MMM13 Round-Up: Spreading The Love

July 29th, 2010 - filed under: Furthermore » Monday Monthly Mission


I’m so excited to hear how your month went! The mission was straightforward – do something nice for someone. Straightforward, yes, but not necessarily simple. Just finding a chance for kindness can be quite the challenge! I spent a lot of time searching for opportunities, but in the end I pretty much had to create my own. Here’s what I did.


This is the coffee stand at our Farmer’s Market where Damian gets his Saturday fix. They’re awesome and there’s always a long line. The baristas are great and they serve fancy fair-trade coffee, dripped to order.

A few weeks back we waited in line as usual, Damian ordered as usual, paid and tipped as usual. But when Damian stepped away, I stepped forward. Plunked a twenty on the counter, leaned in close, and whispered, “I’d like to buy coffee for the next few people in line.”

Barista: “What?”

Me: “Yeah, I want to buy coffee for everyone.” *big grin*

Him: *smiling as he gets it* “Really? You know, I’ve always wanted to do that.”

Me: “You should!”

And then I quickly scurried away. Just barely heard him beginning to explain it to the person behind me, as I disappeared into the crowd. It was AWESOME!


After that, I spent a few weeks slipping these little cards into the purses and pockets of unsuspecting strangers. Just a sweet simple little message, with the hope that it would be found at some later date, and make the person happy. I never got busted by the person I was targeting – but I did get caught by passers by! Whoops! This one was tougher than you’d think, and a total rush. When I pulled off a good drop it was so fun!


Tonight I’m going to the Last Thursday street art fair, and I plan to do another good deed while I’m there. I’ll tweet about it when it’s completed!

But enough about me – I want to hear all about what you’ve been doing! I can’t wait!

Also, Bonzai reader Melisa has requested that we extend this mission for another month. I’m totally down, but I’m wondering how you all would feel about that. So I’m putting it to a vote! Continue this mission? Ready for a new one? Let me know either way!

  • Brianna

    You are totally amazing

  • Valerie

    Yes! We should extend this for a month. I don’t get out of the house much these days (unemployed + my husband has our car 5days/week), so I had a hard time getting opportunities with this one. I did however get a chance to put what small bills I had in a good cause box on two separate occasions.

  • Minna

    I didn’t know about this mission until now. And it’s the most amazing mission ever! I’ve once had something like that dropped in my pocket… it felt so good to receive a random positive message. People are always looking for messages everywhere they go (I know I am) and sometimes these things can really help!

    I generally think that I don’t have enough money myself so I can’t go around buying people stuff or donating money… :D But I guess it’s wrong to think like that. Every little penny helps when it comes to donating and a tiny gift every now and then won’t kill me.

    I think the easiest thing one can do, is to smile. Not only at friends or family, but at random strangers. That’s something people aren’t used to doing in Estonia for some very odd reason. I’ve recently noticed that I smile much more than I did before. Maybe it’s the feeling of being home.. But maybe it’s because I’m much more present and in the moment than I used to. And it’s unbelievable that I do receive smiles back at me, too! It’s the greatest feeling :)

  • jen

    This is fantastic! Love the little notes and love the coffee treat.

  • Nathan

    A few months ago I was all checked out at Glut, our co-op, when I discovered that I had forgotten my wallet. A neighbor that I’m friends with (more that than a friend who lives close by, if you get the relationship) happened to be behind me in line. She immediately offered to pay my $45 tab, but didn’t want me to pay her back. She just wanted me to do the same the next time the opportunity arrives. I’m ready the next time someone needs it, but if that doesn’t happen soon I may just buy the next $50 of drinks at the local cafe and ask them to tell each person that Krista bought their coffee!

  • Tenise Rae

    YES! I’m totally down for having this mission extended for another month. As I started reading your blog today I realized I hadn’t followed through at all this month. I had great intentions at the beginning but life kinda got in the way (family emergency trip to P town). So this next month I’m going to make a very conscious effort.
    I was driving around a couple days ago thinking about this elderly lady in the parking lot I had seen months ago. She was struggling to put her groceries in her car, hold on to her walker, AND hold up her trunk lid at the same time. I was clear across the parking lot and something kept telling me to go help her; but with a cranky baby in one arm and lunch time approaching I didn’t follow through and go help. :-\ I will always remember that for the future and will JUMP at the opportunity to help another in awkward situations like that. I kept thinking, the other day, “Why can’t I run into more people that need help like that?” Keeping my eyes peeled now though; and like you said, I might have to just invent my own because I’m not running into too many people that need obvious help, ya know?

  • Jen

    That is such a cool idea. I used to leave dandelions on my neighbors doorsteps when I was little and I would love to do something like this again! Heeheehee!

  • erosan

    One more vote for the extend the mission initiative.

    I’ve tried, but although doing good deeds for both my people and the complete stranger is something I always try to do (I’m a romantic), I also tend to be a bit of a sociopath when it comes to people in the middle… like coworkers whom I’m not exactly friends with…

    So although I don’t think I’ve failed this mission, I don’t feel like I aced it.

    Also, the best chance I had to do something nice and different was when I offered to switch seats with this lady on the bus because she was near the window and she was trying really hard to shield a really young baby from the sun. Where I was seating it was all shady and cool, so…

  • Amy Petz

    I just caught up with your posts so I did not know this was this months mission. I too would like to extend it. 4 years ago when one of my sons passed away after a long battle with cancer as a part of his celebration of life we handed out pink pieces of paper that said “this kind act was done in memory of Benny Petz” I like to think that everyone left there in search for chances to be kind. My family and I did lots of small things and some bigger things. We gave 3 young hitchhikers a ride to the nearest freeway exit and when we dropped them off we, much to their astonishment, handed them $100 to help fund their exploration. Another time we saw stranger sitting a few tables away from us at a local restaurant all by herself. We motioned the waitress and asked her to let us pay the bill anonymously. My favorite one was near Christmas my oldest son and I stopped at a Circle K and the cashier was their all by herself and so pregnant she looked like she may burst right there. We ran home and gathered some of our second hand baby items and a gift certificate for honey baked ham we had been given. My son and I drove back to the store and he told her the bags were for her and we drove away before she could realize what was happening. I also like to do random small things like leave my change in a vending machine for the next person to find. Leave cute little drawings taped up in random places just to make people smile. I also learned toilet paper origami so if I use a friends restroom I leave little origami gifts. It is fun to imagine their little smile when they see the unexpected goodness.

  • Saundra

    I think it would be a great idea to extend it! Recently a man came up to me at the store handed me a $20 said bless you and left without giving me a chance to say anything it was awesome and made me feel so great for weeks I donated it to a special cause that helps out people throughout the world in times of trouble and since I’ve been looking for a way to help others in a way like that. Loved the notes in peoples pockets and such that’s cool!

  • Minna

    @ Amy Petz – you’ve done some amazing things to make people happier! It’s so inspirating. Reading your comment I remembered that once we were hitchhiking with my boyfriend in Australia (in 2009) and we got picked up by a random lady who gave us her lunch, offered a place to stay for the night, bought us dinner, showed us around in her city and the next day helped us find jobs and a new home. And then there was this old couple who also gave us a free tour around their city, bought us lunch and told us so many things about the history of Australia we’d never known before. These things you will never forget… It’s almost indescribable how much these moments brighten up our lives.

  • Carolyn

    I also vote to extend. I haven’t done much in the way of random kindness as I had planned. Too distracted, too self absorbed maybe, to really do it right.

    That said, they’re doing a lot of road work in my town right now, which means a lot of bored, scorched, and tired traffic control people. I’ve made a point to smile and say/mouth “thank you” to them whenever I go through a construction zone.

  • Melisa

    All these awesome comments have put me in happy tears! Y’all are so kind and creative and wondermous!! So consider your good deed done for the day. (; And Sayward, you made my week just by spelling my name right! After 5 years, my boss still does not. :)

  • Julie

    I vote to extend, too. I had forgotten to do much with this, although yesterday I spent 9 hours helping friends move, so I feel good about that. Well, the parts of me that don’t ache feel good about that. ;) (It’s a good ache. Nothing hurts, I’m just sore.)

  • Mamma

    Say, this is just AWESOME!!!! I was the recipient of little notes like this after my first husband died suddenly. They came from a group of friends at a retreat I went to. Every woman gave me a brief word of encouragement or affirmation of my strength and goodness. I still have them and will never forget their warm wishes and support.

    YES, we should extend the mission for another month. These acts of kindness are priceless and we are all better for them.

    Lee and I are volunteering for Habitat for Humanity tomorrow…something we have both wanted to do for years. I can’t wait and we’ll tell you all about it!

    Thanks Say! I’m so proud of you!!

    Keep it up everybody! Life is good!!!

  • Hope Hughes

    This is awesome! I’m so in! I think we need this in the world today! You are totally amazing! Thank you for being an inspiration!

  • Melissa

    YES!!!!!Love the idea of extending this mission! Our family has a motto, “Blessed to be a blessing”. We are always looking for ways to reach out to others and my hope is that is just becomes second nature for my kids to put others before themselves.
    I am so tickled by all of the sweet acts of kindness documented here. Such great ideas! A long time ago, I read a book about how everyone has a love language (or two, or three ;-) ) that especially speaks to their heart. Some people love words of affirmation (like secret notes of encouragement), others love acts of service ( helping little grannies with groceries), for some it is gifts (free coffee!, baby hand me downs), some people love physical touch (big hugs), and finally, my personal favorite, some people love quality time (visiting with an older person who may not get a lot of attention or sitting a spell with a new mom who needs some company).
    This is all so exciting! Thank you Sayward for this MM.

  • Shaina

    Another vote for another month!

    I was fully charged up on love as I started this mission, but I felt the love dwindle as I got into the crazy that is NYC in the summer. HOWEVER: I did manage to do sweet little things when I got the chance. I work at the front desk of the dormitory for the school I went to, and I am constantly having kids coming up to the mailbox and gazing in. Upon seeing the black hole that is their room, they tend to walk away sighing “nobody loves me”. So one day I made up little hearts with sayings like: YOU ARE LOVED; YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL; YOU ARE TALENTED; YOU ARE HERE!. And for each person that didn’t get mail, I would leave them this anonymous heart. It made me feel so good, that I was able to brighten up these kids’ days.
    There is a boy who auditioned for our school while I was working a few weeks back who was in from Australia on his own. I saw him a few more times after that at school, when he was in signing paperwork and such. On the last time I saw him, he had all of his luggage with him. I asked him what was up and he shrugged and laughed and said “I’m kind of homeless right now”. Well, I very well couldn’t let this adorable Aussie wander the dangerous streets of NYC, could I?! So I gave him my number, and told him I had a floor and tons of pillows if he finds himself stranded. He wound up staying the night with my roommate and I and we had a blasty blast!

    I had an acting teacher once who talked about being in the “yes zone”. He said that whenever he was walking around the city, typically after an awesome yoga session, he would be in the yes zone and feel so at peace with his world, and people would always take notice. His internal glow would become extermal. THAT is what I’m going to work on this month.

    love and daisies and sunshine~

  • Courtney

    I could go for another month. At this point I’ve made a few things habit. One thing I’ve been doing is being more polite and patient on the road. If it’s possible I let people in, don’t get upset at stupid things, and take my time. It is so nice.
    The other thing I’ve been doing is taking care of carts. It’s always bothered me when I see how people have left their cart in the middle of the parking lot. Especially when they’re close to a coral or the store itself. So I just go and gather them up, straighten things up, and put them in the coral. It’s one of the few jobs I haven’t done but I can’t imagine it’s fun having to go out and hunt down carts.
    I’m all for another month to reinforce these habits and possibly start more!

  • Heather

    yay!!! so cool :) i bet that was the best thing that happened to those people that day.
    have you heard of operation beautiful? your little notes totally reminded me of that website/project.
    it’s become quite the phenomenon :)

  • Melisa

    Shaina, what you did for those kids with empty boxes it won-der-ful. I remember being at college far from home, and the hopefulness walking to the post office, and the let-down on days when nothing came for me. A sweet little note would make an ENORMOUS difference in someone’s day!!

  • Melissa D

    Courtney, #19, I do that too! Whenever my family goes shopping with me they think that I am crazy. And it’s a pleasant surprise for the cart wranglers on those hot summer days!

    I think this is a fab idea to continue for another month! I too have just heard about this and I think it is absolutely wonderful! It is funny for me read about this, because today my Grams came up to me and just gave me $20…for no reason! I can’t wait to get started :)

  • Sayward

    YAY! I’m glad everyone is into extending the mission, because I really love the idea. And wow, you all are so incredibly inspiring in your generosity and kindness. I am teary-eyed reading these responses. You all give me so much hope for this world. THANK YOU!

    I can’t wait for the coming month. Let’s all keep working and staying mindful, and all these stories will fuel our fires as we kick this mission’s butt! Yay kindness!

    I want to do so many of these ideas. Such inspiration here! And I’m definitely going to keep practicing my smile-as-default-expression. That one can be harder than it seems.

    Seriously, you guys are so SO amazing. Thank you all for being so incredible, and I can’t wait to hear how the next month goes.


  • MathTutor

    It would be great if you could just smile at everyone you see, it’s amazing how much just a simple smile can change somebody’s day so drastically.

    As for myself, I am about to move for school and my mission before I leave is to send all my mentors hand written thank you notes to let them know how much they have impacted my life :)

    Keep on being awesome, Sayward!

  • Kory

    I love the ideas here, I love this mission, what a beautiful thing, to spread kindness! I’m coming up with all sorts of ideas after reading through the post and the comments! I’m gonna head over to the extension post and share some cool links!

  • Sayward

    @ Kory – Yay, yes it’s never too late to join in!