Day 56: Wishes and Wine

This is going to be quick because I’m currently at dinner and am a little tipsy! Why I decided to meet my sister and God-sister for dinner and a wine tasting on a weeknight? I have no idea…I obviously can’t hold my liquor! But if you’re ever in the northwest suburbs of Chicago hit up Cooper’s Hawk! Do a wine tasting (I prefer the girly sweet line up, there’s usually 2 or 3 choices depending on your likes) and grab dinner! It’s all so yummy and decadent! Perfect for a night with the gals or a sweet date with someone special. Believe me, you’ll love it!

And on to today’s act of kindness! I think most people know the Make A Wish Foundation. It’s a non-profit that does such amazing things and its so loved by so many that its really become a household name. I personally LOVE this organization. I love it so much that I regularly check their website for job openings…I can’t imagine a better job than helping in some way to make people’s dreams come true.

I’m not sure why the thought hasn’t crossed my mind in the past, but I decided today that I would sign up as a volunteer for the nearest chapter. And as of today, I am officially signed up as a volunteer for the Chicago Make a Wish Foundation!

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I can’t wait for the exciting journey I have ahead of me with this organization! And I can’t wait to tell you all about these experiences!

Until tomorrow…
vmo

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Day 55: That’s What Neighbors Are For!

Well, the big news in the Chicago area today was the snow. At one point, I swear snowballs were falling out of the sky…they were way too big to be considered snowflakes! We didn’t get as much snow as they predicted (shocker!) but we got a good amount and it’s still coming down.

When I got home from the office, I had planned on grabbing dinner and then going outside to do some shoveling. I figured, the couple next door with a new baby could use some help so I had planned on shoveling the sidewalk in front of their house as well as my other neighbor on the other side as my act of kindness today.

As I was shoveling the pathway to my house, I heard others shoveling as well and when I looked up, there was my neighbor shoveling MY front walkway! So, of course, I ran to his front walkway to shovel his before he could do it.

I had to laugh inside because I wanted to scream “you’re ruining my act of kindness!” I just chuckled and kept shoveling his walkway while he insisted I went inside.

Ahhh, the joys of having nice neighbors! You try to do something for them and there they are already helping you out! So, though I ended up receiving some help in return…I was happy to help my neighbors with their shoveling. 🙂

Until tomorrow…
vmo

Day 51-54: Another Weekend of Kindness

This past weekend was tough for me in regards to executing acts of kindness since there was so much going on and I wasn’t feeling 100%. But I have come to the realization that all of my acts of kindness don’t need to be amazing or extravagant…the point is to be kind, even if it is in the smallest way possible. And with that, here is how my weekend went…

Day 51: Boy was Friday a tough one for me! I basically woke up feeling crappy with a headache. That headache proceeded to blow my mind (I mean this quite literally since my brain felt like it was going to burst!) and by 930am (yes, AM!) I had thrown in the towel. Why I hadn’t called in sick in the first place? I have no idea! But it was obvious after trying to get some some work done with no success, the headache I woke up with wasn’t letting up and I wasn’t going to accomplish anything with it around. So I packed up and headed home. I did find out that I was VERY dehydrated and extremely tired. I ended up sleeping a total of 15 hours in the 24 hours following my early arrival home from work that day, in addition to getting help replenishing the electrolytes and water missing in my body. Once I took care of that, I started to feel much better.

It was because of this, that I will admit to officially missing one day of kindness. I’m a bit ashamed, but I made it up…that will come later.

Day 52: After that crazy day, I was ready to do a little more and get out of the house. And so with my newfound energy, I took my family to see a play at the local high school.

Now, the main purpose of seeing the high school play was to support a family friend in his work. Although he wasn’t acting, he was working behind the scenes, I wanted to show him that we fully support what he is doing.

I can’t express how important it is for us as adults to support what the young people around us do…specifically when they’re doing something positive. I’m pretty sure I’ve said all this in a previous post so, I’ll just cut to the chase…the play was amazing! Great job Niles West Theatre and great job Scott! 🙂

Day 53: Sunday was another typical busy Sunday. I had a birthday dinner for a family friend in the evening and so, that is where I got the opportunity to spread some kindness. The restaurant had free valet parking, and I slipped the valet attendant a kindness card with a nice tip. I’m sure he was tired after a long, cold weekend of running after people’s cars, so I figured he needed a little kindness.

Day 54: Which brings me to Monday! I was running early for work, and for those that know me, that doesn’t happen often! Since I was early, I figured I could grab something for breakfast for my co-workers…there was no celebration or occasion. I just wanted to do something nice. I figured, since I left so abruptly on Friday, they deserved it for understanding. I think that made up for my lack of kindness (really anything since I was in bed all day) on Friday.

And so, with an act of kindness done to make up for Friday, I decided that Monday’s act of kindness would be in honor of an old friend from high school. He has started such an amazing movement. I can’t express how extremely happy I am to support a cause that really hits close to home:

Friend Movement

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Friend movement inspires people to prevent bullying by enabling them to be a better friend.

In honor of this movement, I have changed my name on Facebook so that my middle name is “Friend.” I have also donated to the cause in hopes that it will help support the movie being made to shed light on human compassion in hopes to end bullying.

Would you be willing to support this cause by changing your name on Facebook and donating to this cause?

You can now make an INSTANT donation using your cell phone!

Simply text “BFF” to 20222 to donate $10, or “FRIEND” to 20222 for $5!

The donation amount is still tax-deductible, and will be added to your cell phone bill.

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Until tomorrow…

vmo

Day 50: Staying Positive & Chocolate Cravings

This is going to be brief, after an hour of Zumba and two hours of volleyball, I’m pooped, sleepy, stinky and hurtin’ all over! This old lady is in dire need of a massage! Haha!

Anyways, since I was so busy today, I didn’t have time to execute an act of kindness until after I got out of volleyball and was already headed home. I decided that since gas was cheaper out there and I was at a little less than a quarter tank, I might as well stop for some gas and it served as the location for today’s act of kindness.

My original intention as I waited in line to pay for my water, was to buy the King Size Reese’s that was on sale and eat it myself, but thought against the chocolate craving, and decided to buy it and ask the attendant to give it to the next person that came in to pay for something.

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What I got instead was not only an opportunity to pass on the chocolate, but the opportunity to make someone feeling down in the dumps feel a little better! Here’s a little run down of my conversation with the attendant:

Attendant: Hello, how are you today?
Me: Good, thanks. (As he starts ringing me up) Could you do me a favor and give the chocolate to the next person that comes in to pay for something?
Attendant: Wow! That’s really nice of you! You just made my day a little better…
Me: Oh yeah? How come?
Attendant: Just a lot of F-ed up things have been happening to me lately. But you just made it a little better.
Me: Oh, I’m sorry…I hope everything works out. Why don’t you have the chocolate instead?
Attendant: Oh thanks, but I can’t have sweets.
Me: Don’t worry, things will get better.
Attendant: Yeah, they already have! I’ll be sure to pass this on to the next person that comes in.
Me: Ok, thanks! You have a good one!

I was SUPER touched by the young gentleman that I spoke to and hope things start looking up for him! And I hope the next customer enjoys the peanut butter cups!

Until tomorrow…
vmo

Day 48 & 49: Heavy Heart

Day 48: Yesterday was very hard for me…this is also the reason I felt like I couldn’t think straight enough to write about it. As an act of kindness yesterday, I visited my ex-coworker that I mentioned in my last post. I was aware of her current condition, but I don’t think I was prepared to face her in her current state. The friend I once knew had dwindled down to a fraction of her previous size and looked very sick. She tried to keep her spirits up while we were there, but there were so many moments where she had to pause and control the tears that were fighting to come out. There wasn’t much I could so to hold back my tears as well…but I knew I had to try being strong for her.

I said an extra prayer for her that night and for those who are fighting cancer. I do hope for her recovery…and I hope that she feels as comfortable as possible while she continues to fight.

Day 49: Random fact about me: I easily phase people out. Not that I do it with bad intentions, but when I feel like I do not trust someone or do not feel like the friendship is being reciprocated, I tend to just “move on.” I think it may be a self preservation thing – there were many times where I’ve felt taken advantage of or felt like my friendship wasn’t valued and since I can be a very sensitive person, I think the phasing out helps in protecting my feelings.

Today, a very old friend texted me out of the blue. He wasn’t just an old friend, he was someone I considered to be the older brother I never had. He lived a couple doors down from me in Jr. High and High School and he was also my escort for my cotillion. I chose him because I thought he’d always be in my life…because I didn’t want to look back at the pictures years later and think, “whatever happened to that guy?”

Well, 11+ years later and I wonder exactly that! I occasionally see his parents since they still run in the same group of friends and my mother, but I rarely see him.

Now, in my usual “self-preservation” way, I probably would have responded to his text with a snide comment about how long it’s been and/or why was he texting me after not hearing from him for so long…but I thought against it this time. I welcomed the random greeting with openness and just let the conversation unravel.

Maybe it was my heavy heart from the night before. Maybe the idea that life is too short was still fresh in my mind. I don’t know what prompted such a different reaction from me, but it happened…and I’m happy it turned out differently. Because the truth of the matter is, I’ve missed my old friend, and whether or not we want to be in each others lives, I should always treat him as a friend and be courteous…if only out of respect of the friendship we had in the past.

Have you said hi to an old friend recently? Maybe it’s time!

Until tomorrow…
vmo

Day 43-47: Another Hodgepodge of Kindness!

Well, it’s looking like these weekend updates are staying! I wish I could say that I wasn’t able to post because I had a romantic Valentine’s Day weekend with someone special…but I didn’t! Haha! I was just plain ol’ busy this weekend! And onto my acts of kindness for the last couple of days…

Day 43: Valentine’s Day aka Singles Awareness Day came and went just like any other day. My sister did come out to watch my volleyball league game and treated me to dinner so that was sweet and then I met my cousin for a drink, which was much needed for the both of us. That was pretty much all to my day. I did manage to squeeze in an act of kindness though at work. I decided that everyone in my area deserved a little something sweet for Valentine’s Day, so I bought some chocolate and left it on their desks in the morning. I hope they enjoyed their little sugary treat for the day!

Day 44: Friday was a great morning…I mean, why wouldn’t it be great if you show up to work and see a bunch of sugary breakfast treats waiting for you?!? I wasn’t planning on having any (maybe just smelling it a little, haha!), but when I heard of what the occasion was, I gave in and took half of a chocolate croissant. The best part was hearing of the occasion for the morning treats! A co-worker of mine, Terry,  was celebrating her 1st birthday.

No, she isn’t 1 year old…she was celebrating 1 year of being CANCER FREE!

What a freaking amazing feat! Terry is such a strong and courageous person that I knew breast cancer had nothing on Terry. She was going to fight it to the end…and that she did! So, to honor her “1st birthday” and her strength, I made a donation in her name to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. If you would like to honor someone or give a gift on someone’s behalf, check out www.justgive.org. It’s a great way to gift someone while doing something for a great cause!

Day 45: Saturday was a two-for this week! I was able to help people in my life and act in two roles that bring so much joy in my life: event coordinator & cheerleader.

For those that know me, they know how HUGE cheerleading was in my past and how much I enjoy planning events. So, the chance to do these things while helping/supporting people I care about in my life, was a huge plus for me as well.

Saturday was a special day for one of my favorite couples! It was the day that they would officially become husband and wife. Since this ceremony was going to be a small celebration before the big wedding in August, they decided on having a few close friends and family over at their house to witness the bride’s dad officiate their marriage. A while back, I made sure that the civil ceremony was still on, and asked if I could help in any way, and the bride took me up on my offer. I spent Saturday morning working my magic and decorating/fixing up their living room to accommodate a small ceremony and dinner. It was such an honor to help and be part of their special day…I can’t wait to serve as a bridesmaid for their wedding in August!

Then later on I met my uncle and aunt to cheer on my little cousin perform at a Cultural Dance Competition. Considering this was their first time competing AND the fact that they were 1 of only 2 high schools performing against college level dance groups, they did amazing! You better believe that I was yelling and screaming for them as they performed! I can’t wait to see what they have in store for next year’s competition!

I was able to snap a video of their performance; though for some reason my phone cut me off. Why I didn’t use an actual camera, I have no idea! Especially since it was sitting in my purse right next to me! Haha! Here’s a clip of the Tinikling dance that they performed.

 

 

If you’ve never heard of the Tinikling dance before, it is a Filipino traditional dance, probably the most known Filipino traditional dance, that is named after the Tikling bird (Tinikling means “tikling-like” in Tagalog. It is supposed to look like a tikling bird dancing to avoid bird traps; which as you can see, there are two people clapping and sliding the bamboo sticks while people dance to the beat between the moving sticks. It may look easy, but it can be so difficult, especially when the music speeds up!

Day 46: Sunday was another typical Sunday for me, with the only big difference being that every 3rd Sunday of the month is Family day for Youth Church so I didn’t have to wake up early and head to Youth Church until 3pm. Instead of sleeping in and being a bum, I decided to help my mother and take down her Christmas tree. I know, it’s almost the end of February and the Christmas tree is still up?!? In everyone’s defense, everyone was in and out of the flu at the beginning of the year, then everyone got busy at work…so this was the first chance we all had to take down the Christmas tree. Once the tree was packed up and all the decorations were brought downstairs, my sister came home with lunch and we all sat down and caught up while eating lunch together. It was such a nice time to sit down with my family and enjoy each other’s company.

Day 47: Which brings me to today’s act of kindness! After bringing flowers to a nursing home back on Day 39, it really has brought to mind all those in the world that may be sick or injured without family or do not have family near to help. I have an ex-coworker that never had any children and her husband passed away quite early. Now that she is retired, it concerns me that she is home alone a lot, especially since she is fighting her own battle with cancer. I try to do what I can to offer help and visit when possible, but life gets in the way sometimes.

When I came to work this morning, I was saddened to hear that she is in the hospital and not doing well. So, I picked up the phone right away to call her and check on her status. She sounds well in spirit, but from what I’ve heard, her health is declining. I know it must be hard for her, and I sure as hell didn’t know what I could offer to help, so I kept the conversation light and tried to make her laugh. I updated her on my lack of a love life and other stuff going on with everyone here at work. She laughed and I felt like my phone call served its purpose. I promised that I would call again tomorrow to make sure I can visit her after work. Sometimes we underestimate the power of laughing in our lives and I hope our little laughs on the phone helped her feel better today.

Well, that’s it for now. Until tomorrow…

-vmo

Day 42: Checking Up On A Friend

I have a friend/ co-worker that is super brave. She left the country she grew up in to study here in America…and she easily could have chosen New York where she has family living nearby, but she stepped out of her comfort zone and decided on Chicago. So, now, post-college she lives in Chicago and works in the Chicagoland area, still without family nearby.

I’d like to think that I could do the same if I wanted to, but I think I would get very lonely without family within a certain mile radius of me. Who would I go to when I’m sad? Who would I get to help me move when I need big guys to help with the heavy lifting? Who’s going to check in on me when I’m sick or not feeling well?

Which brings me to today’s act of kindness! This friend of mine has been feeling a little under the weather, and at the same time, is dealing with some heavy matters of the heart right now. It’s times like this when family comes in handy! And although she can easily call a sibling or her parents, it’s still not the same as having them around. So, when I received a text from her that she did not come to work again, I was worried! I am a “texter” by nature, but felt compelled to call my friend and check up on her. Although she didn’t pick up ( which worries me even more!) I left a voicemail and made sure she knew I was worried and was here if she needed ANYTHING. I was planning on coming over to check on her, but since she didn’t answer,I wasn’t about to use the outhouse. I hope she’s feeling better, body, mind and soul…and I hope she knows she’s never alone!

Have you checked up on your loved ones lately? Maybe it’s time to make a call and see how they’re doing!

Until tomorrow,
vmo

Day 41: It’s All About Networking

Today’s act of kindness allowed me to help a friend of a friend. Last week, a co-worker from a different department came by to ask if there were any positions open in our area because he had a friend that was looking for a job in finance. I didn’t know of any jobs, but I said I would ask around. Then today, after mentioning it to my sister, she checked over at her company’s US headquarters in Atlanta, and they are hiring!

I quickly notified my co-worker and let him know the details that my sister provided for me and he said he would talk to his friend and pass on my contact info.

I hope he finds a great job available at my sister’s company and I hope that he gets it!

Until tomorrow,
vmo

Day 37-40: A Smorgasbord of Kindness

Happy Random Acts of Kindness Week!

These consolidated weekend posts may happen more often in the future since my weekends have been crazy lately and posting on a daily basis can get tough on weekends. That said, this weekend was such a goodie in terms of random acts of kindness! I hope you’re all kicking off Random Acts of Kindness week with a bang. I love hearing stories of acts of kindness given and received, so please share your acts of kindness with me; I’d love to feature them here for others to see! You can comment or send an e-mail to me directly at kindnesseverydayblog@gmail.com. And now, onto the awesome weekend and start to Random Acts of Kindness week that I had!

Day 37: I took Friday off of work and had planned on being a big, fat, bum! I had an appointment to get some work done on my car, but other than that, I wanted to do laundry and be a couch potato between loads. I think I did a good job of acheiving my goal…I may have over-achieved a little bit and ended up skipping the laundry part altogether. I did manage to get out of the house to drop off my car for some regular maintenance, and stopped by Jewel on my way to the auto shop. Originally, I had planned on buying some dog food and dropping it off at the local animal shelter, but I ran into a group of the cutest Girl Scouts selling their cookies. I already had an order in for 8 boxes with a co-worker’s daughter (which is 8 boxes too many considering my attempt to be healthy this year), but I couldn’t say no to the little darlings and bought 2 boxes before heading inside to pick up some groceries. When I checked out, I explained my predicament to the check out lady and asked if she’d accept them as a gift. She gladly accepted them and said she’d share them with the rest of her associates by leaving them in their break room. This ended up being a DOUBLE BONUS of an act of kindness since I was able to help out the Girl Scouts AND share the cookies with the employees of Jewel.

Day 38: Chicago was popping this weekend, with the Auto Show in town. I had plans to go with some of my friends on Saturday, but things came up and our group of friends dwindled down to one of my favorite couples and ME. I usually can handle being the single pal around, but I think with Valentine’s Day coming up, I was a little uncomfortable being the 3rd wheel and ended up ducking out on plans to join them. I felt bad, but I think they understood…plus, it gave them a chance for a nice date night.

Instead of the Auto Show, I ended up joining my cousin at the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI). She was taking a close family friend out while they were visiting from Georgia with her boyfriend and their little baby girl. We had a great time walking around and doing all the hands-on activities and the baby did so well considering she is only 8 months old and that was a long day for such a little one. If you’re ever in Chicago, I highly suggest checking out any of the museums here; they’re all amazing!

So, as I was making my way to pick up my cousin before heading out to the MSI, I thought about how hard it must be for moms to take their kids out to a place like the museum. It must take a whole lot of energy and patience with how crowded they can be and how excited the kids can get. I was there as an adult and I was pooped just looking at all the kids running around…forget having to chase them around! And that’s where my act of kindness for today came along…I bought a couple small increment gift cards at Dunkin Donuts and prepared to leave them around the museum for all those AWESOME MOMS to find. I figure they deserve a coffee break after chasing their children around the museum all day.

My cousin got excited to take part in helping me put up the gift cards and checking to see if they were still there later on. I hope the mommies or daddies (since we also put some in changing rooms and family bathrooms) picked up the gift cards and enjoyed a relaxing cup of coffee.

We took a couple pictures of some of the gift cards that we put up…here’s a gift card in the changing room and on a mirror in the women’s restroom.

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Day 39: After a day walking around the MSI, I was ready for my normal, laid-back Sunday of Youth Church, Mass and family time. Plus, it was also about time I finally got around to my laundry that I ignored on Friday. So as I was headed home from Mass, I set out to do my act of kindness for the day before crackin’ down on my laundry.

Earlier in the week, I thought of a great act of kindness that I decided was best to execute on a weekend. If you read my entries, you know that family is pretty important to me. I’m always surrounded and constantly mentioning my sister, cousins, mom, auntie and nanay. It would break my heart not to have any of them in my life and that made me think of those that don’t have family around or at all. I guess my first thought came to the elderly in nursing homes that may not have family close enough to visit or any at all. But, for someone in that situation, how lovely would it be to receive flowers unexpectedly?!? I think it would be pretty awesome, so I decided that I would buy some flowers after Mass and drop by a nursing home in my area: The Grove.

I used to visit The Grove in my younger years with our Youth Group to drop off cards or Christmas Carol during the holidays. It always brought warmth to my heart to be able to bring a smile on their faces, and I was excited to do the same with my act of kindness. Since I was not a volunteer or a visitor of a resident I couldn’t go in to see the residents, but I spoke to the front desk attendant and asked him if he could please give the flowers I brought to some of the residents that don’t typically receive a lot visitors. The young teen was confused at first, but after realizing what I was asking, and informing him that I wanted to do this as an act of kindness for the day, he gladly agreed and said he’d bring them to the activity director since they would know who to give the flowers to.

As usual, I took a couple pictures to document my act of kindness; I must admit, I was quite proud of this one and felt so good doing it. I hope the flowers brought a smile to someone’s face and reminded them that they are never alone.

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Day 40: Today’s act of kindness is all about “thank you’s” and “spirit fingers!”

With today being the first day of Random Acts of Kindness Week, I feel blessed to be the recipient of 2 acts of kindness this morning. First off, I showed up to the office to find breakfast waiting for me at my desk! A co-worker picked up breakfast on the way to work and was kind enough to think of me as well. I seriously have some great peeps in my life! Then, as soon as I got settled and got my PC started, I received an e-mail from HR congratulating me on 5 years of service to my company. Not only did I have flowers waiting for me downstairs at the reception desk, but I also had a choice of a gift from a provided list. It was definitely a great start to my Monday! Thank you soooooo much to the “breakfast ninja” and my company for making my morning so awesome!

Later on in the day, I happen to check my Facebook notifications and saw that I had been tagged in a post by my God-sister, Irene. Irene works at a nursing home and posted that she performed an act of kindness today: as a social worker she was able to help a depressed elderly woman reconnect with her sick family. I am so excited that she is taking part in random acts of kindness! Awesome job Irene and I hope to hear of any other acts of kindness that you may do! (Excuse the ex-cheerleader in me) Spirit fingers for Irene everyone!!! 👐 Again, if you have any acts of kindness that you’ve done or received, please share them with us!

Boy, this post ran a lot longer than I first thought, so I’m just going to cut myself off. Have a good night everyone!

Until tomorrow…
vmo

Day 36: Happy Maids

Chicago was a mess today! We started out with rain, it turned into a wintery mix, and by 5pm it was a full blown snow storm out.

My sister had a flight out of O’Hare for work tonight at 9pm, so we planned that I would hitch a ride from a co-worker in the morning and my sister would pick me up at the office so I can drop her off at the airport and take her car home. THANK GOODNESS we decided on that because my little Corolla (aka Dexter) would not have survived in the mess out there! Her flight was cancelled, but at least it worked in my advantage! 🙂

After my usual Thursday activities, which my sister ended up driving me around to, it was 10:30pm and we were on our way home trying to figure out what I can do for my act of kindness today. My sister mentioned that I could clean snow off a car and then we spotted the perfect location for today’s act: the Molly’s Maids parking lot.

There were 3 cars sitting covered in snow so I ran out to clean them off while my sister watched, rook pictures and bumped up the radio playing “Car Wash.” Haha!

Here’s me cleaning/jamming to the music and the clean Molly Maids cars…

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Hope that brightens the day for the Molly Maids tomorrow morning! 🙂

Until tomorrow…
vmo