I’ve thought a lot about how to write this “random acts of kindness” post. Last month my oldest turned 13. Yep, a teenager. I’m the mom of a teenager!! You can read more about my journey with my J here in my “a word” series.
So….a couple days before J’s birthday, I got the idea to spread the love for him. He doesn’t need much. Give that boy food, clothing and music and he’s content. Add in some family members and the trampoline or a day at the pool? Total heaven. Unfortunately in January, swimming isn’t really possible. Even in California. (trust me, we did that last year)
Once again I was at a loss for what presents to give my sweet boy. And then I thought- why not spend the day doing random acts of kindness in his honor? I decided to share this idea on Facebook and Instagram hoping that I could get some more people involved. And did I ever!? This is what I posted:
This will be the day forever known as the day my heart grew three sizes. Bright and early on the 14th, this picture showed up in my stream:
“It’s cold this morning. I saw a guy in a light jump suit huddled against a sign and looking cold so I stopped
and gave him my jacket. He put it on and was grateful. Thanks Jonathan, I’m a better person today. Happy B-day.”
Tears streamed down my face as I read this post from someone who has never met J. (the creator of Bubble Frame posted that- if you don’t have that app- go get it!!!) That was the perfect way to kick things off. And the rest of the day was just as magical. I bawled and bawled and bawled. In the best possible way. I was floored by the love given freely from people I’ve only connected with via Instagram. I was tickled when my teenage nephew posted on Facebook that he gave his friend a sweatshirt because he was cold and needed it and did it because of J. And I choked up with my mom and sister as they recounted everything they did and how it affected them. Amazing!
I can honestly tell you that my perspective changed that day. I started to see that there are people EVERYWHERE that need help. They need something as simple as a smile or as big as a warm bed. I have the chance to serve people through church but I haven’t paid attention as well as I could to the world around me. I spent the whole day smiling, passing notes out and surprising people with love. I paid for a car behind me, sent a card to our pediatrician, donated money to the library, sent cookies to J’s favorite teacher and to unexpected friends who love J so much.
I was caught off guard with how uncomfortable it felt at first to do something nice “just because.” It’s sort of a vulnerable feeling to give of yourself. What if they think it’s lame? Don’t appreciate the thoughtfulness? Or worse deny me? (which actually happened to my mom!) But it’s the act of giving with expectations of ZERO in return that made my heart soar. Did I want others to pay it forward? Sure. But I didn’t expect anything.
Because of my feelings that day, I have decided that on the 14th of every month I am going to do random acts of kindness. Some months I’ll do one little thing. Other months I’ll spend the whole day going around spreading the love. I work better with a solid deadline and I think setting it for the 14th (his birthday is January 14th), will help remind me. Don’t you think the 14th of this month is perfect? Nothing could be better for Valentine’s day.
I would love love love love love for people around me (yes, that means you) to get involved. I will be sharing some of my ideas and some printables here. Starting with this one:
For J’s birthday I created a sheet of cards that explained what I was doing. You can use this sheet of cards for whatever you like. Pass them out at the drive thru, to someone who needs a little pick me up, attach it to a plate of cookies….anything you want.
Download a sheet of Random Acts of Kindness printable.
For 30days subscribers and personal use only.
Who’s with me? I’d love for you to leave a comment or email me and let me know that you’re joining in.
Helpful info. Lucky me I found your web site accidentally,
and I’m surprised why this accident did not took place earlier!
I bookmarked it.
Took me a year to see this and I love it! What a amazing idea. Thanks for sharing. I will be going forward with this❤️
Wow! I just love this post! I can feel the love as i am reading. I live Amsterdam, the Netherlands and we could def need some more kindness over here. So i’m in starting tge 14th og august. I hope you still own this blog. I will also post about this project on my blog. It will be written in Dutch so i am not sure u would understand
I love what you are doing. I was wondering though, did you make J’s birthday button?
My son’s 14th birthday is coming up in November. R’s birthday is on the 7th, so we always had the big parties on the odd years so that his Golden Birthday he would be able to have all his friends over and all the even birthdays he had just family. This year – since we homeschool – I am planning on doing the gift an hour. I was excited to see that J had a 14th birthday pin on.
How incredibly inspiring. It’s 5:16am here in Minnesota and I’ve been pondering my to-do list since 3am hence my wakefulness! Now, after reading your blog post, I can’t wait to get out there today and do something random, kind, and thoughtful for someone else. You brightened my day by simply sharing yours! Thanks so much for the inspiration and in the end, you’re touching yet another person…the recipient of my RAOK! Can’t wait to print your printable! Now, off to figure that out! Thank you for the cheer!
I’ve been enjoying your blog. Today I’m reading this post about RAOKs. As I’m finishing up my CHRISTmas cards, I’m thinking of putting in your RAOK cards. Also hoping it’d be we’ll received and more RAOK be shared. Thank you and Merry CHRISTmas!! Blessed BY You and Blessings TO you!
Sandy Chapman says
I am working on a project like this at school and just came across your website. This is so perfect for my project – thank you so much! I can’t wait to start using these.
So thankful for the cute RAOK cards you posted for download. I am doing a 29 random acts of kindness project for my 29th Birthday (1 a day for 29 days) and I am using the cards. I am blogging about the adventure and linked your blog on my first post to let everyone know who the creator of the cards is!!! Thanks.
I absolutely love your Blog. You are such a giving person; the world needs more people like you. Thanks for the inspiration.
Just discovered your site! Love these cards and I plan on using them.
Found your post through Pinterest; i enjoyed it. I have a 13 yo, too! 1/13/2000, small world to find kids that close in age!
Kathy Carter says
I am glad I found this post. I seen it several months ago and I have just got around to looking at it more today. These are great ideas. Even from the comments you received. It has given me a jumping off point to start doing and sharing RAOK with others.
This is so important to all of us as a country and a community to spread the love that God so gracious spread upon each one of us.
Thanks for sharing Mique!!! YOU ROCK!!
Thank you so much for the printables!!! For the last 2 years I have asked all of my friends to do a ROAK instead of buying cards and gifts for me for my birthday. I then commit to doing 38, 39, etc deeds. I have also posted this on my FB account hoping to challenge others to do the same. My birthday is this Sunday and I have recruited my 10 year old daughter to help me and these will come in really handy!
Wendy Moen says
Thank you so much for sharing your love and ideas with us! My daughter really wanted to do something different for her birthday this year and she’s decided to have a “Random Acts of Kindness” party! She’s turning 12 so we are trying to come up with 12 things that her and her friends can do. We have some ideas for things to do around town and a few craft type ideas the girls will make and bring home with them in order to keep giving. We will be using the tags you posted!! Do you have a list somewhere with your ideas? I’ve found some lists online, but would love your ideas too!
love it I was thinking of this but didnt know how to start it – it sounds great , God bless , you and family :)
God Bless You for taking the time to do this. I like to do random acts of kindness and will use these cards (have printed out 2 sheets of them) in hopes that someone will reuse the cards to pass along some happiness to someone else! Thank you!
Awww Shirley- this comment just made my day. God bless you for doing random acts of kindness on your own. Thanks for sharing!! Have a wonderful day.
Karen @MSENthusiast says
I’m a little teary-eyed after reading this. What a neat idea. A little bit of kindness goes a long way. It doesn’t even have to cost money to help someone.
Mary J. Wilding says
I love this for many reasons…I try to be generous and giving to others, but sometimes it’s as simple as giving a fun surprise to a neighbor you haven’t seen too much since the snow piled up a few months ago, or fun surprise packages to your kids far away in graduate school or my fellow nurses at the hospital sho often only hear patients complain. Mostly though, I think we forget to love our parents and do really, really thoughtful and kind acts of thoughtful giving to them–they’ve done so much for us! If your folks are still alive, be their best surprise today–if not pay tribute to them in some way–come share their story here http://www.mytributejournal.com. Thanks for reminding us again, that WE can make someone’s day!! Mary Wilding
I just love your printable notes. They are perfect! My girls (ages 7 and 9) and I did RAOK last fall. They had so much fun hiding dollar bills in the toy sections of the dollar store, putting quarters in the bubblegum machines and handing out brand new boxes of crayons. What a great way to spend Valentines Day – we’re in!
Kari Robles says
Okay, so I cried right along with you as you described those moments of kindness that others who didn’t even know you or your son personally chose to take part in :) I’ll be using your tags on Strawberry Jam I made last week to pass out to some unsuspecting friends at church. I’m also going to find some strangers to pass along some “sweet” happiness to as well. Thank you so much for sharing!! Keep on sharing your lovely heart! I enjoy following you and seeing what you are going to hit us with next :)
Thank you so much for this sweet comment Kari. I’m glad that you could feel from the post how much that day meant to me and how I want to keep that going. Your church friends and strangers will be THRILLED to get the jam. Thanks for the comment- it really made my day. xo
This is such a fabulous idea…. what a sweet kiddo you have and thanks for giving us the RAOK push! Love it!
Thanks so much Kristen. He is my sweet boy! Thanks for joining in. xo
I LOVE this idea! In these modern days when everyone seems to be in too much of a hurry and so removed from personal interaction (I guess the internet can take this both ways!) I think this is a WONDERFUL idea. I was thinking about modifying these a tad and sharing on Facebook, including starting my own “thread” of a circulating RAOK. I was thinking about printing and laminating a tag that the receiver could then put on a new gift or give accompanying a good dead to be passed on for someone else to “cash in”. I hope this is ok with you and thanks for the wonderful, yet simple, idea!
Hi Amy- sounds like a great idea!! I actually have an idea similar that I’ll be sharing for next month (only mine involves a plate. ;) (great minds think alike) Thanks for joining in!!
Hmmm, that has started me thinking…I can’t wait for your post next month to see what your ideas are!
what a totally cool idea Mique!
Thanks Cheryl!! It was a great day. xo
I did RACKs during December and didn’t want to stop. Thanks for this push- I’ll be joining!
That’s how I felt Alex. I felt amazing on that day. Can’t wait to keep it going. Thanks for joining in!
Thanks so much! I love this!
You’re so welcome Laurie!
Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful idea as well as the printable page….I am going to use them tomorrow and do something for someone every day this week….I actually started a facebbook page a few months ago called Kind Deeds Happy Faces – please check it out and join our group…My birthday falls on New Year’s Day and this year I challenged my family and friends to take the year and do as many kind deeds as you are old…So far things are going pretty good!
Thanks again for sharing!
Thanks for the comment Karie. I love your challenge. I think I need to take that one on!
Amy @ Living Locurto says
This is awesome!!!! What a cool idea. I will participate:-)
Thanks Amy!! xoxo
We will be putting these in my daughters class, kid Valentine’s crafts to give to their moms. Great idea & so needed.
Dana & Gracie
Thanks so much Dana and Gracie!! What a great idea to send them to class.
I will be joining in! LOVE your HEART!
xo ~ kristi
LOVE YOUR heart. You are always the first to jump in on a good cause. I love that so much about you. xoxo