What better Thankful Thursday than the original – Thanksgiving. This is a VERY special
episode edition of Thankful Thursdays, as I decided to primarily post links that focus on saying Thank you, showing your gratitude, about giving back and a way to change the way you think about the holidays.
So before you go into a food-coma from all of the dishes that make your family’s Thanks-/friends-giving special, I hope you’ll take a moment to enjoy these 6 links that make me smile on this Thankful Thursday and accept my heartfelt thanks!
Thankful Thursdays: My tribute to stories and videos that exemplify appreciation, those that have moved me, and other people making a difference.
A Special Message from The Appreciation Factor
I wanted to take a moment to say Thank you. I share my heartfelt thanks to you my followers, friends, loved ones and those I’ve yet to meet. I’m so grateful that you come back time and time again to read my posts about appreciation and how and why we should say/give our thanks. My blog has continued to grow and YOUR comments inspire me, as does the growing number of visitors and views. (Over 3500 visitors and 7,900 views as of this posting!!) Not only have I reached those in the US where I reside, but I’m always pleasantly surprised to see visitors from all over the world, and to see the number of my followers increase! A Special Thank you to those who recommend me to others. I am humbled, and strive to live up to all that my blog promotes.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
1. #GivingTuesday is Days Away: December 1st
I spoke about this amazing giving “event” last year. #GivingTuesday, started in 2010, is a 24-hour giving challenge to bring back the original sentiments of the holiday season:
It’s a time to pledge to (and take part in) making a difference vs. buying into the push to grab up every deal and product possible on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. (Still so dismayed about the growing number of retail stores that are open on Thanksgiving!)
I promise there will continue to be deals for the price-conscious and those on a budget in the days to come, so why not focus on doing good over the next several days instead? I would like to inspire others to turn part of the holiday season towards the mindset of #appreciation and #gratitude.
If you want to take part in #GivingTuesday but don’t know what you can do, I found this great organization/site called YouGiveGoods. It’s an organization that helps create and customize a food and/or supplies drive for any cause, free of cost (click link for ideas). You can either create your own “event”/drive or particulate in an existing drive. Plus YouGiveGoods will gift 10% cash to the chosen charity on all goods/donations that reach $50 or more. Not a bad bonus on your giving!
No matter what you choose to do during the kick-off of the holidays these next few days, I hope you’ll consider in participating in #Giving Tuesday. You can also see last year’s post (link above) that lists some suggestions as well. And don’t forget to post your #Unselfie! I’ll share mine soon! (Watch for it on Twitter.)
2. Instead of gifts, Bride and Groom Ask Guests to Give Thanks via RAOK
I loved Katie Kindelan’s coverage on a Florida couple’s request that in lieu of gifts for their September wedding, guests instead partake in Random Acts of Kindness (#RAOKs) and then share them using #kindleigheverafter (the bride’s name was Leigh McManus ). “It was nice to have such a big chapter of our lives not only create love and happiness for us and for our guests, but for others as well,” the bride shared with Kindelan.
Some of the guests’ RAOKs: One took pet supplies to a local animal shelter, another friend made treats for her office, still another bought lunch for a stranger, and donations were made to a local women’s shelter. The bride and groom also participated by donating their wedding flower arrangements to local nursing homes and a hospital.
3. Making Everyone Feel Appreciated One Arrangement At a Time
This was a great story I found on Upworthy about Shawn Chamberlain who started Full Bloom, an organization that recycles wedding flowers and shares them with long-term care patients/nursing homes/hospice.
The idea to start this organization was sparked when she was tending the gardens at a hospice center and noticed a women sitting by herself. She knew that flowers always brighten someone’s day so she clipped a few from the garden she was pruning and gave them to her. It made a difference.
“According to a 2005 research study at Rutgers University, every single person who received flowers
as part of an experiment had a positive response. Every. Single. Person.”
While she knew she wanted to do this more often, she knew financially that she couldn’t afford to purchase all of the flowers she wanted to give out – which lead her to the idea of recycling flowers from weddings. She started calling wedding planners, event spaces, florists, anyone who dealt in bulk flowers and Full Bloom was born.
I especially like that the flowers are given to the patients anonymously. You somehow feel more special when it’s a “secret admirer.” Plus it lets patients know that someone is thinking of them.
Note from TAF: Until I read these two articles, I’d never heard of the practice of donating the wedding flowers to hospitals and nursing homes, but it’s apparently becoming quite the thing to do. I found several organizations that will help share gently used flower donations to hospitals, nursing homes and the elderly, and one who will sell the flowers, but donate a portion of the sales to the charity of the donor’s choice.
Here are a few I found: Flower Angels, Random Acts of Flowers, Floranthropy (which had a TX and WA location. Link is to Seattle, WA location), and this last, Rebloom It. This organization is a little different in that it sells donated flower arrangements to the “public” with a portion of the proceeds going to a charity of the host’/donor’s choice.
4. Create a Nourishing vs. Stressful Holiday Season – GFJ Holiday Refresh
I’m a follower of Good Food Jobs as I’m interested in the food industry, sustainability and just love Taylor’s and Dorothy’s weekly blog posts. These blog posts really aren’t all about jobs per se, but more about how we can look at the world around us and be mindful and grateful. Truly, each posts makes me pause and reflect.
This week’s post featured a challenge called the GFJ Holiday Refresh. It was a challenge to help “reclaim the holiday season as not only manageable, but the reaffirming of our values, our lives, and ourselves.” I instantly thought – I have to share this with my Appreciation Factor followers!
If you accept the challenge, they “promise” to help you replace some of the negative thoughts (stress, isolation, feeling overwhelmed) with things/activities that will feel revived by doing things that create positive energy , connect us with those around us, help us feel that we have enough vs. the desire to always need more, and to help us slow down and be aware of our surroundings vs. rushing to the next shop/event/friend-family activity.
I signed up for the 6 week challenge of “updates, inspiration, and micro-challenges to help you make these swaps, large and small, in a way that you can adapt to your own season of celebration” and can’t wait to see how I can view the holidays in a new way. You can sign up for GFJ Holiday Refresh Challenge here.*
*Registration is open until January 4th, 2016.
5. Real Leaders Know the Value of Saying Thank you
You know I expound on the benefits of saying thank you often. I’ve always wanted to find an organization where my contributions are valued and while paid for my time, words of appreciation and thanks are shared. So I couldn’t help but want to share Paul Larue’s (of The Lead Change Group) recommendations that you make sure to thank your employees for everyday efforts.
He shares that the most effective leaders work diligently to thank their people. “The validation can come from end of day departures and acknowledging extra effort on the fly, to even just thanking them for doing their normal work, giving input, or being positive throughout the day.” Everyone wants to feel important, and have a sense of belonging. Saying “thank you” for even the most everyday accomplishments makes a difference.
You can say thank you for:
- Putting in the effort for a new business pitch (even if your team didn’t obtain the win). The effort was still put forth.
- Working the late shift. While not popular, someone has to work evening hours to keep the business going.
- Showing a positive attitude when sales are down
Larue believes that good leaders know the value of ensuring that their people and their basic need of feeling important and a sense of belonging is met.” An atmosphere of gratitude makes a happier environment and who couldn’t use that in the workplace?
#JeSuisParis: I am Paris
#JeSuisParis While this is not specifically about saying “Thank you,” I do think our thoughts and coming together to spread the word of caring and peace regarding the recent terrorist attacks is worth mentioning. These rocked our world, but as The Kindness blog illustrated again, the world must come together in peace and #solidarity. See how the world responded after the bombings. I find these inspiring on how humanity can persevere, I hope you will too.