Today was the day! Team KindnessGirl met to run Color Me Rad with part of the proceeds going to our friends at the Special Olympics. I originally had grand plans of kindness missions happening while we ran, team pictures*, and messy amazing color- while the other plans were foiled we did get some CRAZY color. SO much so, that I am still trying to get the blue out of my nose after 20 Q-tips…yes, 20!

…and so it occurred to me that while we often ask folks to do kind acts for others- I wondered if it would be rad to leave missions for people/strangers to find and then do on their own. We called this Guerrilla Goodness mission Color Me Kind…

Each little pack had a hand written invitation for the finder to complete one of the following missions:

Leave a FAT tip for a dishwasher at your favorite restaurant. Don’t forget a note of thanks!

Pay for a friend’s next race registration, then tell them to pass it on.

Corral some grocery carts at the store parking lot, then leave a note at the desk for the worker thanking them for all they do. You can also leave a small gift card.

Ding Dong Ditch a bouquet of flowers to your bestie with a kind note, then tell them to pass it on.

We included some Kindness Changes Everything stickers and left them on cars in the parking lot after the race. It was rad…and kind…and fun. Now to see what kindness comes.

All I could think about the entire time I ran was how much my kids would have loved it…so I picked up a few packets of color and some white t-shirts and took the party home.

Pass this mission idea on to anyone in San Diego, Vancouver, Columbus or any of the other upcoming race dates because kindness seems to be the perfect match for this rad run…like so perfect they should get married and have babies together! Thanks Color Me Rad- RVA loves you!

so very sorry to anyone that we missed at the run today…please e-mail me at and I would love to send you one of the little mission packs we gave out today! 

Have you ever been on a road trip with a small child? or children?!! There is a whole science to packing, timing leaving, napping, snacks…and yet even at your best, there will be a moment when you will have to stop because no one can take even one more minute in the car. together.

And this is the moment you need a little travel grace. and joy. and busy little hands and minds.

As we are about to take an an 18 hour car trip ourselves, I was remembering the year my mom made these awesome travel kits for a road trip to Pennsylvania for a family reunion. Every few hours we got to pull a new activity out and I will never forget the Snoopy doll with the changeable outfits- it’s burned in my kid that-was-amazing memory. While we don’t have any 80’s Snoopy figures to hand out we thought there might be a trail of kindness we can leave for harried mothers and bored children that might become part of their trip memories.

Kate over at Mini-eco made these fantastic paper beads that I have loved using for kindness projects over the years. They are super easy to make and so visually gratifying. Head on over there for instructions- they really only require some colored paper, glitter glue and a stick. My kids love making them with me.

We grabbed some clear cello bags, brown paper, string , ribbon and threw in a Kindness Changes Everything sticker (so friends could find us or pass the kindness on) and made these little project packs for kids.

I tied a little square at the end of each beading string to avoid the kid drama of making the entire necklace and then letting go of one side and having the beads go all over the car seat- never to be found again among old french fries and dried up carrot sticks.

I also included 2 strings in some of the packets just in case there was a sibling, because how much would it suck if you found this little gift and then had 2 kids fighting over it?! Kindness trip FAIL!

I wrote a different note or message on each but most said something like this:

This Is For YOU! 

Dear mother traveling a long distance with small children,

may this busy little hands and bring some joy as you travel.

Now it’s your turn to pass on another act of kindness! 

Some started with:

Are your kids going nuts yet? Are YOU? Need something to do right about now? 

If you aren’t sure what to write, here is a download for some labels to attach to your kindness project! They fit on a 3.75 x 6 inch cello bag.

Here is the tag! They fit 3 to a sheet to print:

Other ideas for tiny project kits:

stickers and small squares of paper


small games and activity print outs

colored pencils and small homemade books

Leave these little kits at rest stops, changing stations, benches, airports, trains, gas stations….any where a family might discover them. Let your kids do the hiding! Have fun!

May you have smooth, easy, happy car rides, even in the 15th hour and lots of kindness on your travels!

My dad felt really far from me as a little girl, maybe because he actually was or maybe because when you are little everything feels big- like work travel and soul distance. I had a hard time shaking that feeling as it spilled over onto my heart over the years. I knew he loved me, but I don’t remember him knowing what I liked on my sandwich or my boy problems, or feeling a sense of relief from his care.

But every time we he was home or we were together, there was pure delight in his eyes for all of me. My teenage self could not quite reconcile the two, so I picked up brick by brick to build around my heart, I also grabbed some judgement to keep with me while I hid behind it. There was only black and white for me, no grays of life allowed…no understanding of how a difficult start in this world can shift and change you or how  hardships can make it hard to know how to connect with each other….how your cards are dealt and you play the best way you know how.

So my dad held tight to love and delight and brokenness while I held pain and anger.

It wasn’t until my own fall that I could see my dad and his love in a new way. It created a crack in my fortress. I was 19, completely in love with Jorge, and pregnant. Sleeping with your boyfriend (and irresponsibly), not to mention any sex before marriage was a HUGE no-no in my conservative growing up world, with much shame and guilt…and secrets. He may have never even known any of it ever happened, but found a medical discharge paper from the miscarriage left in the car a week later.

He was worried, he didn’t know what the medical jargon meant, but he knew it wasn’t good. I was shocked by his response.

“Oh honey, you are just two kids in deep, deep love. It’s okay, you tell Jorge I wanna shake his hand and tell him I am sorry this all happened to you both.”  …and he hugged me.

Not a hint of judgement…or even disappointment…just pure, very unconditional love. I didn’t even know what to say. I held every flaw of his so close and now he was blowing mine away with the wind, leaving only love.

The redemption was profound. …and still it took time, but it had created a small space for love and time to heal me and to really see him. He called, I didn’t always return, he listened, he called again, taking one brick down at a time…and I realized his love for me had really never changed, it was always that pure, that kind…but the way we found each other did, our brokenness lead us to the same path. He never gave up.

I don’t really know if there is anyone else on the planet that loves me quite like my dad does, no one cheers and stands so boldly and loudly behind me…I am so grateful for his persistence and sheer joy for me. …and for all  I have learned from his love and life.

So here is the mission:

Write a love letter to your dad…tell the whole story, whether it was rocky or smooth, beautiful and old, whether he is dead or alive, thank him for what he taught you both from his goodness and from his broken places…or tell him what you wish it could have been, it all counts.

If you think he needs or would love to hear it, hide the letter in his pocket or jacket, or the glove compartment or on top of the credenza…or send it to your mom for her to hide it for you…

OR if you are not (or maybe never will be) ready to for that, hide the note in a newspaper or leave it on a park bench, coffee house or the hardware store…some dad (or son or daughter) will find it and know…and sit with you in that place for just a moment.

Thank you dads for loving us and caring, we honor you this weekend.

Feel free to share stories of your dad in the comments.

It started with one friend I happened to meet in front of my house one day…over the years he brought some more friends but in the last  few weeks every day someone brings someone new. I looked out in my back yard and before I knew it, there were about 20 kids, yep, 20.

And everyday I try to remember their names and we talk about school, and their families and every once in a while kindness. These kids play with my kids, and swing on the tree swing, ask me if they can have another clementine and tell me it’s okay my house is a mess when I apologize…and some days they just come to say hello and other days they stay…they are polite and kind, funny and some times a handful…and I am working my way through meeting their families, still so many to meet….and I love how our unintentional community rec center sort of unfolded together and the light they offer to me and my family.

It wasn’t long before I asked them if they wanted to go Ding Dong Ditchin’. They were totally in and yet still a little cautious. I thought back to the first time we went, and what a dark place I was in (even though you would never know in that old post). I was desperate to know kindness could change things for me, even if my world was falling apart…it was if I knew, somewhere deep, I had kindness… it would hold my hope for me when I was doubting and scared…or maybe it was just so dang fun, I just forgot all about my troubles.

Over the years as things got better, it just represented sheer joy and a thrill…and it turned into our signature act of kindness, which I so love. Even today, I’ll hear my friends talking or say, “Oh yeah, I got ding dong ditched….!!” and it always makes me smile, knowing how far kindness has traveled, and how we turned a prank into verbage of goodness.

…and I love how nervous I get just thinking about it, how my heart pounds, how hard we laugh, how we check to see if they got it…and how the rows of houses, apartments and places goes on and on…there will always be a need for anonymous kindness…

how it checks our perceptions and preconceived ideas about the world and each other, how it invites us to believe kindness is alive and stirs part of us to pass it on. I never, ever would have guessed what would come from one day of desperation and flowers and being with a gaggle of kids…but I am so, so grateful. It feels like I always return to the message my niece Madeleine wrote on the first card we ding dong ditched…Hope is never too far away.

it is love…

February 15, 2012

dude on an electric scooter most excited about cotton candy kindness yesterday, he was awesome

My buddy Nora (age 6) wrote very simply on one of the cotton candy sticks…it is love.

And I think that said it all.

There were drive by cotton candy pick-ups.

People bum rushed by gaggles of small children so excited to pass on the candy love.

There was the most beautiful couple dressed in the most perfect vintage clothes walking away with their pink fluffy candy, like something out of a movie.

There were neighborhood kids that came back for thirds.

There were deliveries being made three streets over, valentine surprises met with so much delight.

There were meltdowns from sugar crashes, it was perfect.

It was a lovely, lovely day because…it is love.

Thanks to all who joined us and those who joined us from a far with so much love, we felt it!

GUYS! I forgot to tell you- It’s Random Acts of Kindness Week! I always forget it is a thing or a special week but we have a mission idea up for you every day over at the Guerrilla Goodness Facebook page if you want to play along!

(and thank you for all who offered me love and hope yesterday- the answer surprisingly came through, it’s a go…more news when I can share.)

from our friends at James River High School, Richmond, Va.

I’ve been meeting with some kids from the Leadership Center at James River High. I was introduced to them by their Ethics teacher Mr. Couillard, affectionately called Mr. C.

I thought I was going to share my story, inspire a bit, blah, blah, blah….but the universe pulled this HUGE switcheroo on me.

I was stunned by these kids, their heart, their intentions, their focus on kindness and change…So when I got their list of plans for a You Are Loveable campaign at their school, I think my heart just melted. The Junior class took this original idea and ran so far with it with so much soul and creativity, I was blown away.

A bunch of guys giving girls lame pick up lines to make them smile

Somebody to LOVE by Queen playing on the intercom

A post-it kindness blast in the school parking lot

Sidewalks chalked with messages of love

I have looked at the list all week, with this silly grin on my face, imagining the kindness descending on that school in a big, big way.

But then today… Mr C. sent me the picture above of the bulletin boards filled with messages- Give What You Can, Take What You Need…and I started to cry a little…realizing this is the heart of kindness, I have something to give and I need to take something too.

I thought of all the sweet things planned for today- the You Are Loveable messages all over, the Cotton Candy Kindness later this afternoon…those are my Give What You Can sort of things…and then there are the Take What You Need things swirling…I don’t think I’ve taken it and I need it today.

Today I need:

Peace while I wait to find out if a big opportunity is going to happen to carry this message so much further (it feels sort of bleak at the moment, your good thoughts would be appreciated)

Community to gather and stand in some more complicated kindness- like the kind where you have to navigate different needs and still stand in what you believe in- in this case, it’s a skate park and finding the sweet middle place of compromise where everyone is valued and heard

Protection for a tender heart and clarity to see this work and this life for all its beauty- the comparison gremlin is knocking at the door of my soul hard right now.

SO on this day of love, please Give What You Can and Take What You Need in the comments…it can be our virtual bulletin board today inspired by Mr. C and the kids.

And just imagine all those high school kids kindness bombing their school, and people finding a message reminding them we are all loveable, and some grown kid eating pink fluffy candy goodness in the park…and know that kindness changes everything.



written in 2010, but we are bringin’ this one back this year because we could all use a little love right about now…

It all started at breakfast. I told her something terrible I said over slices of cheesecake and diet coke at 10am. The dear friend laughed and said. “You’re so loveable!”
“What?!” while grabbing yet another slice.
“You are!” she held firm and told me stories of people being loveable even at their worst, not to mention half of America is wondering if they are loveable on Valentine’s Day.

and it stayed with me….so here we are at Valentine’s Day and a Guerrilla Goodness mission is born from the kind of wisdom that only comes from real love.

Let’s tell our city, in a million tiny ways that we are LOVEABLE!

Here’s the deal:

Grab a pad of post-its or other pretty paper.
Leave your message (it can be anything) of love for someone to find.
Then trust it is found at exactly the right moment by the perfect person.
Guerrilla Goodness bliss!

here are some good GG spots to leave your message:
bus stops
library books
bathroom stalls/mirrors
car windshields
grocery carts
subway seats
dressing rooms
toll booths
the gym
pant pockets
any tiny spot someone might stumble upon

If you decide to join our project in Richmond or some other city, let us know in the comments or upload a picture to the GG Flickr pool or post them on the Guerrilla Goodness Facebook Page.

All is love this Valentine’s Day and I hope you know…you are loveable.

photo by Sandra Culp Marr

I love it when a mission is so simple and small that it holds its own kind of beauty and unexpected power, maybe it is the kind you just stumble upon. I think  when we connect to our most basic shared humanity, magic always unfolds.  Two weeks ago, we invited folks to join us in thanking Garbage Collectors around the nation for their important work and place in the world…and boy, did you ever. Stories and pictures came tumbling in each day.

The kind people at GOOD helped spread the word, kids in schools all over made cards for their garbage man and school custodians, and lots and lots of people passed the word on to family and friends. The mission traveled further than any we have ever done…and while numbers aren’t totally in yet, we are estimating close to a 1,000 friends joined us.

Some garbage friends were so busy they didn’t even see the signs, others stopped and chatted, some even came back to thank us…and now more than ever, we are longing to be connected in new and meaningful ways. Kindness is growing bigger and moving faster than I have ever’s so, so good.

Thank you for being part of this with me…and thanks to all our new garbage collecting friends, we are grateful for you.

And a special thanks to Vejay, Lionel and Joe for taking the time to talk to me and inspiring this mission, we hope you know and feel our respect.

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What do you think the most thankless job in America is? I had my own idea but decided to take an informal poll among friends, family, and of course Facebook. It turns out, garbage collectors won by a landslide. I can’t say I was surprised. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, we create an additional one million tons of waste, which is a whopping 25% more that our collectors have to pick up and haul away.

These are people that are part of our lives, in our backyards or front sidewalk, taking away all our decay, the stuff we don’t want or no longer serves us. Yet even though these guys are in my living space every week, I really had no idea what they might look like or what their names were. I started to wonder so I woke up early one Friday morning and waited for them to roll down my alley.


I must have looked like a total loon waving my hands and carrying my camera but they stopped the truck and hopped out at my back gate. I introduced myself while Vejay, Lionel and Joe pulled off work gloves to shake my hand. We chatted for a moment and I told them I was interested in doing a kindness project for garbage collectors. I asked them what kind of kindness they thought was needed.

Joe leaned against the garbage can and said, “You know, we just need a little respect.”

“Yep, pretty sure everyone needs and deserves that, huh?” I replied.

“Yes, they do. Yes they do.” Joe said.

The kindness mission was sparked. What could be a more lovely and simple message of respect than saying, “I see you, I value your contribution to my community and I thank you.”?

Sometimes it is the smallest act of kindness that makes the greatest impact on a person. Meeting a basic human need may be all it takes to make a change. All I could imagine was Joe lifting can after can with notes of gratitude attached, throughout an entire neighborhood, maybe even a whole city.

So I asked the kids in my daughter’s kindergarten class if they would like to join me in writing thank you notes since they had just been learning about community helpers. The kids were stoked to take the mission on and the kindness started moving. Word traveled and seven more schools wanted in.


awesome thank you note from the kids at Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts

Here is the kindness mission, if you would like to join us:

1. Write a note of thanks to your garbage collector sometime from now until February 3rd.

2. You may want to include a gift card for coffee from your local coffee shop or gas station.

3. Attach it to your garbage can on pick up day for your collector to find.

4. Take a picture and send it to or upload it to our Guerrilla Goodness Flickr pool.

5. Tell us in the comments what city you are from so we can see how far our garbage gratitude is traveling. If you invited your school to join us, let us know the school too. Some schools are including their custodians in on the thank you note kindness too!

6. Hit the Facebook or Twitter button below to share or like…we all know Facebook and Twitter rule the world!

Can you imagine if there was a wave of gratitude across an entire nation? Garbage collectors may get kicked off the top of that most thankless job list. I imagine Joe would be just fine with that.

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I love to sing…I have just an okay singing voice but I don’t even care. When I was a little girl, I sang for hours with my my grandfather, mostly from old hymnals. I have spent days, maybe even years singing the Sound of Music, pretending to be Julie Andrews. If you invite me to a sing-a-long, I will just melt.

When I hear other ordinary voices of those who love to sing like me, I feel this sort of kinship…like we must be soul siblings. I felt this with my best friend, Jennifer Lemons, (a.k.a. The Checkout Girl) from the moment we met, even before our many shared obsessions were discovered.

And then she played the ukulele at her show…the everyman instrument…and all I could think about was what that did to my soul, the strumming, hearing her voice. I thought the whole thing was magic. I thought about it every day for a week.

at the end of the week, I got a text from Jen- I think we should go caroling, with the ukulele.

And that was it- it was all I have wanted to do, all Christmas season long.

Because Christmas is so hard for so many, (jen and I included)… it’s hard because everything, your whole life gets compared to something during this time, our memories are on the big screen, or you are stressed figuring out how it will all get done, or because you want to be close to someone, or hold tight to something during this time, you miss your family, or the idea of family, or your family is broken, because all the holes feel bigger, because you wish you had something to give the people you love, or you are aware just how broke you are, or you feel sort of desperate, or you are just trying to keep it all together, or trying to awkwardly love people by not being all of yourself, doing the family dysfunction dance, or are sort of lost or holding loss… and we do our damnedest to shake it…and I wish this wasn’t all true or I was just being dramatic, but I am not.

And we find our way through this season, we do. We see all the beauty we have, we try not to think about our pain and hardships, we give, find a way out of ourselves…we press on. But there is something real and true in simple things, and simple invitations of love, of old songs being sung to you.

So here is our offering of holiday love to you, especially to those who need some soul care right about now:  Jen and I, along with our ordinary voices and her magical ukulele would love to come to you, on your doorstep and sing to you.

(or maybe there is nothing heavy at all and you just love a good round of jingle bells- we’ll take that too!)

We will carol to the  first 8 friends from Richmond, Virginia that e-mail me at at an undisclosed time in the next 24 hours. I will let you know when our quota is filled! Don’t worry if you don’t live in RVA, there will be something for you too in the next few days!

Much love to you from Jen and I…all of you!

a turkey love bomb

I looked at the archives… “Do you know I’ve been ‘tired and overwhelmed’ in the November posts for like 6 YEARS?!!”  I told him. “I’m sorry, THAT must have been exhausting for you.”

But can we help it really? The season is beginning, it is equal parts overwhelming and wonderful. I have dear memories of cooking many a Thanksgiving turkey with my sisters and mom (we always named the bird) and at the same time being so very fried, me, not the turkey. We have so many expectations around the holidays and lots of family goodness and dysfunction, and a helluva lot of work. We want it to be special and meaningful (dare I say, magical?) and I can’t even imagine how the retail folk feel at the end…I wondered if there was a mission in the middle of all that somewhere…for everyone.

So Lyra and I went into our local grocery store and post-it/kindness bombed it…with all the things I could imagine that mothers, friends, stock boys/girls, the last minute Melvins may need to hear…or know. We thought you may like to join us.

It’s pretty simple, here goes:

1. Grab a pad of post-its.

2. Write encouraging messages to harried mothers, tired checkout girls and strung out foodies…any kind message will do.

I am grateful for all you do.

You can skip something, the holiday will still be sweet.

Your mashed potatoes are the best I’ve ever had, thanks for making them every year.

All the little things you do matter.

It’s only one meal with your crazy family, you can do it.

Your turkey will be FANTASTIC! ( and not dry at all)

3. Take the pad to your local grocery store and stealthily leave them all over the store- extra points for iphone pics. Or just tell us what city and store has been kindness bombed and we’ll mark it off the list.

4. You have from now until Thanksgiving day and send pics to or post them on our Guerrilla Goodness Facebook page.

I can’t wait to see your holiday kindness in the midst of love and craziness and a mean green bean supreme!

Please share this link on Facebook and let’s see how many stores we can hit!

the things you do…

November 5, 2011

over a 100 thank you notes about kindness from the kids at Randolph Elementary School

I don’t know why but I am so, so touched by all the things you do…the letters, the e-mails, the texts, the missions…you would think I would get used to it or it would become just part of life over here but it never does.

Every time I received a message this week with a picture of a lantern, it felt like it was for me. The light, the heart, the intention…all of it. Thank for allowing me to be part of your lives, thank you for the kindness you are offering to so many. Thank you for caring about me and my family, you are good people to be traveling through this world with. I am feeling so grateful.

Please tell me all the things you are feeling grateful for this cool Saturday morning in the comments…and here is the lantern mission if you would like to know more.

The weather is changing where I live, it feels like the dark is moving in fast. A little faster than I expected. I find myself wanting to hibernate. It is a lovely time, to go in and be closer together with people we love. The only tricky part is that sometimes we still need a bit more and if you don’t have people around you or you are facing something big, you can start to believe you are alone.

It’s easy to lose your way in the dark…or forget the warmth of light. It seems like lots of dear folks around me right now need a little light, or need someone to come into the cave, or stand side by side, a little closer.

So I wondered if there was a little reminder we could offer each other, a small, but bright light we can share.

day of the dead lantern

The kids and I have been making these little lanterns over the years. I’m sure it was like a 3rd grade art project but I love them so much…they are colorful and sweet.
Here’s my idea:
We all probably know someone who feels a little lost, or low or just in need of some love and light? I thought the crafty folks and the rest of us can just channel our inner third graders and make lanterns. We can leave them on a door step for the people we care about with a little note. Even in the coming cold and dark, we are together, and no one has to do it alone…and kindness changes everything.

Here’s how:

1. All you need are some old jars from the recycling, glue, a foam brush, tissue paper, tea lights and wire.

2. Mix the glue with water with a 1 to 1 ratio- half water, half glue, you can make it a little thicker if needed. I use Elmer’s glue ALL, this mixture is similar to Mod Podge.

3. Brush on the glue and lay the tissue paper. Let it dry and then add one or 2 more coats of the glue mixture over the entire jar.

4. The tissue paper ink runs, so it’s good to use a foam brush.

5. Wrap the wire (ceiling wire from the hardware store works great) around and loop around the lantern handle to secure.

6. Leave a tea light in the lantern- we love the LED fake kind of tea light for deliveries so we don’t have to worry about fire safety.

7. Attach a note of love or a quote on light.

You can send your pictures of your lanterns to me at or post them on our Guerrilla Goodness Facebook page. Also, can you do a favor for me? In the comments, can you include some quotes on light or even your thoughts of things you need to hear in the dark?

AND if you are in Richmond and you could use a lantern of light and hope, I have 4 lanterns that the kids and I will be Ding Dong Ditching…we would love to bring one to you. E-mail me at with a name and address.

May warm nights and lots of light find you as the winter comes…

Big Bro Tony, Monica, Dolores and baby Mason (thanks to Tony V.-Dolores’ significant other for taking this picture)

Two weeks ago, I invited you all to join me for a kindness mission honoring Jimmy and Dolores, a reader and new friend. You can read about it here. It was wonderful of Dolores and her family to share their story and memories of Jimmy with us- we are so grateful!

I was blown away by the response, so many of you gathered loved ones and friends for this mission. It felt like every time I opened my e-mail there was another picture and note. It was so sweet to me because it was so simple, so full of love. Thank you…just thank you.

Dolores wanted to thank you too…here is her note to you:

First let me thank you, Patience, for getting the whole wonderful Dinner With Jimmy mission started. Without you none of this would have happened. Also, thank you to all the wonderful, kind people who took time out from their busy lives to celebrate my son, Jimmy’s, short sweet life without even knowing him and even sending pictures of it all. If anyone had a dinner without sending pictures or an acknowledgement, I want to thank them, too. I can’t believe how many dinners were celebrated in Jimmy’s honor (or may still be). It even stretched into Canada.

All of this has renewed my faith in the kindness of other people, but you and your website are a testimony to that. I’m not the only one who faces each day without Jimmy. His Big Bro, Tony, does, too. Tony now has no siblings. They did everything together. Tony sends his own special thanks for remembering his Li’l Bro. Yesterday we had our own special Dinner With Jimmy. I made spaghetti & meatballs. It was his favorite. I taught Jimmy how to cook, but when it came to this he outdid me. Please look for two pictures of our celebration which I’ll send separately from my ipod. It takes too long to type this much on the ipod. The first pic is of me, Jimmy’s Big Bro, Tony, his wife, Monica and their beautiful three month old baby, Mason. The second pic is of me, Monica, Mason and my significant other, Tony V. Big Bro was taking the picture.

Jimmy didn’t live long enough to see his little nephew, Mason, but he was such a perceptive and loving person I’m hoping he was able to see and taste all these wonderful dinners in his honor and to see his nephew, Mason. Jimmy loved to laugh and he loved family get-togethers as you can see from the first photo you put up of me and him. Thanks again to all.


Dolores here and Jimmy There

Thank you for making this one of the sweetest missions we’ve ever done- your kindness changes everything. Special thanks to all who helped to spread the word and to Lara and Debbie for writing about it.

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I want to think again of dangerous and noble things,
I want to be light and frolicsome,
I want to be improbable and beautiful,
as though I had wings.

-Mary Oliver

I love the idea that messages are left in the world for us to discover. I was reminded of this one via my friend Jaime, I’m not sure she even knows she passed it to me, but she did…that Mary Oliver gets my gut and heart every time.

I bought some register tape (about 2.5 inches, maybe less) for the kids as part of our art studio and stumbled upon it the other day. It’s wonderful when something can go on and on, even longer than you imagine. I realized the paper is also the perfect size for in between the chain link fence- my guerrilla mind exploded!

So here’s the mission:

1. If you could leave the world a message, what would it say? OR maybe you need to leave one for yourself? What would leave your heart full or give you courage to take a next step? (whatever that may be)

2. Buy some register tape- any old office supply place has them.

3. Write a quote or a message to the world, yourself, a friend…leave a few. They also work on wood fences but need more space for the words and are a little trickier to thread through.

4. This mission is a little harder to do with out getting caught because it takes time to get it securely weaved.
Plan it for some one when they aren’t home (and NOT on the neighbors fence!) or go early in the morning to a park, or other public space- night may get you in trouble. Also be sure to pick up your trash in a week or two, or after the rain.

5. Take a picture!!! Whip out that trusty iphone or droid, share your message with US!!! We wanna see and be inspired! You can post the pic on the Facebook Guerrilla Goodness page or send it to me and I can do it for you!!

Have fun!

Oh! and don’t forget, our Dinner with Jimmy Mission ends on October 18th! You can still e-mail me your pics to be forwarded on to Dolores.

ETA- I think the register tape would work around trees and poles!!! oh, the kindness ideas never end…

lots o’ dinners…

October 11, 2011

We had our first dinner with Jimmy by candle light last night….my, was it lovely. Jen made to die for manicotti and salad, Vic and I made bread. Lillian (age 7) proclaimed that she only loved our cooking, the mothers in her life. It was joyful and sort of peaceful, even in kid chaos. There is something about intentional gatherings, bright orange pepperberries at a pretty table and comfort food on a fall night. We ate way too much, I think Jimmy would have been happy by the fullness all around.

…and your moments are coming in, daughters coming home from college for meatballs, the sweetness of preschool grand daughters who still can’t say the word spaghetti, homemade marinara being stocked up for the winter,  large casserole dishes of lasagna shared with gaggles of kids and friends…thank you for joining in on this kindness mission. I think it may be one of my most favorites yet.

Our simple love and kindness holds so much…

You can still join us!! This mission ends on October 18th! Send us a picture of your dinner with Jimmy to or upload on your facebook page and tag Guerrilla Goodness, or put it on the GG page- any way you want to share! All pictures and messages are being forwarded to Dolores and her family.

Hope you are enjoying your fall with the ones you love!

Kindness for YOU starts on October 31st so don’t worry if you haven’t signed up yet or were wondering where your e-mail is, it’s COMING!!

For the longest time, every time I even said the words Guerrilla Goodness or thought them in my head, I saw this gorilla with a kind face throwing hearts over the city in my mind. You know, like King Kong, but understood and loved. Not to mention, guerrilla, gorilla… these sorts of things geek me out. I didn’t know how I would make that little guy come alive but a good friend (via the internets) Alyson Plante, did her magic and here he finally is. I can’t tell you how happy he makes me!

I gaze at him on regular basis and smile, because so many of my kindness dreams are coming true and he reminds me of that. So take a look around the new shiny Guerrilla Goodness site, be enchanted by the kindness and sweet gorilla. Join us over on the Facebook page to gather and share ideas, meet other kindness folks or just hang out. We would love to have you!

The best news of the week was that, Jorge and I finally got it done, didn’t kill each other AND there were LOTS of high fives all around! Thank you my friend, you are loved more than you will ever know!

birthday tattoos, one for each wrist

I woke up to 35 yesterday, so many blessing to count. After some just okay years, as far as birthdays go- I could have never imagined the doozy of a day that was waiting for me. There are years when you are sort of surviving your life, happy to at least be still truckin’ and then there are other years when you celebrate livin’ life- really living and knowing you are standing in yourself, right where you are meant to be.

This was a living year.

Around 11:30am I checked in with social media to find this on

Yesterday we shared the story of Richmonder Patience Salgado and her Guerrilla Goodness missions. Salgado, known on Twitter as @kindnessgirl, is featured in this month’s O, The Oprah Magazine for her everyday acts of kindness and today, Thursday, Sept. 15, Richmond is celebrating Salgado’s birthday by doing the good for her.

Salgado’s friend, Kira Siddall stealthily used Twitter to send out a message to all of Salgado’s friends and follower with a simple birthday request:

“Do a small act of kindness. Tweet details to @kindnessgirl. It’s her 35th bday, let’s make RVA kinder to celebrate. SPREAD THE WORD.”

Needless to say, I was floored, speechless. After such a week with so much genuine joy, love and well wishes, now my beloved city, would show their love and kindness in this way- it was overwhelming. So I went to my Twitter account and there they were, tweet after tweet after tweet, all with small acts of kindness. 200 Facebook friends shared Kindness Day on their walls and so it spread...a city taken over by kindness.

Things like:

@MDPartner:  Honoring @kindnessgirl and all births today, we played DingDongDitch at OneMonumentAvenue. Anybody hear our smiles?
@busse: drew my kids pictures to find at the breakfast table tomorrow morning Happy Birthday! #smallactsofkindness

@MolleeRVA : I mailed a tiny pumpkin and a thinking-of-you note to a friend who recently moved. #smallactsofkindness

@jenniferemiller: I bought groceries for my elderly neighbor.

@PaulaBHough: brought chocolate bars to mothers grp + xtra 2 share. Then gave bars to random strangers in your honor.

@Julie_Bondy: sent birthday cards to friends this week instead of the usual FB post. Real mail is more fun!

@johnhaydon: @kindnessgirl Happy Birthday. I’m making a donation to a local animal shelter. #kindbirthdaywish

@horhey: In honor of @kindnessgirl , paid someone’s toll this AM. #smallactsofkindness

@fyeahmotherhood: In honor of @kindnessgirl’s birthday, I’m tonguekissing everyone I meet today. Kindness for all!

@ksiddall: Happy bday @kindnessgirl! I’m guerrilla Goodnessing w/ Starbucks cards to celebrate! Be kind today RVA 🙂

@heyart: Buying extra McNuggets to share with all of my mates at work today in honor of @kindnessgirl’s birthday!

@sheenajeffers: In honor of @kindnessgirl’s birthday, I donated $50 to wounded soldiers (thank you ALL for inspiring me to be and do better)!

@gregorysheldon: In honor of @kindnessgirl’s birthday, I gave my favorite barista a $5 tip. cc: @KSiddall

@rvafamilymag: In honor of @kindnessgirl , took my CSA share veggies to daughter’s school for the teachers. #smallactsofkindness

you can read some of the rest here.

I know, I know the potential power of this thing, but to see it move, to watch people gather and find their own way to express it- well, it wakes something up inside you didn’t even think was asleep, and invites you to imagine what can come next. It makes you feel hella proud to be living together, side by side with these people…and makes you want to share and make the circle wider- so wide you can’t even see to the other side but just feel your hand wrapped around the person next to you.

So someone wrote me this week and asked if they could start a Guerrilla Goodness chapter in their town/city- With a resounding “YES!” my e-mail was returned to her through the internets. If this is something you might be interested in, please write me at I am a total mess right now, not even sure where to start to organize and plan, but I would love to help you (if you feel called) so you can join in this deep joy of living life in a kind city too.

Thank you Wren, Jen, Kira and Chad for the sweetest celebration and to The Empress (new friends Melissa and Carly) for offering your soulful space and amazing  food with us. We can’t wait to come back!

Oh, and I got TATTOOS!!! So ridiculously exciting…and a story for another day! Thank you all for making my birthday one I will never forget.

AND chocolates are coming friends, they sure are!

There are about 57,000 other things I should be doing right now…like answering e-mails for instance! All I can think about is chocolate…and your outpouring of kindness to me from all the O excitement. I feel like I just had a baby, emotionally exhausted and totally blissed out.

So I wrote last night to the Facebook crew (so nice to have new friends, please join us!!):

“GUYS! I think we need some sort of kindness chocolate chain letter exchange…don’t you need a little something chocolatey like right now?”

And you answered because we all need a little bit of something chocolatey…and Laura had an awesome idea of buying a chocolate bar for yourself and then one for a  friend and passing it on, and on, and on…and I thought that was fantastic…imagining how far the chocolate chain might go! So instead of laundry and an insane amount work, I promptly went out and bought an obscene amount of very lovely chocolate this morning.

So here’s the deal:

1. If you are not totally freaked out to Facebook friend a complete stranger or send me a mailing address to, I will SO happily send you a 2 bars of chocolate- one for you, one for a friend or one for you to leave some where anonymously.

2. Along with the bar, you will leave a little encouraging note asking the next person to do the same.

3. If strangers isn’t your thing, start your own chain! The encouraging news is chocolate is almost everywhere (thank God!)

4. If you are in Richmond and want to join in on the chocolate postal kindness magic or chip in with some bars, contact me and we’ll gather chocolate and mail these babies out together!

I can only imagine what chocolate and kindness can do together!!

(for all the pretty lovers- the sunflower doilies were found at the dollar store! The dollar store, I KNOW!)

ETA on 10/2- I have now reached my chocolate gifting limit loves (100 bars! woohoo!!! if you e-mailed me before the 2nd, yours is still coming), but YOU can start your own chocolate chain!! Do it, it’s so much fun!!!

I love school supplies…there is nothing better than a new set of markers, a pretty journal or super sharp pencils. But what if you got a new back pack AND got some ice cream after?!!! In honor of our good kindness friend Chris and her kindness mission, we thought we would do it over on our little part of the country.

If you are last minute school shopping this weekend, get some fabulous and inspiring supplies and leave a little treasure behind for another kid to find.

Here’s the deal:

1. Baskin Robbins sells $2 gift certificates, which is exactly the cost of a kid’s size cone. Perfect, right?!

2. Buy a few, and attach a little message with a post-it.

Some ideas for messages:

Have a great year at school! Have a little treat on us!

Kindness found you! Enjoy this treat!

Hope you know how sweet you are! Here’s a sweet to remind you!

3. Hide your ice cream treasures in back packs, pencil boxes, thermos canisters, and notebooks at your local store!

4. Grab an ice cream cone for yourself and enjoy the kindness high!

Tell us your story and share pictures if you decide to take on this cool mission…

Check out these cool pics from Kelly and her crew chalking for the first day of school!

It’s back! It’s time for the sidewalk chalk love again friends! You may remember when hundreds of folks ALL over the country headed out with sidewalk chalk to encourage the kids of their cities and towns on the first day of school. Well, we are doin’ it again and would love to have you join us!

I don’t know about you, but I could never sleep the night before school started. I wondered what my teacher was going to be like, who I would sit next to, what the work would be. It can all be a little overwhelming. Everybody could use a little encouragement, just a little reminder that you are loved!

So here’s the mission:

1. Grab some bright sidewalk chalk.

2. You head out with friends, family, kids, dogs, grandmothers, artists, whoever…and write positive messges to kids on the sidewalks in front of the elementary schools (or any schools, universities, etc.) in your neighborhood, or even your own sidewalk for the first day of school. Here are some things you can write:

Have a GREAT first day of school!!

It’s going to be a awesome year!

You look fantastic!

We believe in you!

if you want more ideas, check out the pictures of what other people have done here.

3. Go home blissed out with the kindness high!

4. If you are a kindness kid, be super quiet when you are walking to school the next day and everyone around you is talking about the cool art out front… and smile.

5. If you are a Richmonder and want to participate, reach out to your local school administration and send them a link to this post for permission. If just the idea makes you tired or sweat, contact me and I’ll do it for you!

6. If you decide to do this project or blog about it, please leave a comment so we can highlight your kindness work and watch it grow! Don’t forget to send me pictures and I’ll post them or simply add them to our GG Facebook Page.

Also, if you want to learn about school kindness trees, my friend Chris had this awesome idea!

*go at your own risk…be safe, go to familiar places and with others, ask permission if needed, be smart and respectful. It’s more fun that way!

Jack, February 2011

This boy and his bike…there was a deep love. I completely get it. The wind blowing on your face, going faster than your legs can take you, all of boyhood in its perfect freedom. I knew it was gonna be bad. I came home late Monday night to find our gate wide open, 2 boys bikes gone. They hadn’t been locked, I guess we felt so at home, guards were down….or maybe there were never any guards up and we are at home in every way, I dunno. I told him gently but he very dramatically ran to the porch just to make sure it was true. He burst into tears…it was the saddest cry from an 8 year old you’ve ever heard.

“I just don’t understand mom, why? Why would someone take my bike from me? I loved that bike so much mom, it was the one I learned to ride on. We had so, so many good times…” he went on remembering. His view of the world was rocked.

I didn’t care too much about the bikes, they were thrift store specials. One really good find (a Trek) but even that bike was too small for him now. My head goes straight to – the need must have been great to take them, on whatever level. And it’s just stuff, right? This is the story I tried to tell my boy to soothe his wounds, and he looked like he was trying to take it in…but it doesn’t change the fact that you are sad and disappointed.  I didn’t even try to take that away, because so often grief is a friend to us in times like these. It means we care and love…even for simple things like bicycles and memories.

I looked at the sidewalk art Lyra and I made on the morning the bikes were stolen. This Way To Love… and maybe my invitation was clear, if this was what someone needed- love, in whatever form. Every now and then I start to wonder if I live in a Kindness Wonderland (a la Alice), a place I have created in my head and heart. The one that Pollyanna dances in, far from cynicism and darkness, one that believes over and over again the good, that kindness can be found, no matter what. Sometimes, this way does require you to believe 6 impossible things before breakfast…and then there are moments when I start to wonder if I just fell down the hole, I must be mad.

Mad or not, my children will have to decide for themselves, and even I couldn’t blame them for any conclusions they were making that day. We walked to the park but that just reminded him of more riding adventures. We came home and he cried some more, it was so heartbreaking.  Less than an hour later there was a knock at the door.

I opened the door and literally gasped. The whole street, men, women, kids, babies, with the same gates wide open and gathered ’round stood there with two new bikes…and now I was the one who burst into tears.

They said they wanted Jack to know the world was still good. …and my world was rocked. That people would love my family this way, that the impossible thought of great kindness was real, that we would be humbled and so deeply touched by it…over and over again, that any shred of doubt would be replaced with such assurance, stronger than before. The fact that we get to live next to these people, side by side, every day- this is the greatest kindness.

We didn’t know how we could ever thank them, although Jack suggested ding dong ditching them his entire savings, we settled on some homemade chocolate chip cookies and thank you notes. When all was said and done, Jack told me he thought in the end maybe everyone got what they needed- the person who took his bike, his lesson about the world and his new bike, and our family.

…and I’m pretty sure I know the way to love, thank you to our street for reminding me, it’s all right here, Wonderland and all.

us…on the 13th anniversary of our marriage, and 19 years together

I have no idea how it all works, this love thing…but over the last week, I am becoming even more sure of one thing…whatever it is, it is worth it.

I sat next to this man, while we dropped off children at school, put oil in a leaky car, ate breakfast, talked of uncertain times, watched a movie, dreamed of travel, of being alone, and took this picture while little people tried to pop their round faces in the shot, over and over again…and I knew it, it hit me plain as day, I always knew it was right to follow this love, to stand in it, to believe it fiercely, to fight for and collapse in it,  to savor it, to fear it, to be changed by it, to rest in it, to come home to it, to worship it, to hold it so tenderly, to give it everything I have…and we didand we will.

It is my one true thing.

…and yet so many times I am baffled by it, or sort of lost in the power of it, and really, it can not be explained but all along the way, I am gathering little pieces. like…

I know there is nothing like it…

I know it may ask you to be a warrior…

I know it can hold more than I ever imagined…

I know when it’s good, it’s PHENOMENAL , and when it’s bad, well… *sigh*

I know it is everything, the root of who we are…I know we all need it desperately…

These small/big truths are like a light that take me to the next place of knowing myself and learning how to love better, or how to receive it, or just be closer to the only thing that matters…and I imagine we all know a little something about love, whether we have it or need it or offer it. Whether it has crushed us or saved us…whether we are old or young, or somewhere in between…we all hold it.

So you must tell me…what do you know about love? I left these little cards across the city telling you a little I know and asking you to tell me, whatever you know  (the good, bad and ugly-and all different kinds) about love…I’m pretty sure we are all trying to figure it out.

If you found a card, write your answer and leave for the next person to find…everyone else- tell us your bits o’ wisdom or stories in the comments, or on Facebook and Twitter.

first day chalk– don’t worry it’s coming soon…

Something new is always a little bit scary and exciting.
The first bag lunch of the year is always the best.
You look GREAT!
Some mom, grandmother, papa, dad, auntie is looking at the clock and thinking of you all day long, wondering how you are.
Everyone is learning and growing.
Making a world outside of your family or the familiar is good and also may take some time, but it’s worth it.
If something pops up that is hard, it’s okay, you will find your way…you will do this over and over again, all the way through life.
You are not alone.
Love is everywhere.
You are so loved.

It was part of a 3 mission marathon, a simple one- give balloons away to kids at various parks… Who doesn’t love balloons? This one was suggested to us but I must have picked the worst possible day to try. The heat index was like 110. We went to pick up balloons right before lunch when everyone was a tad grouchy and hungry.

We didn’t realize that taking the balloons from the cool store to the hot car would make them pop…24 balloons, it was a sea of color with little faces here and there, then they started to pop, so very loudly. *sigh*

I made these little cards to attach which was great but then made the strings all tangled when we tried to give them out.

We kept pressing on, we lost a few until Lyra figured out you can’t let go. When we finally got to the previously packed park, it was almost empty. Just 2 families were there but we decided we should try anyway…and then to my utter disbelief, the school age kids had absolutely no interest in the balloons. They didn’t want them.

A kind mom saw Lyra’s dejected face and prompted the kids to change their minds but we were okay. Kindness is meant for those who need and want it, it’s okay to not need or want it. Still, it is quite the buzzkill, so the only thing to do was to go get a slurpee- it just happened to be free slurpee day- lick our wounds and strangely colored ice and head home to the old tried and true- our neighborhood park.

We found our good friend G, a toddler and all around good guy. He was thrilled with a red balloon. Someone else accidentally let one go but it strangely delighted everyone. SO it became a balloon release, and we hope the little kindness cards attached found some other dear soul, and not the birds- the eco-girl in me was trying to be cool with it all…because sometimes nothing goes right and everything goes wrong…and you have to let it be and get up tomorrow and try again.

because kindness is worth it.

Jack’s message to the next Harry Potter enthusiast

Can I tell you I am the world’s worst library citizen? …I almost always have a late fee, I lose a book at least once a quarter, and I’m never sure exactly where my card is. Even still, the library, in all her grace, continues to let me try again. and again. and again.

We had a full day of kindness adventures, a marathon if you will, while working on a big kindness project for the fall (which I can’t wait to share!) and we found ourselves at the library. (with a gaggle of kids, dear friends and neighbors) This little outing was after the free slurpee day which meant it was almost impossible to be quiet, but we did our best- there was just mass amounts of excitement over red and blue frozen drinks and new books!

So here’s the mission:

1. Take your trusty little post-it note pad to the library.

2. Leave encouraging notes on the covers and inside of books. (my friend Jen and I couldn’t get out the self-help parenting section!)

3. Trust the universe to send the right book and message to just the right person!

The best part is, you don’t even have to have a library card, or check anything out for this mission, perfect for a library slacker like me! 

If you decide to do this mission, leave us a link to your blog or pictures in the comments…or upload the pics to the Guerrilla Goodness Flickr Pool!Check out more Guerrilla Goodness missions here!

It’s been sweltering, that Virginia kind of southern heat. All I can think about when things are so sticky is

1. I think Virginia might even be hotter than Miami.
2. Somewhere right now Ashley Judd is makin’ a movie with her glistening self with magnolias in the background. I wish I glistened, but we pretty much sweat around here.

We were hankerin’ for some popsicles so off we went to buy a ridiculous amount for both ourselves and Monroe Park. Monroe Park is sort of a haven for homeless folks in our town but is also right next to a university and smack dab in the city. Lots of people that might be interested in some fruity frozen sweetness.

We didn’t have any guerrilla goodness cards with us so Josiah made that awesome sign to stick on the box and MacGyver-ed it with a band-aid at the top. See it? It’s amazing what you can find in the glove box in a pinch, if only there had been some wipes in there it would have been awesome!

I do not really think about what we are doing when we go on kindness adventures, I don’t think about the impact or the purpose…we just sort of go and be in the moment, we meet people, collect stories, play…but this day it was almost as if I was just observing, watching over and it all hit me at once.

My little girls had no fear once we got going, nothing holding them back to connect with folks, offer what we had, become friends. I realized they had absolutely no idea that most of the people they were talking to probably had mental health issues, or struggle with addiction or even that they were homeless…it was just about popsicles, like you would pop a squat with a friend at preschool or tell your dad’s co-worker all about your new stuffed animal. This kind of touched me, seeing their innocence that comes with their age but also realizing, they have done this so many times, met so many people, they don’t really know any different…this is life, a hot summer afternoon.

I felt sort of proud, in that mother look-at-my-babies kind of way… hoping that when they get old, they will be able to make friends anywhere, feel at home in the world and in their heart… see, appreciate and know the beauty of love all around.

An adventure for you:

It’s hot almost everywhere!! Take a box of popsicles to the playground or park and pass them out.

Have fun and tell us how it went in the comments if you decide to play!

*Disclaimer*- go at your own risk- go to a place you are familiar with and feel safe! Not everyone feels safe or comfortable mixing with strangers or a public place, it’s okay! You can take a box to the office, or your play date/group, or even the neighborhood!

(I also noticed how much I did NOT want to take pictures of this one, it felt weird…you don’t always have to document, sometimes it’s better to just be.)

fields of kindness…

May 11, 2011

berries from Gallmeyer Farms

it’s the field…

it’s the wind…

it’s the beauty of growing…

it’s someone’s hands in the dirt…

it’s labor…

it’s bold red peeking out from a green leaf…

it’s the harvest…

it’s the Marlboro man, watching over his dog and field…

it’s long and late afternoons dancing with the sun…

it’s feeling as if the earth is conspiring to love me with her bounty…

it’s sweet, nature’s candy…

it’s memories of swollen bellies, and carrying babies on my back…

it’s my soul revived…

it’s spring returned and promises of summer…

I can’t tell you how all of me gets rearranged and made right when I go for the first day of picking berries. Because I know, it is just the beginning of a long, wonderful season. I sing the in field, I watch my children play, I feel close to the earth and my truest self, I can barely wait to give them away, I feel so connected to everything…it is the ultimate kindness to me and one I have no trouble receiving.

*sigh* I can’t even TRY to not be cheesy about it all…I am totally smitten. Here are the little giveaway boxes from the first pick. You can find the origami tutorial here. I use heavy cardstock like you use for scrapbooking- works fantastic!

If you are in Richmond…and you need a little something extra this week. Write me at (include an address) and I will Ding Dong Ditch you a small box of strawberries from the fields of kindness…for reals!

May your ultimate kindness, whatever it is for you, find you today!

She knows me oh so well…I was ding dong ditched today with these beautiful dahlias, not for me but SO for me.

My dear friend and commune member Jen left these on my doorstep, she just knew, somehow, what would bring me perfect joy on this Mother’s Day. And so we went, so spontaneously, hopped in the car with Jen and her mom to Ding Dong Ditch flowers on doorsteps in our neighborhood, we took a couple kids and even a dog. Along the way we passed Susan, in her front yard in her pajamas, so she hopped in. No holds barred like she had done this every day of  her life, she knew just which houses of mothers we should DDD. Some we knew, others we didn’t. Let me tell you, four belly laughing women, one pair of pajamas, one dog with her head out the window and tongue flapping in the wind, 2 expert kindness kids and 6 dahlias, I was so blissed the frick out… 

And this is what mothers do for each other, this is how we hold one another in kindness and love, this is how we nod with the knowing, how we live everyday together, side by side…and care so deeply, give from the deep well, how we keep going.

Everywhere I turned, there seemed to be some form of love staring back at me…and oh to be loved! I hope you felt it yesterday too…just in case it was one of the hard years, or your heart is still needing/wanting more, here are a few more messages from our community kindness project- The Great Wall of Motherly Kindness: (I’m sure one of these is meant for you…)

Be so kind to yourself today in this post-mother’s day re-entry…we all could use it.

Thanks SO very much to Sheri and Franklin Goose for being partners and agents of kindness in the world!!! Love you!


I love chalkboards, I love them so much! (and we know how I feel about the magic of chalking!) I love writing on black, that nothing is permanent, how bright or simple or strong a message can be. I keep a small chalk board on my front porch, and every month I leave a message for myself and for whoever else might be strolling by.

It is good to see over and over again, to pass by and soak in the things I am hoping to know, trust or live. So Mother’s Day is quickly approaching and I started to wonder about the messages you most need to know when you are a mom.
Some years you really need to know all you are and have held are seen…appreciated and loved, other years it’s light and celebratory, some times reflective and hard, it can be all kinds of things. Truly.

This got me thinking…I love eavesdropping on kid’s conversations, the way they talk to other kids, how honest they are . You laugh and know whatever it is, it’s the truth.
So I had an idea, I wondered if together as a kid to some mom some where, WE could write our messages to our moms or to any mom, when they read it, they will know which message was for them, no matter who wrote it. It would be a community art/kindness project- The GREAT Wall of Motherly Kindness.
I reached out to my friends at a local retail store here in Richmond, Franklin Goose and asked if they would like to partner with me. I was so happy Sheri was down with the idea, but not surprised, she is kind like that!

So here’s how you can be part of the the GREAT Wall of Motherly Kindness:
1. If you live in RVA, please go do something nice for yourself in Carytown, drop by Franklin Goose and write your message on the wall or chalk the sidewalk! Kids are invited too- kid art is the best kindness to mothers! The wall will be up from now until Mother’s Day! (May 8th)
2. If you aren’t local, leave a message in the comment section or on my Facebook or Twitter pages and we will add your message to the wall! Don’t worry, I will friend or follow back! 🙂
3. Start your own wall! Do you have a place in your community where you could put a blackboard? I bet the friends in your city or town would love to share the love! We can also use your twitter feed as our virtual blackboard by using the hashtag #motherlykindness. Or add your blackboard, sidewalk message pictures to the Guerrilla Goodness Flickr Pool. …OR even head over to your mama’s house, grandma’s house, or some one that has been a mother to you and leave a chalk message for her!
4. Check back for pictures- yours and ours, we’ll be posting them all week!

Check out the wall and the all the buzz to love:

Behind the scenes: the real kindness story

Sheri so graciously got one blackboard going and then I started working on finding an old school rolling blackboard. It is at this point I must share with you how crazy kindness things unfold in my life. I was late for an appointment and school pick up, babysitting fell through, one huge chaotic event after the other, life as usual. I knew we needed the GREAT wall (i.e. blackboard) but had NO idea where I was going to find one or get it to the store. In the chaos of the tardy pick up, I quickly asked my dear friend Jean (L’s preschool teacher) if she had one we could borrow.
2 minutes later, she rolls this bad boy out in the parking lot! I start to laugh, there is no way I could take it. I don’t know what I thought I was going to do when I asked. She so kindly offered to bring it to my house for me. When she got to my house, she let me know the church just happened to be getting rid of some things that very day and the blackboard was mine to keep! My kindness brain was exploding with ideas. After all that, she asked all the right questions to reveal I had no way to transport it and she and Don took it to the store for me.

I can’t tell you how touched I am EVERY time, it is like this over and over again…and every time I am just as amazed by the power of kindness. SO thank you, THANK YOU Jean and Don…for such kindness to me.

Can’t wait to read your messages….much motherly love to you all!