Flanagin’s Bulk Mail adds a little magic of Disney

CREATING MAGIC

CREATING MAGIC

Click this link to read the ValpoLife article about our experience (click) with being in the book The Disney Way.

 

Have a Flan-Tastic Day,

Donna Flanagin

 

Random Me:  I was so proud of our float this year and all the Flanagin Fairies!  They all did an outstanding job Creating Magic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Creating Magic

2015 Valparaiso Popcorn Parade

2015 Valparaiso Popcorn Parade

2015 Meet & Greet

2015 Meet & Greet

You just never know where the magic will lead you.

Most years The Flanagin Fairies have a heartwarming story to tell after appearing at Valparaiso’s Popcorn Festival and this year was no exception.

Here is a little background….

Our sole purpose as the Fairies is to create magical memories for the children and sometimes we find out that we did exactly that.

After the parade the Fairies do a meet and greet for the children at the Festival.  The wonder and excitement you see in the children’s’ eyes make all the preparation worthwhile.  After chatting its customary to give the child a pre-printed photograph of your fairy character, a sticker or sometimes even a little fairy ornament.

Last year Crystal Snowflake (aka my daughter Erica Flanagin George) had a creative idea to give some of the children a very precious, one of a kind, keep it under your pillow “magical moon stone”.   Crystal presents it to the child with a cute little saying about how it has magic and it will make their dreams come true, but only the good dreams of course.  She keeps them in a pouch and the children cannot see them at first and sometimes will even tell the child that “oh wait that stone doesn’t have enough magic let me find you a different one.”

Spoiler alert:  you can buy them by the bag at most craft stores in pretty colors originally designed to put in flower vases.

So here is this year’s story……

The Fairy Gladmother was chatting with a sweet little girl and when it was about time to go on her way, the mother asked if I (The Fairy Gladmother) remembered the “magic moon stones” that we gave away last year at the meet and greet and I said YES, I sure do!   And then she pointed at her daughter Madelyn and…….there is was!

 

Magic Moon Stone (picture with mom's permission)

Magic Moon Stone

Madelyn’s mom had turned it into a necklace that Madelyn was wearing.

Our hearts just melted. We ARE creating magic!

You just never know where the magic will lead you.

IMG_4461

How creativity works

 

 

Our new door

Our new door

So this is the story of how a little idea turns into a London Phone Booth.

Our building is plain beige and has two doors in the front.

I often have people choose the wrong door even with the arrow posted to show them the way.

So one day I decided to change the color of the door so I could say go to the “green door” or “blue door” or “red door”.

After some discussion we decided on red.  Plain red door, good enough – boom!  Let’s buy the paint and get started.

For those of you that have visited our office you know that plain is just not good enough, so I had to come up with something different.

Something out of the ordinary.

Voila’ why not make it look like a London phone booth.

With the help of Master Imagineer Erica George and spray painter extraordinaire Doug,  this baby was born.

How do you like it?

Have a Flan-tastic day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I love when a creative idea comes to life.  Warms my heart.

CONVERSATION STONES

Conversation stones

Conversation stones on a silver platter

Last weekend I was making some conversation stones for our reception counter.  Disney encourages making a personal connection with your customers (guest).  Thought this might be another way to get to know them better and in return they get to know us better.  Just a little something different and something fun.

At an appropriate time you ask the guest to randomly choose a conversation stone which have sayings on them like; what was your first car; what is your favorite hobby; who was your favorite teachers; etc etc etc.

While preparing these stones, it got the wheels turning.  Who was my favorite teacher?  Sadly, I couldn’t think of a favorite teach nor one that made a big impact on my life.  I don’t think that is, in itself, a bad thing.  They were all fine teachers, just did not make a big impact.

But then I realized there was someone that did make a big impact on my career.  I don’t believe he knows how important he was to my future.  His name is Ro Chabot and he held my hand many years ago when I was learning how to manage databases and beginning programming. I remember more than once calling him crying because I had tried everything I could think of and could not fix the problem and he would laugh and walk me through it.  At the time I did not know how valuable this education was going to be but I now make a living managing databases all day long in our bulk mail business.

I never regretted learning DOS, dbaseII and 123 (which is now called Excel) way back in the early 80’s. This old knowledge comes in handy every now and then.

Thank you Ro Chabot for all the knowledge you shared with me, your patience with my inexperience and your lasting friendship.  You may not have been a teacher in my formal education system, but you were truly my most valuable educator.  Thanks also to your lovely wife “Jo” for always being my friend.

(BTW the stones have only been out a week and we have had so much interesting conversation because it them.)

Ro & Jo

Ro & Jo

Have a Flan-tastic Day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  From shorthand in 1970 to WordPress in 2010.  Who knew?

RAK the Happiness Multiplier

Scatter Kindness

ScatterKindness

All Acts of Kindness are written in the participants own words and the only purpose of this post is to scatter kindness.

024

I had a million important things to do yesterday, but instead I chose to take a little time to yard sale.  As I browsed the items I spotted dishes that were on the Ronald McDonald House wish list.  (My daughter is in the process of fulfilling items on the wish list for her annual trip to RMH in Indianapolis to payback for what they did for her family in their time of need.)

The price was just a bit more than I wanted to pay so I asked if they would entertain a cheaper price. They said sure and I went on to explain that I would be donating them to RMH. 

After carefully wrapping my purchase I asked how much I owed. They proceeded to tell me that I owed nothing!  They explained their daughter was in the Indianapolis hospital as a child and there was no Ronald McDonald House at the time to help them and it was their pleasure to donate these dishes.

Spontaneously my hands covered my mouth and my eyes began to tear behind my sunglasses.  Absolutely did not expect this Random Act of Kindness.  The generosity of strangers often blows my mind.

After a truly heartfelt thank you, I picked up the dishes and walked away.

About 1/2 way down the driveway, I stopped, turned around and walked back.  I handed her my card that read “Thank you for making the world a better place.  Scatter Kindness”

Never ever a better time to use this card!

~~

Fast forward to the next yard sale.

As I walked up a young boy about 7 asked if I had a grandson that could use any of the toys he was selling.  I smiled and told him I did indeed have a grandson, but he was now 19 years old.  We chuckled and I proceeded to browse.

I did not find anything I needed/wanted but as I was leaving I handed the little boy a $1.00 and told him I was sorry I didn’t have anyone that would need his toys but that I wanted to give him a little something for his great sales skills.

Seriously can you imagine how scared this little boy must have been asking a strange lady who doesn’t look a day over 39 (cough cough) if she had a grandson!  He will grow up to be a fine salesman someday.

~~

Fast forward one more time.

As I walked up to this yard sale, there was a lemonade stand.  I always try to buy lemonade from children when I see a stand.  It was actually pretty good tasting, which is not always the case.  As I returned to my car and was about to put the lemonade in the cut holder I spilled the entire cup all over me, my seat, my council, my purse and my jacket. 

Only for a split second did I feel frustration.

How could I after this marvelous day?

Have a Flan-tastic Day and Scatter some Kindness,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  Mentally I know better, but I struggle with taking time for myself when I have so many things that needs to get done. So worth the immeasurable joy this day.

 

Random Act of Kindness – To Tell or Not to Tell

Scatter Kindness

A Question About Random Acts of Kindness

All Acts of Kindness are written in the participants own words and the only purpose of this challenge was to scatter kindness.

024


“Should you talk about your random acts of kindness or should you keep them to yourself?”

One daughter believes that it feels like bragging to talk about your Rak’s.  That you are not doing them to get recognition but doing them out of kindness.

         I AGREE

The other believes it is important to spread the word because it will make the world a better place.  Scattering kind thoughts

is so much better than scattering negative thoughts, or no thoughts for that matter.

        I AGREE ALSO

I agree with both positions.  Sometimes it is probably better not to tell but most times I believe talking about it WILL make the world a better place.  

I also think you should do whatever you are comfortable with.

What I think is just that,

what you think is just that.

Neither one is right nor wrong.

Simple as that!

Have a Flan-tastic Day and Scatter some Kindness,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  Next post an example of how it worked.

 

Random Act of Kindness – The Question

Scatter Kindness

A Question About Random Acts of Kindness

All Acts of Kindness are written in the participants own words and the only purpose of this challenge was to scatter kindness.

024


“Should you talk about your random acts of kindness or should you keep them to yourself?”

This question came up recently between myself and my two daughters. 

One daughter believes that it feels like bragging to talk about your Rak’s.  That you are not doing them to get recognition but doing them out of kindness.

The other believes it is important to spread the word because it will make the world a better place.  Scattering kind thoughts is so much better than scattering negative thoughts, or no thoughts for that matter.

What are your thoughts?

Have a Flan-tastic Day and Scatter some Kindness,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I will give you my thoughts in the next blog post.

 

Random Act of Kindness – 100 Day Challenge Lives On

 

Scatter Kindness

Random Act of Kindness – The Ripple Effect

All Acts of Kindness are written in the participants own words and the only purpose of this challenge was to scatter kindness.

024

A couple of weeks ago, a friend asked for a reference. She was leaving her job of 24 years. Of course I said, “But would you like to work in my office?  We have a part time position.” She came on board.  She is great. We love her. 

Yesterday my boss handed me a cash bonus; a finder’s fee. Also yesterday another friend called to say she was kidnapping me after my religious Ed class. We hadn’t chatted in a longtime, beyond the quick check in. 

So at 8:45 PM we went to a posh restaurant in town for coffee; not much else was open.  They have a small function room and as we walked in I remembered I was thinking of reserving it for my daughter’s Confirmation celebration in May.  When we arrived I asked the host about the details.  He had none but I could call back in the morning.  No worries. I’ll add I was dressed in my usual Patty dressed down relate to teenagers comfortable complete with church baseball hat.  Not a glamorous sight but I don’t really care.  And the host gave me the attention on par with my outfit.  Still fine.

We ordered coffee no cake or anything and chatted.  Asked for water.  Chatted some more.  My dear friend was paying the bill but I wanted to leave the tip.  Told her my boss had just given me a bonus and would love share it. To over tip the waitress for she was lovely and not her fault we just had coffee.  Needless to say the waitress was very surprised.  No I didn’t give her the entire bonus but her tip was about 4 times the bill, maybe slightly more.  So probably a bit surprising. And she must have told the host for a few minutes later he offered us a tour of the private room and a folder full of dining options.

It’s interesting how life unfolds.  If my friend hadn’t joined our merry band in the office, I would never have had the cash to truly show our appreciation of waitress’ patience for friends having a late night coffee — decaf.  And as I type I wonder where the kindness will next lead me. 

 

Have a Flan-tastic Day and Scatter some Kindness,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  The 100 day challenge ripples on.

Random Act of Kindness-The Ripple Effect 5-19-14

Scatter Kindness

 Random Act of Kindness – The Ripple Effect

All Acts of Kindness are written in the participants own words and the only purpose of this post is to scatter kindness.

024

Kurt wrote: “On my way to work today, I found someone’s check on the sidewalk. I thought to myself, “Donna Schmidt Flanagin”  would want me to be kind and turn this in.” I called the company that issued the check and the lady who answered the phone was the person who lost it. It was her weekly mileage check. Now I’m enjoying the Starbucks she brought me when she picked her check up! Mmmmm!”

Have a Flan-tastic Day and Scatter some Kindness,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  Kurt went on to say: thank you for spreading your kindness around and causing me to go the extra step to help this lady out!

 

Scatter Kindness 5-1-14

Scatter Kindness

 Random Act of Kindness – A Ripple Effect

All Acts of Kindness are written in the participants own words and the only purpose of this challenge was to scatter kindness.

I have bloglovin permission to re-post this incredible RAK.  (click here) to follow bloglovin

024

Last night my boys went to the NJ Devils game with my dad. When they got home, DJ said, “Drew, are you going to tell mom what you did at the game tonight?”  I replied, ‘Uhoh, what…” and DJ said, “No mom, it is good!”  We all laughed and Drew got embarrassed and told me this story,
You know how I always go up to the glass for warm ups?  Well, I went there tonight and I was hoping that a player would toss me a puck after practice.  There was this kid standing near me who had special needs and he was wearing a Toronto jersey.  He reminded me of that girl we saw at The Newark Bears Game.  That was the kind of special needs he was.  Well, he wanted a puck so badly but he didn’t get one and I guess he got tired of standing there because he and his dad went back to their seats.  Then, I got a puck and I went over and gave it to him instead of keeping it. The kid was so happy!  Later, the dad and the kid came over to our seats and thanked me.  At the end of the game, I went up to where the referees leave the ice and NJ, (the Devils mascot,) tossed me the game puck!
I was so proud I nearly cried.  DJ was just nodding his head the whole time telling me that really happened.  My dad told me how proud he was of him.  I had to share it – I was so filled with joy that he had done such a generous thing.  For anyone who knows him, he is a collector and giving up a puck was probably not the easiest thing for him!!  I shared the story on Facebook before I left for work this morning.  I got home this evening and found that there were just under 200 likes and almost 50 comments about it!  Comments saying others were going to pay it forward today after reading it.  Comments about how he is growing up into such a kind young man.  Comments about how Dave and I “must be doing something right!”
He and I just read the comments together and he is embarrassed – self-conscious perhaps, but I can tell he is pleased with himself.  It is so nice watching him grow into such a kind hearted boy.  Many of the comments mentioned “great parenting.”  I had great role models to follow, and now my children are following in those footsteps as well.  We talk all the time about how easy it is to do the right thing and last night, Drew demonstrated that perfectly.

Thank you bloglovin for allowing me to re-post this.

Have a Flan-tastic Day and Scatter some Kindness,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  the 100 day challenge is over, but the ripple effects are not. 

 

%d bloggers like this: