Thursday, July 30, 2009


Generally I wouldn't consider taunting as very kind, but in this case it's really more of a sneak peak. Our big reveal won't be for another week, so I'm going to taunt you with some news and photo of our new website.....

We have been working on a new dakband website for about four months now. It is awesome, state-of-the-art, and once I actually figure out how to add all the content, read and edit html - without driving our overworked and underpaid programmer crazy - we'll be ready for the whole world to start dakking :)

The first thing you'll notice is the map. We have moved the map to the home page because after all it is what makes the project unique and interactive. Underneath the map are MABS: map action buttons. These will allow users to sort all the daks. For example by clicking on the distance travelled mab the top 20 (or so) daks that have travelled the furtherest will appear on the map! (BTW we have a dakband that has travelled almost 10,000 kms!!) Another really neat, new feature is autoplay. The map will automatically trace the route/stories in the order they occured of each dak that appears. And not to give it ALL away (but this is a taunt) but the map automatically scrolls through the tag cloud and prepopulates itself. And yeah, we have a tag cloud (which needs some editing.....)

Drum roll please.........

I can't wait to share the new site with everyone!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dakbands Go North

I first met Marty Mako, volunteer extraordinaire, when we were both invited to speak at the Town of Pelham Volunteer Appreciation Dinner - he was the keynote speaker. He did a fabulous job (it was his first time as a keynote speaker) and had some amazing stories to share!

Well now he is up in Yellownife for the summer working on a project he created for aboriginal youth. It is called Photovoice and you can read about it here:

We donated dakbands for his project and last week Marty sent an email with this message:

I was on CBC radio North this morning talking about my youth photovoice program and how we're incorporating the DAK bands! But I actually had a bunch of the youth interviewed as well and it turned out really good, hearing their perspective on how things are going! I'm trying to get the podcast and transcript, then I'll be able to send it out hopefully so you can hear it. The interviewer was telling me that they broadcast and repeat all across Canada though at random hours... so maybe if you turn on CBC radio at 3am one night this week you'll hear me!

I want to share an amazing story from band #99637, one of the Photovoice dakbands:

My beautiful little sister Hannah gave me her dak...Her & I have unique relationship because of the 22 years between us, I was the firstborn daughter who was given up for adoption in 1973, On my 22nd birthday I met my birthmom Jean and the next year I moved to Yellowknife from Toronto 4days after my birthmom gave birth to my blood sister...A miracle to me as at 22 I had never thought i would have a blood sibling nevermind being blessed with watching her grow up! .

We wish Marty and all the youth in Yellownife the best, and hope your summer continues to bless others with kindness and acts of compassion.

...and Hannah, thanks for passing on the dakbands!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dear Lesley

Dear Lesley,

Thank-you for making the best double long espressos! I can't tell you how great it is to see your smiling face at the coffee bar in the morning, especially when I show up with hair unbrushed, face unwashed and looking fairly desperate. I think I probably owe you a lifetime supply of dakbands.

You were one of first people to ask who the little brown skinned boy who showed up on my hip one day was, and your enthusiasm about our adoption of Garrett was incredibly touching. Over the ensuing year, you have continued to ask for him when my hip is empty and engage him when he is there. You have come to represent the best of what it means to live in community for me.

I love to hear you share about your children, their successes and your obvious joy about the people they have become. They are who they are because you are incredibly wise and smart. You obviously taught them values and principles that enabled them to make self confident, positive choices.

And if they have half of the heart for service and compassion and kindness as their mother they will both be blessings to the communities they live in!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Great to be me!

There are days when even I slip into the 'poor me' wardrobe, allowing myself to be misled by the illusion of ego (Eckhart would be proud!). I get lazy and before I know it, my thoughts are controlling me, instead of me controlling my thoughts. Most days, however, I can't believe the good fortune that is my life, and I recognize fully the power of positive thinking. Can you imagine waking up everyday to go to work, and your work revolving around kindness - what excuse do I have really? :)

The other day I got to approve this list of daks:

band: 117343 (4 stories attached to this band!)
June 11, 2009, Goderich, ON, Canada

I received the DAK from our principal my kid's school. We have been working on a playground revitalization project. It has been a huge undertaking with so many volunteers involved in so many ways. We are doing this project for our kids, for our school (Colborne Central Public School) and for our community. You get from life what you give.

band: 2340
June 16, 2009 11:06 - Fonthill, ON, Canada

Colin's 3 friends lots bike priviledges this week because they weren't riding safely. There's a group of 5 of them who bike to school every day. Today I asked Colin if he was going to bike to school. He said he was going to walk with his friends because they weren't allowed to ride their bikes and it wouldn't be fair.

band 103126
June 19, 2009 20:03 - Oakville, ON, Canada

while I was having my lunch one day. I sat alone and enjoying my greek salad. I sat and over heard a father and a daughter enjoying their shared sandwich. As they were sitting next to my table . I over heard her say to her father that she was so glad to be able to join him for lunch and that he was so special to her. I couldn't help but think of my father and wished I could have been able to spend just a moment with him. He died in 1992 and I still miss him every day She noted to her father that she had just bought a large quantity of paper towels and that she wanted him to take some to his home so he didn't have to buy any for a while. They were the sweetest pair I had seen in a long time. I decided to pay for their lunch. It must have been about 2 weeks later that The father and daughter showed up at my office at the bank with a beautiful card with great word as wisdom. As I was having a busy day and took time to explain why I felt it wonderful to be able to treat them to lunch. The words in her card made my day even better than it was.

There are days when it is just great to be me!!
Please take a moment to go to our trak your dak page and check out these daks as well:
98692, 95601, 161551

Every conscious act of kindness contributes to peace, and changes the way we all live in the world. Thank-you!!