Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Newest Random Acts of Kindness {March of Kindness - March 18-23}

March of Kindness

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!


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wow! You've done loads! Love the rubbish collecting - not only is it great for the neighbourhood, it'a a wonderful thing to teach children.

That poor soul - evicted and about to lose half her stuff! That was such a kind thing to do :-)

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

WOW mama - I love all of these!! You are amazing :)
(p.s. I have no idea what it means to lower Alexa ratings)

Kelly said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I loved reading this Alicia!

The trash pick up story was awesome - especially the ripple effect it caused!

Helping out your neighbor too - so very, very kind. It's an amazing thing to be part of helping someone get good out of tragedy...

And #3 is a great one too - I know I've benefited from having you as a visitor and commenter at my blog! I've been trying to do this one as well...and it really is such a mutual act because I get to read so many amazing words and stories that are uplifting to me as well. :)

You rock!

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I found you over on Twitter and realized you are a blogger too! Love your Random Acts of Kindness!

I Thought I Knew Mama said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Very impressive! Thanks for the inspiration!

Sarah said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This is an awesome idea, I love this meme! I am going to go check it out.

Alicia C. said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Dionna @ Code Name: Mama
It's just a thing kind of like the Google Page Rank. Blogs that want to do sponsored giveaways & earn some money writing reviews need a low Alexa rank.

And, I'm not amazing. It took me many years to get myself here. Sometimes I backslide. Writing these posts for March of Kindness has really helped me keep up with the personal goals I set for myself in becoming the person I want to be. You're amazing for starting this whole thing!

Alicia C. said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks for your kind words! I think the best part about doing all three of these is that they are simple. If I hadn't stepped up for my neighbor, what was I going to do? Watch someone toss all of her things into the dumpster? The trash thing was fun because my kids are drawn to trash anyway. This time, instead of yelling, "Don't touch that!" they were allowed to! And the blog thing is so easy. I love reading what other people are doing online!

Alicia C. said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short)

Thanks for deciding to click over! So many times we just ignore those tweets, I really appreciate that you took the time to come see my lil' ol' blog!

Alicia C. said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@I Thought I Knew Mama
That's the only reason I'm writing about my RAOK's . I feel kind of like I'm tooting my own horn on these posts. But I think that if I can show people that these things are so easy to do, it might inspire them to try, too. Thanks for stopping by!

Alicia C. said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oh, I'm so glad! After this month of doing this, I find that I don't want to stop. I was hoping it would become a habit and it has! Let me know how you do on your RAOK's. I think I might make it a weekly or monthly post to get people to see just how easy it can be to do one little thing extra a day for someone.

Skye said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks Alicia :)
I havent thought of taking the kids trash cleaning in our neighbor hood.. maybe we will do that tomorrow.
We live in a very nice new developement, but it was built on a hill, so every monday after noon after the trash has been taken, the entire neighborhood looks like a tornado ripped throught it!

Alicia C. said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm so glad to hear that you're going to do this!

Zoie @ TouchstoneZ said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wow! That is so cool! I love that you made a real difference in the quality of the lives of the people around you. The effort and appeal of cleaning up obviously tapped into the feeling of care in everyone around you.