Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Handmade Card Giveaway

I'm having a giveaway over at one of my other blogs, A Passion for Letter Writing. It's a gorgeous set of blank greeting cards. Really lovely.

Go check out the giveaway. Who knows, maybe the winner will be YOU!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Women for Women

Do you think your life is chaotic? Do you feel like sometimes it's hard to get anywhere and accomplish anything because of all the challenges you face?

Here's a recipe for cultural enlightenment: Take a cross-section of your life, add one part war complete with flying bombs, destroy part of your town, go without food for four days, alot yourself a few cups of water per day and then imagine accomplishing the things you're expected to do on a daily basis. Can you do it?

A year ago we had a devastating tornado that went through our town and wiped out a big swath of "civilization" diagonally across the place I have known and loved my whole life. I was out of sorts of days, weeks. I was distracted and sad. I was surrounded by people who were distracted and sad, some were distressed and now homeless. And this was just from a tornado, not from a war. Imagine feeling that way and wondering if someone was going to come and drag you out of your house and do something horrible to you.

These are the challenges faced by women in conflict and post-conflict regions of the world. Fortunately, Women for Women International has a program that enables women in these areas to change their lives through a "holistic approach", turning women from victims into leaders and active citizens in their villages and communities.

The key component to Women for Women's program is their Sponsorship Program wherein women are sponsored by other women. This provides the women in the program to be provided with basic survival needs (food, water, etc) while they are getting back on their feet. Once they are in a stabilized environment they can then move on to the next phase of the program which is learning life skills -- technical and vocational skills, leadership education and rights awareness. The organization also offers more advanced business services for the time when the women are ready to become more independent. They offer micro-lending and many other business fostering services.

Their "plan" looks really amazing and the sponsorship program seems like it would be gratifying to participate in. You get to write letters to the women you are sponsoring and keep updated on their progress adding an additional emotional component to the healing of these women as they try to get back on their feet and make their lives better. The additional focus of the holistic approach means women extend their new leadership skills into their community which just ripples out to change their villages and subsequently their world.

This organization has high marks from Charity Navigator. Go check out their sponsorship program and if you feel like you can't afford to sponsor someone, do you think you can find someone who can?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Helping Hands Project

The kind-hearted lady over at Thistles and Maple Leaves has a great little thing going on. It's called The Helping Hands Project.

It's a self-assigned award designed to get the word out and encourage or inspire others to do a good deed. It's Thistle's personal challenge to everyone out there to do a good deed so they can get the badge. It doesn't have to be huge. It doesn't have to be costly. The point is to just GIVE BACK. And if you give back (and she gives a list of great examples at the site) you can nab a little badge for yourself and hopefully get someone else to do the same.

Go on over to the Project's web page and post a story about how you've given back, how you've got helping hands!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Update on Kelaya

photo credit: tangobaby

The other day I made a plea for everyone to get the word out about Tangobaby and a woman named Kelaya who she is trying to help.

Please go read the story with these links: original story and the latest update

They've managed to mobilize some help for her but are asking for people to do what they can to help in the way of donations, job opportunities, resources and moral support. You can find her requests on the update page.

If you're a budget philanthropist and just can't spare a dime now, there IS something you can do for FREE. Tangobaby has posted an email address and requested that people send email to Kelaya through her -- words of encouragement or any messages that will uplift Kelaya's spirit as she makes her way back into the land of the "homeful".

Let's all do what we can!

[photo credit: tangobaby]

Monday, April 20, 2009


Have you ever printed something and when you went to the printer to retrieve the document you had one line or one word printed on the last page? What a waste of paper.

I'm really good about looking over my word processing documents to make sure those little orphan pages aren't hanging out there, but when during the times I print pages off the Web I don't always see what is coming out. And sometimes there's a lot of wasted space due to ads that you don't really need. Not all web sites offer a "print friendly version" of their articles online.

Well, this is where GreenPrint comes in. It's a free program that intercepts your document job before it actually gets to the printer and it then recommends ways you can reduce the amount of pages you're about to print -- for example, deleting the useless end pages or graphics or parts of the text that you don't need. It also has a PDF maker so you can print an electronic version that you can email if you want to do that. Handy dandy!

I've not actually used the program myself, but I just watched a video review of it and it looks really handy. So, if you're looking for a good deed to do, go check out the review of GreenPrint and see if it's something you can use to make our environment better.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Help Tangobaby Help Kelaya

Today I'd like you to read a post by Tangobaby over at her blog. Do you know anyone in that neck of the woods who can help? Please pass it on.

Kelaya is today's project. To spread the word is to spread change! Ready, set, GO.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Send a Rock

Here's a light one. I don't think you'll save anyone. You won't cure cancer or fight hunger or establish world peace. Actually, I don't know that anything at all will happen if you do this.

However, I read on this blog that if you send this woman in Australia a rock she will send you something back.

So, go over to Transcript of a Significant Life and get Lisa's address from the sidebar and send her a rock, because it will make her happy. And we're all about happiness over here, aren't we?

Get moving! :D

[photo credit: bemep]

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dine In to Fight Childhood Hunger

Stouffer's is running a great campaign to build awareness of childhood hunger. If you visit the site between now and the end of April, Stouffer's will donate $5 to Feeding America to provide meals for children and their families struggling with hunger.

All you have to do is pledge to have dinner at home with a group of family and friends and discuss hunger. They even have free tools to help you. You can download them from the site.

Easy, peasy! You have to eat dinner, so why not dine in with friends and talk about what you can do to help fight childhood hunger. Who knows, maybe you will come up with some brilliant plan. The absolute worst you'll do is get Stouffer's to raise an extra five bucks on your behalf and from there the sky's the limit!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Send a Card to Charlotte!

I have a new friend named Erin whose friend was in a recent accident and is just coming out of a coma.

Can you spare some time to write a note and get a few friends to write notes too? She will be in the hospital for a while probably and could use some mail to keep her busy.

Read the whole story about Charlotte Lewis at Erin's site.

Mail can be addressed to:

Charlotte Lewis
C/O Erin L. Delaney
R. 1220 South Prospect Street
Nanticoke PA 18634

Also, please repost if you can. This is a great way to do an act of kindness for a stranger. Just a little bit of time and a postage stamp. It will go a long, long way!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Intelligent Kindness

I don't often get a chance to listen to the radio because I'm always either working or busy with kids. However, on occasion for work I will find myself in the car on a Saturday morning and when I am I love tuning into John Tesh.

Yesterday happened to be one of those days and while I was listening and driving I heard about one of his projects called Intelligent Kindness. What a great web site! It's a social community of people sharing methods and experiences of how they use their time to spread kindness, to make change, to give of themselves to make the lives of others better.

As I drove I was giddy at the thought and couldn't wait to get back home to share this discovery with you. The site is loaded with people who are writing of their experiences of being out there in the world and doing good. You can even make your own personalized page and hook up with others in your community who are doing what you like to do.

Please do go check it out and sign up. And if you feel like doing a good deed for John Tesh, either post a note to him or send a message to him on Twitter or jot him a note and tell him how much he rocks for helping make the world a better place. His contact info is below. (And if you want to do something nice for yourself or someone else, you can enter yourself or a friend to win the "stimulus package" he's offering.)

Twitter: @johntesh

Email: use this form

Snail mail:
John Tesh
13245 Riverside Dr
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Adopt a Word

I CAN is an organization in the UK that helps children with speech, language and communication difficulties. As someone who just went through months of speech therapy with a little person I know it can be time-consuming and expensive (and frustrating).

The Adopt a Word program is a clever means of fundraising for I CAN. For a SMALL donation you can adopt one word for an entire year. You get a certificate and everything. I'm not sure if you can collect royalties on the usage of the word, but you can certainly ask. The worst they can do is tell you no. (Actually, the worst they could do is laugh in your face and say your crazy.) But still it's worth a try.

Wouldn't you love to be the official adopter of cool words like "love" or "money" or "supercalifragalisticexpialidocious"? I'm thinking of adopting two words so I can have my own phrase. Something like "skinny booty" or "winning smile" or, heck, why not "spread change" cause that's what we're doing around here. (Way more than skinny booty, that's for sure.)

And for today's "free" kindness: Why not give someone a word of their own? Write a word on an index card and doodle around it. Make it a word that really embodies the personality of a friend of family member. Write them a note to go with it that says, "This word reminds me of you." What a nice gift that will make someone smile.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Secret Deeds

I can't remember where I saw this done... there have been a couple of blogs I've seen it done on lately. Ironically, I'm about to post something cool as a "good deed" and not give either of them credit, so that makes me feel crummy. Hopefully me just saying a BIG THANK YOU WHOEVER YOU ARE will make up for it. If they stumble down this blind alley (which is unlikely) they will know who they are.

Anyway, I was doing a "secret deed" tonight -- a good deed done in a way that is never told and, in the case of mine, probably will not even be noticed. After I did it I was thinking, this would be cool to blog about and then realized it would sound like I was tooting my own horn. In fact, all I really wanted to do is convey another way we can "distribute kindness" that we easily minimize in our own minds but that can be very touching to another person. Never underestimate the power of a good deed, no matter how tiny it seems to you.

All that said, here is what I'd like us to do. Leave a comment ANONYMOUSLY and tell me a secret deed you have done or if you've had one done for you, tell that. Please do it anonymously. This is a way to confess your nifty secret good deed without actually getting any credit for it whatsoever, therefore it's not actually bragging. Make sense??

Any comments made on this post, even if not secret (like a response to another comment) should be done ANONYMOUSLY. Let's just all pretend we are sitting in a dark room talking. And please... keep your hands to yourself. :D

(If you have fun with this one, let me know. Maybe we can do it as a regular feature. Also, my secret deed may or may not be in there. You'll just have to wonder!)

[photo credit: Katie Tegtmeyer]

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Humane Society of West Texas

My friend Ginny recently started a blog on behalf of the Humane Society of West Texas.

Most of you reading this will have your own local causes to support, but if you don't mind taking one small minute to go visit the blog and at least leave a comment to say hi or to tell her to keep up the good work or just any little thing to inspire her to keep moving... what a good deed for you to do today!

In general, humane societies do fabulous work on behalf of animals who cannot advocate for themselves. In my area in particular we do not have a humane society nearby and only got an animal shelter a few years ago. We're a small rural community with not a lot of dollars to utilize and so many, many animals are euthenized.

This is why people are such strong proponents of spay and neuter programs.

So, if you don't mind taking a moment, go give my pal Ginny a little love over at the blog for the Humane Society of West Texas. And if you know any West Texans, pass the word!

And if you want to do something local -- why not call your local shelter and ask what they need. Did you know $5 will buy a bag of cat food? Did you know it costs about $35 to spay or neuter a pet? An hour of your time per day to wash or feed animals is priceless!

[photo credit: terry bain]

Friday, April 3, 2009


Cluttercast - Connecting through Clutter!

I ran across this really wonderful blog called Cluttercast. Have you seen it? Oh, you really must check it out.

Darryle Pollack runs the site and she decided some time ago to declutter her life. But instead of doing it the usual way (garage sales, donating locally, throwing stuff in the trash, burning the pile and dancing around it yelling, "HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I'M FREE") she decides she will take her sentimental stuff and make a personal connection with people on the Internet.

So, she offers up each item with a lovely story and then people post a comment saying why they want it for themselves or for someone else. What a great way to make sure something you love is loved all over again. And at the same time, she's doing something nice for total strangers.

Have you done anything nice for a total stranger today?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Grow Your Own Air

Don't be alarmed. You've not fallen accidentally into an environmental blog! This is still the same old good deed blog you know and love, but today I ran across this awesome video over at Reduce Footprints and just had to share it.

I love plants (when I manage not to kill them) and was so fascinated by the idea that you can actually create your own air. I live in an area that has very, very good air (small country town) but not everyone is so lucky. I used to live 100 miles from Los Angeles and every time I'd drive to the city my tension level would rise because as one drives into the city you see this blanket of yellow-brown haze sitting over the city like a cat waiting to lay on your face. It seemed oppressive and unsettling.

So, today I'm calling this one an environmental good deed, be it for your own environment or the environment in general. Watch the video and then see my comments below for additional thoughts.

How am I working this in as a good deed? Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Get this video into the hands of people who can make a difference... hospital administrators, CEOs of large companies, managers or owners of small companies, school teachers, health care professionals. Even if you can't do the thousands of plants required in this video, maybe just doing 1/2 or 1/4 or 1/8 will help.
  • Give plants to friends and family members.
  • Make your own environment better. This blog has never been about changing the world. It's been about making a change in yourself and ONE OTHER PERSON so that the change will spread like ripples in a pool. Go buy yourself some plants and see how it makes you feel.