Solicitation Warning....

One night about two weeks ago, I had just come home from work about 630pm. Of course it was already dark by this time. I pulled into my garage but did not shut it yet, usually I do so just as I am walking into my house. I had seen a man in a dress shirt and tie walking down the sidewalk opposite of my house when I pulled into my garage, but I did not think anything of it until.....I stepped out of my car and suddenly this man had already walked up my driveway and was at the edge of my garage! The first thing he said was, "I'm harmless". Yet the first thing I thought was, "Yea, that is what every axe murderer says".

I simply said, "With all due respect, if you are selling something, I am not interested". He then walked away. But by this point he was already INSIDE my garage!

I then shut my garage and went inside the house as fast as I could and called the NON-EMERGENCY Police number and told the desk Sargent what occurred. He was shocked that the man had stepped into my garage. He did say solicitors are not suppose to be out after dark and also must be licensed to go door-to-door. They sent an officer to canvas my neighborhood in hopes of catching up to the man. The police also insisted I call them immediately ANY time there is a solicitor that comes to my door, day or night. They said sometimes they are not really selling anything, just checking out the homes to rob later!

The next day I told this story to a friend of mine, in hopes that if it happened to her she would know what to do. Two days ago a similar event happened to her!

This time she heard multiple voices at her door when the door bell rang at 930 at night!! She looked out the window and saw no car though. She remembered what I told her and she called the NON-EMERGENCY Police number in her city. Within 10 minutes she had an officer at her door. A few minutes later he left abruptly as the police caught up to the group going door-to-door and he was going to go get them as the officer told her the same thing the police in my city had told me just 2 weeks earlier.

You may think that just because both of us are females, that this is why we were nervous or why the police encouraged us to call them, but this is not true.

Don't believe because you live in a house full of people or live alone or because you are a man or a very strong woman or because you are smart or because you live in a "nice" neighborhood that you can protect yourself. The reality is that you can never be too safe and no city or neighborhood is immune to crime.

Just look at the case of the lady in Highland Park that simply answered her door one night and without a word being said, a man shot and killed her and then ran off....all before her husband could even react! The police still have not caught the man who committed this crime.

Regardless who you are or how brave you are, always practice these simple safety tips:

1) when you pull into your garage, shut the garage door before stepping out of your car.
2) turn on the lights in the front and back of your house to illuminate the sidewalks and alleys all night long...if you are thinking about your electric bill right now, stop! Because criminals will rob a house that is dark before they will rob one that is well lit...how much is your life worth?
3) Don't ever open the door after dark unless you are expecting someone, and then look out a window or peep hole first to make sure it is someone you know.
4) If anyone you don't know comes to your door after dark, call the NON-EMERGENCY Police in your city and have an officer canvas your neighborhood. It costs nothing, that is what they are there for. The number can always be found in the front of your city phone book or on the city's website.
5) don't go to your mailbox or bring in your trash cans if it is dark. They can wait until daylight.
6) always set your house alarm, even if you are home and it is daylight. If you don't have one, get one! It has many other advantages and the technology is very advanced. It really is not that expensive either. Once again I ask you....How much is your life worth?

I was a victim of a crime when I was in my early 20s, I never want to be that victim again. It is very easy to get complaisant and comfortable that you stop being aware of your surroundings. Don't let this happen to you.


----Better Safe Than Sorry----


Random Acts of Kindness

I know it has been about a month since I wrote...I am picking up spead now and will be writing multiple blogs in the next 30 days.

Today, I would like to remind everyone to Pay It Forward, not just in the spirit of this holiday season, but also in the spirit of Human Kind!

Many of us don't believe one person can really make a difference, I know because I used to be that person. I recently read a story out of Colorado...

In Colorado in the drive-thru of a Starbucks, the kindness of strangers became an epidemic. We have all seen the movie Pay-It-Forward...if you haven't, you MUST see it, not just because Jon Bon Jovi is in it, but because it is a moving and wonderful movie.

One day in Colorado, a person was paying for a $4+ coffee in the drive-thru of a Starbucks. After paying for her coffee, just before driving off, she handed the cashier an extra $5 and said she wanted to pay for the coffee of the car behind her....she never met the driver behind her!

When the car behind her pulled up to the window, the cashier handed the driver her order and said it was already paid for by the lady in front of her in line. The driver was so stunned, she said she wanted to pay for the driver behind her....once again, she never met the driver behind her either!

This is a reoccuring event at this Starbucks, which was in no way encouraged by Starbucks themselves. One employee said she has seen this run through 15 cars before it stopped.

I encourage everyone, preferably every day but at least once a week, to look deep inside of yourself and find a way that you can put a smile on the face of a stranger. This, without you profiting in any way and without you receiving any recognition. A true annonymous random act of kindness. This should be something beyond giving a donation to a charitable organization, rather something to impact one person immediately and directly.

If someone says, "How can I thank you?" You should say, "No thanks is necessary, just Pay-It-Forward."

Do you want to put a smile on someone's face? Try one or more of these small ideas, of course you can always expand on them:

1) pay for coffee of the person behind you in line
2) buy an extra movie ticket for a stranger at the box office
3) give $10-$20 to the cashier towards the groceries of the person behind you in line
4) put an extra quarter in a parking meter as you walk by
5) let someone go ahead of you in line even though you were there first
6) give an apple to a homeless person on the street without saying a word
7) when you get flowers from someone, take one out of the vase and hand it to a stranger on the street and say "have a nice day" then walk away

8) ladies, open a door for a man instead of the other way around

Post a comment to this blog if you have additional ideas of random acts of kindness that you would like to share.