Monday, January 3, 2011

good deeds ~ recap & new beginnings!

happy new year everyone!!!  

i hope you all had yet another lovely holiday weekend.  we sure did, but more on that later.  
being that it's the beginning of the new year and the beginning of the first week in the new year {has this gotten old yet?}, i thought it best to start out focusing on ways to make the world a better place.  

over the past few months i highlighted organizations and ideas on how to help your fellow person, animal, & earth.  
there was...
+ help a village buy the animals they need to survive and thrive through heifer international.
+ pick an idea each month from the list of little things you can do to make your own community a better place. 
+ adopt, foster, or volunteer at an animal rescue shelter to help our four-legged friends!
+ commit to being compassionate towards others by signing the charter at charter for compassion
+ shop at raven + lily for cute goods and help impoverished women make a decent living.
+ help a girl receive what she needs to avoid a life a poverty, abuse, & illness through the girl effect.
+ sign up with some letter writing organizations sending notes to sick children and their families.
+ and of course, don't forget to do some good deeds for yourself! you deserve it, plus how are you going to make the world a better place if you're not taking time to fill your well first?

personally, it has been an amazing experience to write these posts and help shift my own focus towards ways i can help others.  i know just how easy it is to get caught up in a busy life and forget that, as an educated, healthy person in the western world, i have the perfect opportunity to make the world a better place.  before, i thought that having no money meant i wouldn't be able to do much good.  it sure seemed  that a lot of charities and organizations needed a whole lot of money and nothing else.  but this fall i began to understand that this way of thinking was just plain ridiculous ~ there are PLENTY of ways to do some good without spending a dime!  so i have learned and grown a lot through these posts, and i sincerely hope they sparked some inspiration in you too!

originally, these posts were going to be a special holiday series.  but since i loved researching them and you seemed to love reading them, i have decided to continue with this series throughout the new year.  i have some new dreams for my good deeds posts, however.  i know a lot of you have some great ideas of your own that i would love to hear about, and if there's one especially close to your heart that you would like me to post, please let me know!  i would also love to hear about any experiences you have had lately with your good deeds.
did you do any of the good deeds which i posted?  
did you do any different ones?  
were you on your own, with your family, or with an organization?   
what did you think of the experience?

i am also a firm believer in celebrating our successes.  i know that taking valuable time, energy, and maybe money out of your own life takes a lot of strength.  it's tough to set aside work, school, etc. and choose to do something good for someone else.  let's face it, in the end you'll feel like a million bucks, santa claus, and an angel all rolled into one! but in the beginning of doing something good it can feel awkward, scary, and uncomfortable.  not to mention, if you have a lot going on in your life, taking time away from your schedule can make things more complicated for you.  

SO... with all this in mind, i thought these posts could also be an amazing place to celebrate some of YOU for your hard work and good deeds.  for anyone who is interested, i would to love share good deeds that you have done for others, the planet, or even for yourself.  i want to celebrate with you on a job well done, and hopefully inspire more people out there to do the same.  if you would like to be featured, or want to feature an amazing person in your life who is doing some good {but maybe doesn't have a blog}, please email me.  i would love to include any photos you might have, a brief description of what you did, a link to the organization {if applicable}, and of course a link to your own blog.  i also might want to ask you a few questions about your experience, if you wouldn't mind.    

so with the new year here, i hope we can all move forward with warm hearts and renewed energy to make this world a little brighter in 2011!