Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Happy Day Project 2012 Recap

Last week was my first time participating in Jeanette's annual Happy Day Project. It was a lovely week and it gave both my children and myself many opportunities to talk about the big inequalities in the world. Tough talk, but good. Here is what we did each day!

{Day 1: Handwritten Note Day}
For our first task, we wrote a note to our sweet mailman and taped it inside our mailbox, with a Snickers bar! We hope he liked it!

I also wrote a note of appreciation to Ted's incredible 5th grade teacher. She's amazing.

{Day 2: Giftcard to the Homeless}

On Tuesday I bought four $5 giftcards to McDonald's. The kids and I had to actively look for homeless people to give them to, for some reason! (Usually there are plenty!) After the first man, I remembered to take off my sunglasses, look the person directly in the eye, smile, and really interact with the person. Homelessness breaks my heart. I wish I could fix it.

{Day 3: Treat Someone}

On Wednesday, the boys and I went through the Starbucks drive-thru in hopes of treating the person behind us. But no one came! After ordering my drink, I pulled up to the window and asked if there was anyone at the counter ordering, because we wanted to pay for their order. The friendly server checked and informed me that, no, no one was there. And then he gave me my drink free! I also gave a small donation to this amazing project of providing clean drinking water to people in developing nations. It is a wonderful project and I strongly encourage you to check it out!

{Day 4: Blessing Bags}

On Thursday Mae was home from school with a low-grade fever. She felt OK, so we went to Target to stock our blessing bag. We chose to put the following essentials inside our 1-gallon ziplock: 2 SlimJims, an apple, a man's toiletries kit, lip balm, hand sanitizer, a warm beanie, soft gloves and a pair of warm black socks. We gave it to a man we often see on our way home from school and he was very happy! It started snowing on Saturday, so I hope these things keep him warm!

Day 5: Appreciate Those in Service
This day took an interesting turn. I wasn't feeling well, so rather than bake cookies, Mae and I elected to buy a dozen donuts and deliver then to the firemen who have been so busy all summer and fall. When we arrived at the firehouse, no one came to the door. I called the fire department (through 411, not through 911!) The operator told me that public service people, these days, don't accept food donations anymore, for safety reasons! I couldn't believe it! When I explained to her what we were doing, she calmed down and said she'd call the firemen and have them come to the door. Well, they had been doing some noisy maintenance in the back and hadn't heard us. They (of course!) were overjoyed at the donuts and happy to give us a tour of the station and let Mae sit in the firetruck driver's seat. It was a nice visit. I'm glad I persevered! Geesh!

All in all, a lovely week. It has certainly helped jump start my 100 Acts of Kindness that I (and Sam) need to do for our black belts. It's funny how, with simply the right mindset, your brain always jumps to how to help, how to treat someone, etc. I think, in general, I often will spontaneously treat someone, but it's more fun to add a note and have a little more intention. Mr. Miller, our TKD instructor, made origami animals and placed them on unsuspecting students' books when they stepped away from studying ... he loved the smile he saw when they returned, and it was free! I might have to look into that. Or get back into knitting little coffee sweaters.

Sam's little head is bursting with ideas of how to help out more at home and at school. It's pretty natural for him (at school anyway) so I think we'll have a fun time with our 100 Acts.

I loved this project! Thanks for reading!

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