The Original 52: My FIRST 52 Week Journey at a Glance

The first 52 weeks came out of a desire to approach the milestone birthday of my turning 50 boldly and joyfully. I did not want my 50th to be focused on me. I wanted to take the year and live it for others – with all of life’s beauty, wonder, heartache, joy, discovery and love focused on giving a voice to others.  I wanted to explore where love, generosity, and community live in the world. These are all around us but we often go through life without sensing or seeing them. So I wanted to explore. Life is magical when exploring.

I set a goal – Each week, for 52 weeks, I would volunteer with a different organization or event, share those moments of community and love that happen when volunteering, celebrate with others how love builds hope, and write about the experience. Through the experience I found my authentic voice and a sense of wholeness I did not expect. There is much light in this world. You need only to seek it gently to uncover it.

Below is the list of the Original 52 Weeks of Charity – you can scroll through and click on any that may peak your curiosity. You can also click the categories in the column on the right to see the weeks for certain categories. I hope looking through the weeks inspires you to love the beautiful, special, wonderful person you are and reveal how helping others through your unique gifts and by giving up small bits of time, can surprise you and bring magic to the world.

XO, Penny

WeekOrganizationDescription of ActivityLink to Page
Pre-Marathon Week 1Living Water:
El Salvador
Building a clean water well for a village with no access to clean waterLiving_Water_International_El-Salvador_2017
Pre-Marathon Week 2Hungry Helpers Jersey City
(St. Lucy's Shelter)
Feeding homeless men and women, visiting with them, cleaning upHungry_Helpers
Pre-Marathon Week 3EarthKeepers at
Trail cleaning and maintenanceEarthKeepers_Watchung_Mt
Week 1The Valerie FundSetting up for 5k and event to raise money for research to fight children's blood disorders.Valerie_Fund
Week 2Morris County Interfaith Food PantryHelping at a client-choice food pantryMCIFP
Week 3Homeless Solutions:
Birthday Buddies
Throwing birthday party for children living in homeless shelterHomeless_Solutions_Bday_Buddies
Week 4Habitat For HumanityBuilding Homes in MorristownHabitat_For_Humanity
Week 5Imagine - Center for Coping with LossProgram to support children who have lost loved ones. Educational tour and group activitiesIMAGINE
Week 6Friends of Cape May National Wildlife RefugeTour, education and researchCapeMayWildlife
Week 7Care OneBINGO with residents of long-term care facility.CareOneBingo
Week 8Carbonfund.orgReducing my carbon footprint Carbonfund_org
Week 9Habitat for HumanityBuilding homes with co-workersHabitat_For_Humanity2
Week 10NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association)Walking for AwarenessNEDA-Walk
Week 11Only Make-Believe, Washington DCCreating costumes for shows to entertain and involve children in hospitalsOnlyMakeBelieve
Week 12Caitlin's SmilesMaking cards and gift bags for hospitalized, critically ill childrenCaitlinsSmiles
Week 13NY Blood CenterGiving bloodNY_BloodCenter
Week 14Hurricane Harvey Relief FundCollecting and sending donated goods to Puerto RicoHurricaneHarvey
Week 15Virtual RacingOn-line racing for charitiesVirtual_5Ks
Week 16Southern Appalachian Labor SchoolWorking with disaffected youthSALS_WestVA
Week 17The Covenant House NYCSaving Homeless Young AdultsThe Covenant House NYC
Week 18Random Acts of Kindness FoundationBecoming a RAKTIVIST!Random Acts of Kindness Foundation
Week 19Avon 39 Breast Cancer WalkWalking 39 miles to raise funds and awarenessAvon39
Week 20Market Street MissionTour/education - men's drug recovery and homeless shelterMarketStreetMission
Week 21Adopt-a-SoldierAdopting deployed soldier for 6 months - sending letters and packagesAdopt_a_Soldier
Week 22Table-to-TableDay on the truck with this food rescue program program (collecting and dropping off)Table_to_Table
Week 23Liquid Church's
Love Week
Painting the Parsippany, NJ community Center LoveWeek
Week 24Second Harvest Food Bank of Central FloridaSorting and packing food donations2ndHarvest
Week 25St. Peter's OrphanageThanksgiving Dinner for a cause...CharityThksGivingDinner
Week 26Salvation Army's Angel Tree ProgramGift buying for child in need (with my grandson)AngelTag
Week 27Feed My Starving ChildrenPacking 1 Million meals for the hungryFeedMyStarvingChildren
Week 28Land of a Thousand Hills CoffeeReconciliation through coffee farmingLand_of_a_Thousand_Hills_Coffee
Week 29Team WalkerWorking the Holiday Party for inner city youthTeamWalker
Week 30Menlo Park Veteran's HomeVisiting and entertaining veteransMenloPark
Week 31First Night MorrisRunning Lego activity at community New Year's Eve celebrationFirstNight
Week 32DoSomething.orgMirror Messages - creating positive messages on sticky notes and leaving them on public mirrorsMirrorMessages
Week 33SpreadKindness.orgCreating a ripple of kindness....SpreadKindness.Org
Week 34CMTC Blue
Warming Station
Setting up and helping run night at a homeless shelterCMTC
Week 35Family Intervention ServicesPainting ceramic dish in support of abused and neglected children (Paint and Sip event)FIS
Week 36Lakeland Area
Special Olympics
Painting signs (crafting) to support Special Olympic athletesLakelandSO
Week 37Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research 500 mile Virtual Race to Jupiter to fight Parkinson'sJourney_to_Jupiter
Week 38Special Olympics
Polar Bear Plunge
Jumping into frozen ocean to raise awareness and fundsPolarBearPlunge
Week 39Our Hearts of HopePainting ceramic hearts and writing notes of support to first respondersOurHeartsOfHope
Week 40Free Yezidi FoundationSupporting Yezidi refugee women and children who escaped ISISFree_Yezidi
Week 41Kindness.OrgLeaving books "in the wild" for others to findKindness_org
Week 42Family-to-FamilySupplementing food costs for a needy family for a yearFamilyToFamily
Week 43Joan's JoySupporting victim and family rights in cases of sexually abused and murdered childrenJoans_Joy
Week 44Morris County Interfaith Food PantryA look back at the last year
Week 45Wild Baby RescueFeeding squirrels and saving injured wild animalsWild_Baby_Rescue
Week 46NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking Fighting Human Trafficking while Protecting and Helping the VictimsHuman_Trafficking
Week 47Helping Children Build a Better TomorrowCharitable Activities at Take Your Child To Work DayHelp Children Build Better Tomorrow
Week 48The Arctic Eider SocietyBuilding Local Resilience Towards Climate ChangeArctic Eider Society
Week 49Living Water International Building a clean Water Well in El Salvador with my co-workersLiving_Water_International_El-Salvador
Week 50Fundraising for Make-A-WishJogging a 10k for Make-A-WishMake_A_Wish
Week 51Mane StreamEquine Therapy - Volunteering at the FarmMane_Stream_Equine_Therapy
Week 52Global Volunteers - Blackfeet Indian ReservationVolunteering on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in MontanaBlackfeet Reservation