Sunday, November 17, 2013

45 Acts of Kindness: The Recap

I don't have an exact count, but based on texts, emails, Facebook posts and conversations, I'm certain we surpassed our family's goal of 450 kind acts in memory of Steve.

All over Frisco, and Texas, and the United States, and even the world, folks were going out of their way to make life brighter for others.

A couple of days after Nov. 4, Katie was reading the blog on her iPod Touch. She would exclaim things like, "This one's from Oklahoma!" and "There was one in Seattle!" and "Did you know they were doing this in Canada?"

Cooper, Katie and I were smiling all week, thrilled with the response and touched by the kind souls who surround us.

An incredible side effect of this big celebration: Cooper and Katie are gaining new appreciation for their Daddy's legacy. Many of their Steve memories are fading. They talk about how they don't remember his voice. They don't recall small, daily details of life with their Daddy.

Truly, that breaks my heart.

But they do know that he was the kind of man who still inspires people today -- to be giving, silly, funny, a little mischievous and a whole bunch of loving.

Truly, that warms my soul.

Thank you, kind family members, friends and friends-we-don't-yet-know, for celebrating with us! We can't wait for 46 Acts of Kindness, Nov. 4, 2014.

Links to the blog posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20

Part 21

Part 22

Part 23

Part 24

Link to the Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

45 Acts of Kindness: Part 24

From Tricia of Frisco:

Emma, Will and I brought a bouquet of flowers to the Plano Presby nurses station and asked that they give them to a patient who'd been there a while without visitors or flowers.


From Gina of Plano:

Kent and I made a donation to the American Cancer Society for research in memory of Steve and for 45 Acts of Kindness. We've lost so many loved ones through the years (my uncle just this past April) and have so many friends and family either currently facing this disease themselves or facing it with a loved one. We hope/pray research will one day put a stop to a disease that takes way too many far too soon. Thanks for giving us this opportunity! We so admire what you've done to remember Steve and to help others. You and your kiddos are true inspirations! :)


Update from Beatrice:

I was able to deliver the bag of food to the family outside of target... as i was leaving a gentleman pulled up and handed her some cash.... hope they have a good dinner tonight.....


From Marilie of Cypress:

Donated a huge bag of candy in honor of Steve to Cypress Cares to send to troops overseas. 


From Amy:

I saw my friend walking to work today and picked her up. She bought me a coffee.


From Nicole in Vancouver:

Finally! We made it out. I wanted it to be a family thing. Concession at the rink where we bought an instructor her snack then left the sweet concession lady a few dollar tip. Next went to McDonalds where we bought the orders for the 2 cars behind ours. Gave the print out and the brief story...hope it brightened their day In Memory of Your Husband/Daddy's birthday! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

45 Acts of Kindness: Part 23

From Toya in Minnesota:

Here's what I did in recognition of 45 Acts of Kindness ... treats for my colleagues on a gloomy Minnesota Monday, drove a friend home from work so she didn't have to take a bus and made a donation to St. Jude's. Thank you for inviting me to participate. Always honored to do so.


From Denise in Frisco:

We did two acts yesterday. We paid for a prescription for an hourly employee whom we love and is uninsured. We also gave a 20 dollar tip to a gentleman at Subway who is amazing and so kind! Thanks for letting us honor Steve. It was our honor!


Just after Katie and I arrived home from school, one of our dear friends was at the door, carrying homemade chocolate cake. Thank you, Jakob, for the delicious treat! (As Cooper says, "It doesn't even taste like it was made by a fifth-grader.")


From Renee:

This year I went through my day looking to extend kindness through my normal interactions. I gave a high school student an $8 tip when he brought my vanilla diet coke at Sonic. I gave someone a box (several packages) of gum because they are always supplying others with gum. I was reminded of the importance of appreciating those God brings my way...every day. I shared Steve's story and people were touched by his life.


From Lori:

Left a $50 tip on a $50 ticket for a waitress who works 2 full-time jobs.


From DeLois in Frisco:

Last year I gave to my church to help with families in need. This year I gave Starbucks gift cards to our school office staff, our school nurse, and our school custodians.


From Uncle Greg in Anna:

We checked up on and spent time with an elderly neighbor who loves company.


From Cortney in Minnesota:

Daughter made glitter smiley faces on the back of our 45act cards and handed out cookies to the kids at the park. mom brought coffee for the adults. we had a blast and spread the word about faith love kindness and steve. after having a bad day it was a great way to lift my spirits and i left the park with a smile i just couldn't get off my face. thanks steve.

45 Acts of Kindness, Part 22

From Melane in Anna:

Trash Day! Our three garbage collectors will find a little suprise with our trash today. I left them each a Subway gift card attached to a thank you note. Happy Birthday, Stevie D! I love how your specialness has become contagious!


From Jim (Steve's dad!) in Dallas:

I gave a gift card to Magic Time Machine to our new Preschool Director. She has been doing a great job ... and is planning for the future. She has 2 young children and was excited because this would give their family a chance to enjoy a fun time together.


From Ben in Dallas:

A donation to the Red Cross in memory of Steve.


From Paige in Minnesota:

I baked cookies yesterday and delivered them to neighbors.....all because Steve touched my life. Sending lots of love from Minnesota!


From Renae in Edmond, Okla.:

Kids made cards and we put together a "bit of sunshine" care package for my niece who's a freshman at Emporia State University!  :)


From Judie in Fort Worth:

Baked Pumpkin Muffins for two sweet families yesterday! Thanks, Tyra, for giving us the chance to love others in honor of Steve and also for you and your precious, amazing kids. Coop and KT are such a blessing to all of us.


From Tracy in Carrollton:

I was getting my afternoon large iced tea from McDonald's today which presented me the opportunity to buy lunch for the young man in the car behind me in honor of Steve. What a privilege for me to get to participate in this! 


From Peter:

Some cash in an envelope taped to a snack machine, courtesy of Steve Damm.


From Susan:

I brought breakfast and afternoon treats for my day long meeting today.


From Stacy in Frisco:

My kids and I dropped fruit and a gift card for groceries at Frisco Fire Station #2 in memory of Steve.


From Suzanne:

Paid for the 2 people behind me in the drive thru at Tim Horton's.

45 Acts of Kindness: Part 21

From Stella in Plano:

I started a day early. Took a family member who doesn't have transportation and on a limited income to run errands and then bought her lunch. When she offered to pay for my gas, I told her it was my treat. Today, I invited a friend to go with me to an event and didn't let her pay when she offered to cover the parking. She told me after that it made her day because she hadn't been out in awhile. I told her all about 45 Acts of Kindness.


From Jason in Lewisville:

I was gifted a Starbucks GC by someone anonymously. On my way home, I swung by Starbucks figuring I could maybe use the GC to spread some more love. I bought the coffee for the person in front of me in the drive thru. When I explained the premise to the barista, he was moved by it and decided my coffee should be free!


From Suzanne in Frisco:

A friend contacted me to schedule a get together but suggested Starbucks instead of meeting for lunch as her family is trying to save some money. So I took her to lunch and told her about Steve and 45 Random Acts of Kindness. Was good to see a friend and spread some joy.


From Sarah in Frisco:

I started my morning by buying breakfast at Chick-Fil-A for the gentleman behind me. Then on to a local elementary school that is in need of reading books for struggling kids. I asked them to distribute them as they see fit. Then to my own kids' school with sweet treats and classroom games for their teachers. And finally, I delivered many of my recently read magazines to a friend coming home from the hospital and off her feet for awhile. My intentions were to make other people smile, but I think I was the one with the biggest smile by the end of the day!


From Wendi in Frisco:

I took Sonic drink orders yesterday for all of Sophie's teachers (current and past) at her preschool and Sophie and I are delivering them this morning.


From Sharon in Anna:

Since I was working at the hospital, I chose to find opportunities of kindness acts. I sang a song about Jesus with a man on dialysis, comforted a scared 10 year old boy who was getting an IV, prayed with a woman who had a double mastectomy after she shared her story. I think these patients were doing acts of kindness with me as well, because I saw grace, humility and strength personified.


From Joanie in Lewisville:

Today, I'll take homemade lunch to the loving and kind Lynn Carroll, who was Katie's teacher when Steve passed away and my daughter's teacher when we lost our son in the same year. She was a bright spot in an otherwise heart-wrenching time and we knew our kids were well taken care of! Thank you "Mrs. Carroll!"


From Jeanne in Frisco:

We gave a friend a gift card and your note. Within minutes she was telling me how she was going to give a friend who rescues animals a gift card. It's amazing how these acts of kindness for Steve continue to inspire so many people.

45 Acts of Kindness, Part 20

From Marbella:

Today I paid for a random person's prescription at the pharmacy. So happy I was able to participate in such a great gift of giving!


From Ellie in Frisco:

Ready to go pay it forward.


From Kelly in Frisco:


From Dallas in Seattle:

When no one else wanted to do it, I organized a donation drive among friends and collected money for flowers for a friend in mourning.


Someone (some people?) arranged for fresh-baked cookies and cold milk to be delivered to me at school today. Thank you, kind mysterious one(s)!


On Katie's list: Leave $1 at the vending machine in the teacher's workroom, hoping to treat someone to a drink.

We spent some of the rainy afternoon making deliveries -- brownies to some neighborhood families and Starbucks gift cards to strangers.


We came home from school to find that someone -- clearly someone who reads my Facebook posts -- had left a tiny Christmas tree for Katie, who has been asking that we start decorating for Christmas since 4:58 p.m. Oct. 31.


We ate dinner with friends and listened to live music by a group of talented classical artists, including our dear friend Tammy, who is also Katie's violin instructor. The trio played Pachelbel's Canon in D in memory of Steve. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

45 Acts of Kindness, Part 19

From Rick in Fort Worth:

$45 in gas to random stranger Brian at 7-11 on the corner of University Drive and Berry Street. Rolled in on fumes, he said. Drove away vowing to pay it forward with a random act of kindness of his own to someone else.

For you, Steve.
Blessings to you, Tyra, Cooper, KT.


From Haley in France:

For Steve day, I dropped off 5€ and a handful of Steve cards at the English Club at my university in France. Each coffee costs 40 cents, so I told them to pay for as many coffees as they could for the customers they would have that morning and to give them each a card. (They also posted a card on the door to the club.) They were touched! I just checked in at the end of the day, and the girl who I gave the cards to this morning told me that everyone was surprised and happy about their free coffee.


From Mary of Plano:

I'm traveling (San Francisco) so left an extra large (100%) tips with a couple of cabbies today. Just got dropped off by one who said, "Thank you for your generosity. Have a beautiful night." 


From Cassie in Anna:

Today we made the decision to give the stray dog that found us two weeks ago a trip to the vet so he could get a good grooming. Unfortunately he couldn't get the shots and we were told he has heartworms very bad. We decided to make this stray now known as Buddy ours. He may not live long but we think he should be comfortable, pain free and have a second chance at life. Fingers crossed he makes it and that he is here to celebrate 46 Acts of Kindness. Blessings.


From Heather in Frisco:

We took flowers to the senior residents of Sunrise of Frisco to add a little sunshine to their day.


From Amy in Dallas:

No pictures this time but we: Purchased coffee for a stranger, sent dessert to a table of ladies at lunch, and gave flowers to an incredibly grateful elderly woman in the Tom Thumb parking lot. We're continuing the fun tomorrow by giving fresh banana bread to the always smiling crossing guard on the corner.


From Judy:

Today, I gave a bottle of Champagne to Ruthann and Bill Laswick, to toast, two people whose graciousness has no limits. We met two years ago when I began taking care of their four dogs and six cats whenever they went out of town. It turned into so much more.....they gave me a home to live in when I had no where else to go and gave me a job when I had so much trouble finding work. But the interesting part of our relationship is their son, Zack, who loves God, and has unknowingly through his worship, given me the strength to pray and believe again.


From Susanna:

Bought breakfast for a couple of people at McDonalds this morning & then a friend of mine! Happy Birthday Steve!


From Rebekah:

Addison got in on the act and put in her dollar for a treat for someone.


From Deborah:

I gave a gift certificate for Starbucks to a newly single mother of three with an encouraging note. I put on the bottom so she would know why I picked her. Giving is great! Blessings to you for thinking of such a great way to honor such great love.


From Jeri in Oregon:

I got my co-workers here in Oregon involved. None of them ever met Steve, but were enthusiastic about celebrating his life in this way! We joined together and I delivered two vases of flowers and numerous toys to the Oncology ward at Doernbecher Children's Hospital. I didn't take pictures out of respect for the children, but they were happy to have some new toys.


From Allison in Dallas:

Because W.T. White High School was Steve's alma mater, I took hot chocolate and scones to the front office staff and left a supper gift card for a young mother who teaches ESL classes, coaches the swim team with 6 a.m. practices, and sponsors the junior class. Horns Up!


From Lisa in Frisco:

Max super excited to give the firemen something to "cool" off with.

Of course we couldn't leave out our "cool" police officers.


From Ramona:

We gave Ms. Barber the counselor a Gift Card to Starbucks!

Of course we couldn't forget our favorite Math teacher Ms. Shepard!


From Anne in Ann Arbor:

I love this. Wish I had known about it sooner. But I'm going to put money in the vending machine and leave a note for the next person right now!


From Christine in Frisco:

Brady wanted in on the action. Left some quarters for some other kids! If course he had to get some too!


From Linda:

I purchased coffee and a pretzel for the woman behind me in line this morning. She showered me with hugs and said I made her day. She then purchased coffee for the lady behind her.


From Elizabeth in Massachusetts:

I put some money in an envelope and tapped it to the vending machine at the hospital.


From Claire:

I went to a depressed neighborhood in town and bought breakfast at McDonalds for the car behind me in the drive through, and instructed the cashier to hand the gentleman Steve's card. He was so excited that he pulled up behind me, while I waited at the window to get my tea, and started honking his horn and waving. He followed me about 2 miles down the main drag before I turned off to go to the post office, and honked as he went on down the road. I'd say, he really liked that surprise. I have another card, I just have to decide what other, different act of kindness I will do today. But the first one was a thrill!

45 Acts of Kindness, Part 18

From Beatrice:

There is a man, woman and their three children that stand on the corner near the entrance to Target. Today I was going to do a random act of kindness in memory of Steve Damm but they were not there. I will keep the food in the car until I see them again. My biggest act of kindness was kindness itself .. I tried harder today to be kind to everyone. I did not know Steve, but I know Tyra and that is enough for me ... so Happy Birthday Steve Damm.


From Beth in Plano:
Left a gift card for my hardworking teaching assistant.

Bought sodas for the staff of The North Texas Daily.


From Ro in Frisco:

1. Brought donuts in today for coworkers.

2. The kids & I filled 10 shoe boxes for less fortunate children around the world for Christmas (The Samaritan's Purse).

Happy Birthday Steve!


From Russell in Dallas:

We had a chance to help with the check tonight for some fellow patrons at dinner. They found us before we left and asked why. After we told them, the waitress told us she would check the page out and do her part. Glad to be a part of the legacy.


From Greg in Michigan:
Going to hear a bandmate solo tonight with the Wayne State Wind Symphony. This couple behind me at the box office had their tickets paid for.


From Abigail:

Paid for someone's Target goodies today. I am sure she was irritated by me pushing the shopping cart in front of the credit card swipe, and was absolutely shocked when she saw me swipe my card. The cashier was confused too. I loved their faces during & after! I'm doing this in honor of Steve and Stevie, but especially my friend, Karen…whose lives were taken too soon by Brain Cancer!


From Joe:

I bought my bandmates pizza. And left the waitress a nice big tip. We miss you, Steve.


From Libbie in Frisco:
It's parents observation week at our studio which can be very exhausting for our teachers and staff, so Landon and Campbell gave the teachers and staff Starbucks gift cards as a little pick up!!!


From Roz in Frisco:

We brought two travelers of hot chocolate from Starbucks to the football game. Passed out 20 hot chocolates to cold Pioneer fans.


From Laura in Hawaii:
Supporting the whales with a donation in honor of Steve!

From Stacy in Frisco:

My kids and I dropped fruit and a gift card for groceries at Frisco Fire Station #2 in memory of Steve.


From Christy:

At the request of our 7 year old daughter, we purchased 10 flowers for her to hand out at school tomorrow with copies of the note. We also packed a pack of clothes to take to the mission. We are honored to be apart of this wonderful event to share love with others in honor of your husband!


From Michael:

Bought a classmate coffee today.


From Rebecca:

Posted cash to the vending machine at the office!


From Michelle:

We purchased snacks and wrote notes to soldiers in Afghanistan. We paid for an extra box to be shipped alongside a neighbors. My girls were excited to give the soldiers most of their Halloween candy! It's so much nicer to give than receive!


From Myssie:

My son Austin and his third grade class at Groves Elementary collected Halloween candy to give to a classmate who'd seriously injured her foot and was unable to participate in Trick or Treat activities.


From Jennie in Michigan:

I paid for the car behind me at the drive thru and gave the 45 card to the clerk to give to them with their food. The coffee at work is not the greatest, so I bought fancy coffees and teas for our three Ann Arbor locations and posted the 45 card. Thank you for letting us all be a part of this and remember Steve in such an awesome way!

45 Acts of Kindness, Part 17

From Crystal in Prosper:

Today I organized the Bledsoe lost and found and returned the labeled items to their rightful owner. I was also the recipient of 2 different 45 Acts of Kindness on behalf of Steve. Happy Birthday Steve!


From Rob in Frisco:

Played in a golf tournament for work today.  He bought mulligans for his entire foursome and told them about what you are doing in honor of Steve and also gave the cart girl a really big tip to brighten her day.


From Julianne in Frisco:

I really wanted to do something "big" today in honor of Steve, but instead we ended up with a bunch of "little" acts that hopefully brightened many people's day. I gave the young carhop at Sonic an extra big tip today when I got your drink and she was so shocked.  She got tears in her eyes and could not believe she really got to keep the change.  I also gave the cashier at Which Wich some extra money and a "Steve" note and asked him to use it to buy someone's lunch that came in after me.  I also made another trip to Sonic (for myself this time) and gave the carhop another extra tip.  I noticed that it was the same guy that Liz tipped and took a picture of so hopefully he had an extra nice day!  The girls helped me make pumpkin bars for their dance teacher and they took it to her at dance class tonight.  They said she was really surprised and happy and said she could not wait to pay it forward and do something similar for someone else.  Finally, the kids really worked hard to be kinder to each other tonight.  I had challenged them all to come up with their own acts of kindness, thinking they would want to do something out of the house, but it was really nice to see them help fix dinner for each other and go out of their way to be nice to their own sibling for once! 


From Lisa in Hawaii:

Made a donation to Maui Friends of the Library, which runs this bookstore behind a historic school in the middle of a sugar cane field. The volunteer thought the event to honor Steve was a great idea!


From Brandie in McKinney:

Dedicated the yoga class I taught tonight to Steve and told them about him.


From Jamie in Dallas:

My act was giving two of my yoga teachers and two fellow students their choice of post-class beverage. They all said they would pay it forward! So happy to be a part of a beautiful way to remember Steve.


From Tracy in Carrollton:

I celebrated a little early. Saturday morning, Nov. 2nd, I got with a group of neighbors & we all worked in another neighbor's yard who had recently been widowed. My job was to plant beautiful flowers in the big pots on her porch. She was so thankful & her yard looks beautiful.


From Cory:

I did my act of kindness today, and wouldn't you know it - it already came back around. Found this on my front porch tonight. Clearly, there are angels among us.


From Beth in Plano:
I awarded bonus points on a quiz to five randomly selected students in my evening class. Then I let them all go home early and asked them to pay it forward.


From Tracy in Carrollton:

This evening, my son Kegan & his roommate Ryan helped a young woman who was having car trouble & needed to get to work. We postponed dinner so that they could help her. They "jumped" her car, & made sure she knew what she needed to do next. I think they made a new friend in the process!


From Ashley in Frisco:

Bought girls at the office Starbucks today ;-) Also purchased very needed therapy equipment for 2 kiddos that are my patients that Medicaid does not cover.


From Frank in Arlington:

This afternoon on the way back from Lawton, OK, where I'd gone to meet my birth mother Betty's stepbrother (loooong story!), I stopped at the Interstate 44 tollbooth just south of Lawton. I gave the attendant $3 for my $1.50 fare and said the extra $1.50 would pay for the next vehicle to come through. I gave him the card and asked him to give it to those folks. A few minutes later, a black truck passed me, its occupants waving and smiling. What a good feeling! Happy day!


From Leslie in Dallas:

My sister Susan called me as I was almost ready to leave work. She asked if I'd like to come over on my way home and play a game of Scrabble with our mom, who just isn't quite herself lately. I almost said no...but guess what I was reading on Facebook when Susan called? Yep, several of Acts of Kindness. So how could I NOT go by? And of course I'm glad I went -- even though, alas, I lost the Scrabble one lousy point! Thank you, Tyra and God bless.


From Christie in Frisco:

This morning I purchased 4 gift cards from a local resale shop and attached an Acts of Kindness card to each. I told the sales clerks to hand them out as they see fit. I get emotional doing this each year and this year was no different. 


From Jenni in Frisco:

I cancelled plans to help a very bummed teammate finish up a project that they had just learned needed major revisions... and would require a very long evening to meet deadline.


From Marti in Frisco:

Today in honor of Steve, I made a donation to MD Anderson.


From Michelle in Frisco:

We bought lunch for the people behind us in the Chik Fil A line (didn't think to take a pic, although I did think that I should open a Chik Fil A that serves Starbucks somewhere between the respective Main and Eldorado locations - oh my!!!), bought take out dinner for my sister across the country in MA, and bought two chickens through World Vision across the globe in the Philippines. What an impact Steve's legacy and your FABULOUS idea is having both near and far!!!

You guys are in our hearts and prayers tonight!


From Audra in Frisco:

Madeline and I bought a stranger a manicure and pedicure tonight at the nail salon.


From Kristen in Frisco:

Today I let two special ladies know how much I appreciate the kindness they show each day. I asked my children to do random acts of kindness for their friends in school. What a blessing this day has been.


From Roy in Abilene:

Dutch and I will be able to visit nursing homes and homebound patients and spread kindness wherever we're welcome as result of her passing her pet therapy final exam with flying colors tonight. Her brother Gipper was certified earlier this year while Dutch was recovering from hip replacement surgery.