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Dear Volunteer,

You take the time to do something for someone else.  That’s why you should receive a standing ovation during this National Volunteer Week. Doesn’t matter what you do or for whom. What matters is that you make the lives of others better.

There are thousands of volunteer opportunities listed on sites like VolunteerMatch and HandsOn Twin Cities  Or you can create your own opportunity by offering a friendly smile and sincere hello to everyone you meet.

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Thank a Teacher

Before teachers and staff went on their well-deserved spring break, we wanted to thank them for the tremendous job they do each day to educate children.  As a volunteer at Partnership Academy, I have the privilege of seeing these amazing individuals in action. Every student is treated with respect and a whole lot of caring.

Our token of thanks includes coffee purchased from the San Lucas mission and cookies from the Cookie Cart. This allows us to also support the efforts of coffee growers in Guatemala and helps provide employment skills to teens who work at the Cookie Cart.  My husband and daughter helped add a few fun little extra treats.

Soon after delivering gift bags, we received several messages of delight.  Lisa Hendricks, Executive Director said: What an amazing and generous gift. We are so thankful and overwhelmed with gratitude!”  Randi Weiland, Literacy Coach commented: “Thank you …
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Kudos to International Women

I’ve had the privilege of knowing some amazing women from around the world.  Twenty years ago, I sponsored Brenda, a young girl in Kenya who wrote beautiful letters and was one of the first in her area to attend college.   A few years later, I was matched with Laura and had a chance to meet her while visiting Paraguay.  Today Laura is also a mother living in Argentina.  Thanks to social media, I’ve been able to continue these connections.

Kudos to the wonderful women in San Lucas, Guatemala (photo above).  We had an opportunity to witness their beautiful smiles while visiting several years ago.  Now we support their efforts by purchasing the great coffee they produce —  Cafe Juan Ana – Cafe Juan Ana Coffee

I would like to add my heartfelt thanks to the birthmothers of our children in Korea and Paraguay. Without them, we would not be blessed …
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The Joy of New Citizenship

“We were so happy” is how Thushanth described the feelings his family felt upon arriving in America.  Learning about their journey from Malaysia was an eye-opening experience.  Despite the years it took to become citizens, the message they wish to send is “We are blessed! Others can build a life here by simply being patient and working hard.”

Shortly after their arrival in Minnesota, they brought food to the Arrive Ministries office in thanks for the assistance they received in finding housing, jobs and completing the paperwork to apply for their citizenship. What great examples of scattering kindness!

As an Arrive Ministries media volunteer, I now have a wonderful opportunity to interview refugees and document their stories.

Read full article:  https://arriveministries.org/new-citizenship-home-ownership/



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Valentine Challenge

Chocolates?  Special dinner?  A little box of conversation hearts?

We may have received and treasured them all, but what if this Valentine’s Day was the one where you surprised a perfect stranger with a small token of love.

Buy a bag of little chocolate hearts and put a few in your pocket.  Whether you are at school, work, or out on an errand, drop off a heart in a conspicuous place — on a desk or at a restaurant inside the folder when you’ve paid your bill.  Better yet, hand a heart to someone and simply say “Here’s a little treat for you” or “Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!”

In how many places can you scatter some Valentine kindness?


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Scatter A Seed

Wild flowers often appear in unlikely places after someone has scattered some seeds. They may never even know they sprouted. Kindness can also grow and multiply from your one tiny seed.

A stranger hears you say hello. So they smile at the next person they pass. That individual decides to take time to stop and chat with their neighbor about a good book they read. Soon the neighborhood is putting up little free libraries in their community.  That’s where a little boy picks up a book about kids living in Africa. He asks his Mom if he can send his allowance to the kids who don’t have books.  Amazed at his generosity, the Mom posts about her son’s initiative, and soon there are many kids in Africa learning to read.

And it all started with a simple “hello.”

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Said A Rich Man

             In a poem about giving, well-known author, Khalil Gibran, stated:

Then said a rich man, “Speak to us of Giving.”
And he answered:
You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

Like kindness, snow brings beauty and peacefulness. It doesn’t discriminate as it covers the world. When scattering kindness, we get the chance to beautify the world around us.

Share some winter kindness. Leave a message in the snow. Drop off some warm socks or scarves at a shelter. Clear the windows on a random car. You get the idea.

No snow in your backyard? Simply scatter some joy.


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Candy Canes & Puppy Dogs

Candy canes to share and plush puppies to hug were the highlights of today in kindergarten.

Each Monday and Thursday I have the distinct honor of helping these amazing students learn to read. During our time together, I get to hear their stories, and enjoy some fun times.

Because I believe Christmas is a time for sharing, everyone was given a bag of candy canes and treats which they can share with their family. To brighten their break away from school, a little puppy dog is now in their backpack.

A treasured gift I received today, in addition to many heartfelt hugs, was a framed drawing signed by each kindergartener and a beautiful towel with a beautiful saying.   Many thanks to all the wonderful students and teachers!




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