Random Acts of Kindness Contest, Week 3

DSC03306I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and weekend! It was good to have a few days off with family and friends. We read books, watched movies, did some knitting, and enjoyed big fat flakes of snow on Christmas Day, and through the weekend at different times. It was great! This photo is from our Christmas Eve Service at church. I love the oversized words formed with photos from nature. (click photos to enlarge) Although check out this second one. For the entire month of December, I thought it said GRACE, DSC03305even though it was obvious that they kind of messed up the “G” photo. How do you get a “G” out of that? Each week I’d ponder it again and wonder what that photographer was thinking. It wasn’t until we sat in a different spot this weekend, that it became glaringly clear to me that it says PEACE, not GRACE. (Hello?) Funny how a change of perspective can change something like that. (Maybe I was personally in need of more Grace than Peace this season, and I saw what I needed to see? Anyway – great words.)

Thank you again for sharing all of the wonderful things that you have been doing for others this season. I think I just need to come back and re-read them each month, to keep the ideas fresh in my mind. I always get so inspired to go and do likewise, when I read about the things that you’re doing. Today is our last week in this contest. We’ll again be randomly drawing a winner next week (from today’s comments) for a $50 Loopy Ewe Gift Certificate. Congratulations to Robin from Kentucky, who won last week’s contest! Share with us what you’ve done this past week (or go find something nice to do in the remainder of this week and come back and post).

For those of you with a Loopy Ewe Gift Certificate burning a hole in your pocket (or for those of you who didn’t get one and are not going to let that stop you from shopping), we have a whole bunch of things just up: Louet Gems, Malabrigo Worsted, Malabrigo Silky, Malabrigo Sock, Madelinetosh Worsted, Claudia Hand Painted, Shibui Knits, Hand Maiden Mini Maiden, String Theory DK, Perchance to Knit’s Midnight Rainbow Lace, and Spirit Trail Fiberworks luxury yarn base, Sunna. And most of you have already seen the new Opal Antonia line that we put up last week, which is named after a Tyrolean Pop Singer. The labels are …. interesting. Come see all of the new stuff.

In-person hours this week: Remember, we’re closed on Thursday and Friday of this week for New Years, but we ARE open from 10 am – 1 pm on Wednesday instead. Next week, we’ll return to our regularly scheduled hours.

My brother was the recipient of the Never-Ending Scarf and he liked it. Knitting Daughter offered to knit me one for my birthday (because remember I said that I wanted one for my very own?) I picked cream (Natural) and tan (Baby Camel) for a subtle striping mix, and it’s looking beautiful so far. I think I have to re-name this the “Never-Ending, Warmest-Ever Scarf”.

Sheri whostartedMara#2andanewsockovertheweekend


  1. This last week I tried something simple. Lots of 4-way stops in our town and people always seem to be in a hurry. For the last week, whenever it was a close call, I let the other person go first. So relaxing, and so easy!

  2. Hi, Sheri!
    I’m sharing a RAOK from my office! The night before our large, catered office holiday party, the snow began falling and continued through the night and all the next day and night; 16 inches in my yard!
    Of course, the party was cancelled, but my employers delivered the food to a homeless shelter which was brimming over with people seeking refuge from the deep snow!

  3. A friend of mine had to be out of town dealing with some major personal issues. I took over the care of her elderly diabetic cat (who is on medication) for a few days in order to relieve the stress on my friend’s mother-in-law. I think he was very happy when mom came home and picked him up (she had been out of town for a long time and the kitty missed her very much)

  4. None of us like to stand in the long holiday shopping lines, but I saw something twice that brought a smile to my face. The first, a lady let the man behind her go first at the check out counter because he had just a couple items and she had half a cart full. The second, a young man (early twenties) let me go ahead of him in line because I had fewer items. At both instances, the lines were very long and we had been standing there for a while. It’s nice to know that chivalry is not dead. 🙂 This is one of my favorite ROAKs, this time I got to receive one. Happy New Year, Everyone!!

  5. i spent christmas day at our local animal shelter. i had so much fun feeding & playing with the animals. we even had fun when it came time to clean the pens. those animals are so greatful for everything that you do for them.

  6. My hubby and I went to a local resort for a night away from home. the place is so decorated for Christmas and winter holidays – and people were snapping pictures all over the place.

    Whenever I’d see a couple who were taking pictures of each other, I would offer to take a picture of them together. Each and every time they’d say, “Wow – thank you so much!”

  7. I guess this is my season of scarves. I’m about to finish scarf #3. They all will be donated to a charity. Not very random from my end, but I hope they will feel like a RAK to the the people who get them.

  8. My RAK was very simple. My husband’s grandmother is in the hospital. Her daughter, B, is taking care of her, making arrangements for nursing homes, etc. I told B what a great job she was doing and how much her efforts were appreciated. She started to cry on the phone and told me that she doesn’t ever hear that from anyone.

    It’s such a simple thing, telling people that you sincerely appreciate their efforts. I’m going to make it a point to do that more often, all year long.

  9. I was about to buy some oranges for my family…and saw an elderly woman trying to open a grocery produce bag….she was desperately trying to split apart the bag from the top…but just couldn’t find the opening. I ripped off my bag from the roll…picked my oranges and filled my bag…then walked over to help the woman. I “licked” the tip of my finger and rubbed the bag so I could separate the opening and as soon as the bag was open…I handed it to her. She then replied to me that the reason she doesn’t do that (lick her finger) was because she was afraid of catching H1N1! I apologized and kept reassuring her that I am healthy and clean…and that I do not have H1Nl!

  10. My RAK was on Christmas day. I went to the supermarket that morning for last minute provisions (and donuts) and saw a gentleman standing near the driveway to the parking lot with a handwritten sign that just read, “Hungry.” I didn’t have any cash on hand, so when I went into the store, I got the largest size hot soup I could find (plus spoons and napkins) and added it to my cart. I then drove up to where he was and simply asked if he would like some soup. He look stunned – since I guess a lot of people don’t actually stop and speak with him.

    Then I went home, wishing I could have done more.

  11. I went through my warm clothing and donated what I realistically won’t wear or use to a shelter. It made me feel better to get rid of stuff in really good condition when I new it was going to someone who would really need it. I also donated some games, puzzles, and books, because being homeless can be really boring. It’s very small, what I did, but I do hope it makes someone feel a bit better.

  12. My RAK was actually performed by my dh. We had quite a snowfall here and the sister of one of our neighbor’s got her car stuck. Jorgie grabbed his shovel and went to help out. Not only did he get the car unstuck, but he taught the neighbor’s 9 year-old son how to break up ice and shovel. The parents seemed so happy that Jorgie had taken the time to teach their child something.

    They ended up doing a RAK and made us a delicious coffee cake. YUM.

    As for me, I’ve been doing some charity knitting and packing up warm clothes for charity.

    As my son says, “No one should be cold.” So true. If we could each just donate an unused coat or a blanket, it would make a HUGE difference.

  13. Saturday and Sunday I cared for the 13 special cats at the local Humane Society Care Center to allow their normal caretaker a couple of days away. They know me because I go in weekly to do some special clean up for them. These are animals that would have been put down for one reason or another in the local pound if we had not taken them in. They just need a little more time to find their forever home!

  14. I also helped two elderly neighbors dig out after our Christmas day snowstorm. I even managed to get my 20 year old college student son to skip a chance to sleep in and help.

  15. Last week and this one have been spent designing and knitting a mitten pattern. When complete, sales of the mitten pattern will go to a local Veteran’s organization. The mittens were originally knit for my father, a Vietnam vet.

    Glad you had a terrific holiday. HAppy New Year!

  16. My son and dil just started teaching jobs recently……and mentioned that some students don’t have hats and mittens….so I sent a few pairs with each of them to pass out to the one’s needing them the most…..I already starting knitting more for them to bring when they return from Christmas Break…

  17. I wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading about that scarf you made. I made one just like it, only in Harry Potter’s colors, because a young friend of mine, pregnant and with a toddler to chase, really had wanted to make one for her favorite cousin, but didn’t realize how much knitting one of those scarves would be. I had some car trips to take, which meant I could make stripes as fast as I could. Still, wow, that is a lot of stitches, especially since she had bought, um, shall we say “mass market yarn” for the project. UGH. It sure makes me appreciate nice quality wool!

    I know I don’t get to post much any more (too much technical writing to do), but I still read your blog and wish you a very good new year. I know a couple of my friends will be happy–they are going to Spring Fling!

  18. Many of the stores we go to during the holiday season have the Salvation Army kettles to collect donations. A lot of the bellringers are just so cheerful, even in the cold and rainy weather we have been having here in St. Louis. I remembered to go to my coin jar a couple of times a week, pull out the quarters and have enough change in my purse to put in a dollar or so in each kettle I encounter. It isn’t a lot but I am sure it helps.

  19. very small act – drove 1 1/2 hours each way to the airport on Boxing Day at 11pm so that daughter didn’t have to turn out to collect a friend whose flight was delayed as she was working an early shift the next day. Meant a lot to her to get a few hours extra sleep.

  20. My sister-in-law and I decided to take the money we would normally spend on presents for each others families and give it to our local Hospice this year. On Christmas eve we went over and took the money as well as 2 cakes for the caregivers to share during the holidays.
    They seemed to really appreciate it.

  21. I have 3 RAK’s to report this week: (1) I was at the grocery store Thursday afternoon (yes, Christmas Eve), and of course the place was mobbed. I had a moderate-size load, and had just finished placing all my items on the conveyor when a woman got in line behind me with just one item. I told her to please go ahead of me, and told the cashier to take care of her before ringing up my purchase. The woman was very pleased, and actually looked quite surprised. (2) On Wednesday, one of my coworkers got into work a bit late, and seemed a bit frazzled. I was about to go to get coffee for myself, and treated her to her usual latte while I was at it. (3) Then today at Starbucks, I paid for the person behind me in line.

  22. My brother became a vegetarian a few months ago, and he was a bit nervous at the perspective of going through the holidays as a vegetarian for the first time. To help him (and his wife, who already has to cook separate stuff for their eldest child, who has multiple food allergies), I made sure to cook vegan delights for every family gatherings we had, and to make enough of every dish for him to feel like he could indulge as much as he wanted (and there was more left for anyone who wanted to partake in the yumminess!). He really appreciated it, and I came away with the idea of cooking and sending delicious veggie meals his way truly randomly throughout the year – considering how busy he is with his business and his family, I’m sure that would come in very handy for him!

  23. We had a large snowstorm last weekend and I baked extra Christmas breads (family recipe) and gave them to some people I normally wouldn’t give a gift to, so they could enjoy something homemade in the snow. While I was baking,. myhusband and sons helped neighbors get their cars dug out. No more snow!

  24. Leaving church on Sunday, I noticed that a fellow parishioner seemed to be a bit hesitant and slow to clean the snow off of her car. It was because she was parked along a main street with traffic. I did the job for her and she was most appreciative. Made my day.
    I read in the church bulletin that a group has contacted our church for gently used children’s winter coats. It seems there are some children that only have hoodies and no coats. My daughter was lucky to receive two new coats this year. As she has grown quite a bit, today I dropped off her barely used (and cleaned) coats and threw in two scarves and three pairs of gloves.

  25. I paid a couple’s taxi fare Christmas night, then tipped the driver almost 100% of the fare.

    The couple hugged me (note that these were complete strangers) and the driver’s eyes almost popped out of his head.

  26. I love when people smile or are kind on the subway. I try to treat everyone with kindness, even when it is hard for me to do. When I encounter someone nice or smiling on the subway, it makes me happy. I hope I do that for someone.

  27. Flying a lot this season. But what’s better than giving up your aisle seat to a grandmother (non-English speaking Chinese) and her translating 8 year old so they could sit together? We’re getting there the same time anyways, right?

  28. on Christmas eve I brought a tray of cookies to the 24hr emergency vet, a place I know too well from my late cat Piper’s illness in 08. The overnight staff tends to be overlooked during the holidays,and if anyone deserves a truly Silent Night, it’s them. I always joke that I hope not to see them anytime soon, but it is great to know they’re there.

  29. I’m running all my mother’s errands because the roads are icy more days than not, and parking lots are like skating rinks. (Not a good thing for a 75 year old who walks with a cane.)

    On a more knitterly note, I am knitting (almost finished!) a sweater-tunic for my six-year-old grandniece, just because she’s cute, and because I think she’ll appreciate it. (She asked me to teach her how to knit last summer, which I did.)

  30. I didn’t even think of this as an RAOK until I read some other entries. Yesterday I took our Old Faithful Computer in to get repaiired (we hope). While at the computer store, I picked up a few things. The line was long, and apparently had been long all day. The person at the cash register I got to was a small woman, invisible to the line, who had to shout “I can take the next customer at register 4” over and over and over. I commiserated with her, and she told me it’s the people who actually talk to her that get her through. . . such a small thing!

  31. One day while out doing some last minute Christmas shopping my daughter(10 yr old) and myself were eating lunch at Chick-fil-a. While eating our meal we noticed an elderly man sitting by himself. He looked so lonely sitting there. I went to the counter to purchase a Gift Card for him and told him Merry Christmas. I think it warmed his heart and it definitely did mine.

    Also continued to put monies in the Salvation Army Kettles as I came upon them.

    The parking lot to get out of Walmart was horrendous just before Christmas and I allowed several people to pull out in front of me.

  32. I love your RAK’s! I’ve been trying to do them as often as I can, since I had asked my mom’s friends to celebrate her memory and her birthday by doing an RAK and thinking of her.
    I belong to a sock yarn cinema, and the December movie was a Christmas Story. A friend from online has MS, and is disabled from it. That is her favorite movie of all time, so I asked the dyer to make a special skein for my friend (in worsted, not sock since she has problems knitting smaller yarns), and it shipped today! I so wish I could see her reaction when she gets it!

  33. When I went to the trash, our neighbor had their’s sitting on the stoop so I picked it up & threw it in the dumpster. Love the new yarn.!! whoo hooo
    My sister is coming to visit in a few weeks…wish I was coming:(
    One day I will.

  34. Snow, Snow Snow… we’ve had alot of it, so I helped out an elderly neighbor and shoveled her walk. She is elderly, but VERY independent, so I was actually a little nervous shoveling her snow… she has a snow-blower and is usually first one out there with it, and she’s proud of it. However, this year I haven’t seen her yet, so I’m thinking she isn’t feeling well. Hope she feels OK, and doesn’t mind my un-asked-for help… to my mind you shouldn’t have to ask for help, right?

  35. I had to take my 2 year old to the ER b/c of a bad infected cat bite from a friend’s cat. When the triage nurse called us I told her to take a boy that was clearly much more sick then my daughter first even though it meant a longer wait for us. On Xmas day my husband and 2 daughters volunteered at the local Jewish old age home so the Christian staff could have the day off. I was home cooking for our family who was coming to visit – sil, bil and 2 cousins – my sil is pregnant with #3, so any break she gets, is needed. Happy Holidays!

  36. glad your holiday went well! i feel like a fish out of water, hubby spoilt me and got me a new pc, i had one of the slowest laptops in the world before, about 5 yearsold. So i luv this new one (so cute and pink) but am adjusting to windows 7. (plus needing to grab all my favorites from the old pc still!!!)
    My rak’s this week, a lady at ww last a few weeks back hinted that she loved my hat i had knit, so i suprised her with one on xmas eve and she loved it. I only see her one day a week since november, but she seems like a nice lady,, big on family, so i wanted to knit her one. Also knit 2 other hats last week for daughters boyfriend and best friend, lol, they always appreciate my knitting!
    On xmas we delivered three plates (one off app’s, one of main dinner, one of desserts ) to our neighbor. She was alone for the holiday, her hubby passed last december, ,and i knew she would not accept an invite over (though i had extended one to her) I knew she was borderline diabetic as is my father in law, so everything was good for them both. SHe got to enjoy something special for the day, relax at home, and even said she made two meals out of it! Hope everyone had a great holiday!

  37. I received a beautiful handmade gift this year that made me feel like every minute of sleep I’ve lost finishing a knitted gift as a special surprise (I made a couple this last week). Recently, I feel like the best RAK I can give has been to tell people that I am thankful for all the help and kindness they give me. I try to let Christmas bring out the best in me rather than allow it to stress me out and I feel like that’s gone well this year.

  38. I helped someone turn the pattern she’d written into a PDF and make it available on Ravelry – not sure whether that’s a kindness to her or to the rest of us (or both! probably both!), but it was random, I guess it was kind and it sure felt great to help someone out!

  39. It’s not much, but I was at our local aquarium yesterday, which was a madhouse full of cranky parents and children, and I spent the couple hours I was there finding children who were stuck in the back and inviting them to move in front of me so they could get a better view of the tanks. And I don’t even think that any of the parents thought I was creepy!

  40. The law firm I work for adopted three families through COTS. Each of our three offices bought gifts for the families. I helped deliver the gifts to the Ann Arbor office’s adopted family, a grandmother raising her 16-year old grandson. It was a heartwarming experience. Happy Holidays!

  41. Here’s my RAOK for today: a person whom I don’t know wrote to a Yahoo group in an off-topic post that she had always wanted to learn to spin but didn’t know where to start. I searched out a list of fiber guilds in her area and emailed it to her privately along with a description of Ravelry and a suggestion that she join it. I hope she gives it (both spinning and Ravelry) a try!!!

  42. My sister and her family were out of town for the holidays visiting her in-laws – so that they didn’t have to pay for airport parking, my husband and I drove them to the airport an hour away and picked them up last night, even though the flight got in very late. We also bought some bread and milk so that they could have breakfast in the morning without having to worry about running to the store right away…hopefully that will gave them a little extra time to rest after a long trip

  43. Late Christmas Eve, my SO and I decided to drive around town and look at the lights. The roads were horrible since we had two feet of snow on the ground a few days earlier. Everything was covered thickly with ice. Around midnight, we came across a car stuck in an ice bank. The elderly driver was out there alone, trying to get the car out. We stopped and tried for an hour to push the car out, the whole time slipping and falling. Finally, Onstar got back on the line and told him she found someone to come out from a few towns away to tow him out, but the price was hourly and really expensive. I asked the man if he minded if I called a garage in town whom might be cheaper and he agreed. I ended up finding someone who could be there in ten minutes and did it for a mere penny. It felt good to help someone, especially on Christmas Eve.

  44. My RAK belongs to my DH. Over Christmas weekend we had continuous snow starting Christmas Eve thru Sunday morning. DH not only kept our drive and walks clear, he also did our next door neighbor’s (who were out of town) so they wouldn’t come home and not be able to get into their drive, then he went over to my parents house several times and cleared theirs AND when he found out their neighbor across the street was having some health issues did his too.

  45. The other day, I helped an elderly woman up the stairs at the subway station. The station isn’t ADA accessible, and she had taken the express train, which required her to struggle up 3 flights of stairs to street level. She had a walker, so I carried it up the stairs, and then helped her up from the express train to the street, which took quite a while, since we could only go one step at a time. I was a few minutes late in getting where I needed to be, but I would have hated to see her struggle for longer than she had to.

  46. I put together several boxes of cross stitch kits, books, and yarn to be sent to mission schools in South Africa and South America. It feels great to give! (…and to free up much needed space in my house!)

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