Saturday, December 21, 2013

12 Ways of Giving: Jolly Holiday Lights

I took my bf on a date the other night... a girl has to treat her man every once in a while. ;)  We got drinks and appetizers at Mezzodi's (Highly recommend the bruschetta) and then I took him on a lights tour that included the Jolly HolidayLights at Waterworks Park.   

I love Christmas lights, so it was delightful to see the displays for the first time, and the $10 went to the Make a Wish Foundation!

They are open every night through January 1st, so you still have time!! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

12 Ways of Giving: Helping my Mama

I love baking and cooking, and when I lived at home, I used to help my mom out and make dinner, sometimes before anyone even got home from work…  But now that I’m out of town, I don’t get to lend a hand quite as often as I would like.  So when my mom asked for some help catering a party she was having for her clients, I was all over it. 
We baked up some cupcakes, appetizers, roasted grapes, cheeses… It was a great spread and her clients were happy and full.  
Helping out my family is always an easy way of giving. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

12 Ways of Giving: Thanksgiving at CISS

I had the opportunity to lend a hand at the Central Iowa Shelter Services on Thanksgiving.  We had so many buns in the kitchen, I almost felt useless… which is amazing!  To see so many families and young people give up their Thanksgiving to give back was inspiring.  And Sam with Tacopocalypse killed it with the food.  I was salivating as I was serving.  But not into the food… that would have been gross.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

12 Ways of Giving: Shoveling a Drive

This day of giving was special to me, because I was able to team up with my boyfriend and help his parents while they were out of town. 
We had a big snow a few weeks back and Arnold’s parents were out of town, so the walk needed to be scooped.  We teamed up and got the driveway and sidewalk scooped in record time, and got a little workout in!  

Three ways down, and plenty more in the hopper.  What are you doing to give back this season? 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

12 Ways of Giving: Online Auction

My friend Ashley and her husband are adopting a baby, and they have held a few fundraisers to help them fund the adoption and trip.  I had been praying for an opportunity to help them out, knowing I didn’t have much monetarily to give, when they announced a hand-made auction before the holidays. 
My mom and I had a little bag/apron/handmade stuff business a few years ago that didn’t really take off, so we had a lot of stuff still sitting around, so I convinced my mom to grab a few bags and a few bottles of wine to donate to the auction. 
I also donated some cupcakes made to order.  

If you want to help…  a friend of Ashley is putting on an online Norwex party! It lasts until Friday.  Here are the details: 

I (Mindy) am hosting an online Norwex party from today until Friday of this week to bless Nate and Ashley Rippke! They are adopting a precious little boy, Solomon "N", from Ethiopia and are raising funds to get him home as soon as possible!! They have some immediate financial needs that need to be taken care of by the end of this month, so let's bless the socks of this sweet family AND get some amazing Norwex products in the process!!! 40% of ALL sales will go to the Rippke Family!! 40%!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, please, shop, shop, shop!!!!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

12 Ways of Giving! Adopt A Family Round 3!

So I love doing this every year... I find 12 random acts of kindness to do, big or small, leading up to Christmas. 

In the last few years I've done the Adopt a Family through the Boys and Girls Club, I donated some groceries to my church's food pantry, I wrote a letter to a soldier, and one of my favorites, I made cookies for my friends and neighbors.

The special thing about the cookies that year is that my neighbor had colon cancer and he was moved to hospice shortly after Christmas, and I dropped some off for a lady who didn't have a lot of visitors who was really excited to get some treats.  It just made me feel special that I might have brought some joy to people who are struggling. 

Okay, if I keep talking about it, I'm gonna cry...  haha. 

So this year I am pulling together some of my old ideas and adding a few more.  I've gotten some new opportunities and I feel like my attitude towards the holidays has shifted.  It's now more about finding opportunities to bring cheer and blessings to other people, as opposed to waiting for the holiday cheer to find me.  And come to think of it, the "feeling" of the season has found a way to find me.

This year I got a head start at begging my friends and family for help with my Adopt a Family, and WOW, it paid off!  I got a bunch of cash and some awesome gifts from friends and family and this family is going to be decked out.  I even tried to bring it to the Boys and Girls Club a week early on accident... Typical Link fashion.

Thanks to my Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Linda, BFF Danielle, Cutest Boyfriend Ever Arnold and Sue!  And a special shout out to Fisher Nuts for giving me $100 for being a top 10 finalist in their contest... the money came just in time to buy the family a $100 Dahl's gift card! 

Something else worth noting, I always have a twinge of stress wondering how I'm going to pay for gifts for my family and friends if I'm spending so much on my 12 Days of Giving... But the other day something surprised me and let me know I'm doing the right thing. 

It was Cyber Monday, and I had purchased $59 worth of supplies online to make some fun homemade gifts for my friends and family... I figured I had done a pretty good job and could squeeze 3-4 gifts out of that.  I got home and had one piece of mail... a $61 check from an old retirement plan mix-up at my old job.  Almost exactly what I had spent.  God isn't going to let me stress about loving on people... I know I'm doing His work!

Anyhoo, all these great gifts are going to the Boys and Girls Club this week!  The kiddos get to wrap them up and give them to the family.  Hopefully this family got everything they needed and some special things to make this the best Christmas yet!!  (Not showing: scarves, gloves, nail polish and a grocery gift card.)