Saturday, August 2, 2014

30 on 30

A long time ago I saw on Pinterest that someone had pinned an article from a blog about a lady who did 28 random acts of kindness to celebrate her 28th birthday. I thought that was such a neat idea and knew I wanted to do it sometime. I decided that since I was turning 30 this year, it seemed like a good time to do this. Thirty seems like such a big number to me (I'm sure in 15 years I'll look back and realize how young 30 is), especially since I'm not exactly where I thought I would be at this age (God has a way of not letting things go according to my plans). So I figured, I could lie around and be sad about turning 30, or I could spend time thinking about other people. I chose other people, and I'm so glad I did! I had originally planned on doing everything in one day, but some people encouraged me to spread it out over several days, and I'm glad I listened. I delivered almost everything during the week of my birthday.

Planning and organizing!

Getting everything ready to deliver!

Here they are! My 30 on 30:

1. I dropped a container of candy off at CVS, the pharmacy I use. 

2. I also dropped some candy off at Merle Norman, where I buy some of my makeup. The girl who owns the store is always so nice and friendly, and I am always so impressed at her memory. She has remembered my name since the first time I went in there- which is impressive because the makeup I buy from there lasts so long that I rarely have to go in. And she was so grateful that I thought of her. 

My Mama came up and spent one afternoon to help me make deliveries, which is fitting. If there is a kind bone in my body, it is because I inherited it from her. She is the most generous person I know. In addition to helping me make deliveries, she also helped me bake brownies to deliver on another day and make chicken salad to take to work for lunch the next day. 

 3. We went to Children's Hospital of Georgia and left a bag of toys for the kids in the hospital- coloring books, crayons, bubbles, play-doh, puzzles, games, and more. I was hoping to be able to visit with some of the kiddos while we were there but they don't allow that, for good reasons. So we dropped it off in the lobby with one of the Child Life Specialists. 

 4. Then we went down to the Ronald McDonald house and left them a big package of paper towels. A friend told me that she did some volunteer work with the RMH and they were always in need of laundry detergent and paper towels. While we were there they gave me a list of supplies they are in need of so if anyone would like to make a donation to them, let me know! When my older brother was five years old, he had heart surgery in Augusta, and my parents actually stayed at this very same Ronald McDonald House (well my dad did, my mom stayed in the hospital the whole time). And my boss and friend has a little boy with medical issues and has been able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House in New York City while her son has been there having surgeries. So it was special being able to give a little bit back to an organization that has benefited people I know personally. 

5. We stopped by the post office close to my house and left them with some candy. These ladies were so sweet and their reaction to being given something so small was just priceless. One of the ladies told me that she didn't remember turning 30 being as "dramatic" as it seems to be these days :) She told me not to worry, 30 was going to be just fine :) 

6. We also stopped by my doctor's office and left some candy with the ladies at the front desk. 

 7. We stopped at six different Redboxes (six bags of popcorn in a box :) ) and taped a bag of popcorn to the machines. Hopefully people have been enjoying popcorn with their movies!

 8. I had an appointment to get my hair trimmed on this day so I left a container of candy with my hair stylist. 

9. I saw an idea on Pinterest to make "blessing bags" for people who are homeless. I put together some gallon ziplock bags with socks, a bottle of water, toiletries, snacks, chap-stick, etc. in them. We saw one homeless man sitting beside the road right as you get off of I20 that I was able to give one too. I still have more to give out, and I hope to keep some in my car to hand out when I see people who are homeless and asking for money. 

 10. I fixed lunch and brought it to work one day. My co-workers are so much fun and I loved being able to serve them. Not everyone made it in the picture- some people were gone or treating patients- sorry Laurie, Jen, Robi, and Jennifer! 

 11. After work that day, one of my best friends Lindsay and I went to The Point, a local homeless shelter for women and children, to volunteer. I called to see what they were in need of, and the director said their biggest need is for people to come in the late afternoons/early evenings to help with the moms and kids. There were a few moms there and two precious little boys we were able to play with and entertain while the moms cooked, had dinner, cleaned, and got things ready for bed. We held/rocked/fed a sweet little baby and played with the cutest, smartest, most animated, and most polite little five year old boy I've ever met. We also left them with some chocolate (the adults, not the kids!).

12. I was able to donate some money to Emily, whose family is dear friends of ours. She is in Brazil on a mission trip and was doing some fundraising to be able to pay for her trip. Emily is one of the most amazing young women I know. She loves Jesus and is wise beyond her years. She is so brave- she lived in Moldova for a year after graduating from college to do an internship. And she is about to start graduate school in Boston. (Emily- did I mention how much I love Boston? In case you ever want visitors ;) ). So happy to be able to help her. Keep reading to see how her mom helped me...

13. My landlord and his wife have three little boys, so I sent them a Tutti Frutti gift card so they could enjoy some frozen yogurt. My landlord is wonderful- when you live in an old house, it is inevitable that things are going to go wrong. I feel so bad every time I have to call him to fix something, but he always is so great and gets things running smoothly in no time. 

14. Left some cookies in the mailbox for my mailman! 

15. I left some candy for the sweet lady who does my yard. She is so kind and does a great job keeping everything looking neat. 

16. I took a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts to WAFJ, our local Christian radio station. Later that day, they posted a picture of the donut box and "Act of Kindess" card I attached and a lady commented on it that she saw one of the bags of popcorn that I left on a Redbox! So neat! And then a friend texted me the next morning and said that she heard them talking about it on their morning show!

17. I also took some donuts to my new part-time job to share with co-workers. They have been so kind and welcoming during my short time there. They had even planned a dessert birthday celebration for me on that day! Between donuts and Oreo truffles we had plenty of sugar :)

My best friend Laura and her cute little boy Winston helped me make a couple of deliveries that afternoon. 

  18. We stopped by The Berry Center- a day center for people with severe developmental and physical disabilities. One of the workers told me they were always in need of craft supplies for their participants to use, so we left them with a bag full of arts and crafts supplies. We also got to visit with and talk to some of their participants. 

19. Then we went over to The Lydia Project and left the volunteers with some candy. The Lydia Project is an organization that serves women with cancer. They have volunteers sew these bags and then fill them with goodies to give to any woman who is diagnosed with cancer. They also provide funding for rent, utility, medical supplies, and prescriptions for women who can't afford these expenses while undergoing cancer treatments. In addition, they have lodging services for women who need overnight stay to receive cancer treatment. I am able to volunteer with them by sewing bags- friends with sewing machines, they always need help making bags if you want to get involved! 

20. I went through the Starbucks drive-thru and got a drink and paid for the car behind me!

21. I also had a dermatology appointment so I left some candy with them. 

22. I took some brownies and cookies over to my neighbors. I am a terrible neighbor- I have lived in my house for almost a year and I still haven't been over to meet them and introduce myself. So I finally went and the lady was so nice. I wish I had gone over sooner to say hello.

I had birthday dinner plans with friends this night, so some of the girls came by my house a little early and helped me make some deliveries. 

23. We took some brownies and cookies to the folks at the Sheriff's Department. 

24. Then we stopped by the fire station and left some brownies and cookies with the guys there. While we were talking to them, one of the guys said, "This is just...strange." It was funny, and a little sad that people think it's strange for people to do nice things for others. I think it's time we change that :) 

25. We also dropped off brownies and cookies for the people working at EMS.

26. I have a friend, Amanda, who teaches in a low income school. She was in need of some supplies to use in her classroom this year, so I donated some 3-ring binders for her to use.

 We had a birthday dinner planned for this night. It was supposed to be a small group of girls, but they surprised me (or tried to :) ) at a different restaurant than the one we talked about with more people there. It was so fun to spend the evening with friends. Mine really are the best, and I'm so grateful for them. 

27. Lindsay helped me make deliveries on the last day. We got some balloons and handed them out to kids playing at the park. They loved them! I didn't take any pictures- didn't want parents to be upset that strangers were taking pictures of their children!

I had a couple of balloons left over but these two little girls were happy to take them off of my hands. 

28. We dropped some cold Gatorades off for construction workers working at a middle school. 

 29. I stopped by a local flower shop to see if she could order some flowers for me to hand out to patients at the hospital. She told me she would order them and charge me her cost since I was using them to give out at the hospital. I thought that was so sweet so I wanted to do a little something for her too. Remember Emily, who went to Brazil on a mission trip? Well, her mom, Mrs. Terri, makes and decorates amazing cookies. When she heard that I was doing this she wanted to make some cookies for me to give out to people. I thought it was fitting to give these beautiful flower cookies to the florist! I was also able to give some of them to other people I gave sweet treats to. 

We got to the hospital with our flowers, but unfortunately we weren't able to hand them out to individual patients. The lady said we would have to go through human resources and they were already gone for the day. I should have thought to call before I just showed up there. Instead, we went to a nursing home that I have actually worked at in the past and they said it was fine to hand out flowers to their residents. The ladies we gave them to were so appreciative and it was nice to brighten their day a little. I asked one lady if she would like some flowers and she responded, "No, I want some coffee!" I told her I didn't have any coffee but I would love to give her some flowers but she told me she didn't want any :) I didn't have nearly enough for all of the residents- I wish I had brought more!

30. Before we left the hospital, we taped some bags with quarters to vending machines so that people waiting in the hospital can get a drink or a snack. 

 Hopefully a child finds this :) 

 Whew! Finally done with all of our deliveries!

This week took a lot of planning and organizing and by the end I was exhausted, but in the best possible way. It was so fun to be able to give to people and bless them, and even more fun to have people I love help me along the way. Yes this is an idea I have seen other people do and yes I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate a big birthday, but I truly think it is a desire God put in my heart to do (Psalm 37:4) and I am so grateful for that! I hope that doing acts of kindness is something that I am able to do on a regular basis rather than just for my birthday. It really is true...

" is more blessed to give than to receive." -Acts 20:35