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August 2018

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My Online Photography Workshop

This is how I learned to edit my photos

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I took maternity photos at no charge for a young mother. I look forward to doing it for her newborn soon as well.


What an awesome story about an awesome man!!!!!

Lois Bizieff

Thanks for sharing this story and encouraging us to do random acts of kindness. This week I am spending time after school with my grandson so that he can write a paper due soon. He struggles with keeping on tasks and I am grateful I can be there for him.

I will stay aware of an opportunity to do something this next week in the community or for a friend.

Thanks again. I miss the class.....I have improved, but often would like a critique!! Blipfoto is kind of meeting that need, but people seldom help with technical issues, just encourage. :-))


I love you Karen Russell (Downs) I just wanted you to know that :) xoxoxoxo

Lori A.

What an inspiring story/gentleman. Try my best to keep an eye out for opportunities to help people, from cooking dinner for a friend who's helping a family member fighting cancer to sometimes leaving money anonymously for someone going through a hard time. This week I was able to purchase breakfast for a couple of coworkers who sometimes struggle financially. I love to hear stories of other people's random acts of kindness for inspiration. Would love to be able to audit your class and see what you have shared. Love photography but have MUCH to learn about what my camera can truly do. Thanks for sharing!


Yesterday, I gave the Starbucks barista money to pay for the next person that came in. Tomorrow, I'm mailing a bunch of hats I've knit to a charity that distributes them to cancer centers. Thanks for the reminder for random acts of kindness. :-)

Susan Mortensen

Wow! very inspirational story...definitely causes me to be more aware. Just helped out with the food drive this week, and i am going to keep this story in mind through out the holiday season. Keep my eyes and my mind open for other opportunities. Thanks for telling this story Karen.

Donna Bolsar

A special long distance friend of mine from out of state of mine visited and was confiding in me about her recent divorce and having to move back in with her parents due to money issues. We went to look for dress slacks for me at a department store and she found several tops she liked that were on sale. When she was not looking, I picked up the tops and added them to a few things I had selected to purchase. She tried to pull them back from me, but I insisted. At the moment she started to cry and we both ended up crying and hugging in the middle of the store. If I win this class, I would give it to her. She would most benefit from this and it will be awhile before she could spend money on photography classes.

Christa Williams

What a wonderful story. I always try to give back and do random acts of kindness and especially the holidays. This year we are adopting a needy family. A young mother who was physically and emotionally hurt by her ex husband. My husband works for Nestle and we have also been stocking up on dog and cat food all year to give to our local animal cruelty task force of Ohio.


Love this story and the opportunity that you are giving as well!
My mom and I keep an eye on sales of pantry staples so we can stock up and make the most of our food bank donations. Last week, pasta was on sale for $1 a box, so we cleared out a good portion of the store's stock and dropped it off to the food bank on Wednesday.

Nicky from Okotoks

You are such a wonderful. lady and have such an amazing soul. Such a wonderful story of a great man who teaches through doing - what an amazing example he has been.

Busy week for me - bundled up a box full of homemade quilts early in the week to ship off to The Pregnancy Centre. Still try to get this done at least twice a year.

I have been in Vancouver mid week through to the weekend for a work conference and have now had the opportunity to visit my oldest daughter Michelle and her husband Tzanko, before heading home on sunday. Last night when Michelle and I were heading home via transit and Sea-bus, we stopped for a few things for supper and bought a supper for a homeless man tucked in a rain free spot outside.

This weekend I will be gathering some more items while in Vancouver for a silent auction that we will be having at the beginning of December for the 2 Christmas families that we are sponsoring at work over the holidays. Each year, we all contribute homemade items or unique items that are then bid on by our staff and the money will go to help these families in need. Michelle and Tzanko have a wonderful book that they animated with some colleagues and that wonderful piece of art is being donated to our cause - a wonderful unique homemade items.

I am not putting in this for me, as I have had the wonderful opportunity to attend the hometown workshop and also be an auditing student which I can tell everyone here is amazing - Karen, you are such a wonderful lady and your heart and soul are so full of goodness. I would love to put in for my daughter, and hope that I am raising a good young and giving person. She is a talented lady, animator and loves photography - so many things close to my heart. I would love her to enjoy this opportunity. Your the best Karen.
Love you Karen

Dana W

I love this story about Don and how he showed kindness to so many. I've been collecting coats for those to wear in the winter and I am dropping them off this week. This story helps to show that there is still good in the world and we all need to do our part and help out those in need.


I'm going to enter on behalf of 15-year old daughter who wants to learn photography. She has gone to help a young mom of 3 who can't lift anything after just giving birth. She's been gone all day & then comes home to help ours (we have 9 littles) & do her lessons. And she loves it- she lives pouring out herself for others to show them Jesus! She humbles me!


What a awesome man. You are so sweet Karen!


I love random acts of kindness :) they are like my own gratitude practice. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story and exciting opportunity! Here at my work (I work at an energy company), one of my coworkers recently found out his 20 month old daughter has cancer. He will be missing a lot of work, and surely exhaust any paid time off he gets - so I'm donating him my extra vacation - so he can still get paid while caring for his daughter.

Thanks for the chance, Karen!

Lisa Houpt

I love this story about Don! Seriously, made me choke up. A real man of God. I am working hard this year of showing God's love and grace to others. Even when it is hard. His story his definitely about that.

I picked up my box for Operation Christmas Child yesterday and I am shopping with my husband this week to fill it to bring to church on Sunday (last day to bring it). We will also be giving to other local charities and families/children in need this year. God has blessed us so much this year and I want to be blessing to others through him.

Jennifer Weston

Random acts of kindness should be the norm. I don't understand why people aren't nicer to one another all year round. (Although, there are a lot of nice people out there). I have 2 random acts of kindness to share, one accomplished, the other in the works. First, I have purchased Christmas gifts for a needy family in our area. And I haven't done this yet, but I plan on buying Christmas gifts for the entire staff at my veterinarian's office this year. They are so helpful and compassionate to me and my animals all year...that it is so nice to show some extra appreciation for them during the holidays. They have a hard that I could never do.

Moo Jae

This made me cry. I remembered my dad has the same genuine heart as Don. It felt so good that there are still people who help other people not to get some credits but plainly to help and share the blessings that they have. I hope more people will be inspired to be like him.


What a wonderful way to honor Don. I've committed to doing a RAK every day this week. So far I've raked leaves for two of our neighbors, donated to the food bank, and volunteered to teach a painting project at our elementary school. I love how activities like this put kindness in the forefront. Doing one small thing somehow turns into another and that makes me be a nicer, gentler person. Funny how that is.
Thanks for the chance Karen.


Thank you Karen for the chance to win an auditing seat in a past Photographers' Workshop and for introducing us to Don. Last night I baked homemade pumpkin cookies and delivered them to several women who are in their eighties.


Don was my kind of man. Thank you for sharing such a great human with such integrity and the love of life and human spirit. I give back all of the time, it makes my heart feel good. I don't like sharing how I give or that I do. I love being anonymous and also love giving that little bit of great human spirit to those in need. I lost my best friend three weeks ago we gave to the homeless and their pets on the street. We have a lot of them in the industrial area we work in. I give at the store when I see someone struggling for change or to make a purchase. I love giving to that child that waits patiently in line at the supermarket to let them know to be proud of their decisions. I give back most sundays to my animal shelter taking photos of the dogs in need. This in it's self is a full time job when I spend most the day editing for the website, but it's what I do and the love I can share.
I would have loved to have met Don :)
And I have read your blog for many, many years and enjoy your words, family & photos :)
Happy Day Karen!

Cristy M.

What a wonderful story and how awesome of you to not only recognize Don but to encourage others to be kind. I have been thinking of this story all week and this morning when I saw an update on my Facebook News feed about a local toddler with pediatric cancer, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to reach out. I don't personally know this family but I see this little guys sweet face almost daily thanks to social media and my heart aches for them. Today, "Valiant Vito's" mom posted his regular update and made mention that she knows there is so much to do (buy new hospital pajamas, make sensory boxes and activities for Vito and gather winter gear for her other THREE boys (Minnesota- BRR!) but she has faith and a calmness that it will all get done. I went online and ordered a few sensory activities and books for Vito. It didn't take long or cost much but it made my heart happy :)

Mindy Haney

Wow! I love this post! People like Don inspire me! Every year for the last 5 years or so, I have asked my Facebook friends to perform random acts of kindness in lieu of gifts. It's so inspiring to me to read how they kick off kindness trains in their own lives! My husband of almost one year and I were the recipients of an act of kindness this week. After posting on Facebook that we were looking for a cheap mini vacation to celebrate our one year anniversary since we never officially were able to do a honeymoon, a couple from our church gifted us $500 to plant a seed for a continuing beautiful marriage. I've never been on the receiving end of something so big, and I was completely amazed.

I would absolutely love to win one of these audit spots. In my time hop a few days ago, I read that I had taken a class from you when you visited a little town in Houma, Louisiana! :) I remember learning SO much!!!

For my act of kindness, I cooked dinner tonight for the 20 women who are helping to decorate for our women's conference at church that starts tomorrow. It's not much, but hopefully it blesses them for sharing their time and talent! Thank you for this opportunity!

Sarah Wiehe

Love this!!! My family and I bought a crock pot to a young single mom and then brought 8 Wildtree freezer meals for her to make while she is going to CNA school and then studying for her test.

M Thorn

What amazing man and example for us all! These stories were just the inspiration I needed to skip the trip to the grocery store this week, and instead spend the time and money putting together boxes for Operation Christmas Child. My family and I put together four stuffed full boxes and we are so excited to drop them off for collection. Thank you so much for the inspiration and opportunity!

Karen S

Thanks for the inspiration/reminder! It feels so good to give. For my RAK I anonymously paid two family's PTO dues at my kids' schools. for some families this is a burden they just can't afford. Thanks for the opportunity to win....and just by being kind. You rock!


What a great story! Don sounds like an amazing man! I teach my kids to be kind to people and help where help is needed. They often ask to buy a homeless person a meal or give them a few dollars. They are learning!
The other day I was at the DD drive thru and a homeless man was walking around the parking lot, I bought him a coffee as it was quite cold that day.
I also did the pay it forward in the Starbucks line.
I am now collecting items for our Troops! :) Feels so good.

Kim L

I just love kind people!! I had the opportunity to help package meals alongside one of my very best friends = such a great day!


I wanted to reply sooner but I always feel that I should let someone else win because there are many less fortunate people than me. However, I feel compelled to write my response, even though the contest is over, because this post really resonated with me. I am an elementary teacher and right now there is a lot of turmoil in education in our state. More demands, less time, more testing of the students, less play/explore time.... Since reading your post, I have done an anonymous RAK for each teacher on my team... flowers on a desk, bought one a new lanyard, left a homemade treat and a note, etc. Not only did it make the day of the teacher who received the treat, it made my day brighter also. So thanks for the extra encouragement to reach out. I continue to do this throughout the school year for support/staff members in my building.

Julie Fallon

I bought a turkey tonight & got a 2nd one free. I was going to freeze it for later but now, after reading about Don, I'm going to donate that one & a few more to " Loves & Fishes," Food Bank. Thx Karen & Don too....

Libbi M.

Such an awesome story. Now I'm going to get my box of tissues for all my tears. I'm a cashier at Costco and sometimes when there is a member fishing in their wallet for the extra cash they don't have, the member behind them will pick up the balance. Turns me into a big ball of tears every time. It's comforting to know that there are still good people in this crazy world we live in.

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