Monday, September 14, 2015

#Carlees31 Recap

I don't know if you remember this original post about #Carlees31 or if you follow me on social media and have noticed it, but for my 31st birthday, instead of asking for gifts, I decided I would ask family and friends (and YOU) to do intentional acts of kindness in my honor. I did the project for the 31 days leading up to my birthday.


I thought it would be great to recap the #Carlees31 project - that way if I wanted to do it again (or if others were looking for fun ways to spread kindness) they would all be in one spot.

Day 1 - Mailed a birthday card to a 16 year old cancer patient


Day 2 - Donated some of my running shoes to those in need (although, I have to be honest, it was TOUGH giving them up...)



Day 3 - Wrote and mailed 31 notes to friends (who doesn't love getting snail mail?!)


Day 4 - Created "kindness" packages to give to homeless friends


Day 5 - Served at North Coast Church as Edge Hosts (meet, seat, greet, set-up, tear down, collect the offering, etc)


Day 6 - Spectated a race and cheered on thousands of running strangers


Day 7 - Dropped off flowers to patients having a bad day at a local nursing home


Day 8 - Sent care packages to deployed soldiers


Day 9 - Dropped off new books to a local children's hospital


Day 10 - Donated blood


Day 11 - Dropped off new toys and food to the local Humane Society


Day 12 - Cleaned up our local beach


Day 13 - Ordered some burgers, fries, and cheesecakes from a local restaurant and delivered them to some hungry homeless folks


Day 14 - Baked some homemade cupcakes for a local police department


Day 15 - Made movie packages with candies and popcorn to leave at different Redbox locations around town


Day 16 - Wrote encouraging notes with chalk on our local bike/ running trail


Day 17 - Disneyland Day - Bought an unsuspecting guest a Dole Whip (when it is 95*, it is a MUST to have pineapple soft serve!) and left change at a few penny press machines


Day 18 - Stocked our local bike/ running path with a cooler full of ICE COLD WATER


Day 19 - Had a slumber party for some of our friends' kids


Day 20 - Took a thank you poster and doughnuts to a local fire station


Day 21 - "Hid" some dollar bills around a local Dollar Tree for folks to find


Day 22 - Donated to causes that some of my friends were raising funds for


Day 23 - Volunteered at Feeding America San Diego stuffing lunch bags for kids


Day 24 - Placed Starbucks gift cards on folks car windows while they were eating dinner


Day 25 - Disneyland Day - Gave out fast passes, offered change to folks so they could press pennies, and bought an unsuspecting guest a Churro.


Day 26 - Found families at a Downtown Disney store to give Disney gift cards to so they could buy a few extra souvenirs


Day 27 - Bought dinner for a family at our favorite local restaurant


Day 28 - Blessed a new family with a gift card for free groceries


(And the family that we blessed at the grocery store found me on Instagram and posted about it!)


Day 29 - Taped dollar bills to the vending machines at a local emergency room


Day 30 - Bought car washes from our neighborhood gas station and gave them to folks who were pumping gas


Day 31 - Picked up a bunch of Taco Bell, took it down to the beach, and had a birthday dinner with some homeless friends


I have had some folks ask which day was my favorite. To be honest, they were all AMAZING! I loved being a light and spreading a little extra love to those around me. It's sort of sad how little kindness there is these days, so much so that people are confused when you try to be nice just to be nice... Don't you worry, though, that won't stop me!


But, what was EVEN BETTER than my intentional acts of kindness?! When it SPREAD and YOU ALL started doing your own! Here are just a few of my favorites:

Linzie treated a stranger to free Starbucks

Source@SharpEndurance's Instagram

Megan bought an unsuspecting family dinner

Source@RunMeganRun's Instagram

Dani handed out sunflowers to people on the train

Source: Weight Off My Shoulder's Facebook

Megan gifted some coffee to a stranger

Source@RunMeganRun's Instagram

Kristin left up encouraging notes on the bathroom mirror in her office

Source: @RunnerChick29's Instagram

Dave, Paula, and their kids donated old shoes and money to charities close to their hearts, as well as surprised folks with Starbucks gift cards

Source: @FitFam6's Instagram

Tracy bought groceries for a young mom

Source: @ATurtlesPace's Twitter

Libby bought a mom coffee and her kids chocolate milk at a local coffee shop

Source@MiaCupcake's Instagram

Julie bought a stranger a cup of coffee

Source@JulieThroughTheGlass's Instagram

Jen gave the shopper behind her at the grocery store a gift card to help buy for their food

Source: @PrettyLittleGrub's Instagram

Valarie gave her grandsons' teachers gift cards to help with their expenses

Source@ValarieDDennis' Instagram

Mandie bought gift cards from multiple coffee shops and left them sporadically throughout Chicago

Source@Just_Running_Through's Instagram

Sarah offered to share their table with a couple waiting at a restaurant and then bought their dinner for them while on a date night

Source: Sarah Welch's Facebook

Alicia donated blood

Source: @dishouttawater's Instagram

Luisa handmade cards for friends

Source@WannaBRunning's Instagram

Shelby bought a Starbucks gift card for another coffee drinker

Source@scgiancasp's Twitter

VK picked up an extra pizza for the delivery men that were dropping off her new treadmill

Source:@VK_Davies' Instagram

Dave, Paula, and their kids congratulated a mom in their neighborhood on an award she won with an extra cup of coffee and a handwritten note

Source@FitFam6's Instagram

And last, but NOT least (it is actually the BEST in my opinion), Ms. Everett, who is the sister of the recipient of our grocery gift card, is challenging her students at El Camino High School to do 443 INTENTIONAL ACTS OF KINDNESS (that's their room number) in the next month.

Source@Ms.Everett_ECHS's Instagram

I have honestly been FLOORED by every one's kindness. I wasn't sure how the project would be received - if folks would think I was just looking for accolades or some sort of praise (which, by the way, was the exact OPPOSITE of what I wanted), but for the most part, people "got it" and even started spreading the word through their own acts! You often hear that one person doesn't matter... DON'T BELIEVE THE LIE!




Let's keep the kindness going! I'd love for this to keep growing and spreading - I mean, I am 31 for a full year, right?! Whether that means you do an act of kindness here or there, spend your birthday doing good, set a goal to give to volunteer with your family over the holiday season, etc. Whatever it is, SPREAD LOVE!


What is your favorite way to spread kindness?


Unknown said...


Unknown said...

This was so fabulous, and I am so proud of you for embarking on a journey to spread love and kindness. I try to do it in my little amounts, but this was incredible generosity!

Bain said...

I'm about to turn 31 (again, for like the 11th time) and I may have to steal your birthday idea...

Sally @ Sweat Out the Small Stuff said...

I missed so many of these on Instagram. Thanks for doing this post. I love that you did some acts that didn't involve needing money. Frankly my favorite is the chalk messages. It's the easiest thing to do and could really come at just the right moment.
I'm definitely going to aim to do more. You are beyond an inspiration. Thanks so much for being such a light in this life. :)

Ange @ Cowgirl Runs said...

Carlee, you're amazing!
Such a cheerful spirit and truly a gift to the world! xo

Linz @SharpEndurance said...

THIS is so amazing to see so many people participating in #Carlees31!!!! You are changing the world lady!

Abby said...

I LOVED following this on Instagram. So freaking inspiring.

Unknown said...

I absolutely love that you started this and the domino effect of random acts that it started. I know you aren't looking for accolades but you are amazing!

P.T. said...

Wow, you are amazing. I'm so inspired by your do-goodness that I want to do this too for a complete stranger.

Just started following your blog because of your rundisney posts and was impressed with your mission.

Great job, carlee!

Scarabocchio Girl said...

Amazing Carlee! Spread kindness is priceless but gives you back such a great experience! And your heart is full of happiness now. I think everybody should do at least one random act of kindness.
Here in Italy, especially in the South, when you go to a bar to drink espresso, you can drink one and pay two. For those who can drink one, so they can come inside and ask if there's one free espresso for them. Sometimes, I do this with friends. I go, drink mine and leave one payed for them...