RAK Reporting Day!

It’s Week Two (of Three) for reporting the Random Acts of Kindness that you may have participated in this week! I so enjoyed reading all of your comments on last Friday’s blog post. I know you don’t do these things for the chance to win a skein of our Seasonings Series (although that’s a cool prize!). You do these things because it makes your day to help make someone else’s day, right? And all of us get to benefit from your RAK’s because we read them and it inspires us with new ideas for additional ways to help. So thank you again for all that you’re doing and for sharing back here on the blog. Like last week, I’ll draw 1 name for every 50 comments and I’ll be contacting those winners to pick the Seasonings Skein that they’d like.

I wanted to share one story with you that amazed me. Denise in New York works as a nurse, but in her spare time she makes teddy bears to distribute to kids in shelters at Christmas time. Here you see her sitting in the middle of the 850 9″ teddy bears that she sewed up from September until now. (This year’s work brings her total made over the years to 6200!) They are made with muslin on the front and a pretty fabric on the back, with matching bow around the neck. She then pops each bear into a brown paper lunch bag and makes that pretty by tying ribbon on the top. That way, each child gets to open a package. Some of the bears go to Hour Children, where her husband dresses up and gets to play Santa each year. The rest of the bears are distributed to shelters in her area. Denise has also started knitting up hats, scarves, mittens and slippers to share with women just entering the shelter system. I can only imagine how the work of her hands blesses the hearts of so many. Thanks for letting me share your story, Denise!

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to leave your RAK report below. We’ll draw winners on Monday.

Sheri likingtheideaofknittingforwomen’sshelters


  1. last night we ate at the diner that has become sort of a default ‘our restaurant’ — not just because the food is always good, but also because the waitress has been there forever and is so friendly and remembers us and indulges my child’s various obsessions as they arise over the years. so last night, i tipped her over 50%; we always tip her very well, but it made me feel so cheery to write the tip amount down that it wsa almost as though i had tipped myself. doing something nice is as much a gift for me as for them.

  2. One of the warehouseman at my work broke his ankle. It is cold here right now so I knitted him up a toe warmer for his cast 🙂

  3. Nothing I’ve done this week is as wonderful as what Denise has done making those little bears. I am a nurse too and have a pretty good idea of how much free time she has-I am just amazed at what she has done!

  4. I received an unexpected royalty check for a textbook I wrote last week. Yesterday, I had a meeting with five people who work for my school but whom I didn’t know. The meeting went til lunch time, and then I said “does anyone want to go have lunch? It’s on me!” So now I have five new friends and colleagues (that makes it sound like I bought them off!) and we really bonded over a lovely meal and great conversation–a mix of work and non-work!

  5. After reading the story about Denise and her sweet bears, it would be hard to come up with something grander. Mine is a small gesture but it did make a difference to my friend. I sat with her while her husband was undergoing a long surgery 4½ hours this week. Her family is out of town and I couldn’t bear her sitting by herself. We talked, laughed, refelected and hugged.

  6. The lady who taught me to knit (in a community ed class several years ago) moved her yarn store a couple of years ago, several hours away, and had to give up her flock in the process. She contacted me because another old-timer customer had gotten in touch with her, looking for a particular shade of the yarn that she used to carry which was from her sheep, to finish a sweater for her son for Christmas. My teacher remembered that I had acquired several different colorways of her wooly goodness (a rather scratchy, lanolin-heavy workhorse yarn), and asked if I had any of the color in question. I did, in fact, so I emailed the customer (a complete stranger!) and offered to send her my almost half-skein, if she would pay the postage. I sent the package off to her this past Monday, and when she emailed that she had gotten it and it was truly a Christmas miracle that it matched, and said she would send me the postage, I replied to please not bother, but maybe “pay it forward” to someone else.

  7. HOLY COW THAT’S AMAZING STUFF!!! 🙂 So nice that you are hosting the RAK posts again – really is moving to read the efforts people are making to help others.

  8. My friend Lea has been battling cancer for years and has finally had to retire. While she’s too weak to meet for visits, she does enjoy receiving text messages. I try to send her a picture with my texts to cheer her. This week, I texted her a picture of our Sheltie puppy, Sabrina, sitting in front of our Christmas tree. I know Lea was grinning when she saw our glamour girl puppy.

  9. This week I spent some extra time at work with a resident who has become my friend. She was feeling lonely and while didn’t say anything, I knew that she wanted friends and family to visit but knew they couldn’t…so I filled in! I read to her, hung Christmas lights and we had a lovely lunch together (which also helped my co-workers!). It was a perfect afternoon and I can’t wait to do it again and neither can she.

  10. I knit with a great group of women who range in age from 14-60+ years old. We meet every Tuesday for several hours to knit and chat. They have been there for me during my lowest point, losing my sister to leukemia this year-to my high: my son getting engaged. We are there for each other! I wanted to give them something from my heart, something knitted because we knitters rarely get hand knitted gifts, so I made coffee cup cozys for each of them with heart buttons! I drove a total of 84 miles round trip to the closest lys that carried the yarn I wanted to use and the color I needed. Took me 1 week to knit, finish and block 15 cozys. I wrapped each with a pouch of chocolate Chanukah coins in tissue and included the pattern and put everything into a snowman gift bag. I gave them out the other day. The smiles that lit up the room were my present from them. I love this group of wonderfully wild knitters!

  11. My daughter reads a ton and frequently ends up with duplicate copies of books. We went through the book cases, found all the duplicates, and donated them to her school. A good lesson for her to learn about sharing. She is all ready to see what else we can donate! (I have already promised that we will donate extra yarn to the non-profit group where she takes art classes.)

  12. Mine is a flash random act – sort of. I knit scarves and while at a craft fair a few weeks ago one of my work friends and her daughter stopped by my booth. Her daughter loved one of my scarves but mom said no. So today I was talking to my friend and decided to do one nice thing. I told her to stay where she was and i would not take no for an answer. I gave her with the scarf her daughter wanted and refused to take any money for it. And I plan to give her the one she really likes for Christmas! But don’t tell anybody. 😉

  13. I love reading these posts – it totally motivates me to add more RAK into my life! Mine is more of a group effort – the place where I work has a young client (13 years old) who was recently diagnosed with cancer, and has begun undergoing chemotherapy. To try to perk up her days spent in the hospital, we are sending her a small bag filled with compliments, jokes, inspirational quotes, etc – she can draw one out whenever she feels like she needs a pick-me-up. We’ll be refilling it every month. I can’t at all take credit for the idea, but I am proud to participate!

  14. I sent two cones of yarn to a struggling indie dyer this week. He is trying to get his business functioning again after a string of setbacks — this one way I could help him get back on his feet by providing yarn for him to dye and sell

  15. It’s a very small act of unexpected kindness, but brought flowers to a relatively new employee who just passed hwr DVM certification in MO as part of her job requirements. I know this has been weighing on her mind and wanted to help her celebrate.

  16. Nothing like Denise–but yesterday I bought two teddy bears at a local store and donated them to the community Christmas party. I got identical bears in case there were twins among the children attending the party.

  17. Last night was an annual cookie exchange that some friends host every year. We love to get together and encourage friends to come even if they don’t bring anything. One friend came with nothing to share because her daughter has celiac’s and she is allergic to almost everything there. So instead of having all this stuff in the house she couldn’t eat my friend came for the companionship. I receive a 2# box of toffee as a gift every year from a business and this year I took it to the exchange to give to my friend to take home so they would have a gluten free treat in the house. She was thrilled to have a treat at the holidays they all could share and that she or her daughter didn’t have to make!

  18. I’m blown away by Denise’s story and all the good that she’s able to do. I can’t even imagine how many hours she dedicates to bear-making to yield so many of the wonderful toys.

    I spent the majority of my day off on Monday crafting a fireplace (out of paper and cardboard) as a special surprise for my coworker. She’s been down lately and since we moved into the new office, she’s thought that one wall was in need of a fireplace.

  19. I was liturgist in church on Sunday, so I took Little Loopy to church and urged everyone to commit a RAK this week.

    I made food for a colleague who lost her father.
    I left a stranger check out before me at the store. She thanked me multiple times and wished me a Merry Christmas. It made me feel very good.

    I worked at our local Soup Kitchen on Monday.

  20. On my way to the bank this morning with my big jar of change that I’ve saved all year I passed the Toys or Tots marines that have been standing out front of the firehouse all week. I went to the bank, converted my change, (to almost $100!!) went back to the firehouse and donated it all. I hope it helps make Christmas fun for some kids.

  21. Small RAK this week. I was contemplating adding to my ever-growing yarn stash. Decided to take the funds and donate them to Salvation Army instead. Sorry…it doesn’t help the independent yarn shop this week. 🙂

    I salute Denise! What a kind and selfless gesture. I am truly impressed with her act of giving!

  22. I am part of a RAK group of women (12 of us) who meet monthly and each contribute $20, and whoever is hosting decides how to donate our month’s contributions. We met last night. This month was heartwarming because we decided to use the money to help a two kids (friends of kids of one of the ladies in my group) who lost their mom a couple years ago, and who’s dad is struggling in Denver. They currently live with their 21 year old college student brother who is doing the best he can, but they are clearly not planning on having a terrific Christmas. The hostess this month is using our funds to provide them with some presents, clothes, meals, etc (because they eat out or frozen foods all the time because brother is very busy with school and work). In addition to that, when we told this story to a couple of other people, they added to our contribution, and so I think that they will be able to have quite a nice Holiday! I feel like this is a bit of a stretch to claim as a RAK of my own, so feel free to take me out if it doesn’t apply!

  23. My friend Darleen pulled an all-nighter on her Masters’ level class, despite being in her fifties. I drove her to her appointments the next day (including delivering Christmas gifts to the local shelter), so she wouldn’t have to be behind the wheel.

    I’ve also been sick the last week and a half with several nasty bugs, and down because I didn’t get a job I was going for, but two friends had surgery this week, so I made them both dinner yesterday. Wouldn’t you know it? It made me feel better, too!

    Lastly, the homeless shelter where I volunteer has a lady in her twenties pregnant with her first child, a boy. She had been talking about how she wanted a New Years outfit for him. I found one and knit a matching hat! I hope she delivers soon. She looks miserable in her last weeks!

  24. There is a “mom-and-pop” Chinese restaurant in our town and we eat lunch there 2 to 3 times a week. They are all so friendly, a nice place to be. So today we left a small Christmas tip for every employee on duty. We pick out one day near to Christmas and do it every year. It’s a lot of fun. And they deserve it.

  25. My bf’s father moved this week. I spent last weekend & Monday helping him pack. A lot of work, but we had fun talking and laughing through all of the memories he had to share while packing away his stuff.
    Tomorrow I get to go and help him unpack. 🙂

  26. Way to go Denise! My co-worker complimented my sweater one day a few weeks ago – I had decided that I didn’t like it that much anymore so washed it and brought it in for her. It wasn’t hand made but I think she still was surprised and looking forward to wearing it. I’m planning next weeks RAK which will be good I hope!

  27. Wow! What an amazing feat! Mine doesn’t even compare, but here goes. I handed out a couple more Starbucks gift cards this week. One to this particular bank teller that is always so kind and sweet any time I go in the bank or through the drive thru, so I decided to give her one. Another one I passed along to a Salvation Army Bell Ringer. It was cold and rainy and she was so happy and jolly. I also passed along an extra tip to my seamstress who does my alterings lightening fast and I needed her services yet again this week.

  28. That is a wonderful thing she is devoting her time to! Mine is little in comparison – I purchased coffee for the person behind me at Starbucks this week. I hope they passed it on.

  29. I sent a random act of pattern to someone in The Loopy Ewe group. I chose the most current pattern listed in her queue and gifted it to her. Everyone loves a surprise!

  30. Wow! Densie’s story is wonderful… right on down to the brown paper bag with a bow. Just great.

    My RAK was for my husband this week. We both go to an excercise class together for an hour every Monday while our teenaged daughter babysits her younger siblings. This Monday she had a choir practice at the same time as the class. I stayed home with the kids so my husband could get to the workout. Sometimes I forget that being extra kind to my husband is very important too!

  31. Donated money this week so a single mama in our homeschooling group can get a haircut and some pampering. A group of us just came up with the idea. I hope she feels loved and special.

  32. Well this week my DD’s BF of six years had knee surgery so I drove down to his college apartment and made:two roast chickens, chicken enchiladas, homemade chicken soup, homemade vegetable soup, breaded chicken cutlets, lots of rice, green beans and toffee bars all in 6 hours. I was exhausted BUT what gratitude, not only from DD, DDBF but his roommate as well!

  33. My wonderful hubby and I were at a craft show where we met a crafter who is trying to start her business so she could retire from her current job as a pediatric specialty nurse working with handicapped children. She had made up some special soft balls which would enable children to learn gross and fine motor skills. I thought of one of my co-workers who has a son born with severe arm and hand deformities, and bought one of the balls for him, helping this fledgling crafter and surprising my co-worker with a new physical therapy device.

  34. I have 2 rescue dogs – Lulu and Alfie, both ShihTzus, and both rescued from puppy mills. My heart breaks whenever I think of the horrible life they had before rescue. No animal deserves bad treatment (ok no more soapbox – except PLEASE consider adoption if you are looking for a pet!!). These are not my first rescue dogs – I’ve had rescues for almost 20 years now. Very often the dogs have to have their fur shaved back to their skin when they are rescued and no matter the season they are cold after loosing their fur, so the shelter puts them in doggie sweaters which, understandably, go through a lot of washings and wear and tear as they are passed from dog to dog. Throughout the year, off and on, I’ve been knitting doggie sweaters in all sizes. I didn’t get as many done as I would have liked, but what I had I took down to the the Animal Rescue League this past Saturday. The shelter was very grateful, and the dogs seemed to know that they had a new sweater for Christmas. To my Mother’s great relief, we managed to get out of there without adopting a third dog – but it was a very close thing!

  35. I sent patterns to two people this week on Ravelry…love surprising folks with patterns. Also, I sent a 2nd birthday present to a friend. She had her party last week and requested food donations – we brought a bunch of stuff. However, I really wanted to send her a gift because she was so selfless with the food donations. I think it was delivered today 🙂

  36. I taught two non-knitters (who were sure they would NEVER like it) to knit………..and they love it! One of them is a brand new grandmother so she was easy to get going!

  37. Go, Denise! What an awesome project and inspiration to the rest of us. My act was simply to pick up a few angel tree presents for a family, When I saw that they still had lots of needs shortly before the deadline, I grabbed a couple more. I pray they have a wonderful celebration to go with them!

  38. As many have already said Denise is truly an inspiration. What she has accomplished since October is truly amazing. I can’t help but think about all the smiles her efforts will bring during the upcoming holiday season.
    As for me …… one of my Loopy Friends sent me some sweets from Wisconsin. Decided to share with my neighbor who is from Wisconsin originally and knew she would appreciate getting a “taste of home”!

  39. Look at all those teddy bears! Wow. There’s kindness to aspire to! My act is small compared to that, but a friend of mine has been extremely busy with her new foster kids, so I gifted her with a delicious pastry braid to make her day brighter.

  40. our neighbor a few doors down became a widow 2 decembers ago. Every few weeks we make up a fun plate of dinner, dessert or basket o baked goodies and take it to her as a treat. We know she enjoys these goods but hates to do so for just herself. We invite her over but she enjoys being on her own, so these little visits are nice.

  41. My RAK : every year we have a Christmas Party and always ask the guests to bring a toy for Toys for Tots. Since we have done this, we have collected several hundred toys to donate. Also, on a sadder note, I am putting my Christmas knitting aside for now and working on a Prayer shall for some of the people affected by the tragedy in Connecticut. My Christmas wish this year is that those families find peace in their hour of pain. Bless them all.

  42. I was in my local quilt shop. A customer came in looking for a match to a fabric she had purchased almost a year ago. They didn’t. I knew I had a fat quarter of that fabric at home. She gave me her address and I posted it off today. All I want is a photo of the finished quilt. 🙂

  43. I bought a coffee for the school crossing guard who seems to be on duty at all hours near my home. Although I get home from work around 1am, I try to get up and run before I come in to work 2p-midnight, and I see this dedicated guard crossing the little ones on a very busy corner.On Thursday, I brought her woman a large Starbux. She was stunned and said she had left her own coffee thermos home that day and was looking forward to being able to get some but now she felt ‘all warmed up.’

  44. A family that attends our church had a broken heater and no means to have it fixed. My hubby and I decided to help by calling a repair man to go fix it and we took care of the bill without them knowing who did it. We were blessed…

  45. My daughter has a holiday shop at school. Parents are to send in money so that their children can purchase small gifts from the holiday shop for their family, friends, pets, etc. Each year we send in extra money to be given for children to use who might forget their money, or may not have money to spare.

    Awesome, awesome RAK by Denise! Send that woman something special as your RAK next week!

  46. Not exactly a random act, in that it was thought out and discussed with my grandchildren who range in age from 8 to 11. Last year we decided that they would forgo the small presents and stocking stuffers and I would buy a bicycle for a child who might not get very much at Christmas. Our town Service Center/Food Bank (an amazing place) runs an incredible Christmas toy distribution every year. They hold a lottery for the bigger gifts. This morning I delivered a 24″ girls’ bike (last year a boys’ bike). Pink and white with a very cool helmet.
    This has been a horrible, sad, terrible day. To do a little kindness (and to read of everyone else’s kindness) made it a little more bearable.

  47. My 86 year old friend does not drive so I picked her up on Tuesday and Thursday and drove her to her doctor visits and then some light shopping. I like to spend the time with her and she gets the attention she needs.

  48. I hate to even report this, but I have asked others to help me. Last Saturday, my hubs and I went to see the Oklahoma City Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. We were seated next to a young girl an her mother. The child was about 6 and had on a wonderful Christmas dress with a grand gold skirt. She had a pink nutcracker figure in her lap. Her very short hair and medical backpack made it clear that the child was ill. Her mother told me that they lived near Seattle, but had been in Oklahoma for almost 3 months for a very specialized laser treatment.. She told me that In January, they would return home for more chemo therapy. I asked the mom if she would give me their address so I could send a chemo hat, and after getting the address, I wrapped he scarf I was wearing (a silk beaded shawl I was wearing for he first time) around the child and left the theater. I have asked friends to help with some hats, so hopefully, she has her choice and some to give away. They have no idea that I have requested help with hats.

  49. Scholastic Books is having a warehouse sale at the location across the street from where I work. I found fantastic bargains and bought over 40 books for my daughter’s classroom. Her teacher was very excited when my daughter and I carried in the box of books. It’s always grand to have new books!

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