Kindness Report 10/4 – #PopTabChallenge

MyFriendDeAnna.com is starting a #PopTabChallenge – and you can accept by sending $10 to your local Ronald McDonald House, or trying to get 1,000,000 pop tabs.

This is a lengthy instructional blog – the long and short of it is this:

WHO – YOU!

WHAT – Aluminum Pop Tabs from beverage cans or $10

WHEN – Started October 4th, 2019 – ENDS October 4th, 2020. (One year!)

WHERE – Your Local Ronald McDonald House

WHY – Ronald McDonald House Charities is an awesome community asset. They serve the families of critically ill children.

HOW – Pop tab donations raise money with little cost, just getting them to their location. The blog has good instructions and details.

(Please note, I’m not affiliated with this organization in any way, shape or form, they have just impressed me over the years and made a real difference in the lives of thousands of families .)

If you do this challenge I’d love to see pictures of you and your crew. Please use #PopTabChallenge and #MyFriendDeAnna

Facebook – @myfrienddeanna

Instagram – #MyFriendDeAnna

Twitter – @MyFriendDeAnna1

Last weekend I went by the Ronald McDonald House in Winston-Salem and had a chance to chat with the Weekend Manager, Kaila, about different things going on there and I was intrigued by the Pop Tab Program.

Kaila showed me the collection center for pop tabs (tops off of beverage cans.) The Ronald McDonald House in Winston-Salem raises about $3,000 annually from pop tab donations.

Now that may not sound like much to you – but consider it takes approximately 1 million pop tabs to get $350 – that’s a LOT of pop tabs. (The aluminum price fluctuation makes this hard to estimate)

Let me challenge you – begin saving your pop tabs, and encourage your friends and family to do it and drop off at the Ronald McDonald House closest to you once a month.

https://www.rmhc.org/chapter-search

If you work with 100 people – let’s say 50 of them drink 1 can of soda/energy drink daily. 350 tabs (7 days 50 tabs) could be saved weekly. Over the course of a year, approximately 18,000 tabs could be saved. If you encourage 56 people you know to do the same thing – POOF you’d have 1,000,000 tabs over a year. (Not to mention some folks drink more than 1 soda a day and may have beverages at home….) Make it easy for people to give you their pop tabs. Get your kids to decorate brown paper bags for pop tabs. It’s work, but you can make it seem fun!!!

THEN (here’s where it gets WILD) – what if you found a few small businesses to be a “POP TAB DROP OFF LOCATION”. Or you could ask local bars if they could participate. Or you could ask a local restaurant to participate. Or you could put a note on NextDoor and find an easy way to meet your neighbors and collect pop tabs. Or a fraternity. Really, the possibilities are endless of what you COULD do to help a great organization.

The Ronald McDonald House has a special place in my heart, one of my dear friends had a preemie and while the baby was in NICU the parents were residents at the Ronald McDonald House. They were able to be close to the hospital, get a shower, eat something, not think about anything except for their baby for a month. It’s an amazing organization that really operates on a well-managed budget.

Link to CharityNavigator.org
https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=4409 for Ronald McDonald House Charities. The average cost is $70 a night to house a family – so the 1,000,000 #PopTabChallenge would pay for 5 nights.

What if 10,000 people in each state accepted the #PopTabChallenge ? You’d have 550,000 people in all 50 states with the same goal. (Okay that’s the whole state of Wyoming participating….) In one year, each state could raise $3.5 million dollars (10,000 people trying to get 1 million pop tabs making $350) to help families. Any thing will be a help.

Here’s a great link from the Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati about the Pop Tab Fundraising
http://www.rmhcincinnati.org/sites/default/files/pdf/pull-tab-booklet.pdf

If you feel like the #PopTabChallenge is not for you (It’s a lot of work) – but you’re inspired to send your local Ronald McDonald House $10, they will use that money to their best ability and many families will benefit.

“Little things make big things happen.” – John Wooden

9/29 – Kindness Report – KINDNESS What This Blog Is About

When I started blogging I wanted to put up a post every other day that would “turn people towards kindness” and I apologize, the past couple of weeks have been crazy. One of my aunt’s passed away, she was very precious to me, she didn’t have children so I’ve been working with her business and trying to take care of my uncle. They were married 68 years!

This gave me a chance to regroup on my plan for the blog.

If I could do anything in the world, I’d like to be a “Kindness Coach” and train people to find more kindness in this world and start looking for opportunities to be kind in the small and quiet ways. If you don’t know me in real life, I was raised by amazing parents that encouraged generosity and to change the world in small ways. They were empathetic and didn’t want to raise someone who felt it was important to judge others, but to be open to help others. This is not something I take for granted. Many people weren’t raised in that kind of environment and others may not have had the opportunity.

If you break kindness down, you’ll find being kind is much different than being nice. Being nice is on the outside but kindness is to the core of your being. Being kind is based on your values, your beliefs and your thetics. Some things you’re born with, and other times you can influence others.

Here are some kindness qualities:
1) Friendly (sometimes a smile makes.a difference)
2) Generous
3) Considerate

All you have to do is to be genuine and have concern for others AND yourself.

If we lived in a world where kindness just happened, it would be a little different. But in this world – we’re inclined to learn from pain, so the painful things are what stick to our brains – the painful things teach us to be cautious, the good things our mind just takes for granted and moves on. So we’re going to have to train our brains to help find kindness, and my blog will be the “bright spot” that will set up a place for KINDNESS REPORTS. It may be something very simple, because as Aesop said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” And how amazing is that thought?

So I encourage you to look for ways to simply “be kind” and if this is new for you – start small. But start. Now I want you to be smart too. I’ve noticed a movement on Twitter for philanthropy, but people have gotten in on there and just made something sweet, into a place for scammers and greed. Once people identify you as a giver, the takers will be right there. There is always someone to help, there is always a need. As a Christian most of my good points come from the Bible, and Matthew 6:1-4 NKJV says, “1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” I encourage you to give, but you don’t have to tell what you gave. You may find yourself wanting to tell people WHERE you are giving, but you don’t have to tell WHAT you gave. Giving feels good and it’s natural to be excited about giving.

You can find ways to give anywhere. My next post will be about the Ronald McDonald’s House and how they take soda pop tabs to raise money. It doesn’t get more simple than that!

If you’re inspired by kindness, please feel free to forward this article and see if we can start a movement to kindness. Come back to the blog every other day for new reports of kindness – and I’m always looking for stories at DeAnna@MyFriendDeAnna.com – and the stories will focus on 3 areas – 1) how YOU can be kind to others 2) KINDNESS happening around us 3) Encouraging you to be kind to YOURSELF.

Thank you for taking the time to read! I’m just getting started on blogging, so bear/bare with me as I learn and grow!!

Your friend,

DeAnna

9/18/19 Kindness Report – Meals on Wheels for Pets Follow Up

Today (Wednesday 9/18) I had the pleasure to talk to Sabrina with the Davidson County Senior Services.  She works with Meals on Wheels and the Meals on Wheels for Pets program in Thomasville, NC. 

The Meals on Wheels For Pets program was started when volunteers saw the need to help elderly pet owners who were Meals on Wheels recipients.

Now, some people may say, “If you can’t afford to feed your pet, do you need one?”  My answer to this is, “How much companionship does your pet provide to you?  If your financial status changed would you get rid of your pet?”  Hopefully a pet lover would see this as an opportunity.

(Just a quick story – my mother is 75 years old and lives alone, but she has Chimbi, a cheerful dachshund and a wonderful nurse.  When Mom recovered from breast cancer surgery Chimbi was Mom’s constant companion.  Mama has the means to provide, and I’m available to run and get Chimbi’s food – but a lot of older people don’t have someone they can count on.)

In steps, Meals on Wheels for Pets of Davidson County.  Sabrina shared with me about how meaningful the Meals on Wheels program is to seniors.  Many seniors suffer with isolation, and those with pets have a reason to engage in physical activity and they have companionship. 

Currently in the US, there are over 6.5 million Americans over 65 years old that deal with some type of depression.  In many cases this didn’t occur until they lost their independence, or the aging process, or being cut off from social activities.  There are over 11 million people 65 and over that live alone, so that means half of the seniors that live alone deal with depression. (Statistically there are about 48 million senior citizens in the US)

You can probably see where a pet in the life of a senior can provide a reason to get up, something cares if you’re alive.  (I mean, ya’ll know what John Wick’s dog meant to him….) 

The Meals on Wheels for Pets program was funded, but the funding was removed and now they rely on donations.  Sabrina said that they could make it on $3,000 yearly.  They serve 45 senior pet owners monthly.  That is amazing, and good budgeting!

This blog post is specific to the Meals on Wheels for Pets in Davidson County, NC – but It’s also a reminder to whoever is reading this, there is an opportunity to serve others and our aging population may need a little help. 

If you’re interested in providing a little help – you can make a donation to them

Davidson County Senior Services – Thomasville Office – 211 W. Colonial Drive Thomasville, NC  27360

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can order a bag of cat food or dog food and send it to this address.  It would be greatly appreciated.  Your community may do something similar, and you may see the need to get involved.  You may find out your community doesn’t have a service like this and maybe you could start one!  (YES YOU!!!!)

Honestly, it never occurred to me there would be a need for this until I read the original article.  https://myfox8.com/2019/09/13/davidson-county-meals-on-wheels-for-pets-has-critical-need-for-pet-food-donations/

Lastly, let me encourage you to think of seniors you may have in your life.  My church picks up seniors and brings them to church, because they cannot drive and they just don’t get out very often.  If you think long enough, there may be a senior in your life that would love a call from you, they may appreciate you running to the grocery store for some bread and milk, or just drop by with a milkshake and let them tell you a story about when they were young. 

Kindness doesn’t have to cost anything except your time and it can mean so much to them.  (and if they have a pet, bring them a can of “wet food” – it will “tickle them pink”) 

Also – a shout out to #MyFriends – we’ve already got $50 to send to help them just by asking a few friends. That’s about 1 week’s worth of food in their budget.

9/14 Kindness Report – Micro Philanthropy and the Internet

This past week I’ve learned about “micro philanthropy” and I have to say – it’s an amazing concept.  

Now I stumbled on this on Twitter (@MyFriendDeAnna1) this week.  Ya’ll – I was about to give up on Twitter.  It’s nearly impossible for me to limit myself to only a few characters to convey what’s going on in this mind of mine!  BUT something caught my eye, and I realized “there’s something going on.”  I have found my people!!!  People were giving away money, people were sharing Amazon lists for schools, people were vetting and listing Go Fund Me pages.  Now, I’m not a wealthy person, and I’m pretty discerning on what I chose to give to – but you know what – on Friday 9/13 at 5:13pm I gave away $10 for someone to get tacos. 

 [RABBIT TRAIL WARNING – I had eaten lunch at TacoMama in Greensboro NC and had a coupon for $5 off – and thankfully I’m at the point in my life where I can say on a Friday what’s $5 more dollars?  And of course, as I continue to grow my presence on social media – you want to have “followers”  (Instagram is MyFriendDeAnna, Facebook is @MyFriendDeAnna) so they can read and contribute to my blog and follow my shenanigans and hi jinx.  SOOOOOO – I asked people to retweet and follow me.  They did.  I ended up with 7 people entered in the drawing.  More than my Instagram giveaway last month.]  

As people followed me, I was seeing more and more generosity and kindness at the “micro philanthropy” level.  Now ya’ll, be warned – there are always people that will take advantage of you, so DON’T give your bank routing # out to people, and if you DON’T FEEL GOOD contributing to a cause or individual – don’t do it.  You can say “no” (unless you’re doing a giveaway….that would not be kind)   

I posted a couple of links to things that happened locally to share “local philanthropy” and an Amazon list to a local school library.  

If you’re reading this, you may wonder how this Micro Philanthropy works – the concept is basic, a few people combine and contribute to make a bigger gift.  (If you’re on Twitter – @Pulte is one to watch, #TwitterPhilanthropy to get some ideas.)

Right now, I’m thinking of a way to support a local Meals on Wheels for Pets in Davidson County, North Carolina based on an article I ready today: https://myfox8.com/2019/09/13/davidson-county-meals-on-wheels-for-pets-has-critical-need-for-pet-food-donations/ and based on what I’ve learned from my new Twitter friends here’s what I’m going to do:

1 – Start locally there are 2 grocery stores between my house, I’m going to ask them for a bag of dog food.  I may reach out to the pet stores near here and ask for a donation.  

2 – Start small – I alerted my friends in real life, on my private Facebook page “HEY – If I could get 300 friends to donate $10 they would have enough money to meet their yearly budget for food.”  This was just a seed planting idea.  I don’t mind telling them to donate to my PayPal, they know me.  (I will not be using this blog for fund raising – this is to give YOU ideas on how to spread kindness)

3 – Jars for cash – I’m going to tell people at work I’d like to take up change and donations for one week to raise money and food for this organization.  If people want to give, they will – if not, no harm no foul, nothing personal – everyone has something going on.  

4 – Money isn’t everything – if this is talked about, someone may want to volunteer and help out this organization.  One of my motto’s is:  Telephone – Television – Tele-DeAnna

5 – Ask for coupons – Several girls at work coupon and several don’t have pets.  So I could ask them for coupons so money donated will go further.  

The worst thing that will happen if my effort to help the Meals on Wheels for Pets in Davidson County, NC  is they will get a small donation.  The best thing is we’re able to raise the money and donations to help them for the next year!! 

https://www.co.davidson.nc.us/363/Meals-on-Wheels

Good luck and best wishes as you start small and build from there.  Find your cause and run with it.  Let me know what you’ve got in the works, email me at – DeAnna@MyFriendDeAnna.com

9/12 Kindness Report – Up and Down the East Coast USA

(I promised I wouldn’t share names but these 2 stories were too awesome to not share)

I’ve had this excellent Kindness Report brewing for a few days I was privy to watch it unfold in front of my very eyes.  

A group chat with 2 wonderful  friends and me started like this:

Friend 1 “I  know it’s kind of late in the season for this but I have a brand new air condition system.  Nicer than a typical window unit—just uses the window to vent.  Cools a significant space.  Do you know anyone who could use this?  Free to someone in need.  I will have it delivered.  Just let me know.”

What a generous offer!!!  Of course I couldn’t think of anyone but “Friend 2” knew someone right away and connected the “Friend 1” to someone who has a genuine need for an AC.  

That just thrilled me to the core.  BUT THEN “Friend 2” told me and “Friend 1” THIS STORY.  

“Friend 2” knew of a family that lost their daughter in childbirth, and the baby didn’t make it either. 

“She and the baby were cremated. Each week when I went to visit  I saw the remains sitting on the kitchen table in a cardboard box with their names labeled on there. I felt so sad that their remains were in a simple cardboard box. I asked  if I could help them 

I could help them purchase and urn. They both broke down in tears and were so grateful for the help to give their daughter and granddaughter a dignified place for their remains. I asked them to look online and choose any urn they felt would be a  great memory to them. It took them several weeks to make a choice then he called me to say they made a decision. I ordered it immediately and on my next visit there it was… a beautiful urn for their remains.  They were so thankful and grateful someone would offer something to them. I am not sharing this to toot my own horn but to simply share that sometimes the things we may take for granted may mean the world to someone else.”

So ya’ll there are a few takeaways – 

  1. Friend 1 and Friend 2 are awesome, they’ve been in my life for 40 years and I love them both dearly.  I’m so thankful to have “friends like that”
  2. How much do we take for granted?  Are you hanging on to something someone else may really need?
  3. Are there people in your life that have a need? If you have an elderly relative they may be thrilled with a visit and a milk shake!  
  4. What other good things are happening?  I believe when you do something good, you don’t have to tell it, but I believe in sharing wonderful things like this help others look for opportunities to spread kindness.  There’s a balance.
  5. Enough lessons from your #KernersvilleKindnessCoach ya’ll go and do something good.  Or find like minded friends to help change the world  Things go better with a friend!  (Tell me about it at DeAnna@MyFriendDeAnna.com) I love to share “kind” stories.

Kindness Report – Greensboro, NC 9/10

This morning a friend came running in my office, she said, “DeAnna I have to tell you about some kindness that happened to me last night.”  Of course I was very interested and I listened.

Last night she was leaving work downtown Greensboro and at the corner of Cone Blvd and Yanceyville Street (Greensboro, NC).  This happened 5pm-ish – 9/10.  A young lady had a broken down car and it was holding traffic up for a bit.  My friend was merging and another car got really annoyed, he was motioning and raising his hands and she was too.  

I’m looking confused as she tells this story, she’s said, “Let me get to the good part.”

Well they calmed down, they drove past the lady with the broken vehicle.  At the next stop light he pulled up beside my friend.  She looked at him, he had handwritten a sign that said, “I’M SORRY.”  (He realized there was a lady in distress with the broken down car and my friend truly wasn’t a bad driver). She gave him a thumbs up, she smiled and they parted ways.  

I looked at her and started to get tears in my eyes.  Not like a full on cry, but a “how sweet, it touched my heart” kind of tears.  

Ya’ll my friend was sharing kindness and concern for a lady in distress, and all she knew is this man was overreacting to something he couldn’t see fully. All this man knows is, he was ready to get home – and then, he saw what was happening and was able to say, “I’m sorry.”  

How often do we do this in our own live?  We react to something and don’t know the full story.  We react and then regret. 

I applaud this young man for saying, “I’m sorry.”  ( I’m also quite impressed that he had a pen and paper in his vehicle!!)

Let’s take time to be kind, let’s take time to not react harshly.  Let’s give a thumbs up for an apology if someone does act too fast.  If we’re wrong, just say, “I’m sorry.” He touched my life with this simple gesture.

9/9/19 Kindness Report – Champale Anderson of St. Louis

Tonight as I opened the computer I prayed. “Lord, open my eyes to some joy and kindness in this world.” WELL, He is indeed faithful. There was a story on my local NBC channel WX11-12 about Champale Anderson of St. Louis. She has 6 kids of her own, but she opens her doors daily and serves the kids in her neighborhood. What an act of kindness these kids run to her door and she is able to provide for them physically. How amazing is that?

Here is an article to the complete story – but this just overwhelmed me.

https://www.wxii12.com/article/my-special-babies-woman-makes-lunches-for-children-in-her-neighborhood-who-knock-on-her-door/28972129

Champale thank you so much for serving people. ❤

She brought to mind that there is opportunity to serve, and sometimes these people are right outside your front door. You don’t know in which ways you’ll be able to impact people.

Sometimes we put a lot of pressure on ourselves but kindness doesn’t require perfection, it requires connection. If you can’t feed someone today, smile at a stranger and compliment something about them. Those kind words could carry them through the day.

PS~Champale’s GoFundMe raised $16,328 as of the writing of this post. Because people see the need for her brand of kindness!!!