Day 18/29 Days of Giving is…

What if I told you …in no, uncertain terms – that you CAN make a difference in the world?

What if i told that you can BE the difference in the world.

What if it starts right here. Right now.

There is no greater gift I can give to each of you than the gift (or reminder) of giving itself.

Let’s face it: we can all stand to be a bit kinder, a bit more generous in our lives. If you ever even get close to a point within your life where you think you have done all you can, or that you have done that proverbial  ‘just enough’ or you have met some sort of imaginary status quo on generosity – then I’m sorry to say that you are sorely mistaken. The day you allow yourself to believe that – is the day you have sadly, given up. It’s the day that you no longer make a positive significant impact in the world.

The world we allfor the recordshare. It’s not just yours. It’s not just mine. It’s ours. We share the same air. We occupy the same spaces. Our money changes hands at every turn.  Whether you are conscious of it or not – we need one another. We depend on one another. To make a living, to raise our children, to care for us as we ail. Every minuscule detail in your life is shared – in some way or another – with another living being. It’s not just some desire, or platitude to live by – it is our duty, not only to ourselves – but to others – as we strive to be gentler. kinder. more generous. There is no downside here folks. There is no ‘perfect’ time that you’ll be in a better position to do so either – that is just an excuse we all use (myself included) … to make ourselves feel better. Ask yourself what it is that you can give.

During this project I have rediscovered the hopeless optimism I once had. Problems that have been thrown at me through the course of this have seemed far more minimal than before.  I am thinking positively as a whole again, and feeling that same vibe thrown back at me. Kindness breeds kindness, and when you really, and I mean really… open your eyes to it – it’s abso-friggin-lutly-amazing. I’m glad I stopped making excuses and just started … well, doing. 

With every new dawn, I ask myself what more can I do to make an impact in our world. I’m not looking to cure cancer, but if one little smile can make a child whose crying stop, and the stressed out mother with her baby feels a bit lighter…perhaps she’ll open the door to the store for an elderly woman who could have been injured trying to, and maybe she in turn gives a coupon she can’t use to a single father who was recently laid off from work and couldn’t afford the meal otherwise, perhaps he may now offer some of his time or skills to a neighbor who needed a repair to their steps done, not only saving them from a lawsuit of an injured guest but sparking them to give of their time to yet someone else… who knows JUST how far that one, tiny smile could reach.

I’m not asking you to give up your house, starve yourself, or strive to be perfect. I’m asking you merely to think a bit outside of the box. Redefine your definition of generosity. Give with intent – not just in passing.Each day, give a bit more. Nurture yourself, your loved ones – and yes, even strangers. I’m not saying anything here – you haven’t heard before. I’m just like you. I get stressed. I am selfish some days. Often I have very little free time, and am usually more than overwhelmed and committed.

:: beside me ::

I suppose – my point is simply this: We are not that different you & I. Some have told me how lucky, or fortunate I am to be in a position to do this project. I find myself feeling sorry, and a bit annoyed for whomever states it – as I am not lucky, I am not in some financial position to do this project, I don’t have heaps of free time to offer either. I MADE this happen for myself. I hold myself accountable for it. I create it every day. Luck doesn’t have a damn thing to do with it. I chose a way, to fit this back into my life.  Every way I carried this out, was for a specific reason, that suits my life and would essentially wake me up again, and force me to go back to the basics.

There is no magic formula here, none of this is probably news to you and you will probably have a different way that works for you. And ya know what? That’s a-ok.

Journal some ideas for giving, and kindness out. Make up little pay-it-forward stories in your head to start accepting the real value in giving. Skip your Starbucks or some other non-essential for a day, use that money to do something nice for someone else. Find the things in your life you are grateful for. The little things – the crisp air you breathe. The raindrops that look like diamonds on a bare branch. Learn to look at those small facets of life with gratitude, and you’ll find everything else will all slowly, come into place. Forgive yourself, for the days when you’re not as kind or generous as you could have been – they are inevitable. Just…try. Give, with intent.

I know, there are several of you… who dismiss this stuff as a crock of poo. I can honestly promise you – it’s not.  Can’t motivate yourself to do it for the right reasons? Then do it, because more good will come to you as a result. Since life is alllllllll about perspective – surrounding yourself with positivity in the best ways you can – makes life, well … far easier. Yes, easier. Anger, resentment, selfishness etc.. all fuel misery, trample hope, and destroy lives. Let kindness, gratitude, and generosity steer your life. Make it rich with substance, and joy – and if it is already, create more. Create the life you want. The life, you deserve.

Today’s Giveaway? Is the book:  Acts of Kindness: How to Create a Kindness Revolution . The recipient of today’s giveaway can use this to jumpstart, or further along their own kindness journey. It’s my hope, they will then pass it on to someone else as well.

To enter today simply…

  • On this post; in the comments – answer one or more of these questions: Tell me some of your favorite kindness and giving gestures and/or let me know what stops you from doing even more?
  • Do this by: Sunday, January 18th, 2009
  • PLEASE keep Spreading  the word! Blog it, Tell your friends — the works! I’m amazed daily at the impact this project is having on people. I want it to be contagious, plus it fuels me to make it bigger & better! 
  •  Enter Day 0 & Day 16 & Day 17 still!
  • Check out the first batch of winners, the second batch of winners and the third batch of winners!
  • Go do a lil’ sumthin’ generous now, for someone else.
  • The now-finally-off-my-soapbox ….  Chrysti

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    48 Responses

    1. Chrysti,

      You make a great point..all too often we are watchers and not do-ers. Sometimes unconsciously (and sometimes not so unconsciously) we tend to think there’s nothing we can do when it’s more of a case where there’s nothing we want to do. it’s a matter of choice…you can choose to make the world a better place…or you can choose to let someone else do it. Like they say, if you’re not part of the solution…

      Have a great day…i’m off to do something nice!

    2. I love to give/do little things for people I care about. If I have two of something, I’ll give my extra whatever to someone who could use it. If I’m shopping a great sale, I pick up two of all the best deals just to have something on hand to share with someone down the road.

      My biggest shortcoming is that I don’t often reach outside my circle – I am very generous with my friends and family but don’t stop to look a beyond… I realize I could be better about stuff like that.

    3. Tell me some of your favorite kindness and giving gestures and/or let me know what stops you from doing even more?

      Up until recently I hadn’t been ‘giving’ much – I give away my time so much anyway to my job, and to my photography (I do a LOT of work for free) and I was just all out of giving. Then I ran into money problems – in the middle of my husband and I having a massive argument about my spending habits the door bell rang.
      “It’s a man with a clip board” he said, “you’d better talk to them.” then he scuttled upstairs.
      I opened the door and there was a gentle looking man who must have been in his 50s or 60s. He told me he was from St Mungos.
      I used to support St Mungos when I was younger – they were the first homeless shelter to let people in with their dogs.
      Anyway – we got talking – and I agreed to donate £10 a month to their cause. Now remember – I have NO spare cash at the moment but the direct debit doesn’t start until March – so I can sort myself out before then. It just felt good to give – on top of that – they also provide literacy classes for homeless people – as I’m an English teacher I offered to volunteer for that :)

      Then I set up my sale in support of the West Memphis Three on Etsy – to raise funds for their defense fund.

      And it feels good. I waste so much money on tosh that I’d rather spend it on giving.

      It’s good for my soul and it’s good for everyone else.

      Now I need to sort out items for Freecycle ;)

    4. Daily I realize how rich I am. NOooo not huge quantities of $$$ of a fancy house. Just wonderful friends, opportunities for a productive life. I have what I need. I do a lot of stuff with my church and with a local non-profit. the hardest thing to do is to be kind to people who arethe hardest to be kind to. You’d really rather just slap them up side the head….( not really). You know who I mean….that co-worker who is a large pain and doesn’t get why. Your mother-in-law who never finds anything right. ( not my mil…she’s pretty cool) or the neighbors kid who is sneeky…or the geeky funny looking kid in class. what ever whoever. that’s what I’m working on. Ya want these folks to change. and they can’t….they really can’t. the only way to get a long is for us to change the way we respond to them. I think that is a kindness…accepting people as they are.

      and then just act when you can, when something presents itself. you;re right. we don’t need to bankrupt ourselves. just be kind.

      thanks Chrysti for the reminder. get on your soapbox anytime.

    5. ok, I’ll tell about my friend Bev, who lives in the mountains of West Virginia. Here neighbor abandoned their lease/trailer and left all their pets.Since Labor Day Bev has been taking care of 4 adult dogs 7 or more puppies and 4 cats, in additon to her own herd of 10 dogs and numerous cats. She asked me if God would punish her if she used the money she had saved to pay to have the dogs spay and neutered. Normally she would give extra money she had to the retired Baptist ministers Fund. I assured her while the retired baptist ministers were a very worthy group, there was no one else to help the abandoned pets. I want so badly to “fix” Bev and make her life like mine and save all those dogs……realistically…..all I can do is set up a blog and try to get folks to help. and they have!!!!!!!

      http://sawmillstrays.blogspot.com/2009/01/save-sawmill-strays.html

      and here Bev explains just like Chrysti has, about how you can make a difference. skipping the starbucks (oh dread! or fewer diet cokes….chringe….)

      http://sawmillstrays.blogspot.com/2009/01/save-strays-with-your-spare-change.html

      I am just amazed by people’s generosity and how they try to help others.

      I see Bev giving so much, she works 3 jobs, lives in a tiny little house, and just loves the world and all of God’s creatures. I hope the puppies are safe, it has gotten so cold.

      I had to tell….thanks for reading. thanks Chrysti for your support.

    6. Very nice. Sometimes I think it’s not the big things we do, but the attitude with which we live our lives. Do we have a smile on our face? Can we brighten the day of someone else. And the best part is that it makes my life better when I step outside and am of service to others.

    7. I have believed in Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Beauty for as long as I can remember. It’s no secret that I have been homeless in my past, 1991 to be exact, with my two young daughters in tow. It was a terrible life back then but I managed to make it an “adventure” for my girls…they thought we were “camping” and found it fun. If it hadn’t been for the kindness of strangers, a Wal-Mart manager in Amarillo, Texas (long story), and food stamps (before the ATM-like cards came out), I have no idea how we would have made it through that rough time. Even during that period of living in our car, those food stamps were the one way I could help others who were in just as bad of a situation as we were…so I shared when I could. (Yes, I know it wasn’t exactly legal but geez, we all deserve food.) The homeless vet on the corner washing windows for change got $5 in our food stamp reservoir…the mother and 2 girls (like us) that were in the shelter the same time we were got $20 of them…we tried to share what we could.

      I have no doubt that is what kept me going…knowing that in my deepest, darkest hours, I was still able to share with others. There has never been a time in my life that I couldn’t find a way to share.

      I hope I never lose that spirit.

      Peace & Love,
      ~Barb~
      http://craft-therapy.blogspot.com

    8. Amen, Chrysti! Thank you for the reminder that we are all in a position to give. Even just having that frame of mind will open doors that were once thought impossible to pass through. I do find myself giving here and there. But I know I can do more. It is like a daily meditation, to give with intent and to keep your heart open to giving and receiving. My favorite gestures of kindness are simple ones: phone calls to friends, cards for loved ones “just because”, smiles to strangers, kind words left on another artists blog, small donations to big causes, handmade gifts. Thank you for this post and for the encouragement to give with intent.

      Nicole

    9. I shout a resounding “AMEN, SISTER!”
      I believe that choosing to notice and be grateful for all the extraordinary – ordinary gifts around me lifted me from a deep pit of sadness after I learned I would never bear a child. As I drove to work, I would notice the differences in the landscape from day to day and let the beauty of God’s creation bring me joy and expressed my gratitude for it. Eventually I came to a point of peace and acceptance about being barren. But something else was birthed in me. It was during one of those drives that I recognized that I am an artist. It has changed my life.

    10. I periodically mail out pizza boxes of nifty stuff to interested net friends. Why a pizza box? because it will hold a 12 inch square piece of scrapbooking paper without having to fold it, plus it’s just such a neat thing in your day to get a pizza box! I fill them with ephemera, fibers, buttons, die cuts, ribbons, all sorts of flotsam and jetsam that people can use for mixed media. Copies of magazines I’ve read and want to pass on. Stuff that I only needed 2 of but had to buy a dozen to get those two. I have a blast putting them together!

      Postage is the limiting factor for me – I just do one every other payperiod or so because they’re expensive, even at parcel post rates.

      edie

    11. i have always given my free coffee from my coffee card to a homeless person – you’re right, anyone can do this and you don’t need to have everything yourself!

    12. Tell me some of your favorite kindness and giving gestures and/or let me know what stops you from doing even more?

      I love sending Homemade greeting cards, and/ or sharing some craft supplies and ephemera. the only thing keeping me from doing it less now than 3 years ago, is the loss of my job, therefore no income of my own, and postage adds up.

      I always do kind actions when out also, holding doors etc, helping someone in a parking lot struggling to get something large in their vehicle.

      Baking and or cooking stuff to share with scrapbooking friends. and i even do that sometimes for hubby to take into work, to share with some of his coworkers.

      I also feed the stray kitty that has been in and out of my yard for the past few months :)

    13. Wow what timing!

      Yesterday I received most useful kindnesses twice – from the same couple on two different occasions in different places – both times were kind of urgent and both times they just happened to be in the right places at the right time and generous enough to help out.

      I was so aware of how supported I’d been that when I got notice from Amazon that they were putting £20 into my bank account for used books I’d sold that I didn’t think twice about offering this on when I read about a blogger in need this morning.

      Normally I give my used books to charity shops… from which I also buy many of my books… I like the reuse and the kindness involved in that.

      In this neighbourhood there is an unofficial policy of putting things out for others to take. Its great to know one’s old furniture or whatever has gone to someone else. Its also fun to receive – today I got a Christmas box that someone wasn’t prepared to store but which will be wonderful for putting things in!

      I also offer free distance healing on one of my blogs – and I put the time in to make sure I send appropriately to whomever asks:
      http://beyondhk.blogspot.com/2008/06/distance-healing.html

    14. Chrysti,

      As usual, you are right on the money. It is important to remember that just giving of your time and patience is a great gift, too.

      We have several elderly neighbors who at this time of year don’t get out much. I make it a point to spend some time with them and frequently bring the little ones with me. It really brightens their day (both the elders and the youngsters.).

    15. Chrysti…you are so blessed, not only with what you do, but with your gift of words. You are such an inspiration to us all.

      One small thing I do on a regular basis is to go out of my way to speak to people on the streets…young, old, homeless – it doesn’t matter. I also make a point of thanking young people for doing the right things (like holding a door or picking up a piece of garbage). I never cease to be amazed at the people of the older generations who take these things for granted and never try to encourage teenagers. They are all too frightened of what ‘bad people’ are out there. Teenagers need to feel valued and a kind word from a stranger goes a long way.

      I don’t have much money to give, but I love to share my art with people and freely give my creations (and supplies too) away if I feel it will help.

    16. I have to admit that being a collector of art stuff, I have way more than I can ever use in a lifetime. So, on random weekends, I’ll call up friends and/or neighbours and host some kind of art dropin. During our recent snowstorms, I hosted a journal making afternoon. It’s a great way to introduce neighbour to neighbour, use up some of my stash, and everyone goes home with a home made treasure.

    17. First things first – I promised to name my next beading creation after you, Chrysti – you can see it here: http://www.jansart.blogspot.com – it’s the mermaid – titled Chrysti’s Wave.
      When I go back East to visit, I have to go through a toll booth – I always pay for the next car and love to see their wave as they pass me.
      I always compliment someone I see during my dialy errands on their choice of jewelry, blouse or sweater. Some are surprised and others look at me a little loony.
      I give away art supplies of my own when I find out someone needs something or has a wish list I can reference.

    18. I try and be kind as much as I can, even a kind word, helping people when I can, and volunteering. Every little thing makes a differnenc.

      Julia

    19. Five years ago I decided I wanted to do something for the community. I decided to participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. It was a big commitment on my part. I was going to have to walk 39+ miles over 2 days and raise $1800. I was very nervous. Worried that I wouldn’t be able to do either of those things. But I did and it was all worth it. The 2 days spent with all the other walkers was such an amazing experience. We laughed, we cried, we had blisters and sore muscles. But it was a life changing experience. And this year is my FIFTH year to participate.

      Want to donate? Here’s my link.

      http://info.avonfoundation.org/site/TR/Walk2009/SanFrancisco?px=1742384&pg=personal&fr_id=1820

      Cheryl

    20. Something I have done many times is to buy other people’s gas. When I am at a convenience store and go in to pay, I see someone who looks like they are struggling to afford gas. While they are outside I pay for their gas anonymously. When they come in to pay the clerk tells them it’s paid for and they can’t believe it. I love that they have no idea who blessed them because they cannot thank me. They can only be thankful. It is a small thing but it makes a big impact. The person is blessed and I have a “generosity high” for the rest of the day.

      I am printing this post. It was lovely.

    21. Chrysti, I wonder where you’ve been all my life! Well, I’m at least twice as old as you so I should say, “Where’ve you been half my life?” I recently started reading your blog and am so inspired and uplifted and energized! You’re my kinda gal! I’ve spent the last few days reading back and back and back. All the things you say you’ve received from your giving project, I feel like I’m getting from reading your blog. Well, probably not to the same degree but I am now so ready to go out and find ways to give. I sometimes will pay for the person behind me’s coffee or in the grocery store give the checker $5 to pay on the next person’s groceries. But I don’t do these things often enough. I’m going to start looking for ways to energize and uplift someone else, all because of your generosity. Thanks for being you!

    22. I am new to blogging and I found your blog through a magazine. I love art and I have really enjoyed exploring your blog. My kids and I have an act of kindness that we like to do together. I love to help others in whatever way I can and I especially want my kids to have this instilled in them. We have some regular homeless people that we see roaming through our small town. When we are in town and we see them we stop and get them a meal. It really has touched them as well as made an impact in my kids lives. Another thing I just got involved in is a christmas toy drive we do at church. We have a toy drive and then the families of our community that are having hard times can come there and christmas shop for their children. My kids and I got involved in it this past year and we also got the teens at the church involved in it. Now that I have addressed your first question let me address your second question. I don’t do as much as I should or would like to do because we all get so busy with our own lives that we sometimes forget to think of those less fortunate than us. I do however want to change that and a friend and I have discussed some things we would like to become involved in to help others. There are always big as well as even small acts of kindness we can do on a daily basis and I appreciate you for addressing this issue. We need to not only think of these things but we need to act on them. Thanks so much. Have a wonderful day.

    23. Giving in what ever way you can is so important. It is such a shame that the modern world seems to have forgotten such an an important truth. I try to give as often as I can. We have free range hens and I give away the extra eggs, I give away the extra produce from the garden. When my husband goes fishing we give away the extra fish caught. It used to be common and nothing remarkable to get or give things like this, but now people are amazed and surprised, and I find that kind of sad.
      We also give our time in helping out around the community, there are always organisations that need volunteer help. Or just offering to take other kids camping as well as your own. Helping out at the local school by listening to kids reading, coaching sports teams and so on. Our society used to run on people offering their time in ways that they now expect to get paid for and that is a big loss. Sometimes when the News bombards us with all the terrible things happening around the world it seems hard to believe that one person could make any difference at all. But I believe we can, each of us by paying attention to the small things, and the small kindnesses we can do every day. I hope others will take up this message, and plain old human kindness will be common again. Thank you Crysti.

    24. Chrysti, this is such an amazing post. Thank you! Feel free to stay on your soapbox; we all need to climb up on them some more. A few years ago we lost our home…one of the first foreclosures on this ugly wave of stuff that’s happening. Now, when you lose your home, no one wants to rent to you. To make a long story short, someone opened their hearts to us, and we’re safe and sound…with more than enough stuff in our lives. My goal this year is to simplify. I’m finding good homes for some art stuff that I’m destashing…off it’s going to some elementary schools in LA. I just found some cool little paper clips with frogs on them…they’ll end up on her desk tomorrow. Our school is busy collecting for some basic necessities for unwed moms. But, obviously I can find more. Thank you!!!

    25. You’re right. I’ve been giving this a go, quietly, testing it out and it is powerful. It does work. My favorite thing has been to write a letter to someone I know on a homemade card, listing what I appreciate about them. It feels like I’ve had a good visit with them and they’ve always called after, touched. I’ve been on sick leave with very limited socializing (does internet count ;)? ) so that is big to me. It’s such a freedom to stop thinking about myself, the illness, and be happy instead. Oh, and I started after running into the idea here, so thanks :D

    26. I don’t give or do nearly as much as I could or should. When I was more amble and in the work field I did much more. But I do still try to give what I can. I donate to child and animal charities when possible. I love to share art supplies (ephemera) as well. I’ve always enjoyed giving of the jewelry that I make. And I am going to start next week the 29 day giving challenge at my blog (I will be giving away supplies as well as art created by me) since I don’t get out of the house very often….’cept for doctors appointments. I took a Tooth Plushie that I made for my Dentist office the last time I went so that his younger patients could hold to it when having dental work done..he and his staff loved it. I’ve made another since and will take it next week to them. This one is made of washable terry cloth…the other was made of acrylic felt….not as washable. One of my favorites is to send a handmade Get Well card to someone who is ill that I hear about…..I don’t know them and they don’t know me, but I hope it helps to brighten their day. Or I will take my read craft and art magazines to my doctors appointments and leave them for others. I usually put in a bookmark that someone can take home with them when they find it as well.

      I love your blog Chrysti and jump up on that soapbox anytime you like I will support you!

    27. Great post Chrysti! I really enjoyed reading all the comments from others too. SOunds like there is much kindness happening but room for lots more. I too try to spread some kindness everyday and it is easy to be kind to family, friends and people who are nice but I try to make a point of doing something nice for a stranger or someone who is harder to like sometimes too. Its good to have a reminder though and I appreciate your bloggy reminder. Again, Great Post Chrysti!!

    28. I love to give. I am often sharing things with family and friends….personal as well as online….not because I expect anything in return but just because it feels good to do so. For instance, if I join an art swap or trade I always include little extras in my mailing just as a fun surprise. The thing I give most is myself….giving my time and expertise in teaching, helping, etc. It makes up for not being able to do more materially because of limited funds and overwhelming medical bills.

      I wanted to share all you are giving with my online friends so I have posted your 29 Days of giving on my blog:

      http://stampgram.blogspot.com/2009/01/chrysti-is-doing-it-again.html

    29. Thanks for all the inspiration to do more, to give more, and in turn you will receive much more than you ever imagined you would.

      I wish I had some magical story of how I have done something incredible, but I don’t-but I’ve done a lot of little things to help others out whenever I can. One example of that was I heard a story of a lady in a nursing home who was there with out ever having any visitors or any family stop by. She was very much alone and isolated in her world. During the holidays it was very very hard for her as all the other residents had visitors, gifts, letters, cards….and she…nothing. Unfortunately since we live in NC and she resided in FL, we couldn’t visit her but that year, my boys and I wrote her letters, sent her pictures the boys drew and sent her some presents. We offered to keep in touch but she never wrote back. From what the director said, it was very meaningful to her to have someone in the world reach out and let her know she wasn’t alone. It was just a random thing I was inspired to do, but it felt so wonderful to give what I could even though it wasn’t a lot.

      :

    30. What an inspirational message in this post! I try to be kind to people, but I know I don’t do as much as I could. It’s just thoughtlessness or selfishness or just not thinking about it that stops me most of the time. One of my favorite ways to give is through my quilt guild – we always have quilts we’re making for various organizations, and I try to help out. But I know I could do more.

    31. It’s nice to be reminded there are so many kind people when you often only hear about the bad. I can’t say I’m very good about giving. Yes, we donate to charity and I have some clothes ready to go, but nothing I would call big. I try to say hello to all my students, ask them about things going on, tell them Happy Birthday if I saw it on the news or heard about it. I try esp. to say good morning to the ones who are the most trouble. I know adults tend to avoid the ones who are the most trouble, but you never know why they are the way they are. I try to give sincere praise and encouragement.
      I’m moving to Florida soon. I’m going to give a banner I made with our school mascot to my friend down the hall who has admired it. I’m going to leave all the worksheets and tests I have made for the next teacher.
      I think a simple smile and a kind word can be one of the best things you can give to others.

    32. […]  Enter Day 0 & Day 16 & Day 17  & Day 18 still! […]

    33. One of the things I like to do, especially around the holidays, is purchase Starbucks gift cards and give them to the policemen in my area whenever I see them driving around. I really like them to know that someone actually appreciates them.

      Another thing I do whenever it comes up, is help someone if they look like they need it. Usually it’s in a grocery store or parking lot, just whenever I run across someone that has a bewildered look on their face. I’ve helped people find items in stores, helped close up wheelchairs, etc… simple stuff that usually just makes someone’s day nicer.

    34. What a reminder! We all need to remember to give more since we are so fortunate here. I try as much as I can, but could always do more. We support a child in Africa, I give away stuff i dont need – and we dont NEED so much anyways.

      We always need to be thinking of others and their situations. Nothing is as bad as it could be. But for the grace of God….

      Thanks!
      Cheryl

    35. here is my response to your post- I loved it!

      http://wonderlost.wordpress.com/2009/01/15/giving-with-intent/

    36. Those photos are lovely. The thing that stops my giving is the lack of money in my pockets. If I don’t have money to give I try to tell others about a cause I strongly believe in spreading the word and hoping at least some people will donate. When I lived in Kansas City I would volunteer a lot of my time helping children learn about agriculture. I miss doing that a lot and am looking for something like that around here to do.

    37. Giving is such a wonderful opportunity to receive so much in return. I give to area homeless shelters and the local Red Cross. One time, I gave a family of seven children and brand new VCR player and a bunch of movies. The looks on their faces still makes me feel fabulous!! LOL And best of all, I give to my grandchildren all the time! I believe giving starts at home. I try to find special things to give my husband and surprise him too. What fun!! I open doors and smile at everyone. I want people to feel special and loved…a smile goes a long way. I have even purchased bags of groceries for others. This is starting to sound like I am bragging…but giving is my life!! It is what floats my boat. My life is so enriched because of it.
      You enrich my life too Chrysti…your giving and enthusiasm is tremendous and wonderful and I love you for it!!
      Hugging you
      SueAnn

    38. Some of my favorite acts of kindness? My favorite one, the one I like doing the MOST, is paying for the person in line behind me. Maybe it’s because I’m a totally broke single mom. (Nah – broke would be a step up! lol) But to me, to do that for someone else makes me think consciously about giving. I always want to see the persons face – but I never get to. That would defeat the gift. So I make myself walk or drive away, just hoping I made someone’s day a little brighter.

      I also like to give kids pennies in the store – so they can ride the horse. I never got to when I was a kid – my mom thought that was a stupid waste of money. I love giving pennies and whispering “If you’re really good, you can save this to ride the horsey when you’re all done shopping” to some little kid, and watching their face totally light up.

      I’m also one for holding doors, helping older people with packages, loading an older person’s car with their groceries while it’s raining or snowing, or letting people with just a few items go ahead of me in line.

      Can you tell I don’t get out much – except to go to the store and a few drive thrus?? lol

      I appreciate it when someone holds a door or gives me an understanding smile when I’m growling at my teenager in the store – rather than telling me I’m a horrible mom who should have my children taken away! :)

    39. What a thought-provoking post. I stopped by on the day that you posted and spent so much time thinking about this and reading everyone’s posts that I didn’t post myself! I realize that I do a good job of *returning* kindnesses.. making jewelry or other pieces of artwork and sending them out to people that have raked me and, while I have done community projects (quilts for AIDS children or homeless women) and donated money for good causes I really should do more.

      It really does feel good to give…even something as small as sending out a “surprise” card puts a smile on my face while I’m making it because I know it will make the person receiving it happy. Sometimes they contact me and tell me that my gift/artwork has made them happy…and *I* receive twice…once in the enjoyment of the “making” and then again when I share *their* happiness!

      There’s so much that can be done and I should be taking the time to be more thoughtful and kind.

      Thanks for reminding me of that.

    40. When we recently moved, I thought about everyone who had helped or provided support for us. Each week a family or two comes to share a meal at our table.
      Each day I stretch to send out a creative list serv with a poem written. I randomly send out art or give things away.
      I do various things in the community from storytelling to giving books away.
      A kindness that continues to give is smiling. Offer up a smile to someone in a store.
      Free ecards are a great way to brighten up an in box.

      What limits me? Health and fear of completely letting go

    41. Giving is almost selfish in the sense that you get so much more out of it, then whatever you give. So many emotions and feelings when you do for others, It is much better to give than to recieve.
      I enjoy doing small things, ever holding open a dooor for someone, the small things add up and can really make a postitive difference in someone’s life.

      Julia C.

    42. My favorite act of giving is to look people in the eye and to give them a smile. So frequently, I notice that people spend a lot of time scowling. I was a teacher in an inner-city school noted for its violence amidst a neighborhool noted for its violence; to look someone in the eye was interpreted as a challenge. Adults and children were both defensive, protecting those chips they carried around on their shoulders. I took that attitude as a challenge. I tried to look students and adults in the eye and smile at them.

      I was surprised one day when I was called from my classroom to the office–a young girl was suicidal and she would only talk to me because, she said, I was the only one who cared. As she walked by my room each day after lunch on her way to her class, although I didn’t know her–I made eye contact with her and smiled.

      Those smiles I gave her were not only gifts to her–they continue to be gifts to myself and remind me of the affect one smile can have on a life.

    43. Thank you once again Chrysti for another thought provoking post. I know that I do not give as much as I could. I do not have a lot of money but I belive everyone can give some of their time to a cause they feel strongly about. I have started volunteering once a week for a local wildlife charity. I try to share what I have with others who may not have as much. Thank you for the reminder that there is always more we can do.

    44. It is amazing how we through our giving/attitude towards giving and life can change our lives. Who we attract in our lives. What we attract in our lives. Many years ago I heard a story about how important every person is in our lives, even the janitor that cleans the building at night. How many of us know the name of the janitor even given a thought who the janitor is? Since then I have intentionally taken my time to meet and learn the name of the janitor. The current janitor is a woman who works two jobs to make ends meet. Every time I give a little of my time to say hello and I am greeted with the biggest smile. I wonder how many individuals in the businesses she cleans have taken a moment to give attention to someone, such as the janitor?

      Small things make a big impact!

    45. hmmm. well, 2 days ago i was at the market and i saw a scroungy looking man going thru the trashcan. so i took him into subway and bought him a footlong meal. he smelled terrible, so i told him where the showers were across the street at the beach. (nicely).
      but better yet i’ll tell you a story of what someone did for ME!
      when i was moving i had a huge garage sale to get rid of everything. we’d lived in the house 20 years, and my DH was across the ocean at the new house and my 2 boys were in the service. it was just me, the house was sold and i was a wreck. a woman at the garage sale asked if she could help me clean and empty the house. i asked how much. she said, No, No, i just want to help. This “angel” showed up a few days later and with her 2 daughters and and mom cleaned my house from top to bottom! she wanted nothing, and she truly saved me. i gave her the refrigerator, patio set, computer, vacuum, rug nshampooer – anything she wanted that i hadn’t sold yet. I was so grateful!….i have never forgotten her generosity.

    46. Sending things in the mail – they are little gifts, cards, letters or surprises, those are so precious and fun to send – and receive! I wish I was doing those more often, and getting some back too! But I like sending little gifts because they are that everyday fun that can make a whole day!

    47. i believe in paying it forward-to me its the little things in life
      right now i am watching the snow gently fall keeping the bird feeders and table full of seed-they bring me so much pleasure
      enjoy your day
      tabby

    48. […] 18-  Click Here to read all about it ! Prize:  a copy Acts of Kindness: How to Create a Kindness Revolution […]

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