Life's Journey

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Today is a Gift

Posted by Sarah Tompkins on April 30, 2013 at 12:25 AM

The greatest lesson I've learned over the past few years is that life is such a gift and it is so easy to take it for granted. Each day that I wake up and get another day I am grateful! And today is a day to celebrate this because today is my birthday! Woot woot! Last week I thought about how I wanted to celebrate my birthday… a party with friends? A big dinner celebration? A trip? A quiet night with my husband? And then it hit me! I wanted to celebrate this amazing gift of life with everyone! I wanted to find a way to remind everyone how precious this gift is… I wanted to give back! So for my 38th birthday I decided to give 38 Random Acts of Kindness throughout the Phoenix area. I started planning my list and researching places to go right away - there is definitely some leg work required here. I baked all day yesterday - 5 mini banana nut loaves and about 90 chocolate chip cookies. And I had to give myself a budget because I knew that I could quickly get out of control and spend a ton of money. Last night Roy and I met my mom and Dean at a steakhouse in Wild Horse Pass Casino for a birthday dinner together and then a little play. I put in my twenty bucks and after a few hands hit a four of a kind - $120! So I decided that this $100 was my Random Acts of Kindness fund! Yay! Last night I refined my list and made a shopping list to do first thing this morning. I had chemo today too so I had to fit that into my day! :) Here's my list:

 

1. Pay for the person behind me in line at Starbucks

2. Make and give baked goods to my nurses

3. Hide dollars in the toy section of the dollar store

4. Give food to the local food bank

5. Pass out bunches of flowers at a seniors assisted living facility

6. Give residents of an assisted living facility crossword puzzle books

7. Hand out baggies of cookies to residents at an assisted living facility

8. Bake cookies for Roy to take to his co-workers

9. Put one dollar lottery scratch off tickets on car windshields with a note

10. Leave a smile for the mail carrier in the mail box

 11. Mail smile cards to strangers

12. Take flowers to strangers in the hospital

13. Take food to the Humane Society

14. Fill gumball/toy machines with quarters

15. Hide small toys at the community playground for the kids to find

16. Leave pool toys at the community pool

17. Post Random Acts of Kindness printable cards online for others to use

18. Give cookies and cold water to homeless people

19. Leave laundry soap and quarters at the Laundromat

20. Leave money taped to a red box for someone to enjoy a movie

21. Take tennis balls to leave at the dog park

 22. Compliment a stranger

23. Take a cart back to the store for someone

24. Leave smiles on the windshield of cars at an oncology center

25. Donate school supplies to a school - I was lucky enough to find a school for homeless kids in downtown Phoenix

26. Read stories to kids at the library

27. Give treats to the animals at the shelter

28. Randomly hand out cookies with a note that says it's a random act of kindness and to pass it on

29. Make a someone laugh out loud

30. Take cold water bottles to outdoor workers

31. Leave pennies heads up on the ground for others to find

32. Send someone a random e card

 33. Send a note to a co-worker telling them how much they are appreciated

34. Give a five dollar grocery gift card to the next person in line

35. Hold the door open for someone

36. Make and give baked goods to a neighbor

37. Buy helium balloons to give to kids at the mall

38. Submit compliment cards to managers about workers at various places

39. Give treats to the people that helped me today

Yup I pushed the limit and added an extra one for good measure! :) Phew! This was quite a list!  I went to the Dollar Store first thing this morning and got most of my supplies.  I am now in love with the Dollar Store for these types of project - I was able to get so much stuff!  I had a few "partners in crime" that helped me achieve this list. My mom went with me to chemo and ran around to most of my destinations today - I was so happy to have her by my side helping me check these things off the list. Then I came home, ran out to do a few local things before "date night" with Roy. After dinner I convinced him to go with me to the mall to give out helium balloons to kids - their faces were priceless! Visiting the Assisted Living Facility was by far the most rewarding part of the day while giving treats to all of the dogs at the Humane Society was the most fun! But every thing on this list created smiles for me, my "partner in crime, the recipient, and even the people around us watching it happen.

 

Each of the bags of cookies, lotto tickets, cards, etc had a note attached that says:
Please enjoy this
RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS
"Spread love everywhere you go.
Let no one come to you without
leaving happier" - Mother Teresa

 

Today was honestly the best birthday I've ever had! I realized that it is so easy to bring joy and smiles to other people. I'm so grateful that I was able to complete this list and I encourage everyone to try doing something life this. Today was the greatest gift of life!

 

Hugs & Smiles
Sarah

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4 Comments

Reply Brooke
9:22 AM on April 30, 2013 
What a FABULOUS way to spend your birthday! At my grocery store, there is a little mechanical horse that gives kids rides for a penny. In honor of your birthday, I will leave a little cup with pennies for 38 (+ one for good measure) rides. Happy birthday!
Brooke
Reply Stacy
12:28 PM on April 30, 2013 
Wow, Sarah, you are such an inspiration! I wish I could have seen how your thoughtfulness and giving spirit brought many, many smiles to many people! I'm curious - #29 - who did you make laugh out loud? :-) This inspires me to do a random act of kindness, too! And I love the Mother Teresa quote and the photos! Love you! Glad your birthday was sooo special! xoxo
Reply Linda Burkert
4:00 PM on April 30, 2013 
You are absolutely remarkable!!! What an inspiration.
Reply KATHY
1:23 PM on May 2, 2013 
You are just amazing - Happy Belated Birthday.