I’m excited to be able to introduce you to a woman who has done something that aligns with the true meaning of the word awesome.
Ryan Ellen Cavarra is someone who, “truly feel(s) happy by helping others,” so she gifted herself with happiness for her 30th birthday.
A few months before the milestone birthday date of Jan 7, she decided that she would perform 30 acts of kindness for others on her actual birthday.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Ryan about her acts, which I found out about through a Facebook friend who had been on the receiving end of them. Here is what she had to say:
Me: How did you decide whom you would gift? Did you go off of what you felt that day, or did you have a plan?
Ryan: Well, about a handful of people on the list, I knew. Either they go unrecognized and work hard and are all-around good people, or were deserving and in need. The rest, I just was bold about and if it looked like they were having a bad day, handed them something to make them smile. I made the list two nights prior to Jan 7th (my actual birthday & the day that I did these “acts”) and then gathered my husband and kids, went to the store, came home and wrapped, planned, ordered (flowers) online and worked for two days straight to get everything prepared.
Me: Did it take courage to be bold like that with the people you didn’t know? How did those people react when you presented them with your gift?
Ryan: Yes, there were a few times that I was uncomfortable, but told myself “this person will benefit from this.” Example, we had to go to the really bad part of town to find homeless. And boy, were there homeless! Once we handed out the first bag, others (running in groups of probably 10-15) came towards my car like zombies, reaching into my car. It was a little scary, but luckily I had my husband with me. One homeless girl (maybe in early 20’s) thanked me and said I was such a sweetie. Others that I handed cookies, lottery tickets, flowers to looked in complete shock and could not believe that I did not want anything in return. One lady, a much older lady, that I found in the grocery parking lot hugged me so sincere and took the time to read the note, then told me happy birthday. I did include a note on all gifts/items of what I was doing and why.
Me: How did you feel once your 30 items were complete?
Ryan: Once my 30 were complete, I wanted to do more. I still do… everyday I try thinking of something I can do that won’t require me to spend much money. I often find myself helping handicapped people in the grocery store who are in the little scooters who can’t reach the top, by handing them what they need.
Ryan is an #AwesomeWoman, and I’m so happy to have had the chance to communicate with her! During our interview, she mentioned that she’s always been the kind of person to help others. She’s taken her children to local fire stations over the holidays and delivered baked goods to them in order to show them appreciation for what they do. She also adopted 14 seniors in a nursing home that didn’t have anyone. She’s truly an inspiration!
In fact, I’m adding regular visits to people at a nursing home to my goal list this year, and for my 30th birthday in September, I really want to do the same thing that she did!
I’ve been on the receiving end of random acts of kindness, and they truly brightened my day. I so badly want to be able to do that for others and I admire Ryan for what she did.
Do you know of someone who is an #AwesomeWoman? If so, send me her info at awesomewomanproject(at)gmail(dot)com, and tell me why she is such an amazing person. I would love to feature her!!
Lastly, if Ryan Ellen Cavarra inspires you, please share her story by clicking the Facebook and Twitter buttons at the bottom of this post.