We invite you to remember your loved ones who have died by committing an act of kindness in their honor. Love, kindness, generosity, sharing, these are the gifts we can give to them.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Night

We went to church last night for children's service and we lit candles in honor of Theo. Theo will never be forgotten. Enjoy the rest of this day.
---Dave and Julie Fueglein, Theo's uncle and aunt, and Theo's cousins Juliet, Olivia and Sophie

HI Karla
I did my Random Act of Kindness yesterday with cards for Beatrix but held Theo in my mind as we entered the store to give me extra strength.
    For some reason I always get nervous, expecting someone to say, “What? No we can’t accept them for some policy reason or something.”
     Ophelia and I walked into the local service station–we waited in line, hoping for the friendly female attendant and then I said, "Can I please leave these with you and you pass them on to whoever you think?" (Really her part in it all is harder than mine picking someone).
     We left two cards each with $20.
     Her response was just what I needed-first total confusion as she was trying to work out what I was doing, then: “Really? That’s just awesome. Thank you so much.”
     I walked out with a little lump in my throat and tears welling.
     This 6th Christmas seemed harder than others- not as hard as the first but not easier as I hope each year it might be. Maybe I just forget the last one and it’s just the same. I know I try to make it happy for the others and I try to enjoy the parts I know are enjoyable. I think those parts are easier- the carols, the family time.
    Wishing you and all your family a peaceful and warm Christmas.
    With Love
    ---Rachel Neumann

Well hello there Mr. F., it's been quite awhile, and I'm surprised I even got this email, but appreciate that I did considering so far in my attendance at VCU you've been one of my favorite teachers ever.
    Now I'm not sure what your boundaries are in the way of random acts of kindness. However, I was back home and went to this house party of this girl, whose and parents were out of town and I didn't know her, but just a few of the people there. Well by the end of the night her parents' house was completely wrecked every which way: beer cans every possible place, trash thrown everywhere, wine and liquor bottles everywhere, alcohol spilt everywhere, even on the walls. However, I had only but one or two beers and had came to realize that this girl didn't realize the mistake she had made by throwing a party in her parents' house; here she was, genuinely nice for allowing such strangers as myself into her parents' lovely suburban home. No one there cared any about this house. I understood how much it'd mean to me for some stranger to actually care and clean up, so from that point on I silently spent the night cleaning up everything mentioned earlier, up until the moment I left without even saying goodbye. 
    I believe kindness can come in many forms and in far from typical methods, at places least expected of it. 
    Take care and happy holidays,
---Rob Borgatti

Christmas Morning

This year, while on my 650 mile road trip from Indy to Mom n Dad's, I pocketed my dragonfly stone, put Theophenomenology in the CD player, and committed as many random acts of kindness as possible. I paid for the car behind me when hitting the drive thru. I called several friends with whom I have lost touch to wish them happy holidays. I called some friends who are likely having a very difficult time this season to say I love you. I put dollars in Salvation Army buckets and quarters in candy dispensers for kids to find. By the time I got to mom and dad's, I felt a sense of joy and peace that I haven't experienced in quite some time. 
    Happy Holidays- I love you guys dearly.
---Pam Powell

Having gone through a traumatic experience a few months ago, I decided not so much to pay it forward but to continue with our traditions of experiencing something different which usually meant food.:-) I started at Thanksgiving this year and am now perfecting the perfect cheesecake. It is something Branch would love. There are so many people I want to thank but sharing a piece of this cheesecake would show his love and appreciation for helping me through this hard time. Next year... pay it forward.
---Lynn Welton

We gave $150 to our church friend's son who is dying with cancer. He is in his forties and there is nothing more the doctors can do.
---Linda and Norman Powell

We donated in Theo's name to the MISS Foundation and to Kara Jones's holiday wish to support the MISS Foundation  in her boys' names, Dakota and Mizuko Star Jones.  
    We also donated to ASK Pediatric Hematology Oncology Clinic  in Richmond in Abbie Waters and in Theo's memories.
---Karla Helbert

Hi there Fueglein family!
Thinking of you all this Christmas :) Hope Theo's stocking is as full as ever!
    This year, we invited my mother-in-law to share our family celebration in Colorado. She lost her husband on December 27 three years ago and it's a very lonely time for her. We decided we wouldn't take no for an answer and booked a plane ticket for her. And guess what? She spent the whole day learning to ski, with the biggest smile on her face.
    I ask your permission to forward your email about Theo's stocking to Patience Salgado, the big heart behind the Kindness Girl blog. She's really incredible and based here in Richmond. I think she might be able to give you some more momentum and also some more good thought.
    Merry Christmas!
---Robyn Jacobs

Today while I was working @ my part-time job @ a retail store, I heard one of my co-workers say that he was unable to buy his wife a Christmas present so I gave him $50 that I myself received as a Christmas present and told him to go buy his wife a gift card to get a pedicure, because I heard that she loves them. I know that he will probably try to pay me back at some point but, I don't expect it, it made me feel good to help.
    Thanx!  I hope you all have an awesome Christmas!

I went to the nursing home today and was introduced to a fabulous old English professor who sweetly offered me 15 hand written pages of authors and book I should read after he heard I majored in Literary Arts at school. So I read him a couple of poems; he couldn't speak very well but he would point or touch his heart every so often and smile. We also shared the newest issue of the art magazine he received, which he collects and organizes by month in his room.
I know that's not a big thing. But I really enjoyed it.
    Merry Christmas to you!
---Rivanna Youngpool

Mr. F,
Hope everything is going well for you. Merry Christmas to you and your family. You have been my favorite professor at VCU thus far, and I just want to say thank you for all your teachings in FI last year. Below I will share with you my activities today for you to place into Theo's Stocking.
    Today on Christmas Eve, I went to my church, Life Church on Atlee Road in Mechanicsville, VA, at 8am. We departed from the church around 8:20am with a van-full (one of those commercial vans with the 5-row seating) of wrapped presents for kids who attend our church that are less fortunate. About 4 weeks ago, my church put all of these kids' names together and asked each child to write a couple needs that they had as well as a couple wants. Just like an Angel Tree, anyone was able to adopt a child and get what they could for their child.
    So this morning, a married couple in my church who are the main directors of our Outreach programs, along with myself, packed into this van and went to each child's house and delivered their presents. We ended up waking up the first half of these houses since they were still asleep. I took my camera into each house and snapped quite a few pictures, attempting to capture the priceless smiles of joy on their faces. Seeing their happy faces today was truly the best Christmas gift I have ever received in my life. This Christmas is definitely my favorite Christmas yet. We finished all of the houses by noon, and these families and children were so thankful and grateful for what we did as a church family.
    Right after this, my church had an outreach for the homeless in Monroe Park today that they organized with a couple other churches from 2-4pm. We had quite the turnout (in both homeless people and helpers from our church). We handed out bags filled with hygiene supplies, bagged lunches, bottled water, wrapped presents, coats, and cake. Then, we sang Christmas carols and partook in a memorial service right there in the park near one of the trees for the homeless who passed away this year as well as any loved ones that we have had pass away. Unfortunately, I did have a friend, Jyreffe Patrick Clark, pass away last Saturday. He attended my church and was my poetry partner. He died with a Bible in his hand, and as the Child of God he was, I am at peace knowing that he is in Heaven by God's side.
    Perhaps Jyreffe is playing some tunes and reciting poetry to your Theo :)
    Merry Christmas,
---Steven Funes