Wednesday, December 21, 2011

36…

Today is the day I was born 36 years ago.  I wanted to do something different for my birthday.  I am more than blessed…especially with the people that are in my life……so….instead of being self-consumed like I normally am on my birthday….I wanted to do the opposite and give back…pay it forward.  Originally I wanted to volunteer at a homeless shelter for my b-day.  I called 15+ shelters and NONE of them needed any help….not even to mop the floors and take out the trash…Most of them were booked with volunteers up until the new year.

Plan B –This one would take a little more effort.  Inspired by a friend I went to school with, Christine Perlino Vincent, who did 35+ random acts of kindness on her birthday…..I decided to do the same.

My day started off great.  Aiden who makes his way into our room between 6-7 everyday, woke me up around 8 saying, “Wake up Daddy!!!  Happy Birthday!!” as he props his head on top of mine.

36 Random (and some not so random) Acts of Kindness

  1. Naturally, my first random act was to call my Mother.  My Mother is the world to me and the greatest and I wanted to let her know that on my birthday (the day SHE gave birth to me) and how much I appreciate her…I planned to say a lot and after about 10 words….I could barely talk because I was trying my best not to cry (and not doing a very good job at it)….if you’ve ever met my Mother, you can imagine how I feel about her.  She’s consistently given me unconditional love….even when I didn’t deserve it and always has been my biggest supporter.  She is the greatest grandmother to our boys and it is no wonder why my boys love her to death and are always dying to see her.
  2. Next, I Donated to the Salvation Army (Bell ringing teenage girl outside of Kroger…you know the ones with the red bells and donation buckets)….after donating, she said, “God bless you.”
  3. Went into to Kroger to buy some Kroger gift cards and some roses to randomly give out.  Gave one gift card to the girl ringing the bell and told her, “that was for her…Merry Christmas.” She said, “Wow! That is so sweat.  Thank you! God bless you.”
  4. I gave the rose to a lady getting into her car and said, “Merry Christmas”
  5. Went to pay my tag taxes (what a nice b-day present from the gov’t) and this older lady in front of me was having a random convo. with the person in front of her about all the financial hardship she was going through since retiring.  Through it all she had a smile on her face and made jokes.  She was extremely pleasant and joked w/ the tag employee.  As she was leaving, I gave her a Kroger gift card and told her, “Merry Christmas”  She smiled and was very appreciative.
  6. When it was my turn to get my tag sticker, I let the lady behind me go instead.  She said, “Are you sure?”  I said, “Yes.”
  7. The county tag office I go to is the greatest.  The staff is so friendly…and I’m never in line for more than 10 minutes.  There even is a Christmas tree in there.  After I got my sticker, I expressed to the employee how much I appreciate all their kindness every year and how it’s always a pleasant experience getting my tag (minus paying the taxes of course).
  8. I called my Grandmother to thank her for all the support she has given me (including consistently sending both my boys saving bonds…big savings bonds).
  9. I called my Cousin Adrienne, who is Noah’s God Mother and expressed to her how much she means to me and how much I appreciate her.  She’s extremely  involved in Noah’s life and OFTEN keeps him for the weekend.  She’s the greatest  and always has been to me since I was a child.  She’s more like a sister than a cousin.  Her and her husband Rick are the best God parents (as well as Travis/Jewell who are Aiden’s God parents).  Aja and I have really been blessed to have the best God parents in the world for our children.  We really appreciate that and are thankful.
  10. Zaxby’s is one my my favorite places to eat (Buffalo Chicken Tender Meal).  I bought lunch for the person behind me.  Thankfully it was only one person…lol.
  11. Donated a toy to a charity.
  12. Donated clothes to a charity.
  13. Saw a taxi cab driver with his wife and two kids going into Kroger.  After his family walked in, I slipped him a Kroger gift card and told him…”Merry Christmas….this is X$ off your purchase”.  He said, “Thanks bro!”
  14. Gave a single white rose to an older lady getting in her car.  She said “Thank you.  White is my favorite color flour!”
  15. Saw 3 Homeless people sitting down at a gas station.  One lady and 2 men. Gave One man some cash
  16. Gave the other man some cash
  17. Gave the lady some cash and a bouquet of roses…I was thinking, “I bet it’s been a while since she’s gotten roses” (had planned to give the roses out individually….but said F-it…she deserves them all).  She was extremely appreciative….and asked me to take of pic of her and her roses:IMG_0204[1]
  18. One of the men told me he had been married for 11 years and his wife’s birthday (who was in the Texaco) is today and he’s going to put the money in her birthday card (which he proceeded to do and seal the envelope).  He said, “he didn’t have anything to give her and knew she wanted something to eat for her birthday”  Talk about a wife that’s ride or die.  I gave him some more cash for himself and told him today was actually my birthday (HOW IRONIC).  The lady then said she wanted to share the flowers with the man’s wife and went in to the Texaco to get her.  She came out, told me to smell one of the flowers….I did…she then gave me one flower and told me, “happy birthday!”  This blew my mind!!!!!  Here this lady is with nothing giving me back a rose…and wishing me happy birthday.  The lesson I took from this “is take time to smell the flowers and appreciate every little thing in your life.”  This random act of kindness was actually given to me.  He then gave his wife the card and told her, “happy birthday,”
  19. Picked Aiden up and went to buy some flowers in the Kroger close to where we live.  Had the flower lady make 5 separate tulip bouquets.  While she was doing that went to the front cashier and purchased a small gift card.  Gave it to the flower lady and said, “Merry Christmas.”  She was very appreciative.
  20. Gave the salvation army another donation and made Aiden solicit some more donations (I’m just kidding….he just wanted to ring the bell)IMG_0210[1]

21-32.  My buddy Aiden helped me with this.  He gave a single rose to 12 random ladies (most of them elderly) as they left Kroger and told them, “Merry Christmas”.  One lady even gave him back a $1 bill which he put in his piggy bank.

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33-34.  Gave Aiden and Noah each a gift for being such great sons.

35.  Gave Aja a gift and a card as a token of appreciation for all that she does for me and our family.  She’s wonderful.

36-40.  Gave a small bouquet of tulips to each of the ladies that attended my family gathering at the house for cake and ice cream to celebrate my birthday.

The point of me making a blog post about this is hopefully I will inspire someone like I was inspired to “pay it forward.”  The world we live in could always use more random acts of kindness.  You never know what someone is going through and what kind of positive affect you can have on them simply by randomly being kind.