35. It’s impossible for me to get excited about it no matter how hard I try but instead of sulking and pouting about it, I’ve decided to make the day… the whole month actually… exciting! This year, instead of my birthday being all about me, I wanted to make it all about someone else. 35 someone else’s to be exact.
This year, I decided to spend the month of September doing Random Acts of Kindness around our city. Everyone deserves a “nicey”, and I hope that they put a smile on someone’s face. I know they made me smile (and a couple even made me shed a tear). Some are just simple small things, others took a little more thought 🙂
I have one request before you go and read my list (or before you decide this is the most boring post ever, and move on to the next blog). I want a birthday gift from you. (Pretty funny for the girl who says she doesn’t want her birthday to be about her, I know). In honor of our friendship, either real, or in the blogosphere, I would like you to do one RAOK for someone else. Hold the door for someone, pay someone a compliment, whatever feels right for you in the moment. Then come back here, or on Facebook, or wherever, and tell me about it.
Here, in no particular order, is my list of 35 Random Acts Of Kindness. (The one’s in red are the one’s I’ve already done)
- I gave a random mom free McDonalds Ice Cream coupons for her kids
- A mom in town was granted overnight visits with her kids, and looking for books to read them. I filled a knapsack with some of Hayden’s old books for her, and a few Kids DVD’s.
- A neighbor was looking for a kiddie pool, I happened to have one in our storage shed. That one was almost too easy.
- I gave a single mom working long hours on a road crew a crock pot so she wouldn’t have to come home and rush to prepare dinner.
- I gave the same mom movie passes so she could take her kids out for a night (After being a single mom, I have a serious soft spot for them)
- I cleaned out my closet, and supplemented when needed, and gathered 5 bags of clothes for a low income new mom who was in need of some clothes. (Those of us who’ve had to shop for them know plus sized clothes have that “extra material” surcharge on them that makes them more expensive then “Regular sized clothes”, whatever those are.)
- I gathered a dozen tennis balls, put them in a container with a note, and dropped them off at the dog park. As I we were pulling away, someone pulled up with their dog, so we hung out for a second to hear what they said and the girl said “Awww… that’s so sweet” and I teared up a little thinking of how Bernie would have thought it was great to play with… or eat… the tennis ball.
- We are having construction work done on our old thrift store to convert it into our new food bank. I’m going to make cookies and bring a case of cold water for them during their break. They are going above and beyond for us to get this done asap, so I wanted to go above and beyond for them
- I left a Tim Horton’s gift card in the mailbox for our Mail carrier. She drives all over town all day long, and I don’t know how many people get a chance to tell her thank you, so I wanted to make sure that I did.
- Quarter machines…. as a kid, they were my favorite thing, with unknown treasures wrapped in plastic spheres. As a parent, they drive me nuts, trying to get out of the store before the kiddo notices one and inevitably asks for a quarter while my arms are full. I went to the mall, Canadian tire and Walmart, leaving quarters in all the machines I could find for some curious kids to discover. I got busted by a couple waiting in line at Walmart customer service who noticed me stooped over the machines, but I don’t think they told anyone.
- I taped quarters to a drink machine so someone could help themselves to a cold drink while shopping.
- While driving around town to drop off another couple RAOK, I saw a kid… really… a kid I would assume was younger then my oldest son playing guitar for change outside No Frills. Just one look at the guy told me he was seriously down on his luck, so I reached into my purse and found another Tim’s gift card. When the Hubs gave it to him, the kid asked “Are you serious??!” and it almost broke my heart.
- I went to two of the playgrounds in town and left bottles of bubbles and bubble wands for kids to find
- Over the last 5 years, our family has become very familiar with Emergency Rooms. They are NEVER fun, and the outdated magazines hardly help me keep my mind of why we’re there, let alone some poor kid brought there with their family. (and yes, that’s been Hayden a time or two). We went to the dollar store and bought a bunch of kids books and left them at Triage, the ER waiting room, XRay, CT and Ultrasound waiting rooms.
- Looking in mirrors has never been something I’ve enjoyed. Add in the harsh light of a public restroom, and A simple trip to wash my hands can lead to an all day depression. I left post it notes all over bathrooms in town that said “You are beautiful”, because lets be honest, we could all stand to hear it now and then 🙂
- Thank you cards for random people in town. I wish I had these ready when I saw an RCMP truck parked outside the hospital, but I will be prepared next time!
- Get a bunch of balloons and tie them to the park fence by work. What kid wouldn’t love a free balloon?
- Donuts for the 3 Fire Halls
- Donuts for the RCMP station… is it wrong to give donuts to the cops? Will they be offended? I’ve outsourced this looking for an answer 🙂
- EVERYWHERE downtown has parking meters, and its always such a pain in the butt, especially if you don’t have a quarter. So, I’m going to leave Quarters on the meters.
- Flowers for a friend just because
- We have such a great relationship with the local newspaper. They are always covering our events, going out of their way to help us out. So why not say thank you with some cookies? Who doesn’t love cookies?
- We had a trunk sale last weekend, and we saw a bunch of people coming through with kids who wanted to stop at our table, but the parents kept saying “I have no change left!” so we took all our prices off and gave it all away. (OK, so it was kind to the kids, but the parents might not have been as excited about it)
- We paid for the orders of people behind us at Tim Horton’s twice. The first time, The Hubs forgot to tell them it was for my Birthday RAOK, so we did it again 🙂
- I met a lady with a new Cat. Her kids are more then a little obsessed with it. (If you’ve ever had a new pet with little kids in the house, you know what I mean… mauling the poor animal any chance they get). The cat hurt it’s leg and she was looking for a carrier to be able to let the cat recoup without little fingers bothering it, so I gave her the one we had.
- I have some sweet little cousins in Alberta who have been playing xBox with My boy. I’ve mailed them something special that they should get next week. What little kid doesn’t love getting mail?
- I have a friend who’s son got married this past weekend. She was looking for a projector to show a slide show during the reception, so I loaned her mine.
- Our local domino’s does a program called “Suspend a pizza”. What that means is I can pay $5, and they will put a pizza “on hold”, and when someone comes and says “I’m hungry but don’t have any money”, they will make them a pizza from the suspended pizzas. That one made me a little teary eyed as well.
- Deliver Handwritten cards to a local nursing home. Not everyone gets visitors, and that thought makes me sad.
- Drop off thank you basket to the nurses in the Emergency Dept. for all those time’s they took such good care of us.
- This week I had a visit to the dentist. And when they came out to get me to bring me to the room, they asked how I was “Aside from being at the dentist”. The hygienist and I started talking to it, and I asked her if it was hard hearing people say they didn’t want to be there every time someone came to their appointment, and she said “You get used to it”. I thought how hard that must be, every day to hear people say such negative things. So I’m going to drop off a basket of stuff for them… I just need to think of what is an appropriate treat for a dentist’s office… clearly not candy 🙂
- (Ok, so this is probably my one and only selfish RAO) Child the III and I don’t always get a lot of Mom and Kiddo time, and with our adoption paper work to add another little kiddo to our family, it may be a little shorter at times, so this weekend while the hubs is away, Kiddo and I will be spending the weekend camping, and spending some quality time together.
- This one is a family RAOK. When Kiddo was selling his Skylanders, we got a FB message from a mom asking us to please please please sell her one of the specific figures because her autistic son saw it over her shoulder and went nuts. It was the only one he needed to complete his set, and would not stop asking for it. Hubs made arrangements to meet up with her, and gave it to her for free. We got a note from her half an hour later saying that her son hadn’t stopped running around the backyard yelling “Thank You!” to the nice man who gave it to him. That one brings a tear to the hubs eye every time we talk about it 🙂
- This one is a work in progress. Hubs belongs to one of the MANY local service clubs in the area, and they run a lunch program for the local schools to make sure kids don’t go hungry. I don’t know why no one put the two together before now, but they run the food program, we run the food bank… there is clearly a way for us to help out! So details need to be worked out, but I don’t think it will take too long, or be too hard to link these two fantastic programs together.
- We live in a town that still has payphones (Insane, right?!) I remember being stranded and having to make a collect call more then once in my lifetime, and it’s a horrible feeling not being able to check in with someone who might be missing you. I’ll be taping change to the local payphones so “someone can reach out and touch someone”