I was in a pretty good habit of doing a daily Random Act of Kindness when I turned 48 that carried on for a year or so, but I’ve fallen off the wagon. It’s just so easy to speed through errands in a possessed way, and not notice or take the time for a small act of kindness. I need a reminder!
I’m using my DIY Acts of Kindness Gratitude Advent Calendar as a kickstart. It feels like doing an act of kindness during the busy month of December is impossible, but I am finding that it’s really not. It’s just a mindset and a looking for an opportunity. Just keeping it top of mind helps immensely.
So, here are mine. Most are small, but all, as I note, are truly appreciated!
Ran out to hold the door for a mom with a singing toddler in a stroller at the post office. She told her child how nice I was to hold the door.
Ran ad in Craig’s List and Newton FreeCycle to donate my son’s old bike to someone who needs a gift for their child this holiday season.
Also held door for a woman holding two pizzas at the mall. She thanked me so nicely.
I specified that I wanted to donate this bike to someone whose child wouldn’t get gifts otherwise. A mom responded who said that she is a teacher but has been sick and unable to work for two years. She picked up the bicycle.
Had my son donate to Salvation Army at the grocery store.
Asked Capstone Publishing if they would donate Katie Woo and Pedro early chapter books to a first grade teacher in Las Vegas whose students are low income and are not reading independently yet, and they said yes!!! Thank you April and Jennifer from Capstone!!!
The author of Katie Woo and Pedro, Fran Manushkin, agreed to do a virtual author visit with the first grade teacher in Las Vegas! Fran wants to get those kids reading too! I’m so excited for the kids to meet Fran after they’ve read a few of her books! Author visits can be life changing. See Jarrett Krosoczka’s TEDTalk about that!
I had sent a box of young adult books to programs coordinator of Project Safe Book Club in Ohio because I had so many books I bought for my girls that they didn’t read, or finished with and wouldn’t read again. It was good to clean out my bookshelf and they sent me back this nice note.
Dec 8 I ran to open the elevator door as it was closing on the 7th floor of the Boston Children’s Hospital parking garage for a mom with a stroller and a toddler in hand. There are only two elevators and they are very slow so that was a solid that I would have appreciated myself! 🙂
Dec 9 I tweeted to help an author with a diversity book. I had emailed her to see if she wanted to be an author sponsor for Multicultural Children’s Book Day (deadline Jan 1st 2017; sorry, small plug!). She wrote back that she was discouraged and shutting down shop. I hope this helps!
Dec 10 My daughter donated at our local taqueria to help needy families in Boston.
My 17 year old daughter who is now learning to drive says that this is a very lame one but I stopped for a jaywalker in front of the grocery store. “As opposed to running him down, mom,” my daughter retorted. Ok, it was a busy day for me. That’s all I managed to do for my RAKs today. Sheesh!
My daughter, PickyKidPix, has been telling me to check out this used book store in Waltham, MA for a long time. I finally went in today and bought a small stack of books and I discovered that it’s a nonprofit empowering kids who are homeless or in the foster care system by teaching them how to run a business. I gave tipped my sales clerk too!
More Than Words is a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business.
I worked the entire day and night in my pajamas and didn’t leave the house once. My good deed for the day is promoting my son’s boxing trainer friend, Finn Skerjl, who is a guest judge on Beat Bobby Flay. I did two posts on Instagram for him. Finn Skerjl was on FoodTV Network’s Rachel Ray vs Guy Fiori: Kids Cook Off (Season 2). Here’s Finn boxing with my son:
Met with author Ammi-Joan Paquette for coffee and discovered all kinds of connections! She’s the author of Nowhere Girl. I really liked this book but it’s hard to explain. Think that movie Midnight Express, add a love child as the protagonist who grows up in a Thai prison because the mom is in jail, add in mystery and intrigue as the girl tries to find out who her father is and how her mother ended up in Thailand.
Thirteen-year-old Luchi is anything but an ordinary American teenager. Born in a remote country prison in Northern Thailand, her mother’s death pushes Luchi into the outside world–and into the web of secrets that was her mother’s past. A coming-of-age story that follows a compelling character on her journey across continents, and oceans, and into a future she cannot begin to imagine. [mystery chapter book, ages 9 and up]
Held a package at the post office for an older woman who was struggling to hold her dog’s leash while we both waited in line. The box wasn’t heavy, just unwieldy and it was easy to help her out! I seem to be at the post office every other day this month so that’s been my go to RAK location!
Drove two carpools and dropped off a bunch of kids, making sure they had warm hats and gloves because it was really cold. Contacted 15 non-profits that I have supported to let them know about Aquent‘s $5000 grants to non-profits for their new #DesignForGood program:
Use your superpower design skills to help change the world! Aquent are offering 5 x $5000 ‘design for good’ grants to nonprofits/charities around the world. Submit a video pitch of your design ideas here.
Held door at the library for a gentleman coming in as we were going out. Helped my daughter with her history thesis project by finding books on Japanese Internment, including two primary source books. Strangely, a lot of the books that were supposed to be on the shelves, were no where to be found. Also asked Lois Sepahban, author of Paper Wishes, if she would be a resource for my daughter and she graciously agreed.
Made granola to gift to friends and our old Kindergarten teacher who LOVES this granola recipe from Nigella Lawson. I switch it up though by replacing the sesame seeds for coconut flakes (same quantity), reducing apple sauce to half cup (mostly because the containers I buy are in half cups), and adding 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamon.
I took my dog out for an extra long hike because he didn’t get out for two days due to frostbite weather and icy rain.
Cleaned out pantry and donated food to my local food bank.
Shared my table at the H-Mart Korean market food court with a lady who was boxing up her leftovers, then helped another woman get our four top table by splitting it into two tables. It’s gets busy at the food court during lunch!
It is getting harder and harder to fit these acts of kindness in and I’m trying to consciously remember to fit at least one in a day. Helped two nonprofits with their #DesignForGood video applications with email and phone advice.
Put change into parking meter of someone’s car that was about to run out in Newton Centre.
Gave money and a Kind bar to a homeless man.
Happy Holidays! The teacher from Las Vegas and her kids sent me a lovely thank you note! I’m thrilled that they will be reading over this winter break at home!
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