20 December 2009

MISSION: Happiest of Holidays to You!

Hi, everyone! Secret Agent L here. With Christmas just a few days away, I wanted to take a moment and wish all of you a very happy, blessed, and peaceful Holiday Season, no matter what you celebrate this time of year--Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, etc. I'm hoping that during this season you will choose peace, kindness, and love in all your thoughts and words and actions.

I'm feeling particularly blessed and enveloped in the spirit of the season, and I want you to know that these past 5 months with the Secret Agent L project have felt like Christmas each day. Thank you for your interest in and support of this project, for your kind words, for your willingness to contribute through your actions (big love to my Affiliated Agents!) and for your extreme generosity in sharing your financial resources.

I love you all. I rully, rully do.

In the comments section, I hope you'll let me know what you and your loved ones are doing this holiday season to promote kindness, peace, and love, anonymous or not!

Blessings of peace and love to each of you!

Secret Agent L

12 December 2009

MISSION: Squirrel Hill Neighborhood Saturday

Secret Agent L had a rough go of it on today's missions. She'd originally planned for four--two of which included stuff for the dudes out there--but when Number Two fell ill and Number One Male Affiliated Agent had other obligations, Secret Agent L needed to do her best solo. Guys, please accept her apologies. She promises that she'll get some stuff out there for you soon!

Alas, she still managed to leave a couple of things for some unsuspecting Pittsburghers. And two missions is better than no missions, right?

For those of you unfamiliar with Pittsburgh, the Squirrel Hill neighborhood is a wonderful place filled with shops, restaurants, and cafes. It's also home to our city's largest population of Jewish residents. So, in honor of Hanukkah, I felt it only fitting to perform today's mission in this lovely neighborhood.

MISSION #1: Asian-inspired purse

Date: Saturday, 12 December 2009

Location: Squirrel Hill neighborhood, Pittsburgh. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Squirrel Hill branch) women's restroom.

Time: 2:17 p.m.

Secret Agent L always feels weird taking pictures in bathrooms, especially when the entrances to those bathrooms don't have doors!

Luckily, there wasn't anyone else in there, so she was able to leave this lovely goody for the next gal.

MISSION #2: Peace Notepad

Date: Saturday, 12 December 2009

Location: Entrance to Sixth Presbyterian Church, corner of Forbes and Murray Avenues, Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh

Time: 3:27 p.m.

This time of year is the perfect time to remind everyone about the importance of peace. Heaven knows we need more of it on this planet.

More missions to come in the next week! Keep your eyes peeled!

25 November 2009

MISSION: Show Some Compassion.

I think the word kindness is interchangeable with the word compassion. This video gave me goosebumps and made my eyes leak a little.

For more information and to become a part of this beautiful movement, go here.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving everyone!

23 November 2009

MISSION: Super Saturday Secret Agent-y-ness.

First, let me say a big thank you to everyone's encouragement over the past week or so as I let you all know my fears about losing steam with this project. Your emails and blog comments really made a difference.

Which leads me to:

Super Saturday!

Date: Saturday, 21 November 2009

Location: University of Pittsburgh campus, Oakland, Pittsburgh, PA

Time: 2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

My Number Two and I were quite busy on Saturday afternoon, making drops all over Pitt's campus. Talk about FUN!

First: Bubbles.

I mean, really. How can you not feel good when you have a bottle of bubbles in your hand? Instant happiness, people.

We left the bubbles on a ledge outside of a popular ice cream shoppe on campus:

And I'm thrilled to say that the recipient of the bubbles sent us an email to say thanks: "I just found some bubbles you left near the Hillman Library. I was in the most sour mood ever. I was on my way back to work, dreading bringing my current nastiness to the work place. your gift totally brightened my day. I thank you and my fellow workers definitely thank you.

"Thanks for spreading the love. "

Thank YOU!

Next up: Search-a-Word puzzle and pencil!

Sometimes, when you're just sittin' around, say, on a bus, you can get pretty bored. Well, we decided to fix that!

We left this little gem on a sitting area near a popular bus stop on Forbes Avenue. Who wouldn't enjoy some quality Word Time while riding along on a bus?

Third: Happy note pad.

We stopped in the Law School for this one. We hoped it would remind future lawyers of the benefit of "Doing Good."

And guess what? A woman who found this little treat also emailed us to let us know! "I wanted to thank you so much for your kindness! I've been feeling a bit down (money problems, job problems, a cat with cancer) and was in a funk today when I took a smoke break from work just a few minutes ago. I work (on the weekends) at the Pitt Law School Library. I went downstairs, and went to pick up the Pitt News to read while smoking when a little color caught my eye. And there was your card, your inspirational message, and a note pad.

"I'll be sure to pass on the goodness. I'm also going to blog about it on Monday and post a link to your blog as well.

"You brightened my day and for that I say Thank You!"

You brightened our day as well!

Fourth on the List: Reporter Pad.

I love Pitt's student union. It's fancy. When you enter from Forbes Avenue, you walk into a major dining area. Since it was Saturday, and it was before Thanksgiving week, it was pretty empty. But students will return soon enough. And, hopefully, someone will find this if they haven't already.

Fifth and Final: Courage journal.

Life can be hard. Sometimes you need a little courage just to get through the day. And we hope that whoever found this journal at the Red Oak Cafe on Forbes Avenue will find the courage he or she needs to deal with whatever it is that gets handed to them.

Someone found one of the last two gifts, but we don't know which one. We just received an email with the following message from a gentleman who wants to help out, and that made us smile so big: "I would love to help out with your project. I found a gift you left yesterday and it brought so much joy to my day. I would love to help out in anyway I can."

Over the next few days, we'll be responding to the many emails and comments you all have left recently. Please know how much your support, interest, and kind words mean!

And we'll be back soon with more missions!

22 November 2009

MISSION: Vacation

Affiliated Agent V has been busy. Unfortunately, it hasn't all been with super secret, super awesome missions done on behalf of Secret Agent L. Being a full-time student, a college department worker, a volunteer, a writer, a dog-owner, a girlfriend, a friend, a sometimes sick in winter girl, and a social networking queen, there is little time for much else. This includes taking time to relax and regroup. But recently, a birthday vacation meant "SLOW DOWN!" 

A much needed road trip, even though sick, allowed for reflection, relaxation, and a few mission drops. 

DATE: 11/15/09

TIME: 12:30 pm

LOCATION: Mammoth Cave, KY

Word searches, puzzles, and games are great on a road trip. Long car drives require a pencil and a crossword puzzle. For those who travel without, finding these things along the way provides a great respite from the miles and miles of tree-laden countryside. 

Near Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, there are few places to pull over in hopes of finding something to read on a drive through the area. Mammoth Cave is the world's longest cave system and this area of Kentucky is home to numerous smaller caves. 

Sand Cave in Cave City, KY in one such cave. Off the beaten path and closed to visitors, Sand Cave holds history that many come to experience, at least, as much as can be from the historical markers at the front entrance.  And for those unable to carve their initials in a nearby tree, this souvenir will hopefully provide a nice reminder of their visit. 

14 November 2009

Losing Steam

The future of the Secret Agent L project is on shaky ground. Part of me feels it may have run its course. But part of me feels it still has the potential to become even greater. But I cannot do it alone anymore.

I no longer have the financial capabilities to complete the missions.

My Affiliated Agents are no longer participating.

I cannot carry this project alone on my own shoulders anymore.

Perhaps it was a passing fling: exciting at first, everyone on board, and then the reality of the actualy upkeep set in--not just to me, but to those who wanted to participate.

I've been in touch with an amazing contact at one of the biggest non-profits here in the city, and he has graciously (and I do mean GRACIOUSLY) offered to help guide me and point me in the right direction to make this project even better than I could have imagined. But I fear that it's going to be too much for me to carry alone.

I realize that we're all busy, our lives often composed of obligations, other interests, other responsibilities other than those we hold in our hearts.

I'm just not sure how to juggle it all anymore.

08 November 2009

MISSION: Panera Gift Card

It was Secret Agent L's plan to focus on Hunger Awareness for missions this month. So she thought she'd start out small: a $5 gift card to Panera. She made the mistake, however, of purchasing the gift card and subsequently completing the mission on--you guessed it--an empty stomach. Thus, her blood sugar was low, and she forgot to take the "prep" photos! Doh! So she searched the internet for some stock photos, just to suffice for now.

Regardless, she completed the mission and made sure to snap a final photo of the gift card: right on the windshield of an unsuspecting recipient. And where was this car, you ask? Why, at the grocery store. See, we musn't assume that without homes or jobs are the only ones who may be hungry. Surely, there are our neighbors who go to the grocery store with limited funds, wishing they could afford more food, but can't. To find a gift card to Panera after shopping could very well be an added meal the individual may not have been able to afford.

But Secret Agent L assures her readers and followers that soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and other areas where our less-fortunate neighbors are found will be spots where she and her Affiliated Agents plan to spread kindness.

Date: Sunday, 8 November 2009

Time: 11:43 a.m.

Location: parking garage, Market District Giant Eagle grocery store, Shadyside, Pittsburgh, PA

More missions to come!

01 November 2009

MISSION: Laundry Lists

MISSION: Laundry Lists

DATE: 10/28/09

TIME: 2:30pm

LOCATION: Coin Laundry, Northside, Pittsburgh

Affiliated Agent V has been so busy the past few weeks that laundry overflowed the basket.  This week there was no way around it; it finally needed done.  Squeezing in the time to carry a load to the coin laundry was tough but squeezing in a mission during the hour-and-a-half wait in the landromat proved simple.

Multi-tasking at the laundromat is a great way to prepare for the rest of the week.  Making notes and lists is something Agent V does quite often.  It keeps things manageable especially during weeks filled with studying, homework, work, meetings, and outings.

This handy notepad was left at a local coin laundry (and picked up not long after) with hopes that the recipient will make useful notes or jot down ideas while waiting through the spin cycle. 

Hopefully, the person who picked up this notepad finds time to complete all of their tasks too. 

28 October 2009

MISSION: Feeding Our Neighbors

Well, the holidays are right around the corner, and if you've been paying any attention at all to the news, you know that many, many people are going to go without this year. And I don't even mean "without gifts." I mean, without FOOD.

That's where you come in. How many times have you just popped in to your favorite coffee shop and ordered a nice warm drink and a baked good for yourself? (I've done it too many times to count!) Would you be willing to give that up for just one day in the month of November? Or maybe for a couple of days? So that someone else could experience that little luxury?

That's what November's missions are going to be all about: feeding our neighbors.

For the month of November, I'm asking that your missions center around the idea of feeding your neighbor. Think gift cards to fast food restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, grocery stores, etc. It's amazing what $5 can get you at these places. Sometimes an entire meal! Also, think about getting one of those earth-friendly shopping bags and filling it with $5 or $10 worth of non-perishable food and leaving it at a food bank, Secret Agent L's business card attached. :) Or maybe you could leave a box of tea somewhere. Maybe you like to bake and would be comfortable leaving some of your tasty treats somewhere at work, never disclosing that you were the kind person who made them.

If you're like me and live in a big city, you know all too well the reality of people in our communities who are hungry. Perhaps you know where these individuals spend time. Maybe you could just leave a gift card to a nearby food shop, convenience store, or gas station for them. And maybe those of you in smaller cities and towns see this sad reality as well. It's everywhere, even if we don't see it.

Be creative. Be generous. Be kind. I know you all will.

Also, I'd love it if we could do some side missions for November that focus on Veteran Appreciation. Think of V.A. Hospitals, or even contacting the Department of Veterans' Affairs to see what you can do to help. My grandfather was a POW for nearly three years during WWII. I have the deepest respect for those who serve our country and want to give back in any way I can. I hope you do, too.

Now get out there and spread the kindness that I know each of you has in your heart! (And thank you for doing so!!)

23 October 2009

MISSION: 21 not-so-secret-details

Okay, okay. Secret Agent L has been a Very Bad Secret Agent. Life has gotten so busy! So, until she and her cohorts can get their heads back in the game, here's a little ditty to keep you interested.


The Not-So-Secret Details of Secret Agent L!

Secret Agent L:

1. Has a favorite color. It's green.

2. Loves to see people shake hands, hug, or kiss. It just makes her think that kindness and connection are possible.

3. Could eat her weight in Dunkin Donuts' donuts. Like, in one sitting.

4. Enjoys having a cup of tea. Or several. Um, all the time.

5. Can't stomach caffeine.

6. Is obsessed with Netflix. Particularly because she can rent period films. Those are her favorites.

7. Holds an M.A. in English Literature with an emphasis on 18th-Century British Theatre.

8. Has lived in London.

9. Is a professional model and actress in Pittsburgh.

10. Is nearly 6' tall.

11. Is a big supporter of mental illness awareness and is involved with her local NAMI branch.

12. Prefers a martini bar to a loud club.

13. Plays the piano, cello, and flute.

14. Once dreamed of going to Juilliard for piano performance but chickened out.

15. Really, really, really loves donuts from Dunkin Donuts. Like, RULLY.

16. Loves the shows Chuck, Samantha Who?, Friends, and anything on HGTV.

17. Wears heels whenever she can.

18. Has an older brother.

19. Loves Boston Terriers. Like, more than shoes, handbags, and clothes.

20. Is a vegetarian.

21. Loves you. Yes, you. :)

18 October 2009

MISSION: Community

This Amazing Affiliated Agent knows how to warm the hearts of those around her.  She has spread kindness the country over much longer than she's been an affiliate of Secret Agent L.  We are grateful for her heartwarming missions.  I, speaking as myself, Number Two (aka Affiliated Agent V), know this agent as a personal inspiration in my own life.  

I have been affected by Domestic Violence. I spent three years in a relationship that was verbally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically detrimental. With strength and courage I forgot I had, I was able to get out with my life. Many are not so lucky.  This is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I urge you to take note of the women in your life: tell them how much you care and keep each other close. Domestic Violence hides in plain sight and you never know when your acts of love and kindness can give someone the faith she needs to find her way to freedom. I would not be here today, I am certain, without the love and help of three special women.  Please visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline website for more.    

DATE: October 11, 2009

TIME: afternoon

LOCATION: warm and sunny Arizona

She reports:

"Disciple-Elf of Secret Agent L had an interesting week. She just moved to Arizona and the block she moved to had a 'tragedy' occur recently. A woman lived on her street with her roommate, Mindy. This certain woman living with Mindy was going through a divorce, was dating someone new and her estranged husband stopped by the house one night, angry. He ended up taking not only her life, but his own...

She was part of the Police Force...

Disciple-Elf of Secret Agent L knows about this type of situation from her own, personal experience. Her former spouse was also extremely violent and although she did escape with her life, her former spouse ended up taking his own life in Dec of 2008. Well, needless to say, she realized she moved on this block for a reason. Recently, Mindy moved back into the house she shared with her deceased roommate and the neighborhood had a block party to welcome Mindy back. Disciple-Elf of Secret Agent L knows how people will rally around someone for a short time, but as time passes, they tend to disappear. So, after waiting a few weeks, she dropped off a goodie bag on Mindy's doorstep full of things in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to let her know the community is still thinking of her. 

Disciple-Elf of Secret Agent L is a Wellness Coach, so she is ALL about disease prevention. It is a proven, scientific fact that fruits & veggies, essential oils and certain stones keep our cells healthy and cancer never attacks a healthy cell! It only attacks weakened, mutated cells. She put apples, essential oils & ancient stones in an earth-friendly bag for Mindy to come home to.

True community is created through unification, not simple connectedness, and one event that seems tragic to so many has unified two women. Personally, it is not seen as tragic whatsoever to these two women. We see every situation, dark or light, as a chance to unify...and we chose to do just that. :)

'Where two or more are gathered...' :) "

MISSION: Breast Cancer Awareness: Beautiful Pink Scarf

Secret Agent L is so honored by her Affiliated Agents' selfless, creative, and thoughtful acts of kindness, especially during this, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Affiliated Agent D of Oregon never fails to bring a huge smile to Secret Agent L's face and, I'm sure, the faces of all the readers and finders-of-her-treats. Affiliated Agent D, we are blessed to have you in this world!

Date: Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Location: Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, Corvallis, Oregon

Time: Agent did not specify

Affiliated Agent D states: "Well, I FINALLY got this mission completed!! A few weeks back I ordered an adorable crochet scarf pattern off of etsy (I'm addicted!). I made it up in the softest pink yarn I could find...for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

"Today hubby had an appointment for a CT scan at the hospital. I decided that would be the perfect place to leave it, so when we left, it stayed behind in the Nuclear Medicine waiting room :) Hopefully it brightened someone's day!!"

Affiliated Agent D, that scarf is GORGEOUS! And it looks so soft and cuddly--perfect for the sensitive skin of someone undergoing radiation and/or chemotherapy. You are an angel. Keep up the excellent work! THANK YOU!