Valentine's Day Challenge

Monday

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Cristina, you are the winner of this Valentine's Day Challenge! 

Please email me at sincerelykinsey@yahoo.com so I can send a little gift your way!
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   I've had Valentine's Day on my mind a lot the past two weeks. It seems to be one of the holidays you either love or hate depending on if you have a significant other in your life to share it with. Now I know, I've got my beau, but I don't want that to mean I should expect him to lavish me with this, that, and the other and if not, then it wasn't a good Valentine's Day. I just want it to be so much more than that. What you focus on, magnifies. When you're focused on yourself, it's so easy to get caught up in expectations of what this holiday "should" look like. Whether you're single or taken, love or hate Valentine's Day, or simply don't care about this holiday in general, try and focus on bringing love into someone else's life this holiday.

   That being said, I've really felt pressed on my heart this month to try and show genuine love to folks I love and total strangers with random acts of kindness in honor of Valentine's Day. This time of year is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of making someone's day and ultimately, maybe impacting their life for the better.

Here is a "Random Acts of Kindness" list I plan to accomplish by the 14th. I would love if you would join me in this challenge!

1. Tip 100% of your bill.
2. Collect a bag of non-perishables, and deliver it to a local food shelter.
3. Buy the coffee of the person behind you.
4. Surprise a friend with flowers.
5. Email someone online whom you don't know but has inspired you in some way.
6. Visit a place you regularly go (I chose the post office) but don't know the folks personally. Bring someone there a small gift (flowers, coffee, chocolate, card, etc.), and tell them how you appreciate what they do.
7. Pay the bill of someone's dinner in the restaurant. 
8. Bake for your neighbors or co-workers.
9. Create small care packages to pass out to the homeless.

10. My last act of kindness will be giving away a small package full of pretty things to one of you, my sweet readers. Just leave a comment sharing how you have or are planning on showing a random act of kindness or a story of how someone else impacted your life by reaching out in love. I'll announce the winner on Valentine's Day.

 I hope this post has encouraged you in some way to make an effort to show love to someone over the next few weeks. I just think it's time, for me at least, to ditch the cheesy aspects of what Valentine's Day has to offer, and get down to what it's really all about. Sharing and giving love.

120 comments:

  1. i love this perspective of valentines day! i have always thought of it as a sort of discouraging holiday, but now that has changed. i plan to pay for someone else's coffee, and tip very well. thanks for the encouragement! i'd love to be picked!

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  2. This is an adorable idea! My husband and I started a little Valentine's Day tradition a few years back. Each year we bake loads of pretty treats and deliver them to our single friends. No reason for anyone to feel left out on vday :)

    This year, I might also buy a gift card to a coffee shop and give it to someone delivering flowers in my apartment complex. Vday will undoubtedly be a busy day for them, so I'm sure they could use a pick-me-up!

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  3. How fun! This sounds like an awesome project that I'd love to get behind. I don't have a lot of extra cash right now, but I think that I'll write letters to all of my friends and family letting them know how much they mean to me. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

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  4. i love this perspective, but so many of these "kind acts" require you to have money. i could definitely do the coffee for someone in line, and have, but buying someone's entire meal isn't in my wallet. i would rather write a handwritten note thanking my waitress, bring flowers to my hair stylist, or purchase a candy bar for the child behind me in the grocery store line (his parent permitting, of course!). the act doesn't need to be expensive to be thoughtful. thanks for posting this challenge, kinsey!
    xo
    writeslikeagirlblog.blogspot.com

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  5. What a sweet idea!

    xo Jennifer

    http://seekingstyleblog.wordpress.com

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  6. so sweet! when i was a teen and going through some family stuff my friend's mom gave me sunflowers. it was so comforting to know someone cared.=)

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  7. i love this :)

    every pay day, i pay for the coffee for the person behind me. it's the only time of the week i think i can afford it. ;) haha

    <3

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  8. I love your list! I love the idea of brining a thank-you card or gift to a place that I frequent. I'm thinking the post office or the library. Or maybe the folks at the help desk at my university. I feel like students yell at them a lot.

    Also, I've been meaning to volunteer at a local community clinic, but I just haven't gotten around to filling out the application. I'm going to make it a priority and use some of the time I spend reading blogs giving back to the community!

    Love the blog.

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  9. I think I'd love to pay 100% gratuity. I was a waitress for almost 10 years, and something like that would make my year, let alone my day!

    Cat
    catgotdressed.storenvy.com
    catgotdressed.blogspot.com
    cat.munzing@gmail.com

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  10. I love these ideas :) I've always wanted to pay for the coffee of the person behind me. Also, I love the idea of reaching out to someone you don't know who has inspired you, there are a few people that came to mind when I read that! Great ideas :)

    ♥Brooke

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  11. This is such a lovely idea, I definitely want to do at least a few of those things. I like to write inspiring little notes on the sugar packets at restaurants and leave notes on receipts in books at Barnes and Noble.I like making people smile :)
    manda.m.rave (at) gmail.com

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  12. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas! I hope to show my gratitude to everyone this holiday, not just the special people in my life, but also those who do not get the appreciation thay deserve. That is why I LOVE your idea to give flowers, or another gift to a place you go regularly, as well I will tip 100% of my bill when I go out to eat someplace local. I hope your day is lovely :)

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  13. This is such an awesome idea Kinsey! You are so thoughtful! I was planning on bringing little handmade paper valentines for everyone in my Thursday class since I'm going to miss everyone so much when we graduate in a few short months.

    Time Stand Still

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  14. great post! I'm going to make a bunch of felt hearts and leave them anonymously for people to find. Thanks for sharing your very sweet ideas!

    geenarose.blogspot.com
    geeenarose@gmail.com

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  15. What a lovely idea! It's the little acts of kindness that really make the difference, just little things which seem insignificant but can have bigger, more wonderful consequences that we can even fathom. :)
    The other week I was in my favourite cafe on campus, and I saw someone sitting nearby eating their lunch on their own, and they looked upset. Even though I didn't know him, I asked him if he was ok. He replied that he was fine, and carried on eating his lunch, without saying anything more. Before he left, he flashed me the biggest smile, and thanked me and hoped that I had a good day too. Something tells me he hadn't had a great day, and I am hoping that me showing concern gave him just a little bit of hope... it was something small that I felt I could do for my fellow student. I also try and say thank you to the cleaners in our accomodation, as I know they have to deal with a lot (students can be messy!)... It's just little things, and I hope I can make a small difference in the world. I know it means the world to me when my friends provide a listening ear or simply a hug. :)

    Happy Valentine's Day! :)

    ~Bekah
    rebekahsanders02(at)gmail(dot)com

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  16. I will be visiting my grandfather at the nursing home to chat. Just simple old conversation for folks who don't get to have one very often. I can't wait.

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  17. I plan to bless my coworkers with a treat!

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  18. This is so lovely :) For Valentines day I'm going to buy flowers and leave them in the basket of a bike I pass on the way to university, with an anonymous note. Hopefully I can make someone's day a little brighter :)

    Livvy

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  19. Oh my goodness Kinsey, this is definitely the best valentine's day post I've read so far. Valentine's day really is about more than hearts and candy, and I adore this random acts of kindness idea. I'm actually making some peanut butter cups for my upstairs neighbor today. It is his birthday and his girlfriend went out of town. I love the idea of buying the coffee of the person in front of you. Especially here in Seattle, where everyone is obsessed with their coffee. :)
    Thanks so much!
    Trish

    www.jellybonesblog.blogspot.com

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  20. This is a fabulous list!!! I think random acts of kindness are one of the best ways we can love the people around us. My friend always encourages me to kill people with kindness when I feel they might not like me or that sometime might be wrong. And every time it works!!! Also,bringing surprise meals to my neighbors and friends has been the best way, I've found, to reach out to them over the past year. I think I am going to use some of these ideas you mention this month, too.

    Thanks for sharing your heart, Kinsey!
    Joanna
    http://wearebeholden.blogspot.com

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  21. I LOVE the idea of this. And as someone who is single this is the perfect idea to change the typical focus of valentines day! I look forward to following along with most of the list you made as well as writing 5 letters to 5 of my sweet friends!

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  22. So nice! Since we're poor college students, probably my boyfriend and I will have a quiet dinner at home. MAYBE we'll go out but it's look doubtful (plus his birthday is just a few days later!)

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  23. i just adore this idea. you have wonderful ways to show kindness to others here. it was great inspiration to me!
    this holiday, i plan to do something for people close to me. my friend just moved back from Argentina, with her boyfriend (it is his first time in the states!), for a few months to visit her family. they are very tight on cash from the plane tickets, so i plan on making dinner for them on Valentine's Day. This way they can share it together and have something special.

    lindsey louise

    hellomrrabbitblog@gmail.com

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  24. I was wondering if you announced the winner for the Minnetonka Moccasin giveaway. just wanted to make sure they didn't miss it!

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  25. I've always though it was a nice surprise when your coffee is paid for - such a little thing but it really means a lot. I'll be sure and pick up the tab for the the person behind me next time I stop in.

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  26. Hi Kinsey,
    This is such a sweet post and very inspiring! These small acts of kindness are sure ways to light up anyone's heart or day. Your ideas are so wonderful and reading through the comments I've seen so many more great ones!! I am feeling inspired to complete some random acts of kindness before Valentine's Day :) Oh, and of course, to keep on doing them after that too ;) Thank you for sharing this post.

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  27. This is an incredibly sweet idea. I love the thought of taking the cheesiness out of Valentine's Day. I did a Random Acts of Kindness series for Thanksgiving. Here's my summary post: http://annanimmity.com/giving-thanks-random-acts-of-kindness-2012/

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  28. Such sweet sweet ideas. For the hubs I made a beard box full of goodies for his facial hair. Can't wait to post it. But I'd like to do sweet things for others, too.

    Hey if you have time, check out my blog re-launch and art give away :)
    http://nauticalowl.blogspot.com/2013/02/neverland-give-away.html

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  29. I love your list, and this idea!!! The smallest acts of kindness go such a long way for others. My plan is to pay for the person in back of me when going to my workout Valentine's Day morning. We use punch cards for morning bootcamp, and I will take two punches that day!

    Thanks for allowing the opportunity to just share our KINDNESS ;) Makes the world go round!

    xo, Bev

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  30. This is adorable and I definitely want to try some of them!

    Last week, my friends and I were flying home from a trip and the stewardess was the sweetest person we've ever met.. so we wrote her a little note telling her we appreciated her kindness and that we hope she has a lovely rest of her week (: And then wrote some funny little quotes!

    xo, Clare

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  31. Ah, this is such a great idea Kinsey. I have never really been into Valentine's day, but this is so great. Since I will be working all day on the 14th, I will be baking treats for my coworkers :)

    Victoria

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  32. I love this! I did Random Acts of Kindness during the month of December, and it was so fun. It feels really good to make others happy! XO

    -Charity

    http://atallshipandastar.blogspot.com

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  33. This is such a great idea! Random acts of kindness are usually something people do around Christmas, so I love the idea of spreading it out over the year.

    A few years back, my friend randomly suggested that we go to the grocery store, buy tons of fresh fruit and other produce items, and then hand them out to the homeless people. It was awesome! So fun, and such a great reminder that something as simple as buying fruit is actually quite a luxury.

    Giving back is so easy, when you really think about it! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Ana

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  34. Thank you so much for this post! I agree completely. Single, in a relationship, whatever, valentines day is truly about spreading the love. This valentines day, I plan to launch a facebook page anonymously for my college, It will be called ECcompliments. People will send the account something nice they have to say about someone on campus (someone they know, don't know, etc.) and I will post all of the lovely things to the page and tag the person the compliment is about in the post. A little way to express our appreciation for one another and spread the love!

    xoxo
    Juliette Laura
    juliettelaura.blogspot.com

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  35. To be honest, I don't like Valentines day so much, but I can't say I hate it. I just think people should be nice to each other every day, not only on valentines day. I prove my love to my loved ones every day, therefore february 14th is not special to me. But at least it's one of few days when people try to be nice.

    I did something like this last month and I want to carry on.

    I went to animal shelter and donated food and helped with walking the dogs, Gave flowers to an old lady I often see sad in my bus, Bought drink to waitress in my favourite bar and also bought coffee to person behind me :)

    And I enjoy it

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  36. i really like and appreciate this perspective. i think it's really important to spread love in everything you do. i am a social worker and work with homeless and at-risk adolescents. this year i am going to a hold a "v-day workshop" that is anti-DV and all about promoting healthy relationships. when you're a teenager your significant others and those relationships are completely defining. hopefully it will reach at least one of them!

    i'm also currently making friendship bracelets for all of my best female friends for valentine's day - we all live in different states now and really only get to see each other on the holidays. i think it's really important to stay in touch with them in every way possible and make sure they now how i much i love them and how important they are to me.

    rachel

    rachleddy@gmail.com

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  37. I plan on buying coffee for people in line behind me, leaving random valentine's day cards underneath windshield wipers at my school, giving my barista a 100% tip, and mailing packages to old friends! I love doing random acts of kindness!

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  38. This is such a great idea. I love the idea of buying people flowers who least expect it. Such a simple gesture but it does so so much.

    Jordyn
    theprettylovelyblog.blogspot.com

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  39. love these ideas, they are encouraging and inspiring! being the hands and feet of Christ in a real and tangible way, because life without love is nothing. thanks for the push, definitely planning on joining you on this journey.

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  40. what a beautiful post!
    some friends and I at christmas went into a supermarket with envelopes that had an encouraging message inside & some money. we sealed them up, wrote 'a gift for you' on the front and then discreetly popped them into people's basket's or trolleys when they weren't looking! hopefully we blessed a few shoppers that day!!


    katiejpoursain@hotmail.co.uk
    www.katiejessicacreations.blogspot.co.uk

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  41. i know you're going to make a handful of special people feel even more special with your acts of kindness, what a lovely list of to-do's. i plan to send valentine's day cards to my girlfriends. i want them all to feel extra love on the 14th.

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  42. This is such a great idea! I'm going to try this too- there is not enough kindness in the world anymore, what a wonderful way to celebrate Valentines day!

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  43. I love all of these ideas! I feel so encouraged and inspired when I hear about the things people are doing to brighten others' days. Lately I've cooked dinner for my family a few times--it gives my mom and sister a much needed break and is a gift of time (which I don't have much of!) to my whole family.

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  44. Kinsey, you have such a beautiful heart. This is a wonderful reminder of what love is truly about. Giving & sacrifice. This week I have really been struggling with where I'm at in life. Getting kind of antsy at school and feeling inferior to the so many talented bloggers out there! I'm an RA at Evangel and when I shared this with some of my freshman who were chillin in my room watching the superbowl, I later came back to find notes of encouragement placed in random spots all around my room.

    Acts of kindness truly make all the different.

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  45. I am a teacher and my students impact me each day with their acceptance and love. They don't care about how people are different from them. They love and accept all. They truly are an inspiration.

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  46. This is such a lovely idea and is so easy to do something for others.

    Lou

    www.thekeypieces.co.uk

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  47. Thank you for sharing this. This is the first year in a long time that I have a significant other to celebrate the day with. But over the past 5 years I have given back to the people that give to me every day. One year I packed up all clothes I didn't wear anymore and gave them to the Goodwill, another year I baked heart-shaped cookies, packed them in little bags and passed them out to strangers. This year I am going to make self-made scratch off lottery tickets, put neat sayings on them and pass them out to friends and family and leave them on some cars in the parking lots I go to that day...

    I love your list and I am glad that there are so many people that give back!

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  48. I love the tipping 100% one!! I would love to do that.

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  49. What a thoughtful idea. My 8th grade students and I are currently working on a 26 Random Acts of Kindness project at school. Each group completed 3 acts for a total of 26 from the class. We have delivered brownies to the office staff, cupcakes to every teacher in the school, read books to younger classes, and helped the special education students study math. It has been awesome watching the joy on the recipients faces, but more importantly, the joy on the givers' faces.

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  50. Being in highschool, during the past couple years I've noticed too how difficult it can be for people, especially teenage girls, to not create expectations or throw pity parties for themselves when Valentines Day rolls around. To send some love and encouragment to some of my girlfriends, I am going to bake some valentine themed treats with a friend and write notes about how much each person has meant to me and inspires me. Since class valentines in elementary school aren't quite the norm anymore, I think it wil be a nice surprise for some special girls! And I think it would also be a fabulous idea to show some love to strangers, since that is even more of a sacrifice!

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  51. I absolutely LOVE this challenge. My boyfriend booked a gig at a local bar this Valentine's Day and to be honest, I was really bummed at first because we wouldn't be having some lovey-dovey romantic night. And then I thought, why am I getting bummed about something so silly?! We have romantic nights ALL the time! And watching him sing and play the guitar is one of my ultimate favorite things in the whole wide world! I wouldn't want to spend my Valentine's any other way!

    Oh! And about that challenge, I'll certainly be leaving a BIG tip for the waitress or bartender (or both) that night! =)

    Thanks for all the inspiration!

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  52. I feel a little guilty in a way telling about the good deeds you do,but this was probably the best feeling I've had during the winter season. Just before Christmas as I was on my way to spend time with my family, I saw a gentleman wandering around my old neighborhood asking for money. Now,this neighborhood is known for having a lot of issues with drugs and violence so at first I was hesitant to give this man money for fear that he would abuse drugs but then I remembered seeing him previously with two little ones. I hopped out of the car and gave him all the cash I had on me, it was only $30, but as I handed it to the man, tears sprang to his eyes and he thanked me profusely. It turned out he had just lost his job and the money I gave him was going to buy his kids gifts for Christmas since he had just lost his job. It was the most wonderful feeling in the world and I had a better Christmas because I knew I had passed on the Christmas spirit.

    Thank you for sharing your lovely list. Its a lovely reminder to share kindness and love everyday and that the little things really do count. I plan on doing this list too!

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  53. I love this list. Awesome ideas! I bought a bouquet of wildflowers for my neighbors and put them in their outdoor umbrella holder. It's cold and snowy here and it's a bright pop of love in the middle of the winter!

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  54. Random acts of kindness are always so much fun, both to give and to get, and this list is great for ideas! A group of my friends and I are planning to go around to the libraries on campus around midterm time and hand out baked goodies to keep people in good spirits!

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  55. i love random acts of kindness my friend once wrote a surprise list of 100 things she loved about me covered in little doodles and its got me through some hard times. love your blog its great,
    becky xxxx

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  56. Does it count if I tell of how someone's act of kindness toward someone ELSE has inspired me? :) My mom has a friend whose husband was recently diagnosed with leukemia. She has several young children and owns a business, so it's obviously been very tough on her. My mom has been an amazing friend. She takes her children to school every morning, she bought one of her daughters birthday presents (in the craziness of everything her mother realized just a couple days before the birthday that she hadn't gotten anything). She gets lunch with her regularly and helps her anytime she needs it. I don't even think they've known each other that long, but I know my mom has been a huge blessing to her. I only hope that if I'm ever in need, someone like that will be there for me!

    http://2ndhandknowledge.wordpress.com

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  57. This is such an inspiring list! I've been wanting to go grocery shopping for the food-bank and just keeps slipping my mind. This was a perfect reminder and motivator! And I really want to make cookies for the girls I work with.

    Thanks Kinsey.

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  58. Aw, this is such a great idea! My husband and I just made up care packages to give out to homeless people, and we particularly made a point to pack them with the same quality that we would buy for ourselves (natural, organic, etc).

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  59. I'm making bouquets of flowers for all the postal workers/ delivery people who come by my house in the next few weeks. I also plan on baking up a new batch of cupcakes for my classmates whom I dont know, everyday! I hope that my small acts of kindness help brighten others' days. I've also been paying the toll fare for the 5 people behind me whenever I get to a toll point. I know that those these are little things they may not be incredibly important, but who knows?? They could brighten someone's day who has been having a bad one.

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  60. I make back packs filled with easy to eat foods. I keep them in my car along with directions to the food bank. That way when I come across a homeless person-I can meet a need right away. Love it!

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  61. This is such a beautiful idea. I will definitely be participating in these random acts of kindness. I'm thinking I will pay for someone's coffee, leave small encouraging notes to strangers, thank you notes to my teachers, buy flowers for my friend, + donate a box of non-perishables. Without the help of your post, I wouldn't have thought of doing any of this. Thank you Kinsey.

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  62. It's so refreshing to read a Valentines Day post that inspires us to be better neighbors and to open our eyes to the needs/hopes of others (be they strangers or loved ones) around us. I am on a tight budget, but I plan to make little gifts to have in my handbag and give to people who look like they need a pick-me-up. I also love the idea of leaving used books or handmade gifts in public spots, with a note for whoever finds them. Even a smile - a genuine, honest smile - to a stranger helps spread the love, and reminds people that life is not really a rat race, your neighbour is not your enemy, and the only way to break away from this climate of fear we're living in is to not accept it in the way we choose to deal with others around us.

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  63. I love this challenge! There are a few people at my workplace that need to get a little extra care -- this is just the prompting I needed. Thanks!

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  64. I think I would like to leave a nice note or card for someone whose job is truly important. I have been a server, barista, and am now a teacher, and I have always fought with feelings of nonappreciation. someone once left a note that said "you are beautiful" in the tip jar during my shift, and it was better than any tip :) we all deserve to feel loved on Valentine's Day, and on every day, no matter what our circumstances.

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  65. What an AMAZING idea! I've been talking about this with my 7th grade English students lately--believe it or not--inspired by the viral "Kid President" videos on YouTube. Love is so much more rewarding when you give it away!

    Thanks so much for the inspiration!
    xoxo

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  66. I love the idea of #1! My husband and I usually tip huge on Thanksgiving at the local Denny's. I will probably bake some goodies for my classmates since we have to be in class on the 14th instead of out to dinner with our loved ones. Thanks for the inspiration!!

    The Occasional Indulgence

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  67. Unconditional love. That is the truest of all loves, and that is the kinds of love that you are talking about. Gifts that come with no strings attached, that is beautiful.

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  68. I'm in high school, and the cutest little freshman boy randomly brought me a peach. He gave it to me in the most adorable way--"Look Cai, I brought you a treat!" D'awwww. <3

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  69. this is too cute. my boyfriend and I have been scheming to wrap small Bibles in Christmas/birthday wrapping paper and leave them in random places, including a note saying how the love found in it's pages transformed our lives, and we wish for the person who finds it to read it and be blessed, too :)

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  70. Challenge accepted! There are some random acts of kindness on your list that I haven't considered. My friends and I are gathering together next week to host a letter writing party on our campus, as part of the More Love Letters movement. We plan to leave these anonymous love letters for students (& faculty) to find!

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  71. I've always wanted to buy coffee for the person after me, and I think now is the perfect time.

    I'm baking Valentine's goodies for my friends and family. I know it's not HUGE but everyone likes a sweet little pick me up every once in a while :) Valentine's is all about sharing the love... and kindness, of course.

    M.

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  72. I'm definitely doing this all! Such a great list and a great way to be selfless around the holiday. I want certain people who I don't live near, to know that I love them, so I am going to gift specific songs on Itunes to each of them just to let them know I miss them and love them!

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  73. i really love this kinsey. i think you are so amazing. mine is not a random act of kindness i think but my mom recently sadly lost her dog in an accident that could have been prevented... i had never seen my mother so distraught and sad. it shook my world. i vowed to raise up enough money by the summer to get her another puppy - no you cannot replace such bonds but i hope it will bring her some light in her life and new beginnings.. i also vowed to make my dads life better by cooking him nice home cooked dinner every fridays as long as i can. i have learned to cherish and love the people in our lives and really we should do good for others not to do good but because we have that power to change someones lives with our actions and sentiments... thank you so much for your post.

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  74. Thank you SO much for this post. I'm about to experience my first Valentine's Day ever with a boy...let alone my first serious relationship. I literally just talked on the phone with my mom for about 45 minutes tonight about how I don't know what to expect and how I find myself setting high expectations in my head. "I hope he surprises me with a nice dinner...." or "I really wish he'd get me one nice piece of jewelry..." I hate thinking this way, and I know that I'm honestly lucky just to have him in my life.

    Anyway, reading this post was so fitting and it completely reinforced the way I know I should be thinking about Valentine's Day this year. I'm actually an architecture student in Springfield and our current project is redesigning the homeless shelter on C-Street. I've had this thought in the back of my head the whole time that I'd love to cook dinner and distribute it to some of the homeless people, or perhaps volunteer in their kitchen if possible. I find your list so inspiring and a sign that I should make that dinner happen!

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  75. Love the idea of emailing someone online about how much they inspire you! I have consistently followed many bloggers for years, but haven't really reached out to any of them. Thanks for this push to email a few of them, just to let them know how much I appreciate them!!

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  76. Super inspired! A friend of the family's little sister (14 years old) was just diagnosed with cancer. A couple of my friends and mentors and I are all pitching in to buy her parents and her a gift card to Panera that's right next to the hospital so her parents don't have to go far to get food. I'm looking forward to showing them the love of Christ and letting that be more important than the love and appreciation I will or will not receive on Valentine's Day.
    -Kimberly
    kimberlyannmccarty.blogspot.com
    wayfarerrr.blogspot.com

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  77. Thanks for the reminder to be kind for kindness' sake. I will try to live this out this month, specifically giving someone who works hard a nice bouquet of flowers.

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  78. This is wonderful. I, too, have been trying to think of ways to make Valentine's Day something more than the forced romance it always seems to become. I loved reading your list especially because some of them are things I've already done as a new year's resolution to pay it forward! I can't wait to show the love to others with more of these ideas! I'm particularly excited to show this love to the Earth! I'm organizing days to encourage coworkers to carpool to work and starting a compost pile at home :)

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  79. I have been very sick and out of work for a week, while my overworked, underpaid staff (I don't pay them, the school we work for does) covers some things for me. I plan to bring in gourmet treats and flowers for these wonderful ladies, as well as take them out for lunch in early spring when all is caught up. Jaimie Donnelly

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  80. I send my single girlfriends flowers on Valentine's Day!

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  81. I like this idea. I'm hoping to make something nice to hang up in the new home of some people I sort of know (they are more friends/extended family of my husband than me, at the moment anyway). I hope someone sends you a letter too!

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  82. Your post inspired me to write a note to my mother-in-love, who is also my music instructor, co-worker in our family business, and dear friend.We let time slip by without thanking those around us for the behind the scenes work that they do and so I took the time to thank her for the many things that she does that may go unnoticed. Thank you for inspiring me!

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  83. This really is the loveliest idea. What a good outlook on a holiday meant for love. I don't think there is any better way to show love than by doing service for those around you. I really love the idea of getting my girlfriends flowers. Just to show some appreciation for their friendship, and to tell them I love them. I really think receiving flowers always brightens your day!

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  84. Great idea! I love random acts of kindness. Almost every day I say hello to strangers and wish them a good day when it looks like they're having a bad one.

    I'm going to give valentine's to all my co-workers (52 of them) as well as some chocolate.

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  85. You're list is so inspiring! I've been planning on sending one of my lovely (single) friends a Valentine's card.

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  86. Just noticed this blog post today and i love it!
    Thought it was funny though, I emailed someone over the weekend to let me know how much they inspire me. I think it's crazy how blogs can give you this sense of knowing someone.. yet they don't know you or how they may affect you unless you let them know. That being said, I emailed stylish artist Kelli Murray last Friday to let her know how much she's inspired me to start painting more and do what I can to make It my life and make a name for myself.

    Since I got that random act of kindness taken care of... I'm taking It as a sign to complete the rest with my own twist.

    P.S. A few months ago, a driver in front of me at a drive thru payed for my meal. A complete stranger. What intrigued me the most is that It was so completely selfless, they didn't even need a thank you... considering they drove off before I even realized they had payed. I plan to create the same Pay it forward in a similar scenario very soon.

    xoxo
    embracingthemelody.blogspot.com

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  87. loved this post, thanks for sharing! also such a fan of your photography. I've been following your blog for awhile now and love everything about it.

    one of my love languages is giving. ironically, I've never been a great receiver. I have a hard time accepting things from other people... but a few years ago, a friend of mine who I had met while study abroad gave me the most thoughtful gift I'd ever received. she was a poet and she loved words. she wrote me a poem on my birthday in addition to a little moleskin in which she had collected leaves and taped in... she also wrote encouraging quotes she had found, or little reminders to stop and breathe. she drew sketches of mountains. she wrote haikus.

    she was an inspiration to me and definitely the best gift I'd ever been given.

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  88. I love this! Such an inspiring post and idea :) I recently did a post about sending people "a little box of sunshine" and would be pefect for Valentine's Day. Sending someone just a litle something to brighten thei day means more than words could say.
    http://www.notesfromtheslife.com/a-little-box-of-sunshine/

    Sandra
    www.notesfromtheslife.com

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  89. I was thinking of getting a gift card to a coffee shop and giving it to a random stranger I encounter while they're working--someone with a job that seems tough or tiresome.

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  90. Hi there.
    I'm not one to post a comment just because I'm in the running to receive something. That being said, please do not consider me for the winning; I'm only here to share something wonderful that happened just last month.
    Last year, I lost my best friend to suicide. He was much the outcast; no one payed him the time of day even though, if anyone knew him like I did, they would know he is still one of the most spectacular humans I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Anyway, about six months ago I entered into a new relationship with the most loving and kind person I have met to date. There were nights he noticed I was feeling particularly reminiscent (some of those nights are happy and others devastate me still). He got in touch with my sister and asked her when I lost my best friend. The night before the year anniversary he surprised me with a bottle of wine, a notepad, a pen and a single dahlia (my favorite flower). After one glass of wine, he had me begin to write down everything I loved about my lost companion. He wiped away my tears, he held my hand and just let me cry. It brought so my love into my home that I was overflowing when I reread the list in the days to follow.
    I wanted to share this because, sometimes, just noticing another person, spending less time judging and more time caring--even with stranger--we can truly make an impact on this world.
    Ladies and gents of the blogging world, share your capacity for love...it will make you and everyone around you happier.

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  91. I live on the Jersey Shore, so I've been trying to give back to my community more and more since Sandy. I'm a a photographer and I recently did a photo shoot special where I said 60% of the funds raised would benefit a local hurricane relief organization. Some really great people came out and donated to the cause. I've since decided to donate 100% of what I "earned." It was rewarding to do this project and I want to continue to raise money through my job. I think a lot of people could also find ways to turn their job/hobby into a way to help others in their community, if they just thought about what their strengths are and how those strengths could lift up others in need!

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  92. I've never been a fan of Valentine's Day because it has always caused so much negative competition amongst my girl friends every year but I love how you've put it in a whole new light! I've been trying to teach myself inDesign & Illustrator lately so I'm going to craft up my own Valentine's cards and write letters to people who have inspired me/been a great role model/great friend and mail them out in time for V-day. Snail mail is one of my favorite things! Thanks for this post and I loved reading everyone's comments!!

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  93. This is one of the most positive posts/talks about Valentine's and, well, general kindness too. Things have been so crazy in my life, I think my focus has narrowed down ridiculously and this a good call-back to put effort into spreading kindess and thoughtfulness.

    Now I'll have to think about how I can do this in my own life (besides the great list you provided, of course!)

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  94. I will adopt and old cat who is living for too long in a public center for abandoned pets where I used to work. And I will try and be nice with some people who go there to leave old or ill pets and adopt small funny puppies :(

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  95. I love your list! I personally try to live with this goal in mind all year long. This month I have decided to knit scarves and gift them to five women who support each of their husbands who spend much time volunteering in our community. I think it's great that you are encouraging this!

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  96. i like these act of kindness ideas! i plan to donate food, blankets/towels, and treats to my local animal shelter. i also plan on donating homemade knitted baby hats to the newborns at my local hospital.

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  97. Oh, Kinsey. I love visiting this space, because I know I'll leave it inspired! I plan on getting flowers for my sweet grandma, who is also one of my best friends. I know she'll love it. :)

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  98. kinsey, this is so wonderful. this completely explains why i love you & your blog so very much. thank you for being you. even from afar, in ways but subtle and great, you make me a better person.

    xo.

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  99. ok, and part two. i wanted to step away from my computer for a bit & think about what i might add to the list of challenges, and something sprung to mind. while reading through my scriptures recently, i came across this supplemental note in nehemiah: "for a nonliterate society, scenes depicted in stained glass made it easier to learn biblical history." for some reason, this really stood out to me. i started to think, how can i use the stained glass as a metaphor for my own actions? can i be like a stained glass window and share his light through my example?

    i have one particular friend in mind, and i started to think of ways that i might share the kind of love that Christ espouses, and not just my own. i came up with a little list of small, simple things i could do the next time i see her:
    1. be sure that the first words that come out of my mouth are a compliment to her.
    2. find something of mine that i treasure, but that i think she'd enjoy, and give it to her.
    3. be sure to stay positive and refrain from gossip.

    and thank you so much for posting this -- i read through everyone else's comments and was so, so touched & humbled by them. this gave me so much perspective today.

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  100. First off, I love this post! I don't comment on blogs often, but this is such a fresh and beautiful perspective on Valentine's Day, that I just have to. It so happens that one of my New Year Resolutions this year was to inject more kindness into my life. From the thoughts in my head, to my outward acts, I want to be full of kindness. As others have said, I don't have a whole lot of money to spend, but I plan to bring in some homemade treats to the office. I will write little notes for all of my friends as well. They're all so special to me, they know that, but there's no harm in reiterating.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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  101. i don't know if it was sharing love, but a few weeks ago when i had a flat tire on the freeway a guy helped me, and when i offered him money, he just said help or do something nice for someone else. :)

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  102. I love everything about this post!I never really thought of Valentines day as a way to "focus on bringing love into someone else's life!" I work at Starbucks see lots of people paying for someones coffee and we have a regular customer "Coach" who always brings us flowers and lately girl scout cookies!

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  103. I love random acts of kindness. When people go out of their way to help me I make sure to point it out to my kids and talk about what the person did to be helpful and loving and how they did it without expecting anything in return. My boys like to tape quarters to the gumball machine with a little note letting someone know that the quarter is free for the taking. It's something small that they can do and they can use their own money. I first saw the idea on this blog http://lillightomine.com/light-em-up-2012.php. I've also seen some pinterest boards dedicated to the idea of random acts of kindness, like this one http://pinterest.com/sjserbinski/random-acts-of-kindness-ideas/. I once went to the grocery store and then man in front of me couldn't get his credit card to work. He wasn't buying a ton so I felt like I could afford to buy his groceries. He looked pretty shocked and gave me a nice big handshake.

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  104. I love this! I tend to hoard free samples of things so I was thinking of getting together some care packages for the homeless - things with like sample sizes of shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste, etc.

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  105. I plan to help put at the homeless shelter and I hope you don't mind me stealing your care package idea lol I going to give those out to the homeless there as a little surprise or late Chrismas gift...some clothes, vouchers for food, perishable items things like that.
    A person who inspired me...well people...are you because you are clearly doing your job at being the best you can be, I don't know anyone who has a list of kind things to do1 You rock! and My dad! :) He reaches out to homeless and injured Veterans during Thanksgiving, Christmas and sometimes even on his birthday! He's the most selfless person I could ever meet and he makes me proud to be his daughter.

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  106. What a wonderful idea! I don't eat out or buy coffees right now, so I won't be doing those things. I do, however, (thanks to you!) plan to:
    - Leave flowers on the door step of a friend who is really unhappy with work and life right now
    - Donate canned goods that I would want to eat to a homeless shelter
    - Donate towels I rarely use anymore to an animal shelter
    - Donate my mismatched socks that don't have holes to pine martin researchers

    Thank you for the inspiration!

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  107. This is such a lovely idea. I plan on going through my apartment and donating to my local goodwill, and local animal shelter. I also plan on making small care packages for the people in my life whom I love dearly. Each will be personal & thoughtful. Many live all over the country and I rarely get to see (except for skype!)

    Thanks for such a wonderful post & daily inspiration.

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  108. Beautifully written. I would probably paint some rocks with words of encouragement and spread it around the neighborhood. Plus I'm also buying a boquet of flowers and give each to single ladies like me. :)

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  109. Just discovered your blog--so cute! Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday no matter my relationship status; I have so many people to love and be loved by regardless! In addition to my usual cards, I'm going to take some bags to the thrift store and maybe treat people to some coffees — I love that idea. Thanks so much for the post supporting kindness!

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  110. Just stumbled onto your blog and it's amazing! I usually bake goodies and leave them on the doorstep of my neighbor or my office mates anonymously. I like to see them look around to see who it could be! Hope you have a wonderful day!

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  111. Random acts of kindness no matter if it's a holiday or not is always the best! You have some great ideas I'd like to share with my friends as well!

    I'm planning on giving a shopping bag full of puppy chow (given as free samples on my morning commute) to the homeless dogs owned by homeless people I see in downtown San Francisco! Animals need love too!

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  112. I love this post, it always seems like it's hard or scary to do random acts of kindness but it can really brighten up someone's whole day. I read a post about a boy just having someone talk to him for the first time and it saving his life. Random acts of kindness are beautiful things and you never know how you will effect someone.
    I will try to do multiple things, I loved your idea for baking for your coworkers!!
    But I will try to just smile and say hello, I will try help someone if they drop there books on campus, I will buy my sisters each a bouquet of flowers on valentines because I never do those kinds of things (so it will be sort of random). And because I have the biggest softest heart for animals I hope to volunteer there for a day or bring them treats and bags of dog food.

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  113. i went to the doctor with my baby since I didn't have a clue I couldn't bring him. The office manager had to hold him while I was checked out. The manager was really sweet and said it was no problem but it really was a big deal. A week later, I kept thinking about how sweet she was to help me instead of turning me away. I surprised her with a big mason jar full of flowers and a thank you note. Not super random but not expected either. I am truly thankful for the great people in this world.

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  114. i went to the doctor with my baby since I didn't have a clue I couldn't bring him. The office manager had to hold him while I was checked out. The manager was really sweet and said it was no problem but it really was a big deal. A week later, I kept thinking about how sweet she was to help me instead of turning me away. I surprised her with a big mason jar full of flowers and a thank you note. Not super random but not expected either. I am truly thankful for the great people in this world.

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  115. I plan on taking my roommates bike to the shop to get it fixed for her. It's her only way of transportation, and it broke. Now she takes the bus and it's not very time efficient for her and her full semester load.

    At the beginning of this year, my car was towed while I was moving into my apartment. The next day I got a street sweeping ticket. It was a very nice welcome greeting upon my arrival. To say I was distraught on loosing close to $300 in less than 24 hours is an understatement. My roommate banded together with a couple friends and they all pooled in $90 for me. It was the kindest relief to a traumatic weekend.

    Just recently I bought by boss a coffee and got it for free! That was grace.

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  116. This was an awesome idea for you to do on your blog. My boyfriend and I are both focused on being servants of Christ and giving as much as possible. We love to be the hands and feet of Christ, by showing love and giving to those who ask. Something Tony and I always like to do, and do quite often, is make sack lunches and hang out in downtown Houston with the local homeless. Although their essentials are much needed, what they really want is just a friend. We enjoy sitting down, having lunch, and being able to spend time with people who really need it.

    I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

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  117. This is so sweet! The last thing on your list is something I've been planning on doing for a little while. I want to make small pillows and care packages for the homeless in Austin. I was driving by a couple of homeless people the other day and a pillow would make such a huge difference. I'm gonna start this weekend!

    This post made me feel all warm and fuzzy. :)

    Nestled in Nostalgia

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