10/14 Kindness Report – #HolidaySocial

When I started this blog, I wanted to make sure this wasn’t about “what I’m doing that is kind” but I want to present ideas to everyone that would help spread kindness in simple ways.

Today I was invited to host a “Holiday Social” for a local senior center, the memory care center. Now many of ya’ll don’t know me in real life, but I love senior citizens, as much as some folks love little kids, one of my friends called me the “geriatric whisperer” and it’s a title I could live with!

This party is near Christmas, but they call it a “Holiday Social” because not everyone celebrates Christmas. The groups that have participated in the past served food such as: angel food cakes, cheese puffs, fresh fruit, cheese trays and diet beverages and that’s a fairly simple menu. (This allows the diabetic folks to have choices and no one is left out due to dietary restrictions.) Also, they will provide prizes for BINGO and small gifts for all members – and the last line broke my heart, “this is such a nice gesture because some of our members do not have family to celebrate with so it really makes them feel valued and appreciated.”

WELL – how could I say no to this opportunity? Bingo at 2pm and refreshments at 3pm.

Ya’ll – I’m going to be asking a couple of places to help provide some things and I’m going to ask for help. I could come up with a lot of reasons to say no – but the one reason I have to say yes is simple, one day I will be old. I’m an only child, with no children. One day I may “be alone with no family to celebrate with” and it’s my goal to treat others the way I want to be treated.

But what an amazing opportunity for any group to serve in – and have fun. I hope someone is interested and will do this.

My friend Helen mentioned this is something necessary, “but I have found that elderly persons LOVE to be asked about their lives…from childhood forward. They have a need to share their history. Very important, too, that the listener draws near (many elderly persons have compromised vision), makes eye contact, and allows the person to feel as if he/she is the only other person in the room” so I would like to suggest – take some friends to go and visit.

You don’t have to do this with a senior center, you can visit a rest home, you can go and visit a community center, you can host people at your church. This is one of those things, if you seek – you will find.

If you take up the #HolidaySocialChallenge, please let me know. Post pictures on Instagram (#MyFriendDeAnna), Twitter (@MyFriendDeAnna1) and Facebook (@MyFriendDeAnna) – feel free to reach out to me at DeAnna@MyFriendDeAnna.com for any kind of pointers / tips / tricks. This is new for me too, so we could learn together.

As always, spread kindness however you can! Feel free to share ideas with me on how kindness is being shared in your community.

Update 10/19 I created a #GoFundMe if anyone would like to donate. The people that have donated are all friends of mine in real life!

https://www.gofundme.com/f/holiday-social-for-senior-citizens-in-memory-care?utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&rcid=3fe373871d6a47f8b03c6c5f6dd0e1f9

All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart. – Taher Mafi

Kindness Report 10/4 – #PopTabChallenge

MyFriendDeAnna.com is starting a #PopTabChallenge – and you can accept by sending $10 to your local Ronald McDonald House, or trying to get 1,000,000 pop tabs.

This is a lengthy instructional blog – the long and short of it is this:

WHO – YOU!

WHAT – Aluminum Pop Tabs from beverage cans or $10

WHEN – Started October 4th, 2019 – ENDS October 4th, 2020. (One year!)

WHERE – Your Local Ronald McDonald House

WHY – Ronald McDonald House Charities is an awesome community asset. They serve the families of critically ill children.

HOW – Pop tab donations raise money with little cost, just getting them to their location. The blog has good instructions and details.

(Please note, I’m not affiliated with this organization in any way, shape or form, they have just impressed me over the years and made a real difference in the lives of thousands of families .)

If you do this challenge I’d love to see pictures of you and your crew. Please use #PopTabChallenge and #MyFriendDeAnna

Facebook – @myfrienddeanna

Instagram – #MyFriendDeAnna

Twitter – @MyFriendDeAnna1

Last weekend I went by the Ronald McDonald House in Winston-Salem and had a chance to chat with the Weekend Manager, Kaila, about different things going on there and I was intrigued by the Pop Tab Program.

Kaila showed me the collection center for pop tabs (tops off of beverage cans.) The Ronald McDonald House in Winston-Salem raises about $3,000 annually from pop tab donations.

Now that may not sound like much to you – but consider it takes approximately 1 million pop tabs to get $350 – that’s a LOT of pop tabs. (The aluminum price fluctuation makes this hard to estimate)

Let me challenge you – begin saving your pop tabs, and encourage your friends and family to do it and drop off at the Ronald McDonald House closest to you once a month.

https://www.rmhc.org/chapter-search

If you work with 100 people – let’s say 50 of them drink 1 can of soda/energy drink daily. 350 tabs (7 days 50 tabs) could be saved weekly. Over the course of a year, approximately 18,000 tabs could be saved. If you encourage 56 people you know to do the same thing – POOF you’d have 1,000,000 tabs over a year. (Not to mention some folks drink more than 1 soda a day and may have beverages at home….) Make it easy for people to give you their pop tabs. Get your kids to decorate brown paper bags for pop tabs. It’s work, but you can make it seem fun!!!

THEN (here’s where it gets WILD) – what if you found a few small businesses to be a “POP TAB DROP OFF LOCATION”. Or you could ask local bars if they could participate. Or you could ask a local restaurant to participate. Or you could put a note on NextDoor and find an easy way to meet your neighbors and collect pop tabs. Or a fraternity. Really, the possibilities are endless of what you COULD do to help a great organization.

The Ronald McDonald House has a special place in my heart, one of my dear friends had a preemie and while the baby was in NICU the parents were residents at the Ronald McDonald House. They were able to be close to the hospital, get a shower, eat something, not think about anything except for their baby for a month. It’s an amazing organization that really operates on a well-managed budget.

Link to CharityNavigator.org
https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=4409 for Ronald McDonald House Charities. The average cost is $70 a night to house a family – so the 1,000,000 #PopTabChallenge would pay for 5 nights.

What if 10,000 people in each state accepted the #PopTabChallenge ? You’d have 550,000 people in all 50 states with the same goal. (Okay that’s the whole state of Wyoming participating….) In one year, each state could raise $3.5 million dollars (10,000 people trying to get 1 million pop tabs making $350) to help families. Any thing will be a help.

Here’s a great link from the Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati about the Pop Tab Fundraising
http://www.rmhcincinnati.org/sites/default/files/pdf/pull-tab-booklet.pdf

If you feel like the #PopTabChallenge is not for you (It’s a lot of work) – but you’re inspired to send your local Ronald McDonald House $10, they will use that money to their best ability and many families will benefit.

“Little things make big things happen.” – John Wooden

Welcome to My Friend DeAnna’s #NiceNiche

In 2003 my Dad was very ill with sepsis. Mama and I stayed at the hospital as much as we could, one day a wonderful couple from their church invited Mama and I to eat dinner. We needed to eat. My Mama insisted we get the check and not let them pay for our meal. WELL, we almost fought with Robert and Evelyn over our check. Robert touched my hand and said, “Let us do something for your sweet Mama and you. One day you will do something for someone and think of us.”

Daddy pulled through that illness, but in 2010 he took a turn and entered Hospice care. I was working out of the country, but we were able to talk daily. One day I said, “Daddy do you have any regrets?” He laughed, he said, “I had a lot of regrets, but I never regretted any money I spent on travel and I never regretted giving money away to help other people.” He died shortly after that conversation, but it stuck in my head.

I began traveling more, this year(2019) I met my goal of having visiting all 50 states in the USA. He would have been proud.

Also, in 2014 I joined a church (Hillcrest Baptist Church in Kernersville, NC) and they had a Hospice Ministry. Once a month we go to Hospice and take a meal for the family members, the staff and sometimes patients. The team I work with goes to Winston Salem, Kate B Reynolds Hospice House. In the past few years we’ve modified our menu but we take a main meal, sides, a salad and 3 desserts. Every time I do this, I think of Robert and Evelyn. They have both passed on, but their love continues to spread.

Now I don’t tell you what “I do to make the world better” I think it’s important to be humble about your giving, quiet about your good deeds in most cases – but I believe we live in times that we need to do our very best to work on being kind.

Forgive me, as I’m just starting out with blogging, Twitter (MyFriendDeAnna1) YouTube(MyFriendDeAnna Hay), Instagram (MyFriendDeAnna), Facebook (@MyFriendDeAnna) I know a lot about….but building a #NiceNiche is like finding friends.

Below is a response I wrote regarding a post that got political too quickly, and if my response resonates with you – find me somewhere and let’s try and change the world.

Thank you so much for reading!!!!

******

As I close out the day, and read the posts I’m just so thankful this meme conveyed what I wanted it to. #NOT

Y’all, there is much work to be done, and I am thankful who I am and what I’m about is not represented by a political party.

I’m thankful for parents that wanted me to be a contributing member of society and that it was important to be open minded. I’m thankful they taught me to ask questions when I may not understand something completely.

As friends go, I like to think I’m pretty loyal – I’d put myself in front of your children (anyone on this post) if it came between their life and mine and if I had a moment to react.

I don’t hold folks accountable for stupid decisions and choices, because I’ve made so many of my own – how can I keep up with someone else’s?

I’m respectful, and I have lived as an immigrant in a foreign country – so I know what it’s like to be a minority, to not know the language, to stand out a little bit. I love people – and if they are different from me, it gives me great pleasure to learn their culture. I try to be open and color-blind. Everyone I meet knows something I do not and that is something to be cherished.

While my religion is very important to me, I don’t demand folks to follow my rules. Christianity is based on a relationship… and if you aren’t a Christian…well it’s hard to explain. The Bible says it would seem silly to someone who doesn’t believe.

When you think about me, I hope you don’t ever wonder “how did she vote?” But you would know, “she’d have my back, no matter what!” I hope you think, “she loved and she served with joy and she made me laugh and she tried in her own unique way to make the world better.”

Now you tell me which party can offer that? Sign me up. As my Bigfoot says, “you’ve got a liberal heart and a conservative head.”

I think the Democratic Party is falling apart. I think the Republican Party got surprised and hijacked. Overall the centrist in me thinks some things Trump has implemented have not been bad. He’s done a lot of what he said he would. Yeah, he’s a boor, he’s rude, he’s disrespectful – he’s like a doctor with a horrible bedside manner. Obama was a smooth talker but he couldn’t get things done and I dare say had he been white, things would have been different. That makes me sad because I honestly thought when I was young race wouldn’t be a thing. But after 9/11 our country developed a severe case of distrust and division that continues to tear us apart.

One thing I do love is the friendship between the Obama and Bush family. It speaks volumes to me, there is hope. You gotta dig deep sometimes to find that one piece of commonality – and build on that.

Soooo….. just a thanks again for those that contributed with meaningful and thoughtful dialogue. I don’t like the broad generalizations and there was a lot of that too…we won’t accomplish anything that way. Nothing but more division and inclusion.