NEWS / BLOG:
If this is your first visit, you may want to start
at the beginning (bottom.)
- Just like last year, today I went to the
Pancake Jamboree held by the Exchange Club of Lynchburg. Times
have been very tight this year with the loss of my job, starting a new
business, plus other money issues, but since I have not been out to
breakfast in a very long time I felt I could splurge. I bought two
tickets for breakfast and left an Altruism card with the second, I hope
that some act of kindness will be passed on. If you were that recipient
or another down the line, I would love to hear how you pass it on.
- I have been working on something special for George and his
family; take a look here.
- My heart has been heavy for my friend George
who lost his son very suddenly. His son was a very kind, caring,
and thoughtful person. Please keep George in your thoughts and
- My Uncle sent an e-mail today reminding me of a great Dalai Lama quote:
"The ultimate source of peace in the family, the country, and the
world is altruism."
- Another lunch cookie fortune which I like. I seem to get
ones like this frequently:
- Returning home yesterday we stopped for gas at Sheetz; there was
an older gentleman digging through a trashcan. He found part of a cup of
coffee and drank the remainder then continued to pull various wrappers
looking for food. Danielle remarked that we had some food and sodas with
us so I followed him inside where he was talking to himself while
looking around. From his actions and demeanor I believe he had some mild
mental problems or may have been suffering from some level of dementia.
At first I asked him if he would have some lunch with me to which he
said something nearly incoherent about cost. I told him it would be on
me and he replied a long drawn out naaaahh. So I reached into my pocket
and pulled out an Altruism card. I framed the word kindness with my
fingers and remarked, "See this card here? I am supposed to do a
kind deed today." His expression changed and he began to smile so I
picked up two boxed apple pies and said "I'm going to get these for
you." Even though he may have forgotten our exchange moments after
it happened, the positive emotions remain long after.
- This weekend Danielle and I house sat for my Aunt and Uncle.
Because of job and economy related issues we have been very conservative
with our funds recently and have rarely eaten out, but since this was a
getaway of sorts, we decided to treat ourselves to a dinner out. I have
been looking for ways to spread the word of Altruismed and decided I
would give an extra large tip to our VERY friendly waitress Stephanie at
Silk Mill Grille accompanied by a card.
- I have been in a miserable blue funk since Tuesday. My best
friend Cheesecake, a lab mix, passed away unexpectedly. Friends like Cheesecake give love without expecting anything in return, his love was unconditional and completely altruistic. "Without even the slightest question, I know that my best friend Cheesecake would have laid his life down for me, Danielle or anyone else who might have been in danger."
- Reading PostSecret today I found a secret I REALLY like. The
secret said "I pay for the person behind me at the tollbooth then drive
away really fast so they won't know who did it. IT MAKES MY DAY."
- A friend on Facebook posted this quote recently and I thought it
was quite appropriate to the Altruismed project: "What we have done
for ourselves alone, dies with us; what we have done for others and the
world, remains and is immortal." Albert Pike 1809-1891
- Danielle and I were eating lunch today with another couple and
she left her pocketbook on the table, I got ready to stick an Altruism
card in it but didn't want to seem like I was rummaging through; so I
got Danielle to do it. CF, if you see this, now you know where it
- Although there continue to be plenty of new views from all
around the world, things are still quiet. But as I have said
before, just because we are not hearing of Altruisms being passed on,
doesn't mean they are not happening. I was at Barnes and Noble the
other week and left a card in a random book on this page:
- The cookie from my lunch held a fortune which I like.
- Over the last few months I have been a bit dismayed at the lack
of response to the Altruismed project but nonetheless have passed on
various Altruisms. There have been a number of people who
excitedly contacted me regarding how they would Altruism others, but
besides Jackie there has been very little response. Speaking of
the project recently, I told Danielle that I think people just don't
care. Tonight I went on a marathon of Altruisms at local post
offices hoping to affect someone. After I was done I wrote the
same message I went to deliver when I found Jackie's
secret and left it in a book at Barnes and Noble. I thumbed to
page 68 which was especially fitting in my current state of dismay.
- It is the season of giving and all of my life I have more
enjoyed giving than receiving. Altruismed has helped me to more
easily pass on gifts to others around me; in need or not. If you
have a chance to pass on a kind deed this holiday season please do so! You can print an
Altruism card here.
- When I read the paper each day, usually I only look at two
comics; Dennis the Menace and Garfield; this is what Garfield had to say
about good deeds a couple of weeks ago:
- Today the Exchange Club of Lynchburg was holding their 50th annual Pancake Jamboree fundraiser. For an eight-dollar ticket you get to eat all the pancakes and sausage you can handle, plus you get coffee, milk,
OJ, or softdrinks. It's a great cause (and I like to eat) so I went for breakfast......and lunch! As I paid for lunch I thought it was a great place to pass on an Altruism card, so I purchased an extra ticket and put a card with it for a random person.
- Even in the shadow of losses I have felt this year I have continued to pass on Altruisms in various manners as they bring me great enjoyment. For instance earlier this week I was at the post office and had a number of extra stamps so I took one and clipped it to an Altruism card and left it for someone to find.
- 2009 has been a tolling year for the elders of my family; I have lost every single Grandfather role
in my family this year. My wife's Grandfather passed away in February, my paternal Grandfather passed away in May, a close friend and distant relative whom I gladly call a Grandfather type, passed away in August and my maternal Grandfather who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year passed away
a little over a week ago in October. I always felt extremely close to my Grandparents and was extraordinarily close to the latest of them to pass. These have been huge losses for me.
- During my lunch errands today I slammed on the brakes as I read
this sign...I agree with it completely. I left a card tucked into the bottom.
8/15/09 4:15pm *vacation*
- Downtown Greensboro is becoming quite an artsy place and an
interesting place to visit is Elsewhere
Artist Collaborative. They have a small booth where you can
submit a written confession. This "Confessatorium" is
where I left an Altruism card with a special note.
8/15/09 2:45pm *vacation*
- After leaving Chapel Hill we traveled to Greensboro and for lunch
had awesome pitas at a place called Pita
Delite. They had great food and I truly over-ate. Before
leaving I hid a card at the table. I hope at least one of these
cards from our short vacation is found and gets a reaction!
8/15/09 11:45am *vacation*
- We visited a neat nursery/garden center in Chapel Hill which
really has a specialized niche, thus their name: Niche
Gardens. While there I saw tons of Tiger Swallowtail
butterflies and snapped a picture of one. While browsing I noticed
some of their plant information cards had Monarch Butterflies on them so
I left an Altruism card for someone to find.
8/14/09 1:15pm *vacation*
- We arrived at Chapel Hill and were walking Franklin Street to see
the sights; as we walked we came across these community bulletin
boards. They were at least a half inch deep in posters, want ads,
items for sale, art, rentals...you name it, so I added an Altruism card
to a couple of them.
8/14/09 10:30am *vacation*
- Danielle and I have not vacationed in THREE years so we decided
to take a short trip to NC on our motorcycle. I told her from the
start that I wanted to spread the word of the Altruismed
project during our
trip...we were able to in a number of ways. After our breakfast in
South Boston Friday morning we crossed paths with this interesting
artist named Tommy Winn who's main work is carvings. We were lucky
to meet him as he was working on an eagle carved with a chainsaw from
He has completed many birds, fish, and lots of other wildlife and
some great commissioned pieces!
When we stopped, Danielle had a butterfly friend that wanted a closer
look; it landed right on her visor! I snapped a couple of photos
hoping to catch it and Tommy remarked on the butterfly. Somehow in
our talks I started to tell him about the Altruismed project and gave
him a card.
You can check out Tommy's impressive work at his website here
called Covered Bridge Creations.
- Well even though I have not written for a few weeks, quite a few
Altruisms have been set in motion. My wife Danielle and I both
have spread the word of Altruismed via various ways. I finally
left a card with a message in a book at Barnes and Noble. My
friend in TX did a similar act, but she one-upped me! she and her friend
added the money to buy a certain book the card was placed within which I
thought was a great idea! I placed my card in the Postsecret book page
that I found
- Shortly before I started the Altruismed
project I purchased a post office box for any mailed correspondence. The
first weeks after I launched the project I checked frequently for mail.
Since then I have checked on a weekly basis but had not received any
mail. This morning I stopped and a spark of excitement hit me when I
opened the door to box 1116 and I found not one letter, but three!!
Quelling my excitement was the finding that they were summons from
Campbell County General District Court! Luckily they were not for me,
but for someone who had this address in prior; someone who it now seems
has a jail cell and a suspended license after getting caught for DUI and
reckless driving. If you would like a free Altruism card (and would like
to be the
first piece of legitimate mail I receive) please send a self addressed
stamped envelope to me. Click contact/links for the full address.
- So I did another "fast-food Altruism" today at
lunch. After the similar questioning look, the lady at the
window was very curious as I explained a bit about the project, maybe I
should have given her a card to check it out?
- Things have been quiet. I am still waiting for further
responses to Altruisms. Please spread the word of the Altruismed
project...remember you can also reach this website via KindnessReach.com,
which is a bit easier to relay verbally. Best, Chris
- Today I got in another "fast-food Altruism." When
I told the lady at the window that I wanted to buy lunch for the next
person in line she gave me a peculiar questioning look and
replied, "Are you serious?" As I have said before, it
has become way too strange these days to do a kind act.
- I had three Altruism opportunities today but only gave one
card. The first was a stranded 1928 Model A Ford on it's way to a
car show. I had tools with me and was familiar with the common
issue of gas line sediment so he was back running in no time, but I
didn't think to give him an Altruism card. The second was only a
few minutes later; a motorcyclist who was also stranded. I stopped
to offer tools or other assistance and after discussing the problem I
bump-started the bike and he too was on his way, but not before I gave
him a card! I feel worst about the third opportunity which I
didn't act upon: someone had left a folder atop their vehicle with
papers, business cards, pens, calculator, etc. and it was strewn all
over the road. I felt justified in not stopping because, " I
was running late." Looking back, it would have meant much
more for that person to get their things back than for me to be on
time...next time I stop.
- I started a lunch Altruism yesterday at a local fast food
restaurant. My wife started a similar one today. I hope we
hear a reply soon!
- Some bits from various e-mails I have received regarding the
- Wow... amazing... great and wonderful idea.
- Congratulations on a great concept.
- Thanks so much for actually "DOING" something and not
just thinking about it.
- I think that your project is of great merit, and has already
performed wonders. Kindness is never wasted, and encouraging
kindness cannot be faulted.
- ...a very appropriate way to change the world.
- Bravo for your outstretched hand of
compassion and help: ) I love this stuff!!!!!!!!! THANX 4 SHARING.
- No words can express my joy in what you are doing.
- ...a unique & heartwarming project.
- I want to thank my buddy George for linking to the Altruismed
site today! I have read of George's travels since 2003. My
F5 button is worn from refreshing so frequently as I look forward to his
daily updates! George: My very best wishes to you!! Check
out George's site here.
- Everyone I have spoken with concerning the Altruismed project has
asked, "How do you say that?" When I "verbed"
a noun by adding 'ed', it didn't hit me how hard it would be
to convey such an atypical word; thus KindessReach.com
became a second way to reach Altruismed.com. So here
is Microsoft Sam to tell you how to say Altruismed (mp3) - for
wav click here.
- In speaking with my uncle this morning we had a long conversation
about this project. A paraphrased statement he made was,
"Kindness resides in everyone; sometimes you just need a precursor
to bring out that kindness." I hope that Altruismed is the
tool to bring out that kindness.
- I have updated a number of pages on the site to reflect an event
that occurred yesterday; the very first Altruism. This has changed lives; please see
the Altruisms page to read about it.
- J: What I believe to be an extraordinary Altruism has
occurred. This very first Altruism response is deeply
moving. Check back later today for further updates on this amazing
- I am being constantly surprised at how far and fast the
Altruismed project is spreading! I have received a tremendous
outpouring of support and excitement for this project. The e-mails
that I have received to date have made me feel like we are all close
friends; friends in support of a common cause. On 6-11-09 I said
"I hope this is the start of something huge!" Today I
say this IS something HUGE! To everyone who has e-mailed and to
all who have forwarded links to this site you have my deepest and
- I e-mailed information on the Altruismed project to a close
childhood friend who now lives in Texas and she replied excitedly that
she is sharing it with lots of her friends! Thanks! (and
congrats Julie and Danny!)
- The very first Altruism has been started! Strangely I was
nervous as I approached the cashier to ask for her assistance in letting
me pay for two people's breakfast; affirming what I said on 12/7/08:
"...why has it become so
strange these days to do a kind act...?" After leaving I felt
very pleased and am still smiling. I hope this is the start of
- I am now walking around with a pocket full of Altruism
cards. Even though I have watched Altruism opportunities pass by
for quite a while, I am much more aware of their presence now that this
is a reality. I had planned to go out to breakfast this morning
and select someone, but felt I was running a little late...so tomorrow
- The Altruism cards are done!
- Since my Grandfather's death a week ago I have felt a further
increased urgency to
start Altruismed. Over the last few nights I have spent much time
finalizing the website. My plan is to set everything in motion
within a week.
- On this date my paternal Grandfather passed away peacefully in the
presence of his family. He was unexpectedly the first of my Grandparents
to depart this life and I miss him dearly.
- On this date my paternal Grandfather had a severe stroke. I awoke to
the phone ringing just before 6am and calmly answered. I was sure it
would be about my maternal Grandfather with cancer, but it was the
equally calm voice of my paternal Grandmother. She said "Your Pa is
mumbling and isn't making sense and he hasn't gotten up yet."
reply was "I'll be there in just a minute."
I threw on my clothes and took off down the road, arriving in just a few
minutes. In the back of my mind I was thinking stroke and this was
reinforced when I walked in and he was completely paralyzed on his left
side. After dialing 911 I explained to him that I thought he was having
a stroke and that I knew he could understand me just fine, but that I
was sure he was having a hard time speaking. He smiled understandingly
and in broken speech he repeatedly said "I'm fine."
He cared for my Grandmother who is wheelchair bound and when she
understood what he was mumbling that morning it was "Are you ok? Do
you have your oxygen on?" She replied yes and he said "I love
Friday was a whirlwind in getting to the hospital as he progressively
got worse. The initial tests confirmed that indeed it was a massive
stroke...they did not believe he would survive.
When he was moved to intensive care I stood by him and although he
looked unresponsive I said "If you can hear me, squeeze my
hand." With this his right hand clasped mine hard and I began to
tell him how much he meant to me. I talked of wonderful times spent
together and of things that he may not have realized he did that molded
me into the man I am. Tears ran from his eyes and mine.
5/28/09 9:00 PM
- I got Altruismed and KindnessReach
registered, the website is almost done! Just a few days and it should be
up and running!
- I have been thinking about the difficulty of verbal explanation of the
web address; Altruismed, as an uncommon word. I have decided to also
which may be easier to initially remember and type.
- My maternal Grandfather fell ill on this date. Pancreatic cancer &
kidney failure. My Grandparents have been some of my most treasured
friends throughout my life and I have always been especially close to
him. I am lucky to have all of my Grandparents. I feel an urgency to
start the Altruismed website and set in motion this world-wide effort in
- In design of the Altruismed site there are a number of inclusions that
have particular meaning; Easter eggs of sorts, I may reveal some of
these as time goes on.
- During our discussion the other week, my pastor friend mentioned the
movie "Pay It
Forward" with Haley Joel Osment which I had never seen. Since
then, I have watched the movie and don't know how I missed such a great
movie for so many years. Haley's character Trevor accomplishes a feat
similar to what I want to accomplish. Pay It Forward is a movie I would
recommend to all.
- I have only revealed this project to two other people; my wife and a
very close friend. While my work hours were cut in half recently with
the economy I designed and built an addition to my friend's home. My
clear intention from the start was to help him without pay and I had not
mentioned, nor had I related this work to Altruismed.com. While working
together on his home, this friend (a pastor) started telling me of a
couple who were getting married; the groom wanted to pay him but my
friend spoke of me and told him that since I was helping him for free,
his participation in their wedding was also free. Hearing this story
compelled me to share the Altruismed project with him. I am very pleased
with how thoroughly excited he is.
- I have spent countless hours thinking about how best to organize the
Altruismed project. As with most of what I do, I put in much more
thought and planning than is necessary...but as I have said in prior it
is best to overdesign than underdesign.
- Each time I read through the thesis I get a similar renewed excitement
and a warm feeling in my heart.
- "Groundbreaking." My wife's response upon reading the much
- My wife and I sat down to breakfast at a small restaurant one Sunday
morning around a year ago; I had the urge to buy breakfast for a young
couple with two children but could not think of an appropriate way to do
so without seeming peculiar. I got to thinking; why has it become so
strange these days to do a kind act without asking for anything in
return? In such an instance people's first response is always "What
do you want?"
- What if people anonymously did more kind acts...regardless of
- What if I left a card asking a good deed recipient to "pay it
- Maybe this would bring a growing number of people who change their
outlook and realize the good, kind, and gentle nature in those all
- Certainly acts would not have to be monetary. If you see someone
with a flat tire give them a hand. Carry someone's groceries, help
someone across the street…I see tons of opportunities each day.
- How far could one act of kindness reach?