Friday, March 14, 2008

Ten Thousand Ordinary Acts of Kindness and Thinking Happy Stuff

On Friday, March 7th Jenni was unexpectedly diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Since her diagnosis, things have moved quickly.  She elected to have surgery on Thursday, March 20.  It's been an incredibly difficult and challenging time for her, her family, and those that love her.  

One thing we know about Jenni is how much she loves to help other people.  Her big heart and unending compassion is no secret to those around her.  And so, during this difficult time, many people have asked "How can we help Jenni - someone who has helped so many other people - in a way that shows her how much we care?"  In true Jenni fashion, she has given us a response in the form of a challenge: in order to do good for her, she requests that you do good for other people.

Stephen Jay Gould once said, "The center of human nature is rooted in ten thousand ordinary acts of kindness that define our days."  Jenni told me that, since her diagnosis, she was made keenly aware of the "ten thousand ordinary acts of kindness" that are around her and have been around her every day.  The outpouring of love and support she has received has meant a lot to her, and she'd like to continue the cycle of giving and encourage that it spread out into her community and beyond.  Thus, this website was created for all of us who want to support Jenni in order to tell her, and each other, all of the many acts of kindness we both receive and give on a daily basis.  Jenni is asking that we purposefully do an act of kindness each day and post what it is that we did.  She also asks that, when we are recipients of acts of kindness, that we post those as well.  She plans on reading the blog each day as she recovers and it is our hope that each one of our small stories might contribute to the well-being of Jenni and our community as a whole.  

In order to make this work, we ask that you select a user name that is easily identifiable or to add your name to each of your posts so we know who is posting what.  We also encourage you to give suggestions about acts of kindness that others may take part in.  For example, if your church is having a bake sale, your child's school is having a fundraiser, or your neighbor's care needs a good washing, let us know and we might be able to help out.  Remember, no act of kindness is too small to post here.  And perhaps through recognizing all of the love that surrounds each one of us, the positive energy that Jenni gives out to her comunity will be returned ten thousand-fold.

130 comments:

Lynette said...

On the highway this morning I let a very mean looking and imposing truck cut in front of me. It took a lot of energy not to get mad, but I practiced deep breathing and sent him some positive energy.

Kristen Reeslund said...

I lent my car this afternoon to a friend who needed it...

Amber Daigre said...

I gave away a collection of toys and prizes for a fellow grad student therapist to use with her own clients.

Jenni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynette said...

While walking my dog in the pouring rain this morning a kind stranger in a car stopped at an intersection to let us get through a puddle. They didn't have a stop sign, but waved us through anyway. It made my day!

Brandyn said...

At the grocery store this morning, I helped a vertically challenged (is that the PC term :) woman retrieve a box of cereal from the top shelf.

Anonymous said...

Hello Jenni! We don't usually have all that much to do with each other, but I still wish you all the best!

I don't know if this counts as kindness: Every day, I try to save the environment by riding my bike. Interestingly, I get blank stares when I give this as a reason, so I tend to answer that riding my bike saves gas & money, is convenient, is faster because I don't have to look for parking...
However, the true reason is that I ride it out of respect for the other living things around me. Every day this involves letting people in cars take my right of way because they don't know that I actually have a right of way. :)

AgainL Good luck to you and may recovery come fast!

Miriam

Laura McKee said...

I feel lucky to have in my circle of friends someone who would even come up with this idea. Jenni, it's a fabulous way to love you by loving others. Today I'm donating clothes and shoes to Interact - a foundation in Raleigh that serves battered women.

Shelly B said...

In the spirit of recognizing all the wonderful things that people do for us each day, I wanted to share a little story about a couple of acts of friendship of which I have been the recipient today. Kezia and I are scheduled to work on our MAPs this afternoon, and she and I both had other engagements until noon. When I came out of my noon meeting, I had a voice message from Kezia letting me know that she was finished with her morning activity and was heading out to grab some lunch. In generous, Kezia fashion, she stated that she would like to bring me some lunch as well and asked me to call and let her know what I would like. It's amazing to me how, even with our crazy busy lives, we can take small moments out of our day to recognize that ours might not be the only hungry belly and to do something simple for our friend. These simple things really are the things that mean a whole lot.

One more, I called my husband, Lynn, after my meeting to ask him if he or my child needed anything from me before I began to work with Kezia. What a sweetheart, he said that he felt like I spent so much time trying to meet their needs that he had everything under control, and they wanted to relieve some pressure and help me out by helping out with housework and other things.

I am a truly lucky woman to have so many wonderful people in my life!

Peace,
Shelly

Kezia said...

On a rainy Saturday morning when I wanted to sleep in, I woke up and went to a 8:30 meeting to help plan for ways my church can reach out into the community.
I'm the youngest person on the committee, and we started talking about young adults and how they feel about issues and the future. In order to help my fellow members "get" our generation a bit more and the feelings we sometimes have of not knowing how to change things, or feeling discouraged but still wanting to see things change, I played John Mayer's song "waiting on the world to change". Reading this blog this morning helped me to see it doesn't just have to be changes in huge ways, but that in shifting our perspective and in living out kindness in our lives and welcoming it in when we see it, we can slowly change the world around us.

Amber Daigre said...

Today I used a Sharpie to write "gobigforjenni.blogspot.com" on two $1 bills (which I'm pretty sure counts as defacing federal property and is a federal offense....but whatevs...I live my life on the edge:)

Anyway...I gave one to a homeless person and used the other when I paid for my things at Target. As those dollar bills make their way around Nashville and elsewhere, let's hope that the holder takes a second to check out this fabulous website!

Anonymous said...

Jenni has always been my inspiration in the blood-giving department (among many others). So after two failed attempts during my Stanford days- and a bit of a hiatus since- I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to give blood this week. In the meantime, my good deed for the day is that I took Jackie on a walk- or should I say, Jack took ME for a walk!

philippe said...

Last night in San Francisco I was waiting for Wiveka to arrive at the theater where we were going to see a play. I noticed two homeless people on the street asking for money. I approached them and asked them if they would accept food. They said yes. I went to the corner deli and bought them chicken tamales and delivered them hot and fresh. They were happy and so was I. I had made myself a wonderful salad before i left home for the theater. I considered how much wealth i have in my life and figured that i could feed two guys on the street.

Kat Boger said...

Kat here. I am the email-challenged friend who wrote the above blog about Jackie. More later...

Adrine said...

As fate would have it, Ryan gave blood on Friday. I will make sure to give blood as soon as possible. Also, my good deed for the day was stalling the line to get on the train so that a woman and her infant (plus stroller) could make it on.

Jessica Giles said...

i am sending happy thoughts to all you wonderful p&hd folks... i miss you all... jenni i went ahead and sent this around to my students in boulder to urge them to GO, not just big, but HUGE!!

i am going kinda huge myself these days. i am partnering with 48 kindergarten through 4th graders on a grassroots environmental justice campaign... helping a group of high schoolers develop their own programs to combat racism through theatre and the arts ... providing monthly food distribution to the families of boulder schoolchildren on free/reduced lunch ... lecturing at the University of Colorado on genocide in Darfur ... and sending homemade inappropriate short stories to my partner in afghanistan. (just my little way of supporting the troops).

jenni, i am doing a little zen lovingkindness meditation for your glorious beautiful genius self every day for the next two weeks. every morning when i get up i will ask the universe to send you my love.

rock on girl.

love and well-wishes,
jessica giles

Jessica Giles said...

oh and one more thing, i'm also organizing an alternative spring break trip to new orleans to do community rebuilding and restoration. contact me at jgiles@colorado.edu if you're free march 22-30 and wanna crash the party...

Big Sis said...

So here we are I am Jenni's big sister. Today the girls and I helped Aimee plant flowers to make her apartment more beautiful.We also sent some fun goodies to Auntie Jenni along with big hugs and kisses and a lot of prayers.

Linda Daigre said...

Hi Jenni. On my very first trip to Nashville to visit Amber, I was so happy to see that she had developed a friendship with such a wonderful, kind and sensitive fellow student. What a great idea to give us positive things to do to support you, and at the same time helping others. Well, today while cleaning out kitchen cabinets I donated a sizable collection of household kitchen items to the local Rescue Mission in support of their efforts to assist those that are experiencing various hardships. I often donate, but this time I didn't ask for a tax deductible receipt. :)

Kristen Reeslund said...

So I was thinking, thinking, thinking what I wanted my act of kindness to be today. After seeing an ad for a lost dog this afternoon, it made me think of what you went through when Jack was lost. So I made a donation to provide funding and supplies to help pets affected by natural disasters.

Brooklyn said...

As I was walking down College Avenue in Berkeley, a young couple with a very young baby in a carrier was walking directly in front of me. The father was carrying the baby in a hand carrier. I noticed that the baby's foot was out from under the covers and I made it a point to tell the parents as they entered a baby store that their tiny one's foot was uncovered. The parents were so grateful that I had pointed it out to them as it was very cool today and it was clear that they had gone to lengths to make sure that the baby was covered and warm.

Anonymous said...

I helped out with a community Easter party yesterday. It was amazing to watch everyone work together for good - even when it rained. Maybe that's like what we are trying to do here... work together for a common goal in acts of kindness and helping others (despite circumstances around us).

Jenni, I wish you the best.

Sarah Mathiesen

Kristen Reeslund said...

In line with my previous post, I decided to press YES when given the option to donate $1 to Homeless Pets as I was paying at Petsmart this morning (I won't lie...I usually press NO).

Ted Newcomb said...

Hi Jenni! I'm one of Lynette's northern friends. We placed your name on our prayer list at church today (Palm Sunday) as you anticipate surgery. And we distributed palm crosses from the African Palm Company that has invested $1.75 million back into African villages since 1976 for trade school education, well drilling for safe water, medical relief and more. This is all because people in our churches and hospitals have purchased African Palms for Palm Sunday Distribution. There is one on our Altar Table with your name on it!
Peace, Blessings & Healing!

ashford said...

While sitting on the beach on Thursday trying to enjoy "the heck out of the beach" as Jenni had asked me to do in an email, I finished reading a book by Julia Alvarez entitled "Saving the World"--a great story (fiction) about how the smallpox vaccine was brought from Spain to New Spain in the 1800's (true story) interwoven with how a group of people were doing clinical trials for a vaccine for HIV in the DR--a very good read. I have written Go Big for Jenni on the inside of the cover and I will put this book at a coffee shop for someone else to enjoy "the heck out of" because that's how Jenni thinks--which is one of the best things about working with her--you get to see first hand how she thinks.

ryan said...

Hi Jenni. I haven't seen you in several years, but I will make an effort each day to perform a good deed and will be wishing you and your family the very best.

UncleBooBoo said...

Jenni, I am thinking of you every day by the minute. I am here for for you at any moment. You are strong and will beat this.
I Love you
Uncle BooBoo

Kat Boger said...

I am changing it up a little and writing about a nice thing that someone else did for me. A random older woman came up to me today and gave me a big hug! No joke, she saw me sitting on a curb talking on my phone and she said that even though she didn't know me, she wanted to see if I was ok and if she could do anything to help me. Then she embraced me with all her might. This was certainly a first for me!

For my part, I donated $5 to third-world farmers when I was at the grocery store this morning.

Anonymous said...

today i volunteered to clean a yoga studio. - lynette

MLJCamacho said...

Today I finalized my schedule as a newly appointed Eucharistic Minister to the Sick and Homebound. I look forward to bringing a connection to the Catholic Church to those in hospitals and convalescent homes.

TrishL said...

Jenni, this is a fantastic blog. I haven't been in Nashville in a while and thus we haven't seen each other, but I am inspired by your challenge and am eager to dedicate daily acts of kindness to you. I don't anticipate being very good at posting to the blog every day but will do my best and nonetheless hope that you feel the good energy coming your way from NYC. Namaste, Trish Lipani

sasha said...

JENNI IS A ROCKSTAR!!! This blog is amazing. Jenni, I am sending you love and positive thoughts. You make this world better, every minute. Everyone who is posting on this site makes me smile, smile, smile. I baked cookies for the blood drive at school. I think I might be addicted to baking cookies :)

Alexandra said...

In my line of work I feel incredibly lucky to see acts of kindness and small miracles every day. For those of you who do not know me, I teach horseback riding to children who face extraoridinary challenges in their lives.

Just the other day a volunteer came in a shared that she had used her various connections to get a signed Patriots football for one male student who is absolutely obsessed with football. The student was so happy it brought tears to my eyes.

Jenni, what you have started here is truly a miracle in itself. Reading over everyone elses stories I am actually convinced that Americans do really have hearts! It is hard to stop looking at just your own life, but it is something we should do everyday. Thank you Jenni for making us all look at ourselves and the world around us.

Big hugs!
Love
Allie

littlememc said...

Jenni is an amazing person! We love you and hope you get better soon!

Meredith M.
(from the calvary youth)

Linda said...

Jenni, I am Kezia's Mom. I live in rural northern Michigan. During the winter, a group of three wild turkey hens come to eat seed from the ground under the bird feeders in our yard. The smallest of the birds is permanently injured; her left leg appears to have been broken and then healed at an angle. She wobbles as she walks and she keeps most of her weight on her right leg. The other two hens often push her away from the best food locations. So, today, I spread seed in four different spots in the yard and the injured bird was able to eat just as much as the others.

Auntie Tari said...

Jen,
My thoughts are with you every moment of every day, which of course means I have now doubled my thougts about you...obviously you were always high in my mind! Today was a great family day, 16th B-day for Sam, good food, goofie activities, and lots of great visiting. NO IDLE GOSSIP!!

I am absolutely inspired by defacing US currency, and so I too will take out my Sharpie and get writting GoBigForJenni....

Aimee and Katie will be together Thursday all day. So know that Katie will be supported.

Love you lots and lots, see you later this week.

Tar

Kezia said...

Today in church I added your name to our prayer list.
We always have communion, except one Sunday a year--this Sunday. On this Sunday we are asked to stay a bit after church and write for "Bread for the World" asking Senators and Reps to include poverty as an issue in the fiscal budgets. I normally sneak out, but thinking of you, I stayed and wrote two letters. While I was writing, a fellow member asked me to pass out fliers in the neighborhood (public housing) announcing free food at the church tomorrow. I had lots of work to do, but again, thinking of small acts of kindness, I went into the community and past out fliers, smiled at kids, and talked with those I saw. I've gone to church there for 3 years, and have never gone into the neighborhood--thanks for the inspiration!

Lily said...

This morning I brought flowers in for my co-workers. I am sending you lots of good thoughts and prayers, Jenni!

Lily Stevens

John said...

I am off to give blood tomorrow - I would try to get my older brother to come but he literally faints every time someone takes his blood!!!!

karma1965 said...

so, the interconnectedness of the universe has always fascinated me - recently, i sent love, medicine and miracles (the book, not 3 seperate things) to my tres type A aunt who recently had a neurological incident that has yet to be explained scientfically (but is anecdotally obvious to those of us around her who love her). she cared lovingly for her baby sister, my mother, in mom's last days here on earth. i shared with her the simple statement from the book, "we all need our illnesses", the universes way of helping us connect to our true, healing spirit. beautiful lynette and i met over improving prevention education for local teens, and her blog and e-mail links us now. i waved this morning in gratitude to one individual picking up trash along the Briley Parkway/Gallatin Road exchange on my way to get a webkinz for a co-worker returning to work- no escort or orange jumpsuit, just a someone cleaning up. I think some of us have to take on bigger illnesses than most, not for oursleves, but for all of us, everyone - many people need this illness you have, and we will all benefit from your havng taken it on. love and peace and thanks - patrick

LauraKC said...

I used my AAA membership to help a neighbor who locked his keys in his car. I also scheduled an appointment to give blood this week.

Amy F. said...

I opted to donate an extra $1 to the American Heart Association when checking out at the store this morning.

Melissa said...

I'm a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and yesterday I spent some quality time with my Little Sister. Those of you on the departmental kickball team may remember my Little, because she came and played for Psychology and helped our department finally win a game! :)
Anyway, my Little Sister and I went to the Frist Museum, and as one nice gesture, I let her pick the radio station in the car (she prefers 101.1 over NPR).

Caitlin said...

Just sent the email and website link to some people who didn't already have it and posted it on my myspace page. Now off in search of some unsuspecting person to go be extra special nice to today! Also trying to wash my hands every few minutes so as not to spread the cold bug around.

Anonymous said...

HI Jeni,
I believe in the power of prayer and today I am sending healing prayers out to you and in your name to all those in my life in need of healing. I also participate in a Choir that is dedicated to the elimination of racism and creating models of unity amongst its members of different Faith's, ages, races and cultures to show the world we can live in great love of oneanother no matter our background and that Peace is happening in the real world. We have a performance this coming Friday and I will sing my part in your honor. Health and happiness to you. Tracy Tveit

Brooklyn said...

I took a digital picture of my neighbors blooming daffodills and enlarged and put in a very inexpensive frame and gave it to them. This made them very happy. The neighbors are fairly new to the neighborhood and speak limited English. I want them to know how much I appreciate looking at their beautiful blossoms because it is clear that they want to be good neighbors and enjoy their new neighborhood.

Alanna Truss said...

Jenni,
Just wanted to let you know that I am sending good vibes your way from North Carolina. I am in the process of coordinating a blood drive through Duke so that my friends and colleagues can donate in your honor. And as not to be a hypocrite, I am going to get over my long-standing fear of needles and give blood also.
Thanks for the inspiration! You are truly an amazing human being:)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jenni,
My name is Ian and a mutual friend sent me a link to the site here. I'm a believer in the power of prayer and will pray for you and your family. I also want to let you know an act of kindness I received today - my Aunt bought me a green bagel for breakfast and it made my day.
This campaign of "Go Big for Jenni" reminds me of a motivational speaker I heard in undergrad. She said, "I don't need a lot, I just need a little a lot." I'll go big for you. Peace.

mona talla said...

hello jenni. the talla family is sending positive happy thoughts your way. last week jared gave blood though the usc blood drive. although his motive was community service hours, no one was more surprised than him about how good he felt. he was just beaming all day!

Megan said...

A friend of mine sent me this blog, and I thought it would be the perfect thing for Oprah to know about - so I just emailed their show about Jenni - I know we've never met, but you sound like an incredible person :) You are in my prayers!!
Megan McMahon

Anonymous said...

Loves ya bunches and bunches!
Gran'ma and Gran'pa.

KD Sullivan said...

Pages of a newspaper were blowing down 14th Street in nyc. I scrambled after them, picked them up, and put them in the trash can. A few pedestrians gave me funny looks. Manhattan's streets are littered with trash - but now there is a little less of it - thanks to Jenni.

xoxoxo

Adrine said...

Here's a random, funny one...Today, when I arrived at work, a few co-workers mentioned that there was a lizard running around the building! Rather than ignore it or let the little guy get injured, I got a co-worker to help me catch it and release it back oustide.

Anna Marie said...

HI Jenni
I love GO Big for Jenni -
Tari emailed me this morning!

Jenni, you are truly amazing and I know your entire family is so very proud of your courage - your positvie spirit will lead the way!


Michael, Natalie and I will be doing tons of stuff through out our community and for others everyday and thinking of you each moment.

Big hugs and kisses from all of us!
XXOO
Anna Marie, Natalie and Michael

karma1965 said...

You know, the little things are so much bigger when you share them - our receptionist at Nashville CARES made over 60 staff little St. Patrick's day bags of candy with green M&M's ;) ! In a not un-related gesture, the education department gave me a "I'm not lucky, I'm good" green shamrock cup holder. :)

Melynda Barnes said...

Hi Jenni!
It's Melynda from Pi Phi. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed seeing your beautiful smile and being in your presence when we were at Stanford together. I know everyone knows what I am talking about! You are such a funny and fun person and I know that Nashville loves having you :)
My Go Big for Jenni story-
A close friend of mine was just diagnosed with breast cancer last week and her surgeon offered to do the surgery this past saturday if someone could babysit the surgeon's son. I volunteered and babysat from 7am to 1pm.

Anonymous said...

Love You Buns. Very proud of you.

Kathie Reeslund said...

Hi, Jenni,
When Kristen first told me of the "Go Big for Jenni" plan, I told her I would give blood today. Unfortuately, the Red Cross had other ideas. Due to a trip last spring I have to wait until June 3 (a date I have marked on my calendar)to give. Insted I made a donation in your honor.

Patti said...

Jenni--
I try to be ever mindful of you these days and this is my way to be in prayer for you as constantly as possible. Today at the Huntsville conference a social worker came running up to me and asked if I was related to "Dr. Jan van Eys from Houston's MD Anderson and Department of peds". I said "yes" and she went on to say that he had changed the whole face of treating childhood cancer by incorporating a full mental health component (he was a pioneer of this). She went on to say how he had changed the lives of so many children, families, and professionals and how they all loved him, therefore she also loved me by association. She has spoken to me several times today and told others that I am Jan's daughter in law. Similarly, I am so fortuante to be associated with you, another gracious, generous,extremely smart person who is changing lives. And you do it so well. I'm with you, Jenni. 24-7!

Patti

Mike said...

So many people do so many nice things for me everyday, but my ladyfriend is definitely the tops. From changing my cat's water to kisses on my cheek to listening to me without judgement when I'm ranting to reminding me about stuff I forgot to cooking dinner with me to letting me win at foosball, she lavishes kindness on me everyday.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jen - and all those who read the blog: This is my third attempt to post a note, so bear with me (the digitally challenged one).
We did a good deed Sunday. We took Aimee, Case, Katie, Hannah and Hailey to lunch at Avila's. For those of us old enough we had a Margarita toast to Jennie!
Another good thing we did is "adopt" a soldier in Iraq. His name is Capt. Clint Cunningham. He's married and has two little girls waiting for Daddy to come home in Kentucky.
You know our thoughts and prayers are with you, Baby. We'll be there Tuesday night. Loves ya, Gramps and Gran'ma.

Anonymous said...

Jenni

I knew you were special the day I met you- we had dinner outside at the Irish Pub. You didn't eat that much!!
You are a blessing to us all. Have faith and courage.
I love this idea of going about and doing good works.

With love and lots of prayers.
Caitlin's Mom - Rosemary

Katie said...

Sarah Frankel brought St. Patrick's Day joy to everyone she encountered today, generously giving out cupcakes (complete with festive rings on top), stickers, and fake tatoos. Her energy and enthusiasm helped make this day less ordinary.

Anonymous said...

Jenni,
Your faith is strong,you will get through this with grace!

I invited a couple over to Easter dinner today when I found out their family is unable to make it.They would have been alone.

Matthew 7:12 So in everything do to others what you would have them do to you.

Anonymous said...

I am Maria Camacho's Aunt and am sending you special wishes from Canada.
I will strive to help some special needs children this week.
You will be in our thoughts and prayers this week.
Joanne H.

Anna Marie said...

Jenni
Michael's school Goddard Middle School Honor Society is cleaning each classroom to help the teachers prepare for their Open House! Michael said he is going to help out 2 times before the big day-- he wanted me to share with you!!!
All our love!
Anna Marie

Gramps said...

Hi, Jen-Jen. Today I took Rigby for an extra long walk. She got really tired. Loves ya, Gramps. Oh, and I helped Gran'ma learn how to use the TV remote.

Kezia said...

I cooked meat! For those who know I've been a vegetarian for most my life--you know it's something special for me to cook it. I made a lasagna for Room in the Inn and thoughtfully included meat!

jane cohen said...

This week, the American Cancer Society is delivering daffodils to cancer patients in hospitals and selling them to the public (at least in California). I helped get some delivered to patients this morning and bought some myself. I will be delivering them, personally, to two friends...one who is just feeling out of sorts and another who is fighting a recurrence of cancer. I have sent your story, Jenni, to so many friends and colleagues. I have friends who are praying and meditating for you every day. My sister, Meg, has spiritual connections and she is using them for your good health. Larry and I will go to synagogue on Thursday morning ...but we send you love every day.

Mary Lou said...

A former patient, seven years free of cancer, is giving back by delivering daffodils to current cancer patients. (Every year Daffodils are given out to cancer patients by the American Cancer Society.)

Anonymous said...

Took time out of my 12 hour work day today for a long walk and talk with Erin. Beautiful walk, fabulous talk, and wow what a gorgeous day. A special moment for mom and daughter

Aunt Tar

Meryl said...

Jenni,
I gave unsolicited hugs to each of my coworkers today in your honor -- and am sending you oodles of virtual hugs over blogger. Get better soon so I can give you the real thing!

ooxx,
Meryl

sasha said...

Today, a bartender told me that I didn't look a day over 23! Talk about kindness!

MLJCamacho said...

Went to buy a bday card for a certain someone(Ms. Jennay!), and I found myself short three cents. A woman gave the cashier three cents to cover my purchase. I told her that I would post this act of kindness in honor of Jennay!

DeRonnie said...

You'll really appreciate this one... It's St. Patrick's Day and I'm on my way home from work on BART. The guy next to me keeps bumping into me as if he can't keep his balance. I notice that he's pretty drunk and I am pretty sure he's going to get sick. I tapped a couple who was seated in the area and told them that I think they should move cause the guy looked like he was going to be sick. They got up and stood and we prevented others from sitting down there. Two stops later the guy threw up all over the seats, which would have been all over the couple. Now if that isn't a random act of kindness, I don't know what is (I guess I could have helped the drunk guy, but... ewwww). - Schmoopy DeRonnie

Anonymous said...

Jenni -
Your blog is an amazing testament to the opportunities for kindness that surround us every day. Knowing that these gestures are inspired by YOUR kindness and generosity makes me smile from ear to ear :)
In taking the Go Big for Jenni challenge, I'll begin keeping a list of my personal kindnesses dedicated to you. Next time I'm in Nashville, I'd love to share it with you!
I hope this blog is as inspiring to you as you are to all of us who know and love you!!

Kari

Shelly B said...

Jenni,
I'm reading a beautiful book called, A Path with Heart: A guide through the perils and promises of spiritual life by Jack Kornfield, a psychologist. I was reading a meditation about pain and illness, and yesterday morning I spent some time meditating about you and sending loving energy your way. One part that I specifically used to help me visualize the positive energy I'm sending your way went like this, "Bring your attention to the pain as if you were gently comforting a child, holding it all in a loving and soothing attention. Breathe softly into it, accepting all that is present with a healing kindness." I imagined a beautiful light energy healing you like a soft caress. Also, tonight I am going to spend some extra time tutoring extra-nervous statistics students and feeding the homeless at Kezia's church. I am practicing my "bigger, stronger, wiser, kinder" skills with my stats students and others' students. I am going to try to make it to Children's today to donate blood in your honor! I hope you have a peaceful day!

LauraKC said...

Hey Jenni! I've been thinking a lot about you this week (do you feeeel the energy?!), and some of my colleagues are starting to Go Big!

My act of kindness today: Calling a friend to lend emotional support as she makes a very tough decision about her beloved, elderly pet.

Received kindness: A man in a wheelchair rushed ahead to open the door for ME!

Kat Boger said...

This morning, on our way back from Starbucks, Jenni and I picked up trash in several people's yards and closed recycling bins that had blown open in the wind. We then cleaned out the fridge and did laundry. Restoring order is the name of the game for today!

Angela said...
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John said...

Yesterday I met with someone for an hour to try and help her get a job in independent schools.

Julia Powell said...

Hey Jenni,

I just got back from being away. I just wanted to say that I have been thinking about you and sending you my best, most positive upbeat vibes. My good deed for the day is remembering a birthday I often forget. Not so good a deed but it's a start! I'll be checking in . . .

Jessica said...
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Aim said...

Jenni, I love you!

This is amazing and I am going to do all that I can to spread your positive thinking and outpouring of kindness.

My boss brought in daffodil bouquets for all of our desks yesterday and I bought the office Starbucks to kick start the week.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenni! I met you sister yesterday at swim class here in Long Beach. I wish you the best of luck and will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. I did do one (small) random act of kindness yesterday. My neighbor was home all day from work yesterday with a cold so I brought her over some of our cold medicine so she did not have to go to the store and could just stay home and rest!!!

Just as a side note...As I told your sister yesterday, my cousin Annie had a brain tumor several years ago, had it removed and since has had 5 kids! (2 sets of twins and one daughter)

Brandyn said...

Every time I get off 65N at the Rosa Parks exit, I see a man with a small cup and a pleading look asking for money. I usually drive by or sit at the light, thinking, 'I'm in this car alone. It might be dangerous to roll down my window,' or 'I don't know what he might use this money for.' Today, I did something different and gave him a few dollars. It's true that I don't what he'll do with it, but he couldn't have been more grateful.

Caitlin said...

Sitting in Jenni's house and felt the need to re-post my earlier attempt that didn't work.

Today, I donated $5 to my friend who is running the Boston marathon to benefit Children's Hospital Boston, Then, I happened to park next to two people whose parking meters had run out. So I put a little bit of extra change into their meters in the hopes that they wouldn't come back to their cars and find a parking ticket.

I was also a passive observer of a random act of kindness today. While at the post office, I saw a woman run ahead of another woman to open the door for her as she was trying to carry in a large load of packages.

Anonymous said...

Received: Today I received (as in for free) the exact co-sleeper I have been coveting for my soon to be newborn! It was from another Mom in my community, she posted in on a Mom's group. This is a real gift b/c I am so stressed about $$$- and this thing ain't cheap.

Given: I took my 9 year old neighbor out for hoc chocolate at our local cafe to celebrate her best friend coming for a visit tomorrow. She is so excited!

Anonymous said...

You don't know me, but I know someone who cares about you very much. Yesterday a kind, motivated, young volunteer from Masspirg showed up at my door. While I didn't have the time at the moment (I have a busy toddler!) to talk to her, I asked if she had pamphlets to leave me. She left them with me, probably thinking I wouldn't do anything with them. But, this morning, with a bit more time, I went on line, read up some more on Masspirg and made a donation. Thanks for the inspiration.

Kimberly said...

Hi Jenni! My thoughts and prayers are with you. While I only had the pleasure of talking to you on Christmas Eve, I found you to be a beautiful soul and very kind. I wasn't sure if you knew, my little brother is a Franciscan Monk and he will be ordained a Deacon in May. He will be a full ordained Priest next year. I have passed along your blog to he and his brothers. He wanted me to tell you that they will all be holding a prayer vigil for you tomorrow. They have all given up almost everything to give their lives to others. I have never seen my brother so happy or at peace. We are all thinking of you and your wonderful family during this time.
"Smile on....Pass it on"
Kim

Anonymous said...

Hey Jenni,
I met you last summer when you were visiting with your sister. (I'm her red headded next door neighbor)
She told me about this blog and I was very moved by this very idea. So, I prayed that God would show me different ways to "Go Big"for you (to let you know that I'm praying and thinking of you)... And boy did He!!
I donated to the Easter Seals... We (my hubby and I) decided that he should go to Mexico to help build houses.. and gave my day parking pass to someone that was about to buy one.

Be sure that you know that you have A LOT of love and prayers surrounding you!

Amber VanDuyn

Brandyn said...

I posted yesterday about giving a few dollars to a homeless man and feeling uneasy about what he might do with the extra bucks. Coincidentally, my favorite radio station--ESPN radio--is conducting a Radiothon today to raise money for the Nashville Rescue Mission--a nonprofit that provides food, clothing, and shelter to the homeless. I made a small donation.

Anonymous said...

I just signed up for the Friday blood drive. I haven't donated blood since 1999! Thank you for challenging all of us!!

TC

Aim said...

Yesterday I brought dried fruit and powerbar treats to my friend who has literally been living in architecture studio for three days finishing his final project.

Today on my way to work there was a woman with a brightly colored sign standing out on the sidewalk. The sign read "It's Wednesday... you're half way there. Have a good day!" She has been out for the past few weeks on Wednesdays and it always makes me smile.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenni! I've been thinking about you lots. This blog is such a good idea. On top of encouraging others to "Go Big for Jenni", it's also quite entertaining to read about everyone's good deeds. :) I'm looking forward to having you back at youth group when you're feeling better. We all miss your warmth and smiling face!

Given kindness: This week I made St. Patrick's Day cupcakes for everyone at the office.

Received kindness: I got a beautiful handwritten thank you note from my coworker's church for a donation I made.

-Lori Orth

Anonymous said...

I guess tomorrow is the big day. I've just said a prayer for you and wanted to share what I did BIG this week. My grandmother just moved to an assisted living home, so I helped my parents with donating hundreds of items to the needy, recycled a truck full of items, and boxed items for Second Harvest Food Bank. It took all day, but was very rewarding.

Also, I'm not a morning person, but I've given up some of my morning routines to carpool with my husband and help with the gasoline problems.

Susan Hardy

Anonymous said...

So, it's the same anonymous with Masspirg. I took my toddler to the Easter Bunny today; he was scheduled to arrive at 10:00. Sadly, the Bunny got into a car accident on the way into work (seriously!), so there was a very sad string of little ones-many of them crying-waiting for the bunny who was not going to arrive anytime soon. Thinking of "10,000 ordinary acts of kindness", I scooped up my little one and ran down to the CVS, picked up some plastic eggs, and went back to the bunny-line. I told the kids that the Easter bunny was very sorry, that he wanted me to give them these eggs, and that he would try to see them very soon. It stopped the crying and certainly put a smile on my face too! =)

happymaggie4ever said...

We love Jenni! I leant a pen to a 6th grader today!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Jenni,

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow on your big day. I've picked out some of my most colorful clothes to wear to work (which admittedly is pretty easy for me since so few of my clothes aren't black!). I am going to wear them in honor of your tremendously bright spirit and strength that will continue to touch others as you go through this journey. Shine on, Jenni!

-A soon to be very colorful TC

Anonymous said...

Hey this is Big Sis. iam so glad to see that Jenni has such great friends. Today I made cards with go big for jenni on them and have passed them out to everyone. Tomorrow at Disneyland I will pass them out also. With Aimee crai and the girls. Craig also donated to a firemens family that just passed away. As Hannah quoted this morning "Sometimes Hannan sees her sometimes Hannah don't Auntie Jenni always loves me" we all do!
Katie

Victor said...

Hi Jenni,

I wanted to wish you the best of luck. I want you to know that one of my best friends had brain cancer, and had an operation on the tumor about 5 years ago and is pretty much healthy as a horse. Lynette knows him, he's my friend from Dental school, Indian guy. So she can verify he's doing great.

The power of our brain and positive thinking is extreme. With all this positive energy heading your way, I'm sure the healing vibes are just flowing over you!

Again best of luck, and you will be in my prayers.

MLJCamacho said...

Today on my plane ride to Nashville, the flight attendants made an announcement that a couple needed to move seats in order to make their connection to London. As soon as the attendants made the announcement, I saw two hands fly up in the air saying that they would be happy to move to the back of the plane in order to let the couple sit in the front.

robbie said...

Hi Jenni,
I am a nurse and some of my uniforms are pretty worn.when I went shopping for new uniforms today I bought an extra to give to a woman I work with who is having a tough time financially and just in general to lift her spirits and encourage her.
My take on life? What goes around, comes around.
I will pray for you tomorrow- especially tomorrow night when our church community gathers to remember and celebrate the Lord's Supper with Mass and foot washing.
Wishing you the peace of Christ. -Robbie

Emily said...

I have been slack in posting my acts of kindness and those I have received. I must say I feel that I have been more on the receiving end recently and am thankful to Jenni for making me more mindful of what I do for others.
I love that people are posting small, everyday acts of kindness, not just huge, earth shattering acts. It's inspiring and motivating to read these! So, Jenni, thanks for this site. I'll try not to be so slack! Here's my first Go Big Post...
I was having an especially bad week last week and Mac (husband) was out of town. My mom drove over every morning to help me get Leland (my 14 month old) ready for school and loaded in the car; then, she returned each evening when I got home from work with dinner in hand and helped me with Leland until he was tucked in bed. I'm not sure how I would have made it through the week without her acts of kindness!

Today, I bought Easter presents for some friends and family and finished up the Meals for Jenni calendar.

Heather Walker said...

Hi - I am a friend of your sister Katie .. our girls take swim lessons at the same place. I want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers...

My act of kindness for today...
My dad is currently out of work so I am going to help him type up a new resume so he can start looking for a new job. I also am donating a ton of clothes tomorrow to a local charity.

Kezia said...

Well of course I'm thinking a lot about Jenni tonight. My prayers are with you for tomorrow.
I neglected to post yesterday, so I'll cover that first. While volunteering at Room in the Inn (feeding/hosting homeless men), I noticed that while most of the dishes had been done, several big items were left and the kitchen needed tidying. Rather than asking others to help, I washed and cleaned alone so that they could continue the more important ministry of talking and being with our guests.
Today, I gave a last minute ride to the airport for a friend.

LauraKC said...

My thoughts are with you today, Jenni. In fact, you were the first person I thought of when I woke up this morning!

I didn't post yesterday, but my "act" was demonstrating patience and kindness to someone who was less than kind to me. It wasn't easy, but I made every effort to do it and felt better for it. Today I plan to stop by our local animal shelter to spend a little time with the kitties and make a small donation in your honor.

Kristen said...

Jenni~
You have been on my heart the past couple of days. I just wanted you to know that you are being lifted up in prayer this morning during your surgery. I am anxious to look for acts of kindness today~ what a great idea!
Kristen Parker

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenni Elaine

Altho I've been slow in posting, I've been thinking of you constantly and sending good thoughts "out there" for you. I've read the comments from your vast array of friends & acquaintances; It is quite inspiring to see how many lives you've touched in such a positive manner. Clearly you have KARMA in your corner -- the good kind -- and you can't underestimate that.

I let people cut in front of me on the freeway -- you may recall that's difficult for a SoCal Type-A freeway driver.

My thoughts are with you - I know the family is there and I'll get a phone call from your grandmother -- but I'm also keeping this blog open. I'm so impressed with your friends and especially grateful for the real time updates.
All my love - Elaine

Georgia said...

A few months ago, a dear, old friend and I got into a "make or break" fight that put our friendship on suspension ever since. She has made a few overtures the past few months, but I have ignored them.

This morning, considering that life is way too important, old friends are too precious to loose, and forgiveness is an asset, I finally let it go and we've been laughing over gchat all morning.

Thanks for playing your part in this, Jenni!

Jessica said...

Thinking of you today! <3<3<3<3<3

-Jess Shyr

James said...

Hi Jenni. We've never met, but I'm Caty's cousin. I understand your surgery went well yesterday! I hope you are in good spirits today.

It is the little things that can matter most sometimes. I was at a Chinese restaurant with a friend a couple nights ago at closing time. The guy who was cleaning up was clearly in a rush to get somewhere, so my friend and I cleared and cleaned our table and put our chairs on it before we left. After we had walked out the door, we turned to look into the window and the guy was waving at us and smiling, having just noticed that our table was clean.

All the best to you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Big Sis here.We love you and are glad you are doing so well.Yesterday at Disneyland we handed out our cards.Aimee and I also put them out at Coffee Bean. A little girl gave Hannah money for the wishing fountain yesterday. It made our heart feel good that even someone so young so a need and filled it. I love you.
Katie

Anonymous said...

Hey Big Sis here.We love you and are glad you are doing so well.Yesterday at Disneyland we handed out our cards.Aimee and I also put them out at Coffee Bean. A little girl gave Hannah money for the wishing fountain yesterday. It made our heart feel good that even someone so young so a need and filled it. I love you.
Katie

Steve Hinds said...

Hello Jenni, I work with John Boger at Meadowbrook (he is a great guy) and he has told me about you and your special friendship with his wife, Kat.

I do pre-school duty every day I do not have a meeting and my mission is to get the kids to get out of their parent's car with a smile and a
positive attitude, so I cheerfully greet them by name, give hugs where I can and overall try to get them to start the day happy and smiling. How
you start your day often sets up how you will spend your day.

Be positive and strong and I am thinking of you; clearly you have an army of friends, supporters and well-wishers in your camp.

Cheers -
Steve Hinds

Anonymous said...

On my flight out to visit Jenni, a very nice man placed my bag in the overhead bin without being asked. Just took it from me and put it up. What a kink and gracious deed.

Aunt Tar

Anonymous said...

Began to knit squares for Warm Up America. You can do this too. Use any yarn, you can knit or crochet squares 7" x9". The squares are assembled by Warm Up America, and then blankets are distributed to people in need.

Auntie Tar

Brandyn said...

Received kindness: I'm a huge horror movie fan. My parents not so much, but I'm home visiting them for the Easter holiday. When I arrived, my dad had recorded Mulberry Street (one of of the few gore flicks I haven't seen), so that we could watch it together. I understand that, in most families, this might not be so kind :)

Michelle said...

Kindness given: Katie Gallerani and I put together an Easter brunch for those of us unable to go home or without family in town to celebrate with. Also had a sad attempt at giving blood, but will try again!

Kindness received: A friend drove 10 hours from Iowa to spend 36 hours with me around my birthday.

Elizabeth Malesa & Jen Foss-Feig went out of their way to help me set up for an assessment with a 3 1/2 year old in their amazing lab space in the Village at Vanderbilt offices.

Erin Susan said...

I drove my friend to school today...we almost did not make it. the tire exploded but luckly we survived and by 8pm we made it to chico. thinking about you jenni. Love you lots.

Anonymous said...

Last weekend, our next door neighbor's son left for
Iraq. Travis is 19, a Marine, and volunteered for
this assignment. Many of us on our cul-de-sac have
watched this fine young man grow up from birth. We
are a very close knit group and wanted to do something
to show our love and support for both he and his
family during his tour of duty. Saturday morning,
while his family was saying their 'good-byes' at
Pendelton, we put up American flags on each house,
placed small American flags on either side of the end
of each driveway, and tied yellow ribbons on the
mailboxes and around all the trees. We placed a
bouquet of yellow roses on their front porch. We are
in the process of designing and making large wooden
yellow ribbons to be placed in each front yard. We
will continue to fly our American flags in his honor
daily until his return. We will also contribute to a
care-package to be sent to him monthly from all of us.
Once he is settled and we obtain his email, we plan
to send messages regularly. Upon their return home,
his family was moved to tears and truly felt our
support ..... just as we hope Travis will feel our
love and prayers over the next 7 months.
Linda Moak,
Simi Valley

Anonymous said...

Yesterday there were some young men in basket all uniforms hanging out at all the intersections near the mall holding on to yellow buckets and asking passers by for money. My Husband and I would have normally felt awkward and kept our heads turned to the front window and avoid eye contact. After having been carjacked some years ago I learned not to trust anyone. But something was different that day and my husband and I looked at each other and decided to dig in our pockets and make a connection. It turns out they were collecting for a youth basketball trip for a youth athletic league. I got a warm smile and a thank you from a kind and respectful young man and it was a great healing to both our hearts. I thought of you Jenni Thanks for the opportunity to be kind and recieve the gift in return. Take care and heal quickly we need you out here.

Anonymous said...

I found a cell phone under a picnic table outside of Roly Poly. I called the last incoming number and talked to a friend of the phone's owner. The owner was on her way to the airport but the friend was able to meet me and within 30 minutes the phone was returned. She offered to pay me a small reward but I couldn't accept. Thank you, Jenni, for making us all aware of how our actions - even the ones that take little or no effort at all - can make someone’s day. Thank you for doing your part and inspiring others to make our world a better place.

Anonymous said...

Jenni,
I have been recovering from an ablation (I understand your Dad had the same thing done)for the last month or so and haven't been able to go camping, but our wait was rewarded this weekend. We arrived at Reed Bingham, a Georgia State Park near Valdosta on Friday evening, and were checking in when a couple of exchange students from the Netherlands came into the office to see about getting a campsite for the night. The park representative told them there were no more sites available. I told her that since they were tent camping, they could share our site. They were most appreciative. As you might expect, we gained much more from the visit with them the next morning before they left for Iowa where they are currently exchange students. Hope you are recovering well.
John (Kim's uncle)

jkg said...

I became a research participant in a HIV vaccine trial to do my small part in fighting this not-yet-curable and stigmatizing disease.

Anonymous said...

A girl and her mother lost two mattresses off the top of their car while I was running. I stopped my run to help get the mattresses off the road, onto the car, and more securely tied down.

Keep on recovering; you're in my thoughts and prayers

Lindsey said...

Jenni,

I admire your courage, you don't know me but you and your family are in my prayers. If there is anything I can do, please let me know. God bless.

Lindsey R.

Anonymous said...

I took a family of three who aren't related to me into my house to live until they can find a permanent home. It hasn't been easy but we are almost there. I have learned many lessons including to at least try to be patient. It takes a really long time for people to change. It isn't fair to expect change overnight especially if you can't change overnight.

Anonymous said...

Craig finally cleaned out his closet which I will now go and donate.

Anonymous said...

Craig finally cleaned out his closet which I will now go and donate.

My Vision for Go Big!

On March 7, 2008 my life got turned upside down.  I was unexpectedly diagnosed with a brain tumor which was so not on my to do list!  Equally unexpectedly, I had neurosurgery on March 20 and the results of the biopsy indicated that the tumor was benign.  Thank God!  Along this journey, I have taken solace in the fact that this is a huge opportunity for us all.

I am a clinical psychology doctoral student at Vanderbilt University.  For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to make a huge difference in the world.  For a couple of days, I actually feared that I had wished this scary and chaotic experience on myself and my loved ones, but then I was reminded that "life prepares life" and it all started making a bit more sense.

In a whirlwind of pre-operative appointments, Dr. Kyle Weaver, my neurosurgeon, told me that I should "hold onto my blood" which was a huge blow to me as I try to be a regular blood donor.  Without skipping a beat, however, my advisor, Dr. Bruce Compas, made me an offer to "pick up the slack" which I believe was the impetus for this whole GO BIG challenge as it struck me then that perhaps we can all be doing just a little more.

As a person who hopes to make a profession and a life of helping children and families, I'm committed to helping others in the best way I know how.  Consistently, I work with parents and children teaching them to praise the good and ignore the bad.  Not my idea, but it is a behavioral principle that works.  Now, don't get me wrong--I'm not blind to the evil in this world.  In fact, I'm struck by our culture's fascination with drama, hurt, despair, and scandal.  It absolutely blows my mind that these negatives suck so much of our attention that we can relatively easily forget all of the 1000's acts of kindness that are going on right this very minute.  

My hope is that this website can be a central location for all of us to capture all of the really awesome things that we are already doing and that we can all be inspired by each other's goodness.  It's not an original or courageous idea (although some have called it that), it is just an opportunity to do something that I've always wanted to do.  And, I'll bet that if I'm anything like you, I'm just doing the best that I can in this moment.  Sometimes that means that I offend people.  We are all imperfectly perfect and I know that that is where the true beauty lies.

There are no absolute rules because I couldn't possibly predict the creative and imaginative ways that we can each help one another.  Well, that's a lie.  There is really just one rule:  do what you feel in your heart!  Try not to feel like what you do doesn't matter.  It does!  If you don't believe me, read the postings for yourself and see what you think.  To somebody in that moment, you will have made a difference and for that I am eternally grateful.

So if you feel it in your heart or your head or whatever pushes you to act, try to do something.  Nothing is too small and nothing is too big.  Just put one foot in front of the other, and if you wish, take a risk.

Overwhelmed with a sea of emotions and an outpouring of support from our community, Austin, the love of my life, and I have felt so very blessed.  I believe that there is always meaning out there in this precious world of ours, sometimes you just have to squint to find it.  This past several weeks has been a truly rock ride and my guess is that life always will be.  So, step aboard if you are up for the challenge and let's see how far we can get this good to spread.

With great gratitude,