AMY RAINEY
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September #30DaysofGOOD Challenge Retrospective

So September has passed, and I’m very happy to report that I completed 22 of the 30 Days of GOOD challenges. (Yay!)

Overall, I enjoyed the challenges and experienced several small benefits. I got to email a lot more with more of my awesome friends, especially Corey, Adele and Taryn, who were also working on the challenges. I tried harder to be positive and not to let the small (mostly insignificant) annoyances of urban life affect my mood. I introduced myself to new neighbors and said hi to others. And I got more ideas for small no-cost and low-cost deeds from Altrooist. 

I also discovered that I’m much more prone to random acts of friendliness and kindness when the weather is nice and sunny. My #30DaysofGOOD productivity took a big hit when our wonderful late-summer weather was overtaken by the start of Seattle’s nine-month fall — 60, gray and raining. So that was an interesting thing to realize and something to keep in mind. I’ve now prepared a lot of indoor activities and projects to get me over that initial autumn gloom.

I’m also now a little hooked on mini-challenges, so I’m planning to keep going and do GOOD’s October "Get Healthy" challenges.

Here’s a look at the September challenges:

Completed Challenges

Day 1: Send a postcard to someone. I noticed that a guy in Columbia, MO commented on the GOOD article and said someone could send him a postcard. I went to college in CoMo, so I decided to send him a Seattle card.

Day 2: Have a conversation with a service employee. I routinely talk with the baristas at the coffee shop near my office, which has led me to learn a lot about banked track roller derby. 

Day 3: Share an old photo with a friend. I sent a photo from my preschool graduation to a couple of my friends.

Day 4: Ask a relative what they did today. I had a great talk with my grandmother and blogged about how awesome she is.

Day 5: Coordinate a group event. Coincidentally, on Day 2, I organized and hosted a BBQ for my team at work. I decided that counts. 

Day 6: Get coffee with a coworker. I got lunch with a friend who recently started working at my company. We’ve been meaning to get lunch for weeks.

Day 7: Buy a friend a gift for under $5. I went to Pike Place Market and got a beautiful bouquet for my friends Neil and Carley for exactly $5. Bam!

Day 8: Email a Twitter pal. I had a great email chat with @haikugirl, a Twitter friend. She recently started Altrooist.com, which is a very cool online community about doing small good deeds. (Let me know if you want a beta invite.)

Day 9: Video chat with a faraway friend.Had a great video chat with my friend Sara in Chicago today. 

Day 10: Feed a homeless person. I’ve tried to give leftovers and other food to homeless people in the past and it has almost never worked out. So I decided instead to make a small donation to Food Lifeline, a Seattle food bank where I’ve volunteered in the past.

Day 11: Do something nice for a neighbor. The outdoor steps in our apartment building are getting really dirty and cobwebby. I think I’m going to clean those up, which should make for a pleasant cobweb-less climb up the stairs for our neighbors. 

Day 12: Give five high-fives. Hmm. I received a lot of high-fives during a Mizzou game, so I’m going to let that count. 

Day 13: Call someone you haven’t talked to in years. One of my sister’s friends from junior high reached out to me on Facebook because she was moving to Seattle. I helped give her neighborhood recommendations and after she got to town, I met up with her for a beer. I decided getting a beer with someone I hadn’t seen in 12+ years counted for this challenge.  

Day 14: Say hi to three strangers. I’ve been making more of an effort to say “hi” and talk to people I don’t know who work in my building. 

Day 15: Make something for someone. I made a guide of things to do in Seattle for my friend’s parents who were coming here to visit.

Day 19:  Send a friend three links they’ll love. Sent three friends one link they’d love. 

Day 21: Leave a positive comment on a stranger’s blog. Wrote a supportive comment on a stranger’s update on Offbeat Bride.

Day 22: Ask for someone’s advice and take it. After a very long day at work that started at 5 am, I asked my best friend if I should go to the gym or rest. She said rest. I listened. 

Day 24: Go to a neighborhood business you’ve never been to. Adam and I recently checked out Cool Whirled, a pretty tasty self-serve froyo place that just opened in Fremont. 

Day 26: Lend someone a book. Lent a coworker an editing book and lent a newly engaged friend the “Offbeat Bride” book.

Day 27: Introduce two friends who don’t know each other. I e-introduced my friends Whitney and Sara, who both live in Chicago and have many similarities. They’re planning to meet up for vegan (one of their similarities) food now. 

Day 30: Have a conversation with someone 20 years older or younger. OK, so I haven’t explicitly done this yet, but I routinely have interesting conversations with my 6-year-old nephew. 

Not so much

Day 16: Leave someone a thank you note. 

Day 17: Teach someone something. 

Day 18: Cook dinner for someone. I have been helping with dinner more. That’s a good start. :)

Day 20: Give three compliments.

Day 23: Thank an old teacher.

Day 25: Call someone instead of texting or posting on Facebook. 

Day 28: Email someone you admire but have never met. 

Day 29: Settle an outstanding argument.


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#30DaysofGOOD Challenge Status Update!

We’re about one-third of the way through the 30 Days of GOOD challenge, and I’ve really been enjoying it. The mini-challenges have been a pleasant break during stressful times.  Here’s what I’ve done so far…

Send a postcard to someoneDay 1: Send a postcard to someone. I noticed that a guy in Columbia, MO commented on the GOOD article and said someone could send him a postcard. I went to college in CoMo, so I decided to send him a Seattle card.

Day 2: Have a conversation with a service employee. I routinely talk with the baristas at the coffee shop near my office, which has led me to learn a lot about banked track roller derby. 

Day 3: Share an old photo with a friend. I sent a photo from my preschool graduation to a couple of my friends.

Day 4: Ask a relative what they did today. I had a great talk with my grandmother and blogged about how awesome she is.

Day 5: Coordinate a group event. Coincidentally, on Day 2, I organized and hosted a BBQ for my team at work. I decided that counts. 

Day 6: Get coffee with a coworker. I got lunch with a friend who recently started working at my company. We’ve been meaning to get lunch for weeks.

Gift under $5Day 7: Buy a friend a gift for under $5. I went to Pike Place Market and got a beautiful bouquet for my friends Neil and Carley for exactly $5. Bam!

Day 8: Email a Twitter pal. I had a great email chat with @haikugirl, a Twitter friend. She recently started Altrooist.com, which is a very cool online community about doing small good deeds. (Let me know if you want a beta invite.)

Day 9: Video chat with a faraway friend. Had a great video chat with my friend Sara in Chicago today. 

Day 10: Feed a homeless person. I’ve tried to give leftovers and other food to homeless people in the past and it has almost never worked out. So I decided instead to make a small donation to Food Lifeline, a Seattle food bank where I’ve volunteered in the past.

Day 11: Do something nice for a neighbor. The outdoor steps in our apartment building are getting really dirty and cobwebby. I think I’m going to clean those up, which should make for a pleasant cobweb-less climb up the stairs for our neighbors. 

Other things I’ve done as a result of 30 Days of GOOD:

  • Emailed a lot with my wonderful friends Corey, Adele and Taryn, who are also doing the challenges. It’s been great to connect more regularly with them. 
  • After seeing a bike commuter and a city worker get in a horrible screaming match and yell racial epithets at each other, I decided to try to balance things out a little. On the next block, I told a woman that I loved her dress. She smiled and thanked me.
  • Adam and I went to a bunch of cute shops in our neighborhood in search of a postcard for the Day 1 challenge and while we were out doing that, stopped at a new frozen yogurt place that just opened and met the owner. I love my neighborhood but I sometimes forget to enjoy it when I’m busy and just trying to get home.
  • Introduced myself to a new neighbor. 
  • I’ve gotten more ideas for small no-cost and low-cost deeds I can do from Altrooist. 

 

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It’s probably not proper social media etiquette to reblog a reblog, but I just noticed that GOOD reblogged my post about my grandmother. Thanks for sharing it! 

good:

amyrainey:

Today’s challenge: Ask a relative what they did today.

My grandmother, Magda BrownIn pursuit of today’s challenge, I called my hero — my Grandma Magda. She told me about her day of cooking meals with her Hungarian friend. She’s great at planning ahead for busier times — the meals will be frozen and eaten at later…

This is just amazing. Make sure to track and tag your challenge posts with #30DaysofGOOD so everyone can see awesome items like this everyday.

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#30DaysofGOOD: Day 4 challenge

Today’s challenge: Ask a relative what they did today.

My grandmother, Magda BrownIn pursuit of today’s challenge, I called my hero — my Grandma Magda. She told me about her day of cooking meals with her Hungarian friend. She’s great at planning ahead for busier times — the meals will be frozen and eaten at later dates. 

Now, this is actually an unusually low-key day for my grandmother. She is incredibly busy and active, especially for an 84-year-old. She spends the majority of her free time traveling around giving speeches. She is a Holocaust survivor, and she is on a personal mission to ensure that as many as people as possible hear her story. She’s spoken to thousands of people, including school groups, churches, colleges, the mayor of Chicago, the governor of Illinois and a Eucharist convention in New Zealand. She tells the tragic story of losing her parents and most of her relatives, being separated from her brother and reuniting 20 years later, being imprisoned in Auschwitz, being enslaved in a munitions factory in Allendorf, Germany, escaping during a death march, being rescued by American soldiers, and, eventually, coming to Chicago to start a new life. It is incredibly difficult to relive these awful memories on a daily basis, but she is dedicated and fiercely focused on her mission of educating anyone who will listen. She is an amazing person.

Today we spent a lot of time talking about ”Wartime Witness,” a documentary film she’s been a part of. She recently went on tour with other survivors and the filmmaker to promote and share the documentary series, which focuses on the first person experiences of European civilians during World War II. 

My family is in the process of creating a website about my grandmother’s experiences so that countless others can hear her and learn from her story. If you’d like to learn more, you can listen to a recent interview my grandmother gave on Interfaith Voices Radio in Washington, D.C., or read more about her story

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For Day 3 of the #30DaysofGOOD challenge: Share an old photo with a friend. This is a photo of me graduating from YMCA Little Explorers preschool at the Irving Park YMCA in Chicago (circa 1989). 
At the graduation, we recited poems about what we wanted to be when we grow up. I wanted to be a waitress. My little sister wanted to be a teenager. :)

For Day 3 of the #30DaysofGOOD challenge: Share an old photo with a friend. This is a photo of me graduating from YMCA Little Explorers preschool at the Irving Park YMCA in Chicago (circa 1989). 

At the graduation, we recited poems about what we wanted to be when we grow up. I wanted to be a waitress. My little sister wanted to be a teenager. :)