Today would have been my Mom’s 71st birthday. It is hard to imagine that three birthdays have already passed without her here to celebrate with a hug and something sweet to eat. She loved anything and everything sweet. When we got a Dunkin’ Donuts close to our home in Raleigh, she always made a point to fill up on coffee and jelly donuts. So, to celebrate her special day, I bought donut holes for the kiddos and a dozen donuts for Li Na and Tai’s teachers. Happy Birthday Mom! I love you and miss you everyday.
My next act of kindness was inspired by back to school shopping for my kids. With Tai heading off to Kindergarten and Li Na starting first grade, I had to tackle 2 school supply lists. I was amazed at the amount of money I spent on the required supply list and wondered how many kids would have trouble bringing supplies. I found an advertisement for a local fundraiser sponsored by the Raleigh Rescue Mission that was asking for backpack donations filled with school supplies. Tai had an extra backpack, which was one that my Mom bought for him when he started preschool. We filled the backpack with school supplies and donated it to the fundraiser. My Mom would have loved to see her gift being re-gifted to kids in need. If anyone is interested in participating, check out the Raleigh Rescue Mission website:
My sister-in-law Jennifer gave me the grand ‘ol idea of leaving change for someone at a laundromat. Since I had so much fun with the kiddos leaving change in gumball machines, I thought this was right up my alley. I bagged up some change and taped it to one of the laundromat’s washing machines with a little note that said “this wash is on me.”
I was a little embarrassed when I realized that I hadn’t given blood in 8 months. I was initially trying to donate once every 56 days, but somewhere along the way, I lost track. This is a very hard thing to do when the American Red Cross calls me at least once a day to schedule a new appointment. While the Red Cross is a wonderful organization, they are also borderline stalkers when it comes to scheduling a follow up appointment. So, another pint down in honor of my sweet Mom!
When I was hunting for ideas to honor my Mom, my friend Sue suggested making dinner for a neighbor in need. One of my neighbors recently lost her father, so I decided to make her dinner. While Sue is one of the best cooks I know, I am not. I turned to one of Sue’s favorite cooking blogs (minimalistbaker.com) and made some “Spicy Black Bean, Green Chili & Manchego Enchiladas.” I never found the manchego cheese (a type of sheep’s milk cheese), but they turned out fine with a little bit of cheddar. My neighbor enjoyed the enchiladas, and I enjoyed making her dinner in honor of my Mom.
I worked as a speech pathologist for 8 years at a skilled nursing facility called The Laurels in Garner. I made a lot of great friends there, including the rehab technician Alicia. Her husband, a 35 year old father of 3, was recently diagnosed with stage 4 nasopharyngeal squamous cell cancer. An old co-worker shared his gofundme website, and I thought this would be a wonderful way to give back in honor of my Mom.
To learn more about the Jermaine Bass fund, or to make a donation, visit his website at: https://www.gofundme.com/a3bhmhh3
I was long overdue for a blood donation as I was rejected back in October due to low iron. I was determined to donate this time around, so I ate a bunch of eggs for iron, and set out to make a donation. After failing the first iron finger prick, I squeezed by with a test on the other finger. Woo hoo! Donating blood is my absolute favorite act of kindness to do in honor of Mom, so I was happy to be able to donate.
This act of kindness goes hand in hand with act thirty-four. The friend of a friend who collected baby slings, also had a fundraiser and silent auction at a local bar in Raleigh. Her goal was to raise money for the UN Refugee Commission, an organization that provides protection for asylum-seekers and refugees from Syria.
To learn more about the UNHCR, or to make a donation, visit their website at: https://donate.unrefugees.org/
Through a friend of my great friend Amanda, I learned about a group collecting baby slings and carriers to be donated to Syrian refugee camps. I thought this was such a sweet and essential thing to collect for displaced mothers. I posted a message on my neighborhood Facebook page and I got tons of responses within a short time. I was able to collect 8 slings and carriers in all. Thanks to all the mothers who donated to such a sweet cause.
My friend Meneika (who I totally now claim as my own friend but who originated as a friend of my sister-in-law), will be taking a trip to Senegal through her work at the YMCA. “The purpose of the program and trip are to advance global youth leadership development through experiences that lead to strengthened cultural competencies, an increased commitment to volunteerism, and a deeper connection to the Y’s global mission (from YMCA website). Meneika is an amazing person and I can’t think of a better person to represent the YMCA on such an endeavor. In order to travel, Meneika had to volunteer and fundraise to pay for her trip. So, my 33rd act of kindness was making a small donation towards her trip. Good luck Meneika!!