{January} Heartfelt acts

Its still a week of celebrating and keeping with the theme of 35!
Johanson {35}

Today I am sharing my Heartfelt Acts for January with Emmy Mom!  If you have any you would like to share, you can link up on our Heartfelt Acts Page anytime!  There is no set day or time for you to write about your experience, but just sharing the details to pass it on.  You are open to do anything to show Heartfelt Acts!!

January’s prompt was:
1.  Clean out your closets/kids rooms/etc. and donate to a shelter or worthy cause.
2.  Find a cause in your community to serve for a day or a few hours.  If you have children, take them so they can experience giving as well.

My month started off by simply giving for the Albertson’s Sacks for Hunger. Erik also gave during a grocery run to the Kroger Sacks for Hunger.  What a great cause and so easy.  You could give $1.00 or $8.00 towards a bag of food that was already packaged and ready to go. 
As a family, our next act of giving was a little more difficult.  We had a Sanyo 32’ television that was in great shape, and manufactured in 2000.  The remote was still with it and the only reason we were giving it away was because we had upgraded to a bigger TV.   This is not our actual TV but identical to convey what it was we were giving away.

1st attempt was to call the Salvation Army to inquire about drop off times.  They notified me that they would NOT accept anything older than 4 years old.  WOW! {picky lil suckers}
2nd attempt: we drove to ARC drive up donation stop to give the TV to them.  I didn’t even want to try to pull it out of the car before asking and they wouldn’t be able to accept it either.  He recommended our 3rd attempt.
3rd attempt:  The ARC donation worker sent us to the other side of town to the Habitat for Humanity.  I had a good feeling about this one.  I walked in to tell the girl what I had to give and asked where I needed to go.  She said they couldn’t accept it as a donation because it had a glass front.  BUT!!!! If I gave her $25, they would take it for me and dispose of it.  So weird! I think its sort of taking away the “giving” feeling I was going for.
4th attempt:  I saw a Pawn shop.  Yes, I was getting desperate. 
They agreed to take it and put it by the front door with a sign on it that said “FREE”.  So, I’m hoping that someone wanted it and it helped.

I know our kids are very young and probably don’t really grasp “giving” but I have been pulling together clothes of Ryan’s that he has out-grown over the years.  We have been blessed with friends giving us their hand-me-downs and it was our turn to be on the other side. We rounded up a bag full of pants, tops, and shoes and gave them to my friend Katrina and her 2year old son Shepherd.  I tried to explain to Ryan that friends gave him clothes and it was his turn to give.  He got shy in the moment where he had practiced telling Shepherd, “I’ve out grown these clothes and I would like you to have them” but he was very sweet.
ryan and shepherd with the crew
Lastly my Birthday Theme of 35.
Erik and I are working on a new budget this year for our New Year’s Resolutions and we each give each other an allotment of money for the month to spend on our own frills.  I decided to take $35 out of my fun money to get 7 gift cards of $5 each to hand out to people at Target.  When I told Erik of my plans he decided to match the $35 to make gift cards equal $10 each for the 7 lucky people. 
I took Erik along with me to take pictures because I thought it would be a great way to show you how easy this is.


I will start by saying that this was not as easy as I thought.  I walked up to the first few people to explain, “Hi, my name is Janette and I am a blogger teaming up with a fellow blogger from California and we are trying to spread good through Heartfelt Acts… random acts of kindness, more or less and I would like to give you this gift card” 
The first gal was intrigued by this because she said her grand-daughter was blogging too and was trying to soak in the whole speech I gave.  She was very sweet.
The next gal I gave it to was with her kids and gave the same speech and she was also very kind and thankful.
The next couple I gave it to shook my hand and said Thank you. 
The 4th person I ran into was not what I expected. 
I saw a Dad with his daughter.  I walked up and told them what I said before to the rest and he said, “Oh, why don’t you give it to someone else” and seemingly was annoyed.  I said that it was something I wanted to do for him and his daughter and would really love to give it to him.  Erik snapped a picture and the Dad took the card and started to walk off and then turned back around.  He said, “you know what, here is the card back and please delete my picture”.  I felt my heart crushing as Erik showed him we had deleted his picture.  I felt like I had done something wrong and that maybe what I was doing was not “GOOD”.
As they walked away, I heard his daughter say, “AWWWW, that was so sweet” to which her Dad mumbled yeah and something else that made me sound like I was a weirdo.
I felt horrible.  All of the previous acts were so great and this one burst my bubble in thousands of puddles.
I still had a bit of happiness left to give, after all, I got 7 cards and still had more to give.  I found another girl who was super sweet and I asked her if I could take a picture with me and she put my blog and Emmy’s in her phone.  I think she was on the path for giving too as she mentioned she was looking for ideas like this too.  She’s the gal up in the picture posing with me!  Bless her heart.
There was another Mom and her daughter in the toy section that I gave the same speech to and she was excited as well as her daughter to receive it and I told Erik not to worry with a picture.  I still felt sad by the Dad and his daughter.

We left Target with 2 cards left.  I thought, I could mail them.. but then decided I’d give them to Ryan to give to 2 teachers at their school.  Mr. Matt is not any of my kids teacher but he’s always super nice.  Ryan walked up to him and handed him the card and said, “I’m learning to give”.  Mr. Matt was so shocked and appreciative, praising Ryan for being such a great Big Brother.
Then… he gave a card to Ms. Nicole.  Ryan said the same thing to her, “I’m learning to give”.  She took it and you could tell this really touched her.  She said it couldn’t’ have come at a more perfect time.  She had a horrible weekend and a tragedy that hit her family.  I wished at that moment I could have given her a million dollars and felt like my $10 card was puny in comparison to what she needed at that moment but…..

Ms. Nicole is the reason for this whole experience.  I got 7 cards and while I know the other 6 recipients were grateful and appreciative, it was the 1 recipient who accepted it and NEEDED it most.  It made up for the Dad who refused the gift and left me feeling like a crazy person.

NOTE:  I am showing photos of giving not to get a pat on the back but as a documentary of what we did in hopes that showing you what we did is more impactful than just saying I did it.  Both are equally important but I just felt that it was part of MY process of giving and sharing with you.

Heartfelt-Acts-Emmy Janette Button

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Dawn Lopez said...

Hi. I dont know you but found your blog through someone elses. I LOVE THIS IDEA and am going to do the same thing!! I want to start a blog of my own, and this inspired me to do so even more so :-) Have a great day!


Jill said...

Janette, you are such a sweetheart. Don't let that one man burst your bubble. This is such an amazing thing that you did!! (To be honest, I tried to picture someone approaching me and doing this, and I'm afraid I'd be wary too - isn't it sad that this is the world we now live in?!?)

Hope you had a wonderful birthday!! I also wanted to tell you that I went back and read your story about the trouble you went through after your dear grandfather's passing. I'm so glad you were able to finally share your story, and I hope it has taken some of the heaviness from your heart over it all just by getting it "out there". I'm so sorry you went through that, and at such a hard time. But by taking part in these random heartfelt acts of kindness, you are proving that there is more good in the world!! You are a star!! :)

Emmy said...

What an awesome awesome thing you did! And yes so crazy that some were unwilling to accept it. I think some people have just become so accustomed to automatically shutting out sales people and just others that they don't even know how to act.

And yes-- with giving we never know who we really are going to touch and many times our gifts or kindness might feel like they are in vain-- but I really believe we will be led to that one person that we will help more than we ever know.

Proud of you girl!! And so so glad we are doing this.

Kristi Kelly said...

What a great thing to teach/do with your kids!! I love how Erik got into the spirit of it too:) There is always someone out there that will be a "debbie downer" right? Sorry you had a grumpy dad...but think of the impact you had on his daughter...that was big! Maybe that is why God allowed that to happen....so she could get to experience a sweet giving heart!

Stacie said...

It's sad that we live in such a world of nice people being too good to be true, I feel sure that this is what made the Dad give the card back. As a service, we used to take drinks and snacks to the hospital waiting room and pass them out to those waiting on loved ones--I was always surprised at people who couldn't grasp the concept of a free gift and would decline if they couldn't pay.

But I have to say, hearing Ryan say "I'm learning to give" would have wiped all of the disappoint away. You are making a difference in others and your kids and that is HUGE!

Jaime said...

That's awesome!! Way to go teaching your kids too.

Jessica McCoy said...

Such great ways to give back. I agree with what Kristi said about you having an impact on the daughter. Obviously she saw what you were trying to do and who knows how that could impact her life. Maybe that was the one person you were supposed to meet and help through this process.

Ryan saying "I'm learning to give" is pretty awesome! He has a great role model in you!

Sarah Kate said...

Don't let the issues with getting rid of the TV and the dad at Target change your mind about doing good deeds. In the case of the guy at the store, some people are just really private. I know quite a few people (myself included) who would feel really uncomfortable if someone I didn't know took my picture. Don't take it personally! Every single other person's day was brightened because of YOU!

Nicole said...

I'm like you, I think I would have been crushed too. I guess some people don't understand the generosity of others.

becca said...

you rock girl and your blessing will return to you 10x greater

Angie said...

I came over from Emmy's blog. I was so excited to see this project that you all have going on that I just had to swing by and see how you did! I myself have been working on doing Random Acts of Kindness this year. It is actually one of my 2013 Bucket List Goals. I think we all need to spread more love in this world. Hopefully you two will inspire others to jump on board. Don't ever let anyone make you feel bad about being kind and giving! If nothing else, maybe one day he will be kind to someone else because he remembered the time you "tried" to be kind to him!!!

Myya said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I love that your kids got involved & really loved giving too. My heart is sad for that little girl whos dad obviously does not know what it is like to have someone want to share something beautiful with him. I bet she "GOT" the lesson & maybe she will wear on her dad... maybe he will be on the giving end one of these days :)

Great job!!!

Amy MerryModernMom said...

You are amaze balls!!

Great job, Johanson's!!!
(And yeah.... New blog. Back on blogger!)

Hannah Brooker said...

What a wonderful idea! You got so many good reactions that that one whist crushing it was is not important. Sadly people do think those who seem to do something just for good are 'odd'
You did better than I would've done! In England we don't accept things well, a lot of the time there is suspicion surrounding the good act so it's more than my sensitive soul could take! Xx

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Heather SettingforFour said...

It's never too early to teach your kiddos about giving Janette - you are an awesome Mom for giving yourself and teaching your kiddies too as well!! You rock!! :D