Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Well it has been a year since we initiated the dak project. An entire year. I should qualify though, because last christmas the only people with dakbands were friends and family. We kind of beta tested the concept before we went public.

I remember the first pair of bands I ever gave out. I was nervous. Really nervous. I was shopping at a local upscale mall, and I had had plenty of opportunity to give them away, but I wasn't sure of my approach. It was the 24th of December (and yes, I was shopping yesterday as well - I am always surprised when it is the day before Christmas and my shopping list looks the same as it did at the beginning of the month!) and I was in a 30 minute line up with a lot of other miserable and tired looking shoppers. There were two lines, equally long, and the only thing more depressing than the length of the lines was the look on the faces of the poor girls at the cash register. However there was an elderly lady in front of me, and didn't she just light up that store! She was like little Christmas elf, happy and joyful, chatting to me, the people in front of her, the people beside her in the other line, to anybody and everybody. After she finally checked out, and was about to leave the store I reached out and touched her arm as she walked pass me. She paused, expecting me to wish her a Merry Christmas I'm sure, but I gave her two bands saying, " Thank-you for your joyful spirit, please take these dakbands in recognition of your kindness. One is for you to keep, the other is for you to give away when you see someone doing something kind." My heart was pounding. Then I realized that her eyes had filled with tears. She took the bands and said, "You have just made my Christmas. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everybody gave a pair of these away? Thank-you."

Of course, I can imagine, and that is why I created them.

I've never worried about giving the bands away again. In fact, other people in the line asked for some bands!

There are probably close to 50 or 60 thousand bands in the world right now. We certainly do not have stories for all these bands, but as the bands become more popular and people recognize what they are when they receive them, I'm sure the stories will come. Every story is truly a gift, the kind money can't buy. The stories are gifts to the whole world because they show us how kindness affects us, touches our heart, and gives birth to peace.

Merry Christmas!

Here are a couple of wonderful christmas daks, please check out band numbers: 143694, 21727 (Once on the track your dak page you have to enter the number in the 'Dak code' window and then click on the band number to read the story.)


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Kindness Tree Daks!

Thanks to our dak queen Maryann (see post) we have some wonderful businesses in Pelham that are selling the dakbands to raise money for Pelham Cares, a not for profit organization that is raising money to create a permanent home for the Pelham foodbank.

We want to thank, The Voice of Pelham (the local newspaper. Please read the article they wrote about the dakbands!), Smart Cents, and Nature's Corner Bakery and Cafe.

Carol Lloyd of Nature's Corner Bakery and Cafe sent these photos of the 'kindness tree' she created in her store. So very cool.


If you have any festive dak pictures or dak stories please share them with us. We'll send you some dakbands in return!!

Please to our track your dak page to see where dak 37889 has been! Be sure to decrease the magnification on the map so you can see both points!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Drive by Dak!!

Suffice to say that I have given out dakbands for the slightest of excuses. Some people have mentioned to me that they only pass along dakbands when the act of kindness is really an obvious act of kindness. In other words, holding the door for someone is not something they would consider an act of kindness - it's just common courtesy. While I understand the position, I believe that by encouraging these 'common' courtesies (deliberate acts of kindness) the way that we all live in community changes - improves! So I look for any and every opportunity to pass the bands along.

Having said that, the other day I was driving along a fairly busy side street with traffic moving in both directions, when up ahead I noticed two large garbage bins blowing into the middle of the street. As I was slowing to avoid the bins, the vehicle coming toward us stopped. The driver, a woman, stopped her van (yes it was in the middle of the road), jumped out and ran all over the road trying capture those bins and then set them on the boulevard. I was pulling up beside her as she was hurriedly trying to get back into her vehicle, bravely ignoring the grumpy and unappreciative drivers behind her who were beeping their horns!! As I drove up, I rolled down my window and shouted, "Were those your bins?" When she replied that they were not, I reached out my window and handed her two dakbands - risking the frustration of the now the grumpy, unappreciative drivers behind me who were honking. "These are for acts of kindness in our community. Thank-you for picking up the garbage bins," I said, barely stopping my car. And I drove out of sight.

Here is her version of the story: #97440 (Once on the track your dak page you have to enter the number in the 'Dak code' window and then click on the band number to read the story.)


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Aren't We Savvy!

Dakbands have been featured in the December newsletter for Savvy Mom! Need we say more? For everything
a savvy mom needs to know please check out their website: www.savvymom.ca! I cannot even begin to describe the wealth of information and sense of community you will find there.

Monday, December 1, 2008

First Pod Cast

Finally!! Our first pod cast. Please see the link under our podcast heading in the left column.
Kara and I 'interviewed' Lisa Philp, president of Transitions Group North America. Actually it is more of round table discussion than an interview. Lisa is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, visionary, mother, and did I mention that she is driven- in a good way! She keeps a journal by her bed, so when she wakes up in the middle of the night with some amazing idea, she can write it down. (When I wake up in the middle of the night it is usually to wrestle the covers away from my blanket hogging husband!)

Lisa learned about the dakbands through Kara, and she immediately saw the application to the corporate world. Within a few weeks, she had completely incorporated the dakbands into her company. She ordered custom bands in her company's colours (purple and green) with custom hang tags. She even had posters made and inserted material into her brochures and presentations. But what impressed me the most was how she walked the talk, using them personally everyday. You'll even hear her mention in the interview that she bought dak outfits, so she could coordinate her entire 'look'!

Lisa's approach to doing business is about creating relationships, teaching and modeling those positive relationship skills for her clients and community in general. Please have a listen, she is really inspiring. She knows and understands the profound impact that kindness can have on staff, on clients and subsequently, the bottom line.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

WOW, Schools!

My lack of posting last week was as much due to my busy dak event schedule as it was to the nasty virus that ravaged my entire body. I'll spare you the details of the viral war and wow you with the scoop on all the school activities.

I am so thrilled with the momentum of the dakband project within the school system. This past, November 17th to 21st, was National Bullying Awareness Week in Canada. Elementary and secondary schools within the Halton Catholic School Board recognized the importance of this occasion with a variety of activities and events designed to increase awareness and empathy of students, teachers and families. We are proud to share that two local secondary schools, Notre Dame and St. Ignatius of Layola, distributed dakbands to their prefects and students as part of their anti-bullying campaigns! I was invited to both schools to talk with the prefects about the bands and how by simply wearing them we are reminded of a higher purpose and the conscious choices we make in response to others. I believe it is wiser and more effective to encourage kindness, than to spend our energy trying to 'prevent' bullying.

Finally at the end of week the Halton Catholic School Board hosted it's second annual 'Be the Change' conference. Two student leaders from each school were invited to the conference. Throughout the day, in groups of 12/13, the students rotated through 6 stations. Each station featured activities that taught them the importance and significance of their roles within their school and community in relationship to aspects of bullying prevention. Kara and I hosted one of these stations, and spoke to the students and teachers about the ability of kindness to change how we live in our communities. It was absolutely amazing to see their reactions to the dakbands, students and teachers alike. We had some administrators who told us that this was the most awesome project they had EVER seen. All the schools left with information on how to implement the dakband project into their school community.

As the person who approves stories before they are posted to the site I can say with great delight and pride that the students at these schools have used the bands with integrity and empathy! I have listed below some band numbers for you to look up, so you can see the simplicity and value and meaning behind the deliberate acts of kindness that these students have shared.

Please go to our track your dak page:

#29636 (WOW)
#29798 (teacher appreciation)
#31306 (friendship)
By clicking on the 'organization' tab on the track your dak page and choosing either of these schools, you can see all the stories they have registered.

I am so encouraged by the vision of a kinder, more humane, community these students and schools have!

More to come, the next few days are filled with exciting events!!


Monday, November 17, 2008

Restoration

I’d like to leave the Maryann post up forever, just because I want as many people as possible to recognize her. Recognize and acknowledge the ‘Maryanns’ in their lives, those individuals who are the first to raise their hands (and get them dirty), to wrap those around them in encouragement, to see the big picture and work tirelessly on the long and winding road that leads there. However, the nature of the blog demands some on-going train of thought and I have been moved by an article in the Toronto Star by Roy McMurtry (former chief justice of Ontario) and Alvin Curling (a former Liberal cabinet minister and speaker of the Ontario Legislature), entitled, ‘Roots of violence grow in toxic soil of social exclusion’.

It describes how the erosion of social and community networks are contributing factors to a sense of hopelessness among our youth that supports the proliferation of gangs, a desensitization to violence, increases in violence, mental health concerns, apathy and isolation. It is discouraging – to say the least. Although the article speaks specifically about incidents in Toronto, it is important that those of us who feel protected by the illusion of suburbia, and our commuter status, need to understand the viral nature of the problem. Distance from the ‘big city’ whether it be Toronto or any other urban center in North America, does not provide immunity. As the conclusion of the article suggests, the restoration of our communities depends on the quality of relationships we nurture – my wording, but the idea is similar.

I believe that the dakband project is part of the solution precisely because it helps to establish and re-establish relationships. The etymology (history) of the word kind(ness)dates back to the 12th century and means: to feel like you are related to each other, compassionate. It also comes from the Greek word, chrestotes which means to have a morally excellent character, to be good, gracious, gentle and kind. And we are told in the famous passage from 1 Corinthians, that love is two things: patient, and kind. We cannot minimize the importance of simple, yet conscious, deliberate acts of kindness to begin the restoration process, to cultivate relationships, to generate peace and ignite hope.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Maryann

You might think that with a project like Deliberate Acts of Kindness I would know all the synonyms, adjectives and kindness clich├ęs on the planet. And yet I am struggling. I want to give you the essence of Maryann so you can appreciate how kindness changes the way we live in the world.

One of wonderful emanations of the dakband project are the impromptu gifts of encouragement we receive from people we’ve never met. People who have received a dakband (or two), gone to the site to share their story and are so excited by the project that they email us their congratulations. For example, I was blown away when Heidi (Sacred and Profane) posted our button on her blog, and even blogged about the dakbands! Which led to Rhea (Texas Word Tangle), the SITS Girls (the SITS Girls), and Cheryl (Marching to a Different Drummer), sending us tidings of encouragement. Most of the time, it is a brief, uplifting, yet somewhat anonymous note, meaning the sendee isn’t really expecting a reply. However, the first note I received from Maryann - which was followed a few days later by a telephone call – was loud. But not an in-your-face-obnoxious loud, it was a big, round, yellow, warm, life-is-so-full-of-surprises loud. She basically said, “I want to meet you!”

Call me crazy, but I soon found myself driving down to have lunch with her and friend – Maryann has lots of friends. Well, you would have thought I discovered penicillin. Her vision and enthusiasm for the project was so HUGE. By end of the afternoon I kind of felt like I had discovered penicillin, and was about save humanity, so great was Maryann’s stroking of my reluctant ego. (However my family soon deflated my grandiose day dreams with their cries for dinner!) From that first meeting she has become a dak machine, purchasing bands, giving them to clients (she and her husband are financial planners), approaching retailers to sell them, contacting local papers, local schools, sitting for hours and selling them at fundraising events, and providing valuable feedback. She does all this at her own expense, with that same generous, beaming spirit that leapt off the page when I read her first email.

Please go to our track you dak page and pull up Financial Planning Etc. from the organization drop down list to see all the bands she has given away. Maryann has one band #30390 that has 4 stories attached to it!

If you know someone like Maryann please share your story as a comment and I will send you and your Maryann a set of bands!

….and when Maryann comes for dinner this Saturday we’ll read the stories together!



Thursday, November 6, 2008

Teacher Interview

Today we have an interview with Linda Kiefer, a Montessori teacher from Illinois. Although Linda and I have never met face to face, I feel like we know each other very well. We have a 'virtual' friendship kindled by the dakband project but anchored in Linda's complete absence of technical expertise (she contacted me initially to tell me she could not register the bands she had purchased - and she purchased a ton of them!), and my obsessive need to ensure that every band and story is in fact registered! There were a few evenings when I was tempted to jump on a plane and fly down to Illinois to register all the bands myself.

Through all this I have been moved by Linda's perseverance and commitment to the project. Despite the difficulties, she had a vision that was bigger than the problems. Here is what she has to share with us:

Interview Questions:

1. Linda can you tell me a little about yourself: what grade you teach, how long you’ve been a teacher, where you teach, children, interests....
I'm one of those people who's always going to be in school. I have a Master's in Speech and Language Pathology, a year of post-grad work (which would only have made it easier to work grant to grant), worked in California for a few years was a long-term sub at Michigan School for the Blind, and then switched totally to Medicine for about 8 years. I worked as a Surgical Physician's Assistant for many years in Baltimore, MD until after the birth of my second child, when I decided to be a full-time Mom.I still dream of another Master's that marries Montessori with Special Ed. As it stands, I'm Montessori certified for grades 1-6 (with non-readers to those at the 10th grade level, and those doing rudimentary addition all the way to algebra).

As life would have it, times changed and I found myself going back to school and being a single Mom. I had one multiply impaired son, and another with ADD; it was time to see what I could do that used my backgrounds, but kept me close to the boys. Thus I found Montessori, and all it entails, including allowing children to do everything that they're able to do, and encouraging a life of peace and conflict resolution.


2. How did you learn about the dakbands, and what was your initial impression?
In my continuous studying, I came across TRIBES, recalled that one of my sons had been in it quite successfully, and I was off and looking for more information. Last Spring, as I was planning for my class for this year, I came across dakbands and the whole concept of changing the way children see their world by changing how they live it. I was psyched and wanted to start it then, but decided to wait until this fall.

3. Who did you buy the bands for and why?
Initially, I decided to use our class (one of two first to third grade classes), and the newly established Middle School (4 kids), along with all Elementary Staff and the Middle School Teacher. I chose to kick it off with a food drive for the local food pantry, rewarding children who brought something in, with their first pair of dakbands. First I had to explain the difference between "random" acts of kindness and sincerely directed "deliberate" acts of kindness. What I thought was going to be a hard and even impossible task, the children took to as though they always knew it deep down, and simply needed to have it brought to the surface. I'm so proud of them! These children, aged 6-9, knew more about kindness than many adults that I know.

4.Can you tell me why you feel the dakbands are an important tool for kids/families?
No longer do I find the "tattling" or looking for differences, but I find the bands have brought us closer together as a team and as classes (it's spilled over to adults and other Elementary classes!), and made teaching so much more pleasant. Sometimes it's been my roughest gems that have the more tender hearts and are willing to share their bands and tell others what they saw. We meet several times during the day, reviewing the schedules, but also reviewing good times and positive behaviors. I'm so very proud of these young people, carrying forward their new-found ways of Being, which is what it's become.


5. How have the children in your class responded to the bands.
They were taught how to register their bands, and a letter went out to parents explaining the concept, but these children actually couldn't *wait* to hand off their bands when they saw good things happening. They knew that they could follow their bands if they registered them, but excitement overcame all and I was amazed at the things they wanted to recognize in another

6. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I gave a set to my youngest son this weekend as he helped a grocery store stock boy with some runaway carts, not expecting anything in return, just knowing it was the right thing to do. He stood stock still for a moment, then asked quietly,"These are for *me*?". I smiled and hugged him and said they most certainly were--and they were his to pass on to other people that he saw doing genuine acts of kindness, with nothing expected in return. He stared at me, then excitedly returned an "Oh!", as though a light bulb had just gone off. What a grand sight to see.

That's what keeps me going on tough days; I know that we're making a difference in the way these children see their world now, thanks to a few wristbands and kindness from fellow students. I hope that this goes on all year--I'll buy more if I need to! If we can't change the children, how in the world can we change what we want our future to be?

Thanks for helping to get it moving in all of our classes, Elaine. I really think this is going to create a change in our future.

Talk about touching a life by teaching....


Please remember to share a story for our giveaway.

Please see the story attached to band #38738.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Different Perspective



It has been a crazy week, crazy busy that is. We finally sent out some media packages and as promised I've included a few pictures. The picture in the window of the box is actually a card, that contains a handwritten note to whomever is the recipient. Along with the beautiful tin box and two samples (one sample is our standard set of bands, the other is a sample of one of our custom orders) we include our media release and information sheet. Now we keep our fingers crossed!

Last evening I gave away a pair of bands during dinner at a restaurant. Our waitress was very, very pregnant and while giving the table behind us their check she dropped something off her tray. The woman at the table jumped up and picked it up for her. Once the waitress left, I leaned over and gave the woman two dakbands. She and her husband were so surprised, and touched. But that isn't the point. What struck me was the response of my family.

My seventeen year old daughter said, "Mom, it is so cool that you have the courage to do that. Those people seemed genuinely grateful." My husband smiled his encouragement at me, and I felt great - all night. I think that this is part of what makes the dakband project so effective and meaningful. As someone who wears the bands everyday I am always looking for opportunities to give the bands the away. Even during moments of frustration, I look down at my wrist and my perspective immediately changes. Sometimes when days go by and I haven't seen any acts of kindness I look for anything that resembles kindness.

This morning I saw a young mother with four children in a parking lot, she was trying to herd them all into the vehicle while the oldest (about 5) was doing his best to counter all her efforts. She finally lost it. After she got them all into their seats and closed the door she leaned into that van with her head down like it was her mother's shoulder. I walked over pressed two bands into her hand and said, "These bands are for kindness in our community, but I just want to encourage you." The bands on my wrist remind me of my choice to be kind each and every day.

We are going to extend our giveaway for another week. So be sure to check out the previous post to discover what you have to do.

Please do to the track your dak page to check out band #12008 - it is so cool!

Monday, October 27, 2008

School Projects

When Kara and I began this project we each had a vision for specific aspects of community and how the dakband project could be adopted and influence different areas of our lives. Given our backgrounds it isn't surprising that Kara has a great understanding and passion for the corporate and special event world, with her advertising expertise. While I have a real devotion to the school and sport domains because of my history with Justplay. It has been amazing to work with people in all of these areas and to see the enthusiasm and support that the dakbands receive in such different environments. Although, I think it's important to mention that the great thing about dakbands is that they connect different social spheres.

So far for the month of November we have two very awesome school projects that involve the dakbands. One is an anti bullying project hosted by the Halton Catholic School Board called, 'Be the Change'. Kara and I will be working with groups of students throughout the day teaching them about the dakbands and the importance of deliberate acts of kindness. The other exciting news is that a local high school has purchased bands for all their students - WOW! We can't wait to see the ripples of change, and the stories from all these bands as they spread from the school, into homes and our community, and eventually around the world. We'll be inviting students and teachers from the school to write some posts for us, so stay tuned. Some time this week we should also have our first interview posted. It is with a teacher from Illinois, who bought bands for her entire class and has been so moved by the response of her students and their families that she emailed me to share her story. Now I want to share it with you.

Before I forget PLEASE go to our track your dak page and check out our new filters. Click on the orange 'Click for Advanced Selectors'. By choosing one of the selectors you can track bands by how far they've traveled, how many communities they've through and how many stories are attached to them - Can you say geography lesson all you school teachers out there!

Check out band #83494, and make sure you zoom the map almost all the way out so you can see where this band started and where it traveled to!

This week we are inviting you to tell us who we should send some dakbands to, on your behalf. And why. We'll feature the winning story/comments on a future blog, perhaps even do an interview. Contest will close at midnight Friday.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Winner Is.....

We have decided to send a set of dakbands to everyone who left a comment on our first post! (if you haven't already, please email me your address and we'll put those in the mail on Monday)

I thought it might be a good idea to give a brief 'how to' for those of you who have never experienced the dakband exchange.

Once you receive your set of bands - there are 8 in a set - you go to our website and click on the track your dak tab, on the track your page you click on create an account. Once you have created your account, you register your 8 bands - it is a very simple process. Now the fun begins. Wear the bands in pairs on your right wrist (I usually wear 4 to 6 at a time). As you go about your day look for people doing kind things for other people. It can be as simple as holding the door, or as generous as paying for someone's groceries. Approach the person you witnessed being kind and offer them two dakbands. I usually say something like this, " Hi, I just noticed that you held the door for that woman. I'd like to give you these two dakbands because we are encouraging kindness in our community. One is for you to keep and one is for you to pass along to someone else you witness being kind!" (of course, if the person you approached, didn't hold a door for someone this wouldn't be appropriate.) I usually don't say more than that. However sometimes the person is so excited they'll start up a conversation at which point I often point out that they can go to the website (on the bands) and share their story.

I have given away so many bands I've lost count, and the reacton is ALWAYS the same. People are moved, they are encouraged, and most importantly they are now emboldened to encourage someone else because they have experienced how it feels to be applauded for their kindness. I once had a woman who was moved to tears when I gave her the bands and she said to me, "Can you imagine what the world would be like if each of us gave a pair of these away every day?" The next day she ordered a set for all her children and grandchildren.

If you haven't started with a new set, but receive a pair for doing something kind, the process is the same. Go to the website, click on the track your dak tab, create an account and type in the numbers of the bands you received and share the story of how and why they were given to you.

Anybody can go to the track your dak page on the website and see the stories and travels of the bands. By clicking on Organization, and/or Communities as a starting point you can see all the bands (and where they've traveled) that originated with a particular organization or community. When you roll over a point on the map, the story of band appears!

Well, that's it for Lesson One Small Bear! You may try it now.....

Please check out band #23134 on the track your dak page.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beginnings: Part Three

It wasn't long after that Oprah show - thankfully it was a mild winter - that the concept worked itself out for me.

I knew that an individual would begin with a number of bands, wearing them like bangles, and that they would give two bands away to someone they witnessed being kind to someone else. (Although I began with a focus on sportsmanship I quickly realized that any gadget I created to reward sportsmanship could be applied in a much broader context, so I began to think much bigger, in terms of community - knowing that we could customize the project for sport.) The person receiving those two bands could keep one, and pass the other along to someone else they witnessed being kind. Then I realized it would be really neat if every single band had a unique number so it could be tracked on a live interactive map. We could ALL witness the ripple effects of kindness as our bands traveled through community and around the world.

The name of the project came to me during a workshop I was leading for sport administrators. I was explaining how important it is for members of a group or organization to define their understanding of certain words and concepts (character, community, citizenship, team....) in order to minimize misunderstandings and conflict. I was using the word random as an example because it is such a common slang word for youth these days. Random means without definite aim, reason or purpose. So why, I asked the group, do we celebrate random acts of kindness? And as the words came out of mouth I knew the name of our project would become Deliberate Acts of Kindness, and our bands would become dakbands.

My next post will discuss in greater detail my intention regarding the choice of 'Deliberate'.

Again, please don't forget to go to our first post and leave a comment so you have the opportunity to win some dakbands!

Please go to our trak your dak page on our website and check out band #19754.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Beginnigs: Part Two

In the spring of the new year, 2006, I created a not for profit organization called Civic Sport Group (CSG). This organization would be the vehicle for all our community building initiatives, as well as, any grant and research projects. We received a grant from the Communities in Action Fund that permitted us to partner with a local university to examine bullying in youth hockey and build a new coach education model that we called the Coaching Connection. I promised myself that I would have a 'tool' by the time the grant project was due to finish in the spring of 2007.

All winter, as I ran through slush and snow (running is my processing/thinking time), I sorted out the details: purpose, procedure, outcomes. The purpose was fairly simple, it had to encourage sportsmanship and community. The outcome was even simpler, personal development and community transformation. But the procedure eluded me....the awareness band phenomena had really come and gone - aside from a few key colours it was difficult to know what they were meant to support. I liked the concept of the awareness band despite it's ubiquitary nature, however I always felt like there was a piece missing to that puzzel. They were too passive. Then one afternoon while watching the Oprah show - yes, I love Oprah - it all clicked!

Her guest was a pastor who had created an awareness band for his congregation. He challenged his congreation to go 21 days (the amount of time it generally takes to develop a new 'habit')without complaining, and every time that you did complain you had to switch your band to the opposite wrist and start your 21 days over. Here was the missing piece to the awareness band puzzel that eluded me - an action, switching the bands from wrist to wrist. However, the more I thought about it the more frustrated I became because as an observer I could never know at which point in the 21 days anyone was at. If I met you on the street and saw the band on your right wrist, you could have switched it five minutes ago, or 20 days ago....so it was back into my thermal underwear, and reflective outerwear, as I tried to figure out how to modify this concept. I felt like there was something really big and exciting waiting to be discovered, I knew I was close. (I am aware that by over analyzing the procedure I was missing the point. And I definitely would have had to switch wrists!)

Please don't forget to go to our first post and leave a comment so you have the opportunity to win some dakbands!

Please go to our trak your dak page on our website http://www.deliberateactsofkindness.com/track/index.html and check out band #6997.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Beginnings: Part One


We are so excited about the dakband project, the reception it is receiving from individuals, corporate organizations, fundraising initiatives and especially schools. In fact we have been invited to present the dakband project at the Be the Change Youth Leadership and Action Day, on November 21, for the Halton Catholic School Board.

However, as promised, I’ll resume the story of the dakband genesis….A couple of years ago I was invited to speak at the inaugural conference of the ‘Church and Sport’ a new sector of the Roman Catholic Church. The conference was hosted by the Vatican and I was one of fifty people from around the world invited to participate, and only one of 10 invited to actually speak! I was also the only non- catholic participant. It was literally one of my life’s highlights, and yes, I did meet Pope Benedict! The invitation arose from work and research of my other company, Justplay Sports Services, www.wejustplay.com. The significance being, that it was this event that eventually inspired the development of the dakband project.

At one point, near the end of the conference, one of the Bishops asked my panel of speakers if there was any hope that we, as a global community, could salvage or restore the domain of sport to its virtuous or Olympic origins (each of the four panel members had unfortunately just painted a rather dismal picture of the state of youth and professional sports). I responded with a verse from the bible that tells us perseverance produces character, and character, hope. And inspired by that hope I left the conference with a mission to create a tool that would help reestablish the community building virtues of sport.

Stay tuned for Part two……

Please don't forget our give away (see our first post). Leave a comment about an act of kindness that touched you!

At the end of each blog I am going suggest tracking a particular dakband. So please check out band # 31621 at our website tracking page www.deliberateactsofkindness.com/track/index.html


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Welcome

Welcome to our daklife blog.

My partner Kara Hawke and I will be posting regularly about the Deliberate Acts of Kindness project: musings, observations, developments, contests, interviews, and from time to time perhaps even a rant or two! We hope you’ll visit often, become part of our global community, share your comments and acts of kindness that touch and change your life.

Our story

I created the dakband concept over the period of about year. (I’ll post a story about that creative process in the near future). Once I had some samples in hand, I invited a friend for lunch hoping that her reaction to the concept would give me the approval encouragement I needed to take the next steps. By the end of lunch (I’m not sure we even ordered any food!), Kara and I were partners. (We could probably write a bestseller called the Dak Diet)

As the V.P. of a boutique advertising firm, the mother of six, and an inherently kind soul, I knew Kara was the perfect partner. Her company (www.emersondesign.com) did all the fabulous design and logo work for the project. And within a few weeks Kara made our first custom sales (see Transitions Group and CBIC Run for the Cure). Her passion for the project combined with her networking skills continue to open doors that would make even Monty Hall jealous!

Although the project had a soft launch in the New Year, we are sending our ‘official media release’ out into the world next week. Emerson Group has created an awesome package that will go out to newspapers, magazines, organizations, and important individuals around the world so keep your eyes and ears open – or simply visit here to learn about all the latest developments and reactions to the project.

In honor of our official blog launch our first give away will be 3 sets of dakbands drawn at random from everyone who leaves a comment about an act of kindness that inspired them. The contest will close at midnight Friday the 24th.

I look forward to sharing with you all.
Yours kindly,