heather at For The Love of Kale, titled Kindness is Love in Action! I loved this post and I think you will, too: http://fortheloveofkale.com/2013/06/kindness-is-love-in-action/

Last week’s Kindness Challenge came from my lovely blogger friend Ashley at A Happy Lass {if you haven’t checked out her blog, you should hop on over!} and it was to do something kind for people riding public transportation. I left bus tokens at my city’s big public transport center, and I also put change in parking meters. Hopefully it brightened a few people’s days!

The Week 26 Kindness Challenge is to volunteer at a soup kitchen or food pantry. 

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a wonderful week!
Dallas

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year of kindness archives:
– week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
– week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
– week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
– week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
– week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
– week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
– week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
– week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
– week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
– week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
– week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
– week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
– week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
– week 14 challenge: donate books
– week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
– week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
– week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
– week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
– week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
– week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry
– week 21 challenge: visit a cemetery and pay respect
– week 22 challenge: practice a little patience
– week 23 challenge: call 3 loved ones on the phone
– week 24 challenge: do something kind for a senior citizen
week 25 challenge: pay for someone’s public transportation

year of kindness challenge: week 25

year of kindness button

Hi everyone! Hope your week is off to a great start! And welcome to our new subscribers — so happy to have you joining us! Thank you to everyone for letting my blog be part of your day. It really means a lot to me!

My weekend was filled with wedding craziness — I was a bridesmaid in my dear cousin Amanda’s wedding! Full wedding recap coming tomorrow; for now, here’s a sneak peak picture of me and the beautiful bride just a few minutes before she walked down the aisle:

cuz bride!

Now, on to the kindness! Last week’s Kindness Challenge was do something kind for a senior citizen. This could mean calling or writing a note to a grandparent, offering to carry an elderly person’s groceries to their car, bringing in the mail for an elderly neighbor, visiting people at a nursing home … or whatever inspires you!

I recently connected with a new friend, Jeri, through a local volunteer organization called Caregivers that serves senior citizens. {Longtime blog readers might remember my friend Jewell, who I met in high school while volunteering through Caregivers and whose memory inspired me to bring Christmas cards and cookies to her former nursing home this past holiday season.} Jeri is a friendly, sweet elderly woman who can no longer drive due to health issues and failing eyesight. This past week, I drove her across town to her church, where she taught an hour-long line-dancing class to half a dozen other elderly women, and then I drove her home. I enjoyed visiting with her and listening to her many interesting life stories — she used to own a Dude Ranch! — and it was so inspiring and fun to watch the ladies line dance! They had SO much more rhythm than I do!

The Week 25 Kindness Challenge comes from my lovely blogger friend Ashley at A Happy Lass {if you haven’t checked out her blog, I would highly recommend popping on over! It’s wonderful!} and it is to do something kind for people riding public transportation. Ashley says, “I ride a bus and a train to work and was thinking I could do something for the people there. Maybe I’ll pay the bus fare for the person behind me on my way into work and back home. I’ve done this before and, usually, their faces light up, it seems to brighten their commute.”

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a wonderful week!
Dallas

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year of kindness archives:
– week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
– week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
– week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
– week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
– week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
– week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
– week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
– week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
– week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
– week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
– week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
– week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
– week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
– week 14 challenge: donate books
– week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
– week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
– week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
– week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
– week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
– week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry
– week 21 challenge: visit a cemetery and pay respect
– week 22 challenge: practice a little patience
– week 23 challenge: call 3 loved ones on the phone
week 24 challenge: do something kind for a senior citizen

year of kindness challenge: week 23

year of kindness button

Hi, everyone! How is your week shaping up?

I had a really nice weekend with lots of friend & family time! Girls night out, a backyard pizza-making party, baking, eating, reading, wine, a long-awaited phone date with a wonderful friend, a new buddy at church, running errands with my mama … and on Sunday night my family all went out to a local winery for a concert featuring the very talented daughter of my mom’s coworker. SO much fun! Cassi Vaniotis, you were terrific!!

I also tried out a few new recipes I’m looking forward to sharing with you guys soon! Stay tuned!

So, last week’s kindness challenge was to do an act of patience. I think the best thing about this challenge was that it changed my mindset. I tried to approach these acts of patience with an open heart and thoughts of kindness, and what once seemed like a chore — waiting in the office for my eye doctor appointment, sitting in traffic, running errands — didn’t seem so bad. I let someone go in front of me in line at the store. I waved cars ahead of me when merging on the freeway. When I was put on hold on the phone, I sat and daydreamed rather than absently surfing the Internet while I waited.

I’m someone whose natural inclination is to jam-pack every minute of my day with “productive” activity. I like to feel go-go-go, crossing off tasks on my to-do list. But I realized that I was tying my self-worth to this sense of “busyness” … and that isn’t a good thing. I was often feeling like I didn’t “accomplish enough” in a day, no matter how much multitasking I did. And I wasn’t fully savoring the rich details and spontaneous joyful moments of life!

murray patience grasshopper

So I’ve been on a mission to slow down, breathe, and focus on one thing at a time. Embrace whatever life is presenting to me in that moment. The funny thing is, now that I’m approaching my day with a more patient, slowed-down mindset, I feel like I have more time than ever!

I came across a quote this week about patience and kindness that struck me, and I wanted to share it with you: “Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you, but not in the one ahead.” -Bill McGlashen, poet & author

What would your life look like with more patience?

The Week 23 Kindness Challenge comes from my wonderful blogger friend Lindsay at The Lean Green Beanand it is to call at least 3 friends and/or family members that you miss on the phone, let them know, and actually talk to them…instead of just texting or emailing!

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a wonderful week!
Dallas

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year of kindness archives:
– week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
– week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
– week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
– week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
– week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
– week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
– week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
– week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
– week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
– week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
– week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
– week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
– week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
– week 14 challenge: donate books
– week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
– week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
– week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
– week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
– week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
– week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry
– week 21 challenge: visit a cemetery and pay respect
week 22 challenge: practice a little patience

year of kindness challenge: week 22

year of kindness button

Happy Wednesday, friends! I made my first smoothie of the summer for breakfast this morning and it was fabulous! I just threw a random assortment of fruit that I had in my fridge into the blender: a handful of strawberries, some honeydew, some cantaloupe, a small container of blueberry greek yogurt, ice, spinach, and some coconut water to get things movin’. It tasted delicious! Definitely going to be making a lot of smoothies this summer! I’d love to hear some of your favorite smoothie recipes — please share in the comments below! 🙂

There has been SO much kindness happening in my world this week! The thing about kindness is, once you start to notice and pay attention to it, you see kind acts everywhere! That might be my favorite thing about this #yearofkindness challenge: becoming more aware and attuned to kindness in the world around me.

Here’s just a sampling of kindness I noticed this week:

  • I saw many doors held open for people — at the bank, at the grocery store, at a restaurant. Proof that chivalry {and kindness} are alive & well!
  • I spoke and taught writing workshops at my alma mater middle school, and two students wrote me very sweet, handwritten notes of gratitude. Made my week!
  • Many, many friends and acquaintances, in daily life and in the blogosphere, have preordered copies of my dad’s new book WOODEN & ME … I can’t even tell you how much your support means to me and my family!!
  • My friend and mentor Tania took the time to talk about a painful recurring dream I was having … with her compassion and guidance, I was able to work through some things and come to a place of healing. I am so so grateful for her friendship!
  • On a recent walk on the beachfront path in my town, I noticed an older couple walking along with a trash-bag and one of those trash pick-up gripper sticks, picking up litter all along the beach.

I also loved this Huffington Post piece by Marlo Thomas recapping some random acts of kindness that popped up in the news! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marlo-thomas/12-acts-of-random-kindness_b_3312193.html?utm_hp_ref=tw#slide=more298511

The Week 22 Kindness Challenge is to do an act of patience. This could mean staying calm and not getting upset when someone cuts you off in traffic; or letting someone go ahead of you in line; or politely telling that telemarketer, “Thanks but no thanks” instead of saying something rude. Maybe it means patiently reading your child their favorite book three times in a row, or patiently listening to a friend’s long, drawn-out story on the phone without interrupting. Approach these acts of patience with an open heart and thoughts of kindness, and what once seemed like a chore might turn out to be surprisingly enjoyable — perhaps even full of grace.

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a wonderful week!
Dallas

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year of kindness archives:
– week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
– week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
– week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
– week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
– week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
– week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
– week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
– week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
– week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
– week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
– week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
– week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
– week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
– week 14 challenge: donate books
– week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
– week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
– week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
– week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
– week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
– week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry
week 21 challenge: visit a cemetery and pay respect

my birthday wish: a kindness chain

Hi, friends! Today is my 26th birthday!

my birthday wish

Do you know what would be the best present ever? If you would take a few minutes today to do an act of kindness. Leave a comment below letting me know what you did. I would be so honored if you would form a kindness chain with me!

I’m planning to celebrate today by taking flowers to the local nursing home, paying for someone else’s coffee during a chai latte date with my friend Erica, picking up litter during a run at the park, leaving some kind notes in public places, and visiting the preemies at my local hospital {I was a preemie myself, born three months prematurely, and it is a birthday tradition to visit the parents of preemies in the NICU.} And of course I’m looking forward to spending time with my friends and family, eating yummy food, baking something delicious, and curling up with a good book or one of my favorite chick flicks!

Thank you for celebrating with me! I have a good feeling that it’s going to be one of my most special birthdays yet! 🙂

year of kindness challenge: week 21

year of kindness button

Hi, friends! Hope your week is off to a great start! Last week’s kindness challenge, courtesy of Lindsay, amazing blogger at The Lean Green Bean, was to donate blood and/or register online for the bone marrow registry. I had a bit of a cold, so I was unable to donate blood, but I did register to be a bone marrow donor. And I will try to donate blood once I kick this cold to the curb! 🙂

On a side note, time is running out to enter my summer beauty giveaway!! It only takes a few seconds! Here’s the direct link — please spread the word! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/df32660/

Here’s a wonderful story I came across about a stranger’s kind act for a woman and her deployed boyfriend: http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/metro-west/10010151015688/vet-leaves-kind-gift-for-woman-deployed-boyfriend/

The Week 21 Kindness Challenge is to visit a cemetery and pay homage to those buried there, particularly war veterans. You could leave flowers or notes, pick up litter, do some light weeding — anything that feels meaningful to you.

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a wonderful week!
Dallas

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year of kindness archives:
– week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
– week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
– week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
– week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
– week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
– week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
– week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
– week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
– week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
– week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
– week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
– week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
– week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
– week 14 challenge: donate books
– week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
– week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
– week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
– week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
– week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry

guest post on AndreaDekker.com!

Hi everyone! I’m excited to share that my guest post “A Random Acts of Kindness Challenge” is being featured on one of my favorite blogs, AndreaDekker.com! In the post I share five easy, inexpensive kind acts that you can do today to brighten the lives of others.

random-acts-of-kindness

Read it here: http://andreadekker.com/random-acts-of-kindness-challenge/

Happy Friday! Hope you have a lovely day and enjoy the long weekend!

year of kindness challenge: week 18

year of kindness button

Hi friends! Here’s to a new week! Hope your Monday is off to a fantastic start!

I had one of those restorative, rejuvenating weekends … slept well, made homemade enchiladas and my special California white chicken chili, 3-hour coffee date with my friend Erica, long visits with my Gramps, quality reading time, yoga, fro yo with Mom, some lovely walks, and a thought-provoking sermon at church where I was welcomed home with open arms. Life is good and I feel so grateful and blessed!

Last week’s kindness challenge was to pick up litter! I went on a walk at one of my favorite spots, the path in my neighborhood that winds along this beautiful barranca and lemon orchards.

barranca path

barranca path 2

I filled up this plastic grocery bag with trash!

trash bag

trash bag 2

On my walk I had another opportunity for kindness: one of the sprinklers on the path was broken and gushing up a ton of water, like a geyser. As soon as I got home, I called the city parks service and let them know, and they promised to get on it right away! Hopefully we saved some water from being wasted!

Here are a couple articles I came across this week about kind acts that warmed my heart:

The Week 18 Kindness Challenge, in honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, is to write a note to a mother of one of your friends who has had an influence in your life. Alternatively, you could write to another mother-figure in your life, such as an aunt or family friend. Thank them for all the joy and love they have brought into your life!

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a wonderful week!
Dallas

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year of kindness archives:
– week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
– week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
– week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
– week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
– week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
– week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
– week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
– week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
– week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
– week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
– week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
– week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
– week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
– week 14 challenge: donate books
– week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
– week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash