Thursday, November 21, 2013

30 Random Acts of Kindness, A Season Of Thanks.

Unbeknownst to me, my amazing sister-in-love, KristaLee, put together a list of 30 Random Acts of Kindness in honor of my thirtieth birthday that took place in September. Our goal was to not only accomplish these tasks together but also with the boys in tow. She knows me so well in that this is something I have always wanted to do but felt overwhelmed at the task of putting together the list, creating the tags and continuing to manage our typical day to day goings on. She also knew how important it was to me to include the boys in our 30 Acts and explain to them what kindness is all about. 

Obviously Maclane had no idea what we were doing all day and to him I'm sure it felt like nothing more than routine errands but it was so much fun to include Carter in our 30 Acts and watch him not only perceive kindness in his three year old mind but also replicate it. 

Well, after months of trying to coordinate our schedules, yesterday was the day! I can't lie, I spent weeks looking forward to this day and was so excited the morning that it arrived. 

I will warn you, kindness is addicting! Just after our very first act I was hooked and couldn't wait to keep the kindness flowing. Even though we used my birthday as an occasion to spread kindness and cheer, you don't need an occasion or holiday to spread some of your own! Just a sweet little Tuesday would do just fine. 

I'm so happy we had the opportunity to share kindness with so many different people yesterday. It was the perfect day to really get me and the boys in the spirit of the holiday season, just in time for Thanksgiving. I cannot thank my SIL enough for putting this together for me. Undoubtedly one of the best days I've had in a long while. 

Curious as to what was on our list? I shared most of what I'm about to share with you now on Instagram as I tried to document our day with the hashtag #RAKapandcompany. There were a few acts that didn't get photo documentation so be sure to read through the entire list below in case you're looking for any ideas to jump start your own Random Acts of Kindness day! 

Start Close to Home

1. Explain Random Acts of Kindness to boys
2. Leave a note and treats in mailbox for mail carrier. 
3. Call Mom (and Dad!) just to say "I Love You" and "Thank You."
4. Make an effort to drive nicely and respectfully. Not offensively. 
5. Write a note of "thanks" and mail to a friend whom you don't see or thank enough.

Branch Out

6. Take local Starbucks Barista a note of "thanks" and small bag of treats.
7. Take care of the order behind you in the Starbucks drive-thru or purchase $5 gift card to be used for next patron. 

Walmart Welcome

8. Bring a note of "thanks" to Walmart greeter. Explain to them your mission and how it's always so nice of them to greet you with a smile and a wave. 
9. Encourage patrons to step ahead of you in line. 
10. Buy a $5 gift card to kept at the register and used by the next person in line.
11-13. Buy additional $5 gift cards and hand out to patrons entering the store. 

Parking Lot Joy

14.-18. Leave 5 encouraging notes on the windshields of cars in a market parking lot. These notes can be filled with compliments, well-wishes, etc. Include a gift card in one or two of the cards. 

Donate, donate, donate!

19. Drop off a bag of clothes to local Goodwill or other charitable drop box. 
20. Bring canned goods and other non-perishables to a local food collection site.
21. Tape quarters to those toy machines you see outside of grocery stores or other markets. Tape a baggie full of quarters to a drink machine. 

Spread the Love While You Eat

22. Hold the door for patrons entering or exiting the restaurant. Be sure to tell them "have a nice day!"
23. Compliment the hostess who seats you.
24. Leave a generous tip for your waiter with a kind, encouraging note.
25. Leave a box of brand new pens with the hostess to distribute to the waitstaff. You can never have enough pens to write orders! 

Hug A Hero
(This is perhaps my most favorite act that we did all day. It kind of makes me want to do something like this at least once per month, especially considering how often we drive by this particular fire house!)

26. Bring brownies to local fire station and say "thanks for keeping us safe!"
27. Carter drew a picture of a fire truck and signed his name to give to them.
28. Leave a stuffed animal with them to be taken on the medic truck and given to a child who just might need an extra "happy" during a difficult or sad situation. 

Bring It Back Home

29. Treat boys to frozen yogurt and review all the ways we spread kindness and cheer during the day. 
30. Share our Random Acts of Kindness (via social media and word of mouth) to inspire others to join in and be intentional about spreading kindness. 

The best part of our day was not only seeing smiles on the faces of those whom we extended kindness to but while sitting down to fro-yo with the boys, I asked Carter what it meant to him to be kind. He immediately responded that it meant "we share." and as he said so, he took a spoonful of frozen yogurt and shared it with his little brother. 

I could have cried right then and there in the Tutti Frutti. 

My SIL and I had such a blast being intentional about spreading kindness to others and it made us feel almost guilty that we sometimes rush through our days and forget to take the time out to help others, extend a smile, kind thought or word. This day was a great reminder to take some time to put others before yourself and I couldn't have spent it with three kinder, more loving people. 

I encourage you to make your own list. It doesn't have to be long and it doesn't need it's own special day although I would love it if you decide to do something like this and share it with others! You will be amazed at how you feel just moments after your first intentional random act. 

This was definitely one of the best "gifts" I have ever received. 

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  1. I love this. I commented on a couple of your IG photos as well. I cannot wait for baby C to be big enough to assist in spreading cheer. As it is now - I always try to hold doors, tip generously, and pay compliments often. I love the service members act of kindness. I drive by TWO firehouses and a police station on a regular basis. We will be sure to drop in soon and remind them that we appreciate all they do and sacrifice!

  2. This has been on my to-do list for a while and I love how you were able to include the boys. Such an amazing day!

  3. Oh I loved following along on IG yesterday! It was so fun and inspiring to see you all sharing so much joy with others! Thanks for posting the list :)

  4. I'm so inspired by this...thank you for sharing such a wonderful, selfless day!

  5. what kinds of small treats did you guys give? Something homemade? Candy?

    Also, did you have to call the fire department before going?

    Thanks for any answers! I think I will do this for my kids, nieces and nephews for Christmas!

  6. This is just amazing, how awesome!

  7. I love love love this. Just what I've been looking for to teach my girls about kindness and giving. Thank you!!

  8. This is an amazing idea! I must do this with my daughter; she'd love it.

    (FYI, a fireman is not a Serviceman. A Serviceman is a member of the armed forces.)

  9. Love this so much my kind hearted friend!

  10. I FRIGGING LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS POST. You done good, girl. My heart is so full! And motivated!

  11. I loved seeing your posts the other day! I'm going to share this on my facebook page! I hope to do some of these things with Andrew AND hopefully it will inspire others! :)


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