Monday, December 17, 2007

Bloggers Unite To Do Good - Random Acts of Kindness

Bloggers Unite challenged bloggers around the world to move away from their computers and do something good offline - in the real world - and then post about it, letting others know the collective power of the blogoshpere. Bloggers Unite wants bloggers to put a human face on our actions so that the non-blogging world might see what we've done and be moved to action.

I was so excited to participate in this challenge. After all, this is what I write about every day - people helping people, people changing the world because they care. So why was I so reluctant to actually go do it? Why was I procrastinating?

I finally called Child Haven, my local area Department of Family and Children Services group home. I planned to answer their call for volunteers to come rock and play with the many babies in their facility. This was Saturday, no one answered the phone. I had to do my good deed by Monday so helping Child Haven was out.

Sunday I called an assisted living facility near my house. I told the nice woman who answered the phone that I'd like to come visit the residents, bring a stack of Christmas cards and help people fill them out for family and friends. I'd even mail them when we were done. Her answer, "You need the approval of the activities director. She's off on Sunday's." But I need to come today! "Can't help you without approval."

By yesterday evening I was back to square one and running out of time. My husband suggested adopting an angel from the Salvation Army Angel Tree. "But we do that every year," I said. He shook his head, "So just tell everyone about it this time." I grabbed the camera to chronicle everything for my blog and my stomach tightened. Suddenly I knew why I'd had so much trouble with this assignment.

You see I was brought up to believe that one should do the right thing for no other reason than it's right. To ask for praise or talk about what I've done as if it was something special makes it about me and diminishes the act itself. The Bible verses imprinted on my memory are found in Matthew 6:1-4 of the New Testament. As a result, I never took my camera out of my purse.

I've been blessed with excellent examples of sharing love. I've witnessed the kind and selfless acts of many humble spirits. Their lives are daily reminders of how God wants us to care for each other.

If you meet my mother she will never tell you that for twenty years straight she made weekly visits to nursing homes (one of them was over 40 miles away) to help care for two of her sisters and an aunt. She'll never tell about the times she made entire meals for sick friends or sat by the bedside of dieing loved ones while they drew their last breath. She just did those things because that is who she is.

I've known my mother-in-law since I was a teenager but back then she was just my friend's mother, the one who answered the phone when I called her son. When Todd and I started dating, I learned how special she really is. Just like my mother she goes out of her way to care for others by taking part in special projects in her church. She is always contributing, always helping someone in need. She's never told me about these things, I discovered her good nature by watching. The first time I celebrated her birthday I stared in awe as she gave gifts to all of her grandchildren. By knowing her, I am constantly reminded of the kind of woman I want to be.

So back to me and what I did last night. I'm happy to report that my local Salvation Army is doing well this year. The tree was almost empty of angel tags. All the children had been chosen. But the program was in need of filler gifts for teenagers so Todd and I chose tags for a boom box and a music gift card. We shopped and returned the items to the table. I have to admit that I've enjoyed it more in previous years when we've been given a specific child to shop for.

Last year we chose a little girl and a little boy and took our children to buy the gifts. As we shopped, we talked about them as if they were our children's friends. The kids had fun picking out clothes they thought were cool and toys that would elicit screams of joy on Christmas morning. It warmed me from head to toe to think of the boy's and girl's faces when they saw the wrapped stacks of presents. I find value in this program because it teaches our children to share and give and to think of those who have less with love, not pity.

I'm glad I participated in this challenge but at the same time I learned a great deal about myself. like - I'm much more comfortable shining the light of praise on others.


Gmstepp said...

Lisa, I think that's one of the things that makes your blog one I want to come back to regularly--the fact that you're so good at putting a human face on the actions of other people who do what they can in their own sphere to change the world for the better. In fact, you're meeting the "Blogger's Unite' challenge every day as far as I'm concerned. Your posts are about real people and real actions in the real world, and the fact that you're pointing out their examples to the rest of us makes you a partner in their effort. It really only took one line in your post today to inspire me to look for something like Child Haven in my area. Hey, if I was handing out the award--you'd have it already.

Thanks for the inspiration!


Lisa McGlaun said...


Wow..and thanks for being so kind. I'm still going to go to Child Haven. My twelve year old son wanted to go with me and was disappointed when it didn't work out. So I plan to pursue it.

Thanks for the comment..I hope you come back often, new friend.


CyberCelt said...

You have wonderful ideas for a Sunday! LOL. God bless you for not giving up until you could do something. It makes a difference in the world.

Lisa McGlaun said...


Thanks. I wish one of them had worked out...:) Oh well, there is still time.

Thanks for the comment.


My Den said...

That's a marvelous thing you did for the Salvation Army Angel Tree, bringing cheer to disadvantaged children and to think that you did it every year! Kudos to you.

Sandra said...

Hi Lisa,

I know what you mean about being reluctant to "show off" your good deeds. I am especially that way about donations.

I also wrote about Angel Tree for the Bloggers Unite project. Though I did get a photo. ;)

Have a Merry Christmas!

Gabriel said...

That was a beautiful story, Lisa.

My company sponsors -or should I say adopts- two families through the Salvation Army every year, one in Toronto and another one here in Waterloo.

I was part of the planning committee our Company's Holiday Party, and we made a decision this year that we all felt very proud of: we would reduce the amount of money to be used for prizes, and gave that money to those families we adopted.

It felt really nice when we heard about all the stuff that had been bought for them. Too bad we didn't have time to produce a video or something like this so we would get to know them, but I believe it's even more altruistic when you give and you don't even know to whom...

Gabriel said...

I forgot to mention, how lucky and privileged you are to have two fantastic women like your mother and your mother-in-law in your family.

My mother-in-law arrived in Canada yesterday from Argentina, and will stay with us for over two months. I couldn't be happier. Are we the exception to the rule? :-)

Lisa McGlaun said...

My Den,

I really do enjoy getting the angels from the tree. It makes me happy to know that I've helped someone have a good Christmas.

Best Wishes,

Lisa McGlaun said...


I look forward to reading your post. Maybe more people will help the Salvation Army because of what we've blogged about today..I hope so.


Lisa McGlaun said...


Sounds like your company made a family really happy. Tha's wonderful. No, it's not strange to love your mother in law. I know I love mine. Actually, should add that I'm in my second marriage. I still love my first mother in law very much too. She is also a selfless yes, I've been very blessed in that regard.

By the way, I was touched by your memories of singing at a nursing home. That is a very thoughtful thing to do.


bokjae said...

Wow! what a wonderful post! Keep up the kind acts! said...

That's so sad, that silly rules could hinder you from doing good. Maybe that's one of the reasons why people don't do such things more often.

I can't help thinking: what if almost EVERY person would do something good...? What a wonderful world we'd be living in.... *dreamy sigh*

Lisa McGlaun said...

Thanks for the kinds words..I'll keep it up..:)


You know I thought the same thing..that it seemed odd that I needed premission to visit with people. But we live in such a world of fear and threats that I guess I see why they screen visitors. Wish that wasn't so because it probably keeps many people from just dropping by to make an elderly persons day brighter.

Peace to both of you,

Anonymous said...

Beautiful!! And thank you for the kudos. One just has to step in and do when one sees or hears of a need. My Mom set that example for me, God rest her soul. She quietly did a lot of special things for people just because she saw a need. Perhaps the explanation of lack of good news lies in the many doing their good deeds behind the scenes and quietly..."laying up treasures in heaven"...not because there isn't any good news. Let's hope so. By-the-way, my daughter-in-law is a very special person. I am very lucky to have her! Love, Your Mother-in-Law

Lisa McGlaun said...

I love you too and you are truly the example I said you exaggerations.Looking forward to seeing you soon!

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