Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day 274: Left Cookies For A Delivery Man

This may have been one of the more relaxing weekends that my family has been able to have in a loooooooong time.  Besides the awesome charity bowling event yesterday, all we've done is chill out and lay around at home or at my parents' (my sister was in town for a wedding this weekend).  The most excitement that we had this weekend was Isla finally pooping after 2 days of not going.  When Isla goes to school in a few years, she might be the only kid in her class with Metamucil and Fiber One bars in her lunchbox.  I think her lack of #2's has actually led to some cost savings for our family since she doesn't tear through diapers like a normal baby.  So when we have our weekly cloth diaper delivery, the bag isn't terribly heavy.  Although Isla doesn't cause much of an issue for our delivery man, we still understand how hard he works.  He makes his rounds on Sunday nights from about 5PM until 5AM, all the way from near Wisconsin down to the south suburbs.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I wrote a note thanking him for his hard work and my wife made up a batch of frosted pumpkin cookies for him.  I just really want him to know that his hard work doesn't go unnoticed. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day 273: Attended A Fundraiser

Yesterday, my random act was to collect auction items for the bowling tournament/charity auction to raise funds for The Lau Family and their son Nathan.  As I described yesterday, Nathan is currently battling a condition that will require a liver transplant, so the Children's Organ Transplant Association has put together this event to raise funds.  I cannot stress enough on here how important organ donation registration is.  It gives children like Nathan the opportunity to live a normal life.  Just like the daughter of Dee Dee, someone who has been reading my random acts since the beginning of the year.  In early 2011, Dee Dee learned that her 11 year old daughter was suffering from anemia caused by kidney failure.  After months of dialysis, a match was found and this past February her daughter had the kidney transplant.  I received an email from Dee Dee and she told me that now, at 13 years old, her daughter feels "1000 times better than she did on dialysis, and has returned to all her normal activities.  This is the type of impact that fundraisers such as the one for Nathan can have.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I will attend the fundraiser and donate to Noozles for Nathan.  To reiterate what I wrote yesterday, if you could please take a few minutes and head over to the Donate Life website to register for organ donation, so that you could ppossibly save the life of someone else. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 272: Collected Items For A Charity Auction

Before I get started with today's random act, I have a favor that I would like to ask of everyone.  If you get a chance, please tune in to The Steve Harvey Show today.  Back on Day 257, I stated that my random act was a mystery.  The reason that I did that is because at the time, I wasn't able to reveal it due to the face that I had to keep it secret that 366 Random Acts was going to have a small segment on the show.  So if you have some time (or wish to utilize DVR), please check it out as Day 257 is revealed.

In January, I registered to become an organ and tissue donor at the request of my friend Dan.  The reason Dan asked me to do that is because his son was born with a condition that may one day require a liver transplant.  I was more than happy to do so and would ask one more time if everyone can take 30 seconds out of their day and register to become a donor yourself here.  Dan recently reached out to me and told me about another family whose son is going through something very similar.  Nathan Lau was born on December 30th, 2011 with a rare liver disease called Biliary Atresia.  The disease results in the blockage or absence of the bile duct between the liver and small intestine, and many times necessitates a transplant.  That is the point that Nathan and the Lau family find themselves at right now.  The cost of a transplant can sometimes reach upwards of $500,000, so a massive effort has been put in place to help the Laus raise the money.  Tomorrow, in conjunction with the Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA), there will be a bowling tournament and charity auction to help raise funds for Nathan.  When Dan let me know about the auction, I decided to spring into action to see what I could do to help.  Through the power of Twitter and this blog, I was able to reach out to some athletes who were more than willing to help with the donation of items.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I am collecting auction items to be donated to help raise money for Nathan.  Thanks to the generous donations of Charles "Peanut" Tillman and The Charles Tillman Foundation, Kyle Korver and his family, DJ Moore, Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, a great amount of money should be generated to help with Nathan's transplant.  I look forward to meeting up with everyone tomorrow for the tournament and to crushing Dan in bowling.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day 271: Paid A Man To Run

 You could replace "marathon" with "366 Random Acts" and that is what people probably think of me.

"If you tryin' to help others, I feel good for you son, you got 26 miles and I'll give for each one." -Jay-Z

Jay-Z didn't really say this.  But I'm guessing this is what he would have rapped to my friend Dan had he known him.  You see, in just over a week, Dan will join my other friend Chas (the guy who did the 100 Mile Bike Ride with me), and together they will run the 2012 Chicago Marathon.  I would have loved to join them on the run, but unfortunately my back problems preclude me from participating (Editor's Note: The previous sentence is a lie.  There is no way I would ever be able to run the marathon.  I am just trying to sound cool).  Obviously a lot of time and physical effort goes into training for, and subsequently running a marathon, so it is an impressive feat.  Dan has opted to make it even more impressive by raising money for a great cause.  The Infant Welfare Society of Chicago is a great organization that is dedicated to providing medical, dental and mental health services to underprivileged women and children in the neighborhoods of Chicago.  Each year, the IWS helps out over 13,000 residents and is aided primarily by donations.  Dan felt strongly about helping this group, so he has decided to run his marathon both in honor of them, and to help raise funds for them.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I am paying Dan $1 to run each mile of the race, and he will in turn donate that money to IWS.  He is so close to his goal of $1000, so anyone that has the means to give and would like to help can donate here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 270: Congratulated A Newly Engaged Couple

I've described the day I proposed to Lindsey on here before, but I only really gave part of the story.  I told you about the crazy sound she made (I compared it to a wounded badger), how she didn't think it was real, and that I had to ask her 4-5 times to marry me before she was able to say yes.  It all sounds like such a sweet memorable moment, and it was...but leading up to the proposal wasn't so sweet.

One thing about me that my wife, friends, and family can vouch for is the fact that I have no problem sharing all kinds of information.  If you ask them, they would probably say I share far too much information.  I can't believe I am about to tell the world the story leading up to my proposal, but I am.  If you aren't a fan of bathroom stories/humor, this might be the time to go visit another website.  I'd suggest Hammacher Schlemmer because I have always wanted one of those branding irons that you use on your steaks.  If you've hung around this long, I promise that this is a completely tame retelling of the actual events.

So the day had finally come.  I was going to propose to the woman that I loved.  I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, but that didn't mean that I wasn't nervous at all.  I wanted to make sure that everything went off without a hitch and that she was completely surprised, so I was majorly stressing out.  The plan was to go wine tasting at a few of our favorite wineries and at the last winery, we would go walk in the vineyard overlooking the mountains where I would get down on a knee.  By the time we got to the second to last winery, the nerves had overtaken me to the point that my stomach was tossing and turning so that I felt like I had food poisoning.  As we were preparing to leave, I told Lindsey, in probably the most frightened way possible, that I had to use the restroom.  However, this was kind of an old school winery, and the restroom consisted of a lone blue port-o-potty.  As with most port-o-potties, the toilet seat was completely disgusting, which was terrible because I am already stricken with an immense fear of public restrooms.  Since the toilet was too disgusting to sit on, I had to make due with the urinal that was hanging on the inside.  I am not proud of this, but it had to be done due to the direness of the situation.  Since the port-o-potty was in direct sunlight, it had gotten so hot in there that I had to take my shirt off.  I'm not sure if it was the stress of the day or the stress of the situation, but I got so light headed in there that I nearly passed out.  I finished up, got myself together, and made my way back to the car looking completely haggard and disheveled.  Unbeknownst to Lindsey, I had just had one of the most uncomfortable moments of my life minutes before what was supposed to be one of the most important moments of my life.  Well as you can de-deuce (pun and misspelling completely intended), everything worked out alright because I have a beautiful wife and daughter to show for it.  So why did I just share this completely embarrassing moment in my life?  Well I'm not completely sure, but I guess it somewhat ties in with my random act from today.  I saw a couple taking their engagement photos on a bridge in Chicago this afternoon, and rather than just walk by them, I decided to stop and say something.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I congratulated a random couple on the street on their engagement and wished them well in their future life together.  They gave me kind of a weird look at first, but then thanked me for my well wishes.  Now I will go ahead and crawl into a hole and hide since I shared this story.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 269: Gave My Friend Woman Advice

I feel like I have been posting pretty late recently.  Sorry about that.  Work and life have been pretty busy, but I will be sure to get back on my game.  Today's random act is going to be like one of those Blind Items in the New York Post so that we can keep the party(s) anonymous.  I have a friend who has had his share of woman issues (both good and bad) in the past.  He has a potential honeydip (a.k.a girlfriend) that he has been speaking to for some time that he was thinking about taking to the next level.  Being a Casanova and former wooer of women (Lindsey would probably dispute this), I told him what I believed was the best course of action for getting the girl and turning it into a fairytale relationship.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I gave a friend woman advice.  Surprisingly, Lindsey actually agreed with my advice for the most part and helped by giving him some as well.  Hopefully this works out well for him because he deserves a great woman. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 268: Pushed Swings For Isla and Friends

There is nothing I cherish more in this world than one on one time with The Bean.  Obviously we enjoy Mommy's company, but when Isla and I get to hang out alone together, I feel as though we are really able to continue to build that father-daughter bond.  Besides, she's a Daddy's Girl (or at least that is what I tell myself much to my wife's dismay).  Today was a day where we were able to get some one on one time.  Sadly, our nanny's grandfather passed away over the weekend, so she needed time off to spend time with her family.  Rather than find a temporary babysitter who we don't trust, I decided that I would take the day off of work in order to stay with Isla.  Although she hasn't been the best eater for me, we have had a fun day filled with playing, reading books, going on walks, and even stopping at the park.  The park was surprisingly crowded with kids around Isla's age, especially the kiddie swings.  Isla loves the swings more than anything at the playground, so we of course had to spend some time in them.  Most of the kids there were with their grandparents, and they were enjoying some relaxing time on the park bench.  I asked if it was OK for me to push the few kids who didn't have anyone doing it for them, and I got the thumbs up.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I pushed Isla and some friends in the swings at the playground.  The loud scream-giggles that Isla was letting out told me that she had a great time.  I'll ask her once she gets up from her nap.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day 267: Gave A Few Bucks To Help Stop Diabetes

Whether you say it dia-beet-ees or, like the great Wilford Brimley, dia-beet-us, chances are you know someone who is affected with the disease (it may even be you).  The reason that I assume that is because it is estimated that 26 million Americans are currently struggling with diabetes.  I have personally made an effort to start chancing the way I eat because the crap that I was ingesting made me susceptible to getting Type 2 Diabetes, and when my back allows me to exercise again, I will be sure to.  However, it isn't just people who are out of shape that can be afflicted with the disease (like Jay Cutler and ironically, "Sugar" Ray Robinson).  It is something that is genetic as well, and there is a ton more that needs to be done to help eliminate this growing problem.  The American Diabetes Association is looking to do just that, and one of the ways they are attempting to raise funds is through their Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes.  Due to a conflicting schedule, I won't be able to participate in the actual walk, but that doesn't mean I can't help, at least in a small way.  So today, for my random act of kindness, my wife and I donated to the walk.  You can also do so at many different participating Walgreens stores just as we did. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 266: Fed Broke College Students

To quote Joey Tempest of the transcendent symphonic glam metal group, Europe, it's the final countdown.  Today marks the 266th act of kindness, which means there are only 100 to go.  Pure insanity, I tell ya!  The question I have been asked more than anything since doing these acts has been "What are you going to do at the end of the year?" I'm guessing it is time for me to put some serious thought into that since it seems that procrastinating on the answer might bite me in the butt.  It wouldn't be a first for me to procrastinate.  If you knew me in college, you would know that I turned procrastination into an art form (I have an extra year of college to show for it!).  Another thing that I turned into an art form in college was surviving with little to no money.  As I have said before here on this blog, we really didn't have much money growing up, and that continued into college.  My mom was busting her butt working just to pay for me to go to IU, so although she was able to help me out with some cash, I didn't have as deep of pockets as others (deep being a relative term because most college students are somewhat broke).  Besides a steady diet of ramen noodles, frozen pizzas and frat food, I utilized my cunning and guile to supply myself with all the sustenance (and beer) that I needed.  There was nothing better in college than when parents or alumni would come in town because that meant you were going to be eating like kings for the weekend.  I'd like to actually do the same for college kids that others did for me.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I am going to feed some broke college students.  My friend James recently won a gift card to Wendy's, and he gave it to me so that I could use it for one of my random acts.  I was amazed when I found out the gift card was for $200!!!  In keeping with my theme of 100 to go, I am going to get 100 "to-go" meals from Wendy's (burgers and fries) and pass them out at UIC and DePaul.  I will also be sure to give some to anyone that I see on the street who is struggling for a meal. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 265: Handed Out Umbrellas

Today is officially the last day of summer, and in typical Chicago style, the temperature immediately dropped 20 degrees while being accompanied by showers.  Luckily, this wasn't one of the days that I spent working in a territory that I would have to walk all day.  I was driving around all day, and couldn't figure out exactly what I was going to do for my random act today.  I hadn't planned one out this morning, and I wasn't really inspired to do something specific.  That is when it hit me.  It had been in front of my face all day.  As I panned left to right, I realized that since the rain kind of hit out of nowhere, there were a bunch of people walking around getting rained on.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I stopped by a Walgreen's, picked up some umbrellas, and passed them out to pedestrians who were caught out in the rain.  One of the people that I passed an umbrella out to was hesitant at first because they thought I wanted something for it.  She said, "You aren't going to try to talk me into joining your church are you?'  I laughed and assured her it was simply a random act of kindness.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 264: Decided It Can Wait

 As I have previously documented on this site, I am somewhat addicted to technology.  More specifically, I am addicted to texting.  Thank goodness for unlimited data plans or my cell phone bill would probably be gargantuan.  There are 14 year old girls out there who would probably see how much I text and think it is too much.  I text when I wake up, I text when I am sitting on the couch, I text when I use the bathroom (ewwwwwww).  Another time that I text, even though I know I am not supposed to, is when I am driving.  My wife yells at me all the time not to do it, but I continue to do so.  I am completely against drinking and driving, but what I am doing is almost as bad.  A person who texts while driving is 23 times more like to get into a car accident than someone who isn't. I have a beautiful wife and gorgeous daughter, so getting into a potentially fatal accident isn't something that I can risk.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I have decided that "It Can Wait" and took the AT&T pledge to stop texting while driving.  This is for Lindsey and Isla, as well as anyone else that could have possibly been hurt by my risky behavior. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 263: Raised For Ray

The town that I am from, Thornton, IL, is a tiny little place just south of Chicago.  I haven't really done any census research recently, but I am guessing there are well less than 3,000 people living in Thornton.  The most noteworthy things from Thornton are that it is home to the 2nd largest limestone quarry in the world, Al Capone had a hideout there, and the undeniable fact that the 1994 7th grade Wolcott Wildcats basketball team would have beaten the heavily favored McKinley Monarchs were it not for some horrendous officiating by the referees.  Although Thornton isn't really famous for anything, I am still proud of the fact that I was born and raised there.  It was a community where, for better or worse, you always knew what was going on with your neighbors.  Regardless of where everyone lives now, it seems that it isn't very hard to know what is going on with friends and acquaintances, although I think Facebook has played a very strong hand in that.  Well it was because of Facebook that I was able to learn through a friend about a former Thorntonite going through a pretty difficult time.  Ray Thompson is someone that attended both elementary and high school with my sister Tiffany (in fact, they went to school dances together).   About 4 years ago, Ray found out that he had an enlarged heart and would need both defibrillator and pace maker surgery.  Since those surgeries, his condition has unfortunately taken a turn for the worse, and he will eventually need to have a heart transplant.  A friend of Ray's has started a fundraising campaign to help Ray and his family out with the funds needed in order to pay for surgeries and the eventual transplant.   So today, for my random act of kindness, I am going to help "raise for Ray" and both donate and try to bring awareness to his campaign.  If you would like to learn more about Ray, and have the means to donate, please visit his associated YouCaring website.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day 262: Ate A Cheeseburger

A couple of months ago, for one of my random acts, I passed out free cheeseburgers to people for one of my random acts of kindness.  I never thought that cheeseburgers would be involved in another one of my acts, but alas, it is today.  For those that don't know, today in the US is National Cheeseburger Day.  What does that entail?  I'm not really sure actually.  Maybe everyone is just supposed to go out and gorge themselves with cheeseburgers, but that doesn't really sound too exciting (or healthy) to me.  If I am going to celebrate one of these "national day" days, I want to at least have them be meaningful or help out someone.  Luckily, I was able to find a large chain doing just that.  In celebration of National Cheeseburger Day, Five Guys and Foursquare have teamed up with Feeding America to raise funds to help feed hungry people here in the States.  All you need to do is go to your local Five Guys restaurant, order a cheeseburger, and check-in at the location on Foursquare.  For every check-in, Kraft Foods will be donating a meal to one of Feeding America's foodbanks.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I will be eating a cheeseburger, thus allowing someone in need to get a meal.  CHEEZBORGER CHEEZBORGER CHEEZBORGER!!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 261: Sent An Email To Students

It is my belief that if the world around us is going to change for the better, we need to teach our children the importance of kindness and selflessness.  If we are ever going to eliminate things like racism, sexism, prejudice and hate, we need to impart upon the next generation the ideals that everyone, regardless of religion, race, sexual preference, etc., deserves the kindness of others. When I started this mission, my goal was to make sure I taught that sort of thinking onto my daughter.  I am honored to say that it has stretched far beyond just my daughter.  I have received countless emails from parents and teachers saying that their children have been following along with 366 Random Acts of Kindness and have been performing random acts of their own inspired by 366.  One of the emails I received was from Joel Condray, a 6th grade teacher at Challenger Intermediate School in Goddard, Kansas.  Mr. Condray told me that he and his students have been following 366 Random Acts of Kindness since Day 1, and have also been performing their own random acts throughout the course of the year.  Mr. Condray's "Secret Service" has gone about their random acts by adhering to the motto that their teacher taught them: SONY (Serve Others, Not Yourself).  He asked me if I could reach out to his kids and reinforce this message to them.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I sent an email to the 6th graders at Challenger, thanked them for following the blog, and challenged them to continue to be the positive change the world needs as they grow older.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Day 260: Ran A 5K

 The title of this post isn't really true.  I personally didn't do any running at all.  My wife did though, and with very little (read: absolutely none) training, she posted a great time for her first ever 5K.  The reason that I didn't do any sort of running (on top of my back issues), was because I wanted to involve Isla in this random act.  She has been the inspiration of my random acts of kindness, so as the year starts to come to a close, I want to get her involved in as many as possible.  So while I say that I "Ran A 5K," really I walked the entire thing with Isla strapped to my chest in our baby carrier.  All along the way, she was so talkative, and kept getting so excited when people would be on the sidewalk cheering her on.  As we came around the final turn towards the finish line, Lindsey was there waiting to cross it with us.  I'm sure you've made it this far into this post saying to yourself, "Hmmm I'm not sure this really constitutes any sort of kindness."  Well let me explain how.  In order to be able to run in the race, you had to put your entry fee towards a wonderful cause, which for today's Bucktown 5K, was Gilda's Club Chicago.  Gilda's Club, founded in memory of comedienne Gilda Radner by her family and friends after her passing, is a free support group that helps people who are struggling with cancer.  It allows both the person fighting cancer and their family the opportunity to gain social, emotional and informational support as they go through this difficult time in their lives.  So today, for my random act of kindness, my family and I ran (and walked) a 5K in order to raise funds used to support those who are struggling with cancer.  It is an ailment that really hits close to home for us, so anything we can do to support it, we will do.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 259: Brought My Friends (And Wife) To A Concert

 One of the most memorable moments of my life was my first dance with my wife as a married couple at our wedding. Although everyone was around us, it seemed like we were the only two people there.  I was so happy to just embrace my wife and dance to "Lucky" by Jason Mraz and Colbie Callait.  That song has been our song but we have never actually heard it performed live. So when I found out that Jason Mraz was coming to Chicago, I leapt at the opportunity to get tickets to see him. Prior to getting the tickets, I asked my best friend Brian and his girlfriend Sylvana if they would be interested in going with us. They happily obliged. I knew that I wanted to get their tickets for them because they have previously taken me to Jay-Z and Kanye West concerts (really, Syl couldn't go to either one and I took her ticket). So tonight, for my random act of kindness, I brought Brian, Sylvana and Lindsey to see Jason Mraz at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheater.  There might even be plans in place for Lindsey and I to recreate our first dance.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 258: Took My Nanny To A Birthday Buffet

Sarcastic Willy Wonka is always busting my chops.

Although I have fun joking with my wife about how she is overbearing with Isla and won't "cut the cord," I too have a hard time trusting others with my baby girl (Truth be told, she isn't overbearing at all. She is just a great mother who does a tremendous job raising our daughter.  You would be hard pressed to find another baby conditioned at 2 months old to sleep from 6PM to 6AM).  It isn't that I don't trust people to take care of her, but I just don't like giving her up.  Because of those feelings that we both have about Isla, you can imagine how tough it was when it came time for us to find child care when Lindsey went back to work.  We first looked into daycare facilities here in Chicago, but decided that it wasn't for us.  We wanted Isla to have someone who was dedicated to seeing her grow up to be the supermodel genius Olympian that she is destined to be.  That is when we met Kelli.  She has been an absolute treasure for Lindsey and I, but more importantly, for Isla.  From the very beginning, Lindsey and I had nothing but trust in her ability to care for our child, and she has proven time and time again why that is.  Kelli is a part of our family now, and today is her birthday, so we needed to do something for her because that is what you do for family.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I took Kelli out for a birthday brunch at the greatest pizza place on Earth, Aurelio's, and gave her a present from our family.  Kelli, I just want you to know how important you are to us, and we are all so very lucky that you have come into our lives.  Have a happy birthday, and enjoy many bottles of Veuve donated to you by randoms.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 257: It's A Mystery

Normally, I like to tell you my random acts of kindness on the days that I perform them.  However, today's random act must remain a surprise for most people.  However, if you would like to find out what it is, and you are in the Chicagoland area, you can come by Navy Pier starting at about 530-600 this evening.  You can see today's random act, and then head home or to the nearest bar to watch the Chicago Bears layeth the smacketh down on the Green Bay Packers.  For everyone else, you will just have to "tune in" at a later time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day 256: Overtipped My Server

I've been telling friends and family lately that the opportunity for kindness is always all around us, we just have to look for it.  Unfortunately, the opportunity for kindness is sometimes a byproduct of others acting in an unkind manner.  Take what happened to me today for instance.  At around Noon, I became incredibly hungry (truth be told, I got hungry at like 10:45 but I was able to hold it off until after my 11 o'clock appointment).  I was driving around near the border of Chicago and Evanston trying to find some place to eat.  Surprisingly, there wasn't much around that really struck me, so I decided to stop in a Baker's Square.  I figured that it would be quick and cheap, so I pulled in.  As I scanned the menu, I was greeted by Pattie, a sweet senior citizen, who was potentially the most cheerful server I have had in quite some time.  I am extremely indecisive when it comes to choosing food items, so Pattie helped me ultimately choose the Coconut Chicken Salad after I had flip flopped between that and a turkey melt for 3-4 minutes.  She also informed me that it was free pie day (I opted for only a few bites of a very small piece as to not negate my choice of a salad.  While I was enjoying my salad, I overheard another table being completely rude to Pattie because of something she had no control over.  On top of that, after the people left, I heard a couple of Pattie's co-workers talking about how they stiffed her on her tip.  This isn't to brag, but I am generally a good tipper.  I worked as a bus boy for a few months in college, and I saw first hand how stressful the occupation can be, as well as how important tips are to their livelihood.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I overtipped my waitress by giving what I thought would cover a 20% tip for both my bill and the bill of the rude couple.  Just remember to think about yourself in someone else's shoes before you choose to mistreat them.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Day 255: Observed A Moment Of Silence

Never Forget 

Today's random act is for all those who lost their lives that day, and for those that have lost their lives defending our freedom.   

Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 254: Honked My Horn, Pumped My Fist

Let me start this post off by once again reiterating that this blog is apolitical.  I don't care which party you belong to or who you support because no matter what, we are all humans, and everyone deserves kindness.  For those around the country and world who haven't heard, overnight at 12 midnight, the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike effectively shutting down the Chicago Public School system.  There has been a lot made on both sides as to why the strike is happening, but what it seems to boil down to is that beyond the teachers looking for more money (according to news outlets, that seems to have been agreed upon by both sides), they want a school system that is fair, democratic, and puts the children ahead of profit.  My wife is lucky enough to not be a part of all of this because she happens to work for a charter school, but I have many friends whose lives are being affected by this strike.  What they have told me is that the most important thing for them is that the children should be put first.  To them, that entails not closing an estimated 250 schools, additional art and enrichment classes, and not having more students per classroom than what has been proven ineffective.  Those are all things that I feel are important to strengthening not just the Chicago school system, but school systems all around our country.  As I have driven around my territory throughout my work day, I have passed a bunch of different groups of teachers standing united in their efforts.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I honked my horn and pumped my fist for them, to let them know that I am fully behind anything that improves the learning environments for our children.  It is a terrible thing that the kids aren't in school right now, and I hope that this strike doesn't last much longer. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Day 253: Held Up A Sign

Remember this day.  September 9th, 2012 will be an extremely memorable day in everyone's lives.  For it is the day that the Chicago Bears start their march towards winning Super Bowl XLVII.  Isla got into her new Bears gear that her Auntie Tiffany bought her for her birthday, and we are ready to enjoy the marathon that is the NFL season.  This morning, I was able to enjoy a different type of marathon, the Chicago Half-Marathon.  My friends Allison, Laura, and Sylvana have been training for this race for a while now, and today was the day that they would be able to show off their athletic prowess.  My friend Brian and I arrived early this morning at the 8/9 mile turnaround to show our support for the ladies.  With our Sharpie markers and poster board in hand, we got to a bridge overlooking the runners and created signs for them.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I held up a sign for the ladies to give them encouragement to help them get to the finish line.  Unfortunately, we only got to see Sylvana before the end, but all 3 women completed the half marathon under 3 hours.  I'm glad they finished that quickly because it gave me enough time to get home to watch the Bears pound the Colts.  Isla says "Bear Down!"

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Day 252: Washed A Dog

The day has finally arrived!!! Isla Quinn Garcia has turned 1 year old!!!  Her Dr. Seuss themed party was a blast, and everyone seemed to have a great time.  As per her usual daintiness, her smash cake turned into a finely plucked dessert.  Thank you to all of my friends and family who came out to celebrate with us.  And now, my random act...

About a month and a half ago, I received an email from a woman named Karey asking if I may be interested in helping with an upcoming dog washing event.  Karey is a volunteer for an organization called C.A.R.E. (Community Animal Rescue Effort).  C.A.R.E. is a 100% volunteer organization dedicated to finding homes for the unwanted and abandoned animals that have been brought to the shelter.  When I arrived at the shelter, I met so many terrific people who have dedicated many hours of their lives each week to ensure the safety and care for the animals that they oversee.  I also met a bunch of sweet animals who I wish I could have taken home with me (I am not sure crazy Karen the Cat would have appreciated that very much).  While walking around the shelter, I noticed just how little room they have for the dogs and cats.  Their ultimate goal is to eventually raise enough funds to expand so that they can help even more animals.  One of the ways that they look to do that is by hosting their dog washing events for Evanston and the surrounding communities.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I volunteered to help set up the dog washing stations, as well as had the honor to give a dog named Kelso a bath.  I had such a great time working and interacting with the volunteers at C.A.R.E. that I am going to try to find a way to help with one of their events in the future.  If you would like to learn more about their organization, or want to help with a donation, please visit their website.  Thanks again to everyone there for having me!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Day 251: Scooped Up My Sis

                                         Isla will be scared of this picture of Auntie Tiff in the future!

Sorry to be late, but I had the busiest day of work in a very long time.  Also, I have to be pretty short with my random act because Lindsey and I are in the midst of preparing everything for tomorrow....WHICH IS ISLA'S FIRST BIRTHDAY!!!  A special guest that has made the long trip from Florida for Isla's birthday is her Auntie Tiffany (my sister).  So tonight, for my random act of kindness, I am going to head over to Midway Airport and scoop up my sister.  I can't wait until tomorrow.  It is going to be a blast.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day 250: Crashed A Wedding (Registry)

I've probably said it 100 times on here (probably because it seems I've been to 100 weddings this year) but I love weddings.  I want to renew my vows with my wife every year, but she won't let me.  Something about wasting an exorbitant amount of money and cheapening our initial wedding doesn't quite sit well with her.  You would think based on the sheer number of wedding presents I have had to buy this year, I would be sick of it, but you would be wrong.  I feel truly giving and random today, so I want my random act to reflect it.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I am crashing a wedding registry.  I am going on Crate and Barrel, typing in a letter in the first name and last name, and randomly selecting a couple who has an upcoming wedding.  I am then going to buy them something small and write a nice message to them. I am super pumped for this act because I could only imagine what it would be like to get a random present.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 249: Became The Cat's Meow

 Tigger celebrating his 18th birthday

The loss of a pet can be a truly traumatic experience.  I have had to go through it with a dog and two cats, so I can tell you first hand that it is awful.  I keep telling myself that my dog, Vinny, is going to live forever, but sadly I know that isn't the case.  I don't mean to be morose today, but it pertains to my random act of kindness. 

On Day 247, I mentioned that I went to the White Sox game with my friend Doug.  The reason that we attended the game was because it was a celebration for the birthday of Doug's mom, Ginny.  Ginny has been a pretty avid supporter and follower of 366 Random Acts of kindness, so I wanted to thank her in some way for that and to wish her a happy birthday (which is actually today).  The reason why I brought up the loss of a pet earlier is because recently, Ginny lost her cat, Tigger.  She loved Tigger so much that he and his brother Ashes were considered her sons just like Doug and his brother Alex (The cats however had much better bathroom etiquette).  For as much love as Ginny had for Tigger and Ashes, there are literally millions of cats out there that are looking for the same type of love.  The Cat Adoption Team (or C.A.T) is a non-profit organization based in Oregon that is dedicated to finding a home for our feline friends, and giving them the veterinary care that they require before being adopted.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I made a donation to C.A.T in Tigger's name.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Day 248: Handed Over My Leftovers

Today I had to take an interviewing candidate along with me for my work day so that he could get a feeling as to what a day in the field here at ZocDoc is like.  After one of my appointments, we had just enough time to grab a quick bite to eat before the appointment that I had right after.  I looked up and saw one of my favorite (and horrible for me) restaurants...Buffalo Wild Wings.  I have been trying to eat less lately, but I was super hungry, so I ordered 12 boneless wings.  I think my eyes were bigger than my stomach because I didn't even come close to finishing my meal.  It was only midday, I didn't have a refrigerator nearby, and I wasn't sure I could drive around all day with buffalo wings in my car without me getting queasy.  However, I didn't want a bunch of perfectly good food to go to waste.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I handed over my leftovers to a person who was holding a sign that said they were hungry.  I have really made it a point not to waste any food because I just think about all the people out there who are struggling just to get a meal. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Day 247: Lifted Someone Stuck In A Wheelchair

On days where I don't have anything specific planned for my act that day, I like to wait until the end of the day to perform one of my "back-up" acts. This gives me the opportunity to run into truly random acts. Today was one of those days. About an hour ago, my friend Doug called me to offer me a ticket to this evening's White Sox game. I happily obliged and booked it to the Red Line station.  After spending about 15 minutes stuck underground with no air conditioning due to mechanical failure, we finally started going. At one of the stops, a man in a wheelchair was trying to exit the train when his wheel got caught and the doors started to close on him. Myself and two strangers leapt up and were able to get the doors open and free the man's wheel. So today, for a truly random act of kindness, I helped a man who was trapped.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Day 246: Took Isla To A Birthday Party

We are less than a week away from Isla's first birthday.  The inspiration for my random acts is such a big girl now.  When I first started, all she could do was roll around on the floor a little bit.  Now she is a motor mouth who moves crawls quickly around the house hearing "No" as she gets into all the stuff that she isn't supposed to.  My wife has put together a pretty awesome Dr. Seuss themed party, and I cannot wait for the day to finally come.  The first year has gone by so fast though, that I am already starting to fear having to send Isla off to college.

Even for a soon to be 1 year old, Isla has already amassed a large number of friends.  She has been able to establish this social network through swim classes, music classes, play dates, and Mommy's new mom club.  Isla lights up so much around her little friends and gets so excited to interact and play with other babies.  For as much personality as she has around her mother and I, she shows it off 10 fold around other kids.  So today, for my random act of kindness, I took Isla to her friend Emma's birthday party.  She enjoyed playing with Emma and the other babies, and dominated a good amount of watermelon.  She was so excited and yelling her head off in joy most of the time. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Day 245: Gave My Friend A Haircut

Today I get to stand up in my friend Andrew's wedding.  I can't wait.  Before the festivities begin, all of the guys are getting together to hang out and watch some college football.  This morning I went to go get a little trim on my hair to clean it up (I am growing it to donate it for a future random act), but unfortunately, the woman got a little wild with the clippers and gave me a bad haircut.  My friend Bill is in town to also stand in the wedding, and mentioned last night that he needed to get his hair cut as well.  Rather than subject him to Edwina Scissorhands down the block, I figured that I could give him a nice haircut and get him ready for the wedding (plus he doesn't have much hair, so any mistakes wouldn't be that noticable).  So today, for my random act of kindness, I will be giving my friend Bill a wedding day haircut.  In no time at all, I will have him looking like a young Ed Harris and not like the picture of the kid above.