Intelligent Kindness

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I’m getting pretty excited/nervous for the Amway Positivity Project Awards tonight.  I’ve met the other 9 finalists, and they are all awesome.  Everyone’s charity or idea is so deserving… I’m pumped that we all walk away with at least $2,500. But I’m pulling hard for Operation Beautiful and Girls on the Run to get the $10,000 grand prize! :)  Thanks again for voting for us last month – it’s awesome to have made it this far!


We’re hanging out in Hagerstown, Maryland and taking a break from volunteering at the local rescue mission. 


We got to wear sweet hoodies.  I feel like I’m at a crazy do-gooder family reunion.



We decorated the children’s wing for the Christmas party.  It was fun!  The awards are given by Amway and John Tesh, who also promotes the Intelligent Kindness project.  I’ve heard of them on the radio before, so it was cool to finally meet ‘Uncle’ Vinny.


Let’s see… our trip from the airport to the hotel was a mad dash, so we ended up just frantically eating lunch at the hotel.  The vegetarian options were pretty limited, but I made do.


The old “pick off the turkey deli meat from a pre-made sandwich trick.” Works every time when you’re in a pinch at a catered lunch.  I had a salad, a turkeyless roll, and tomato cream soup


And some almonds when we got back to the hotel room:


Off to shower and get dolled up for the John Tesh concert and awards ceremony.  I’ll be Twittering the results if you want to stay up to date!


I’ll ask you a question that I was asked this afternoon… What does volunteering add to your life?  If you volunteer with your partner, what does it add to your relationship?  


PS – Apparently I should not have poured boiling water on my car windows this morning (I am from Florida, what do I know!?!).



  • Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) December 13, 2010, 4:09 pm

    Wow I love the hoodies!
    Volunteering really makes me happy, knowing that I am benefiting others 🙂 Cheesy, but true!
    REALLY hope you win the grand prize! You deserve it! 🙂

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) December 13, 2010, 4:10 pm

    i love volunteering…it really brings me a sense of purpose and overwhelming love for others!

  • megan @ whatmegansmaking December 13, 2010, 4:10 pm

    I mostly volunteer through my church. I work with the 3&4 year olds in our Awana program and love it. It definitely adds a lot to my life – takes my mind off myself, reprioritizes my time, and since it’s a Christian program, I get the wonderful knowledge that I’m helping to shape young lives towards Christ. I wouldn’t give it up for anything 🙂

    • Amber K December 13, 2010, 11:38 pm

      How funny because this is exactly my answer (only change Awana to Sunday school with the 3-year-olds)! It brightens up my Sunday mornings to share Jesus with the young ones.

  • Mary (A Merry Life) December 13, 2010, 4:11 pm

    “crazy do-gooder family reunion”

    That made me laugh.

    I enjoy volunteering. It’s always added something to my life that I’ve needed. I just love giving back. I haven’t yet volunteered with my fiance but I’m really looking forward to doing that in the future. 🙂

  • Leanne December 13, 2010, 4:11 pm

    I think it gives you perspective. I also think you gain a lot more from it then you ever imagine. 🙂

    • Caitlin December 14, 2010, 10:25 am

      I agree!!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat December 13, 2010, 4:12 pm

    Oooh I’m so excited for you!! Volunteering is something I feel I really need to do more of. Right now I have to admit that my efforts are fairly limited, but I’d like to pursue some sort of volunteer project in the New Year. Have a great night! 🙂

  • Caitlyn (A Spoonful of Life) December 13, 2010, 4:13 pm

    Volunteering makes me recognize needs beyond my own. It gives me a sense of satisfaction knowing that other people are being benefited somehow, somewhere.

    Very stylish hoodies!!

  • mindy @ just a one girl revolution. December 13, 2010, 4:13 pm

    Volunteering always reminds me how much I’ve been blessed with in my own life.

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations December 13, 2010, 4:14 pm

    I think volunteering is humbling. I’ve volunteered to teach courses for the literacy council, and it helped me appreciate so much more my own good fortune in growing up quite literate and having an amazing education from a very early age. I’ve also worked with other very under-served populations, and it brings great humility and gratitude for my life.

    It also is a wonderful feeling to help those in need at such vulnerable places in their lives. It’s quite a powerful experience.

    • Caitlin December 14, 2010, 10:32 am

      Oh i think teaching courses at a literacy council would be awesome. the gift of reading is awesome!

      • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations December 14, 2010, 10:36 am

        You should do it. It’s amazing to see the faces of these adults light up when they grasp concepts (like to, too, and two OR your and you’re) or multi-syllable words they never dreamed they’d be able to read. And when you hear the stories of how they get by without being able to read (like ordering “the same thing he’s having” in restaurants OR needing someone else to fill out a job application OR the inability to get a driver’s license), it will break your heart and then make it overflow with gratitude over the difference you’re making in this person’s life. INTENSE!!!

  • kellie December 13, 2010, 4:14 pm

    im sure everyone is so deserving, but ill be rooting for you! thanks for making this world a better place!

  • Colleen December 13, 2010, 4:16 pm

    I’ve volunteered in different ways through the years. It makes me feel whole – corny but true. This holiday season my office adopted a family for Christmas. Nothing gives you the same feeling of helping a family in need, especially during the holiday season. Never volunteered with hubby yet, else you count giving our slightly old appliances and furniture to a family in need instead of selling them.

  • Samantha @ The Life Abundant December 13, 2010, 4:17 pm

    Helping each other out is what makes this world go round! Good luck tonight–what an honor!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) December 13, 2010, 4:18 pm

    Good luck for tonight:) What a wonderful cause 🙂

  • Lauren December 13, 2010, 4:19 pm

    Volunteering always lets me see the perspective of others. A lot of times people with very little are the happiest people!

  • Jackie (ananda prana) December 13, 2010, 4:19 pm

    I love to volunteer and think it’s very important, so I really mean it when I say thanks for all you do 🙂 We are rooting for you!

  • Katherine @ Left Coast Contessa December 13, 2010, 4:21 pm

    I love volunteering. The most meaningful work I’ve done is pro bono legal work. When someone has exhausted all the resources they have, being able to step in and advocate on their behalf is really powerful.

  • Sarah December 13, 2010, 4:23 pm

    You know Hagerstown is only an hour from Winchester!!

  • DadHTP December 13, 2010, 4:24 pm

    Aren’t those X-Files colors?
    Are you worried now?

    • Anon December 13, 2010, 9:41 pm

      Love the X-Files!

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence December 13, 2010, 4:25 pm

    Volunteering just makes me feel good! It makes me feel like I have a purpose.
    Good luck!!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) December 13, 2010, 4:27 pm

    I do think volunteering is important and I think dong it with loved ones really makes a difference in your relationship! My fingers are crossed for ya sweetie! I hope you get it!

  • Holly @ couchpotatoathlete December 13, 2010, 4:31 pm

    I don’t volunteer enough — but I truly enjoy it. It makes me feel good and it makes others feel good, so why not?

    I think doing anything with Jason strengthens our relationship — we learn more about each other and it is fun to see how we each act in different settings.

    Good luck!

  • Katie December 13, 2010, 4:35 pm

    I volunteer for a dog rescue and it has helped me SO much through the last year. I have been unemployed so it has been especially welcome in keeping me busy and giving me a sense of purpose. Dogs are one of my favorite things in the whole world and being able to give back to an organization that helps them is awesome.

    My boyfriend recently told me he wants to start volunteering (at some other organization) together when he gets home from Afghanistan. I was really surprised because I never thought he had any interest in that, but I think it will be really cool to do together and to see that side of him.

    • Caitlin December 14, 2010, 10:33 am

      If I volunteered at a dog rescue, I would bring home a pup a week!

  • Kristi December 13, 2010, 4:40 pm

    Good luck tonight!!!

  • Kiran December 13, 2010, 4:41 pm

    I’m so excited for the awards! Nonetheless, congrats Caitlin & Gotr!
    Volunteering gives us the opportunity to help take care needs of others, beyond ours. It also keeps us strong as a couple. Nothing is as good as selfless act of kindness. So satisfying 🙂

  • Kristina @ spabettie December 13, 2010, 4:42 pm

    I love to volunteer for fun (coaching weight lifting for Special Olympics team – that is FUN!) and for good – I just signed up to help a project in Portland where we are building a house for a soldier who lost his legs. I have no trade in BUILDING, but I signed up to be the project photographer and fundraiser. 🙂

    I have always felt it is important to give if you can – my dad instilled this in me, as he gives a great deal of money and time to various charities… I grew up watching this and began doing the same thing as I earned money and managed my time. <3

    GOOD LUCK !! I hope you win the BIG $ for GOTR ! <3

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit December 13, 2010, 4:46 pm

    Good luck! So exciting 🙂

  • Sana December 13, 2010, 4:47 pm

    My ex and I volunteered together ALL the time. He runs the volunteer department on campus so I felt like I was dating Santa. LOL

  • kate December 13, 2010, 4:51 pm

    We dont volunteer as much as we should, but when we do it definitely deepens our bond and adds to our us time.

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write December 13, 2010, 4:52 pm

    I want that hoodie! Love.

    That’s a really powerful question. I think anything you do in a relationship/marriage that creates positivity (outwardly) will attract the same back to you. Putting collective energy into something is incredibly powerful. I really need to do it more both in my life and marriage.

    I really do hope you win – I voted for you!

  • Tanya @ Vegan Faith December 13, 2010, 4:54 pm

    I love your question of the day. Volunteering adds so much to my life…it allows me to get away from my own thoughts, selfish motivations, etc. and focus on someone else. I absolutely love volunteering with Alex. I know it sounds cheesy, but it teaches us teamwork. Knowing that he is as willing to give of his time and energy and money as I am reassures me that we are really made for each other!

  • Kathleen December 13, 2010, 4:57 pm

    Hi there! I’ve been lurking on your blog for a couple weeks now and I just have to say that that picture of you and your husband is absolutely ADORABLE. Love the blog!

    • Caitlin December 14, 2010, 10:33 am

      Hi Kathleen! 🙂 Thanks for delurking.

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine December 13, 2010, 5:10 pm

    Good luck tonight!!! Rooting for GOTR 🙂

    Both my BF and I volunteered in HS, but I don’t think either of us have done much since college 🙁 It’s never high enough on my priority list- I need to change that!

  • Annette December 13, 2010, 5:13 pm

    Good luck! I love volunteering, no matter where it is!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) December 13, 2010, 5:19 pm

    Good luck!! 😀

    I love volunteering. It brings sheer joy, and really claims truth to the whole “it’s better to give than to receive” mantra. 😀

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Graduate December 13, 2010, 5:26 pm

    Good luck tonight!

    And volunteering has really changed my life for the better. I’m in a sorority so we do a LOT of philanthropic activities and just seeing the difference we can make in someone’s life is incredible. We’ve raised money for the National Kidney Foundation and their transplant games, we’ve done emergency food drives for our local battered woman’s shelter, and even organized a hand-knitted scarf/ear warmer/cap sale to help out our local American Legion and purchase a new flag for our football field. 🙂 I’m so proud of all that we’ve done.

  • Heidi - apples under my bed December 13, 2010, 5:42 pm

    My man & I volunteer in thailand at a children’s home. it brings us closer as we share something really special. we both really found our attitude since first volunteering has changed – we really dont like to spend a lot of money on material goods, we’re both so happy with what we have in life – we’re v lucky. it is sort of an unspoken closeness and appreciation that comes from volunteering together.
    Heidi xo

  • sara December 13, 2010, 5:46 pm

    Volunteering is amazing and I really admire how much time you devote to it (GOTR + !). Last year my fiance and I began a tradition of volunteering at a homeless shelter on Christmas since we don’t celebrate X-mas conventionally/religiously. It was amazing. We ran a program there and we played bingo, I brought home-made chocolate dipped pretzels and we had the best time. Every resident made the BIGGEST deal out of my pretzels to make me feel good, and it really made me reconnect with the value of volunteering. The conversations we had with some of the residents were absolutely incredible and it just made my heart smile for weeks. If we weren’t going away this year over the holiday, we would be doing it again. We are also looking to get into other volunteer opportunities as a couple once our crazy wedding planning is over such as big brother/big sister etc.

  • Kelly December 13, 2010, 5:52 pm

    I have to admit that I am not the best at volunteering but I am a teacher and although I technically get paid, I feel like it’s volunteer work sometimes. I try to do extra things for some kiddos who need it and it does make me feel better about myself. I wish I was better at consistent volunteering but I’m glad that my job makes me feel that positive feeling lots of the time 🙂

  • Rachael December 13, 2010, 5:58 pm

    I love the visual provided by matching hoodies – a do-gooder family reunion indeed!
    One of the things I love most about my relationship is shared passion – we both identify as community activists, and even started a non-profit to deal directly with environmental and social justice issues while training others to do the same. It adds even more depth to love (and lust) to be able to share something substantial. Individually, I do grant writing and grassroots organizing for a bunch of groups; if anything, my regular employment is just a means to what I want to be my ultimate end – volunteering and organizing full time!

  • Sabrina December 13, 2010, 6:10 pm

    Volunteering gives you a feeling nothing else can. You feel accomplished, but not the tired ‘I deserve a break’ accomplished. The ‘I’m addicted, what else can I do’ type!

    And no! The change in freezing cold to really hot can crack your windows and the plastic on your car. I’m sure its bad for your paint too..?

  • Cindy December 13, 2010, 6:18 pm

    Can you please facebook the results? I don’t have Twitter but I really want to know if you won!!

    • Kim December 13, 2010, 9:51 pm

      Caitlin won 🙂

  • Baking 'n' Books December 13, 2010, 6:27 pm

    I am hoping to volunteer over the Holidays. Maybe at a soup kitchen or someplace. Who knows? I’m not going to sit home and lament over being by myself either way.

    Good luck! …and I was wondering that about the hot water myself LOL …what does it do? Cause it to freeze more I assume?!

    • Caitlin December 14, 2010, 10:34 am

      The temp changes causes the glass to crack!

  • Katie Carso December 13, 2010, 6:34 pm

    Good Luck girl! I hope you win it all for girls on the run, but either way its so nice you still get some money to put towards girls on the run! You are an amazing person with a heart of gold!!!!

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) December 13, 2010, 7:18 pm

    Volunteering gives me an obligation that often lifts me out of depression that would otherwise be debilitating. Knowing that others are depending on me makes me get out of bed on days that I otherwise might not.

  • stevie December 13, 2010, 7:34 pm

    I’m from FL, and that sounds like a good idea to me!

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing December 13, 2010, 7:45 pm

    I’m so excited to volunteer with GOTR. I love connecting with kids and if I can’t do it for my job (working with young adults right now) I’ll volunteer! Good luck!!

  • Emilie December 13, 2010, 7:55 pm

    Maybe this makes me a picky vegetarian, but I always feel weird eating something that I’ve picked the meat off of. Does anyone else feel this way? I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve had to choose between not eating anything at all OR eating something that the meat has been taken off of, so maybe that would change things.

    • Caitlin December 14, 2010, 10:35 am

      I also don’t like it, it’s really gross. I only do it in a pinch.

  • Laura December 13, 2010, 7:56 pm

    Good luck tonight!

  • elyssa December 13, 2010, 7:58 pm

    caitlin! if you have time head over to frederick, maryland (the next city to the east). the downtown is absolutely lovely – so quaint, especially this time of year! i recommend you stop by cafe nola for some amazing veg/vegan options. i think you and your husband will love it! enjoy your trip.

  • Dynamics December 13, 2010, 8:06 pm

    Volunteering has multiple benefits. It made my daughter a stronger person. It made her more compassionate. It did so much for her. The people she helped now have independence. They do not need to rely on help to get around. You make some great friends. You get to try new things. You get to educate. It was amazing to watch a young child teach adults how it was done. EVERYONE should volunteer. There is something for everyone. Time management is an amazing asset you achieve while volunteering.

    Congrats Caitlin. You are amazing! You do so much for so many. I bet even you do not know how many people you have helped. How many people you have inspired. You go girl!

  • anniegirl December 13, 2010, 8:08 pm

    NEWBIE!!!! Hi, Caitlin! I am a new devout follower after discovering your blog last night. I hate to say it, but I was reading the Marie Claire article–however, I could see the obvious slant, and I LOVE health blogs. I am shocked I haven’t stumbled over this one yet. I follow Shauna, all the priorfatgirls & pastaqueen. I just wanted to let you know that something good (? kinda) came from the horrible article. Good for you for handling that ugliness with class. I will no longer be perusing their website. Good luck, girlie!

    • Caitlin December 14, 2010, 10:36 am

      Thank you anniegirl! I appreciate it.

  • Courtney @greeneyedrunner December 13, 2010, 8:18 pm

    Volunteering definitely keeps me in check. I’ve been with Team in Training for about a year (second event) and it keeps me thinking that whatever I may be going through, there are people suffering with blood cancers that would give anything to have one of my “bad” days. It has given me such a sense of purpose and drive in my life! Not to mention, some amazing friends 🙂

    Caitlin, you’re amazing & I love the idea of Operation Beautiful…I’m going to start leaving notes for people now 🙂 San Diego could use a little bit of your energy!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) December 13, 2010, 9:03 pm

    Those hoodies are sweet! 🙂
    Volunteering makes me feel like I am giving back to the community where I live. I love getting involved and making an impact.

    Oh, and why can’t you pour hot water on your car? I’m from Florida too…is it bad to do it?

    • Caitlin December 14, 2010, 10:36 am

      Cracks the window 🙂

  • Amanda @ Hungry Vegan Traveler December 13, 2010, 9:36 pm

    Volunteering has given me purpose, it has given my life some meaning, and it has helped me reach out of people in my community and make my community better. It has also brought me to make some truly lovely friends!

  • Alyssa December 13, 2010, 9:38 pm

    Just saw on Twitter … CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!! You and GOTR deserve every single one of those votes. It is ssssooo great of you to work so hard for the Operation Beautiful cause and for GOTR, and to be so dedicated to both to donate the money to GOTR 🙂 Might sound corny, but I’m so proud of you! 🙂 I hope to become as secure with myself in terms of body issues/operation beautiful stuff as you are some day, even though we all have plenty of rough/negative days. Congrats again! 🙂

  • Amanda December 13, 2010, 9:39 pm


  • Anon December 13, 2010, 9:43 pm

    Good luck. Your a winner already.
    You and your hubby are a beautiful couple. U will have cute kids!
    As for pouring hot water on the car door…will make it worse! Cause it will just build up…and then its trouble. Its freezing here up North..the only way I can get my door open is getting the landlord to bring out his screwdriver to pry it open. I am headed to a car store tommorow…apparently there is some kind of rubber lining you can buy to put around the door frame and prevent it from gluing shut!

  • Jamie @ Food in Real Life December 13, 2010, 9:45 pm

    CONGRATS GIRL! Just heard the news via Twitter 🙂 So happy for you guys and I’m glad I was able to be a part of it with my votes!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie December 13, 2010, 9:47 pm

    Aww, you guys look great! I do volunteering through my church and wanted to do GOTR this spring but got pregnant and had to key down on running and rest more (I was working full time) but now that I’ve had my son I don’t know if I have time until I’m done nursing! We’ll see:)

    I love volunteering with my husband because it really does bring another dynamic and adds great activities to participate in as a couple!

  • Kris December 13, 2010, 9:49 pm

    OMG!! Congrats, congrats! So exciting, and you are an inspiration!

  • Paige @Running Around Normal December 13, 2010, 10:02 pm

    Saw the tweets – CONGRATS!!! 😀 😀 😀 How exciting!

  • Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) December 13, 2010, 10:07 pm

    Very cool. Derek and I have volunteered for Tourism Cares that gives back to their communities. We really enjoy that and want to do more in the future.

  • Jazz December 13, 2010, 10:08 pm

    I Loled when I read that you poured boiling water on your car! My husband’s texan uncle once tried that on the DRIVEWAY which obviously turned into an ice rink…

  • Natalia - a side of simple December 13, 2010, 10:11 pm

    Congratulations on the big win!!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) December 13, 2010, 10:18 pm

    Volunteering reminds me that people all deserve love and support no matter what their situation.

    Congrats on the big win!

  • caitie December 13, 2010, 10:20 pm

    YAYYYYYY. Just saw twitter. congrats!!! that is so amazing!! so happy and proud of the work you have done caitlin!!!

  • SarahC December 13, 2010, 10:36 pm

    Congratulations on the big win! Isn’t it amazing what can happen when you take a risk for the greater good? You put up that first post-it note on a bad day, and now this great charity has $10,000 to bring guidance and self-confidence to more girls. Enjoy your moment! 🙂

  • Michelle December 13, 2010, 10:44 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS! You are so deserving of this honor!

  • Kate December 13, 2010, 10:54 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a great day for both you and GOTR! Is it silly to be proud of someone you don’t know?! Proud of what you’ve accomplished, well done!!

  • Laurie December 13, 2010, 11:04 pm

    Didn’t want to be a spoiler if you wanted to announce it yourself on the blog, BUT other Congratulations came first. I am SO PSYCHED for you!!!! and, selfishly for GOTR too… must be on Cloud 9!!!
    Have a great time.

  • nicole December 13, 2010, 11:39 pm

    Major congrats! So happy for you.

  • Gigi December 14, 2010, 5:08 am

    Volunteering makes me feel like I am giving back to the community where I get helped by other people all the time. It shows my efforts to make the community a better place to live. In the meantime, it also brings me a sense of purpose, gives my life some meaning. 

  • Sara @ OurDogBuffy December 14, 2010, 8:53 am

    I love, love, love volunteering. If I could quit my job I would just do volunteer work and foster animals. But alas, work is an issue! 🙂 It adds meaning to my life. I like when my husband volunteers w/ me but that’s not very often. Walk-a-thons, volunteering with the food pantry at church, Girl Scouts–I love it all. I’m feeding the homeless w/ a co-worker next week!

  • Cindy Robinson December 14, 2010, 9:42 am

    Awesome hoodie! My friend saw a bumper sticker on a car that read: “If it can go well, it will” I love seeing things/messages like that 🙂

    • Caitlin December 14, 2010, 10:39 am

      I love that phrase – we have that bumper sticker on our fridge.

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale December 14, 2010, 10:37 am

    Volunteering is a big part of my life. My husband and I run a weekly homeless food lunch program. It’s a cause I’m passionate about, plus we get to meal plan and cook for a hundred people, which is awesome!
    I think its so important that anyone who is able to give, even in the smallest way, to help someones less fortunate, should do so.

  • Jolene ( December 14, 2010, 7:50 pm

    Your hair looks beautiful in those pics – I love the dark colour on you 🙂

    • Caitlin December 14, 2010, 9:48 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  • Tiffany December 17, 2010, 12:13 am

    Okay, so while volunteering is wonderful, the whole reason I had to comment is…boiling water on frosted windows?? Why on earth??

    • Caitlin December 17, 2010, 9:29 am

      To melt the ice, of course!

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