Nov 102013
 

This Wednesday, November 13th is World Kindness Day!  I subscribe to #BeNiceBox, a service that sends a box of kindness to my address at the start of each month.  In each box, Diana, who I consider a blog-mother in the kindness movement,  has included a list of good deeds for all of us #BeNiceBox subscribers to complete throughout the month.  It’s kind of cool to think of the waves of kindness that are going out all over the country as dozens of us are focusing on acts of kindness in similar ways.  On the November list, we’re encouraged to think BIG in celebration of World Kindness Day.  I came up with a list of 13 Good Deeds to Complete on World Kindness Day and I wanted to share it with YOU, too, in hopes that you’ll join in the kindness movement and celebrate along with us.

13kindness

// Leave a bag of tea on your co-workers desks and include a note to remind them they deserve to take a break today!  Work from home?  Send a bag of tea to another friend you know who works at home in the mail.  I happen to know you can send two tea bags in an envelope/card with one forever stamp.

// Participate in a fundraiser of some sort.  Some ideas: donate to a friend’s race money raising, your neighbor’s school wreath sale, or a kickstarter campaign you’d like to support.

// Bring a treat or snack to your office or neighbors.  I don’t know about your break rooms, but at my office smiles spread quickly when someone brings in homemade goodies to share!

// Spend quality time with someone who is lonely.  Visit a friend who you know would truly appreciate a visit, or a call a relative who would cherish the time.  Make time. Take time.

// Write an email to a blogger who inspires and motivates you, thanking them for what they’ve added to your life.

// Write an email to a newer blogger who you really enjoy and encourage them on their journey.  Point out what they do well and why you like their blog.

// Donate unneeded clothing, winter gear, kitchen supplies, and linens to a local shelter or salvation army.

//  Send a card to a friend or family member who lives far away.

// Go out of your way to pick-up after someone else, in the tiniest of ways.  Do the dishes in the kitchen, empty your bosses recycling bin, pick up liter on the ground.  It takes two seconds and it’s a simple, kind thing to do.

// Support a blend online. Promote a giveaway or project, give a social media shout-out, or give them a feature on your blog.

// Take a moment to promote a small-brand you really dig and appreciate.  Interact with their Facebook page, leave a comment on their recipe blog, share about the brand with your readers or followers, or simply share a product with friends and tell them why you love it.

// Be kind to yourself.  Set a timer for 5 minutes and write as many of your favorite qualities about yourself as you can.  Go into detail and allow your heart and soul to seep in the self-appreciation.

// Be kind to your FUTURE self, too.  Write an email to yourself at FutureMe.org.  May I suggest you schedule it for February 14th?  It’s 3-months away and not a bad day to get a letter from your younger self with a reminder of something wonderful [like, “reasons why I’m awesome!” or “what I hope you always remember”]

 

BONUS KINDNESS: My friend and fellow kindness enthusiast, Kelly from Living the Before is hosting an awesome un-random Kindness swap that sounds super fun.  I hope you’ll check it out and participate: Give and Get  Sign up closes on Tuesday the 12th.

Oct 152013
 

hey everybody!
my name is diana.
can we be friends?!
i live in minneapolis, ride my bike, talk about harry potter a lot & really love being nice to people!

see, i run a blog called a year of minnesota nice.’ i started it after the boston bombings in april, with a goal to complete one random act of kindness each day, for an entire year.
so far, i have completed almost 120 acts ; its been such a blast!
you can see a few of my favorite days here, here, here, here & here.

last month, i left my 13-year career in education, *knowing* i wanted to do something new with my life & time. i had no idea what that was, but i knew i was ready.

since i have started the kindness blog, there have been FOUR other women who have started their own blogs about kindness {so awesome}. you can see them here, here, here & here. i have been SO incredibly inspired by the blogs, emails & tweets that others have been sharing! its been so amazing to watch strangers come together, do good deeds & make the planet better.
i kept asking myself ‘how can i use this blog & this platform and turn it into a career i will love?!’

one night, i was out walking my {super naughty} pup & the idea hit me!
and the be nice box was born!

do you want to know more?!
{say yes!!}

what is it?
the be nice box is a monthly subscription service encouraging YOU to spread your own kindness!
there are 1, 3, 6, & 12-month & gift subscriptions available!

what do i get?
each month, the box will center around a theme & all contents will be a surprise until you open the box.
but, each month you will receive a list of 13-15 fun, awesome & affordable ideas to practice kindness in your area. along with the list, you will also find 5-7 materials, items & handmade products to help you fulfill some of those tasks. and finally, each box will contain a cool, handmade surprise for YOU!

how much does it cost?
a one-month subscription is only $12!
you can get 3 months for $33 or 6 months for $62.
a 12-month subscription is only $120 {thats like getting two months FOR FREE!}
the best part?
$1 from EACH box sold will be donated to charity.
{each month, the theme & the charity will align. that way, we can make impact, after impact, after impact!}

also, shipping is ALWAYS FREE! there are no hidden fees or marketing tricks!
the price you see is the price you pay!

where can i sign up?
im glad you asked ;)
you can head over here to sign up!
please note : for the first few months, there will be a limited number of boxes available.
if the november boxes sell out, there will be a waiting list for the december box!

how can i stay connected?
lets be friends!
website // twitter // facebook // instagram // pinterest
i love social media & really believe that we can connect with folks we wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to meet!

other things to note :
the boxes will ship around the 25-28th of october, so they will be on your doorstep by november 1st!
at this time, boxes will only be shipped INSIDE the US {sorry, international friends}

thanks so much for reading!
i really, really believe that if we all come together & take baby steps to be better, the world will absolutely become a better place!

if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email or connect with me on twitter!

Jan 272012
 

Giving. It’s important.  We feel fortunate and we want to give to those we love, of course, but also to those less fortunate than us.

We especially think about it in November and December, right?
Food Drives. Salvation Army Kettles around every corner. Toys for Tots. Giving trees at your local library and church. Double the tip for the wait-staff. End of the year charity events. Cookies for the mailman.

What about now? January. February. And the next 8 months of year. 

I’ve been looking to be more giving with what I have to give.  I’m trying to give what I don’t NEED to hoard for myself, to other people who could USE and ENJOY what I have – in terms of physical stuff, encouragement, time, energy and more.  Sometimes this means giving my energy to send mail to a friend to add some cheer to their day. Other times, it may mean buying a coffee for a stranger, donating clothes I no longer wear, or books I’m not going to read again.   

Here are a few other small ideas you can add to your life to get with the giving 12 months a year. 

4 Ideas to help get in the habit of giving all year long:

1.  Hotel Freebies. Hotel stays have been pretty common in my life the past few years. Work trips, Blogging Trips, and long vacations to various cities all over the country.  How often have you stayed at a hotel and added the toiletries left in the bathroom for your use to your suitcase to return home with you? Here’s an idea I got from an old boss I had in Texas.  He traveled A LOT for work, and always came back with a bag full of shampoo, conditioner, soap and the like.  Occasionally, he even asked the front desk for extras.  When returning home, he would add all the supplies to a box, and every few months donate the supplies to a local battered woman’s shelter.   Toiletries are almost always on the top of shelter’s need lists!

2.  Buy One Give One: Tolietries. After learning how much of a need there was for such simple luxuries as shampoo and soap, I made a pledge.  Every time I pick up a bottle of shampoo or body wash for myself, I add an extra bottle to the cart to donate to the shelter as well. 

tip: I’m not necessarily particular about which brands I use for certain products. If I see a decent buy-one-get-one coupon or sale, I almost always choose that item to purchase.

3. Replace your own WANT, with someone else’s NEED. This year, I really want to try to do something similar with non-perishable grocery items.   When I take a trip to the grocery market, I exchange one “impulse buy” item from my cart with groceries for the local food pantry for the same cost as the impulse buy. 

For example – when walking down the aisle, I add two tubs of hummus to my cart because they are on sale for 2/$5.  Do I really need two tubs of premade hummus? No.  So I return one, and spend $2.50 on some food pantry items instead.

 4. TIME. Don’t forget to look PAST money and, well, stuff, when it comes to giving.  You have other valuable resources you can give to those in need.  One major one? YOUR TIME. The best thing about giving your time is that there are SO MANY organizations and activities that need help, you are sure to find something you really enjoy doing if you just take a moment to look.

Just a few examples?

My dear friend Julie recently signed up to volunteer in a cooking class after school program

When I lived in Texas, I joined a volunteer program at a nearby retirement community in which I visited residents who didn’t have family local on their birthdays and special holidays. [I always made a card, and usually brought a cupcake or two ;)]


If you love furry friends , spend an hour or two helping out at your local animal shelter.  [highly suggested if your job/apartment/lifestyle doesn’t support committing to a pet of your own!]

That is just the very tip of the ice burg, my friends.  A great place to start when wanting to volunteer your time is Volunteer Match!  It’s a great website where you can search for volunteer opportunities by location and keyword.  [that’s how I got hooked up at the retirement community, by the by!]