year of kindness: week 3

Happy Monday, everyone! I made it back safe & sound to snowy Indiana. Today’s high is a whopping 12 degrees {yes, that’s Fahrenheit} … I feel like I’ve hopped straight from summer to winter! While I do miss the Florida sunshine, it is wonderful to be back home.

year of kindness button

How did last week’s kindness challenge go for you? I thought it was a quick and simple way to hopefully make someone smile. It made me feel great to think about someone lugging their laundry bag and soap down to the cold and cramped apartment basement, and then finding this note and quarters waiting for them on the communal laundry machines:

kindness challenge week 2

A couple bucks has never made me feel happier!

As I mentioned in last week’s post, this year of kindness challenge is already making me feel more attuned to acts of kindness done to/for me. Here are some lovely things that happened to me this past week:

  • a man helped me lift my heavy carry-on bag into the overhead compartment on my flight to Key West
  • I got to meet the incredibly kind and sweet Judy Blume, a literary icon of mine
  • a fantastic writer and person — and new friend who I met at the Key West conference — Gigi Amateau surprised my conference roommate {a fellow grad student} and me by generously picking up the check for dinner one night
  • everyone at the conference was so warm, friendly and welcoming

My dad also wrote a terrific column for the Ventura County Star newspaper this week featuring three beautiful acts of kindness! You can read it online here.

Now here’s the challenge for this week: write and send a kind note to someone who could use a bit of cheer. This could be a friend, relative, acquaintance, neighbor … anyone who pops into your head who perhaps you haven’t talked to in a while or who is going through a tough time.

Have a marvelous week! I would love to hear your stories of kindness in the comments section below, or feel free to email me at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Till soon,
Dallas ❤

year of kindness challenge: week 2

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope your week is off to a marvelous start!

year of kindness button

How did last week go for you? Did you join me in the #yearofkindness challenge? I was surprised at how much FUN I had combing through my closets for items to donate! Never imagined I could enjoy cleaning/organizing so much. I’ve donated clothing in the past, but something about looking through my closet *specifically* for items to give to others made the endeavor feel different — waaaaay more rewarding. Maybe also because in the past I would purge items from my closet solely in order to make room for new items. Not this time! Simpler is better for this girl. Less clothing means I can better appreciate the items I do have!

I ended up packing up a small box of four bras in great condition to ship off to Free the Girls, a fantastic organization I featured in a post last summer.

bras to donate

I also brought a box of about a dozen clothing items — t-shirts, sweaters, pants, and a pair of shoes that never quite fit me right — to the local Goodwill.

donation box goodwill

It made me so happy to give these things away to others! An added bonus is that my closet feels neater and less cluttered.

And maybe it’s a coincidence, or maybe I’m just more attuned to kindness around me, but the karma was returning my way this past week! Just a couple examples:

  • I went to Starbucks on my way home one evening, about half an hour before they closed, and ordered a green tea {I’ve been battling a cold this week and am guzzling green tea like nobody’s business!} … I went to pay with a gift card I’d received for Christmas, but the barista just waved my card away, smiled, and gave me the tea for free! 
  • My super sweet friend Chidelia sent a box of delectable chocolate-covered strawberries. What a wonderful surprise to come home from school and find it waiting on the doorstep!

strawberries

  • My students are already participating in class, volunteering to read their writing when I ask for examples, and even laughed at my feeble attempts at humor, which is pretty much unheard of so early in the semester! {Normally it takes a few weeks to break down their shyness and get them “on my side.”}

I’m already jazzed up about this week! Okay, here’s the Week 2 Challenge: leave a stranger a nice note and quarters for the laundry machine. If you live in an apartment complex with a laundry facility {like I do} you can easily leave quarters and a note there. If not, go to a laundromat and leave a note and quarters on one or two of the machines there.

Take pictures and blog about your experience, or email me at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com, and I’ll be delighted to link to and share your experiences in my post next week!

In joy & kindness,
Dallas