Monday, November 28, 2011

RACK'ed

RACK'ed cards from tsjphotography

Troy and I are doing a different version of an advent calendar this year.  We will be writing down and adding at least one RACK to our tree each day as we count down to Christmas.

RACKRandom Acts of Christmas Kindness

“God doesn’t give you the people you want; He gives you the people you NEED…to help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you, and to make you into the person you were meant to be.”

We will start each morning with a prayer that God will lead us to the people that most need to receive a Random Act of Kindness that day.  We hope that our RACK’s will be met with open arms, but people may be not always be appreciative of what we are offering.  We trust that God will lead us to the right people, even if we do not see why we are being led there.  We are not always aware of the impact we leave on people, but as we open our hearts and our minds to the needs of others we hope to make a difference to someone.

Will you join us?  Each day I will write a short post, a few sentences, and then list some ideas for  RACK’s you could do as you go about your day.  Some may have a cost associated with them, but I promise to list as many free/low cost RACK’s as I can come up with.  After you perform a RACK of your own I hope you will share it with me.  You can post it as a comment on this blog (even anonymously if you wish), leave me a facebook message, or send me an email.  As new ideas come in I will share them so that we can continue to inspire each other.

This would be a great time to sign up to have this blog delivered to your email every morning.  There is a space on the right side of this blog to enter your email address and subscribe.  Please note that you will need to open the email and confirm your subscription, so be on the look out!

You don’t need to do a RACK a day to make a difference.  Whether you do one, or 25 RACK’s this holiday season you will be making a positive impact on this world.  

“Let no one come to you without feeling better and happier when they leave.  Be the living expression of God’s kindness; with kindness on your face…in your eyes…in your smile…in your warm greeting.” – Mother Teresa

* I first learned about RACK’s from Tracie at tsjphotography.  She has generously designed and provided a free template for RACK cards you can hand out if you wish.  Click here for her free download.  Troy and I will be handing these out over the next month, and using them to post our RACK’s on the tree at home as our own way of counting down the 25 days of Christmas.  Instead of emptying an advent calendar we will be filling our tree with the RACK's we give during the month.    Click here for a blank version if you want to create your own, or fill them in at the end of each day like we are doing.  Thank you Tracie!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Smooth Operation: Mission Completed



When I decided to start collecting lotion to donate to Della Lamb I set my goal at 100 bottles.  I felt confident that I would make my goal, but I was slightly worried that I would end up buying 70 of those bottles myself and beg my family to come up with the other 30.  Would everyone think I was crazy for wanting to donate lotion?  No one I know has ever collected or donated lotion to families in need.  Toys, clothes, and food are the typical donations.  I have never glanced in a donation box and seen lotion, which is exactly why I was doing this, and also why I was scared I would be doing it on my own. 

Once I realized that you guys were willing to help me out I started to get more excited.  I remember standing in the shower one morning imagining what it would be like to show up with 150 bottles of lotion.  Wow!  That would be amazing!  The more positive feedback I received the bigger I let myself dream and I imagined 200 or 250 bottles of lotion.  I would put lotion on my hands at work and think about the bottles that were stacking up at my house and how many people were going to be able to keep their own hands moisturized this winter because of your donations.  

I got excited when I had two boxes full of lotion and we were working on our third box.  I lined them up on the couch and stopped to admire them frequently.  I put extra boxes across the remaining stretch of seating area and wondered what I would do if you were able to fill all 5 boxes.  How would I fit all of those in the trunk of my car?

The donations kept coming in!  I received lotion from all over Missouri and Kansas.  Lotion was brought in from parts of Iowa and Nebraska.  Donations were sent from as far away as Texas and California!  People who are not part of the Kansas City community were reaching out to help our local families and I was touched.  Every time a donation came in I cried.  It took a couple weeks before I was able to accept those bottles without a few tears running down my cheek.  


I started with a goal of 100 bottles of lotion and prayed someone would help me reach that number.  In the end we filled 12 boxes for a grand total of 475 bottles of new lotion!  In the early stages of day dreaming I had imagined pulling up to Della Lamb and popping the trunk open to reveal that it was full of lotion.  In the end I had to borrow my parent’s Explorer because I couldn’t fit 475 bottles of lotion into my car!  What an amazing problem to have.

We ended up with an awesome variety of lotion to meet just about every need.  Apple crisp, coconut lime, and vanilla bean noel were just a few of the awesome scents that were included.  Lotion made just for men, just for babies, or created with little girls in mind were all donated.  We had extra large economy sized bottles all the way down to tiny travel sized bottles.  There was lotion for people with extra dry skin or sensitive skin.  There was a lotion for every need!


Thank you to those that purchased lotion every time they went to Wal-Mart, or Target, or the Dollar Store.  Thank you to those that made a special trip to the store and scooped all the lotion into your cart.  Thank you for those individual bottles of lotion that were waiting at my door when I got home from work.  Thank you to those that dug around their own house to find an unopened bottle of lotion to donate.  Some of you sent money and/or coupons and I shopped the sales and did my best to get the most out of your donation – thank you.  Thank you for all of the prayers and the words of encouragement over the past 7 weeks.  

Your donation will be wrapped and given to families in need this Christmas.  A mother will be able to put lotion on her baby because of you.  A man will come home after working outside in the cold weather and be able to ease the pain of his chapped skin because of your donation.  An elderly woman who lives alone will have a gift to open on Christmas morning because you gave up something in your cart at Wal-Mart and bought a bottle of lotion instead.  

What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.  But if that drop was not in the ocean I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa

Thank you for contributing 475 more drops in the ocean.