Do you see me jumping up and down clapping? No? Because I’m jumping up and down clapping. I can not WAIT to share today’s post.
My friend Linda that I met through church and our Journey Group turned 50 this week and decided to do 50 random acts of kindness during the month.
I am turning 50 this year! I read on Pinterest about this woman that did random acts of kindness on her birthday. However old she was, she did that many acts of kindness. I thought it was such a wonderful idea that I wanted to do it for my 50th! I turn 50 on February 27, 2013. My plan is to do random acts throughout the month of February and write about them. I know God will use the “acts” in other’s lives but I also know He can use it in mine. I am so excited! This may become a birthday tradition!
For a few of her items, she had planned an afternoon at the mall. I asked if I could go along so I could see the magic happen myself!
We met up at Barnes and Noble last Saturday afternoon and she started right away by picking a book and putting in $5 with a note.
How much do I love that Bonhoeffer’s face is looking on from the top shelf there. I think he’d be proud.
Dear Francis Chan, one of your readers is going to get an extra special blessing!
Even from the beginning, it was a little nerve-wracking doing these. Linda didn’t want caught and worked quickly to place the money and get outta dodge!
Linda then wanted to bring some joy to children and decided to hand out Tootsie roll pops.
I love the smile on the lady’s face in the background. Random acts of kindness affect more than just the recipient!
This mom was really thankful and was bouncing her baby up and down.
Several parents actually declined the candy at first, but relented when their kids were so excited. I’m telling you, some of the kids just pressed their presents to themselves like it was a treasure.
She also gave out coloring books and crayons with a note
This little guy was saying “thank you” by the time I snapped a picture. I’m telling you, Linda was like a RAOK ninja!
I caught this one on her way out of the story but I LOVED this one. You can see the man with the beard and hat just inside the store through the glass holding his son with the coloring book.
Linda dropped it off and left but after the man read the note, he came out of the store and yelled down the hall “Happy Birthday!” and winked at her. I wish SO MUCH I could have gotten that wink full of joy on camera.
She also handed out these mirrors.
We stood outside Forever 21 hoping to give them to young girls. When Linda’s husband Rob and I spotted this little girl with Downs dancing in the window, we both looked at Linda and knew she should have one.
After she explained to the family why we were giving it and they read the note, they were SO thankful. The man just kept saying how nice it was.
She gave another to this teenager who was walking around with a group of friends. She had a birthday button on and she was thrilled to get a little gift from another person having a birthday.
Linda was also armed with flowers. Don’t you love the light shining behind her?
The lighting is terrible here (did you know the the lighting is so unpredictable at the mall!!) but I just had to show you this lady receiving her flowers. She just couldn’t believe they were for her.
Linda gave each of the women a set of flowers and the lady there in the middle gave her a hug before they left. Strangers hugging in the mall! It’s just too much!
Linda also gave tips to the workers cleaning the tables.
I hope you can see how thankful this lady was to receive it.
One of my favorites is when Linda gave the custodian a full bouquet of flowers.
After Linda walked away, she was so happy!
I’ll be honest and say every single one was nerve-wracking. I was just taking pictures and I was nervous for her! Several people were very untrusting and Linda had to explain what she was doing. It was all WELL out of her comfort zone but knowing she was making their day gave her courage and all of them were thankful after they understood.
I love thinking about each of these people today and how they might think back to that afternoon. All of this took her less than an hour but I’m sure they will remember it for years.
And that was just 7 of the 50! Linda has been keeping track of everything she’s done so without further adieu, here is the full list:
50 Random Acts of Kindness
1. February 5th: Two of my neighbors have been sick and I happened to hear about it, so I put together a care package for each of them and left it on their doorstep. It contained a can of chicken soup, a brightly colored mug, herbal tea, a few chocolates, because chocolate always makes you feel better, a small pack of tissues, some little rolls to go with the soup and a get well card, wrapped in a brightly colored bag.
Though both neighbors were touched, one neighbor in particular, was very touched. He has a long term illness and when I saw him the day before my ‘surprise” he was really down. I saw him the day after my “surprise” and his whole countenance was changed. A little love goes a long way! God thank you for using me! May this little act open doors for his salvation.
Click through for the full list..this is already so long!
2. February 13th: I emailed lots of my friends and family and told them what I was doing this month for my birthday. I asked them to participate by doing one random act of kindness on my birthday and to text or email me what the act was. I just get so excited to think of all the random people that will be touched by one act of simple kindness. It makes my heart smile BIG!
3. February 14th: I filled little heart boxes with heart candy and lollipop valentine’s with “You are loved– God “on them and placed them in my neighbor’s mailboxes. I won’t be able to see their reactions but I bet they will be surprised and I hope most of all feel loved. God please let them feel just a spark of your love for them!
4. February 14th: I put 4 quarters in the return change slot in one of those “grab a stuffed animal” machines at Walmart. I can only imagine the excitement of a kid either checking all of the game change slots; I did that as a kid, or discovering “extra” change after they try to win a stuffed animal! What glee!
5. February 18th: Went to Target on my lunch hour. I started off by putting some notes on car windshields that said if you would do one act of kindness can you imagine what the world could become? Would you do just one today? I had printed about 10 off but only placed around 5 because I was nervous I would get caught!
6. February 18th: At my visit to Target I headed straight for the ladies bathroom and I put a sticky not on the mirror that said, “You are beautiful! Yes, you!” Again my nerves were getting to me. It was still fun though.
7. February 18th: At Target I put a sticky note in the stall that said “You are precious to God” I think I got caught because just as I was placing it in the stall, the stall door was open, someone walked in and saw me. I quickly got out of there! Haha, maybe the note was just for her!
8. February 19th: I stopped to get gas this morning. I had a $10.00 gift card for Starbucks that I have been trying to give away!! Every time I was in Starbucks there was no one in line! So, I decided I would leave it stuck in the credit card swipe at the gas station with my note attached to it. Someone will be very surprised when they go to swipe their card for gas! I hope they are pleased too! It was COLD this morning!!!
This is the card I had attached. It says: “Be Kind” Today is my 50th birthday and I am giving out 50 gifts of kindness! Won’t you “be kind” to someone else today? Share the Kindness. Thank you. God Bless you!
9. February 19th: We have a candy bowl at work at the front desk. It has mini size candies in it. I decided to hide some full sized candies in it so someone will get a super surprise!
10. February 19th: I go the Fed Ex mail box almost every day to drop off stuff for work so I thought, “why not leave a little note behind!” So I did! It said, “You are precious to God!” I put it on the mailbox in a hurry because the other day when I tried to do it someone pulled right behind me and I didn’t want them to “see” the person that put it there. So after I left the box yesterday I prayed that all that would see it would be blessed but that maybe if one person really needed to hear that message that they would take the note as a reminder. I pray that happened!! A little update: I went the next day on the 20th and the note was still there! More people get to see it then!
11. February 20th: I was BUSY this morning!!! My first stop was Dunkin Donuts. I bought a box of munchkins to bring into work.
12. February 20th: I paid for the person behind me at Dunkin Donuts.
13. February 20th: I made a breakfast to go bag for our mailman that picks up the mail every morning at work. I placed my 50th birthday note in the bag and thanked him for all he does for our office. It’s going to be a great day!
14. February 20th: On my way home from work I needed to stop at CVS. Low and behold a Redbox machine!!! So I snuck on over there and taped a dollar and one of my birthday notes to it! So much fun!! I love this!
15. February 21st. I went to lunch with some co-workers yesterday and I left the waitress a generous tip! God thank you for providing for me so that I can have so much fun this month!
16. February 22nd: Gave someone tickets to the Southern Home and Garden Show. My honey gets them. This particular person is a very difficult person for me. I am glad to do something for her even though it was hard. Maybe it will soften things a bit too. ?
17. February 22nd: I left small tissue packs with my birthday not taped to them on the chairs at the allergist office when I went to get my shots. It was cool too because normally it is crowed, but when I went in today only two people were in there! It was lunchtime too! So as soon as they got called I quickly placed the tissue packs on the chairs. I just placed the last one on a seat when someone came in. hee hee!
18. February 22nd:I bought a small bouquet of flowers for one of my co-workers. I wrote her a little not telling her how much of a help she is to me at work. She is always patient and always helpful when I have questions; even when she is so busy herself!
19. February 22nd: I went to the post office after work today. The lady at the counter that was helping me was singing softly. I told her she had a beautiful voice, which she did. This is out of my comfort zone. I often WANT to compliment something like that but my shyness stops it. I have to remember it doesn’t really take much effort to give a compliment away.
20. February 23rd: I started my day at the DMV. My honey was sweet enough to let me out so I could get in line while he went to Dunkin and bought a box of munchkins for my “deed.” When I gave them to the ladies they were so excited! One lady said, “Wow! Someone actually thought of us! Thank you so much!” I guess all day dealing with people there is no “real” interaction between the one in line and the one behind the counter. Just a business transaction. How sad. I must remember this.
21. February 23rd: I ordered a picture from a friend. A picture that SHE took! I just love the picture. Now I just need her to sign it!
22. February 23rd: I went to the mall today with Rob and my friend Amy. Amy is a blogger and she is going to blog on this. Rob is my honey and he held my bag of goodies! The first thing we did was go into the book store. I place a $5.00 bill inside a Francis Chan book with one of my birthday notes. How fun and what a surprise when they find it! I put the date on that one just in case someone found it awhile from now.
23. February 23rd: I gave a bouquet of flowers to the cleaning lady that cleans the bathrooms in the mall. She was a bit surprised! I pray it blessed her.
24. February 23rd: I gave out roses to random people in the mall with my birthday note attached. The first question from them was, “how much does it cost!?” When I told them it was my birthday and I was just giving out presents their whole face changed. I got a hug from one lady! I think those that received it were blessed. A group of ladies I gave flowers to, still weren’t sure WHY I was giving them flowers but took them reluctantly. ? Hopefully they will read my note and it will sink in that I was just trying to be nice! LOL
25. February 23rd: I gave out lollipops to kids at the mall. I asked permission from the parents first. Most were excited, some were reluctant and one lady asked why I was doing that. When I told her she was so excited. So was I!
26. February 23rd:I gave out coloring books and crayons to kids at the mall with my birthday note attached. These were received better than the lollipops, less suspicion! I can get that. One guy was holding his son who was upset and I gave him a coloring book. As I walked away he yelled, “Happy Birthday and winked!” He read my note on the coloring book. ? It was fun to see a little one later, while I was in the mall, sitting in his stroller looking through his new coloring book!
27. February 23rd: I gave out pocket mirrors to young girls. In the pocket mirror it said, “You are beautiful just the way you are.” I had my birthday note taped on the bank as well. This was probably one of my favorites at the mall. I wish young girls could see how precious they are to God. How beautiful they are JUST the way they are! 2 girls particularly stood out on this one. One was a little Down Syndrome girl and her sister. The little girl was looking at the note on the inside of the mirror and the dad pulled it out of her hand saying, “what is that?” I can understand this. A stranger just handed his little girls a mirror and he wanted to see what strange note was in it! When he read it he looked over to me and said, “How nice is that?” He was so touched by it. It filled my heart with Joy! Another girl was with a pack of girls. The other girls were ahead of her and she was alone with her mom. She had a “It’s my birthday” pin on. I think the girls were doing a scavenger hunt. When I gave the girl my mirror and she looked at it, I could tell she was excited about getting something for MY birthday on HER birthday! LOL It was very cute!
28. February 23rd: I handed out dollar bills with my birthday note attached to it, to all of the people cleaning the tables at the food court in the mall.
29. February 23rd: I left a quarter in a big gumball machine outside the candy store at the mall. A lucky little kid! ?
30. February 23rd: Rob and I were at the grocery store and I had a pocket full of quarters. So, I filled the whole row of candy and prize machines! Can you imagine the little kid! Finding one, then another, then another!? Haha… I would have loved to see it but God will!
31. February 25th: I text my neighbor that is not feeling well. This normally is not in my comfort zone but I want it to be. I am trying to make it be normal. I just text him to check on how he was. He has a long term illness.
32. February 26th: I made cookies for my mailman and left them in the mailbox with a note that said” thank you for working in the rain!” It is a terrible, cold, rainy day today.
33. February 26th: Made cookies for our Fed Ex guy at work.
34. February 26th: Every morning when I come to work I make the coffee, 3 different kinds. I am the first one here so I took that on. Well, this morning I made all of the coffee as usual and sat at my desk to start drinking mine. The receptionist said she was sorry but she would have to steal the coffee for a meeting. I wasn’t going to make more. I wanted to sit here with mine. It is a cold, rainy, miserable day today and I am just tired. I didn’t want to make more but I remembered to be kind, so I did. I still wasn’t happy about it but two people said how much they appreciated that I did that every day, so…”get over the grumpies Linda and BE KIND!”
35. February 26th: I paid for a person’s lunch that was in line behind me at Wendy’s.
36. February 26th: Went to see Chris’s concert last night so I baked a bunch of cookies and placed them in individual baggies and handed them out to the band peeps afterwards. I asked Chris first if it would embarrass him and he said, “No! They will LOVE you!” Well almost every kid was like, “heck yeah!” College kids, ya gotta love em!
37. February 26th: After the concert we did something VERY out of the ordinary. I say we, me and my wonderful partner in crime, my hubby. When Mike was in college he told me a story of one of his roommates that would take a ten minute walk to one of the public bathroom on campus each time he had to go, in order to NOT have to buy TP! That is pretty sad and a pretty good picture of a “poor college student!” LOL, so I got this idea. I bought a bunch of 4 pack TP rolls and we tossed them in areas on campus that we know students walk by frequently! Can you imagine when a student finds it?! Haha, “what the heck??” “COOL!”
38. February 27th: I wasn’t going to include this but I decided to after thinking about it. I wanted to put it down as an act of kindness given to ME from my Savior. I took the day off for my birthday. I spent the day by myself until after work time and I had such a wonderful time. The reason I am including this is because I have noticed over the years that God has helped me to “love” myself. This is one of his greatest gifts to me. I once would have been so uncomfortable to spend the day with “me.” I took myself out to lunch and just did whatever “I” wanted to. I thank you Jesus for being kind to me every single day to the point that I can now “be kind” to myself.
39. February 27th: I went for a facial in the morning. One way I spoiled myself and I gave the spa lady a very generous tip!
40. February 27th: After the spa, I went to the park. I walked the walking trail and chatted on the phone with my mom. After that I walked over to the playground and tossed quarters here and there for kids to “discover” as they play! I know when I was a kid, heck even now, if I found a quarter I was so excited!
41. February 27th: I placed a huge box of sidewalk chalk on one of the slides at the playground for some children to find.
42. February 27th: I took myself out to lunch. I left a gift card to Applebee’s with my birthday note attached to it, on the table for the person that cleaned the table after me. Who wants to eat at the same place the work, day in and day out!?
43. February 27th: On my shopping trip I stopped at Aldi’s and placed quarters in the carts. You need a quarter to get a cart at Aldi’s.
44. February 27th: I wrote my honey a love note on the bathroom mirror in lipstick!
45. February 27th: I cleaned out my closet and took the clothes to Goodwill.
46. February 28th: Though I haven’t given this to them yet, I still have it to give and bought it for this purpose. WE have a couple that we have been meeting with. A wonderful couple trying to get on their feet. We are going to surprise them with the makings of a date night. We meet them on Thursday nights while their children are at youth group. They will think we are coming over as usual but we will actually drop their movie night date off and then leave, so they can enjoy some time with just the two of them.
47. February 28th: I treated a friend to lunch today. This lady is so sweet. She is a single mom and a very dear friend and I just wanted to treat her cause she is special!
48. February 28th: I bought a lottery ticket and gave it to someone on my way out the door! I told her I hoped she would win. I also attached my birthday note to it.
49. February 28th: I purchased some baby essentials and left them hanging in a bag on the mailbox for my neighbor to find! They have a new little one.
50. February 28th: I left a potted flowering plant for my neighbor to find. She lost her husband a couple of months ago and she has been on my mind. I hope it made her smile.
Gosh, I love them so much! I love that most of these are done in places she already is – in her home, in her neighborhood, at a restaurant, at work. You don’t have to go far or spend a lot of money to do a random act of kindness.
I have to believe that THIS is how we make the world better–each of us, in our own small way making a big difference.
It’s all Ephesians 2:10 in action:
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We were meant to do this.
I know Linda wouldn’t want me to finish this without challenging you to do a random act of kindness. As Ann Voskamp likes to say, BE the blessing.
Linda, you are certainly a blessing to me!
img credit (gift box in photo): jayofboy