The Christmas Project: Part 2

A few weeks ago I told you that I was going to participate in several random acts of kindness. In the aftermath of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut (and Ann Curry's challenge to do 26 nice things for others), I decided that there really is no better time than right now.

Without further ado, here are a few of the things I did in the month of December - keeping in mind that I wanted to do at least 26 things - -

1. Baked goodies to Families Helping Families, a foster family support organization.

2. Baked goodies to our local police department.

3. Baked goodies to our local fire department.

4. Baked goodies for our mail carrier.

5. Baked goodies for the employees and volunteers at the Cedar Valley Humane Society

6. Purchased and donated $100 in food to our town's food bank, located at a Presbyterian church.

7. Put eight quarters in the card corral at Aldi's, for those folks who can't seem to scrounge up a quarter at the last minute.

8. I returned carts that were left in the parking lot of the Ace Hardware store.

9. I switched some shifts at my part-time job with a co-worker so she could have more hours on a day where I would have made time-and-a-half. (I know this isn't a huge deal, but this young lady needed the extra hours and I already have a full-time job.)

10. Gave Panera Bread gift cards to the secretaries at the school where I teach.

11. Volunteered for several hours at the Cedar Valley Humane Society on a busy Saturday where I helped the staff showcase adoptable dogs to interested families. (Sadly, I was the only volunteer at the Shelter on this day. No bueno.)

12. Inspired by one of my managers at my part-time job, I made efforts to engage in meaningful conversation with each customer that walked through the doors of the store during my last shift. She urged us to treat everyone with sincerity and kindness as they purchased their last minute gifts.

13. John and I cared for a newborn baby girl in foster care for a short period of time over Winter Break.

14. When I returned an item to the store, instead of purchasing something else for myself, I used the store credit to purchase a gift for someone else.

15. John and I shoveled and snow-blowed his parents' driveway after our first Iowa blizzard. We also purchased some ice-melt for them. They live about 40 minutes away.

16. John snow-blowed our neighbor's sidewalk and driveway.

17. An extra generous donation to my sister-in-law's church, where we attended a Christmas Eve service. We don't belong to the church (or any church, for that matter) so we knew an offering during the service would be greatly appreciated.

18. A "double" tip for our waitress at lunch on Christmas Eve Day. Our waitress was dressed up like an elf (no one else working was dressed up), so she totally deserved it.

19. Donated items to charitable organizations instead of taking them to my regular consignment shops. I know this doesn't seem like much, and I feel bad for even counting it. Usually we take all of our nice quality clothing and house wears to one of two consignment shops, but instead of trying to make a buck, we donated our nice things to a charitable organization for someone else to enjoy.

20. When I went to the mall to do some shopping (those after-Christmas sales are hard to resist!) and when we went to a movie (Django: Unchained. Highly recommend this Terrantino flick.) I made a point to be extra polite to all of the employees and patrons I encountered. We greeted people, gave them  compliments, held doors, and were generally very courteous. This felt especially good when people in front or behind us were rude.

21. I volunteered to assist at a Cedar Valley Humane Society Orientation for new volunteers. There is a paid CVHS employee whose job is to run these Orientations, but nonetheless, I volunteered my time to help welcome and "orient" new volunteers to the Shelter.

22. I brought tortilla chips and homemade salsa to my part-time job to share with my coworkers on a busy weekend.

23. While getting a tire repaired at my car dealership, I sorted through my purse and found two $15 Off coupons for any service at the dealership. I was already getting a good deal on my service, and couldn't use the coupons, so I gave them to two different people who were waiting in the Lobby for their car to be repaired.

24. I volunteered to make desserts and serve food for an upcoming chili supper to benefit a local organization.

25. I sent a nice thank you card to our dog groomers who trim Manny and Bruce's nails. This is a big deal, because Bruce is vicious when he gets his nails trimmed, and usually has to be muzzled. Dumb Bruce...

26. At a local used book store I put $1 bills in the dollar books in the clearance section. Boom.

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