Last month was my 40th Birthday and I celebrated by doing 40 Random Acts of Kindness (RAK). I was inspired by reading a post by a mom that had celebrated her birthday by doing 35 acts of kindness with her kids. This was a challenging but fulfilling experience. One of the unexpected benefits was I became a better listener and more aware of people’s needs as I searched for the next unique RAK I could do. While I don’t think I am one of those people who can do a RAK every day yet, I look forward to doing more kindness acts in the future.
Highlights from this experience:
- Having my girls help me with the acts of kindness. My 6yr old holding me accountable, by asking me what my RAK count was every day.
- Several folks telling me they were inspired to do Random Acts of Kindness
- Brainstorming RAK ideas with friends
- Seeing kids using some of the items left (toys, books)
- Making someone’s day with a RAK
If you would like to learn more about the kindness movement checkout the website Random Acts of Kindness. When coming up with my RAKs I referenced the following two posts, What a Ride!: My Birthday was Awesome and 366 Random Acts of Kindness, and adapted the ideas to what worked for me. The first post had a list of simple ideas that can involve kids; the second post had a lot of charity organizations. For my 40 RAKs I wanted to thank the people around me as well as do random acts for people I didn’t know. My belief was everybody can use an act of kindness.
Here is my list of 40 RAKs. Enjoy!
#1 – Paid the bill for a father of two girls that was standing behind me at the LEGO store.
#2 – Left fancy chocolates, cookies in the company break room
#3 – Surprised my Pilates instructor with a cup of coffee
#4 – Gave a homeless person a $5 gift card to McDonald’s
#5 – Gave the librarians at our local library a box of chocolates. They are always so patient and helpful as I always have a ton of books on hold under three different library cards, across three different loan systems. It can be quite complicated sometimes.
#6 – Brought donuts for my co-workers. Normally one of the managers brings donuts every Friday, so it was fun confusing my colleagues as I brought the donuts on a Thursday.
#7 – Box of chocolates for the children’s librarians at another local library
#8 – Left a Large tip tonight during my birthday dinner.
#9 – Box of chocolates for the staff at my kids’ gymnastics club
#10 – Treated my girlfriends to dinner.
#11 – Wrote a gratitude letter to my baa (maternal grandmother) with the help of my mom. This act of kindness also made my mom happy too, bonus.
#12 – Wrote a gratitude/get well card to my Aunt.
#14 – Donated some toys to my Mother’s Helper. She redistributes them to other kids that she cares for.
#15 – Left some current magazines for others to read at the gym.
#16 – Gave each of the members in my writing group a book on writing great characters.
#17 – Donated a $5 McDonald’s gift card to a person in need.
#18 – Pushed the swing of a 4yr old at the park and ended up making a new acquaintance with the mom.
#19 – Gave chocolates to our pediatrician’s office and donated some books.
#20 – Gave activity packs, books, and DVDs to the children’s ward at the local hospital. This was a lot of fun, as the kids came up with the painting sheets idea.
#21 – Donated old coats, DVDs, and books to the family homeless shelter.
#22 – Sent words of encouragement to a new mom that was going back to work.
#23 – Gave a friend a voucher for a free ski lift ticket
#24 – Paid the bill for the person behind me at the drive-thru
#25 – Watched a movie tonight with my girls instead of doing my own stuff (clean the house, surf the net, etc).
#26 – Hid scratcher lottery tickets in two books at a book sale
#27 – Paid the parking meter for some people
#28 – Gave scratcher lottery tickets to the workers at Subway
#29 – Gave a homeless man a $5 gift card to McDonald’s.
#30 – Left jump ropes and hula-hoops at the park for kids to enjoy.
#31 – Gave out scratcher lottery tickets to the service staff at work
#32 – At Target gave a re-usable bag to the person behind me since she didn’t have one. The retailers no longer give out plastic bags as our city has a ban on them.
#33 – Corralled some lost shopping carts.
#34 – Gave a small thank you gift to a co-worker for helping me out with some customer debug issues.
#35 – Donated some clothing for local foster kids. For those of you living in California, Sleep Train is currently running a Pajama Drive til March 3rd. Just drop of new PJ’s, underwear, or socks and they will be distributed to foster kids in your local community.
#36 – Left coins at the vending machine
#37 – Gave the neighbors some homemade Texas chili
#38 – Started a mini-library at my kids’ gymnastic center
#39 – Made two micro-loans via KIVA
#40 – A BIG thanks to all my family and friends for their in-person and on-line continuous steady stream of likes and positive, uplifting comments. Coming up with nearly 40 unique RAKs was a bit hard, but having you all by my side made it easier.
Wow, what a wonderful thing to do, Darshana! Well done and thanks for the inspiration.
Thanks Catherine, I hope to hear of your RAKs in the future. no pressure. 😉
Great ideas! I linked this post to my Spreading the Love post for Valentine’s Day.
Thanks for including this post!
How wonderful and inspiring. I will try to do a few more random acts of kindness too.
Wonderful! Have with your RAKs!
What an inspiring post, Darshana! Happy 40th birthday to you! It’s great that you got your girls involved. Love the ideas.
Thanks Romelle. It was a lot of fun doing it with them.
WOW!!! You are KIND!!! This is a great post! 🙂
Thank Erik. Hope you found the post inspiring. 🙂
You’re a great example, Darshana. Happy Birthday!!
This is a wonderful idea Darshana. Happy birthday 🙂
What a marvelous idea — I love all your RAKs. Very creative! (Now you have me wondering if I could possibly do 57 for my next birthday. Maybe spread out over the year!)
Thanks Beth. 57 no problem, you can do it 🙂
You probably already do a number of RAKs without even realizing it. 🙂
I celebrated my 40th in November but didn’t do anything nearly as special as this. What a wonderful idea.
Thanks. Happy belated 40th to you. That’s okay you can do 41 RAKs in 41 days for your 41st Bday. 😉
I will, too!
Hi, Darshana. What a great thing to do on your 40th. I had someone in front of me pay for my coffee at Starbucks once (without me knowing, so I’m not really sure how it worked), and I know what a wonderful feeling it can be to be a recipient of a random act of kindness. I’m sure you made so many people feel special!
I LOVE this idea! I especially love how simple most are like bringing coffee to the pilates teacher. Stuff like that goes a long way. Awesome idea for your birthday!
Thanks Nina, glad you liked the ideas. Since life is so busy I tried to think of simple things to do. Also I became a better listener and took more interest in the lives of people around me.
This is Awesome! Thank you. I was inspired to do a similar thing. Here is my story on it http://livedeap.blogspot.com/2013/06/26actsofkindness-sharing-stories.html
And Happy Bday!!!
I am inspired! Wishing you a very Happy Belated Birthday! and what an awesome way to remember your 40th. Now I know what I want to do on mine 🙂
Glad you liked it! It was quite a bit of work but a lot of fun too. 🙂
Wow maybe on my tenth birthday I will
Do some RAKS!!!👍🏼👍🏼
Count me in! I would like to start with random acts every now, so closer to my birthday I wI’ll be better at it. Any hints or ideas other than what is mentioned? Thanks for the ideas!