Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008 and Hello 2009!

I'm sitting on a couch in my hotel room watching the sun slowly rise above the Atlantic Ocean. This is by far the highlight of my trip. Anytime I'm at the beach, you'll find that I always watch the sun rise above the ocean. For the next 45 minutes I'll watch a vast array of colors dance across the crisp blue sky that is virtually indescribable.

As I watch the sun rise, I've been considering 2009 and all that there is to be done. I've been thinking of some ideas but I need to put pen to paper so that when I return home, I'll be able to get started working on these goals. This list may change over the course of 2009, but this will give me something to work towards.

1. Get on the list of approved Charities for various organizations that offers to match donations made by their employees. Currently Spreading Joy Corporation (SJC) on the list of approved charities for SPX Corporation, but I'm going to contact Bank of America, Wachovia and Starbucks and send in the necessary forms to be added to their list. Does YOUR company offer a matching program or do you know of other organizations that offer their employees this benefit? Please comment below and let me know. This is a great way to DOUBLE any your contribution.

2. Visit children at the hospital once a month and take a book or small gift. I'd love to be spreading joy at a hospital once a month. Go in with a book or teddy bear in hand and spend the day encouraging and lifting the spirits of those children (and possibly parents) in the hospital. That is where the monetary donations and matches will come in handy. I'll be able to approach book warehouses or suppliers and ask for deep discounts on 300 copies of Curious George or other wonderful books. If you are a book supplier or know one that may give discounts for something of this nature, please let me know. You can comment below or email me directly at

3. Meet with local schools and encourage our youth to be spreading joy daily. Many think that because they are young and do not work that they can not make a difference. Because of their age and the fact that they do not work, that can work for their advantage. They can grab the attention of many adults who will not listen to most people. They can organize community book, coat and/or food drives. Those of us who do not live in their community can not do those things because many communities have a no solicitation policy. Making a difference is more purpose driven than anything. The desire comes from the heart and if we can show them the simple joys of giving while they are young, this will become part of their daily routine. Imagine an army of young people doing one nice thing for someone every day....what a wonderful world this would be!

4. Obtain Government, Foundation and other grants that are out there. Because there are no foundations that give grants to the basic "do gooder" this is going to be difficult for SJC. Many grants hinge on the fact that the NPO is focused on 1 issue and SJC wants to meet a wide variety of needs. I will be working on grant writing and seeking out those grants that will fall within any area of what SJC works for. I'll be sending out letters of inquiry asking for guidelines. I know there are organizations out there that are willing to be a part of Spreading Joy - I just have to be willing to diligently seek them out! If anyone has grant writing skills or a background in English/grammar - and would be willing to help out, please let me know.

5. Marketing and Personally doing more acts of joy to spread the word about Spreading Joy. I enjoy giving and doing things for others. I also need to get the word out and remind others that it is not HOW much you give or WHO you give to that matters. We just need to give. I've been watching the news and hearing how a lot of retailers are going to be shutting their doors. 2009 may end up being a very bleak year financially, but that doesn't give us the right to stop giving and doing for others. If anything, there will be a greater need. More resumes will need to be written. More people will end up on the streets because of the declining economy. No matter what our financial situation is, no matter how old we are or where we live we all have something to give. Many of our young people could teach an adult how to use computers. Many of us that been in the Office administration profession could teach others about customer service, office duties and help write resumes. If you are a Corporate Head Hunter - you could help the jobless become more comfortable with the interviewing process. There are so many ways to make a difference that doesn't even cost a single penny - we just need to be aware of the needs around us.

6. Start collecting Christmas gifts for Christmas Joy 2009. While we were able to distribute 770 toys for Christmas 2008, have a desire to do more. I honestly feel that the need will be greater this year. Imagine if 200 people started and "others" box and put a toy or gift worth around $5.00 in it every other week for this year. Each person would have about 22 gifts come Thanksgiving. Can you imagine the difference 4400 gifts will make this Christmas?!? $5.00 every other week will not break the bank and is a doable goal. Many companies will have a lot of left over items - even after putting them on clearance. My goal is to contact them and ask if they will donate those items. Ask if they will remember SJC when they do their Spring Cleaning. Those items can be stored and held on to until they are needed this Christmas. Don't forget about the tape and wrapping paper. Thanks to a wonderful individual that loves Spreading Joy - this was not a problem this year. She donated enough paper to wrap all of the toys.
7. Highlighting those that make a difference. As I said earlier, 2009 may be a tough year for many of us. But, there are those that will continue to make a difference and I want to share that with you. It will encourage you and motivate you to action. Seeing the joy that comes from sharing and caring will help others to realize that it can be done. The lasting joy that comes from knowing that you cared enough to get involved and make a difference is something that everyone needs to experience for themselves. What is your story of giving? How are you making a difference? You can comment at the end of this blog or click here to share on the SJC web site.
Thanks for sharing this beautiful sunrise with me and for how you are Spreading Joy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Internet goals for 2009

I love to read and one way that I feed my reading habit is by keeping up with several blogs. One of the blogs that I love to read is Daily Blog Tips. One of the great things DBT's does is to help us "newbies" become better bloggers and to learn to use our blogs more efficiently. DBT started a group writing project about Internet goals for 2009. Knowing that if your goals are in print somewhere (especially somewhere public, like the Internet) there will be more effort put into obtaining those goals.

I've been thinking about the direction and goals for Spreading Joy Corporation, but I haven't even thought about having goals to use the Internet more efficiently. While I'll do another post on the various goals I have for SJC, here are my Internet Goals for 2009!

  1. Post consistent articles that will encourage, motivate and remind other about the lasting joy of giving.

  2. Focus on the quality of the posts.

  3. Reach 700-1000 subscribers - This one scares me. Being so new and learning how to "get the word out" is more difficult than I had imagined.

  4. Figure out twitter and see if it will be a proper tool to increase traffic, gain more contacts and simply learn more about the Internet resources.

  5. Get on Face book and utilize it to gain readership.

  6. SJC already has a web site, figure out how to put this blog there without having to link to it.

  7. Learn to make any amount of money for SJC from this blog.

  8. Learn from the best of the best - engage via comments with the blogs that I keep up with to learn as much as I possibly can.

  9. Use the blog as a platform to show how others are making a difference - which will encourage those that think their "little bit" doesn't matter.

  10. Learn more about Stumble upon and Digg and how those tools can benefit this blog.

There you have it. It seems that I have a lot of Internet learning to do, but I actually love to learn. I'll be seeking out all the answers in the various blogs that I keep up with and hopefully - just maybe, someone reading this list will have a heart and help me "learn" all that is needed to be able to complete these goals.

I'm very excited about these goals and the possibilities that will be available once I have completed them!

I'm also thankful for Daniel @ Daily Blog Tips for issuing the challenge!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Joy Fundraiser Update

Spreading Joy is dedicated to reminding people that you don't have to give "big" to make a huge difference! You must simply decide to give and with that very decision, you will be taking the first step to making a HUGE difference!

Getting into the habit of finding ways to make a difference daily is such an easy thing to do. No matter your current situation, there are ways you can make a difference.

Here are a few FREE ways:
1. Tear off those box tops for education and turn them in. (that is money in the TRASH if you don't)
2. Search the internet using and choose Spreading Joy Corporation as your organization that you search for.
3. Compliment someone - words of encouragement can help boost someone's self esteem or even carry them through the day.
4. Do yard work/house work for the elderly in your neighborhood.
5. Send a handwritten card to someone who has encouraged or motivated you to let them know the difference they made in your life.

Here are some inexpensive ways of Spreading Joy:
1. Make a double batch of cookies/brownies and share
2. Love those buy one/get one free - bring in your "free" one's for a food drive
3. Unwrap a smile - Little Debbie Cakes are so delicious - and everyone loves them.
4. Krispy Kreme doughnuts - Oh my goodness - if you live near one of these - you really should spread some joy to those around you when the LIGHT IS ON!!!

There are so many more ideas on our website in the Calendar section.

The Christmas Joy fundraiser is in full swing and we are working on getting as many toys donated for Christmas as possible. Our goal is a lofty one - 2000 toys! We have been asking for toys that are valued at $5.00-10.00. We have 4 companies that are hosting toy drives for us:

Author Squad ( in Huntersville NC (you can drop toys off here)
Robinson Bradshaw Hinson - Charlotte
FreemanWhite Associates - Charlotte
Patterson Pope - Charlotte

We have several boxes in place so that toys can be dropped off anytime:

Qdobas - S. Tryon St.
Planet Beach - Whitehall * S. Tryon St.
Quiznos - Whitehall & Arrowwood
Quiznos - Hwy 16 & 73 in Denver

The biggest thing we need now are items that are good for Teen Boys and 495 more McDonald Gift Cards valued at $5.00 each.

I sent an email out with the hopes that some McDonalds Gift Cards will be sent in. I know it is a HUGE thing to try and get 500 gift cards donated, but working together, forwarding the email and spreading the word will allow us to reach our goal. I know there is a lot of last minute shopping happening and funds are tight this year, but if we are creative we can accomplish this goal.

Just think, if 99 people purchase 5 gift cards, the goal will be met. Some people may be able to do more, others less - but if we work together, it is something we can make happen and be proud of.
All gifts will be properly receipted for your tax purposes. Please - if you can send any amount of McDonald's gift cards, send to:

Spreading Joy Corporation
7795 Clover Ln.
Denver NC 28037

Joy is defined as "the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying"

Joy does not depend on great circumstances or trouble free finances! True joy is available every time you give something or do something for others!

For more information on our Christmas Joy fundraiser as well as our Passion - please visit

Thank you for how you are spreading joy! Be it with gift cards, a gift in one of the boxes or spreading the word about the Christmas Joy fundraiser - you are making a difference!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Count down to Thanksgiving

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches I, like many other Americans, will think of all that I am thankful for. I'll think of days past and the memories that help me through. I'll look to the future and wonder, what will the days ahead bring.

It is during this time of the year that many of us think about how blessed we are and how we can take the time to make the world around us a better place. We give back a little of what has been given to us.

I have so many HUGE dreams of making a difference. Sometimes I feel as if I'll never get there, but I know I have to keep plugging away, one day at a time. My goal is that Spreading Joy Corporation will have an impact on millions of lives. I want to have individual divisions for each of the areas that I have a vision for. I want to add new divisions, such as an area for children in the Hospital. I'd love to be able to go into hospitals and visit the children and leave them a brand new Curious George book - but where do I get 100 copies at a next to nothing price?

I don't want this post to be about what I need, although I truly do need to set some solid goals for next year. I want to talk about the things that I'm thankful for, the things that you may not even realize that you are thankful for as well.

  • I'm thankful for the opportunity to make a difference this year with SJC. Given the time that I filed for my tax exempt status, I never expected to be approved this year. I was surprised when I received my notification and knew that I wanted to do something within this year. Will we make my goal of 2000 toys? I don't know, but I'm so grateful for the chance to try!

  • I'm thankful for the people that pushed me to organize SJC. As I talked about a dream of making a difference and starting a Non Profit Organization, several people kept after me to keep going. Even after I had tucked my SJC folder away in the back of my desk for "later" - they kept bringing it up. Thank you!

  • I'm thankful for the difficult times this year. I know I have so much to learn, but this year has allowed me to be able to get a look at what I'll need to do for next year. I'll know that it isn't easy getting people to say "yes, you can put a wrapped box in our organization..." or "yes, we'll send you 100 Barbie dolls." I'll have a chance to get more organized, to get posters printed for next year's Christmas Joy and will have some experience to draw from. I have to keep learning from the hard times, keep growing through the difficulties.

  • I'm thankful for the people I've met along the way. Just in the past few months, I've met some incredible people. Some - only through the Internet, others in person. I'm always amazed at how these great people make me a better person. There is so much good out there but sometimes the negative seems to cover it up. As I gain more contacts, make more friends and meet people while looking for partners and other opportunities, I know their knowledge and great habits will rub off on me and help me grow.

  • I'm thankful for being pushed out of my comfort zone. I like talking, (long blogs an indicator???) probably more than most people. Next year, as I look for financial partners, I will be doing presentations and getting into social networks more and more. This is a whole new level of talking for me. I've done presentations before, but never ones that had so much riding on them. If I do not present my vision and my passion effectively, then I will not have financial support. If I do not get my business plan up to snuff (and trust me, it needs lots of work) then how many men, women, children and elderly will it affect? Oh, No pressure - none at all. This is going to be a new world to explore for me. I know it will help me and allow me to meet even more great people who have a desire of Spreading Joy on a daily basis.

So, how about it? I know you are thankful for your family, home, job, friends and Krispy Kreme doughnuts - but what else are you thankful for? Have you been forced to step out of your comfort zone this year? How did that help you? Have you had difficulties that were horrible while you were in it? Think of how great it is now that you are through them. (If you aren't on the other side of difficulties patient, you'll get there.) Have you met people that have influenced you this year? Have you told them thank you? Have you taken the opportunities that have come your way? What are you thankful for?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Joy of Choices

We all love choices don't we? We love having our choice in music, food, drinks, reading material, worship etc. When we are looking for ways of spreading joy, there are literally limitless possibilities in the ways we can make a difference. There are free ways - such as phone calls, emails, hugs and smiles and then there are ways that cost us a little - such as gift cards, small toys, flowers. Don't forget the sacrificial ways of spreading joy. The gift to the Missionary when you aren't sure where gas money will come from, the money for the Women's shelter etc. There are no wrong ways of spreading joy, no wrong recipients of joy and the greatest thing of all is the joy that YOU receive from making a difference. Nothing can take away the everlasting joy that comes from doing something for someone else.

I wanted to share with you some ways that others are Spreading Joy. I hope that checking out these other blogs will encourage and motivate you to start looking for ways of spreading joy. They are right there in front of you. You just have to get yourself into the habit of looking for the opportunities.

  • Blog Action Day - where thousands of "Professional Bloggers" blogged about poverty and what can be done about it. A great way of Spreading Joy while working to end hunger.

  • 1000 Mitzvahs - I came across this website and just fell in love with it. Linda is working her way towards 1000 Mitzvahs (acts of kindness) and is at number 785! What an exciting adventure! I can't wait until she hits 1000!
  • 25 Days to Make a Difference - Laura, a young lady (not sure of her age) decided to take the pain of the loss of her Grandfather and turn it into something that would have made him proud. She is making a difference for an organization each month. "I decided to honor my grandfather’s memory by trying to make a difference every day for twenty five days. I wanted to be able to do little things, like kids my age typically do, instead of HUGE things that are sometimes hard for kids like me." Check her out, she is really inspiring.

  • Author Squad - in Huntersville NC will have a Giving Tree in their store beginning November 1st. The tree will be full of tags with ages of boys and girls that you can make a difference for this Christmas. They are gracious enough to give a 20% discount on a purchase made for the Giving Tree. All of the items collected will be giving to Christmas Joy for Spreading Joy.

  • Spreading Joy's Calendar of ideas - This is where you can find ideas for ways of spreading joy and making a difference. Most are low cost or even free while others range in cost. Keep in mind that even when you feel you can't afford to give anything that you have "time" you can give. When it comes to time, no one is more wealthy than another - we all have the same amount.

These are just a few links to some of the many, many choices you have for Spreading Joy. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and Christmas is only 60 days away. You could help at a shelter or is there a family that you know is struggling? Why not get together a box of food and leave it on their porch? Or even take it to them and let them know you are thinking of them.

When we just concentrate on giving without focusing on how much, how big and will it change the world right now - we can (and will) make a difference. Focusing on the right here and now will allow you to see your giving as the true gift that it is. Everyone has something to give.

Right now, I simply can't give big (I'm talking Oprah big), but I can give of what I do have and do so happily. I can notice the opportunities and take the time to make a difference until I can actually give on a HUGE level!

How about you? Is your heart feeling a little empty? Do you feel like your joy is nowhere to be found? What are you doing to get it back? How are you spreading joy? The choices are endless and the decision is up to you. There's no joy like spreading joy!

~"I have found that there is a tremendous joy in giving. It is a very important part of the joy of living." William Black, president of Chock Full O' Nuts Corp.~

~Cup of Joy~

The Joy of Giving ~John Greenleaf Whittier~

Somehow, not only for Christmas,

But all the long year through,

The joy that you give to others

Is the joy that comes back to you;

And the more you spend in blessing

The poor and lonely and sad,

The more of your heart's possessing

Returns to make you glad.

Photo: Todd Wikle -Trinidad Mission Trip 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What is your passion?

There are so many things that we must do in life. We must support our family, we must pay our bills, we must pay our taxes, we must educate our children, we must - we must - we must.....

What about what we love to do? What we want to do? In this frantic race of life that we run each day, there are things that we would love to do instead of what we must do. The 50 million dollar question is WHY aren't we doing it? WHY? Why don't we schedule time to do those things that we are passionate about? Why do we constantly put off what we know we need to do to keep our lives balanced? Why is it that we are making less and less time to work at our passion.

Did you happen to notice that I said "work" at our passion? That's right - work at it. Spreading Joy is one of my passions and making sure I do one thing for someone everyday can be difficult. Sometimes I get wrapped up in one of the 3 classes I'm taking, sometimes I get caught up with my daily job and the needs there. Sometimes its making sure that my family spends enough time together as one child will be heading off to college soon. Working on our passion may be difficult to manage at times, but it is doable.

Regardless of what financial level you are at, what social status you have achieved or where you are in the various stages of life, you can take the time to work on what you are passionate about. We spend time scheduling meetings, planning vacations, family get togethers and doing the necessary things that our day to day life requires that we tend to forget to allow ourselves some time doing what we love.

What is your passion? Is it reading, is it writing, is it musical or artistic? Do you love scrapbooking but can't find the time to preserve those precious memories? Is it woodworking or building things? Is it spending quality and quantity time with your family? Is it sewing and crafting? Is it volunteering or helping others? Is it all of the above?

We all have "to do" lists that we use on a daily basis. Some are on the computer, some are written down on paper and others with great memories keep things straight in their minds. Have you ever thought about putting what you love doing on your daily to do list? Why not? Why not plan some reading time - even if it is just 30 minutes? Why not plan some volunteering time or sewing time? Why not work on things that we are passionate about a little everyday?

I'm not saying plan out everything, everyday - that would be no fun at all. I understand the need for spontaneity. Before gas prices got totally out of control, it would be nothing to get up on a Saturday morning and head to the beach for a day. (4 hours away from here and definitely one of my passions!) But can we plan an evening to work on our sewing projects? Can we plan a family night of fun and games? Can we get out our calendars and make sure we have these things scheduled? Sure we can - if we decide to get passionate about our passion.

So, how about it...what new entries are going on your to do list for this upcoming week? Can you work at your passion a few times this week? Is there a way to make it happen everyday? If not, start small - set a goal for 3 out of 7 days. Yeah, you know you can do it.

Passion and purpose go hand in hand. When you discover your purpose, you will normally find it’s something you’re tremendously passionate about.

~Cup of Joy~

It's Up To You

One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream.
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.

One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal.

One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room,
One candle wipes out darkness
One laugh will conquer gloom.

One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what's true,
One life can make the difference,
You see, IT'S UP TO YOU!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The GREATEST question so far...

Spreading Joy Corporation is a non profit organization that is totally dedicated to reminding people of the JOY of giving. No worries about HOW much you give, no worries about WHO you give to - bottom line, just do it and you will (no doubt about it) experience complete joy!

Yesterday, I was speaking with someone about Spreading Joy and explaining the concept behind it and I was asked "If someone has NO money, NOTHING extra, what can someone in that situation do to help Spreading Joy". Ok, so I don't remember her exact words, but that is sort of the question. Immediately my mind started racing. I told her a few things, but was heading to a meeting and could not go into details. So, here (my friend) is the answer to the greatest question so far!

1. Spread the Word! This is probably the single most important thing you could do for Spreading Joy Corporation. Word of mouth is still the greatest way to advertise because it carries so much weight. You may never know which of YOUR contacts can and will help SJC. If you take that concept one step further - one of THEIR friend's friend may be financially able to support SJC all because YOU took the time to spread the word about Spreading Joy.

2. Gently used books and clothing. Especially coats this winter season. All of these things will be GIVEN to those that needed it most. We will not sell them, we will give them away. That winter coat that is taking up room in the closet will be great to keep a needy child warm!

3. Time. Your most valuable donation. Can you organize a toy (coat) drive within your company? Can you wrap a large box and put it out for others to drop a toy in? Can you donate your skills to help teach? Computer skills are needed, interviewing skills are needed. What skills do you have that can be used to help other people better themselves? Can you volunteer in an office for your local shelter?

4. Tell me your story. Are you spreading joy even though things are extremely tight? Are you finding free ways of bringing joy to the lives of others? In doing this, you are making a difference - you are spreading joy because you are giving from your heart (not of your wealth) and you will encourage others that they can do the same.

5. SJC is not a faith based Non Profit Organization, but me - personally - I do believe in the power of prayer. Pray for me. I need wisdom. I need the ability to make wise decisions and choices.

We all can not give of our wealth simply because we do not have it. Lately we are just making enough to keep gas in our tanks and food on the table and are watching every penny in between. We know in our heart if we could, we'd give BIG - HUGE - even and boy would it make a difference. That is the beauty of giving. No matter the size, no matter what it is - the joy is still great! The difference we make is still powerful. You take the time to show someone you care and YOU benefit the most from it. YOU get the awesome feeling of joy!

~Cup of Joy~
So - here are some free ways of Spreading Joy. I would love to have many, many comments on this posting with MORE ideas of free ways of Spreading Joy.

Handwritten note
Save and give Box tops for Education
Campbell's Labels
Tell me your Story - This help others to realize they can make a difference
Volunteer at a shelter
Smile at everyone
Donate books/toys/coats for us to give
Call and talk to people you haven't spoken with in a while
Write your child's teacher a note and say thank you
Visit any nursing home (even if you no know anyone) and just say hello to everyone.
Email/send our troops a free letter

This is just for starters. AND Imagine if you ended each note or each call with "have you heard about Spreading Joy Corporation?" and gave them the website information. You would be getting the word out about us and someone, somewhere will think that our cause is worthy enough to support financially and make a donation all because you were Spreading Joy at no cost!

These ideas and many, many more are located in the calendar section of

No matter where we are financially we all have the ability to give great joy! When we realize just how easy it is, our lives will be completely full of joy that no one can take away. Even through problems, difficulties and heartache - the joy will still be there if we can simply get past thinking that we can't make a difference because we can't give big. Every gift of any size to any person WILL make a big difference in both your lives.

How are you spreading joy? What are some of the "free" ways you are impacting the lives of others? Please click on "comments" at the end of this post and let us know.

photo courtesy of flickr

Monday, September 15, 2008

Joy - even through Discouragement

discouragement - dis·cour·age·ment (dĭ-skûr'ĭj-mənt) noun
1. the feeling of despair in the face of obstacles
2. the expression of opposition and disapproval

This is one of the definitions from While I agree, I also feel that it is just a feeling of despair - plain and simple. It could be despair in the face of obstacles or it could be just despair with circumstances surrounding your every day life - simple despair. If only it were so simple.

Overcoming discouragement is far from simple. It is very difficult at best because discouragement is part of a huge snowball that is constantly growing if you are not actively fighting it. Discouragement can come from many things in everyday life. Employment issues, financial difficulties, family problems, poor health are the main sources of discouragement. Unfortunately, we all face the giant of discouragement at one time or another. How we handle our self, when we come face to face with this giant, is what either pushes us forward or holds us back.

Talk to someone - You do NOT have to go through discouragement alone. Most everyone has someone they can talk to that will remind them that while this giant of discouragement is huge and very scary, it is only temporary. This is just another chapter in your journey and you WILL make it through. We don't want to "burden" our friends with our whiny, woe is me, sob story - but if we think about it, everyone gets discouraged. Plain and simple - everyone. Don't try and hold it in, your body should not have to endure that kind of stress. Once you share it, you start to feel the weight of this huge giant coming off of your shoulders. Talking to a friend in person, on a message board, during instant messaging or even via email will start easing the stress of this burden. I have to tell you, I know how hard this is. I hate feeling discouraged and have a hard time going to talk to someone about it. Each time when I was finally "in a corner" and sought out a wise individual I wondered why I put it off for so long. If you can't get to someone, email. Seriously. Email your bestest friend in the whole wide world - email me. Find someone who will seriously talk you through this.

Count your blessings - Most of us have financial difficulties. True difficulties. But in the scope of things, we are truly blessed. We have everything we need and most of what we want. We can get our favorite coffee a the corner and have our favorite books delivered right to our door step. We are always in constant communication with anyone at any given time thanks to cell phones, instant messaging and the like. We are blessed with families that love us and friends that enjoy being around us. We are blessed with the freedom to worship in any way that we choose to (or choose not to). We are blessed with help in time of need. Food banks, Christian Ministries, Shelters, etc are established to help those that are down and out and that is a blessing. Sadly we wait until Thanksgiving to think of all the things we are thankful for. Start today - keep a journal, an online journal, a notebook and write down 3 or 4 things everyday that you are thankful for. In "The Cup of Joy" for this posting - you'll find my "blessings" list....well, most of it. Many of the items are my "favorites".

GIVE - I don't know about you, but when I'm discouraged the last thing I want to do is give. That should be a giant red flag for me because I love giving. When I feel like I hate "everything" that should be my cue to just go out and give anything I can. My time, my smile, my talents - anything. Giving to others will help to pull you out of your discouragement. Their smile and sincere thank you will lift your spirits and soon, you'll feel the encouragement that giving brings. You'll literally start feeling the JOY that you are giving. When you feel discouragement looming, you should start giving something everyday. Anything will help. Buy a box of ice cream sandwiches and give everyone of them away. Lots of joy for less than $3.00. Purchase some teddy bears that are on sale and take to a Nursing Home and give to the residents there. Start an "Others Box" and on every trip to the store, purchase something specifically for the box. In 4 to 6 weeks, donate it. Give it to Spreading Joy Corporation. Give to the neighborhood children. Just Give. Don't worry about what you give and how much you give - simply start giving and you'll find that there will not be room for discouragement.

For me - doing one of these is not enough. I consider myself to a happy person, but when the ugly discouragement monster rears its ugly head, I have to do all 3 of these things. You may find giving will be enough to help rise above the trials of discouragement. Maybe just talking with your best friend will be the ticket or maybe you are like me and have to do a combination of the 3. I truly hope you'll have the courage and strength to take the first steps to do any or all of these things to rise above discouragement and find the Joy that lies just below.

~ ~ If you have much, give of your wealth; If you have little, give of your heart ~ ~

~Cup of Joy ~

As promised above - here is my list of blessings and/or favorite things (in no particular order):

Great husband who pumps my gas and makes sure that I have coffee (oh that wonderful stuff) wonderful son who will be graduating next year and beautiful daughter with great dreams of living abroad, my mommie and the very best step parents money can't buy and the rest of my family. Sunsets, sun rises above the ocean. Full moon and clear night sky. Crisp fall nights, delicious coffee (that wonderful liquid gold), fresh baked cinnamon rolls, reading books. I love the ocean in rain, sleet, snow or shine. I love snow, Christmas, kids opening presents and digging gifts out from under the tree. I love decorating the tree (ok, I don't - but I love looking at the decorated by someone else tree and drinking liquid gold) I love hot doughnuts now - nothing like a Krispy Kreme HOT out of the icing. I love high speed internet - will never have dial up again and the ability to email anyone around the world anytime day or night. Being able to take online classes fire balls mp3 players laptop computers (one of the greatest inventions in all time) my doggies my job good vehicles recipe books book store scrapbooking happy memories. I love that i don't have to wear suits and ties and yummy hot chocolate and marshmallows spell check reese peanut butter cups (reese trees yuuum)warranties peanut butter cookies and my vcr (record my favorite cop shows and watch later) indoor plumbing(have you ever been in an outhouse??? n-a-s-t-y! being born in this day and age telephone (so i can talk to angie all the time) mobile phones (see previous note) instant messenger toe socks yard sales hot dogs my game boy game hugs shopping God's protection cloud shapes cool whip wizard of oz cheese cake circus (love the flying trapeeze) peace antique items history breakfast for dinner flea markets blue things sea shells - especially the cool ones my monkeys m&m's (mini's and blue are my favorite)silly signs (make me laugh for days afterwards) fresh cut grass chuck norris (one of these days someone somewhere will fix it so I can MEET CHUCK NORRIS - one day) road runner cartoons riddles mcdonalds - mc rib - internet - so much to read....quietness (i know, i should contribute more often...and you are thankful when I am quiet...) winnie the pooh candles good smelling men (specially my man) roller coasters, scary movies (not about bugs though) dinner with friends, other peoples birthdays cruises to anywhere visiting other states and roses (well actually all flowers)

WHEW - and that is just the beginning.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Giving for the JOY of it

There are people who just love to give. I'd like to think of myself as one of those people. Giving is so much fun. I love searching for gifts, I love asking for items to be donated for others, I love giving things away.

There is a wonderful young lady that I usually tell her "when I grow up that I want to be just like you." She is a giver. She is a giver for the JOY of it. She is constantly looking for things to give and ways to give. She simply enjoys giving - she knows first hand the joy of Spreading Joy. Wonder Woman (name changed so she doesn't kill me because she gives - not for recognition - but simply for the joy of it.) had no idea on my birthday this year that I was working on Spreading Joy Corporation's application for tax exempt status. She did not know that I was even tossing any of these non profit ideas around or that Spreading Joy was a dream of mine. Knowing that I simply LOVE and adore and am totally addicted to coffee, (that delicious liquid gold) she gave a coffee cup for my birthday. Now, I know, you must be thinking - Ummm, ok then - whatever, but, along with big dreams comes a lot of scary things. Will I fail, will I succeed, will I be able to do this, work a full time job AND take 3 classes and take care of my family all at the same time? I had a lot of questions and the unknown is very scary. When I opened my gift - you would have thought she had just given me a million bucks! The coffee cup was a beautiful light blue color with one word on it. Bet you can't even begin to guess what it says. JOY - written in cursive with a star above it. I knew as I held my gift that things were going to work out. No matter what happens, no matter what comes my way, if I just remember that "There's no joy like Spreading Joy" - everything else will be ok. It was several days later that I gave Wonder Woman (also, Wonder Woman is my favorite superhero) a thank you card and I took the time to tell her about Spreading Joy. She remembered which cup she had given me and she knew in an instant that it encouraged me more than she even thought it would.

I'm so thankful that Wonder Woman is such a giver. She encourages me and motivates me to do more. I'm very thankful to be apart of Spreading Joy. I try to do at least one thing for someone every day. There are days when I do more, but at the very minimum, I want to be spreading joy somewhere, somehow - daily.

One of the things I love to do is give away McDonald's sundae's. They are only $1.00 and on a hot day they are such a nice treat. I usually get 5 at a time and then just give them to random people. Once, we (my children and I) took them to some construction workers. It was hot and late in the day. We simply walked up, handed them the entire tray, wished them a nice day and left. We didn't say we were spreading joy, we didn't ask them for anything - just gave it to them and left. They actually looked a little shocked, but I'm sure they enjoyed it.

I love giving. I love seeing how it encourages people, I love the genuine smile that comes from a freshly warmed heart. I love the hugs and the love from spreading joy.

Give - just for the Joy of it.

"You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it's a little thing, do something for others - something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it. " ~ Albert Schweitzer

~Cup of Joy ~
Take another sip of some delicious coffee as you enjoy these tid bits of joy!

Eight Gifts That Don't Cost

THE GIFT OF LISTENING...But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

THE GIFT OF AFFECTION...Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for familyand friends.

THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER...Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories.Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."

THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE...It can be a simple "Thanks for the help" note or a full sonnet. A brief, hand-written note may be remembered for a lifetime... It may even change a life.

THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT...A simple and sincere, "You look great in red,"You did a super job" or "That was a wonderful meal" can make someone's day.

THE GIFT OF A FAVOR...Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE...There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION...The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really...It's not that hard to say,"Hello" or "Thank You" or "I love You".

THE GIFT OF FRIENDSHIP...Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed.They lend an ear, they share a word of praise....And they always want to open their hearts to us.

Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Joys of Technical Difficulties

Being new to blogging, I knew there would be difficulties, but my goodness it didn't seem like it would ever end. My desire is to use this blog as a means of communicating what is happening with Spreading Joy Corporation. The "newsletter" feature on my website isn't very pretty when it is sent out, so after I did some research I came up with this as a solution. Feedburner allows you to sign up via email and anytime I send a new post, it comes to your email inbox with no additional effort on your part.

Feedburner, for the past 2 weeks, did not recognize that I had "enabled" the email service. I tried to sign up for it many time and got an error message. After de-activating and re-activating many time, yesterday for the first time, I was able to register. So now, I feel more comfortable that anyone who wishes to receive updates via email can do so. many technical things to learn. Continue to be patient with me as I learn the ins and outs of blogging and the technical aspects that go along with blogging.

IRS update - Just 10 days after my initial posting on August 3rd, 2008, I received a letter from the IRS. Immediately I opened it, wondering what I had messed up on the application. To my complete amazement - it was my Tax Exempt approval letter. Spreading Joy Corporation is now an IRS recognized Non Profit Organization! (how truly great is that!?!) There are so many things that I want to do, so many ways to start Spreading Joy - it is time to get organized and start Spreading Joy!

The Challenge:
Have you visited the website lately? There are 2 sections that are designed to help you with ideas on how you can do things for others everyday. The calendar and the 30 Day challenge page will get you started.

The calendar has a different idea posted for everyday. I'm always looking for low cost/no cost ways of Spreading Joy - you can email me any ideas you may have. IF you are new to Spreading Joy the ideas start in July of 2008 and is complete through September. It is so easy to spread joy. Once you start looking for ways, the ideas will just come to you. Thank you for your efforts in spreading joy!

"No one has ever become poor by giving." ~ Anne Frank

Cup of Joy

Grab your cup and take another sip as you enjoy this encouraging poem.

Anything is Possible By Author Unknown

If there was ever a time to dare, to make a difference, to embark on something worth doing, IT IS NOW. Not for any grand cause, necessarily... but for something that tugs at your heart, something that's your inspiration, something that's your dream.
You owe it to yourself to make your days here count. HAVE FUN. DIG DEEP. STRETCH. DREAM BIG.

Know, though, that things worth doing seldom come easy. There will be good days. And there will be bad days. There will be times when you want to turn around, pack it up, and call it quits. Those times tell you that you are pushing yourself, that you are not afraid to learn by trying.

PERSIST. Because with an idea, determination, and the right tools, you can do great things. Let your instincts, your intellect, and your heart, guide you.

TRUST. Believe in the incredible power of the human mind. Of doing something that makes a difference. Of working hard. Of laughing and hoping. Of lazy afternoons. Of lasting friends. Of all the things that will cross your path this year.

The start of something new brings the hope of something great, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Spreading the Word

Spreading Joy comes from the desire to make a difference. I simply want to spend the majority of my day doing for others. I love to see people smile. I love hearing laughter of children and I truly love the JOY of Christmas - where everyone is focused on the one thing we should be focused on all year long….OTHERS!

Doing things every day that will bring a smile to someone’s face is the best feeling you could ever have. Why do you think shows like Extreme Home Makeover, and Oprah’s Big give are so extremely popular? They are actually doing what so many of us would love to be able to do. They are giving BIG, they are doing HUGE great things for others! For the brief segment of the show, we are feeling only a portion of what they are feeling - the joy of giving and doing for others in a great way.

Spreading Joy Corporation’s desire is to remind you that anyone in any financial situation can make a difference everyday. It doesn’t require a lot of money, it only requires a desire and some dedication. Are you ready to make a difference? Are you ready to try? Visit the Spreading Joy Corporation home site to find out about the 30 day challenge as well as some low cost/no cost ideas for Spreading Joy. Making a difference daily is as easy as simply being dedicated to doing so.

This blog will keep you updated on our Non Profit Organization application status from the IRS. Currently they have assigned all applications received by March 2008 to an agent for review/approval. SJC's was submitted in May 2008.

There will be posts that are designed to encourage, challenge and motivate you. It will be a reminder that even though prices continue to rise and discouragement seems to be looming around every corner, that there is still joy in giving. Giving is the ultimate way of getting joy. It will remind you that "There is no joy like Spreading Joy!"

Cup of Joy
Grab your cup and take another sip as you enjoy these encouraging things.

Before You...

Before you speak, listen.
Before you write, think.
Before you spend, earn.
Before you invest, investigate.
Before you criticize, wait.
Before you pray, forgive.
Before you quit, try.
Before you retire, save.
Before you die, give.


1. TODAY I WILL NOT STRIKE BACK...if someone is rude, if someone is impatient, if someone is unkind, I will not respond in a like manner.

2. TODAY I WILL ASK GOD TO BLESS MY 'ENEMY'...If I come across someone who treats me harshly or unfairly, I will quietly ask God to bless that individual. I understand "enemy" could be a family member, neighbor, co-worker or stranger.

3. TODAY I WILL BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT I SAY...I will carefully choose and guard my words being certain that I do not spread gossip.

4. TODAY I WILL GO THE EXTRA MILE...I will find ways to help share the burden of another person.

5. TODAY I WILL FORGIVE...I will forgive any hurts or injuries that come my way.

6. TODAY I WILL DO SOMETHING NICE FOR SOMEONE, BUT I WILL DO IT IN SECRET...I will reach out anonymously and bless the life of another.

7. TODAY I WILL TREAT OTHERS THE WAY I WISH TO BE TREATED...I will practice the golden rule. "Do Unto others as I would have them do unto me"- with EVERYONE I encounter.

8. TODAY I WILL RAISE THE SPIRITS OF SOMEONE WHO IS DISCOURAGED...My smile, my words, my expression of support, can make the difference to someone who is wrestling with life.

9. TODAY I WILL NURTURE MY BODY...I will eat less... I will eat only healthy foods. I will thank God for my body.

10. TODAY I WILL GROW SPIRITUALLY...I will spend a little more time in prayer today. I will begin reading something spiritual or inspirational; I will find a quiet place (at some point during this day) and listen to God's voice.

Check out how this young man is Spreading Joy!
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