Saturday, December 24, 2011

Paying It Forward

Here's another kindness we may want to consider as we are out and visiting our sick family or friends during Christmas. Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas! ~ Love and Hugs, Kat

My mom was recently hospitalized at a local inner city hospital that requires visitors to pay for parking. I cannot fault the organization for accepting revenue for parking when it is difficult to find adequate spaces to park at many hospitals.

As I was leaving I was reflecting on how very fortunate I am that she is improving daily and that I have a job and can afford to pay for parking.

Having a family member or someone you care about to be in a hospital is difficult enough, many folks are grieving or afraid so to extend a small favor like a parking fee, maybe would help just a bit.

So as I left, I gave the parking lot attendant double the parking fee each time I visited and asked her to use the extra money to pay for the next person in line's parking. I have no idea if the person behind me felt any better about the "free parking" but I did!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Anonymous Donors are Making Christmas

At Kmart stores across the country, Santa seems to be getting some help: Anonymous donors are paying off strangers' layaway accounts, buying the Christmas gifts other families couldn't afford, especially toys and children's clothes set aside by impoverished parents. Click the link below to read the full story! Just another way to spread the joy of Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Experience Christmas Presence

I have had the fortunate insight to see Christmas for what it should be, giving. Giving to those who are around us and hurting. This Christmas isn't about elaborate dinners or more presents for those that have more than enough, it's about extending ourselves to those in need. Families that are hanging on by a thread, but don't ask for anything, people out of work that we can help with a meal or two or a grocery gift card, a lonely person this Christmas that doesn't have a family Christmas to attend. Let's open ourselves up, step outside of our comfort zones and show the world what Christmas really means, let's be the hands, feet and smiles full of love for those that need to see it the most.

This is what Jesus meant when He came into the world to save us all from sin, it was a gift undeserved but desperately needed. Even though we didn't ask for it, God extended this to us gracefully filled with love. So this Christmas, please, extend yourselves to those in need around you. Guaranteed, there is someone out there with worse than you have it. Trust me!

God will return the favor too!

Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them, saying:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,

for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

And again a reminder from Jesus in Matthew 25: 34-40

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

I say it's time to practice what we know and start getting out there and helping. Isn't that what the real spirit of Christmas is all about?

Monday, December 12, 2011

A great reminder for life!

Charles Plumb, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, who was a jet pilot during the Vietnam War. After seventy-five combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb safely ejected and parachuted into enemy territory. He was captured and spent six years in a Communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on the lessons he learned from that experience.

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"

Somewhat surprised, Plumb asked, "How in the world did you know that?

The man replied, "I packed your parachute."

Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked."

"It sure did. If the chute you packed hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today!" Plumb responded.

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. He says, "I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a navy uniform: a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said good morning, how are you, or anything else, because, you see, I was a fighter pilot, and he was just a sailor."

Today when Plumb speaks professionally, he asks audiences, "Who's packing your parachute?"

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Never Giving Up Hope

Not all acts of kindness have to be well-thought out or planned. Here's one perfect example of how going above and beyond provided a family with the perfect gift. ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat


Last week, I was out getting the mail and noticed a dog crossing the street that looked oddly familiar. I went near the dog to see if it had a tag or if I recognized it to see if I could find the owner. When I got close to the dog, I realized that that same dog was the dog that my neighbors had lost 4 years ago.

A few months ago, these neighbors moved out of my neighborhood, but that wasn't going to stop me finding them! I remembered they moved to Minnesota. I spent the rest of the day searching all of the people with their last name in the Minnesota area. Finally when I was starting to give up hope, I called the last number. I couldn't believe it, it was them!

I told them of how I found their dog that went missing 4 years ago..They thought it was to good to come true. They immediately flew down to Florida to re-unite with their dog, and were absolutely shocked. They told me God has answered their prayers. They offered me a fairly large reward, and even though I really needed the money. I said no. Seeing the happy faces of them with their dog was as rewarding as it could get.!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kindness on a Budget

In light of these hard economic times where people are literally hanging on by a thread, I thought I would pass along some ideas to help us keep the acts of kindness in our daily actions~


It never ceases to amaze me how generous people who post on this site are. From those who are fortunate enough to be able to use some of their money to help others, people making things for others, or just giving up a moment of their time to someone in need. But what I would like to do here is offer some ideas on how to bring kindness into other people’s lives without needing to spend money.

So here I offer some ideas for acts of kindness that only need you, your hands, your knowledge or your ears.

1. Help strangers find their way. This is one I try to do every day if I can. Here in London we have some useful information panels scattered around with maps of the local area on them. If ever I see someone looking at the panel, or just looking at a map anywhere near where I work, I’ll go up and offer to help them find their way.

2. Make something for a stranger or a child. I love making mandalas using a compass and colored pens, but I don’t always have them with me and each mandala can take a while to complete. So I needed something quicker and easier and I found instructions for making origami jumping frogs!! ( After a little practice I can now make them on the bus, or anywhere I find myself (there are eight lined up on my desk right now!) to have ready to give away. My friend and I were out for dinner a couple of weeks ago and we had a lovely family sitting behind us. We helped take a photo for them at the table and I realized they were the perfect recipients for the frogs (two kids of 6-10). It only took me a few minutes and as we were leaving I was able to give them to them and show them how to make them jump. The kids were thrilled and the parents happy too! In fact I have not come across anyone who doesn’t love them, even my 90 year old Grandmother!

3. Do something kind for a relative or loved one. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I know a lot of us do not often think of our relatives or loved ones when it comes to doing acts of kindness. And these are the people who are the dearest to us of all!! So what can you do? Spend some time listening to one of your relations, one who maybe doesn’t get listened to as much as they would like. Take someone out for the afternoon, someone who might not get out as much as they used to or who just needs a little break from it all. Write a card/letter/e-mail to one of your relatives and tell them how much they mean to you and why you appreciate some of the things they have done for you down the years. Take some time out from your day and tell your loved one why they mean the world to you and how happy you are to have them in your life!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Even Small Things Matter

Once again going through some incredible email and came across this simple act of kindness that made a big difference in the life of someone and had to pass it along. I hope it speaks volumes today as we rush to get our "to do" lists complete before Christmas, and may we always find time to help others out! Love and Hugs ~ Kat


"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." -- Albert Einstein

Idea of the Week

"I work with a lady from India. Sometimes, its hard for her to socialize with the others at work because of her strong accent. Last week, she was sitting all alone in the Living Room, while the others were involved in a Christmas activity. I asked her if she would like to join the others and she said no. I asked her why, she said "I can't do what they are doing." I told her sure you can. So I took her over - they were putting Christmas stickers on clothes pins. I gave her some clothes pins and stickers and we began doing what the others were doing. When she did just one, I gave her praise after praise. All she could do was smile. And the most amazing thing to me was what she said that melted my heart. She said, "Thank you dear. You make me feel like a little kid, in school again, God bless you." At that point she took my hand and kissed it. I was over joyed!!! I left her to finish and when I walk away, I could feel the calmness all around me. I made a difference in her life that day."