Ah, December. Good ol’ December. Kindness abounds in this month more visibly than any other, so there’s plenty to write about. But what got to me was the group I was invited to join: 26 Acts Of Kindness. It is a sweet phenomenon that was born out of tremendous tragedy. All over the country, groups, families and individuals are working to achieve 26 random acts of kindness (RAKs) to honor the 26 victims of the recent Newtown shooting. There’s even a 26 Acts Of Kindness Facebook page, started in December, that has over 93,000 likes (as of January 1). Sometimes, I could just kiss social media! The effort was started after Ann Curry of NBC News asked people to imagine what would happen if all of us committed to 26 acts of kindness to honor each life lost in Newtown. (www.facebook.com/26acts)
I was invited to join the group by my daughter’s first grade teacher, whom I’ve remained in contact with. She thought to invite me because when my daughter was in her class five years ago, I orchestrated and helped execute an RAK exercise for the kids. I’m not sure it made an impact on any of the children, but it has led to my participation in 26 Acts Of Kindness, which most assuredly is making an impact. For example, members of our group have:
1. Donated a bag of diapers.
2. Paid for a store patron’s laundry detergent because the patron couldn’t afford it until her next paycheck.
3. Gave a young college student an unclaimed $10 bill that a group member found on the ground.
4. Bought a couple outfits for a woman at a thrift store who only had $1.50 to buy clothes. The group member also gave her money for lunch.
5. Paid the airfare for a babysitter who wanted to be with her sister for Christmas but couldn’t afford it.
6 . Cooked and delivered a big pot of chicken soup to a friend who recently had open heart surgery.
7. Gave $60 in Target gift cards to a man holding up a sign that said, “Single Dad. Please help. Diapers, food, money.”
8. Shoveled elderly people’s driveways without being asked and without asking for pay.
9. Volunteered at the Salvation Army for 1.5 hours.
10. Made a “thoughts of strength and love” pillow for a friend with cancer to help her sit up in bed.
I did one of these RAKs, but in the spirit of the exercise, I’m not bragging or claiming any credit. Just participation is enough. I am really looking forward to the next act I can randomly commit. I think it’ll be even more special now that the traditional giving season is over. After all, ‘tis always the season of giving, or at least it should be.