The 12th stop is our last stop in our Holiday Gifts of Kindness Road Tour. Before I share this last story, I would like to take a moment and reflect on our mission and how our giving gave me one of the best Holiday Season's in a very long time.
2016 has brought on a lot of negativity. I think we have all seen that. However, what I noticed in the last couple months and especially the last few weeks, is how kindness has been a prevelant story in the Media, Social Media, in Communities locally, across the United States and abroad. Kindness DOES matter!
I personally feel kindness is something that should be in our every day lives. Not to say that things are not going to bother us, annoy us or make us upset, however, we can choose kindness. When you choose to be kind, YOU are making the difference in your own life. You are controlling the kindness and at the end of the day, one small act of kindness can truly make the difference. Here's an example.
I had to run into a auto parts store for spray paint for my husband. Quick in and out, right? Wrong! With three people running the counter, and a line, I was stuck and honestly ,a little unhappy about it. What I decided to do when it was my time to come up to pay is I smiled at the person and walked up. Her demeanor immediately changed. She smiled back and thanked me for waiting. We chatted about our Christmas and how it seems everyone has a cold or flu this year. She complimented me on my necklace and said thank you, with a smile, again. You see, we ALL knew they were busy, we all felt a degree of dread for waiting, and yet, by simply smiling and chatting with a positive attitude, she felt appreciated, I felt the wait was worth my while now, and I left not feeling irritated, rather better than when I arrived. A simple, small kind smile helped me and another person.
The feeling of being the positive in the negative is what inspired me to begin Holiday Gifts of Kindness. Being thanked, appreciated, and thought of is one of the best feelings we can have, and that is what we set out to do!
You could see that on some of our Holiday Gifts of Kindness, we teamed up with local businesses, and for this one, Jersey Mikes partnered with us. Jason, the manager at Jersey Mikes (4009 S. Meridian. Puyallup 98373), was so generous and gave us some free sandwich gift cards.
Our last stop on our road tour literally took us to our back yard. Well, to the business that connects our yards. Tammie and Robert, the owners of That Sticker Store here in Puyallup (11601 100th Ave Ct E, Puyallup 98373) are our go-to business when we need stickers and banners. We also use their business for our vehicle wraps. They are always phenomenal to work with, their product is superior and their turn around times are on the mark! We are very thankful to work with them and have them in our Community. If you ever have the opportunity to work with That Sticker Store, please do. You won't be sorry!
"Kindness is an inner desire that makes us want to do good things, even if we do not get anything in return. It is the joy we receive that drives these simple acts. When we perform acts of kindness, driven soley by an insatiable desire to love one another, there is kindness in everything we think, say and do."
Jessie and I set off one day and delievered most of our Holiday Gifts of Kindness, however, because of the surprise element we missed just a couple people. Well in this case, the office moved all together. We decided we would go out another day and meet with Allen of Prime Lending Mortgage Co.
Since I had another location to go to, Jessie and I decided he would go to Prime Lending on his own. As he set off, I told him to snap a picture for our blog posts.
Later that morning, I received an email with the photo, and about thirty seconds later Jessie called me. He was laughing when I picked up the phone, and explained that he had gotten all the way out to the truck and realized he hadn't taken the picture. So, he ran back in to see Allen and grabbed the picture seen below. He said they were so happy to receive our chocolates and were already getting ready to sample them!
"Do not underestimate a moment of your kindness. It has the power to
change lives in ways you may never know." -Author Unknown
We have been so blessed to have partnered with local small businesses to help us thank our Holiday Gifts of Kindness recipients. Their kindness is more than appreciated!
Our tenth stop on our road trip of thank you's took us to Lori Holman, a local realtor at Windermere here on South Hill (12114 104th Ave E, Puyallup.). Lori has been a longtime friend and supporter of Jessie, and Insurance West.
Our community is truly built on relationships and interaction with business owners, as well as the citizens itself, and when we support one another, we are spreading a kindness that goes beyond our reach.
When we were putting together our Holiday Gifts of Kindness project, Zairy of Balance Z Body was more than happy to donate and be a part of our mission.
Zairy created her body care products to help balance out the ailments our bodies encouter daily, with only the best ingriedients to preservce her business mission.
While our Holiday Gifts of Kindness were surprises for the recipients, we unfortunately didn't get the opportunity to see Lori that day. We did leave her gift and took in the beauty of their massive Christmas tree in the lobby!
"When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect
toward others." -Dalai Lama
Here at Insurance West, we are fortunate to be protected by great local law enforcement. We definitely couldn't leave out The Pierce County Sheriff's department.
The South Hill Precinct is located just a few short miles from our office, and we were more than happy to partner with Wanna Cupcake to help us thank the Pierce County Sheriff's office for their protection and service to the Pierce County Community.
Wanna Cupcake? donated a dozen of assorted cupcakes to our Holiday Gifts of Kindness thank you's, and when Jessie and I picked them up, we were so happy to see their new location that is outfitted with a beautifully designed cafe.
The display of cupcakes and other desserts and the smell of coffee, and not to mention their kind staff is why we will be returning as customers in the near future!
We would like to truly thank the Pierce County Sheriff's office for their risk, protection and helpful service to our Community.
"Be nice to everyone, always smile and appreciate things because it
could all be gone tomorrow." -Ed Sheeran
Our road trip of gratitude takes us to a local repair shop who has helped our Insurance West vehicles not only with excellent service, but with jobs well done!
Bucky's Complete Auto Repair Services is located close to our office at 3928 Meridian South on Puyallups South HIll.
Randy and the crew have always been kind to work with and their turn around times have been fast and effective.
We were happy to have Gary, the owner of The Flying Tomato Bar and Grill in Graham (10224 198th St Ct E, Graham) donate a $25 gift card for the crew at Bucky's. And let me tell you, they were VERY thankful for receiving our Holiday Gifts of Kindness, and we are thankful not only to Bucky's, but to The Flying Tomato!
If you get a chance to use the services of Bucky's, please do. And if you're hungry for excellent pizza, burgers and pasta, you MUST go to The Flying Tomato.
"Spread kindness to one person a day. Imagine the amount of happiness
you would dispense in a lifetime?" -Author Unknown
For a minute, stop, and read this blog. I am so thankful for my job as the Marketing Director for Insurance West here in Puyallup. Not only are my co-workers funny, totally cool and show the most outstanding customer service I've seen in a long time, I also get to do everything I love, and meet people who inspire me.
Today....today was a very humbling, inspiring and at the same time, a thankful day.
As many of you know, we have our Christmas Lights Display happening every night from 6-9pm here at our office. Along with our display, we are doing a food drive for The Puyallup Food Bank. I've had the upmost pleasure of meeting Karen Kiilsgaard, who is the Vice President of The Puyallup Food Bank one day at work. She is a friend of the owner, and when we put together our Holiday Lights Display, we definitely wanted to give back to the community, and Karen immediately came to mind.
We are collecting food during our office hours which are Monday-Friday 9am-5pm and in our blue donation bin outside by our driveway after hours. Any donation is so much appreciated and thank you to those of you have donated already.
So why was my day humbling? Inspriing? And Thankful? With our Holiday Gifts of Kindness thank you's, today we teamed up with Volcano Coffee here in Puyallup. Volcano Coffee, located at 9909 168th Street E #101 Puyallup, donated a $25 gift card for the staff and volunteers of The Puyallup Food Bank and little did Karen know that while I was coming down for a tour of the Food Bank, I was offering a gift to show our gratitude to what The Puyallup Food Bank does for our community.
When I arrived at The Puyallup Food Bank, I met up with Karen and gave her the gift card. She was very surprised and was so incredibly thankful. And truthfully, so was I.
Karen began showing me around the warehouse. What I noticed rightaway truly wasn't the food, it was the staff of volunteers working with hats, gloves and coats on, rushing around getting everything ready for the individuals and families in need. Everyone was friendly, and kind.
We began our tour in the toy room. It was a toy candy store for families with children who are having a birthday or need help with gifts at Christmas.
I looked around and thought for a second of how excited these kids are for getting this opportunity. While they may not have the ideal situation at home, they are being cared for by a community that wants every child to share in some joy. And for another second, it made me wonder about the kindness these kids are receiving, and that in later years, they could pay it forward and donate because of how the generosity made a positive impression in their lives.
The Tour brought us to the entry way of The Puyallup Food Bank. There is seating and bread that the individual and families can have.
She explained how at noon, the families come in and begin the process of being checked in and offered items they need, such as toiletries, baby items and even pet food!
I even was able to meet a sweet volunteer that is a 90 years old lady! She was so spunky and literally just jumped in and began working! Karen and the sweet lady worked the counter where the individuals and families in need come in and get their dairy, produce and bags of food loaded with cans and other items to get them by for a little while.
Karen then took me out to the warehouse where I met a couple volunteers and saw how they put together the donated bags of food. I was shown the large freezer and pet food area! They feed 45 families a day, and a little more if needed. It is a very well oiled machine there!
The final stop in the warehouse was the donation door. Here, everything that comes into The Puyallup Food Bank gets weighed and sorted, and then put on the shelves for those in need. Karen told me how thankful she is to our local grocery stores who donate to the food bank on a regular basis.
I'm humbled by what I witnessed today. The care and thoughtfulness of our community to help those in need was beautiful. I'm inspired by the kindness I saw in the volunteers and how they are truly there to make sure people in need get what they can. Finally, I'm thankful for the time Karen took with me to show me what The Puyallup Food Bank does for our community. At a point, it even brought tears to my eyes.
Again, we are accepting food donations at our office Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm, and in our blue donation bin outside our office during our Holiday Lights Display that comes to life each night from 6-9pm.
Please do what you can, as truly one can literally goes to an individual or family in need.
I appreciate your time in reading this blog, The Puyallup Food Bank now holds a special place in my life and I'm a better person for knowing Karen and being able to tour their facility.
Our road trips stops us not too far from Insurance West's office. The staff at Columbia Bank just down the street from us has always been kind and generous to us.
We have used their bank to make change for our cash drawer and we have sent customers to them who need to have large bills broken down to pay their Insurance payment.
We wanted to thank them because their kindness is exactly what a business should be! Yeah, maybe people don't have accounts with them, but if they received the superior customer service have always had, that could bring a customer their way! You see, kindness does make a difference and it DOES matter!
"Your greatness is not what you have, it is what you give." -Unknown
With our Insurance West office being on the busy South Hill area of Meridian (We're across from Best Buy) we are lucky to be amongst so many businesses, big and small. Oh and the Community....the community is outstanding! We are very lucky and fortunate here in Puyallup!
As we travel along our Holiday Gifts of Kindness Thank You road trip, we knew we had to stop at Absolute Mortgage (144 East Stewart Ave #201, Puyallup) in downtown Puyallup. Situated right next to Crocketts Public House on Stewart. Jessie has known Trevor at Absolute Mortgage for a few years and it was fitting to say thank you for his support of Insurance West.
Trevor was surprised, however very appreciative for the chocolate and our visit.
"Kindness is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon another.
If someone is in need, lend them a hand. Do not wait for a thank you.
True kindness lies within the act of giving without the expectation of
something in return." -Author Unknown
We are truly grateful for knowing such outstanding small business owners and wonderful people in our Community. In the spirit of giving this Holiday Season, we are honestly seeing first hand, with our own eyes, what giving can do. It creates moments in peoples lives that focuses on them. It stops the chaos of life and for that moment, life is good.
When putting together our Holiday Gifts of Kindness, we reached out to small businesses, and we were so thankful for Rhonda with her magnificant business, The Art of Crunch (www.theartofcrunch.com), which is absolutely delicious and beautifully created Biscotti.
Rhonda won a Blue Ribbon at the Washington State Fair previously for her Biscotti and her business has been growing since. If you're having a Holiday Party, or would like to give her Biscotti as a gift, her flavors and Holiday flavors are a sure hit!
Rhonda's kind donation to our Holiday Gifts of Kindness was happily given to the staff at Servepro Puyallup (www.servpropuyallupsumner.com). We are thankful they stop in and say hi, and when they came by and dropped off food for our Canned Food Drive here at Insurance West, we were incredibly happy! Marie is always so kind and sweet when she is here and because of her kindness to us, we wanted to pay kindness forward to them.
Thank you to Rhonda at The Art of Crunch and to Servpro, we are grateful for you!
"Be the person that makes others feel special. Be known for your
kindness and grace." -Author Unknown
Our kindness comes from a place of gratitude and thoughtfulness. There are so many reasons why we are thankful here at Insurance West, as individuals and as a Company.
We are thankful for the individuals who are wonderful people that support our Company. Leonard Hunt is one we had to reach out to with our kind gift and thank him in person!
Leonard Hunt is a Real Estate Agent at Keller Williams Realty in Puyallup, Washington. (1029 East Main Ave #201, Puyallup 98372).
Jessie has known Leonard for some time and when we went to see him at Keller Williams and gift him with chocolates, Leonard was very surprised, welcoming and thankful.
We had a wonderful conversation and we were delighted in the kindness of a gentleman at the office who offered to take a picture of all three of us.
In our Holiday GIfts of Kindness thank you's, we are truly seeing what kindness creates. It's not about getting back what we give, it's about authentically saying thank you and we appreciate you. We leave each place with smiles on our faces because we made someone feel special, because they deserve it.
"Good Acts of Kindness and Compasion towards others gives strength
not only to ourselves, but it inspires good actions in others."