Author Archives: Kae

About Kae

We are a couple of gals who have seen the joy that can be added to someone’s life by a single act of kindness. We are mothers, wives, sisters, friends, and Mormons who want to make a difference. We are what we believe in. We believe first and foremost that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the Son of God. We believe in a restoration of all the teachings of Jesus Christ. We are motivated by love, charity, and faith. Our faith is our inspiration to do and see the good all around us. Even though we all have diverse backgrounds and experiences, we feel by uniting with others committed to serving we can make a difference.

The Birthday Project

14 hours and counting until I enter a new decade of my life. I can hardly wait! My excitement is wrapped up and packaged neatly inside…The Birthday Project.

Tomorrow morning we’ll unwrap a day of giving back and passing out smiles throughout the day here in Austin. The idea was shown to me by a dear friend several months back. Robyn Bomar was the originator of the birthday project back in 2010. Her wish was to perform a random act of kindness for every year of her life as well as asking her blog readers, friends and family to join in the day of giving.

Tomorrow, May 9th, I’m asking the same of our readers! Take part by doing something kind for someone else during the day tomorrow and then let us know what you did by commenting below! I’ll be back to post the 40 random acts of kindness we did throughout the day as well.

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To check out Robyn’s 38 ROAK’s and her readers responses, see them here at The Birthday Project.

Happy Giving!!!

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Giving back in Austin

Looking for a way to give back this Christmas Season?

2012 Austin Adopt-a-Family Toy & Food Drives

UT-Austin law school students collect toys over the holidays.

There are so many opportunities to share in Austin this Christmas and these nonprofits and drives make it easy.  Here is a link to the site Giving City Austin. This site will provide many giving opportunities this season if you are interested.

If your office, class or group is looking for a giving opportunity, consider adopting a family. Children and teens can learn a little about giving (and appreciate what they get) when they adopt a senior or another child. You might consider hosting a drive for one of these campaigns yourself by asking party guests to bring a toy. Many of these projects also need volunteers. What would be more fun than wrapping toys and gifts for kids?

A warning: Volunteer slots and even donation opportunities fill up pretty quickly. I guarantee you, this will totally make your holiday. Don’t miss out!

Don’t forget to check out the comments section of this post! Some last-minute additions from other nonprofits.

Bastrop Adopt a Family
Here’s your chance to help one of the families affected by the wildfires in Bastrop County. Because it’s hard to start from nothing for the holidays.

Foundation Communities Holiday Assistance

Foundation Communities provides affordable housing communities for families across Austin. Donate online or complete a sponsor form to help a low-income family this year.

Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program
Look for Salvation Army trees set up in businesses, churches, or malls to brighten an underprivileged youth’s holiday season.

Holiday Wishes Partnerships for Children
Donate Christmas presents to kids in Child Protection Services.

Lifeworks Project Holiday Help
Adopt a family, sponsor a party, or simply donate necessities to help out needy Capitol area families during the holiday season.

The Christmas Bureau of Austin
(Not sure this one’s happening this year. No word yet, but we’ll let you know!) Families apply to participate, you review applications to choose your family. Choose a senior living on her own or a multi-generational family.

SafePlace Sponsor a Family
SafePlace helps men, women and children who are victims of domestic or sexual abuse. Donors are assigned a family or individual living in their transitional housing.

Family Eldercare’s Holiday Giving Drive
Make the Holidays brighter by sponsoring gifts for seniors and adults with disabilities who would otherwise not receive gifts this Holiday Season.

Any Baby Can Wish List
You can donate items from the wish list all year but how fun would it be to make gift baskets for new moms?

Orange Santa
UT-Austin invites students and staff to drop off toys at various locations around campus.

Blue Santa
Municipal employees adopt families and you help by donating items, donating money or volunteering. Families needing assistance can visit several application sites.

Brown Santa
The Travis County Sheriff’s raises money by hosting a 5K run, a motorcycle ride and accepting your donations. Families needing assistance can visit several application sites.

P.S. If you need help, most of these websites tell you how to apply for assistance. You should also try calling 2-1-1 and ask for holiday help. Remember: Sign up as soon as possible. Most of these drives run out of items long before they run out of people who need them.

Person of the Week – 11/27/2012

JD Hartman

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JD is a remarkable young man from the Austin area. He is an amazing example of strength and courage to everyone around him. The following is a letter written by his mother to the staff of the new school he is attending this year.

On October 11, 2008, JD was involved in a terrible near drowning accident in our family hot tub. It is still unknown how the accident happened in such a short amount of time. The hot tub is just over 3 ft deep and JD who was 5 ft tall at the time was a very strong swimmer. John (Dad) removed JD from the hot tub and began CPR while calling 911. The EMS team was responsible for restarting JD’s heart and breathing for him. As a result of the accident JD has suffered an Anoxic Brain Injury. Anoxia is loss of oxygen to the brain and is different from Traumatic Brain Injury, which is usually due to trauma to a portion of the brain. Anoxia covers more like a blanket, not just a single area. JD has made tremendous strides since that day that changed our lives forever.

Before the accident, JD was active in soccer, school, and church. JD loves school, his friends, and Texas Longhorns and is a special kid. JD has 3 sisters, Macy (14 yrs), Catherine (11yrs), and Clare (6 yrs), who love him dearly. As a family we are doing all we can to ensure JD has the very best opportunity to make a full recovery. He received umbilical cord stem cells in November of 2009 in San Diego. We started seeing results from those in 5 weeks and still continue to see vast improvement. The school system, community and our church family have been wonderful. We are grateful for every kind word of encouragement, prayer and unselfish act that we have received.

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Today, JD undergoes extensive physical, occupational therapy along with various other treatments. The injury has left JD with extreme tone and spasticity in his muscles-his body is very tight with his arms, wrists and feet at fixed positions. JD is confined to a wheelchair for now and he is fed through a g-tube in his abdomen. It is important to note, that JD “knows what is going on” in the environment around him. He responds as best he can, with the limitations his body has. JD hears, listens, and takes in more than we could imagine. JD’s peers and classmates make his school life a wonderful component of his recovery. Talking to him like he is one of the class, or just saying hi when they see him encourages him greatly. JD loves to smile and will give you a big one when he is happy.

In closing, our family is grateful for having our son with us today. We have found a new life in him and our faith holds us up each day. We believe JD will make a remarkable recovery, it will just be a slow process and in God’s perfect timing. Our hope is to help those around us better understand this type of injury and recovery process and better communicate what has happened and is happening with JD. We have a website for JD’s recovery that we update frequently if you would like to visit: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jdhartman.

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“Knowing someone’s name is fundamental to relationship building. It’s the start of our story and when you take the time to learn someone’s name, you show you value them.”  Valisha Reber (Abundant Community.com)

In friendship…we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting–any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends, “Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.”

                                                                                                                                  ~C.S. Lewis

Anonymously Yours (October Challenge Report)

We received this fun picture and story from Michelle after she received flowers from an Eponym community member!

A few nights ago someone rang our doorbell a few times. I knew they had probably run away, so I told the kids that the door was for them. Usually it’s the teenagers who ring the doorbell and run. 🙂 Josh answered it and saw the flowers and the card and said, “No, Mom. It’s for you.” Six beautiful, yellow roses! They really made me feel loved!! Thank you to my wonderful friend, whoever you are!

Michelle S.

Thank you, Michelle! Enjoy your flowers! If you want to join in the October challenge, click here!

Kindness just arrived… (October Challenge Report)

Our friend Lynnette sent us this adorable picture and report after receiving flowers from an Eponym community member as part of our October Challenge

Nine-o’clock at night, the phone rings. “Hello…are you home?”

“Yes…” Then the doorbell rings and a long time friend stands on my porch with
some brightly colored yellow roses shining through the darkness. Flowers just for me!
A smile covers my face. Kindness just arrived. Kindness is contagious! May I suffer long
and hard from it! And may I pass it on.. and on…

Love,

Lynnette M.

Hurray, Lynnette! We hope you will pass it on and on and on, and then come back and report on how it went! To learn more about our challenge this month, click here!