My name is Yazmine McPeck and I absolutely love that our company celebrates holidays like World Kindness Day and Random Acts of Kindness Day by giving us paid time off hours to perform acts of kindness!
This week I took a few days of PTO to re-group and reflect on the year. Usually I save my paid time off to visit my best friend and her family in TX every November, but obviously this year had different plans for us all. When the ball dropped at midnight on 01/01/2020, I imagine myself along with many others thought this would be the year we have all been waiting for! The year to crush goals and take names, lose those stubborn pounds we put on over the holidays, and achieve every goal and aspiration we journaled. While looking back on the year, it’s been a wave of emotions, some days were harder than others, but I always tried my best to keep gratitude and hope at the forefront. Who would have thought 2020 would be the year we learn to truly cherish and appreciate all that we have.
My Husband and I recently moved to the Coachella Valley, sadly there is a huge homeless population here. I used my time off to go through every closet in our home, held each piece of clothing to see if it “brought Joy” (Marie Kondo style) and got a large basket of clothes together. I started to assemble care packages for the homeless, each bag came with 3+ pieces of clothing, a cliff bar, 2 water bottles, and a mask (some also got shoes and lunch pails) I was able to put 13 bags together and with the help of my Husband, drove them into downtown. As we were leaving the last lady we had given the care package to, we noticed on the side of the road next to her there was a puppy and 3 adult dogs that appeared to be hers. The woman then took the puppy and placed him inside the lunch box from her care package, using it as a dog bed, my heart broke. That night I placed a target drive up order for dog food, a dog bed and water bowls hoping that she would still be in the same spot the next day. The following day she was still there and we were able to surprise her and her fur babies.
I am a big believer in paying it forward, buying the person behind me in the drive thru lines coffee, (pre-covid) offering to help and elderly person load their car at the grocery store or volunteering at old folks home and assisting those with special needs, but this experience hit me differently. Especially in today’s world, during a global pandemic, we truly realize the difference between 1st world problems and real problems. Costco and Target being out of toilet paper and paper towels means nothing, not having a roof over your head, or access to food, water, proper sanitation, medical resources and shelter is what matters & is a real problem. The goals we journal will still be there, rather than be mad at ourselves for the pounds we’ve gained, lets appreciate our bodies that have managed to keep us healthy during this crazy time, (a little quarantine weight never hurt anyone so I say eat the cookies) and most importantly lets continue to spread happiness, love and joy to those around us.
I am just sharing to hopefully inspire others to make a difference in their community, and not expect anything in return. It is an amazing feeling to anonymously give rather than receive.
You’d be surprised to know how something even as small as a smile can change someone’s whole day.