The Best Things In Life Are FREEBIES!

Like Dr. Jekyll I Tried It Out On Myself

Last Thursday, November 10, Lexington MA held their annual-ish Art Walk. The Art Walk turns Lexington center to one big art gallery. Art is displayed in shop windows along our main street. Artists and guests met for a reception followed by a tour of the art on display. Our Tour Leader discussed important aspects about the artists' work and their motivations behind their pieces. about the various pieces. Many of the artists were on hand to chat about their work and their inspiration. We allowed ourselves to delve into the artworks on a cool fall night at the end of a tumultuous and nerve-wracking week. It was a lovely evening of art that was relaxing and uplifting. 

For a time I was able to forget all my worries and fears. Crossing the main street I commented to a fellow artist "this is wonderful. It is amazing. Art REALLY DOES help - it TRULY CAN be uplifting and healing!" She responded with wry amusement, "Well, Amantha, that is funny to hear you say that considering that is what your work is all about."

"But I'm never on the receiving end!"

Was I a guinea pig? I had just maneuvered a maze of art and found a big hunk of peace at the end. "Man! This stuff REALLY WORKS!" I had been feeling so defeated and discouraged. With a renewed faith in the healing and helping power of art, I am going to work to help others get as much art as they possibly can into their days. We need the color and joy - we need to take care of ourselves when it seems to much that there are so many forces against us.

My first step is to launch a new Freebie section of my site. This is a library of my free downloads available to everyone*. It currently hold three items but will be expanded regularly. 

If you could just take a minute, please share this page on social media. Everyone needs art and healing. 

*Please remember that there work there is for personal use only. If you would like to  license any of the work for publication or a design project please contact me to discuss rates.

It's All Good: Where to find a Free Meal & Companionship

It’s All Good 

Mom lived kindness and generosity to others. She said it just felt good to help and that because we have much we must help those who are not as lucky. When I balked at doing the right thing, she’d appeal to my young selfishness and say that kindness is never wasted. "Everything you do to help others will come back to you." At the end of her life my mother was surrounded by an army of those who loved and cared for her. She said, “You see. I told you. I told you that all the good you do comes back to you. I chose to help others and now I have so much.”

Who doesn’t appreciate a good end-of-life I-told-you-so?

WE are all we have. I’m feeding positivity with It’s All Good, posts about the Do-Gooders I admire and aspire to be like.

Meet LexEat Together -  a free, nutritious restaurant style 3-course meal served weekly. Respect and companionship are main ingredients to the meals.

LexEat Together was founded by Harriet Kaufmann, John Bernhard, George Murnaghan and Laura Derby. This Gang of Four saw a need for a local, free community meal. This wasn’t going to be just any soup kitchen. They envisioned a warm and dignified meal with real dishes and tablecloths and centerpieces. They sought to create a setting to nourish the spirit as well as the body. After many months of planning and finger-crossing, LexEat opened its doors almost one year ago.  

When you come to Lex Eat Together, volunteers welcome you with friendly smiles and greetings. Guests and Volunteers enjoy dinner and conversation. Everyone is given a warm meal and genuine companionship.

At Lex Eat Together they are working to eliminate hunger and isolation. I am so proud of them and so glad to be a (small) part of what they are doing. Join them. Learn more at www.lexeattogether.org

Meals are served every Wednesday evening from 5:15 - 6:30  at Our Church of the Redeemer,       6 Meriam St, Lexington, MA. See the week's meal on the website or Facebook page.


I have seen the organizers of Lex Eat Together in action and they are an astounding crew of energetic and joyful volunteers. To support their work, I've created this bold and kind tote bag. $5 from each purchase goes toward Lex Eat Together. Grab this friendly bag and let them know you're one of the good guys. 

 

The Finest quality in anyone anywhere

What is that thing that outlasts every tube of lipstick you've ever had? That thing that your best friend offers relentlessly. What your child sees shining in your eyes when you regard her with great love - no matter her age.

KINDNESS

Kindness is the most wonderful trait in anyone, anywhere, ever. It is in daily acts of love and charity.

One of my aims in my art practice and in sharing my work with the world is to promote kindness and good works. I want to lift people up - to lift your spirits and to find a way to contribute and lend a helping hand, too. 

Is kindness your bag, man? I'm combining two of my favorite things - color and giving back - into a special bag for those of us who want to make the world brighter and better.

Carry those cans to the food pantry and toys to the shelter in a tote of joyous color. Later, spread the word without uttering a sound. Get your "Be Kind" bag and make every day brighter for yourself and others. Click here to get your kind tote and I will donate $5 from every purchase to our local community meal for the hungry, Lex Eat Together.

It's All Good. Meet Love-Mongers & Joy-Makers

 
It's All Good. The series about Love-Mongers and Joy-Makers - a New Segment on this Exuberant Blog - A focus on those who make the world a happier and better place. 
Sometimes it appears that those who do good works - who volunteer and help others - have special skills or more time than the rest of us. Ain’t so. Here I talk to definitely non-Bill Gatesy people who do good, help others and spread love. 

If you think Valentine’s Day is a bummer for those who are alone, then you haven’t met Jen Kennedy. Her mission is to bring joy to those who don’t have a Valentine.

Jen Kennedy is the Chief Parental Badass at Chez Kennedy in Wilmington, MA. She married to a smarty pants fella named Wade and is the mom of the absolutely charming Maeve. She works full-time in healthcare and as an avid runner is the VP of her running club, Sole Sisters. Faster than Cupid, she spreads love at Valentine's by harnessing her network to bring cards to the lonely. The entire process brings joy to every participant.

Jen took time out of her love-spreading mission to tell us how she makes the world happier through her annual “Project Valentine”, now it its 4th year.

What was the inspiration for Project Valentine?

I wanted to do something simple and creative in my community for seniors, as they are often forgotten about. 

Spreading Love, Baby! Valentine's Day cards ready to be delivered.

Spreading Love, Baby! Valentine's Day cards ready to be delivered.

How does it work?

I distribute blank cards to friends and family and in turn, they decorate, or get others to decorate the cards. Once completed the cards are bundled up and distributed to seniors in my community and surrounding towns. We have delivered to people in Wilmington, Tewksbury, Winchester, Woburn,  Malden, Medford, Danvers, Lowell, Burlington, and several other towns.

What has been the reaction to the project from recipients and your helpers?

People love it! The energy around creating the cards is wild. The first year my goal was 350 cards and we doubled it. Heading into the 4th year, the projected number of valentines distributed to date is around 6,000. 

A woman who received a card last year through Meals On Wheels called the senior center to say she hadn’t rec’d a valentine since her husband had passed away. It really is the little things sometimes!

How many people does it take to accomplish your Valentine’s goal?  

Over 100 people volunteered to take and decorate cards. Often they enlisted the help of others (students, scouts, coworkers, etc) to help. The past couple of years I have had a stuffing party, where 10 or so friends come over and stuff the cards (each card has an insert explaining the project). Probably another 10 or so people to help deliver.

What is your favorite part of doing this?

The community spirit for sure. So many people involved.

 Have you always been a big fan of Valentine’s Day? 

Not especially. I guess it was a take it or leave it holiday for me … now it’s more special for sure

 What is best Valentine you’ve ever received?

 A bottle of rose oil from Wade! Loved that gift.

 Is Valentines Day your favorite holiday now?

Sorry, but Halloween is still my favorite!

What is your favorite charity?

Girls On The Run – I ran as a charity runner for them in the 2014 Chicago marathon and recently signed on to run with them again this year at the NYC marathon in November.

How has the project grown and/or changed?

People remember it and ask me when we are stating back up. Also, the deliveries have spread to so many more communities.

 What are you goals for it for next year?

 Keep on spreading the love – more cards, more deliveries, more exposure!

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