celebrate kindness

Posts Tagged ‘teacher

This has been such a fun week.  I’ve done several little RAKs here and there, but haven’t had a speck of time to write about them!  Now that I’ve completed my #26 acts mission and my 40 for 40 RAKs, it’s really nice to just be able to DO a RAK without any planning or thinking ahead!

As many of you know, we like to visit the Krispy Kreme store when report cards come out because Krispy Kreme is AWESOME about giving one free doughnut for each A you receive on your report card.  Monday night after dinner we made a quick drive across town (oxymoron), and reaped the rewards.

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You have never seen such joy as watching a little person pick out their favorite doughnut to eat from the display case!

Since Krispy Kreme only gives out free glazed doughnuts for report cards, we always allow the kids to pick their favorite doughnut out as well.  Such joy!  This evening, as everyone was making their selections, we purchased a few extra doughnuts as well (Rich’s idea) – some for Rich’s running team and some for the teachers at my school.

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The next morning, Rich delivered his donuts to his pals and I delivered mine.  I left them in our teacher’s lounge with a little note attached to the box.

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photo 1A closer view of the note

It wasn’t much to give, and for those teachers who are dieting it may have made their day even worse, lol, but it was still a fun RAK to do on the first really cold day of Fall!

Be inspired!  More RAKs to come soon!

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Today I had the immeasurable joy of celebrating Mother’s Day by passing along a Random Act of Kindness given to me.  If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I completed 40 random acts in celebration of my 40th birthday, then began a renewed purpose of blessing others in honor of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.  My first act of kindness in this section was leaving smiley faced balloons in a local park, one of which was chosen by an autistic child and his dad.  After visiting my blog and reading my story, the boy’s mom was so touched by this mission that she emailed me and donated a $25 gift card so I could in turn bless someone else.

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Ironically, and unbeknownst to us at the time, her son and my son attend the same daycare center.  Occasionally I pass her as we are picking up our boys and I am always greeted with a radiating smile.  A few weeks ago I told her I was saving her gift card for a special day – Mother’s Day – and she told me that was one of her MOST favorite holidays of all.  How perfect!

Today after visiting my own mother, I headed out to T.G.I.Friday’s.  I wasn’t planning to stay and eat, I simply wanted to walk in and bless another mom.

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The waitress was inquisitive, so I explained my purpose and asked if she knew of any patrons who might benefit from a free dinner in celebration of Mother’s Day.  She pointed to a corner table to my right which included a mom and her young daughter, finishing their meal.

I walked to the table, introduced myself, and briefly explained my purpose as I slid the gift card across the table.

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She seemed surprised, but very appreciative of the unexpected gift.  What a joy it was to bless a complete stranger in such a huge way on Mother’s Day!

There was a moment, however, on my way back home where my joy turned a bit melancholy as I realized there are 26 moms out there whose hearts are breaking today, the first Mother’s Day without their treasured child.  I simply cannot imagine the pain they are reliving today.  This random act of kindness may not ease the ache in their souls, but it’s the least I can do to keep alive the memories of those lost.

Today’s random act of kindness is dedicated to Anne Marie Murphey, age 52.  Anne Marie was a special education teacher at Sandy Hook and was found that fateful day with her body wrapped around her student, trying everything in her power to shield him from the inevitable.  Friends and family described her as very motherly, always showing her students love and kindness.   I can close my eyes and almost imagine her wrapping her arms around all the tiny children who made their way into heaven that morning.

Be blessed my friends.  Take a moment to thank your mom.  If you have children of your own, give them an extra squeeze tonight and cherish the small moments you share with them.  We are not guaranteed a single day more here on this earth; treasure the time you have with those you love.

Happy Mother’s Day!

My 10th Random Act of Kindness was 50% planned kindness, 50% divine intervention.  I had planned a surprise lunch with two of my dear friends, Lisa and Nicole, but due to other obligations, our time together was quite limited.  We drove around, searching for a restaurant, and finally settled on Applebee’s as the clock continued to count down our time.

Upon entering the restaurant, we realized the odds were against us for a quick meal.  Several booths were full (it was the lunch hour, after all), and we could only see one waitress scampering around trying to meet all the needs.  In fact, after we were seated, it took several minutes just to have someone tell us who our server would be.

The gal who approached our table was not the waitress, perhaps she was a manager, I’m not really quite sure.  All I remember was her bright purple blouse and her smile.  I explained (as courteously as I could) that we were on a tight schedule and needed a quick meal.  “Would it be possible for us to order everything now, including dessert?”  I didn’t want the special time I had with my friends to be overshadowed by the stress of time constraints and undelivered food.

The gal explained that she was not our waitress, but understanding our dilemma, she offered to take our order until our waitress could come to our table.  Needless to say, we never saw our assigned waitress.  Ever.  The gal in the purple blouse returned with our drinks and our dessert (Backwards lunch!  Fun!) and through the course of our meal she returned again and again to serve our food, refill our drinks, take additional orders, and simply check on us.  She was friendly and kind and her joy was a perfect compliment to our meal.

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As we finished our meal, the gal returned with three separate checks.  Without hesitation, I grabbed the checks, preparing to treat my friends to lunch as my next RAK.  As I sat there counting out the bills, I had an overwhelming urge to bless our server.  She was not supposed to be our waitress; she merely seated us.  It was her choice to stay as our surrogate waitress.  Not only did she serve our meal, but she blessed us by listening to our needs and doing everything in her power to provide the quality time we needed.

And with that spirit, I reached into my birthday bag and counted out $10.

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Yes, folks, I left our server a $10 tip.  I shoved it in an extra bank envelope I had in my purse and wrote a note on the back, thanking her for her diligence and hard work.  She returned to our table before I could finish the note (and take a picture), so I just handed her the bank envelope and simply said, “This is for you.  Thank you so much for EVERYTHING!”

I have come to realize that time spent with friends is priceless.  To have a stranger recognize the importance of that time only adds to the joy!  To return the blessing in an unexpected tip was the least I could do.

This 10th RAK is dedicated to Victoria Soto, age 27, a first grade teacher who taught her students in Classroom 10.  According to a parent whose student was in her class, Victoria “was a vibrant woman who loved the kids.”  She was a hero in every sense of the word as she tried to protect her students, even standing between them and the gunman, allowing some children the opportunity to flee.  With bright blue eyes and a sparkling smile, it is easy to see how her love for children would shine through.

I encourage you today with two challenges:  Take the time to recognize kindness in an unexpected place.  Then make a difference.

Be blessed, dear friends, and thanks for taking the time to read!  I am blessed to have you as a follower!

For Random Act of Kindness #3, I honored the memory of Lauren Rousseau, a substitute teacher for Sandy Hook Elementary.  As an educator myself, I can appreciate the valuable service substitutes provide for occasions when the regular classroom teacher has to be absent from class.  Their job is one of the hardest in the educational system, in my opinion.  They have to be flexible, open-minded, quick on their feet, and deal with unexpected circumstances all day long.  With a humble heart, I decided to take the time and say “Thanks” to an unknown substitute teacher!

I decorated a coffee mug with a silver sharpie and filled it with chocolate “Bliss” candies.  I also included a Thank You note with the surprise.

IMG_4608(The mug says “Super Substitute” all the way around the outside.)

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I took my goodies to my son’s elementary school (on a dreary day filled with rain, so I KNEW this would bring a smile) and asked the secretary to deliver it to a substitute.  “ANY substitue?” she asked.  I smiled, explained my purpose, then added, “Yes… ANY substitute.  You get to pick!”   I then walked out of the office with a happy heart.

When was the last time someone thanked you for a job well done?  It’s something we do not hear often enough.  Today I am thankful for substitute teachers.  For Lauren.  For my cousin, Amy.  For my friends Becky, Kelleigh, Amy, Beth, Lea, Stephanie, and all the other amazing teachers who fill the shoes of others every day.  I am inspired by their tenacity and love for children.  I can only hope that the family of Lauren Rousseau will know just how special she was to the students and teachers at her school.

Be blessed my friends and keep paying it forward!

As we were in the midst of school supply shopping, I noticed a young woman digging through the glue stick bin.  Now, as any teacher will confirm, glue sticks are a hot commodity in the classroom.  You NEVER have enough and what seems like a million on the first day of school dwindles to only a handful by mid-year.  As I was observing her (and wondering if she was a teacher… after all she didn’t have any kids with her), I realized she was not getting the best deal on glue sticks.  So I approached the woman and told her that if she bought the value pack she would, in essence, spend the same amount of money, but get two glue sticks for free.  Not a huge bargain, but every glue stick counts!  She thanked me for the advice, then told me she just accepted her very first teaching job, teaching middle school Language Arts.  “I’m thinking that I will need a LOT of glue, right?” she asked.  Immediately I looked to my cart where I had already grabbed the very last two SUPER value packs of glue – 12 glue sticks for $3.  Without any hesitation, I ran to my cart and grabbed them out.  “Here!  Take these!  They are even cheaper!  You will literally pay half off from the single pack glue sticks!!”  Needless to say, she was surprised.  “I don’t want to take your glue sticks!  They’re yours!” she exclaimed.

And that’s when I told her about my 40th Birthday Project.  I told her she could have the glue sticks, completely guilt free, with the only payment to perform a random act of kindness over the next 40 days and respond on this blog what she did.  We chatted a bit more about teaching, then went our separate ways.

Yes.  Two value packs of glue sticks.  That’s all it took for me to show someone else that they were important.  That they deserved kindness.  Can you think of a way to bless a teacher this school year?  You might want to purchase a few extra glue sticks, too.  🙂


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