The #GivingCards Project – Mission #3: Make a Loved One Smile


Every month I look forward to hearing about what you and your dad are doing. It’s one of the highlights of this project for me, seriously. Thank you.


A new family moved in to our neighborhood. I am generally an outgoing person, so I connected with the lady, named Rachel. They have children similar ages to mine. But for some reason, she just rubbed me the wrong way. She would ask for help and when I would offer a suggestion, she would shoot it down. She would ask me simple questions that could be answered in a basic Google search. In the midst of this, I got my giving card. “A loved one” - I kept thinking of something that would be mind-blowing or earth-shatteringly awesome for my children, my husband, my close friends… and I kept thinking of Rachel. Their family hasn’t closed on their house yet (happens Monday) and they’re staying in an Extended Stay place. None of their stuff has arrived from the several-week journey the barges take to get stuff up to Alaska. They close on Monday, their stuff arrives Tuesday night. She expressed concern about the shape of the house. It’s been unoccupied for several months. She didn’t want to move all of her stuff into a house that hasn’t been cleaned for ages. I knew immediately how to help! I rallied several friends of mine (also with kids similar ages) and set up a play group at her house Tuesday morning. Then, I headed to the store and purchased $20 worth of cleaning supplies. This Tuesday, in the brief period between owning her house and moving her stuff in, we can help make it feel like a home (while our kids enjoy running and exploring an empty house!). Rachel seemed relieved we had a solution to the problem and so many people were willing to come help her. The charge to give it to a loved one haunted me. It would have been easier to just get someone I know an awesome gift, but I wouldn’t have changed. I don’t know that Rachel and I will ever be besties (do the kids still say that?), but everyone needs a “loved one” in a new neighborhood… especially when it’s Alaska! Thanks for charging me to go out and do some good. And thank you for helping me make better choices than I would have made without that charge. I’ll update when the deed is done (which I realize is cutting it close! Last day of the month for the win!)


A twist on “a loved one” that made you think . . . love it when that happens :slight_smile:


My husband and I were traveling across the country–Wisconsin to Washington! After talking to Nate, we discovered we could fill in a couple blank spots on the map (which is always a goal). Here’s a brief summary of how we used the cards:

We stopped at a gas station and gave the card to the woman working the register. Being the awkward nervous person that I am I gave it to her and tried explaining it to her. She had a confused look on her face but I’m hoping she realizes it was just free money and uses it! :slight_smile:

Our travels through Wyoming brought us 60 mph winds, snow, rain, and hail. And a random Abraham Lincoln head. I put the card under a Bible verse–Hebrews 13 16!

We got to see some pretty scenery despite it being February. We paid a visit to the Twin Falls (where I guess Evil Knievel jumped the gorge??) and had an elk burger in Boise. I left the card on a table at a local bakery-I love sweets!

Most of our time was driving along the Columbia River Gorge where the sun occasionally popped out. As we were about to leave Portland I made my husband turn around (in the middle of I-5 traffic :anguished:) to drop off my card at a gas station. Hopefully someone that watches Parks and Rec gets it!

In the beginning I was really nervous to talk to people–that’s why I quickly changed my strategy to leaving them mysteriously :wink: I was also stressed because I felt a lot of pressure (from myself–perfectionist) to do something amazing with each of the cards. After each card I felt a surge of joy and hope for the person that would find it. I’m glad I had the opportunity to participate!!


I used to feel the same, and now after years of doing this I realize that good done = good done, and you never can tell which ones, however humble they may look, will end up making the most difference.

Love the road trip and the creativity, and now I’m jealous of the drive :wink:


So cool!!! That cupcake and card - I would LOVE to be on the other end of that, haha…

Our #GivingCards have traveled more in the past three months than my entire life. Love it :slight_smile:

Thanks for being a part of it all!


HOLY $HIT man… This is the saddest thing I’ve read all month, ugh… :frowning: I am a parent of two little boys and I could barely get through your message without tearing up!

You and your father are angels over there and just makes me so SO proud to be a part of all this and watch how it effects people in the real world. And to be doing something like this with your own dad too like you are - talk about bonding!!

Way to shed a little light in a horrible situation. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.


Welcome, J. I did meet their mother and I met the kiddos, too! Fortunately, she truly does what is best for her kids and has a great support system for them. She is working her ass off and trying hard.


Mike from Canada here!

For this month’s #GivingCards, I decided to seek out a friend whom I hadn’t spoken with in a couple years and do something special for her. She’s a mom of three and works during the day, and takes classes most evenings. She’s one of the most hard-working people I know, but I’d venture to say she may not get the appreciation she deserves.

We’re not involved romantically as we grew up together as close friends so this wasn’t perceived as a date (which I think was important to the feeling of the night). I didn’t do anything fancy but offered to take her for dinner and pay for the sitter this past weekend.

I picked her up, presented her with a nice bouquet of flowers and we went to a nice little local Italian restaurant for some pasta and gelato. After that we just walked around chatting about life, her kids and work, and just to get someone over the age of seven to talk to. :joy:

For me, the expense wasn’t much, but she said she hasn’t had a night off in months and she really appreciated the evening.

At first, I struggled to come up with an idea suitable to the theme and that I haven’t been able to get out much this month, so I decided that a double-whammy of seeing my good friend again and giving her a night to take a break was the best thing I could think of!


I didn’t have to think long on who would be best to give a #givingcard to! My store manager Amy gave up her secure, comfortable career to take a chance on me. She quit her job and came on full-time as my store manager at the children’s consignment boutique I opened with no past experience in retail or owning my own business. Without Amy, the store wouldn’t be what it is today. The doors wouldn’t be open every day to welcome customers without her. She is the backbone to the store and is far more deserving than this small gesture. Thank you Amy for all you have done and for all that you do!


Hey Y’all!!

I’m squeezing in on the last day. LOL! I’ve known Nate for over 20 years and I’m so proud of him and to help with this project! We need more of this and kindness and love in the world! So, here’s my story and I’m sticking with it. You can find pictures and such on my instagram and Facebook pages. @passthelovenow and So, here it goes!

I received the card on the 15th. And I had been racking my brain about how I was going to use it. Then I kept putting it off and putting it off because I’m a true procrastinator. One time in college, Nate and I stayed up for 86 hours straight…no joke. Why did we do that? That’s another entry for another time. LOL

I visited my Niece a few days ago. She is currently in college at the University of North Texas. She took a hiatus from school for a couple of years and now, she’s back focused. The Niece has struggled a little bit…not making smart decisions (hanging out instead of turning in papers), going into debt and the such. She is a wonderful person who always puts others before herself even to her detriment at times. Now, she is more focused, back in school and seems to be on top of her life. So, proud of her! Being a college student also means being poor…not for all, but for most. $20 is a lot for a college student. So, I decided to do 2 gifts this month. I gifted The Niece with $20 and she was soooo happy. “I can buy food!” Man, I remember those days in college. It was more than the $20. It was telling her that I’m proud of her. It was telling her that I see the work she’s doing. It was telling her that I will always be there.

I used the actual #GivingCard to purchase socks for victims of domestic abuse. I work with an organization called The Family Peace Project. They always need socks, underwear and hygiene products. I am a sock nerd. I love thick and plush socks. Just feels nice when you have on a good pair of socks. I took the #GivingCard added some extra to it and purchased some socks. My hope is that this small gift brings comfort.

Thanks for the opportunity, Nate! Excited to keep stoking the fire of kindness!!!


Ok, I know I’m looking a bit like a slacker over here posting on the very last day of the month… I have been thinking about what to do since I got the email in January that I was going to get a giving card in February. I even tweeted about it the day it came in the mail:

Then I found a hilarious picture/word/does-this-count-as-a-meme (?) that spoke to me on facebook and sent it to a friend I haven’t seen in a long time:

That post guilted her into making real, actual plans to hang out. My friend is a single mom to two kids, a four year old and a 14 year old (that I once even had in my kindergarten class!) and never takes time for herself. She is a server in a restaurant by night and goes to nursing school by day. If anyone deserves to have something nice, it is definitely her. I was hoping throughout the course of the day I could stealthily find something through conversation that I could do for her. That didn’t happen. I even had the card ON MY COUNTER hoping that I could just hand it to her as she was leaving and explain what it was all about. Well, that didn’t end up happening either. I totally forgot! She later texted about how she forgot to bring some books for me and would stop by later in the week when she was in town since she lives about a 1/2 hour away. Well, she’s a busy lady and hasn’t. So currently I’m stuck between waiting to meet up again or just dropping it in the mail and give her directions that it is to be spent ONLY on herself. And she probably won’t follow those directions anyway… but it’s worth a try. I’m pretty certain I should just mail it, since who doesn’t love fun mail? And money is a total bonus!

So please don’t think of me as a slacker. I’m trying. :smile: I do think it would be easier on my anxiety level to give it to someone who is a stranger and do a stealth job. I’ll have to try that another month and report back then.


Thanks for another great month, guys! You can see all the stories shared on this thread, and also make sure to check out the highlight pages on the website (these are easier links to share from your website or social platforms, etc):

#GivingCards Mission #3 Highlights:
Total Given:
How to Support:

P.S. In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s March’s #GivingCards mission:


Howdy, all. This was more difficult than had originally thought.

Initially, I was going to give the card to my 19-year-old daughter as a housewarming gift to help her outfit her very first apartment, but after some further thought, I realized that I was already contributing quite a bit to her efforts, and wanted to spread out the love to someone outside my family. So I came up with the idea to convert the card into four $5 bills, which I would bestow as spontaneous gifts to some people at my local coffee shop just to see what would happen.

However, I then got forwarded the information that an old friend of ours was in a protracted legal battle with her ex-husband over child custody, who is pulling some really really strange (batshit crazy, actually) stuff to try to make the mom seem like a neglectful parent (which she isn’t). And she’s run out of money to continue, so a crowdfunding campaign was started to help her with legal fees, so when I read about it, I knew that she needed the $20 more than anyone else I know. Even though it’s a small token, and I wish I could have given more, together with her other community, she’s getting a good boost financially to keep up her efforts to see her kids.

I know that’s not what the original idea for this month was, but it just felt right. Thanks for letting me be a part of this.

New Mexico


Thank you so much for hanging out with us this month and putting New Mexico on the map!


I haven’t actually met this person in real life, but we’ve been part of the same online group for a while and she lives a couple of hours away. She’s getting married in six months, and has had nothing but bad luck - she has an ongoing back injury, which caused her to miss work to the point where they let her go and she suddenly found herself with no income. I was in this position last year (sudden loss of job close to a wedding; my company went bankrupt) so I know how stressful it is, and saw she’s been posting online trying to sell her possessions just to make a little bit of money and how all she wished for was to be able to just have a date night with her fiance, because it had been one thing after another. I reached out to another friend of mine who lived in the same town to ask what kind of restaurants they have there, and found there was ONE chain restaurant I’d be able to get a gift card for here in my city, so I just popped it in a card, wrote a reassuring message, and sent it in the post. It should only take a few days to get there (I’m a tad late, but something unexpected came up at the end of Feb!!), but I’ll post when I hear it’s arrived!


And you were able to give her exactly that - the gift of a night out with her fiance, without stress. That goes so much further than the face value of the dollar amount. Perfect! (and your little notes in the mail are lovely - that made me smile) :slight_smile:


I’m so glad to finally share what I was able to do with the card!

My best friends mom is an amazing woman. She has a heart for shelter animals, particularly dogs, who need a forever home. The shelter she supports is regularly overcrowded and it’s typical for the animals to be stressed out and scared out of their minds.

Susan visits once a week and takes each dog outside to get a break from the concrete floors and all the noise of the other animals. She plays with them, loves on them and takes pictures of them to share on social media so people will know they are available for adoption. Often when the shelter just doesn’t have room for one more dog or there is a special medical need, she will take a dog to her home as a foster until they find a permanent home. The large majority of this care is done at her own expense.

Bruni was one of the dogs brought to the shelter in crisis. One can only imagine why or how he came to be in such horrible condition. Susan took him home, nursed him back to health, and now he is happy and living a great life in a wonderful home.

I wanted to give Susan one of the #GivingCards to help her with the expense of caring for her foster dogs. I’m so encouraged to have a friend like her in my life and am inspired by her willingness to be inconvenienced to care for those who so desperately need help.

Many thanks to the Rockstar Community Fund for sending a card for me to share and being such a blessing to so many!

Bruni’s progression under Susan’s care.

Amazing difference when someone feeds you and loves you!

Susan and Bruni

Giving Susan the card. She had tears in her eyes when I told her what it was and why I was giving it to her.



Wowwww, it’s amazing to see the results in an individual dog like that. So cool that she volunteers her time to help get those results, and LOVE the smiling happy pic of you guys! Thank you :slight_smile:


yayyyyyy love that Eva!!! what a perfect use for the card! :slight_smile: