Everyone is Special in Their Own Way

This week’s kindness project was inspired by my daughter’s softball coach.  At the end of the season, during their pizza party, her coach gave each softball player a certificate for hard work and sportsmanship.  She called each girl up to present the certificate and as she did, she commented on the special attributes that player brought to the team. Whether they were the “life of the party” or “worked hard,” each player was celebrated for their unique contributions to the team.  After being honored, each girl sat back down with a big smile on their face.  What I really loved about this celebration was that it was less about the team’s achievement and all about how special and valuable each child was to the team. Read more

“Yes. That was me with The. flowers…”

This week’s kindness project was a bit organic as is typical of many of our projects.  The girls and I were baking some banana bread at home and decided to make an extra loaf to share with our neighbors.  Specifically, there are a couple of neighbors who have had a harder time recently so we decided to share some treats with them to hopefully cheer them up a bit. Read more

Friends like Nini

Almost 10 years ago I met an incredible woman named Nini, who has cerebral palsy.   I had signed up to volunteer with a program called Best Buddies, where you get paired up to be a buddy to an individual with special needs.  While I had joined Best Buddies as a way to give back, I learned so much more from Nini during the course of our friendship than I had ever anticipated. I learned that Nini was incredibly talented and skilled at activities like cross-stitching, swimming and even acting.  I learned that while she was often reliant on a wheelchair or a walker, that she was extremely independent and knew how to cruise around San Francisco completely on her own.  I learned that sometimes everyday tasks could be exhausting for Nini because of her physical and emotional limitations. I learned that Nini had a love for roller-coasters, for traveling and for adventures like skydiving.  I learned that she could be as goofy as the best of them, and while she had difficult days that she had a smile that could light up a room. Read more

Personalized Kindness Cootie Catcher for a Special Friend

One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to play with Cootie Catchers- or Paper Fortune Tellers.   The element of surprise with each turn, not knowing what will be unveiled as your fortune, was always so fun and intriguing.  I’ve introduced this popular activity with my girls and they love it just as much as I did.  Recently I found this blog post that added a little twist to this activity by making the catcher about kindness.  With the Kindness Cootie Catcher, each fortune results in a simple act of kindness like ‘give a hug’ or ‘smile.’

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Hope and Courage for more Dannys

So often many of us, myself included, go through each day taking for granted some of the most simple pleasures in life.  I almost never stop to think about the fact that I get to have toothpaste, a toothbrush, shampoo, soap and so much more; and that truly we are so lucky to get to have these luxuries.  In fact, World Bank projects that as of 2015, based on the poverty line of $1.90 per day, “global poverty may have reached 700 million, or 9.6 percent of the global population.” This statistic alone sets things into perspective.  I spend double the global poverty line in a single Starbucks visit.   What’s even more jarring is to realize that there are kids that live right by us, in neighboring towns, who have been severely abused and neglected.  These kids are worried about their safety, whether they have a home or a family to rely on- let alone the simple pleasures of life that we so often take for granted.  Read more

Noticing the small stuff

Kindness is something that happens more often than we realize or notice.  It’s just that most of the time when it happens, they are small acts-  simple and spontaneous gestures.  While these gestures may make our lives a bit better in the moment or even make us smile, most of us don’t deliberately spend energy thinking about them beyond that brief moment.  Recently though I tried to be mindful of the simple acts of kindness I experience in my life and was pleasantly surprised to find that my list was a lot longer that I had expected.  Here’s just a few examples from my list…and interestingly most of the kind acts are from complete strangers: Read more