year of kindness challenge: week 31

year of kindness button

Hi, friends! How has your Monday been? Mine has been productive and happy so far. Lots of fruits & veggies eaten; a great convo with my brother about his awesome first day of business school; many rounds of fetch with Mr. Mur-dog; some yoga & a sunny walk; and chugging along nicely on various writing projects. Woo-hoo! Now time to get dinner started — I’m thinking a veggie-filled pasta bake — and maybe a glass of wine, too…

This past week’s kindness challenge was to go to a playground {or any place where children congregate} and scatter a handful of “lucky pennies” for happy kids to find. I walked to my neighborhood park and scattered a dozen pennies around the playground and sidewalk. I was planning to take some pictures on my phone, but there were people around and I didn’t want to seem creepy. But it made me happy to think of the little kids finding lucky pennies all around the park! 🙂

This week I also came across a neat kindness website, helpfromhome.org, with the slogan: “Change the world in just your pyjamas!” Doesn’t that sound nice?? The website is loaded with “micro-volunteering” opportunities that are designed to fit into busy lifestyles. There are also platforms to track your actions and hours logged. Check it out!

The Week 31 Kindness Challenge is to send someone a postcard with a healing, empowering, or comforting message. Pick a postcard from your hometown, a place you went on vacation, or maybe somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit. You could even create your own postcard by collaging pictures and words from magazines. If you need someone to send your postcard to, mail it to Traveling Postcards, a nonprofit that will distribute it to a woman somewhere in the world who is working to overcome violence and oppression.  

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
– week 29 challenge: do a favor for someone else
week 30 challenge: scatter lucky pennies around a playground

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

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

marvelous monday: year of kindness challenge

In a post a few weeks ago I shared that I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to be a better person and give more to the world around me. Give more, do more, brighten more, serve more. I want to be grateful and I want to be joyful, and in my experiences the best way to do so is to give gratefully and joyfully to others. Case in point: one of my favorite experiences over this past holiday season was taking handmade cards and cookies to the local nursing home. In this next year–and beyond, for the years to come– I want to work on stepping outside myself {my petty grievances, my small problems, my unhelpful worries} and focus on the people and neighbors and global community around me.

Inspiration clicked into action when I came across this amazing post by blogger Becka about her birthday tradition of doing a random act of kindness for every year she has been alive. {I also found a similar and very neat Facebook community, The Birthday Project!} Reading through her deeds and looking at all the smiling photos, I felt energized and filled with hope. I immediately knew I wanted to do the same thing for my birthday this year — and then I thought, my birthday isn’t until May. I don’t want to wait that long! Why wait?

Hence, I present to you my Year of Kindness challenge.

year of kindness button

Here’s how it works:

Each Monday, I’ll present a small act of kindness “challenge” for that week, and the following Monday I’ll let you know how I did and then present a new challenge for that week. I would LOVE if you would join in on my year of kindness and blog about your experiences, then add a link to your post below. It would also be wonderful if you would share the photo button above with your followers — on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, your blog, wherever! If you don’t have a blog, you can of course email me at <dallaswoodburn AT gmail DOT com> with any stories or photos you have from doing acts of kindness, and I will gladly share them with blog readers!

Let’s make this a powerful “pay it forward” year of kindness!

Here’s the challenge for this week:

Go through your closets and cupboards and pull out things you no longer use but are still in good shape. Then, donate them to others who will be thrilled to have these items. The goal is to give at least one thing away for each day of the week, for a total of seven items.

Have a marvelous day! Can’t wait to hear how the week goes! 🙂

Blog about completing the Year of Kindness, Week 1 Challenge and add your link below!