30 September 2010

MISSION: Read and Relax...On Me!

You guys all know I love to read.  Two degrees in English wouldn't suggest otherwise, right?  I think sharing a book (or the opportunity to get a book) with someone is one of the kindest things we can do!  Affiliated Agent M of Hilliard, Ohio, is a girl after my own heart.

Date: Monday, 16 August 2010

Location: library; Hilliard, Ohio

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Affiliated Agent M is bursting at the seams!

I am just elated and overjoyed ... my heart hasn't stopped dancing.  I completed my first "official" SAL mission on August 16, 2010, 6:00 p.m., Hilliard, Ohio.

My husband and I brainstormed for ideas to do for a RAK mission.  I thought wouldn't it be awesome if a person going to pick up an item at the library received a random-act-of-kindness.  An unanticipated nicety that enables the "finder" to feel special, to smile, to inspire them to spread kindness to another, to pay it forward.

I placed $5.00 in a card, with an affirmation and personal note from me:  "There is nothing better on a beautiful day then relaxing with a good book on the banks of a river, in a lounge chair, or under a shade tree.  May this Random Act of Kindness make that come true for you, just because!"

The gift was placed inside of a slot where books are waiting to be picked up by those who have reserved items from the library online.

I can't wait to complete my next mission!

Affiliated Agent M

I love it, lady!  A simple act of kindness can make all the difference.  Glad you had fun!

29 September 2010

MISSION: Lighting a Candle for Kindness in Lima

I've never been further south than Florida.  I love warm weather, yes, but I don't have a lot of money, so I can't travel to those warm places as often as I'd like to.  One of my colleagues focuses on academic scholarship related to Latin America, and it always sounds so interesting.  I was captivated when I received the following mission from one of my Latin American Affiliated Agents.  Did you know that it's winter in August in Peru?  

Date: Saturday, 14 August 2010

Location: district of San Isidro; Lima, Peru

Time: 5:12 p.m.

Affiliated Agent C tells us about her first mission:

What could be nicer than lighting a candle on a winter evening?  Yes, we're in winter, the sun is on and off but is almost grey everyday.
I left a little one with a short note, asking to light the candle and enjoy the evening, knowing that "the person" is someone special.

One hour later it was still there and by the time I sent you the report, maybe 3 hours later, it was taken. I hope is enlightening someone's night.

I completed another mission today at the supermarket, I need to check if it worked as well. No pictures this time though.
Have a great Sunday and a bright new week.
You're inspiring so many people that I'm sure we can create day by day a better world.

Thank YOU, Affiliated Agent C, for helping to make this a better world!

MISSION: Roller Derby Rally for Kindness

I'm a bit of a wimp.  And by "a bit of" I actually mean full-fledged.  In high school, I played tennis.  Not exactly a rough sport.  Sure, I've flown in an F16, but I was all suited up and protected.  So, when I received this mission from a roller derbyin' gal and Affiliated Agent from Kansas, I thought to myself, "Better her than me!"  Luckily, her roughness stays on the roller derby course, because in real life, Affiliated Agent L and her fellow derby-ers are as kind and lovely (and gentle!) as can be.

Date: Saturday, 14 August 2010

Location: Towne East Mall; Wichita, Kansas

Time: 10 a.m.

Affiliated Agent L tells us about the incredible mission she planned for and executed with her fellow roller derby-ers:

So, I was so happy after completing my first mission at work on Monday, that I couldn't wait to complete another one. I wanted to do something bigger, and came up with a plan I knew I couldn't pull off alone. Friday afternoon, I posted this on my Facebook Page:

"The forces of good are formulating a TOP SECRET mission. If you are local, free Sat AM and interested in doing something awesome, message me by 6pm today. I will give you mission details then. (mission is fun and fulfilling- does not entail work...roller girls are encouraged to participate)"

I am a member of the local WFTDA roller derby league. By the end of the day, 6 Roller Girls stepped up to join the mission, committing themselves with no more information than what I had provided. I was ecstatic! I spent a little money gathering some supplies after work and then hurried home to send them their mission details. This is what I sent them:

"Greetings Operative:

Our mission begins tomorrow morning at 10am sharp. We will assemble at Mead"s Corner coffee house (430 East Douglas Avenue) to coordinate, prepare mission supplies, and fuel our bodies for this very important endeavor.

If you happen to have any small gift items around your house that you do not want or need and don't mind getting rid of, bring them. Any item should be something that would bring a smile to a random stranger's face. If nothing comes to mind, and time or money restrictions stop you from procuring a snickers bar or two on your way to meet the rest of the squadron, that is A-OK. Your mission leader will have some supplies at hand. Your presence is what is most imporant.

Sleep well, Operative, more will be revealed tomorrow."

The next morning, I arrived at the coffee shop so excited I could hardly contain myself. Everyone showed up, I explained the premise behind Secret Agent L, and we got to work. Altogether, we wrapped around 30 gifts, with message cards attached. Everyone brought a little something, and the treats ranged from bath gel to jewelry to M&Ms. We had a blast getting everything ready.

Once we were finished, we headed to the local mall. We split up into groups of 2, decided on areas on which to focus,divvied up the gifts and set out.  Only one drop was intercepted, when the fitting room attendant caught up to one operative saying, "You left this in the dressing room!" The operative denied that it was hers profusely and confusion ensued. Finally, the operative asked the attendant to read the package and left.

All in all, we had a fantastic time and a very successful operation!

Affiliated Agent L (and team!), YOU ROCK.  I love how you got so many other Affiliated Agents in on this mission, complete with a fun message on your Facebook page.  Way to go!

MISSION: Family Community Center Flowers

Sunflowers always bring a smile to my face.


Affiliated Agent J of Virginia Beach completed his first mission using this sunshine-y flower.  *high five*

Date: Friday, 13 August 2010

Location: Simon Family Community Center; Virginia Beach, Virginia

Time: daytime

Affiliated Agent J tells us how he completed his mission--with help from a female accomplice, of course.

Today's mission included a fresh cut sunflower from the local farmers market.  Along with the secret agent card I included a gift certificate for lunch at the facility where the gift was left.  It was placed in the women's locker room ( by a female accomplice I must add) and left with a note for whom ever to pick up. The note read, "I've learned you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back." 

Had a great time and waiting on the next mission.

So simple, yet so kind.  Thanks, Affiliated Agent J!

28 September 2010

MISSION: Niceness at the Naval Academy

If you've been following the Secret Agent L Project for any period of time, you know that I am absolutely in love with our military service members.  I mean, I'm more likely to get star-struck at someone in uniform than if Lady Gaga were to walk up to me.

Military service members are absolute celebrities in my eyes.

So today's mission has me all aflutter. I received this mission almost two months ago, and it's high-time I post it.  Affiliated Agent JF, a servicewoman in the Navy, thought of her fellow midshipmen and women who might be going through some exhaustion with all the studying they have to do at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.  A simple act of kindness.  Delicious.

By the way, Affiliated Agent JF is in the process of moving down to Pensacola, Florida, to begin flight school. Feel free to leave her a message of love and support in the comments section at the end of this post.  We are honored to have such an outstanding woman and service member on our team.  Good luck, Affiliated Agent JF! XOXO!!

Date: Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Location: library; U.S. Naval Academy; Annapolis, Maryland

Time: 8:00 a.m.

Affiliated Agent JF takes us along on her mission:

One of the core feelings at the heart of being a midshipman is....exhaustion. Sleepiness. Tiredness. Whether it's from watch the night before or aerodynamics homework, or worrying about the next physical test or military training evolution, mids never get enough sleep. And I found it pretty much stays the same once you graduate...you just get paid more to not sleep. In any case, the Coffee Mess, our coffee shop nestled in the back of the library, is always a bustling place, even at 8 AM in August. So I chose the surrounding library for my first mission. I took a "King Size" Hershey's Dark Chocolate Bar, attached the Secret Agent L card and some pretty silver ribbon, and the following note:

 "This is for you. Yes, YOU! Take a break from your busy day to enjoy a treat. The only catch is, you have to brighten someone else's day with a smile and a kind word. -Affiliated Agent J"

I was a little nervous about being spotted, but I brought my briefcase with me so that I could carry the gift discreetly. I chose a side desk along the windows that look out over the Bay, a favorite study spot in the afternoon and right along the pathway of midshipmen making their way to the coffee bar for a dose of caffiene. I sat down, sipping my coffee and watching until the coast was clear, and then I slipped the chocolate bar out of my bag and left it on the desk. 

I casually stood and walked away, feeling very accomplished that I hadn't been outed on my first trip!  I plan on checking back later in the day to make sure that it was found. :)

Affiliated Agent JF, YOU. ROCK.  Thank you, first and foremost, for your service to our country.  Like, big time.  And secondly, thank you for extending kindness.  So simple, yet so profound.

Good luck in flight school!

27 September 2010

MISSION: Take a Cupcake

Cupcakes are suddenly all the rage.  Here in Pittsburgh, they're a big deal.  We have a very famous (and delicious) cupcake shop called Dozen that has a ridiculous fan base--and several locations.  I mean, it's a mini cake.  How can that be a bad thing?

Affiliated Agent C of Idaho knows a good cupcake when she tastes one, too.  And she decided to share the yuminess with a stranger.  Especially one who might not be having the greatest day at work.

Date: Thursday, 12 August 2010

Location: "Awful place to work;" Rexburg, Idaho

Time: 4:30 p.m.

She tells us about her first mission:

I'm proud to announce that after careful consideration, I accomplished my very first mission. I live in a small town in Idaho and we have a cupcake cafe that is to die for (I attached a picture of some of their cupcakes). If anyone is having a hard day, you will probably find them at this cafe because the cupcakes make you so happy! 

There is also a place of employment in our town that is HORRIBLE to work at! I know, because I used to work there. I was driving past the cupcake cafe and I started thinking about those poor employees having to work at such a wretched place so I decided to buy a gift certificate and leave it where a tired employee of said horrible business could find it. I didn't have time to run home and print off the official "Secret Agent L" business card, but I did mention it in the note on my cupcake stationary that was in the car.

(I would have left an actual cupcake instead of a gift certificate, but I figured I didn't know anyone that would eat unpackaged food left by a stranger...)

I figured out how to maneuver myself undetected to the kiosk where all the employee's have to swipe in, and got read to take a nice picture when people started walking in! I had to quickly snap a pic and then HIDE, so I'm afraid my final picture is blurry.

But I feel GREAT! I honestly couldn't stop smiling the rest of the day thinking about the person who found that card.

Thanks for the idea to do this! I just may be hooked.

Affiliated Agent "C"

Affiliated Agent C, I can't stop smiling, either!  I love that you made this so personal and that you were so thoughtful regarding the recipient.  I hope you'll do another mission again soon!

MISSION: Now Showing: Kindness

Alright, friends.  This is it.  I have so, so many missions in my inbox--some dating back to early August.  I am going to absolutely try to get caught up on posting them.  I'm realizing that there's just too much kindness going on out there to only post one mission a day!  (Such a problem to have, huh?!)

With that being said, I'm just going to post, post, post!  That means you'll want to check back often to see the new and inspiring acts of kindness that my Affiliated Agents are carrying out each day.  So exciting!

This mission is courtesy of Affiliated Agent J of Lebanon, Missouri.  I love hearing about the little details that go on during my Agents' missions. Sounds like his mission was meant to be.

Date: Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Location: movie theatre; Lebanon, Missouri

Time: 6:30 p.m.

He tells us about his first mission:

I decided to pick up a five dollar gift certificate to Starbucks because they don't charge for the card.

I was full of excitement when I got home and went about preparing my package to be delivered.

On my way to the movies I caught the universe giving me a sign that bringing joy to people through acts of generosity was appreciated.

Arriving at the movie theater on a very slow Tuesday night I was able to drop off the package without being discovered and was able to snap a picture before I went to my movie.

When my movie was over I saw that the package had been picked up.  My first mission was a complete success and I can't wait till next time!!!

Affiliated Agent J, awesome job!  And the universe giving you a rainbow during your mission is just the icing on the cake!  I can't wait to see what you do next time!  Thank you for sharing your kind heart with others.

Mega Mission Monday: Favorite Quote

All I did was put out the call.

I simply asked my Affiliated Agents to leave their favorite quote somewhere for someone to find on Sunday, 26 September, and to email photos and details.

I asked. And they came through.

Thank you, my dear Affiliated Agents.

Thank you.

(This is a really, really long post, so you might want to break it up into several viewing sessions!)

All missions took place on Sunday, 26 August, all over the globe.

Affiliated Agent HM
Location: family's refrigerator; Sterling, VA
Time: afternoon

I'm at my family's house this weekend, preparing it for the arrival of my grandmother when she is released from the hospital on Tuesday.  She had a heart procedure the week before last and has had a hard time with her recovery so far.  While this isn't my absolute favorite quote, it certainly seemed appropriate for the occasion.  I left it on the refrigerator here so that she'll see it when she gets home.  She's always been a strong woman in every sense of the word.  Hopefully this will remind her of that.

Affiliated Agent CK
Location: Underground station "Georg-Brauchle-Ring"; Munich, Germany
Time: 6:30 p.m.

I loved the idea of the mega mission the favorite quotes and so I decided that would be my first mission, although I did not even ordered the SAL business cards yet. Being very active already with full time job, blogging and running with friends a small, but very active German-Croatian cultural association (non-profit, lots of work), I am already super busy and was not sure if I could handle being a good SAL agent doing at least one mission every few weeks.

Anyway .... I gave myself an easy start with this card / quote mission and I LOVED it.

For this mission I put the SAL link into the card "for more information".
When I heard about the Sunday mega mission of leaving a card with your favorite quote, I knew that would be the launch of my new identity as Secret Agent CK. I had not to think about the quote at all since I am signing all my private emails with my favorite quote for about 10 years now and this quote - lucky enough - fits perfectly to the mission. And here it is:

"The single clenched fist lifted and ready / Or the open asking hand held out and waiting. / Choose: / For we meet by one or the other."

"Choose / Chicago Poems" by Carl Sandberg

On Saturday - one day before day x - I went shopping with my girls and bought the card. On late Sunday afternoon I wrote the quote on one site of the card and on the other site I wrote in English and German a short note that this is just a kind message for no special reason and that I wish the stranger, who picks up the card, a happy, healthy and successful new week. I also placed the SAL link at the bottom of the card to make sure that people - if interested - could find out that nobody weird placed the card. German people can be such skeptics.

Affiliated Agent DS
Location: Post Office; Springdale, PA
Time: 3:45 p.m.

I decided to drop off my quote during the Steelers game since it's a ghost town in the Pittsburgh area. I decided to leave it on the mailbox at the post office since I'm sure someone will need to drop off mail tonight.

Thanks for a fun mission!

Affiliated Agent MC
Location: Steinmart, Target, Sears, and Kohl's; Ocean Township, NJ
Time: 2 p.m.

I attached each quote to a little flower & dropped them off, two at each store. One always was dropped in a dressing room and the second at random spots in the store.  At Target I left one on the price scanner & Sears I left on the employee computer  - I was very stealth, but I think someone saw me do the price scanner at Target, a lady immediately started heading right towards it, I walked away quickly. ;)

I’m sure your day was a great success, thanks for planning it.

Affiliated Agents L & O
Location: Starbucks; Orange, CA
Time: 2:50 p.m.

Greetings from Sunny So California!

At 2:50pm this afternoon, my 7 y/o daughter and I dropped off this little message of inspiration at a Starbucks in Orange, Calif. I was really stumped as to where to leave it ,so after cruising the local Target and it's parking lot for 1/2 hour to no avail, we ended up at Starbucks. it was 104'-I figured there would be a lot of hot and cranky( very much like the 2 of us) stopping in for a cold drink.

I had a totally different quote I was going to use, but this one popped up this morning, and I knew it was perfect.
Of course while at Starbucks, I picked up a gift card to use in a future RAK.

This was so cool:  all day long I wondered who, where and at what time kind people were out doing their guerrilla kindness! thanks for the chance to be involved!

Affiliated Agent J
Location: Miami Lakes, FL
Time: between 1-2 p.m.

Laura - this was my first mission, so I did the best I could as I didn't know I'd be such a wreck.   First I put one of my favorite quotes on an index card with some small decorations - and since I didn't know if I was supposed to put the SAL stuff on it, I put a line with only your website on the back and my initial.

It looked like it was going to rain, so I went first to the library to drop of a book and ended up putting the card in the book drop for the librarian or whoever takes the books out to find - then I spotted the security cameras, so hope that was okay and I got the heck out of there.

Then wanted to put one in a shopping cart outside of Publix but there were way too many people.   I can tell it's going to hard to take pictures of where I put stuff unless it's in a private room.

So since I wanted to complete my mission, I put one where the sign-up area is for classes at NutritionSmart, but a lady came over and started to straighten up the table so I snatched it back and just did my shopping. I ended up leaving the card slid in next to the tart cherry juice, which is something Dr. Oz recommends, so I left it there as that's a popular product.
Next I went to Office Depot and left it by the pretty notepads, one that was close to the same color as the index card so a salesman wouldn't notice it right away.

I hope this get easier as I'm sure I looked suspicious.   I guess with practice and picking the places it will.  I hope one day to be able to get pictures of where I put them.   Thanks - and I'm excited to get ready for more!

Affiliated Agent KM
Location: San Francisco, CA
Time: not specified

Hi Laura,

So excited for today's activity.  I wasn't sure if the quote had to be inspirational or not, I decided not and went with my favorite West Wing quote.  I took a walk down the block to the post box at the end of the street and left my note their.  It all sort of came together and was really fun.  :)

The little symbol at the end is a ;) (winky face) but it doesn't look as winky as it does on the computer.

Thanks for another great idea!

Affiliated Agent KM
Location: various; Pittsburgh, PA
Time: not specified

Hello SAL!

I loves me some quotes, so asking me to pick just one is impossible, so I made three cards.

The first I left tucked behind the button for the walk signal at the corner of Penn and S. Braddock, and the other two were left in the East End Food Coop (today was their annual Art Harvest)--one by the bags for the bulk coffee and the other by some jugs of seasonal apple juice. I wanted to leave them out in the Art Harvest, but it was too hard to find an opportunity to not be seen.

Sorry that the pics aren't that great quality. I was using my phone and trying to not be noticed. :-/  I am, however, happy to report that the card left at the intersection was gone when I walked back home.

Secret Agent L
Location: Aisle 8; Giant Eagle Market District Grocery Store; Pittsburgh, PA
Time: 6:03 p.m.

It's impossible for me to pick just one quote.  I mean, I have favorites, but how to pick just one?  I had a card from the fine folks at Quotable, and I felt like the quote on the front held so much possibility in so many ways, so I chose it as my quote.

I had to run to the grocery store tonight to pick up a few things.  The Giant Eagle Market District in my neighborhood (Shadyside) is always packed on Saturdays and Sundays, regardless of the time of day.  Tonight was no exception.  I originally planned on leaving my quote taped to the side of the Red Box DVD machine.  But there was a cop standing near it, along with a line of people all waiting to get their cinematic fixes for the evening.

My plan was foiled.

So, like any good Secret Agent, I moved on to Plan B: the frozen food section.  Aisle 8 was mysteriously empty.

Target acquired.

I stopped in front of the meatless frozen foods (a usual stop for this vegetarian) and quickly stuck my card (which was prepped beforehand with double-sided tape) to the frame.  A couple of quick clicks of the camera and Mission: Complete.

Let us never forget what we can do when we all come together.

Let us never forget that we belong to one another.