March 2013

Check out all the winners from our March 2013 round of the Semi-Annual Awards for Random Acts!

1st Prize

Crystal has been fostering these puppies since they were still in their momma for the SPCA. She and I coordinated a time to meet up at a local fire hall, rung the bell to see if they were interested and spent some time inside with the dispatchers and then some time outside with the firemen. All of them were thrilled and got to have a chance to talk about some things while snuggling with the puppies. It also helped the puppies with their socialization. Win win! My daughter was somewhat scandalized we didn’t call or ask for permission ahead of time, but it worked out well, though there as an amusing pause when I told the lady who answered the intercom what we were there for.



2nd Prize

This is an act born of GISHWHES teams wanting to continue working together for Random Acts, and this bunny dropping into our lives. KISMET!

The planning core, Jonya, Kerry, Rachel and Melanie, met online in early January and worked out the details. We recruited from GISHWHES teams and from people who we do other charitable work with, and set two work dates that met everyone’s schedules. The workdays were so much fun, with bunnies and kale and chatting and thread and buttons and bunny names and catching-up stories, that they flew by. We enjoyed them so much we had a third workday.

Bunnies were sent to Wisconsin and Missouri to Bunny-ators eagerly waiting!

March 10th saw us divided up into two teams. The main one in Rochester planned to release some of these into the wild for people to find. To help people know that they could have them, there was a tag on each bunny. One side gave the bunny’s name and assured the person ‘this bunny was made with love just for you! Take him home!” The other side stated that this was part of the AMOK Day efforts on behalf of Random Acts, and gave the website.

Others of the bunnies were targeted to a children’s ward at the Mayo Clinic’s St. Mary’s Hospital. You can see a bit about that in our video.

The other team was travelling to Mississippi, and so on AMOK Day was releasing bunnies in their motels, restaurants, rest stops and on the event site. All bunnies had their tags.

We loved this. We want to do other things together, and certainly hope that Random Acts will give us more opportunities to do zany, happy things to make the world a better place.



3rd Prize

In response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Doug, Mike, Mario, and Melody organized the “Come Together for Newtown” benefit concert. The concert served as both a way for the community to heal, as well as a way to raise money for the Newtown Scholarship Association, which will support a graduating Newtown senior who attended Sandy Hook Elementary.

SAARA Smiles

In September 2012 Jen Goellnitz celebrated 5 years clear of Hodgkins, only to get a new tumor in December 2012, followed by some complications. During that first battle with cancer, Jenny ran an average of 100 miles per week, even through her chemotherapy. Running played a key role in saving her life. Literally. One of her greatest running feats was running 214 miles in one week—to commemorate the anniversary of being diagnosed. She. Is. A. Machine.

She’s in recovery from her latest illness and things look good, but many felt that if we could do some small gesture to help her out with the crazy medical bills, well, that would be outstanding.

So, most of us are runners, why don’t we run for her? On our own trails, roads, swamps, treadmills, or mountains. We targeted Saturday, February 23, 2013, as the Run for thelearnedfoot. People all over the world were encouraged to run as much or as little as they’d like, on their own or with a partner or group. But, here’s the catch:

In order to raise money, we printed oval running decal stickers, similar to the 26.2 stickers, to be tacked to a wall, put on a car, or join the other stickers on an ultra box. To support our friend, Jenny, a.k.a. thelearnedfoot, pictures of these stickers and the accompanying orange bracelets were taken all over the world as runners told their friends, who told their friends who invited even more friends until we had over 800 runners running in Jenny’s honor. The money raised will certainly help her, but the knowledge that so many people were thinking of her and sending her positive energy helped even more. Most of us have never met Jenny and likely never will, but knowing that we are part of such a group inspires all of us to keep running and keep caring.

Why thelearnedfoot? It’s a nickname for Jenny which combines her love of law and love of running. It’s also a play on a famous American Judge’s name, The Learned Hand.

Why ORANGE? Because it rocks. And it’s f-a-s-t. Like Jenny!



October 2012

Check out all the winners from our October 2012 round of the Semi-Annual Awards for Random Acts!

1st Prize

Our act was inspired by a simple statement made from a 3-year-old. “I need to send him a monkey.” This statement made by Jenson also inspired his parents to start a program called Monkey Grins. Monkey Grins provides kids dealing with Histio and cancer stuffed monkeys and lollipops to brighten their day. Though we never had the privilege of knowing Jenson, he continues to show us that little things can inspire hope. With Monkey Grins, his legacy of kindness lives on.

“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.” -Albert Pine



2nd Prize

Team Literally made 100 portions of red beans and rice and served it to the homeless in New Orleans. The most moving and grateful was a family unit close to St. Charles Avenue. A mother and a young boy lives here, under a bridge. When we brought them a few extra boxes of food, the boy cheered and said, “yay food.” It took my breath away that an extra box of food would or could produce such happiness from a child. We had a man ask for a bible and another ask for a pair of shoes. We will bring these items this week and a few other needed items. This random act of kindness really put things in perspective for me and my team. Thank you GISHWHES for opening up our eyes.

3rd Prize

The purpose with a random act, is to make people happy. And we in Team Wahy figured that if someone had given us a stuffed animal just out of the blue when we were younger, it would have completely made our day. It was obvious to us that it worked for today’s kids too, since all of the kids smiled and got really happy, and so did their parents. While we were out giving away the toys, we also realized how good it feels to make someone happy like this, and it made us all smile for almost the entire time. We even decided that we had to do things like this more times, since everybody; us, kids, and parents, enjoyed it. Thanks to GISHWHES and Random Acts for making us realize this.



Unexpected Mayhem

Team TARDiS helped out some college students by cleaning their rooms in a very unique way.

SAARA Smiles

Me and my Living Learning Community volunteered at a Ronald McDonald house today and I caught some pretty choice random acts of kindness. We had a whole bunch of fun and really made a difference in some people’s lives.

March 2012

Check out all the winners from our March 2012 round of the Semi-Annual Awards for Random Acts!

1st Prize

We are a bunch of what the media refers to as Real Life SuperHeroes, men and women from the US and Canada who come together during SDCC to put on the biggest homeless outreach event we can. This will be our second year doing this and we have been having trouble raising money. What we plan to do is purchase sleeping bags, and backpacks full of clean clothing, hygenic products, sun protection and other necessities that we will pass out to the homeless population of San Diego in an effort to bring more attention to the cause. The majority of those involved are dressed as their own superheroic persona, we also plan to spend the night before on the streets with these people, watching over them and keeping them safe. We would even like to invite Misha and anyone else to join us in helping on July 14th.



2nd Prize

The act itself, was to raise money to purchase a motorbike, whether new or used. The recipient of the act is a teacher, who teaches holy scriptures to families, and mostly children, at their homes. The person in question is a poor man, middle aged, who commutes via bicycle between two towns, Sharjah (where he resides) and Ajman, which are neighboring Emirates. He charges no regular fee for his teachings, and depends on the donations of the families he teaches for his wages. Under the sponsorship of one of his pupils, he acquired a driving license for a motorcycle, but could not at the immediate point of time afford to purchase one.We, 4 medical students studying at an obscure university (Gulf Medical University) in the Emirate of Ajman, in the United Arab Emirates, were looking for a cause to support to celebrate AMOK, when this man’s story was brought to us. We looked into his situation, met him, spoke to one of the families he taught, and after we were sure of the certainty of his situation as a poor middle aged teacher who was having increasing difficulty commuting to work because of his age, and the brutal weather in the UAE, we decided to attempt and raise funds to help him purchase a motorcycle.The money collection was done at the hospital that we work/study in (GMC Hospital and Research Centre, Ajman), over the period of one week (between the 10th and 17th of March, 2012). The contributors were the doctors and other staff at the hospital itself. We did not have a goal as such, where the amount was concerned, but planned to match whatever we collected upto 3000 AED (Arab Emirate Dirhams). Within that period of time, we managed to collect 3400 AED, and matched it to 3500 AED with our own contributions. That makes it approximately $1000 (US). The act of money collection itself was NOT documented, as we were asked not to video record within the clinics. We did, however, call the teacher to the hospital on the 17th of March, to receive the full amount from us, which was documented with a picture. He purchased a motorcycle within the week, and we have a picture of him with his bike, as well.



3rd Prize

We started at noon on 3/4/2012. First, we went to the Animal Rescue League in Shadyside, Pittsburgh, PA, and donated bowls, toys, etc. We then went to a Kane Glen Hazel Senior Center and played games with the seniors. Then, we drove out to Washington Hospital in Washington, PA and put flowers, a card, fruit and cookies in the nurses’ lounge in the Critical Care Unit. We also gave two plates of cookies to 2 other nurses’ stations. We gave photo prints of my (Heather) photos to staff members and patients with messages written on the back like “Get Well Soon!” to the sick and “Congratulations!” to new moms. We then dropped off clothes at Goodwill. We had collected books for the Washington Citizens Library, which will be donated Wednesday 3/7/2012. At the end of the day, we made cards and taped candy onto them and then hung them on the doorknobs of various apartments in my (Heather) apartment building. We also collected video games for the local Boys and Girls Club and donated kids activity books to a daycare.



Unexpected Mayhem

We begged, pleaded, and offered favors to procure a large pet food donation from a local manufacturer.( So far about 40 pallets.) We then proceeded to beg, plead, and offer more favors to family, friends, friends of friends, coworkers and even strangers, for trucks, muscle, and warehouse space to move and store our haul. We have been distributing the food to local rescue groups, city shelters and food pantries in the state. They in turn can share the food within their communities to those caregivers who need to fill the bellies of their pets.On March 4, 2012 we took some of our haul on the road. We left a bounty of food on doorsteps of random homes with pets. We also left food with some not so random housebound caregivers, some we had helped before some who were new to us. All in all it was a GREAT day! We hope to continue with this help as long as our begging, pleading and favors hold out.



SAARA Smiles

Made homeless care packages, gave animal toys, art and chocolate (for the staff) to the SPCA and gave soap with fish hidden inside to kids and bath salts to grown ups.