celebrate kindness

Posts Tagged ‘money

I have to ask – have you bought your Powerball ticket yet?

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As many of you know, tonight is a history-making night for the Powerball Lottery. It’s the first time the North American lottery has surpassed the 1 billion mark and people are flocking to have a chance to make their dreams come true.

This week my social media news feed has been filled with chatter about the Powerball. What people would buy. Who would split their winnings. Which numbers are lucky or cursed.

I’ve never bought a Powerball ticket in my life, but I couldn’t resist the charm of “What if?” So there I stood, in a crowded 7-Eleven, asking the gentleman standing beside me to show me how to complete the automated bubble sheet.

I successfully chose my numbers, and requested two sections to be computer generated. The gentleman who had helped me earlier was joking with the cashier, and both complimented me on my precise bubbling skills. (“The product of years of standardized test prep,” I chuckled to myself.)

Tonight I decided to pay-it-forward before the numbers were even pulled. I grabbed a few dollar bills and wrote a quick note, then attached the money to two Powerball sheets.

“I hope this random act of kindness makes you smile! Go pick your numbers and win big!”

Then I stuck the Powerball sheets back with the others for a stranger to discover after I had left.

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While I doubt I’ll win the grand prize in tonight’s drawing, it’s been fun to hope and dream. It gives me joy to know that two more people out there already “won” a little something tonight!

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In 2002, almost fourteen years ago, I discovered a new car in my driveway on Mother’s Day. Even though I knew it was being purchased (not quite the surprise Mother’s Day gift that makes for a great commercial), it was still an exciting memory to recall.

We bought a Honda Civic in the same color as my previous Honda Civic and it had exactly 10 miles on the odometer. My daughter, Katrina, was three years old and I grabbed her hand as my husband snapped a photo of our glee that bright, spring morning. (Don’t pay attention to the date listed on the photo – it took me nearly a month to learn how to change the date on my digital camera back then, lol.)

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Today I said goodbye to that very same car.

With 91,730 miles of memories tucked in the folds of its cloth interior, it was time to let someone else make memories, too. My daughter and I stood outside once again, hand-in-hand, and snapped another photo, showing just too clearly how quickly time passes in the blink of an eye.IMG_3523

I decided to leave a surprise for the new owner, a young man who was very appreciative to have a reliable ride to work, and placed it in the glove compartment to be discovered after he drove away.

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Time is filled with changes. We can choose to be sad, or we can appreciate all the memories made in the time we had. For me, I prefer to celebrate everything, big and small, even if my loss is someone else’s gain.

It brings me joy to know that this man will be happy with his new car and can take a moment to celebrate, too!

 

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Here we go with another rainy weekend. You know what I really dislike doing in the rain? Grocery shopping. It seems like every time I go, the parking lot is full, the store is packed with people, and I’m drenched from head to toe after putting my groceries in the car. Going shopping in the rain does not bring me joy.

Normally I park in the back of the lot, enjoying the extra walk, but on this particular day I was thrilled to see reverse lights on a car in the second spot closest to the store. I stopped my car and turned on my turn signal, patiently waiting for the car to leave so I could take its place.

As I lifted my foot off the brake and turned my steering wheel, a silver-beige car scooted ahead of me in the opposite direction and took the empty spot.

Unbelievable!

I literally sat there for a second with my mouth open in shock. Seriously? I was here first! So many negative thoughts filled my head in an instant and it took all I had not to let the moment ruin my morning. After all, it was just a parking spot. Did it really matter?

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As I parked my car and walked towards the store, I saw the person who took my spot. It was a young woman with a small child carried on her hip. I immediately felt horrible for the negative thoughts that filled my head moments before. It wasn’t that long ago that I was in her shoes – a mom dragging my child out in the rain to get the necessary groceries, praying for a spot close to the front door.

We entered the store at almost the same time, both turning to the right to find a cart. Many were wet, having been brought in from the rain, but I found one that was dry and pushed it towards her. “Here,” I said with a smile on my face, “This one is dry.” She smiled back in appreciation and said a quick “Thanks” as she put her daughter in the cart.

My day was filled with joy, just like that!

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I walked the aisles of the store, my mood brightened by the random act of kindness, and decided to do another RAK for a mom who might need it.

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Then, as I was checking out, I overhead the girl beside me mumble that she wished she had brought some change, so I gave her some of mine to help her out.

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It’s funny how being kind to others can change your outlook on the day. When I left the grocery store and put the groceries in my car, I didn’t even notice the rain.

May your travels be filled with joy no matter the weather or season!

Did you do anything nice for someone today? Maybe you held open the door for a stranger or perhaps you gave someone a compliment to brighten their day. Those count, too! No act of kindness is ever too small – you never know the impact your kind deed may have on someone else’s life!

To celebrate International Pay-It-Forward Day, I did a simple RAK at my school. I taped a few dollars to the drink machine in our teacher’s lounge with a note for the recipient to pay it forward by doing something nice for someone else. That’s it! Quick and easy!

RAKs don’t have to be these elaborate, expensive moments of generosity (although they are REALLY fun to read about, lol!). Just sharing kindness from one person to another is enough.

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So tell me… What did YOU do today to Pay-It-Forward? One friend of mine made dinner for a family. Another friend of mine stopped on the side of the road and changed a stranger’s tire (we really appreciate people like that in this world!). My mom gave her 20% off coupon for Kohl’s to the lady in front of her in line (she had a LOT of items with no coupon and was very appreciative of my Mom’s kind gesture!) Maybe you spent time with a friend, just chatting and catching up. That counts, too! Everyone likes to feel special and carving time out of a busy day to talk with a friend is AWESOME! 🙂

You may have done several RAKs today and didn’t even realize it, because you are such a nice person EVERY day! How great! Give yourself a pat on the back for spreading a little more joy in this crazy world. You ROCK!

Comment below or send me an email and share in the fun of doing Random Acts of Kindness. I would love to be inspired by YOU! 🙂

Last week I received an email sent on behalf of a co-worker’s son.  He was chosen from among his peers to attend a leadership conference for one of his school clubs.  What an honor!  The email was asking for monetary donations towards his travel expenses, but what struck me was the offer to do any kind of service or job for donations as well.  There was even a tagline that any donation was appreciated – even a $1.00 would help!  Wow – he thought of everything!

Now I’m going to be brutally honest here, with a little guilt attached as well.  I have received many emails and letters from friends or children of friends asking for donations of support for church or school activities.   I’m always touched in the moment and have the best of intentions, but sometimes I read these messages and forget to follow through.  The guilt builds up because so many of you have been exceptionally kind to me and MY children in supporting us with our initiatives and school activities.  So right now I am apologizing to each and every one of you for all the donations, wedding gifts, birthday wishes and such that I have forgotten to send throughout the years.

Yesterday I followed through.

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It wasn’t much, only $5, but it was $5 he didn’t have before.  Every little bit counts, right?

May your day be blessed and may you be better than me in remembering to support our youth in their adventures!

Yesterday as I picked up a few Christmas gifts for family members, I realized my store coupon was actually three separate coupons attached together.  I bet you can guess what I did next!

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You’re right!  I used the first coupon for my purchases, then found two other customers waiting in the checkout line who had no coupons to use.  We all saved money on our selections, and I left the store with a smile about a mile wide.  It’s such a great feeling to do something nice for someone else!

Have a blessed day!  More RAKs to come!  🙂

 


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