1 yr 1 million points week 4- changing the world 1 mile at a time – enter to win 20k Starpoints & shot at grand prize

This contest is now closed.

The winner is comment #33, from JettyOne.  Congratulations on winning this week!   Grand prize winners will be announced on Friday November 2nd.  

As many of you know, I’m celebrating my 1st year anniversary on Boarding Area all month long. This is the 4th and final week to enter the 1 year 1 million point give-away. At the end of this week the week 4 winner will be selected as will the two grand prize winners!

Earlier this year I stayed at the Westin Macau and blogged/tweeted about how disappointed I was that the Westin still had Shark Fin Soup on their menu. Not only did I get a response from Starwood’s social media team, but I got a response from the hotel’s GM Stephen Winkler indicating that the hotel would remove Shark Fin Soup from the menu. I wanted to make sure they actually followed through and so I contacted Mr. Winkler again this week for a follow-up. He confirmed that Shark Fin Soup was removed and provided the name and contact for their new Director of Food and Beverage for a follow-up interview. I will publish the follow-up interview later this week. The point of relating this story here is that one person CAN make a difference. You can influence a hotel, an airline, a local business, a co-worker or family member in small or major ways.

To enter this week’s contest, share a story of how you have facilitated change – it could be big or it could be small change. Perhaps you helped someone learn to read, volunteered after a natural disaster, convinced a business to change the way they operate, etc… There are millions of ways you can facilitate change.

Every little change matters and I’ve decided to change the world 1 mile at a time. From convincing the Westin Macau to remove Shark Fin Soup from their menu to volunteering after Hurricane Katrina and the Tsunami to helping a stranded traveler and giving up my seat for an active duty military member on leave….I’m facilitating change. I hope you will too!

This week’s winner will receive 20k Starpoints and everyone who enters will have a chance at one of the grand prizes! To refresh everyone’s memory, the grand prizes are: 1) 300,000 Delta Sky Miles & 200,000 Hilton Honors points and 2) 240,000 US Airways Miles, 100,000 Marriott Rewards Points and 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport Points.

Good luck!

Rules:

Entry: Leave a comment on this blog post. You may enter up to three slogans, but only 1 per day during this promotion period. Multiple comments on the same day will be disqualified. The winner will be selected based upon creativity.

Promotion Period: The week 3 contest runs from October 22th – 28, 2012 and ends at 8pm ET on October 28st. Any entry posted after that period will be disqualified. The entire promotion period for grand prize give-away runs from October 1 at 12:01 am ET through October 28th 2012 at 8:00 pm ET.

Eligibility: To enter, you must be a legal resident of the United States (void in Rhode Island & Puerto Rico) Canada (void in Quebec) Great Britain, Ireland (void in Northern Ireland) or Thailand. You must be 21 years of age or older to enter. Void where prohibited by state, federal, country or other local laws. The immediate family members of VeryGoodPoints(VGP), the judges, and the immediate family of the judges are not eligible to win.

Prizes: Limit of one weekly prize per household or per person for the entire promotion period. Weekly prize winners are eligible to win 1 of the grand prize awards. Recipients will be responsible for taxes where applicable. The odds of winning are dependent on the number of entries. There is no cash value of the prizes. There are three valid methods of entry Twitter, Facebook and this blog – please refer to each weekly prize post to determine the valid methods each week. You are not required to enter on all three.

Winner Selection: Entries will be judged by a panel of three judges. Those who are and are not selected for a weekly prize will be eligible for the grand prize. Winners will not be selected at random – rather, the winner will be selected based on creativity, uniqueness and thoughtfulness.

Winner Notification: Once notified, the recipient will have 10 business days from the date of notification to claim the prize. Prizes may be claimed by emailing [email protected]. If the prize is not claimed within 10 business days after notification, the recipient forfeits the prize. The winner will be announced on this blog (www.verygoodpoints.com)

Other Conditions: No purchase necessary to win. Recipient must have a valid rewards account to accept the prize. It is free to join the Starwood Preferred Guest, Delta Sky Miles, Hilton Honors, Marriott Rewards, Hyatt Rewards and US Airways Dividend Miles Programs. Please read the terms and conditions of each rewards program to determine what constitutes a valid account. VeryGoodPoints is not affiliated with Starwood, Delta, Hilton, USAirways, Marriott or Hyatt or any of their subsidiaries. This promotion is in no way sponsored or administered by Facebook, Twitter, Starwood, Delta, Hilton, USAirways, Marriott or Hyatt or any of their subsidiaries. By posting a picture on VGP website you grant the rights to republish that picture on this website.

Privacy: Information collected from participants (name & email address) is only used for the purpose of determining eligibility and awarding the prize(s) and will not be re-used, sold or shared in any manner.

58 Comments on "1 yr 1 million points week 4- changing the world 1 mile at a time – enter to win 20k Starpoints & shot at grand prize"

  1. Actually, just last week I realised I had an effect on a hotel’s decision-making. Two months ago in a hotel in Naples, I was put in a room and was awoken during the night by some industrial-sounding noise. As a light-sleeper anyway, there was no chance I’d be able to sleep with that racket going on and went to reception to ask the night porter if something was wrong or if this sounds was usual. He promised he’d investigate and let me know when he’d spoken to the manager. The next morning the manager apologised profusely and changed (and upgraded) my room for me. Happy customer here! However, last week (two months later) I returned to the hotel and realised that the room I had been in had been converted to a mini-fitness centre, likely because of whatever machinery kicks into gear at night. While its likely that other people had the same problem, its nice that they obviously took it into account and kept me very happy too!

  2. I’m working to get my firm to recruit more female engineers! Slowly but surely it’s working. All too often I’m the only female upgraded to first class on business-heavy flights…

  3. My best flight experience came the week after 9/11. I was on a flight home and the Continental pilot was giving flight instructions then stopped. After a moment he asked everyone to cheer for the military members inboard flight. The entire group of passengers cheered and it was a goosebump moment.

  4. Make it a habit to do 1 good deed a day, a very effective way to make us better and help others.

  5. Complained about a rental car company’s unreasonable fee structure for use of toll transponder on social media. I don’t like that only squeaky wheels get greased, but that’s the way of reactive companies….

  6. For the last 4 years I’ve been running marathons (26.2 miles) to raise money for World Vision. The project I’ve been raising money for is for bringing fresh water to villages in Africa (where sources of water are miles away and the water is filled with disease and pollution).

    In the 2012 Chicago Marathon (a couple of weeks ago), we had over 1,600 Team World Vision runners raise over 1.6 million dollars (which was corporately matched to 3.2 million)…which translates to water for LIFE for 64,000 people in Africa.

    That’s a lot of changed lives..it’s great to be a part of something big like that!

  7. As anyone with a medical condition can attest to, getting the medical environment to change to help patients is hard – especially in a large hospital setting. I did help patients in one trial skip an extra appointment by suggesting the trial nurse get re-certified to access Port-a-caths which allowed patients to skip waiting in another building to have their catheters accessed. What a time saver!

  8. Rule #1 – Always keep the wife happy, trying to upgrade/pointify my way to first class seats, hotel suites and incredible memories

  9. Miriam Nadel | October 22, 2012 at 11:10 am |

    I did some volunteer work in Haiti this past March. This was focused on working on art projects with children – helping them paint pots being used to plant vegetables at a community garden and working with children making mosaics to decorate the sea wall in their town.

  10. I am facilitating change by developing & enacting initiatives to promote diversity in my company, in my branch office, and in the entertainment agency industry overall. My goal is to help change the face of our industry within the next 5 – 10 years…you have to start somewhere! We have already increased our office diverse population by 10%. THINK GLOBAL – ACT LOCAL!

  11. sophia takos | October 22, 2012 at 11:25 am |

    Wow this is great

  12. I just came back from Uganda, thanks to my DL/UA miles. Via a mission group working in northern Uganda, the area that Joseph Kony destroyed (google Joseph Kony if you aren’t familiar with him. You will be enraged.), we have friends that are living there in Gulu, and are in the process of building an orphanage for all the former child slaves. Going from a stay at the PH Vendome in Paris, fine wines, and pretty good meals in a Biz seat on KLM and on QR, to a place where many children may not eat at all today, is quite an eyeopening and humbling experience. Before, I was gung-ho on earning miles and points to enjoy Biz/F seats all over the world, and stay in 5 star hotels for me and my family, now all I want to do is earn as many as possible to assist teams of missionaries that are going to Uganda and South Sudan as inexpensively and as often as possible. It puts things in perspective when you see people who literally have nothing, and humbles me when I get upset because I didn’t get targeted for this promo, or that promo. If anyone else wants to donate any miles/points to help people get there, let me know. What would you do for the life of a child?

  13. Sometimes I leave the towels on the floor of my hotel room so that they will be, you guessed it, changed. Other times, not, because it’s important to think about the environment y’all.

  14. I complained to a supervisor after not receiving a benefit I was supposed to receive.

  15. I am dedicated to helping the homeless. I volunteer at multiple charity events every year and give as much time as a I can to empowering those who need help now.

  16. I introduced the world of earning and redeeming points to my fellow classmates and professors during a road trip to Cornell!

  17. One way I’m going to help institute positive change is to vote in America’s upcoming presidential election.

  18. I spent spring break of my senior year of college building houses with Bridges to Community in a small town outside of Managua, Nicaragua. It was such a great feeling to see through the construction of a house for a single mother with 9 children. Arriving each day to our work site, we would pile out of the truck with our supplies for the day and the young children would run to greet us. We would bring over fresh drinking water to the family and for us while we worked and it was great to see how excited the family was each day seeing the progress of their new home. In just a week, our two teams built two houses from the ground up (with the exception of the roof which was being constructed by local workers). It was a fantastic way to be immersed in a hospitable culture and I had such a great week that I was sitting on the flight back to NYC planning my next visit with Bridges to Community! It is hard to put into words how rewarding this trip was!

  19. Eager Traveler | October 22, 2012 at 8:21 pm |

    Awesome service on Asiana on the 4 legs I flew with them in the last month. From food to ground service these guys can’t be beat.

  20. Last year I helped with the FairMail organization in my hometown.

  21. I did magic tricks for the children at Angkor Wat. Unfortunately their older siblings (and parents) were using these poor children to sell postcards and other knick-knacks to help make a buck. The least I could do is out their “sales minds” at rest for a few minutes while I performed (and later taught) them a few simple, slight-of-hand tricks. Lesson? If you know these tricks, always bring a deck of cards with you – you’ll never know who’s day you can brighten!

  22. All these comments are great. Nice to see that people are doing positive things in this ever more entitlement society. Do a good deed each day. Pass it on! It’s not just about you, it’s about all of us!

  23. change only starts from within is often such a cliche being heard but so true. I think that we need to trust who we are as people and decide what forms of change can best affect the most people. I think that this cocntest is great and if there is a chance to win anything, I would like to give out half the prizes to my favorite charity and allow the other half to be given to a charity of choice. Once the recipients and final end user get an idea of the prize, I would think that those organizations affected to be the first domino in a long list of dominos to affecting change within the organization itself! aloha and good luck to all!

  24. My co has a policy of giving four hours/mo paid time for emps to volunteer in our community…however, no one was taking advantage of it. I put together an FAQ plus ‘how to’ explaining how to nav the request process/time rpting procedure and posted it on our intranet. Lots of my co-wkers are now volunteering and getting pd the 4 hours to do it. Double, no triple “help” score! Community gets volunteers, volunteer/employees get paid, Company gets happy more satisfied employees.

  25. Convinced my neighbors and company to recycle on a regular basis.

  26. Sometimes we hear a story about a particular atrocity or issue and want to write a letter to our local or federal politicians as a cause for action. While our intentions are good, often times we go back to our every day tasks and forget about the letter. On a couple different occasions I have written a basic letter about a topic and provided the letter, along with the names and mailing addresses to the parties we are trying to reach to those that are interested in sending the letter…..thereby, making it as easy as possible for someone to send in their thoughts. All they have to do is make any changes, print, sign and mail. One example of this is regarding Joseph Kony. One afternoon I picked up my niece from school and she was going on and on about this terrifying man and wanted me to watch a video and help her write a letter. After writing the letter and looking up who to send it to, we decided to hand out, and forward via email, a copy of the letter and addresses for others to use. I received several thank yous for making it easy for them to take action.

  27. Convinced my office to “go green” by banning water bottles and arranging for a water filter installation with reusable water bottles for all.

  28. I helped do a language survey for the unwritten Bambalang language of Cameroon in 1993 and now, 20 years later, (I’m currently visiting the region here in Cameroon) I see that they have an alphabet and reading materials. Mine was a very very small part but still, I was glad to see how it has progressed.

  29. I went to Nepal in 2009 with a group of climbers from Adventure Consultants. After nearly a month together – climbing, trekking and having an amazing adventure, we got to know more about one of our climbing Sherpas. His family was having a tough time making ends meet and educating his children. Nepal has public education, but it isn’t free! After learning more about his family and their needs, we quickly opted at the end of the climb that we would find a school for his oldest son, who has special needs, in Kathmandu. We were rejected at the first school because his son didn’t meet what they considered a model student. We kept searching. The family found a school close to his home that accepted him, we paid for his tuition, meals, for one year with the understanding that we would pay for his education through high school. Now 3 years later we continue to support not only his oldest son, but all 3 children. We also help with medical bills. One of the climbers is an optometrist and he fits him with special glasses after speaking to his doctor in Kathmandu. One of our group went back to Kathmandu for a couple of weeks this Spring to get doctors’ appointments arranged for the children to make sure they are all healthy. We paid for those visits, so the family wouldn’t be concerned. We, together a group of 9, who didn’t know each other, continue to make a big difference in the lives of this family. It’s truly a blessing to be given the opportunity to help, and really we are the ones blessed 10 fold as our lives have only changed for the better. My daughter sees the difference that one person can make. What a powerful lesson to learn and to teach. Being able to make an impact on the lives of others is an amazing gift.

  30. I’ve helped with Habitat for Humanity before. Amazing how appreciative those whom you’re helping are.

  31. I see patients who can’t afford to see a physician once a week pro bono.

  32. After the earthquake in Haiti I went to volunteer at an orphanage. I spent two weeks volunteering helping to rebuild, buying supplies, providing food and water for the children, etc…

    In the months and years since the earthquake the orphanage has become more and more crowded with children. I created a group here in NY that raises money for the orphanage and all their needs.

    The best part is that my kids are now pen pals with the kids and members of our group also have kids who write with the orphans. We are teaching philanthropy and the act of kindness and giving to our kids.

    We have learned more from the Orphanage Director and Kids than they will ever know. We are committed to supporting them as long as we can.

  33. I have helped prepare and feed hungry,homeless people thru a program at our church…called “Loaves and fishes”. Christ said…”what so ever you do for the least of my children…that you do unto Me”.

  34. My family of 5 were missionaries in Papua New Guinea. I am an Internist…my husband is a therapist. Our oldest son,Matt, helped unload donated items…in a little hosp. mailroom. Our 8 year old,Sarah attended the missionary school and our 2 year old Sam was “potty trained” in PNG becuz we couldn’t bring a truckload of diapers with us. We lived in the Western Highlands where pigs have more value than women. As a women doctor…i was blessed and challenged daily.

  35. I have been on team quite a few times for T.E.C.. Teens Encounter Christ. It is a wonderful 3 day adventure for teenagers. We would live at the church for 3+days at a time…with a bunch of fantastic young people. It was awesome!

  36. I am 19 years old and live in Minnesota. I try to do “things” for other people on a daily basis and not tell anyone about it. If i do something nice for someone and tell others…i feel i am looking for a “pat on the back” or some kind of praise…to raise myself up…kind of like…look at me…aren’t i great. When i do something nice and don’t tell anyone…i feel humble and have a heart of a servant. I want to serve…and try to make this a better world for all…one little good thing at a time. All the Glory goes to God that way and not me.

  37. Lately I’ve been really honing in on customer service experiences, esp bad ones. I try to point out bad customer service to companies in social media. Anyways, I really liked AMEX’s social media deals and started taking advantage of them very early on last year. I had problems with getting credited for one deal and had about 6 emails over 3 months with the customer service for their social deals, with no resolution. I kept getting emails with the same form email saying the problem would be looked into and they would get back to me in 3 weeks (and 3 weeks later when I inquired again I would get the same form email). During that time, I read an article about the head of AMEX’s social media division. I thought she would appalled if she knew how her vision was being executed. So, armed with her name, I found her on Twitter and tweeted her with my disappointment about the third party who was doing the customer service for their social deals. The service they provided was way below my expectations for AMEX. She immediately tweeted me back, and I ended up sending her the email string. She was appalled and told me that they took this seriously and they would be looking into it. Later in the week I got a call from an AMEX rep who said she could take care of my issues right there and then… she gave me credits for deals that didn’t post. I was so happy to finally get this level of service after so many months! That’s all I wanted in the first place. To top it off, she sent me flowers to say they were sorry and hoped they had regained my confidence. Since then I’ve done more AMEX deals and felt good that if they didn’t go through, they would have a way to make good.

  38. I have two kids who are domestic terrorists of the highest caliber. I made sure I will not have any more kids to save humanity!

  39. I worked many weeks in Katrina and am a volunteer with the Red Cross. I’ve helped during forest fires and when the tsunami hit the Oregon coast. But my favorite is this: This summer I gave my grandsons an empty jar. Every time they were kind or helpful to another person, child, family member or animal they were given pennies and nickles. At the end of the summer, when the jar was full, we took a trip to the local animal shelter and donated it to them. Their faces beamed as they handed over the jar. Helping others is wonderful, but teaching the next generation the value of kindness and caring…is priceless.

  40. I asked (and keep asking) Starbucks to provide recycle garbage bins in all their coffee shops. Most don’t have them, but very few do. But Starbucks should really be recycling plastic and paper cups with all the coffee they sell. Their university coffee shops readily recycle when asked, but their freestanding coffee-shops are very slow to adopt this practice. It’s a shame really.

  41. I organized a professional clothing drive at work.

  42. Last week I had a stay in NYC and a few days ago I filled out an online survey. I was honest in the survey and received a call from the GM of the Hotel asking specific questions about my responses. I was able to honestly talk with him and he assured me the issues would be resolved. I had a good feeling he was being honest with me as he told me to call him directly on my next visit and he’d arrange a room upgrade for me directly. Not a sought after response from him but certainly a healthy one for a hotal looking to stay at the top of its game by soliciting patron responses.

  43. When I was in college, I volunteered at a place called the Academy of Hope, which was an adult education center located on the top floor of an old church. Originally I signed up to volunteer there as part of a co-op program with a class I was taking. I fulfilled all my required hours early in the semester but decided to stay on through the rest of the semester. The reason I did was because of a woman I was tutoring. I didn’t want to leave her hanging when I had made a commitment to help her. I don’t remember how old she was, but I do remember initially thinking how few basic classroom skills she had for someone her age. She had trouble reading and could do very basic math but that was it. I remember her telling me that she wanted to get a job working at a store so she could help support her family but in order to do that she needed to improve her math skills. So she and I worked on math. She didn’t show up every week like she was supposed to, but instead of just leaving when she didn’t come, I helped with office work or administrative duties. The weeks she did come, it felt so rewarding being able to help this woman accomplish a goal of hers. By the end of the semester, her skills had definitely improved.

  44. I facilitated change when I wrote my congressman to support the Marianas Trench National Monument and the deepest undiscovered frontier on planet earth. Earlier this year, James Cameron plunged into the depths of mother earth and brought back not just new discovery’s, but a new wonder and fascination with science and marine ecology.

  45. I am an X B727 Braniff pilot. On a flight out of DFW i heard a conversation between the Meacham tower and a Jordanian pilot trainee from one of the nearby flight schools
    Tower- cessna , please identify yourself
    Pilot- i am mohamed nawaf attiyat from Jordan(tower wanted the aircraft identification number)later he gave the AIN
    Tower- cessna 241EA do you have HOTEL? -Tower meant if the pilot received the information coded HOTEL ,for landing instructions
    Pilot- No, I am staying with friends
    i did all the translation between the pilot and the towers, and helped him land safely.

  46. I advocated for a good cause to bring substantial changes that United MileagePlus FFP members now all enjoy – which wasn’t the case previously.

    Upset with how it was impossible (back in the days anyway) to book partner awards on United.com (meaning that members had to call up and pay a substantial $25 telephone reservation fee PER PASSENGER) combined with the unethical StarNet blocking, I began my year-long effort to challenge how United did things. Based on how quickly Continental added partner booking functionality on their website in just a few months after joining Star Alliance (before they merged with or were associated with United), it was clear to me that United was deliberately trying to make it as difficult as possible for Mileage Plus members to book with partners; for example charging the $25 reservation fee for this ‘privilege’ (although it is not possible to do so book online, so the fee’s clearly a deterrent). In one of the messages I received in the process, it was explained that when United has direct or connecting service to the requested destination and seats are available, it is preferred that members fly with them and experience their exceptional service (‘StarNet blocking’ in action). ‘Exceptional’ here is laughable and the underlying reason is clear: United doesn’t want to compensate partners for awards booked by Mileage Plus members.

    Rather than using the normal communication channels (which would get me no farther than a generic “We appreciate your feedback and will pass it on…”), I challenged it all the way up internally within Star Alliance Services GmbH and United Airlines. Along the way, I received responses from Mark Schwab (previous United SVP-Alliances, now Star Alliance CEO), Christian Klick (Star Alliance VP) and Carina Roennfeld-Peters (Star Alliance Customer Relations Director). From Mr. Klick’s response at least, it was apparent he was very concerned as Star Alliance carriers had mutually agreed that customers could earn and redeem miles on every one of the alliance’s 20,000 flights. However, he remarked that Star Alliance is not able to legally force United to change but would be in discussion with them.

    Guess what? A few months afterwards, Continental and US Airways awards became available for booking on United.com. This was followed by Lufthansa but after the merger was announced, further plans were put on hold as United wanted to use Continental’s website (which was clearly superior in terms of functionality and range of partners). I don’t know for sure if it was entirely me who was driving these changes but maybe it was also the efforts of other frequent flyers.

    I did the same with Delta in a separate case, expressing my discontent directly to Jeff Robertson about how there was still no International Award Chart (for award flights not originating from the North America) on Delta.com after all these years (Northwest on the other had was far more transparent but their WorldPerks chart was removed after the merger). Members could only rely on the misinformation of Delta’s often incompetent call center agents. Shortly after, they released their award chart (unfortunately they took this opportunity to significantly raise mileage pricing according to FlyerTalk since SkyMiles members didn’t know the original amounts in the first place). Again, I don’t know if it’s a collective effort but I’m glad I did my part in trying to get SkyMiles member a proper International Award Chart.

  47. Helped renovate a school in Kyrgyzstan. After the Russians left, much of the country fell into disrepair due to lack of resources.

  48. I raised money for the breast cancer walk

  49. I was flying on September 11th, when the planes were told to land, we were left at an airport 5 hours from our destination. All the hotels were full, and all the rental cars were taken by the time we landed. Many churches were sending in vans to take people in to their homes, since the airport was closing. We were fortunate enough to have the company we were flying in to visit send us transportation from their office. During the time we sat & waited for transportation, we met a stranger, who was also stranded with no way home, since we were headed somewhat in his direction, we made room in the car and dropped him off on the way.

  50. I have traveled for business for as long as I can remember. I always bring home the shampoo and soap from the hotel. I have a closet full of them now. About a year ago, my 13 year old daughter came to me and said, “Mom, can I donate your soaps.” I couldn’t imagine what she was going to do with them. She had seen a documentary on TV and wanted to donate soap and shampoos to the local red cross chapter for victims of fires. She learned that when people are evacuated they often have to stay in shelters and don’t have those personal items right away. So she did, she donated them. And she’s continued to donate. She has worked with two of our local hotels to get donations of soap and shampoo and she now also donates to a local homeless shelter. So far, she’s been able to donate over 10,000 bottles of shampoo and bars of soap in one year. She’s making a difference in the world.

  51. Teaching my 6 and 10yr old savings and how to set aside time & money for donating/charity to causes that they like. The 6yr old wants to have a “charity vacation” where he can help the needy, hmm probably its time to get him started thinking about doing both with miles/points.

  52. In 2004, I was a sophomore in college. It was the first year of being at a major state school after transitioning from a smaller school in my hometown. At some point, I became very stressed from classes and studio; depression set in. The load, I thought at the time, was far too much to carry. After seeing a counselor for a few weeks, I was admitted to an inpatient mental health facility. There I met others who were being treated for depression and suicidal tendencies, except each one of them had already tried to end their life in one way or another.

    An older gentleman (most likely in his mid-to-late 70’s) and I became walking buddies. We would slowly walk from one end of the carpeted hallway to the other, which would take around 10 minutes going his pace. And we’d talk about life. In conversation, he told me that the doctors were letting him out soon, because he said he was getting better, but admitted he was lying to them. We walked and talked quite a few times that day. Repeatedly, in the kindest, least pushy way possible, I told him that he should tell the doctors and nurses how he really feels.

    Later that afternoon, while walking with another patient staying in the facility, I saw him at the counter talking with the medical staff. It was too far away to make out what he was saying. I didn’t know if he was going to tell them the truth and really hoped that he would. When it was time for my review, the head doctor and I talked about my case and said that I would be released. I also informed him about the older man, and the doctor said that he had already told them and would continue staying there in order to recover.

    I was so overjoyed to help be a part of that kind of change. He and the other patients also made an impact on my life. You could say I was scared straight from the reality of it all. This may sound incredibly tacky, but truly, if you’re having problems, get help today. And please don’t ignore or brush off those who are having a hard time. Listen to them. This post and story was very long compared to others, so thank you for your time.

  53. [If I’m not wrong, I should qualify for a second entry (since I’m posting on a separate day). If not, please delete.]

    Inspired by the changes I made (or at least helped to make) at United (see above comment), I questioned Singapore Airline’s Star Alliance livery – which was infamous for being the only odd one out amongst all the Star Alliance member carriers. In one of the copies of Star Alliance’s Network magazine (available publicly at staralliancemployees.com), there was an article dedicated to livery branding and I remember how it stressed the importance of this to the alliance’s image (including exact ratios/measurements for every component). Being a sucker for branding and as I had the contact details of several Star Alliance Services GmbH executives, I asked about this issue and they acknowledged that SQ was a non-conformist (I was actually a bit surprised by their response, since SQ had been using this ‘own version’ of the Star Alliance livery for years now). Earlier this year, SQ finally made changes to adopt the standardized Star Alliance livery.

    The thing I hate most about SQ is their level of arrogance at the management level. They tend to do everything their own way. For frequent flyers, this translates to a subpar lounge at their home hub (SIN) – with access only to the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge which is a difference of light and day to the SilverKris Business Class Lounge (no in-lounge showers, limited selection of food, etc.). I can safely say that even at outports where there are SilverKris Lounges that Star Alliance Golds can access (e.g. HKG), these are far superior to the ‘flagship lounge’ in SIN. They’ve taken it a step forward by introducing a new way of so-called ‘priority’ boarding a few months ago. Star Alliance Golds now board in the Economy line, rather than in the Priority Lane (solely reserved for PPS Club and First and Business Class passengers). Yes, Star Alliance Golds still receive ‘priority’ ahead of Economy, but it barely makes a difference. I plan on raising this issue with Star Alliance shortly – and hopefully we’ll see changes soon. Again, like in other cases, SQ is the odd one out.

  54. Wrote the CEO of my company to allow significant others to be allowed health benefits on the corporate plan (sadly this followed the death of my partner who needed these benefits!). Request was implemented and hopefully useful to others with significant others without medical insurance.

  55. Benefits. We all love them but not everyone gets them equally. My workplace (healthcare center) did not offer partner benefits for those of us who are not allowed to get married. So every time we had a meeting with the CEO or some focus group meeting I would always ask if this was being considered. Last year, 8 years into my employment at this facility, we had another meeting with the CEO to discuss the well being of our institution. At open forum again I asked about benefits. There was a long pause from the CEO as she looked over to the director of HR. She replied we will have an answer on this within 3 months. Long story short, they now offer benefits to all employees and their spouses. The interesting thing is I had a number of people come up to me and thank me for asking the question in the first place, which reminds me that some people don’t yet have the courage to speak up for themselves.
    The HR director actually pulled me aside prior to the announcement to personally tell me the news……and I cried. Which shocked me. The funny thing is some of my coworkers congratulated me on getting this benefit and asked when I would add my partner to our policy. I told them I had no plans to do such a thing. They would look at me puzzled and I would have to tell them it was the principal.
    I know I was not the only person to voice this opinion but I do feel my persistence was helpful.

  56. Here’s my 3rd and final entry for this week to (hopefully) win 20K SPG points.

    My local public library introduced new self checkout machines late last year. After using them a couple of times, I began to notice how wasteful the receipts were in terms of design (massive font sizes, unnecessary spacing here and there, and so on). I offered my suggestions and soon enough, the library worked with the vendor to make the necessary changes and the font size was reduced by half (matching the typical supermarket receipt font sizes – that tells you a lot about how large they were initially) and the unnecessary spacing/margins were removed.

    I’m proud to say that this small change has probably made a significant difference in terms of reducing paper consumption and expenses for the library itself – so hopefully it might free up some of its budget for new books! I compared two receipts (one which I kept from before the change) and one after – with the same amount of books borrowed each, the latter is half the length of the former. Just imagine the overall savings for the hundreds of receipts printed every day per machine.

  57. Ok,can I steal your slogan and change the wording?:)”Changing the word hopefully one child at a time”. Well I guess this isn’t about something that I personally did, but rather my son. But as a single mother I am always encouraging my children to always lend a hand if they can to help others. When my son was in kindergarden towards the end of the school year, the teacher asked the students to pull out there colored pencils for an assignment. One of the students didn’t have any colored pencils an was questioned by the teacher and asked to bring some the following day. After the assignment was over and it was time for recess and the children were lining up at the door, my son waited for all the children to go out the door and then pulled his teacher aside and asked her “Please dont be to hard on the student without the pencils, his family is going through a hard time right now”. The next day my son apparently brought the child a package of colored pencils. I didn’t find out about this until a month or so later during parent teacher conferences when the teacher told me about his act of kindness. When I got home I told my son his teacher had told me a story today about something he had done and I was extremely proud to have a son with such a big heart. His reply back t me, with tears in his eyes ” Mom I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, thats why I never said anything to you. I knew his family was not doing very well cause he had told me, I knew we had extra in the drawer, so I gave them to him. My friend told me thankyou and was really happy he didn’t have to ask his parents”. I guess when he told me that it kind-of broke my heart and I can only hope that his random acts of kindness will affect others and they will do the same.

  58. I’m originally from India, and during my undergrad years (7 years ago) I used to in a call center (yes big cliche, I know) for online tutoring. All the clients were high school or college students who had problems in physics, chemistry or math. We had a textual and graphic UI and basically answered their questions online. Clients usually paid for 30/60/90… min slots and we helped them during that time.
    Most people who came were only interested in getting the answers, but their was this one girl (whom I shall call Julie) who stood apart from the rest. She did not come online very often but whenever she did she asked good questions and showed genuine interest in learning. So we developed a good rapport over a couple of months (we used our real names at this call center), but one day after our session was complete she said she won’t be coming in any more, and how she really appreciated all the help and all, and then she signed off with her name and email address (exchanging personal info was strictly against the rules so this surprising).
    I did not think much about it then, but a few days later I sent her a message on that email asking her how things were, etc. In return I got a really long email from her saying how she was preparing for the MCAT and due to some financial trouble, she couldn’t afford the online tutoring service (or any other service, for that matter) anymore, and how she was thinking of quitting and taking on a few jobs. Out of a whim, I volunteered to help her over Skype (while thinking this must be some elaborate scam). We skyped for several months, while I helped her with her math and physics for the MCAT, until I graduated, got a real job and moved on.
    Fast forward to 2009, my company transfers me to their Raleigh NC branch, and I decide to update my LinkedIn account and inadvertently end up sending connection invite to everyone in my inbox, including Julie. Lo and behold, I get a message from her that she is going to Johns Hopkins fro med school and she really appreciated all my help. Prodest day of my life!

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