Browsing articles tagged with " kids"
Jul
17

MISSION: The Future Is Mine

One of the most special things to me about this project is being asked to participate in speaking engagements and share with others my love for and the importance of intentional kindness. I love the opportunity to meet new people from all walks of life, hear their stories, and see their enthusiasm in wanting to make the world a better, more loving, and kinder place.

A few months ago, I was invited to speak at the  Consortium for Public Education’s The Future is Mine Leadership Conference at the Marriott City Center here in Pittsburgh. The Future is Mine (TFIM) is the Consortium for Public Education’s initiative that reaches into high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools to connect students to authentic career awareness experiences. TFIM helps students focus on learning how to drive their careers, from accessing appropriate academic opportunities to packaging skills and talents to navigating the world of work. Its goal is to help all students find their passion and pursue their dreams but in an informed way that will lead to future success.

It was a wonderful experience. I spoke to the students about the Secret Agent L Project, how it started, what it means, how it can affect their future careers and lives, and how they could become involved. The amazing woman who invited me to the event, Leigh-Anne Weiss, even set up a Store of Kindness in which the students could pick out various items to use to create their own Secret Agent L missions.

It was definitely a hit.

Laura in front of ballroom sign

ballroom session sign

items for kindness missions

kindness items

students

Laura Miller speaking

Laura Miller speaking

student making a mission

envelope gift

group of students with Secret Agent L Laura Miller

One of the coolest things about the session was that we learned that the photographer had actually been the recipient of a Secret Agent L mission not too long before the conference. She and her boyfriend had their meal paid for at a restaurant, and the waitress handed them a Secret Agent L business card and told them that a customer had taken care of everything for them. It was a powerful moment for me–I actually got a little misty-eyed when the young lady told the story in front of us all.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to speak to and interact with our young people. It gives me great hope that our future is headed in the right direction.

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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Mar
14

Mini MISSION: Secret Agent Family Fun

secret agent image

{stock photo}

Sometimes missions happen without photos being taken. No biggie! It’s the act of kindness that counts. I love this mission, which I’ve deemed “mini” only because I don’t have photos to go with it. But rest assured: the love and kindness associated with it are nothing less than huge. :)

DATE:
Tuesday, 24 January 2012

OPERATIVES:
Affiliated Family Agent S1
Affiliated Family Agent V1

LOCATION:
local bar and grill
Huntsville, AL

TIME:
not specified

TO: Secret Agent L

We just wanted to report on our first of what we hope to be many missions.

My nine-year old son Agent V1 and I did our first mission on Tue, Jan 24 at a local bar and grill where we eat with friends on a regular basis. He was so excited! Sorry we forgot the camera to take pictures. I prepared a clear cellophane bag with a key ring, granola bar, matching note pad and pen and of course the Secret Agent L business card. Our attached card read as follows:

This is for YOU! Yes, You! You found this gift and you get to keep it. We hope this little gift brightens your day and brings a smile to your face. AFA S1 and AFA V1

Upon our arrival, Child Agent placed the bag in an unoccupied booth in the far corner of the restaurant. SUCCESS! When we departed the restaurant, we checked and our gift was gone!

What fun! We can’t wait to do this again!

Affiliated Family Agent S1
Affiliated Family Agent V1
from Huntsville, AL

Thank you so much, Affiliated Agent Family!! One of the greatest blessings I’ve experienced through the SAL Project is witnessing families coming together to enact kindness in an intentional and personal way with each other. I love that! Keep it up, and I can’t wait to see what you do next!  xoxo!

 

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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Jan
17

MISSION: Nine-year-old Niceness

Nothing excites me more than when children decide to participate in the Secret Agent L Project as Affiliated Agents.

I. Love. It.

Nine-year-old Affiliated Agent C of Santa Rosa, California, is no exception. He completed the mission, took the pictures, and wrote up his narrative, all on his own. I’m so proud of him and honored to have him on board.

DATE:
29 November 2011

OPERATIVE:
Affiliated Agent C

LOCATED:
local neighborhood

TIME:
not indicated

He states, in his own words via email:

here are pictures of my mission i told you about

again in the photo of my letter i have bad riting. also it is a toy because nexdoor they do have a child so ya,

from SecretAgentC

Way to go, Affiliated Agent C! Thank you so much for choosing kindness! I can’t wait to see what your next mission is! And tell the grown-ups in your life how proud I am of you!

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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Jan
5

Let’s Help Kids. Now THAT’S Kindness.

chachi plays logo
{image: Melissa Ott Design}

I’m not gonna lie. Pittsburgh is filled with some of the kindest, coolest, most caring folks. My dear friend Anthony Walker, or “Chachi” as he’s affectionately known, is no exception. In fact, he’s one of the best ones.


{This is Chachi. C’mon. Look at that face. ADORABLE, right? So is his heart. photo: Rob de la Cretaz}

Last year, Chachi started Chachi Plays, a really fun way he raises money for area organizations that help kids.

Helping kids. Who doesn’t want to do that?

He raised a bunch of money for Make Room for Kids, which partners The Mario Lemieux Foundation with Pittsburgh celebrity blogger and do-gooder Virginia Montanez to raise money for Children’s Hospital.

This year, Chachi’s at it again. I’d love it if you’d help him out. Maybe that could be your Secret Agent L mission for the week. Got $5? Wanna help a kid? Here’s how you can (in Chachi’s words):

Hello there! Let me introduce myself. I am Anthony, or “Chachi Says.” You may or may not know who I am already. If you do, fantastic! If you don’t, not really surprising.

Study’s show I have about ten seconds to get your attention: Kids, video games, helping others. I think that pretty much covers everything!

So, I do a lot around the internet. I’m on Twitter: @ChachiSays or @ChachiPlays. I also blog and do a vidcast, but none of that is important. Right now what is important is Chachi Plays.

Chachi Plays is an event that I started last year with the help of some friends. The event is used to raise money to help a children’s organization in the Pittsburgh area. Last year I raised $3000, which was over our goal of $2400 to help with the Make Room for Kids efforts. The basis of the event is that for so much money raised I will play a set time of video games., with the limit being 24 hours straight. (Any more than that would just be crazy.)

Well, it was super popular and the demand came in to do it again… SO WE ARE! This year the money is being split between Toonseum and The Father Ryan Arts Center. Both are starting or already have an arts program for underprivileged children.

All it takes is a few clicks. Go to the Chachi Plays website and make a donation. Any amount is useful. Our goal this year is $3000. Also, if you donate $50 or more, you can come down to Toonseum and spend some time playing video games with me! You pick the game! You’ll probably win. Just saying. The first and last spots are being auctioned off, as they are the best. You can bid on playing a fresh me or loopy me! Your choice.

So, starting the first week of January, donations are being accepted. The rest of the details below:

Where: Toonseum! 945 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

When: Feb. 10th – 11th. 7 pm to 7pm

Beneficiaries: Toonseum and The Father Ryan Arts Center.

Thank you for your time and hopefully you can help us out! Come on! It’s for the kids!!!!

 

Thanks, everyone!

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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Nov
30

MISSION: Who Doesn’t Like Kinder Bueno?

You guys.

I’ve got two new international Affiliated Agents.

From Copenhagen, Denmark.

And they’re only 14 years old.

We can learn so much from children. And what wonderful role models they are for their community!

DATE:
Tuesday, 22 November 2011

OPERATIVES:
Affiliated Agent C.D.
Affiliated Agent E

LOCATION:
bench
local shopping center
Copenhagen, Denmark

TIME:
not specified

I have just been on my first mission with my friend and partner-in-good, E.  We originally planned on giving my local school library something, but we found this chokolade in a store, and it was on sale. So we could not resist it.  Anyways, it is now on a bench near the local shopping center, where we hope it will give someone a moment of joy.

We started by finding a 2-pack kinder bueno on sale in our local shop. Of course we bought it…

We then decided to make it a gift. We taped a SAL buisiness card onto it, and wrote a letter to follow it, the letter said:

“To the one that finds this, share it with your best friend, and tell he/she how much you care for her/him. Signed E and C.D”

And with a SAL business card.

 

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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Nov
15

MISSION: Veterans Day

Veterans Day is one of my favorite holidays. My grandpa–Pappap, we called him–fought in WWII and was a POW for over two years in Germany. When he returned to the States, he weighed 95 pounds. Had he not survived, I would not be here, and the Secret Agent L Project would not exist. I owe him everything.

Friday was such a special day, for so many of us. I really loved reading your stories and thoughts about the veterans you know (and don’t know, but appreciate). We are so blessed to live in a country where our neighbors, family, and friends–and even complete strangers–volunteer their lives so that we can be free. If that’s not kindness, then I don’t know what is.

Affiliated Agent T’s mission made my eyes leak. I love that she shared the special holiday with her son, teaching him to value our servicemen and servicewomen. And the fact that her son wants to follow in their footsteps one day not only makes me so proud, but it puts a tear of joy in my eye to know that someone so young knows the value of service to others.

DATE:
Friday, 11 November 2011

OPERATIVE:
Affiliated Agent T and son

TIME:
10:00 a.m.

LOCATION:
Cohoes and Green Island, NY

I love coupons, and I took great advantage of CVS offering $3 in rewards back on the purchase of 3 Hallmark cards. This was perfect considering I could get three 99cent cards and get $3 back towards my next purchase!

My son went in CVS with my CVS card, and picked out 6 (we couldn’t do just three)thank you cards. We then went across the street to Stewart’s and bought 6 gift cards for a free coffee or hot chocolate. My son then wrote a message on the cards, and placed a gift card inside.

We then delivered cards to the local Legion, Senior Center and to his barber. The barber was not part of the actual “secret mission” as he did know him. But the others were complete strangers.

He took the first card into the Legion where he gave an employee the card to give to any veteran that came in that day. The next card we put through a mail slot of the local senior center and addressed it to a “veteran.”

This was such a great experience to share with my child to show him the importance of the holiday and also showing him how good it makes you feel to do good for others expecting nothing in return.

 

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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Jul
27

MISSION: Traveling Drop at a Rest Stop

By Number Two  //  Missions  //  1 Comment

I get nostalgic when I travel. I’ve traveled quite a bit, over this country and others. Traveling opens my eyes and my heart to others. Happy is the best word I can use in how this mission makes me feel.

 

DATE:

June 10, 2011

OPERATIVE:

Affiliated Agent J

LOCATION:

North Carolina Welcome Center on I-26 East

TIME:

6:30 p.m.

 

I was having a rough run of things last month and decided to cheer myself by cheering someone else. So I gave myself a small budget and went to the store for my lunch break. I picked up a few things from the bargain bins, walked around, and tried to find a little something for “everyone” since I wasn’t sure when/where I would leave it, yet. When i got home that afternoon, it hit me! I knew exactly where I could spread some joy!

I spend quite a bit of time driving along a stretch of I-26 where it crosses from Northeast TN into Western North Carolina (think “mountains”), and along that interstate there are rest stops/welcome centers on each side of the state line. So I put everything together with a little note (in a fun tote I picked up, too), and then as I crossed into North Carolina that evening, I paused at the rest stop.

I sneaked the bag inside my own big satchel and went on in. The place was pretty busy (it’s a popular stop with rocking chairs, walking paths, and a nice atmosphere), so I made for the Ladies room. I went into a stall and got ready – pulled the bag out, got my camera ready, and peaked out to decide on where to leave it when i was sure I was the only one in there. I ended up leaving it on a counter at the end of the room – everyone who comes in has an opportunity to see it. I made sure the attached card was visible, and grabbed a photo before ducking back into my stall – such sneakiness is tricky (and fun).

I’m sure that if a parent or child found it, the parent probably cursed me at least once – because who needs a cup-ball in the car with them, or bubbles? But all was fun, and even a parent who has been trapped in a car with their kid for however long can appreciate the joy and fun of it.

The whole thing certainly brightened my day, and I was reminded of how little “cost” can go a long way.


Also, we had some rambling rain showers (happens a lot in these mountains – sort of like a rain forest), and as I drove away from the Welcome Center I saw some great rainbows. I mean, who could NOT love an evening like that?

 

Affiliated Agent J did a great job in in this mission. I am sure many traveling families in need of a break would love to come away from a rest stop with a rejuvenated focus. I know I would! I’m glad this mission also provided you, Agent J, with a rejuvenated spirit. Awesome work!

Number Two

An involved Pittsburgh volunteer, Vivian also spends her time with the Garage League (of Writers), The Pittsburgh Morning Mix, Zola Design, LLC, UpTo Know Good, The Mattress Factory, an amazing kitchen co-op, biking with Flock of Cycles, hiking, and traveling with her boyfriend and dogs.

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May
9

MISSION: {New} Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day being yesterday, Affiliated Agent B {and her accomplice, Affiliated Agent A} thought this weekend a perfect time to celebrate new moms. I couldn’t agree more.

DATE:
Thursday, 5 May 2011

OPERATIVES:
Affiliated Agent B
Affiliated Agent A

LOCATION:
local maternity ward
Shoreline/Edmonds, WA

TIME:
approximately 8 p.m.

This mission just happened to fall into place. I had actually made these 3 gifts a little while back and just had not “placed” them yet — and so…..

The first one is a little photobook, journal and pencil all wrapped with a ribbon which could be for anyone – male, female, young, old….. — I went to the local nursery any placed it in a box of dahlia tubers for some gardener to find and take home…

The other two were gifts of body lotion and bubble bath — in little clear bags with the notes and SAL cards attached.

I hadn’t really any idea what to do with them until my friend (Affiliated Agent Amy) suggested that in honor of Mother’s Day, how about the local maternity ward??? Great idea Amy! With a little doctoring of the outside and attaching stickers that said “Happy Mother’s Day” we set out for the local hospital.

When we reached the birthing center we offered up what our intentions were and the charge nurse was more than helpful — she took us to the one vacant birthing room and let us “prop” them for pictures (we had one on the bed and one in the isolette). Obviously we couldn’t leave them in that actual room, but once we explained the entire SAL project, she assured us she would place them for a couple new moms this weekend —

Happy Mom’s Day to all you mothers out there (and all those who fill in as moms!!)!

Affiliated Agents B and A, THANK YOU! I’m sure your acts of kindness will really touch the new moms who received them. Thank you for thinking outside the box! {And a BIG thank you to the nurse in charge who offered to act as an accomplice! YAY!}

 

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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Apr
25

MISSION: Triple Threat

YOU GUYS.

I LOVE this mission. Seriously. Talk about creative and thoughtful. Affiliated Agent Bruno hit this one out of the park!

DATE:
Sunday, 18 April 2011

OPERATIVE:
Affiliated Agent Bruno

LOCATION:
Rare Hare Studio
North Park
San Diego, CA

TIME:
10:30 a.m.

Curiouser and Curiouser…

So this one required a bit more planning, and measures to make it kid friendly… first, got together an appropriate book title for children and registered the book on Book Crossing. If you are not familiar with the website, you should definitely check it out for ideas on random acts of kindness, and it’s super fun! Register a book there, leave it out in the wild, and then track it’s travels all around the world later.

Next, I took a rockin’ piece of kid created art from Secret Agent MC here in San Diego. I absolutely adore her and the workshops she does to continually encourage kids on the value of art, play, empowerment and creativity. Check out her super juicy blog!
Wrapped it all up with a $5 bill and a card from Secret Agent L and dropped it at one of the coolest art studios in San Diego, The Rare Hare. This place is a studio for kids to create and play all day long, making wonderful art projects out of recycled materials and learning the values of reusing and repurposing what most people would call trash into beautiful works of art.

Here was the tricky part though… convincing the studio instructor of my intent for random acts of kindness and not weirdo acts of adult strangers. :) Showed her the contents of the package, including the note, told her all about Secret Agent L, and asked if she would please leave it someplace conspicuous around the studio for one of the kids to find. Her eyes lit up immediately at the prospect of being in on the Secret Agent Mission and I knew she was in.

Can’t wait to see these kids get involved, they are awesome!

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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Apr
14

MISSION: The Future Is Mine

Can I just brag about Pittsburgh for a minute?

I can?

Great.

Pittsburgh. Is. Awesome.

And so are our kids.

One of the Secret Agent L Project’s Affiliated Agents (Affiliated Agent LA) works with students in one of our local school districts. She’s a force, let me tell you. She cares about our kids so much, and she’s determined to make a difference in their lives so that they can go and make a difference in the lives of others.

Affiliated Agent LA works with a project called The Future is Mine.  The Future Is Mine (TFIM) is the Consortium for Public Education’s initiative that reaches into high schools, middle schools and elementary schools to connect students to authentic career awareness experiences.  The Consortium is a unique third-party convener, broker and catalyst dedicated to making a difference in the lives of all children and their communities.

Recently, Affiliated Agent LA had her students participate in an impromptu Secret Agent L mission. Here’s what she had to say:

I think that teaching the students to find their passion definitely involves them seeing themselves as a part of a community and seeking connections with others.

At a recent The Future is Mine Meeting, my students met up with their peers from Clairton HS to plan the workshop. I had them do an impromptu SAL at Dave & Buster’s in the Waterfront with some Play Doh and card-making materials. The kids were really excited to get involved and even used their winning tickets from their game play to purchase items that they planned to use in a future SAL mission! Our lunch date meeting took place on March 10th.

I am so proud of these students and thrilled that Affiliated Agent LA has begun to incorporate the importance of giving, community, and kindness into the TFIM experience.

These amazing kids?

They will change our world.  For the better.

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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