Random Acts of Kindness Week Is Here – How Can You Participate?
Please close your eyes. Trust me – it will be a lot easier to imagine what I’m about to ask if you’re not watching the news. Or looking out at winter weather. Or hearing sirens outside your home.
Imagine a world where instead of everyone spending all their time trying to better their own situation, they were helping others.
Now, we all know we don’t live in that kind of world. But by focusing our attention on others and their needs, we can help make this world a better place in which to live.
That’s the philosophy behind Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Day. It’s officially tomorrow, February 17. But this entire week is Random Acts of Kindness Week.
From a Phrase to a Movement
The RAK Foundation was established in the U.S. in 1995. The nonprofit is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
The idea for this week may have started in 1982. That’s when restaurant employee Ann Herbert wrote these words on a placemat. “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.”
Before long, bumper stickers with that phrase were created. A book was written titled Random Acts of Kindness. Media began spreading the word.
The RAK Foundation emphasizes that by “spreading kindness throughout schools, communities and homes, (this) power of kindness (can) change the way people see and experience the world.”
Needed More Now Than Ever
There is scientific evidence for the benefits of being kind toward others. As well as in being the recipient of kind acts.
And even the smallest act of kindness can change a life. The RAK theme for 2021 is “Explore the Good and Make Kindness the Norm.”
Considering what has occurred in our world recently, I think it’s safe to say acts of kindness are needed more now than ever.
Millions of people have been negatively affected by the pandemic. And by other tragedies occurring over the past 12 months. They need their spirits lifted, and acts of kindness have the power to do that.
Real-Life Examples of Kindness
There are countless examples of how people have used random acts of kindness to help others. For instance, people on the Neighborhood app volunteer to deliver groceries to older folks hesitant to enter stores.
Two children took their cellos to the home of a homebound, elderly woman and sat on her porch. They then played music that she could enjoy from inside.
One hotel could no longer safely house paying guests. But they opened their doors to homeless people. As a way of saying thanks, some of those new guests performed odd jobs around the hotel. Including cleaning and gardening.
Disneyland had an extra supply of food once its gates were shut. Officials at the amusement park immediately donated it to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County.
How to Celebrate the Week
Here are some suggestions for how to get involved with Random Acts of Kindness Week. They started two days ago, but you can get caught up if you want to.
Sunday the 14th – Kindness Jar. Every time you witness or perform an act of kindness, jot it down on a piece of paper and place it in a jar. It’s a way to collect memories and observations you can recall later.
Monday the 15th – Love Note. Write a letter to someone who’s changed your life for the better and mail it. Then write one to yourself. Describe your strengths and values. Save it and pull it out when you need to remember those words.
Tuesday the 16th – Blessing Bags. Place items in a bag that someone could use if they are displaced or down on their luck. Such as socks, wet wipes, facemasks, a first-aid kit, protein bars, etc. Personally hand the bag to someone who needs it.
Wednesday the 17th – Kindness Worksheet. Download this worksheet from the Random Acts of Kindness website. Write down five daily activities. Then think about how you can incorporate an element of kindness into each one.
Thursday the 18th – Care for Three. Visit the Care for Three website and follow instructions for creating three notes with personalized messages. Give them to friends, family members or even strangers. Remind people we are in this together.
Friday the 19th – 5 Dollar Difference. Take $5 – or any amount – and figure out a way to use it to make a difference. If you can’t come up with ideas, check out the RAK website to see how others have done it in their communities.
Saturday the 20th – Reflection. Now it’s time to sit back and think about how acts of kindness affect you and others. This reflection should help us include kindness in our daily lives going forward.
Pets for Vets
One of the ways the Patriot Health Alliance has demonstrated acts of kindness is through donations.
Since 2018, we have donated tens of thousands of dollars to Pets for Vets. This worthy organization connects our nation’s military veterans with rescued animals. This helps create second chances and new beginnings.
The organization has changed more than 500 lives – “one lick at a time.” Their matching program is called the Super Bond.
(Possibly add our gift of a one-year supply of Patriot Power Greens and Greens for Dogs to a veteran.)