August 2011-
I am starting a 29-Day Challenge to give one gift each day and see how it affects my life. I have always considered myself a giver, but I feel this challenge will challenge and focus me on giving more. I was inspired by the book 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving can Change your Life. I ran across it 2 years ago in a bookstore in Springfield, MO, and I titled a piece of paper 29 Gifts. I found that same piece of paper the other day, and I saw it as a sign to start the challenge. You can learn more about the book and challenge at

After 1 month of giving, I have continued this challenge in giving and sharing the stories with others. Hope you enjoy reading about my adventures with giving!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 6: Spending Time with the Kiddos at Boys and Girls Club

Today my gift was spending time with the youth in our community at Boys and Girls Club in Manhattan.  I have been volunteering there this summer, and it has been a great experience.  Today was an extra great day volunteering.  I volunteer for two hours each Tuesday, so I get to meet lots of kiddos eager for attention and fun.  Today I met a young girl that I will call J.  She was sitting out and not participating in the activity planned.  I sat down next to her and introduced myself.  She said she just wanted to go home.  I started asking her about herself, and we started talking about our favorites (food, color, etc.)  She then started telling me about school and how she was going to be in 2nd grade.  J thinks she is going to like her new teacher because she kinda looks like her old teacher and that's a good thing.  I love little kid logic :)  Anyways, she instantly brightened up when I asked her if she liked to read.  She went to the library and picked out two books for us to read together.  The first I read to her, and the second we took turns reading.  J struggled reading basic words, but she tried her hardest to sound them out.  She didn't get frustrated and enjoyed the story as we took turns reading.  When it was time for her group to move stations, she didn't want to leave my side.  I told her I needed to stay in my assigned area, and how I enjoyed our time together.  She gave me the biggest grin, and I could see I had made her day.  The thing was that her smile had made mine.  Find someone from your work, school, home, or neighborhood that is sitting on the sidelines as my little friend was.  Give them some of your time, and show them that they are noticed and you care.  Who knows, you might just make their day and yours a little brighter! 

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