It's been almost a week since my last March of Kindness post, so I figured I had better get caught up! I could have written an entire post for each of these, but things have been pretty busy around here. I'm trying to keep up with my Educational Psychology course (it is SO interesting!), my oldest has been caught lying about his homework (again) and I found out he's missing a whopping 21 assignments, and the great weather had gotten us outside quite a bit. Well, my homework is done for today, my oldest is sitting at the kitchen table (his new home) doing his homework, and the weather has turned cold and yucky again. I think I have time now!
#1 - Clean Up the Neighborhood
We live approximately 100 yards from "the wrong side of the tracks" - literally. Around here, it is not a stereotype, but a reality, about the amount of trash floating around low income neighborhoods. People just don't have any pride about their surroundings when their homes are so run-down looking. So, when the snow melted a little over a week ago, all of the trash that had been strewn about all winter surfaced. It looked terrible! Everything from potato chip bags to empty pop bottles to broken fifths of vodka littered our neighborhood.
|This is our side yard. The "wrong side of the tracks" is just beyond that train.|
When we went on our neighborhood walks, the boys and I took along two trash bags each time. One was for the trash, the other for recyclables. We always came home with both bags completely filled. It was hard trying to teach Little Guy which things he could pick up and which I wanted him to leave for me to touch. Broken glass seems to be a huge draw for him with it's sparkly, shiny qualities! On each of three walks, we came home with two completely filled yard size trash bags. My oldest got to keep all of the cans and bottles we found (worth 10 cents each in Michigan!) and ended up with $20! We found a book shelf that only needed a little cleaning, a few Hot Wheels cars for the little guy, and even a $2 Canadian coin. We got weird looks from passers by for the first day, then we noticed a few people walking around with trash bags on our second day out. And THEN, we saw FIVE other groups of people out cleaning up on our third day!!! Yes, there is a ripple effect for random acts of kindness - I just can't believe that it's turned into a tsunami in our neighborhood!
#2 - Help an Evicted Neighbor
Last weekend, our downstairs neighbor was evicted. In our area, the eviction process lasts a mere 2 weeks from the time the tenants are served until the sheriff's department comes to escort them out of their homes. This leaves little time for securing a new place to live and for packing belongings and getting them moved out. Our neighbor went through this and had only managed to move half of her things out before the locks were changed. She managed to get her large items into storage - furniture, appliances, etc. but she had none of her other things like dishes, bathroom items, and even most of her clothes.
|This is how it's supposed to go. But, in our county, they've changed the times around and you can be out within 10 days of the start of this process.|
I called the landlord. He came over the next day and let me go into her former apartment to get the rest of her things out. It took forever and I had no place to put her stuff. The four of us live in a tiny, 625 sq. ft., one-bedroom apartment - there's no room for our stuff! But, we stacked everything up wherever we could find the room. Our house looked like those pictures you see of hoarders' homes! She was so happy when, a couple of days later, she was able to come for her things. It felt good to know that I was able to help someone like this. I have been evicted a long time ago and lost everything but the overnight bag I had packed - it was so hard to start over! I know how she was feeling and I am glad that I had the ability to take some of the stress off of her shoulders.
#3 - Helping Out Other Bloggers
This was an easy one and I'm kind of embarrassed to even mention it, but maybe it'll give someone else an idea to do the same and get that ripple effect going online. I spent the past week blog hopping like crazy. I tried to leave comments of every blog I visited. I followed those blogs on GFC, Facebook, or Twitter (or all three, in some cases). I added buttons in my sidebar for the blogs I really enjoyed and want to share. I entered lots of low-entry giveaways and often shared those giveaways on Facebook or Twitter to help the blogger and sponsor out. (Hey, if I can't use the prizes, I know people who can!)
I also joined a new hop hosted by Real Mom Reviews designed to lower Alexa ratings and hopped around as much as possible. I'll keep on doing this Monday hop because it helps me find new blogs to follow, lowers their Alexa ratings, and improves their stats all around.
LOL - I know, not a great hint, but it's all you're going to get!