Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 45 - Take a sibling out to a movie.

Today's deed was my type of deed, fun and simple. I am actually very fortunate, by fortunate I mean I work for the owners of a large entertainment venue in Miami; I am the office manager so all of the stores and/or restaurants are considered my tenants, including a very popular elite, private, reserved seating movie theater.

It works out for me because we have VIP cards to the movie theater and get free movies whenever we would like to go, hence the fact that I said this deed would be simple. I got my little sister a job in my office as the assistant to the marketing manager so we go to the movies at least once every other week; when I asked her to go with me tonight, of course she said yes. We watched a movie by the name “Life of Pi” which was a very fascinating story and we both enjoyed watching it thoroughly but as I sit here tonight writing this entry and reflecting on my deed, I don’t think my favorite part of tonight was the movie at all, it was the fact that I got to spend time with my little sister, laughing, eating popcorn and sharing silly stories after the movies while we ate frozen yogurt.

It didn’t take me long to realize the point of today’s deed; spend time with a loved sibling. I know that unlike me, it’s not so easy for everyone to hang out with their siblings and I also know people make excuses, I’m busy doing this or we live too far away from each other. If you could go back in time to your younger days, I am sure your memory would be filled with funny/happy/sad moments with the person that grew up with you, also known as your sibling and the reality of things are that life is short and passes in the blink of an eye. Friends come and go but your family will always be there for you. So make it a point to spend time with a sibling sometime soon, whether it’s going to the movies, going to the park, watching a football game together and if you don’t live in the same city or continent a Skype date would be nice as well. Trust me, it will bring both of you closer and will leave you smiling! J

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 44 – Donate Blood.

To be quite honest with you, I wasn’t looking forward to today’s “deed of the day”. I have never been a big fan of needles nor blood, let alone a needle in my arm taking out my blood. In Miami, it seems like you must make an appointment for any good deed, whether it’s donating clothes or giving blood which is pretty bizarre to me.

As y’all know by now, I am a pretty big fan of researching and knowing the facts before posting an entry so that’s exactly what I did for today’s deed and I was amazed at the facts that I learned regarding being a blood donor.
To be begin with, did you know that donating blood is actually good for your body? According to a well-known doctor by the name of Dr. Amen (and yes, I confirmed through other articles that Dr. Amen is correct); when donating blood you are lowering the iron levels in your body which can help reduce heart disease. You see, excessive iron in your body is thought to contribute to heart disease, especially at its early stages and donating blood on a regular basis has been proven to lower your iron levels which in turn preserve your heart and vascular health. Some other good reasons donating blood is good for your body are that it can help reduce cancer, help reduce heart attack risk and your body replenishes the blood right away.  When you donate blood, your body replaces the blood volume within 48 hours; this process helps your body stay healthy and work more efficiently and productively.
Now, a part from thinking about yourself, there are other reasons why you should donate blood. Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, that means 44,000 blood donations are needed per day to save lives and 20% of the receivers are children (many cancer patients); not to mention 1 out of every 7 people who enter a hospital need blood. The demand for blood is high but the supply is not enough; about 60% of the population is eligible to give blood, yet less than 4% do. One pint of blood from one donor alone can save up to three lives which is pretty amazing to me. One of my favorite reasons to give blood is you also get FREE cookies and juice, what could be better than that? J The list of why you should donate blood goes on and on, you can find out more at the Red Cross website.

Today, I chose to donate to the
Community Blood Centers of Florida, Inc. - I chose their Bird Road location because that specific location donates all of their blood to our local children's hospital called Miami Children's Hospital. While donating blood today I learned so much that I didn’t know prior, I learned that I hadn’t donated blood since 2004 and that I have the most common blood type which is O positive; 40 out of 100 people have my blood type. But the one thing I learned today that I never knew is that I am what you would call a “baby donor”. What that means is I am CMV negative.

CMV stands for Cytomegalovirus which is a flu-like, non-fatal virus that at least 85% of Americans have without even knowing. Despite CMV having the words “disease” and “virus”, it is scarcely mentioned by doctors and physicians because it’s very common and pretty much harmless. Currently only 15% of the population is CMV negative which is the only type of blood that they can transfuse into a baby and/or newborn; the reason being is that infants have lower immune systems due to not being fully developed so every precaution must be taken to avoid infection and the purest blood is CMV negative. Probably like you, I have never ever heard of CMV so I was kind of shocked when they told me about it. At the end of the day, I love babies and children, so if I could choose to save a life it would definitely be a baby which means I am pretty thrilled at the fact that I am considered a rare baby donorJ.

Point being is, GO OUT THERE AND SAVE A LIFE, it's free, you get free cookies and you never know, you might be one of the rare 15% that could save babies!!

P.S. Click "here" to read patient stories for motivation!!J

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 43 – Clean out your sweater drawer and take extras to a charity.

Whether you see them or not, homeless people are worldwide and they need your help. As mentioned in previous posts, studies have shown that homeless people aren’t necessarily lazy or drug addicts, most have mental illnesses in which they cannot care for themselves.

Many people complain on a daily basis that they don’t have this and they want that, but none really stop to appreciate what they really have, including myself.  Knowing my deed of the day, I started gathering things to donate last night and realized that I had so many clothes when some people only have the clothes on their back. While collecting articles of clothing I stopped making excuses, no I am not going to save that for a rainy day, the reality is that we are keeping articles of clothing that we don’t even use when someone would love to wear them every day. It wasn’t long before I cleaned out my entire closet and then raided my mom’s closet as well.
After doing my research, in the Miami area there are many organizations that would be thrilled in receiving donations, The Salvation Army Miami, Chapter 2 Clothing, BigBrothers/Big Sisters Organization and Miami Rescue Mission to name a few. The one I chose to donate too was the Miami Rescue Mission because they give to all types of people in need from children, to battered woman, to men and to animals. This deed opened my eyes and touched a sensitive place in my heart. Sometimes it’s easy to feel bad because you’re going through a tough time in life. However, remember that no matter how bad your situation may seem, there are tens of thousands of things to be grateful for.

Today, get into the Holiday season by giving back to those less fortunate than us. You may have clothes in your closet that you have not worn in years, stop making excuses and give them to someone who actually needs them. It can be anything from jeans that you are hoping to squeeze in to, a shirt that went out of fashion four years ago – and let’s face it, is NOT coming back into style, blankets, old towels that are not being used, etc. Believe me, ANYTHING helps!
It’s so easy to find charities that will even make it convenient for you and will even pass by your residence to pick them up which means you can’t make excuses like “wasting gas” to drive to the organizations or struggle carrying the items. Not to mention, most of these charities and non-profit organizations give you a receipt to get a tax break!
Whether you meet them or not, the homeless people who wear your donated clothes or use blankets will be thankful for your giving nature.
You can help at least one person in need by not even spending one cent, so stop making excuses and pay it forward. Every little bit helps, whether donating your time or donating items you have around the house that you don't use. Choosing charities within your own city will have a positive effect on your local surroundings. The effort needed to help a homeless person is far outweighed by the goodness you feel by knowing you have done a good deed without requiring anything in return. Go out there today and pay it forward!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 42 - Send a handwritten thank-you note.

I found today's deed to be rather simple, you see last week was my birthday and after this past weekend I have not stopped smiling. Family isn't always blood. It's the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what. I am fortunate and blessed to say that the family I have created for myself (a part from my amazing actual blood family) never cease to amaze me more and more.

The first person that came to mind when writing a thank-you note was my little sister, Pickle Butt (my nickname for her). It amazes me how someone can be so self-less, loving and caring and I really can't deny how lucky I am to have her in my life. So my handwritten thank-you note went to her, as follows:

My dearest Pickle,

When I first read your birthday card to me, as predicted, my emotional level was at a 12 and I cried my eyes out. Who am I kidding, I cried for most of the day on my birthday but tears of joy for all the happiness you brought to me that day and always. Honestly - when I think of you - I often thank God for placing you in my life. I call you my sister but you are so much more than that; you're the constant in my life, a best friend, a teacher, a confidant. I do not have the words to say what my heart feels so I will say only that I love you and thank God that when he was handing out angels he sent me you.  Although I am the older sister who is supposed to be teaching you, on the contrary, I learn from you every day; I have never met anyone as self-less as you. You have the biggest heart out of anyone I know, always putting everyone else before you never expecting anything in return. You are my favorite person in this entire world (minus Channing Tatum); no matter what is going on in your life, you always have a smile on your face, constantly teaching me to not take life too seriously and that sometimes it's okay to have fun and do things 19-year olds do. Some times we need someone to simply be there.. Not to fix anything or do anything in particular, but just to let us feel we are supported and cared about, I promise to always be that person for you. Your light in the dark. Your shoulder to cry on. Your partner in crime to laugh with. But most importantly, your big sister and your rock. I love you, always have and always will. Thank you for being the most amazing sister a girl could ask for. I look forward to a lifetime full of memories with you.

Boo Boo

Today, take the time to write a hand written thank-you to a dear one, wether it be family or a friend. Show them appreciation because life is way too short to not show you care!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 41 - Smile at kids or give them a silly face to distract them and give their parents a moment of reprieve.

From as far back as I can remember, I have always loved children (unless they are brat’s lol). I fit right in with them and the love is mutual, they usually love me right back for the most part; so, when I saw my deed of the day I found joy in the idea right away.

This evening I made plans to have dinner with one of my best friends; by the time dinner was over we we're extremely full and decided to walk around the shopping plaza to walk off the fullness of the food and while walking ran into a popular pet store here in Miami by the name of Pet's Mart. Since as far back as I can remember, I have always loved going inside pet stores and petting all of the animals, so of course I made my best friend go in with me. There we we're, acting silly in the bird section, I was actually laughing hysterically at a story Ana was telling me about a parakeet she had a couple years back. I was so into the story that I didn't notice there was a small girl standing a few feet away listening to the story as if it we're her own friend telling it.

As soon as I looked at her, she looked away and acted as if she we're looking at the birds. This happened a few more times and then I finally spoke to her saying "my friend is crazy isn't she?” the little girl nodded, I made a silly face and then we both laughed. When the story was over I left my friend in the bird section while I went to pet the cats that we're up for adoption and I noticed while walking the little girl was following me. She followed me all the way into the cat section and asked if she could pet them with me, it wasn't long until I met my new friend Cassy. I taught her how to get the cat's attention and how to play with them. Seeing her laugh and smile made me laugh and smile.

I read this amazing article that explains what's in a smile, it goes on to say that a smile is the window to the soul; it puts us at ease when we see people smile. Freely offered, a smile has the ability to make a complete stranger feel better or more compelled to return the favor. Smiles know no language barriers, no demarcations of race, gender, class or age. It’s the one thing that is truly universal amongst humans. They say a smile from a child is packaged sunshine and rainbows, it holds incredible power and can change your day in an instant. Something about a child’s smile is so innocent, intoxicating, calming, beautiful, and one of life’s greatest blessings. So today, go out there and attempt to make a little one smile, it will definitely leave you smiling for the rest of the day!♥