Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Week 1: Food Pantry Donation

The Kindness Countdown is underway! 

For this first random act of kindness, my husband, our children and I had the idea to go to the grocery store to purchase $40 worth of food to donate to a local food pantry. 
On our way to the store, our muffler started making a very. loud. noise.  It has been a titch louder than normal and on our radar this past week; my husband and I have had discussions about looking under the van soon and the possibility of needing to take it in.  But suddenly, as I turned the key to start the van for the first Kindness Countdown adventure, we instantly knew that taking it in was now a necessity...a fact confirmed by each pedestrian who stared as we passed.

This loud noise and the (stressful) talk of needing to pay for a visit to a car repair shop provided the perfect opportunity to once again discuss the mission of the Kindness Countdown with our three children.  It went a little something like this:
We are not a family of great means...but we have more than many.  We work hard for every dollar we make and spend it wisely...and we will be responsible with the money we spend over the next 40 weeks to ensure we spread the kindness wide and reach as many people as we can.  Kindness certainly doesn't have to cost a cent, but we are blessed and want to give to others where we are able.

As we walked the aisles of the grocery store, we compared prices, read ingredients and selected items we thought would be healthy, tasty and satisfying.  When all was said and done we had spent $40.75 (we saved $23.83 thanks to in-store sales) and had purchased the following:
  • 3 containers of natural peanut butter
  • 4 jars of marinara sauce
  • 9 pounds of pasta
  • 7 boxes of macaroni and cheese
  • 5 pounds of rice
  • 5 cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 6 cans of vegetables

I smiled as my children happily picked out their favorite vegetables and shapes of pasta to donate.  I cheerfully began fielded excited questions (the moment the grocery bags were placed in the donation cart) on when/what the next act of kindness would be. And hearing my children say they are grateful for the fresh fruits and vegetables they're able to eat each day confirmed to me that while I started the Kindness Countdown to spread smiles, our family is also being blessed by giving.

We may have only just begun, but already I know this is going to be oh so much fun!

"We rise by lifting others."  - Robert Ingersoll

Monday, September 1, 2014


Hello!  My name is Shannon and I'm a 39 year old freelance writer and homeschooling mama..  My husband, Aaron, and I have been married for 13 years and together have three children (August, Martha and Hazel) and two dogs (Maude and George).

My 40th has been on my mind for a couple of years now.  I wouldn't say I feel old, and I certainly am not dreading turning 40, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel different as this milestone approaches in the horizon.  I clearly remember when my parents turned 40, thinking that it was a huge number...perhaps I'm viewing this birthday just a bit through those 16-year-old eyes.

As a result, I have been spending the past few months reflecting upon the many trials and countless blessings of my past 39 years of life, and have decided to do something big as I approach turning 40 (on June 30, 2015)...something that I hope will make many people smile.  And that something is the Kindness Countdown. 

And so, I will be completing 40 random acts of kindness over the next 40 weeks...for complete strangers (and a few people I know) and documenting them here to entertain and hopefully inspire you to spread the kindness in your lives.  Check back often for updates on KC preparations and completed acts.  This is going to be fun!