Being Nice is Lots of Fun

So I received an e-mail from my gal pal mom Michelle Obama the other day {she and I are tight!}. Essentially, it was a call to service (on behalf of P.E.B.O.), encouraging me|us|citizens to volunteer for our community. Embedded in the e-mail was a link to USA Service, a website for inspiring us all to change our world, starting in our community. In response to this, Starbucks launched the "Take Five" initiative, asking java heads to pledge 5 volunteer hours to create more than 1.000.000 hours of community service. Free Tall brewed coffee!

I've been pretty passive on my own volunteerism since moving to San Diego, and it's not something I'm proud of. Since I work at a non-profit, I sometimes feel like I AM volunteering {I realize this is selfish}. In SD I've been on the twins club board and served for the PTA, but before we moved I volunteered at the Parental Stress Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Their mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect.
I worked with children of families in transition and stress and I miss that experience. It taught me a great deal and was personally rewarding. I obviously have less free time now, but would like to give back again, and this time include the boys or the whole family. For now, we are going to drop off toys and books at the Children for Change event in Scripps Ranch on Monday. I found this event via USA Service and it seems a good first step.

To support this personal initiative I've found THE ACME SHARING COMPANY. In their words, Acme "is a place where parents can find activities for spending family time with meaning. Exposing our children to cause-based adventures is a wonderful way to make giving a part of their lives now and for the future." I love this. There are blog tags for finding activities for certain age groups {4+}, ideas on teaching gratitude, and book recommendations. Hurrah!

Last but not least, I discovered Operation Nice. The founder is a graphic designer and crafter. Of course! She created a blog about 7 months ago dedicated to acts of kindness. I've always said, it's about the little things--being thoughtful and courteous is not reserved for special occasions. From founder, Melissa Morris Ivone, "If everyone was a little bit nicer to the folks they encountered each day, perhaps the world would be a more pleasant place. Operation NICE was initiated to remind you that a little NICE goes a long way." Yes, indeed it does.