Thursday, January 17, 2013

FREE acts of Kindness!

Participating in 12 Months of Kindness does not have to be all about spending money!  Here are some examples of monthly tasks that you can schedule for 2013 that are totally, beautifully FREE!

Donate your time:
  • serve food at your local soup kitchen
  • volunteer in a classroom
  • pick up trash at your local park
  • Read a book to a kid
  • Offer to clean for a grandparent or an elderly neighbor
  • make dinner for a friend who could use a break
  • Write honest thank you  notes to your parents or other family members
  • Write thank you notes to local service people (firefighters, police officers, etc)
Look at the things you don't use anymore or have enough of already:
  • Clean out your closet & donate gently-used clothes
  • Donate blood
  • Already-read books to the library
  • Gently used toys to preschools & day cares
  • Bring your own bags when shopping
  • Start to Recycle
  • Start to compost

Or Pick one month to do a bunch of free things!  Use this FREE printable for inspiration

Do you have more examples of FREE acts of kindness?  
Comment below & share the in wealth of inspiration, of course!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

12 Months of Kindness 2013

We have finalized our 12 months of kindness list of tasks for 2013 and we are now ready to share.  It takes a few weeks to get down all of our ideas and hammer out the months that we'll be completing each act of kindness.  Our brainstorming took a few tries until we got it just right.

As you can see, its a little bit of a messy process to finally resolve on a plan.  As the worksheet suggests, we take into consideration quite a few things - like seasons, pre-planned events (birthdays, holidays, etc).  We also consider what we have done in the past that we've enjoyed.  It will be our 5th year in giving a scholarship at our high school alma mater.  And our 5th year organizing our annual Bee Olympics event.  We keep what works and try out some new things when possible too.

You can find a copy of our planning/brainstorming worksheet here to use for your own organizing of 12MoK.

After lots of discussion and moving something around, we've agreed on the following 12 Months of Kindness list for 2013!

January:  Become members of our local EMS department (membership fee & donation)
February:  Take our grandparents (great-grandparents to the kids!) out for Valentines dates.
March:  Bake cookies & deliver thank yous to the local volunteer fire department
April:  Let Greyson choose how he would like to donate some birthday money at Oxfam America Unwrapped.
May:  5th CV Studer Scholarship to a high school senior at our alma mater
June:  Donation to the Humane Society
July:  5th Annual Studer's Invitational Beer Olympics
August:  Serve food at the local soup kitchen & supply birthday cake (my 30th birthday month!)
September:  Donor's Choose
October:  Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF
November:  Organize the CV Alumni Turkey Bowl game
December:  Adopt-a-family through the Salvation Army

Some of our months are really big events (Beer Olympics, Turkey Bowl) and some of them will only take a few minutes (EMS membership, Donor's Choose) - but the truth is that writing them all down in one place and planning out a whole year of giving to others is what makes sure it happens.  Not a month will go by in 2013 that we don't take a few moments to remember how grateful we are for this life that we have.

Like one of my favorite quotes (from Grace Noll Crowell) states:

Because I have been given much, I too must give.

If you'd like a copy of our 12MoK calendar visit here.

If you are working on 12 Months of Kindness, please feel free to link up!  We'd love to read about it!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The 12 MoK Project begins!

I'm very excited about the start of the 12 Months of Kindness Project - so thank you for stopping by to see what it is all about.

My husband and I started our commitment to completing 12 acts of kindness; one each month, five years ago after we got married (and yes!  It will be our fifth wedding anniversary this year!)  In my post-wedding planning blues, it took almost no time at all for me to realize that I was missing the community involvement that was so abundant when I was growing up through our high school clubs and college organizations.  We were married and had occasional chances to get involved, but it felt like it was going to be pretty easy to slip into a routine of husband&wife isolation.  So we created a list of 12 ways we wanted to give back during the year and stuck to it.  And here we are five years later, still committed to it - and looking forward to each month!

Now that we've added kids and pets into the mix, we feel its even more important to complete our 12 months of kindness tasks.  You know the saying, "The days are long but the years go by fast," and that is mostly how we feel on a regular basis.  Our lives consistent of these never-ending days covered in dirty diapers, anticipating nap time, and cleaning up dog bones and toys.  Our commitment to our 12 Months of Kindness is a chance each month to remind us to be grateful for this life we so luckily live everyday.  The life that is so full of joy and happiness and smiling faces.  The life that is also full of crazy and frustrations and obstacles - but still lucky to be able to try to overcome together.

As its the start of another year - we wanted to start this blog in hopes to inspire other individuals, couples, or families to start their own 12 Months of Kindness.  I'm hoping to have the chance to share stories of kindness and gratitude with all of your through highlights sent to us from other folks that are using their gratitude for their life to give back to others.  If you have a story (and pictures) to share - please email us at so that I can shine a spotlight on your act and hopefully inspire others into a movement of kindness and gratitude.

Thank you for stopping by!