Close your eyes and think back to the last time you had one of those moments. You know, one of those moments that makes you feel good about who you are and your place in the world, if only for a moment. For me, it was this past weekend. sweatyswag and Patriot Sports and Fitness led a Kindness Event that impacted us in such a way that I just had to write about it.
On the 21st we share kindness. Let me preface by saying it’s not about NOT being kind on days that don’t end in 21, as a matter of fact it is as simple as just being more intentional with our kindness on those days that end with 21. Kindness is simple, but it is not always easy and that is why “on the 21st we share kindness.” To know that there is a community behind you also intentionally creating opportunities to be kind to ourselves and others on the 21st. I guess that’s my way of saying, Hey! It might make you “sweat” to get outside of your comfort zone (but do it anyway) and give the compliment to the stranger of whose outfit you adore, or engage in conversation with a new co-worker, mom, acquaintance that is clearly out of their element. Do it anyway, because there is a sweatyswag community behind you out there sweating in their neck of the woods doing the same thing. I think there is power in that.
For October, sweatyswag teamed up with local business, Patriot Sports and Fitness in a joint effort to raise funds to create and deliver Chemo-Relief Kindness Bags which would include all of the essentials needed to help comfort patients while they undergo chemotherapy treatment. Our beneficiary was the Nancy W. Knowles Cancer Center out of Elmhurst Hospital and in those bags were a throw blanket, unscented lip balms and lotion, hard candies, reading material, cozy socks, sanitizer, Kleenex, tumbler with lid and straw along with our personal message and testimony from a 6X cancer survivor for those to draw inspiration and hope from during this time. At the end of our blog is our message and if you are interested in learning more about our survivor’s personal testimony, please reach out to us and we’d be happy to share with you as well!
Cancer is a tender subject as I lost my mom to lung cancer and her birthday was on the 21st, which is why, you guessed it, our Kindness Day is the 21st. I created a flyer and posted around Patriot and our social pages and I just talked about what we were doing and it gained momentum from there. One click from my phone every few days and talking about it when I was at the gym. That is something every single one of us can do as I didn’t even have to leave the comfort of my couch to do most and I was able to make an impact. I think that is important. To know that you don’t have to have celebrity status, big name, big paycheck, and YOU can still have an impact on the world around you. Our kindness targets the everyday people in our community and is not limited to those that can donate money to our causes, it’s so much more. Don’t get me wrong, being able to be in a position where you are able to write a check for a cause that is close to you is amazing, but as I mentioned earlier our kindness is about the “sweat” so we want to involve you to experience and witness what one of our Kindness Initiatives can do and how it makes you feel. I can talk about kindness, tell you about my experience, but it is not until I can involve you in our Act and experience first hand how it can impact yourself and others, that is where the magic takes place; that is where we get your buy-in.
21 days and a little enthusiasm around our cause was all it took to involve the sweatyswag/Patriot and local Elmhurst community to raise enough money and donated items to create and gift over 75+ chemo-relief bags to our local Cancer Center. Where 75+ cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy will be touched by our kindness and may just be the light in their darkness that helps them fight, survive, triumph.
More importantly, that post and that flyer that took me a few minutes to create brought together so many from our local community that may have never had the opportunity to work together to create these bags for others all in the name of kindness. That community consisted of sweatyswag customers, Patriot Sports and Fitness Members, the local York JV Hockey Team and several other men and women of all ages who saw our post or heard from a friend. Even when you can’t travel, Kindness will and our result is a true testament to that statement.
Being able to parade as a group last Friday to hand deliver all of the bags created by us the night before was truly amazing. The Center graciously accepted our generous donation and went on to say that this was the biggest donation of Its kind to the Center. Heart is full. 😊 sweatyswag is also about unexpected kindness so with the money that was left over we were able to surprise and delight all nurses and staff that work in the Center with a small gift and handwritten messages about all they do. If I’m being honest, doctors are great, but it was the nurse that held my hand at my darkest hour when my mom passed. Although, I may never know that nurses name, I will never forget the way she made me feel and I wanted to celebrate these nurses as they are someone’s light in their darkest hour.
Now, I ask you again, close your eyes, and think of the last moment that truly made you smile and if you can’t seem to locate one open your eyes and create one of those moments. Go more in the direction of what makes you sweat. Don’t just be the one that talks about change go out there and create it! We will be right behind you when you do.
Here is that message that we included in every one of our chemo-relief bags:
Cancer can take so much, but we also want to remind about what it gives…
It gives you moments…
Moments of weakness.
Moments of fear.
Moments of uncertainty.
Moments of disappointment.
Moments of defeat.
But, let’s not forget what else cancer gives to you…
Moments of strength.
Moments of bravery.
Moments of opportunity.
Moments of achievement.
Moments of triumph.
We just wanted to take this moment to send positive vibes your way as you continue to fight. Although we may never know who the other is we hope that these items bring you comfort in pain and know that each one of these bags was made with love and support from your friends at sweatyswag and Patriot Sports and Fitness.
Life is Sweaty. Work it Out.
From the beginning I knew sweatyswag was a bridge from me to you and wanted to ensure the heartbeat of this brand translated to all that buys it, which is why I created the Monthly on the 21st Kindness Initiative. This brand is about not only identifying what makes us sweat, but embracing all that comes with it and “working it out.” Now you may say, Tracey, what does sweat have to do with kindness and I would respond with: Sometimes it makes us sweat to be kind to others (and ourselves) and it is that sweat that leads us in the direction of finding our sweatyswag. You see sweatyswag isn’t just something we wear, it’s who we are and it’s who we aspire to be.