We love guest ninja blogs. The Lansing Jaycees are the largest group to reach out to us and start doing some serious organizing for ninja missions. How amazing!
Lauren Leeds, the Jaycees’ community director and press secretary, shared the tale of their Memorial Day mission.
The Lansing Jaycees is a nonprofit group dedicated to building leadership through friendship and citizenship. So, naturally, we thought it would be a fantastic idea to get on the Lansing Ninjas’ random act of kindness bandwagon and help spread the love.
I mentioned the possibility of doing a guest mission to Abby Siegel on a Wednesday night and while she’d never heard of the Lansing Ninjas, she immediately loved the idea and wanted to plan an activity for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. As “Community Directors” of the Lansing Jaycees, Abby and I set about brainstorming what we could do in such a short turnaround time.
To us, Memorial Day weekend meant we should do something for the brave men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, so we thought about buying flags to place at military gravesites in a few Lansing cemeteries. After all, Memorial Day was originally called “Decoration Day” because it was a time to remember our war dead and adorn their graves with tokens representing their sacrifice and patriotism.
After a few phone calls, we learned that a local Boy Scout troop had already placed flags. Way to go Boy Scouts; but back to the drawing board for us.
Luckily our chapter president, Angela Fossi, came up with the idea of taking coffee to Lansing Memorial Day Parade participants and attendees. This was a stroke of genius!
Abby quickly sprung to action and called Coffee and Friends Cafe in Okemos and they graciously agreed to donate four air pots of coffee (enough for about 100 people), along with cups, half & half, a caddy of sweeteners and stirring sticks. What a community-friendly establishment. Thank you, Coffee and Friends Cafe!
Parade participants were to be in place by 9:30 a.m. for the 10 a.m. start time, so we decided to meet at the lineup at about 9:15 a.m. It was a cool, damp morning in late May, a bit chilly for those waiting for the parade to start, but perfect weather for handing out coffee. What a great way to thank veterans and others there to honor the sacrifice of our nation’s soldiers!
Abby, Angela Clock and I offered participants a free cup of hot coffee. At first, people were a little leery and asked “how much?” When we told them it was free, they were grateful for a cup or top off of the coffee they already had. Many who were there to ride or walk in the parade expressed their appreciation.
One veteran named Louie insisted on shaking all of our hands and telling us how grateful he was for such a kind gesture. No Louie, thank you for your service to our country and for helping to ensure Memorial Day is about more than grilling out and having another day off – that we remember the true purpose of this important and solemn holiday.
It was truly rewarding to do something for others. We’re already planning for the next guest mission the Lansing Jaycees can do for the Lansing Ninjas. You have really inspired and hooked our chapter on doing random acts of kindness!
Nice work, Lansing Jaycees! We can’t wait to hear about your next mission!