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Tying Up a Loose End

When I asked for ideas for committing random acts of kindness, I had a couple of almost "rules" in mind. I wanted to do something that would help a lot of people. I wanted it to somehow benefit kids. Most importantly, it needed to be something with the potential for giving forward over and over and over. Thanks to all of the input y'all provided (HUGE props to @woycheck), I think we came up with something pretty much perfect.

I found some $1 backpacks on Oriental Trading's website and then sought and destroyed a decent pile of school supplies. We tossed it all together and then tossed it the Very-Important-Not-So-Secret Ingredient--the Mini Missions.

The premise was simple, if a kid was fortunate enough to benefit from the free backpack filled with school supplies, it seemed only fair to provide them with a means to continue the pay-it-forward mentality. There were four different missions.

Mission One--Silly Bandz: I don't pretend to understand the fascination with the things, but kids flock to Silly Bandz as if they are made of magical unicorn poop filled with glitter, diamonds, and Taylor Lautner's sweat. I've personally witnessed Alexis making tons of new friends just because of the prospect of swapping a few of the crazy little things, so what better way to spread a little joy than by giving a bunch of kids 50 Silly Bandz with instructions to give them away to some new friends?

Mission Two--Thank a Veteran: The Thank a Veteran mission came complete with some extra notebook paper, pencils, and a pre-addressed envelope. The instructions asked the backpack recipient to write a letter to a veteran and then send it on its happy way.

Mission Three--Thank a Soldier: Just like the Thank a Veteran mission, this one came with some extra paper, pencils, and a pre-addressed envelope. Another simple task to complete, all the recipient was asked to do was to write a letter and drop it in the mail.

Mission Four--Brighten a Day: This mission required a little extra behind-the-scenes shenanigans with a local personal care home. Once that end was set up, all that was needed was to place some crayons and/or markers, heavy weight paper, and a preaddressed envelope in the backpack. Recipients of the Brighten a Day mission were asked to create some art for some strangers. Draw a picture, color a scene, whatever, and then send it to the personal care home where a staffer will distribute all of the art they receive to residents who could use a little extra sunshine in their day.

And now I challenge y'all to join in on the Do Goodery. Really. Go buy some Silly Bandz and hand out their magic to some kids. Write a letter to a Veteran. Write a letter to a Soldier. Create some art for a personal care home resident. Do all of the above. I'll make it easy and give you some addresses where you can send those letters.

Letters for Veterans can be sent to:

Thank a Veteran

c/o Penny Alfonso

1970 Rangeview Drive

Glendale, CA 91201


Letters to Soldiers can be sent to:

Operation Gratitude

17330 Victory Blvd

Van Nuys, CA 91406


If you want to complete the personal care home mission, leave me a comment with your email address in the appropriate field. I'll reply back with the address where those beaut-i-mous things can be sent.

Do Goodery is fun.

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Reader Comments (21)

do goodery is fun... Alexis and I should trade silly bandz soon. (you've just totally rolled your eyes at me... stop it! I'm the coolest old lady with kiddo friends)

I'll happily send those letters though... considering one of my rugby teammates is over there... which reminds me... i need to do a do goodery blog post...

thanks, lady. you're always good for goodery or reminding odd friends they forgot to do things.
July 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpghrugbyangel
what are silly bandz?
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterExMi
Great idea!!
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShelley
@ExMi--I think I might want your life if you have managed to avoid Silly Bandz! They are rubber bracelets that come in about a zillion different shapes. Here's a photo of some:
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle (burghbaby)
Thanks for including us in all the do-goodery. I would be interested in the personal care home project..great ideas

Going to get the Silly Bandz today
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkatsbynp
Seems like you did a great job.
I'm kind of jealous & I NEED to hit the 77 Kids store next time I'm home.
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermamaphan
that photo looks like a young person...not like the little girl i met just last week. crazy!
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf
@hello haha narf--The iPhone makes her look older. ;-)
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle (burghbaby)
Awesome! I think you did a fabulous job with your do-goodery.

And why does Alexis look 9 in that photo?!?
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Smiles
Thanks for posting this! I love "do goodery" and just may have to participate in this one! Going to get my girls writing letters. I like the school supply idea too because I know there are kids in our school who cannot afford the supplies and so we always donate some every year. This approach is great with the whole idea of paying it forward with the Silly Banz. I will keep you updated with what we decide to do.
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristi
This post just melts my heart. I would love to do the personal care home mission. I have a little one that loves to draw pictures.
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
Thanks for all of the info. Great ideas!
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim Adams
i love this... you did a great job!
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermisty
As a wife of a soldier that is deployed, thank you for suggesting people write the soldiers. During his first deployment many people wrote. The war was still new. Now that he is on his 4th deployment I don't think he has gotten any mail from strangers.
When he is home we love to look at some of the letters that he has received during that first deployment. One teacher got her whole class to write letters thanking him, and to draw pictures. Its very cute.
So thank you Burg Baby for remembering the soldiers.
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElena
This sounds great! I so want to do these things to brighten someone's day. I remember back during the Gulf War I wrote to the Any Soldier and I ended up being pen pals with this soldier for a good chunk of my high school. I think until he got out of the service. It was very rewarding and I can't believe that I forgot all about it until now.
After a certain anonymous suggestion was left in the suggestion box, Bee & Gracie's daycare started sending the "schoolers" room to field trips to the assisted living facility where the girls' great-aunt is living. It's a free field trip for the daycare and the seniors at the facility really enjoy spending craft & story time with little peoples! (Gracie doesn't mind her new celebrity status Aunt Sula has brought her, either.)

Happy sigh...doing good is even better than cookies.
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie in MA
This is a great idea. Good luck and I hope it's a big success.
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTara R.
Ahhh, makes me think of how at the end of January every year, a bunch of kids, adults, and retirees at church make valentines for the assisted living center in town. It's fun to watch 60 and 70 and 80 year olds make cardboard, paper, and glitter valentines.

We then meet on the Saturday (or Sunday) closest to Valentine's Day and deliver them. The patients love having someone to talk to, and the kids get to see their art work get ooooh'd and ahhhhhhh'd over. Win-Win.
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermumple
I'm not sure what I did (I don't think anything, really) but y'all did some wonderful stuff for #77kids and are continuing to Pay It Forward. Awesome! Well done.
July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWoy
Great ideas - thank you!!! I'll get my kid coloring this weekend!
July 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMel
Going to write a letter this week. :)
July 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFireMom
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