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, October 18, 2011

Day 36: Volunteering at Second Helping

Today my gift was giving back to the Manhattan community by coordinating a volunteer opportunity with Second Helping.  Second Helping is a meal prepared by volunteers at the First Congregational Church for those that are homeless or in need.  I recruited eight volunteers to help out with the event.  Two of those volunteers were my friends.  It meant a lot that they came and volunteered with me.  It was such a great experience preparing the meal, serving the meal, meeting new volunteers, and knowing that we all made such a difference by giving our time for those in need.  I realized that we all are going through things in life, but we all need to be aware that someone else might be going down an even rougher road.  We always need to remember that even when we feel like we have nothing to give; we still do.  We have our kind words, our friendship, our hugs, our kindness, and our helping hands reaching out to others and expecting nothing in return.

"This, then, is the test we must set for ourselves; not to march alone, but to march in such a way that others will wish to join us."
-Hubert H. Humphrey
From The Little Book of Positive Quotations that my Brother Jarret so thoughtfully gave to me last Christmas.