Category Archives: Acts of Kindness

Five Ways to Pack Less but Make More of a Difference

This post was inspired by Katherine’s actions – Thank you!

The wisest travel advice we’ve ever heard is, “Take half as many clothes, and twice as much money.” That might be why savvy travelers carry less luggage and wear clothing with more pockets than the average tourist.

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With or without those over-sized pockets, as folks take advantage of good weather and saved vacation days, they can find plenty of opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives while on the road and out of town.

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The following five ideas are simply starting points; please share your thoughtful travel ideas in the comments section below.

 

  1. Buy locally made souvenirs from independent vendors, local markets, or from shops like One World or 10,000 Villages.  You’ll support a craftsperson/artist while having a unique, region-specific treasure to remind you of the great time you had.
  2. Pack your less than favorite – but still nice – clothes. When you arrive at your destination, buy locally made clothes to wear and enjoy, donating your clean but no longer loved clothing from home to folks who would appreciate it.
  3. If going to an area where the residents struggle with poverty, pack small toys, one-size-fits-all gloves, or little notebooks and puzzles to give to any children you might meet. These small items are a better choice than candy or chocolates because they may not have regular access to dental care, or there could dietary/religious factors to consider.
  4. Take an instant camera along. New models are small, colorful and under $100. The instantly developed pictures are fun for kids to make silly faces for; exciting for people who don’t have access to cameras/their own pictures to see, and the completed photos can be given to the subjects themselves to keep or share with their family and friends.
  5. Upon your return, consider sponsoring an endangered animal, family in need, conservation effort, etc. in the area you just visited. Look into giving gifts of service/action to family and friends back home instead of plastic doodads from a tourist-trap. Some good choices like Heifer International or SEVA Foundation can be found at Charity Navigator. Sometimes it’s easier to learn about the needs of a country or region firsthand, and then take action.

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No matter where you will roam, or how you plan to travel this year, there are many ways in which you can make every day of your vacation one of service, gratitude and compassion – it all begins when you tuck a little hope, a little light into your luggage.

 

 

 

On the Quiet Side

It’s been a little while since we last posted on this site, but not due to complete inactivity on our parts. We’ve been catching up with the busy-ness of life; the care and feeding of family, friends, careers – but then, you already know all about such things. We’re just glad to be back; grateful for the opportunity to share some pleasant news and helpful information with one another.

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One of Jane’s many gifts was a softness that she shared with all living things. Her ability to soothe and heal a variety of animals was a beautiful thing to see. She once explained that she did nothing more than provide a safe place for rest, a little food and water – and time. That may be true, but there was a peace within her that baby bunnies and small birds trusted, allowing themselves to be gently picked up after being wounded by a cat or falling from a nest.

In following Jane’s example of caring for these vulnerable creatures of the woods and fields, lakes and sky, we have shared some of the ways in which you, too can learn about and help animals in need of, as Jane used to say, “a soft place to land”.

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  • Baby Birds (Nestlings)

http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/health/rehabilitation/baby_birds.html

  • Golden Retriever Rescue

http://www.fhgrr.com/

  • Baby Bunnies

http://rabbit.org/category/care/babies/

  • Sea Turtles

https://conserveturtles.org/

  • Animal Rescue

http://www.peggyadams.org/

  • Raptors

http://www.carolinaraptorcenter.org/

 

Please add your suggestions for reputable sources for animal rescue and education in the comments section. Thank you.

 

Babies Are the Hope of the Future

(contributed by Susan Ray)

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Mona/Jane adored babies. She always believed that each new, fresh, wonderful child welcomed into the world brought with him or her a bright hope for the future. She always said any baby could grow up to change the world for the better.

As an only child, she had a very lonely  childhood, so always dreamed of one day having a home filled with babies and children and love. One of the programs she hoped to become more involved with were those allowing volunteers to hold and comfort very small and/or very ill babies.

Although some medical centers welcome ‘cuddlers’, some hospitals prefer the community care for these most fragile of babies in other ways, such as crocheting blankets for them, knitting caps, donating preemie diapers to the family, or by taking advantage of other less hands-on, but just as necessary opportunities.

If snuggling with these tiny bundles of sweetness and hope is something that you’ve always wanted to do, please check with your local medical community to find the ways you can best support the newborns in need of so much love and care and cuddling. Below are a few links to get you started:

http://www.carolinashealthcare.org/types-of-levine-childrens-hospital-volunteers-lch

http://womanshospital.com/about/volunteers.dot

http://www.methodisthealthsystem.org/Volunteeropportunities

http://www.thepreemieproject.com/links

Thank you.

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Pay It Forward -Fast Food Style!

So, there you are on Jane’s Day of Service – or any day of the year – sitting in the line at a drive-through, feeling impatient and hungry and distracted by all of the to-dos still left un-done on your list. You glance into the rear view mirror and it’s an older couple, or a scowling businesswoman or a young man looking out the window absently. And then you remember that everyone has a lot on their minds and in their hearts.

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Paying it forward is as easy as asking the drive-through person peering at you from the window how much the bill is for the car behind you. Then you pay for all or part of their ticket. If you can spare a buck or two or five – that’s OK. If you don’t flinch at buying the 15 burgers and drinks for the soccer team the woman behind you was picking up – go for it!

Just be sure to say, “Please ask them to Pay It Forward, too. Thanks!”

And there it is – you have made someone’s day a little happier; you’ve surprized a stranger with a good deed – and ideally inspired them to do the same in their travels. Mona/Jane would be delighted!

Please share the ways you’ve paid-it-forward, and your reaction to having been the recipient of such thoughtfulness. Do you have additional ideas, suggestions, ways more people might take part? Please share them with us!

Thank you.

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Events

martin-luther-king-180477_1920For almost 50 years, people throughout the world have not only remembered Dr. King, but have put his profound lessons and peaceful message to work.

On the third Monday of every January, men, women, and children participate in acts of service, connect with their own and different faith communities, and search for opportunities to carry on the dream in ways that have personal meaning to them.

If you need ideas for ways to participate, or if you’d like to share more links to local events, please visit the CONNECT page, above.

Please share your own plans for celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the comments section below, and/or on our Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/JanesDayOfService/

 

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Thank you for sharing your experiences and for your service.

 

 

Compassion in Action

WHEN:

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

WHAT:

Jane’s Day of Service – a day spent doing what YOU feel will bring more peace, more harmony, more happiness to your corner of the world. You might read to the visually impaired, or take your neighbor’s trash can to the curb, or write a thank you note to someone you’ve been impacted by recently. Or you might take some breakfast cereal or cans of beef stew to a food pantry, or give flowers to a stranger waiting for a bus … whatever moves you, whatever matters to you. That’s the thing to do.

WHO:

You and me and everyone we know. This day offers everyone an opportunity to realize that alone or with friends -each and every one of us can make a substantial difference in the life experience of another person. We do have choices. Even if we might not be able to change the world – we can definitely brighten one corner of the universe we know best.

WHY:

Because the world needs people to show up, to love and care for one another actively – and to find positive outlets for worry and frustration instead of bemoaning the truth that ‘somebody ought to do something about that’. Yes – someone should – and that someone is me and you. No matter how small the act – it’s the action, the choice to DO that makes all the difference.

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To honor and remember my beloved mother

Mona