Saturday, January 18, 2014

Goodbye hair, hello good feeling

Back in December, I wrote a very long post about random acts of kindness.  It had over 80 ideas for doing random acts of kindness in your home town, with your family and friends.  Many of my followers or people who had found me through Pinterest emailed me for the list.  I emailed it to everyone interested and sat back to see what happened.  I got a lot of comments about the post, people who had tried doing random acts of kindness each day in December, and then people who had random acts of kindness done to them in return.  I was so excited to see where this project went, who learned something from it, who it effected, and hear about who felt blessed by doing nice things.  I heard from so many people who were new to this random kindness thing.  I heard how good it felt to give for absolutely no reason at all, and I heard how the good deeds were returned to them randomly. 

I was also the recipient of quite a few random acts of kindness myself in the month of December.  My kids and I were given gift cards to a restaurant, a coffee/donut shop and Walmart.    I received a few packages anonymously

Yes, it's filled with lip balms.  This is just my 'stashe on my work desk. 

(Do you see a pattern here??)

(and some weren't so anonymous) at my doorstep, and I was actually given a brand new couch by a couple I didn't know (but know now, and I could not thank them enough for their generosity), who were doing a kind deed before Christmas. 

The generous deeds I did were just small tokens of my appreciation for all of the blessings I have in my life.  My kids and I donated pillows, blankets and towels to the homeless. 

We donated winter clothes to a local charity.  We gave our gas attendants (and friend, Honey Badger Bob) hand warmers.  We paid for coffee and a donut at the drive thru.  We gave homemade cookies to every person on our newpaper routes,
we donated our time at the church Christmas bazaar. 

We brought glue sticks, dry erase markers, post it notes to the kids' classrooms at school.  I cut 11 inches of my hair off and donated my ponytail to a group that makes wigs for cancer patients. 

We donated our time and toys for Toys For Tots.  I helped move some couches to a cousin's house.  We dropped some old sheets off at a pet shelter.  I gave a little boy behind me in a loooooong line at Walmart a bunch of coins because he was so patient and such a good boy waiting all that time.  He originally had one penny in his hand that he had found on the floor, and he was going to put it in his piggy bank at home.  Now he has a bunch of coins to add to his piggy bank.  And his smile when I handed them to him was infectious. 
As I did all of these random acts of kindness, I didn't expect anything in return.  The good feeling I had knowing that I would make someone happy was enough for me.  The things I did were so minor, but they made a difference in someone's day.  Honey Badger Bob's hands were warm in the freezing cold.  Our paper customers had a yummy dessert, someone (or many someones) were able to keep warm because they had blankets now, and a soft pillow to lay their head at night.  The dogs at the shelter would now have a soft bed.  I did get plenty of items in return, which I am so grateful for.  But the emotion that I felt behind giving each item and the fact that my children were learning to be selfless and generous was all that I really needed. 
In closing, I received a beautiful letter in the mail today that I did not expect to receive.  When I mailed off my ponytail, I did not include a card letting them know who sent it.  When you donate, you can choose to get a card back in the mail, whether for tax purposes, or just for your own records, by sending them a card with your name and address.  I just mailed the ponytail with my return address on the envelope, not expecting anything at all. 

The letter reads
"Dear Generous Donor,
On behalf of Pantene Beautiful Lengths, with heartfelt appreciation, we thank you for giving so selflessly of yourself to women who are faced with hair loss from cancer treatment. 
Your healthy ponytail will help give self -confidence back to a special woman who is battling cancer so that she can fight the disease with a little more dignity.  Your generosity is touching and we hope it will inspire many others to make the kindest cut of all. 
As you may already know, it takes roughly six ponytails to make one Pantene Beautiful Lengths wig.  Your donation will be joined with five others and transformed into a high quality, real-hair wig by HAIRUWEAR, our campaign partner and the leading global producer of real-hair wigs and extensions. 
We are also honored to work closely with the American Cancer Society.  The American Cancer Society distributes Pantene Beautiful lengths wigs, at no cost, to female cancer patients, through it's extensive network of nationwide wig banks.  If you are interested in finding out more about this program and the incredible difference that it is making, please visit .
Together, we can help bring some joy into the lives of women living with cancer.
Kind regards,
Pantene Beautiful Lengths"
This letter means so much to me.  And if you don't already know, this is not the first time I have been involved with the American Cancer Society.  I have cut my hair before to donate 12 inches back in 12/2009.  And I did it a few years before that, too.  But more importantly, I am a team co-Captain at the Upper Cape Relay For Life each June on Cape Cod, MA.  I do this for my Dad, who is a survivor of almost 11 years, for my Grandmother, whom we lost in April 2011, and for my friend Jackie who was like a second Mom to me who lost her fight in 2003.  Please read about my story (and theirs) HERE.
Please consider getting involved in random acts of kindness.  I promise you, you will get an AMAZING feeling from it.  Please contact me if you'd like any advice, any tips, or if you'd like to get involved with the Relay For Life.  For Pantene Beautiful Lengths, please go to or
Thank you so much to everyone who showered me with generosity this month, last month, and always.  I am so incredibly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life and the lives of my family.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.  Love, Heather

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