Random Acts of Kindness, Week Four

Today is our last reporting day for our annual December Random Acts of Kindness contests. I’m a little sad about that!  I have so enjoyed reading about all of the ways that you have found to bless other people this season.  It always makes me think that I need to be more aware of doing these kinds of things throughout the entire year and not just for one month in December. (Kind of like I always say I’m going to start my Christmas knitting a whole lot earlier “next time”.  The best of intentions.) Thank you to everyone who participated this month and for being willing to share your good deeds. I know it’s a whole lot easier to do them than to write them up, but you have inspired many others with your tales of kindness – which is a RAK in itself.  Leave your comments today about the RAK that you did this past week, and I’ll use the Random Number Generator to pick the last prize winner on Monday’s blog.

I took some photos of recently finished projects for you, now that the gifts have been opened. You’ll see that my scarf-addiction was well reflected in the gifts I knit up this year.  I did start fingerless mitts yesterday, but I will admit to taking 2 colors of Fiesta Boomerang home this week to start a new Chevron Scarf, too. (Pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts.)  I asked Knitting Daughter if I should start the Chevron or the fingerless mitts and she said the mitts because “you need to finish that other Chevron scarf you were doing before you start another one.”  I must work on Knitting ADD with that girl.  (Wait – or maybe she needs to work on KADD with me.)

Feather and Fan Scarf (pattern from Wendy’s website) out of Wollmeise Poison Nr. 5 Sock Yarn. (Did you know that Poison Nr. 5 is the most wish-listed item out of everything that we carry at The Loopy Ewe? That’s your trivia for the day.) This scarf went to College Girl because her favorite color is purple.

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Noro Striping Scarf out of Noro Silk Garden Worsted. I was tempted to do one after Stephanie found herself doing multiples of them. (And you know me – always up for a new scarf addiction.) I used 2 skeins of 2 different colors.  You knit one row down and back with one color, and then the next down/back row with the next color, carrying them all up the side, slick as a whistle.  Easy 1 x 1 knit/purl rib the whole way. I did 39 stitches on size 9 needles. I’m ready to do another one of these. (Does that surprise anyone?)

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Cashmere scarf that was frogged 5 times because I was trying to find “the right” pattern. I ended up doing the simple 1 x 1 rib in hopes that it was plain enough to entice a certain Web/College Guy to wear it.  The 1 x 1 rib makes for a very thick, warm scarf. I know it looks like an eggplant color (and actually, that would be a nice scarf color) but it’s very chocolate brown (called Brawny Brown). Not a hint of purple in it at all.

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Collar Wrap from handspun (in a pattern that I bought from someone at Midwest Fiber.  She doesn’t have a website or I’d steer you there.  It’s basically a chevron pattern with 4 rows of plain garter stitch thrown in after every set of chevrons.) This is my mother-in-law, who came down to spend the holidays with us.  I also made a Chevron Scarf out of Noro Silk Garden Worsted for my mom, but forgot to get a picture of her in it! Here’s a picture of it, though. It was one of the earlier gifts I finished.

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Spiralucious Cowl in an amended pattern (because someone didn’t read the directions and interpreted “move 1 stitch left/right” in a slightly different manner.  But I still love it.) Knit double-stranded out of Dream in Color’s Starry Black Parade.  I wish you could see the silver sparkles better – it’s so fun! (More Starry scheduled to arrive in January.)

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This week’s Sneak Up just Snuck Up!  Today you’ll find: Yarn Pirate’s Alpaca/Merino, Lorna’s Laces Roadside Gerry (that’s the Annie Modesitt special colorway – we have it in Sport, Sock and Roving), Dream in Color Classy in their new semi-solid/solid colorways, Hand Maiden Casbah, Spirit Trail Fiberworks, Gypsy Knits DK (I’m thinking this would also make a gorgeous Chevron – it’s so soft and beautiful), Noro Silk Garden Worsted, and Tuscan Grove – a new indie dyer. (Well – sort of new.  Remember Cider Moon? Of course you do.  We all loved Cider Moon!  The Cider Moon Girls are now doing their own thing. You can find Jacki selling her beautiful batts on her etsy site here, and Gail has joined with her sister-in-law Laura to form Tuscan Grove.  We’re thrilled to have those beautiful color combos and their special yarn back here at The Loopy Ewe.)

That’s it for today. We have a full day-off schedule of knitting and digging in to the many DVD’s that found their way under our tree.  Then it’s over to my parents house to celebrate my dad’s birthday tonight. (Happy Birthday, Dad!)

Sheri ifthegiftknittingisdone,whyismy”tobeknit”liststillsolong?

103 comments

  1. This week’s intentional act of kindness was to be a secret angel for someone who is on a very restricted income. I just wish I could have been there to see her open an unexpected package.

    Merry Christmas and a toast to 2009 to all the Loopy ones.

  2. I’ve been trying to do a RAK every day in the month of December… and I think I have, though I don’t remember ’em all at this point!! My favorite one of this week was bringing breakfast muffins to a little group of moms & dads who stay to chat in the morning after dropping their kids off at the school all of our kids attend. I love these guys, they are all so nice, and they almost always take the time to chat with each other, even though it may be cold & yucky out (I live just outside Chicago, so we know cold & yucky!!).

    They thought I was a lunatic… passing out muffins at 8am, but I know they all smiled and laughed, and I helped to start their day off happy!

  3. A few days ago, a fellow Loopy Groupie Raveler mentioned that she’d had her entire stash, and all her needles, stolen. I had her choose a skein from my stash (on Ravelry), and I sent her that skein, plus another skein from my stash and another that I picked up from my LYS (with the colors of those two choices based on her color preferences), as well as an assortment of needles covering the 5 or 6 sizes that she uses most often.

  4. This week I did two RAK! The first one is I donated to Knitters without Borders, the Yarn Harlot set the goal at a million dollars, and I wanted to help get her there. If you haven’t read her post please do, The Yarn Harlot’s new mantra for the year is great . It is something we should all do throughout the year.

    The second one is a fellow Loopy fan had her entire stash stolen from her house. There are several of us on The Loopy board on Ravelry that have gifted her skeins of yarn to help re-build her stash. I sent her 3 skeins from my own stash (one of the skeins was my Loopy Groupie skein from Sheri) one for Christmas, one for her birthday which is today and the Loopy Skein for good luck.

  5. I’m feelin’ bad. 🙁 It was a crazy December, and I don’t think I managed a single RAK.

    Well, I did get some books for the kid’s on the tree at the Book Store in town. But that’s not necessarily random.

    I just really didn’t get out, so I didn’t have the opportunity. But I did enjoy reading all the RAKs from everyone else!

    Next year, I will come out from under my rock. 🙂

  6. My RAK for this week involved helping a Loopy Groupie who had her stash of yarn stolen. I was able to send her one of the colors she mentioned DIC petal shower from my Loopy stash and 2 others. I know that other Loopy Groupies also came to her aid and I know that before long she will have a nice stash again!

  7. My RAK was to donate to MSF and the Salvation Army and I took some treats to the overworked and under appreciated staff at our local pharmacy-they haved helped me alot with all of my parents meds! Reminds me to do more all year round! Have finished all of the gift knitting and I got alot more done than I thought I could-certainly a new experience in my life I am getting a little twitchy so time to start something new today

  8. My biggest RAK was helping a neighbor look for her cat. She thought he had run away, and I spent several hours on a cold and damp night helping her look for him. (After we went back to her place to print pictures of him, she found out that he was hiding in her closet!)

    I also donated to the USO to send an anonymous gift to someone serving in the US Military. Today, I was moved by The Yarn Harlot’s post and donated to Doctors without Borders.

    Happy New Years to Sheri and the Loopy Elves!

  9. Well, since I am ill and can’t do any RAK’s anymore for anyone, I gave money
    to someone who lives in this complex with me because she does a lot of things
    for a lot of people. It warms my heart and makes me feel good that she can
    do for other people and I cannnot. It sort of like me paying it forward for the
    people that she does for that can’t afford to give her anything. And by the
    way she doesn’t have much of anything herself.

  10. Another MSF donor here. Also, the Humane Society of the United States, Best Friends Animal Shelter, and the USO. This is my holiday giving that I do each year.

  11. I have been doing RAKs, but this is the first week I’ve remembered to post on the blog! Now that christmas is over I feel much more relaxed and can catch up on my life 🙂 This weeks RAKs were sending presents & home baked goodies to people who wouldn’t have had any otherwise, and knitting a hat for an old lady who is mourning her sister who used to knit things for her.

  12. This week I made and sent cookies to relatives who don’t really celebrate any more. When I called to wish a merry Christmas I found that one had been in a car accident and the other was just home from having a gall bladder removed. I’m hoping my cookies aren’t cursed….

  13. I don’t have an opportunity to do many Random acts of kindness, but try to do a deliberate one every day. This past week I completed a run beret with white worsted yarn and Noro Silk Garden in a pattern and took it to a friend, who has been in the hospital for six week, for her to wear home from the hospital, hopefully, in time for the Chrismas holiday. It had been knit with good wishes for her speedy recovery in every stitch! Does this count?

    Happy New Year, Sheri & the Loopy Ewe elves

  14. Once again, I have tried to do a RAK every day. I think I managed it, but the best one of the week is this:
    My college son came down from his room yesterday (Christmas Day), late morning. He seemed a bit down. When asked, he admitted that his best friend was going to be alone on Christmas Day. His Mom was out of town and his Dad wasn’t around. Immediately, I started rearranging the table and setting a place for him to join us for Christmas dinner. He came over and spent the entire day with us and I was so pleased to be able to include him. I think that this RAK benefited me more than it did my son’s friend.

  15. I usually stop at my local Starbucks about once or twice a week and this past week, I paid for my latte with a bill large enough for me to leave a nice tip for the ‘tip jar’. The look of surprise and then pleasure on the clerks faces when I told them to put the change in the tip jar was a true pleasure for me.

  16. My ROAK takes a bit of explanation. The bus driver tends to stop the bus at the most inconvenient spots. Tuesday evening, the back door opened directly in front of the bus stop sign – right at head level! I happened to look up and see it, so held onto it so I wouldn’t hit my head, then held it for the several others getting off behind me.

    Thanks for letting us have a peek at your Christmas gifts – you did such a nice job!

  17. I love your knitted gifts. : )

    Two sisters live next door to us and had not gotten out for over a week due to the snow on our street. They didn’t have snow tires or chains. They had enough food but were growing unhappy with the selection remaining. Since we had chains on our car, I came up with a reason to go to the store and called them up to offer them a ride. They were estatic and said, “we’ll put on our boots and we’ll be right over”. It was nice to help them out and to see them a little bit happier.

  18. My RAK is not so random. I’m part of the mission’s committee at my church and we decided to do an Angel Tree this year, but for teens in our area. (I think teens seem to be so overlooked when it comes to Angel Trees.) I teach at our local high school, so I teemed up with the teacher in what we call our “On-Track” program. This is a program within our high school for students who struggle academically – usually because of outside circumstances. These students usually come from families struggling with poverty and other issues. We asked these students what their Christmas wishes were. Almost of all of them told us about things they “needed
    ” and not “wanted”…things like gloves, hats, coats, lunch money, money for teeth cleeaning. This broke my heart! I took all of their requests to my church on the first Sunday in December and every single Angel request was taken care of! Unfortunately we had a snowstorm on the last day of school before Christmas break, so we were unable to get these gifts to students before Christmas. But all of these gifts will be delivered as soon as we get back to school. This project has been the best Christmas gift I’ve ever gotten! Merry Christmas everyone 🙂

  19. My DH and I go to the farmer’s market every week and shop for some others as well. It takes no extra time and we get to have a good visit when we drop off their fruit and veggies.

  20. My RAK for this week:
    I helped my store achieve our HUGE St Jude’s goal by collecting over $200 in donations! It sure feels good to know that my store has directly contributed to the running of the hospital for one day- our company goal was $1.4 million, and we exceeded it! 🙂

  21. Family drama, but my RAK was calling my SIL (who avoids all contact with me) to let her know that my parents were quite upset that her DH (my only brother) had failed to call before leaving the country to go back to Kosovo right before Christmas. She was able to track him down during an airport layover, he called, and my mom stopped crying (and dad stopped stomping around the house). Not totally random, but it took me a while to screw up the emotional energy to deal with it!

  22. I think I tried to make up for a slow RAK month this week.

    First, I also sent a few skeins to that fellow Loopy fan in need. I’m hoping she finds herself rolling in an even bigger stash than the one that was stolen, by the time all is said and done! In other yarny news, I contributed skeins as prizes for a good-cause fundraiser. I bought Starbucks for the lady in the car behind me. And I cancelled the restaurant-catered Christmas Eve dinner and made everything from scratch, like the family deserved, building my own menu and even crafting a chocolate mousse that my father fell face down into. I call it a RAK because maaaan would I have rather just run up to Mama Nem’s and picked the dinner up already cooked! 😉

  23. My husband and son and I normally celebrate Christmas Eve quietly at home with my parents. (The next day the rest of my family and my husband’s family descend on us.) Last month, one of my neighbors passed away and her sister has been really taking her death hard. I just couldn’t stand the idea of her being hurting and alone at the holidays, so we invited her to join us for dinner. She said that she was going to try to get her brother out of his house for the evening, and we told her to bring him, too. I think he was a little reluctant to come to a stranger’s house (I’ve only met him once, at the funeral) to celebrate a holiday, but we all ended up having the best time. It wasn’t a big thing to do, but it felt good to bring a smile to someone who desperately needed one. We also purchased gifts (clothing and toys) for a child living in poverty, and this morning I made a donation to MSF.

    Thank you to each and every person who has posted here for the things that you’ve done! Reading these posts renews my faith in mankind.

  24. My RAK was for my daughter and i to go and help out a woman 2 houses away from us. She lives with her 93 year old hubby who just before our storms had part of his lung removed due to cancer. We do not know eachother well but to wave and say hi on occasssion. The neighbors who live between us are out of town and i know they are close to her. So daughter and i went over to say hello, make sure hse had our phone number incase she needed a ride to the store, hospital to see her hubby or anything really. We also shoveled a path for her to get to her mailbox daily till this all melts (more than 2 feet this week..unheard of in this area!) In our area of town only 4 wheel drive vehicles are making it around. Hope your holiday went well!

  25. I was inspired by this thread to go do something else, so I just made a donation to First Book, one of my favorite charities. Now I’m off to look in on my neighbors’ cats while they’re visiting family out of town.

  26. I’m supposed to knit from stash next year, but an exception will certainly be made if you ordered more of the DIC Starry Night Watch. That one just knocks me over, it’s so beautiful.

  27. my DH and i were at the vet’s office with our very sick cat, Schubert (who has a very aggressive cancer and we don’t have much time left together) . There was another lady there with her gorgeous black standard poodle, and another lady came in with a large dog. the waiting room is very small, and protocol demands that everyone try to keep their pets at the most polite distance possible for the safety of the nervous pets, but the new woman had to go exploring and i could see that the standard poodle and her owner were becoming more uncomfortable with the situation. when the poodle came out of her appt. , it was Schubert’s turn to go in, but that lady was still there now letting her dog wander on a long leash. The poodle lady was having trouble with paying and holding the dog and was going to put her out in the car and come back in. well, it was freezing out, and i realized she was facing the difficult choice between a cold puppy tush or a dog fight, so i sent my husband in with Scube, took the poodle’s lead and held her while her owner finished her business, safely keeping her away from wandering lady and her nosy pooch. she was so grateful to me, that i had realized her distress without her saying a word, and remarked on how her dog, who trusts no one but her, immediately took to me and stayed quietly by my side as we moved about avoiding the other dog. by the time she left, and i went into the exam room, the vet was putting Scubert back into his carrier, and i had to just trust that my DH would be able to relay any pertinent information to me later (if you knew him, you would know that this is highly unlikely). later , on the ride home my DH said he was proud of me and i had done the right thing, and he remembered everything the vet had told him, so i didn’t have to feel bad that i hadn’t been there. i probably won’t be chosen for the contest, but it doesn’t matter, because doing something nice for a stranger in a difficult situation, is it’s own best reward.
    sorry my story was so long, i really don’t get out much….

  28. I was in line to buy a birthday gift card at the Customer Service kiosk at the mall, there was a lady standing over to the side, I walked up to the counter because I was next, I thought she was waiting for someone. The lady then said that she was next and the CS lady told her that she was not ‘in line’ and that she would have to get in the line. I felt badly that she was rightfully next, so I told her to go ahead… she was so upset at the CS lady that she didn’t even hear me. So I waited until she walked up behind me in the ‘proper line’… and I told her to please go ahead…

    Does that all make sense? does it qualify? probably not… oh well… I felt good doing the right thing…

    Your Feather and Fan looks lovely!!!!! I’m a huge fan of that stitch!!

  29. I had a few RAKs this week. The first one was simply buying a pack of gum for a co-worker. She had been having a bad start to her shift and she was ringing up some stuff I was buying, so I had her pick out a pack of gum (it was all that was there at the register). She said it made her day. Second, I pulled over on my way to my other job to check on a car that was in the ditch. The tow truck showed up as I was half way to the car so they obviously didn’t need me, but no one else was stopping and I wanted to be sure they had gotten a tow truck or something at least. I also brought my left over Christmas cookies with me to work during the overnight last night. They seemed to be a hit as there was only half of 1 tub out of the 2 I had brought when I left this morning!

    And like others, I also sent a skein of yarn to the Loopy member who had her stash stolen. I didn’t have much Loopy yarn in my stash, so I picked something from the list of yarns she remembered that were stolen and sent it directly to her from the store.

    I hope you have a great New Years at TLE! You guys are absolutely amazing!

  30. My son and his dachshund are visiting for Christmas week. Today I treated Bisquick to a doggy beauty day with a wash and dry, nail clipping, brushing and pumpkin spice scent spray. She’s now fluffy, comfy, and so beautiful. My gift to her!

  31. Well, I don’t know if you consider this a RAK, but I taught my grandmother how to knit again. It was a lot of fun and I know that she’ll have a lot of fun telling her friends about how her granddaughter taught her to knit on Christmas Eve. I also slid on the ice out to her mailbox to post her mail for her. She’s fractured two ribs again and I didn’t want her to venture out.

    Anyway, my more common RAKs are letting people in line while waiting to turn onto a road. I also took my neighbors some cookies. Not very big RAKs, but every little RAK counts to someone. 🙂

  32. I keep forgetting to write about things this month, so am happy there was a sneak-up and Sheri blog reminder! The RAK i’ll post is that i got to make ladybug booties for a new baby sister of a kindergarten classmate of daughter #3/child #6…and i didn’t even know their names yet….Happy Holiday Knitting to All-

  33. This started out as a planned gift, and then morphed into unexpected kindness, you might say. I knit a pair of mittens for my father-in-law, who lives in Illinois. His hands are gnarled now from arthritis, and he injured one hand on a table saw last summer. I thought he might have difficulties wearing gloves, thus the mittens.

    When the mittens arrived, he called my DH to say that he had been desperately cold trying to use the snowblower. The mittens kept him warm! Was there any way he could pay me to knit another pair? (No, no way may he pay.)

    However, I put aside the knitting I was looking forward to, and went on a marathon mitten knitting. They went to the UPS Store before Christmas, and should get to him by 12/30. You have to love someone who is so appreciative of knitting!

  34. I decided to knit many different cowl & mini- scarf patterns. Some I will gift, but most I will put in the box that my hair salon has for a local women’s shelter. I actually feel that my hair salon is doing the real act of kindness, by having a box set-up and advertising it in the local paper. I love to knit and try new patterns & this gives me the opportunity without having to make an effort to drive in city traffic to the shelter.

  35. I buy sweaters and wool blankets from Used Clothing Stores to felt and make things from. Usually I felt everything right away to get it over with, but I’ve slowed way down on making things and had 3 huge trash bags of unshrunk sweaters (all wool or alpaca or angora, or a mix) and 1 of boiled-wool blankets. I took the lot over to “Nickelsville,” a homeless tent city on hard pavement in Seattle that has to move around every couple weeks as they get kicked out of one place and have to find another. I drove up with my 4 bags, stealthed them all to the donation area and zipped away. It was right before the first big snow. Doing a RAK and not getting credit for it is sometimes harder – tho here I am getting credit in a way here. It’s no “better” than the ones where people knew they were being actively helped – it’s just good to do that way sometimes to let go. Buying the drink of the person behind you in the Starbucks/other coffee places line just for no good reason is nice too. Just a little happy surprise.

  36. Because my list is longer than before too. the gifts you give seem to inspire others to desire something also. My one niece i have been asking forever what she would like, she saw my sisters fingerless gloves and wants some with butterflies.

    RAK seem to go on in spite of my flu. That’s right i got the flu on Monday. Put a hold on my knitting even, and sitting on the computer. It is up and down. So am still finishing gifts. ….. RAK #1: gift a pair of gloves fr the man who moved my trailer, doeskin know a thing a bout it, but i thought he needs a pair. He does a lot of charity work on the side even when he doesn’t have any money. RAK #2 Cashing a check for a friend, when no one would cash it, remember i have the flu but it is cold out and maybe they will need propane soon? she didn’t say, but i know how it is. RAK #3 finally getting my oldest and youngest sitting down and saying solve the hurt feeling now and leave me out of it. They are now talking civil to each other. Would have done it for anyone who put me in between like that.

    SIGH SOB, I have alot of yarn in my cart and have to wait until i get money before i can order. Guess DD@3 and her bff will have to wait fr the gifts. they keep telling me dont worry we can wait. And my sweater and such O ya DD#2 liked her scarf, loves the color and now she says she doesn’t think she would wear it?! I think she is afraid of lossing it like one of her favorite fingerless gloves i made her.

    loveya

  37. I sent yarn to a Loopy groupy that had her stash stolen. Who can be so mean as to steal yarn from a fellow knitter? I was really sorry for her. Included some DPN because the set she had was taken too. Great knitting Sheri. all beautiful things and you did a wonderful job on having knitted presents for everybody. Can you tell the Noro colors? I love them.

  38. My RAK this week was the reliable “buy a coffee for a stranger” act. I found myself at Starbucks right behind three firemen in turnouts (when they’re on duty and ready to respond in full gear) – their truck was in the lot. As the first placed his order I hollered up to the cashier that I was buying for the firemen. We had a lovely chat (I know they’re probably very busy right now with all the broken water pipes around here as our temperatures are now warming). It was a personal RAK for me though – my BIL was a fireman and died in the line of duty several years ago – so I felt like I was connecting with his memory very much (I miss him so much this time of year).

  39. MineRAK is kind of long. I had the day off last Monday (the Monday before Christmas) and finished all of my shopping with one exception; I’d tucked a $100 bill away to get my two teenage daughters each one more $50 gift certificate to American Eagle. I didn’t get a chance to get the certificates before bowling league on Monday night, but figured I’d do it Tuesday. So, I put the money in the bottom of my glove compartment and DH and myself headed to the bowling alley. When we were about half a mile away, we saw that the road near the alley was blocked off, and we saw many fire trucks, emergency vehicles and even a helicoptor overhead; it was clear that something was very wrong. Sure enough, at the turn to the bowling alley we saw that the apartment buildings across the street from the lanes were ablaze. Many people were outside in tears, watching the flames; we live in a suburb of the Minneapolis/St Paul metropolitan area, and it’s been below zero here much of December. Sobered, we headed in to Burnsville Bowl just before league. We were shocked to find that two of the four people on the opposing team lived in the apartments; they had their car, their bowling balls and the clothes on the back and that was it. We expressed surprise that they were there, and they said that there was nothing they could do until the fire department was done, and being there for league night gave them a distraction and a sense of normalcy. Before the night was over, it was confirmed that they had lost all of their belongings. They would smile and say it was OK, they could replace all of their stuff, they were just glad to be out safely; but then the woman would start crying, and tell the friends on their team that they had planned to bring their Christmas gift that night, but it was under the tree in their apartment that was burning and it was probably gone. I kept thinking about the money in my car, and the fact that I had already purchased so many things for my kids ( and we already have so many things without even counting the Christmas gifts!). At the end of the night, I went out to my car and gave the $100 bill to the couple who had lost their apartment, telling them that we didn’t really need it and hoped it would help them a little bit. It was clear that the couple was very touched; and then the next day an anonymous person donated one million dollars to be split among the 200 families that lived there! I try to do small acts of kindness from time to time, but this was very rare and unusual for me, I don’t do things like this very often. I’ve been thinking about this so much all week, it has put many things in perspective for me. I truly have so much in my life, and there are so many times I just have no appreciation whatsoever for all the amazing things that God has given to me. In every bad thing that happens, there is some good, and I think many people that live in the Twin Cities got a dose of true Christmas spirit from all of the kindness that was done in many ways by many people for the victims of the Burnsville apartment fire.

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