Tuesday, December 11, 2012


                 ~*~*~*~   INSPIRING ACTS OF RANDOM KINDNESS   ~*~*~*~
Call it what you will: “Paying It Forward”, committing “RAKs/RAOKs” {Random Acts of Kindness}, participating in a community “Light ‘Em Up!”, or committing “RACKs” {Random Acts of Christmas Kindness}…they all boil down to the same thing: doing something nice for someone else, without expecting so much as a “Thank You” in return.  Bring a smile to God’s face, & bring some warmth to your own soul.  You may be surprised just how good this can feel!  You could do a “one event per year of living” to celebrate your birthday, or “one event per day throughout December” as your “Advent Calendar”, or even “2 or 3 events per week”, for each week of the Lenten season!  However you choose to do them ~ even one per day, each day of the year! {How utterly awesome would THAT be?!} ~ just…please do PASS IT ON!  …& may each & every one of you be blessed for sharing your Christian love with your fellow man.  8-)

Plant a tree.
Donate blood!!
Mentor someone.
Sponsor a foreign child.
Build a house for charity.
Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
Participate in a walk-a-thon.
Sponsor a holiday gift drive.
Hand out “Pass It On” cards.
Hold the elevator for someone.
Send a gift to a local classroom.
Bring soup to a homeless person.
Invite someone at work to lunch.
Wave at a child in a passing vehicle.
Become a Big Sister or Big Brother.
Offer to babysit for your neighbor.
Pay past due library fees for 5 people.
Buy a phone card for someone in need. 
Volunteer at your local humane society.
Tape quarters to bubble gum machines!

Slip a $20 bill to someone who needs it.
Bring flowers to your local senior center.
Offer to walk the dog for your neighbor.
Collect canned goods for the food pantry.
Pay off someone’s layaway at a local store.
Nominate someone deserving for an award.
Share a smile with everyone you see today!!
Pay for Santa pictures for someone at mall.
Bring cookies to your local fire department.
Help someone carry groceries, or…whatever!!
Buy a carousel ride for the next 5 kids in line!
Wrap gifts for your most overwhelmed friend.
Organize a cleanup party for your neighborhood.
Tape a dollar to the candy/soda machine at work.
Invite a friend to a play or show, & pay their way.
Have your kids help clean up an elderly neighbor’s yard.
Take a set of holiday books & leave at a mall play area.
Give an honest compliment to someone you do not know.
Open/hold the door for someone…or several someones!
Purchase Girl Scout cookies; Give them to your neighbor.

Scratch your spouse’s back & give them a neck massage.
Buy a hot cocoa or latte for Salvation Army bell ringers!  
Read a story to the children at the bookstore, or library.
Put a dollar in the jar at the gas station or grocery store.
Tell your boss what you truly appreciate about her or him.
Purchase toys, &/or hats/mittens/scarves, for kids in need.
Leave a fancy new pen for your server at your next meal out.
Give cookies to the postal workers {especially at Christmastime!}
Hand out mylar balloons to children out shopping with their folks.
Bring a Cappuccino or Peppermint Mocha to the daycare workers. 
Adopt a classroom in need (send holiday party treats & craft box).
Mail a “Thinking of You” card to an old friend…or estranged relative.
Tape candy canes & happy holiday notes to ATMs, vending machines…
Leave an encouraging note in a friend’s driveway using sidewalk chalk.
Read to the kids at a local orphanage or group home or hospital wing.
Do a chore, or 2, around the home that is usually done by your spouse.
Supply the quarters for the next person or 4 at the local Laundromat!
Leave small Christmas treats/gifts in shopping carts for folks to find.
Donate old washcloths, towels, & newspapers to the local animal shelter.
Tape quarters to toy machines…or just stick ‘em in there, ready to ‘spin’!

Take toys to the kids at a local orphanage or group home or hospital wing.
Make a street pretty for Christmas (pick up roadside trash-Santa Style!)     
Pay the toll for the next 2 cars behind you at the toll booth or toll bridge.
Give stuffed animals to the police dept. for kids going thru tough a situation.
Bring dinner to a sick friend…& clean the kitchen for them while you are there!
Pay tab behind you at drive-up or inside, at Dunkin Donuts, McD’s, Starbucks, etc.
Leave a candy bar/cupcake & thank you note in the mailbox for your mail carrier.
Give a pack of their favorite gum to the checkout person {any store or gas station!}
Offer to wash the neighbor’s car…if your hose will reach from YOUR outside faucet!  ;-)
Take hygiene & sanitary supplies to the local shelters: homeless, teen, battered women…
Pump a woman’s gasoline so she does not have to get out of her car in the cold, or in the rain. 
Give a Kmart/Target/Walmart gift card to the checkout person, or to the next person in line!
Welcome the new hire at work.  Or the new visitor at church.  Or the new member at your club.
Post a “Free Sunshine & Rainbows” tear-away on the community board, in Laundromat or store.
Hand out treats to co-workers; especially good during various holidays, you can be “themed”!
Send of box of earmuffs, gloves, hats, mittens, mufflers/scarves, & leg warmers to a school.
Support or serve those affected by any natural disasters {floods, hurricanes, wild fires, etc.}.
Stop in at a favorite restaurant & offer to help clean tables or serve them in some other way.
Disperse thank you notes with pre-stamped envelopes for people to give to someone they appreciate.

Sweep a neighbor’s porch & driveway.
Bring hot coffee & a magazine to someone waiting for the bus.
Sneak in a friend’s house & clean or organize a room for them.
Pick up & put away all of the carts in the parking lot at the store.
Bake something yummy & take it to Santa & his elves (at the mall)!
Leave a note in a public restroom thanking the person who cleans it.
Pass out donuts to your neighbors as they leave for work in the morning.
Go thank a librarian & hide some money in the books while you are there.
Swing by your dentist & doctor’s offices with treats for the whole team.
Think of someone overworked at the holidays & make their day brighter.
Donate baby clothes & items, & boxes of diapers, to the local CareNet center!
Hand out water bottles to the homeless, bicyclists, joggers, dog walkers, etc.
Bag groceries for another customer at the store, or help them load it into the car.
If you live in a colder climate, take gently worn & outgrown coats to a homeless shelter.
Inconspicuously drop coins on the playground for children to find while they are playing.
Surprise a stressed-out parent with a free babysitting coupon good for the whole month!
Go on a scavenger hunt in your home for change & find a charity that would appreciate it.
Deliver a candy cane, a hot cocoa, & thank you note to each fella who picks up your trash!
Pay for the purchases of an elderly person at the grocery store.  {Helps to be in front of, or behind, them!}

Leave $1. bills in 5 random toy bins in the $ Store!, &/or 5 random books at the book store!
Hug someone.  Hug a LOT of someones…but be sure they're comfortable w/receiving hugs!!  ;-)
Call the animal shelter & find out what donations they need. Make a contribution & visit the animals.
Go by & tell Santa “thanks” or give him a gift card for a massage if you’re feeling super generous!
Help your neighbors on either side to mow their lawn, trim around the yard, rake leaves, shovel snow…
Find a family who has a loved one (or ones!) serving overseas & thank them in an extraordinary way. 
Pass out candy & spread cheer to folks mailing off their Christmas cards & packages at the post office.
Load bags of groceries into cars for elderly or pregnant shoppers, or just a parent with lots of kids!!
Set up a “helping task force”: take back shopping carts, hold open doors for rushed & weary shoppers… 
Find a widow & tell her she is loved. Send her a note of encouragement & find a way to help her tangibly.
Wait for a public transportation bus & see if the driver will let you deliver a treat for every passenger.

Walk someone else’s dog.
Call someone you love just to listen & catch up.
Single Moms Rule ~ Find one & lighten her load!!!!
Mail an actual handwritten letter. Or two. Or ten.
Allow that person behind you in line, to go ahead of you.
Find someone who is homeless & deliver a warm blanket to them.
Set up a free hot cocoa stand & take donations for your favorite charity.
Say “Hello” & give a smile to someone with whom you do not usually speak.
Buy ten $5. Bibles at the bookstore & pray to find 10 families who need one.
Thank your local firemen (& women!) with a heartfelt note & Christmas treats.
Hide encouraging & uplifting notes all over a playground for children to find.
Go to the bank drive-thru, just to give the teller a treat through the vacuum system.
Throw away someone else’s trash: at your table, or wherever this may be appropriate!
Tell one tired mom that she is enough just as she is, that she’s great at what she does.
Tuck money into the toy section of any store with a little note for one happy boy or girl!
Send a text message to 20 people with a silly face & a funny message to make them smile.
Write your child{ren} &/or spouse a love note; tuck it into their lunch bag, purse or wallet.
Buy umbrellas from the dollar store & wait for a rainy day. Those who need them will appear!
Watch the kids for your most sleep-deprived friend, or so she can run errands or finish her shopping.

Let that car slip in front of you, especially the ones pulling out of driveways, parking lots, & side streets!
Kidnap another {single} parent’s minivan & have your family take the time to wash, clean out, & organize it.
Thank the church volunteers who care for your kids each week. Send heartfelt notes & donuts for the team.
Grocery shopping for the sole purpose of putting it in the “Food for Families” box at the front of the store!
Purchase that annual coupon book from the kid selling them in your neighborhood. Give it to someone who can really use it.
Leave stamps in stamp machine, or buy a book & leave ~ with a note ~ for the next person who comes in to the Post Office for some!
Deliver balloons to hospital patients, particularly those who are terminal, elderly, or who no one visits. {Ask at the nurses’ stations.}
Deliver hand-written Valentine, Easter, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas cards to the local assisted living facility.
Watch for the performance of a random good deed, & give the person who did it a gift card…or just $5., tucked into a “thank you” note!
Offer a few discounted services, if you run a business of any kind, or if you are licensed as, for example, a plumber or mechanic or electrician.

Pick up trash as you walk, at the park, or from around the neighborhood.  {Some trash does always seem to escape the bins on trash day, doesn’t it?}
BEAUTICIANS: go to the local women’s shelter, & offer your services!  {A hair wash & manicures all around perhaps?}  It will make the ladies feel special!!
When Kmart or Walmart asks: “Would you like to keep the hangers?”, always say “YES!”…then donate them to the nearest women’s shelter, or CareNet center.
Go to your local low-cost animal clinic, & pay for the neutering/spaying/shots of ONE of the felines ~ or more, if you can afford that!! ~ for whoever has brought in the most feral cats.
Mail hand-written Valentine, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Veteran’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas cards to military overseas…particularly if you learn of any who do not get mail!!
Take some warm donuts & hot chocolate {or lemonade, if it is warm out} to a crew working on power lines, or road repair.  {Be sure you can do this without causing an accident, or getting yourself hurt!!}
Donate pet food, cat litter, litter box{es}, bleach, dog treats {enough for ALL!!, or they will fight!!}, & cat toys {large enough to not fall thru the bars or wire cage bottoms} to the local animal shelter!
Ladies: try to compliment each lady you see today: lovely eyes, great hairdo, terrific manicure, flattering dress, pretty necklace, sweetest smile… ~ Sadly, ladies often have trouble complimenting one another!

Give a gift card with ‘leftover’ $$ on it to the person behind you, ANY time you use one! ~ For example, you have a $25. Movie theatre gift card, you spend $19. of it; give away the card & tell them, “There is still $6. on it; enjoy!”
Sit in the hospital ER ~ this is especially good late at night, & on into the wee hours! ~ with a mass of change, then give it to folks who have none for the machines, because they had to rush out without grabbing their purse or wallet.
Do a “house cleaning”, & donate books, clothing, & household items to a NON-PROFIT center/ shelter/store. This does NOT mean Goodwill; they are a 100% FOR PROFIT BUSINESS!!!! They do not pay for their goods!!  PLEASE DONATE TO ‘NOT FOR PROFIT’ PLACES!!!!
At the stores, grab a cart out of the parking lot on your way in; give that bagger/stock person one less cart to push in!
Make a "Sock Lunch": fill socks with water bottle & other snacks & treats, then tie together & hand out to the homeless!
Write a thank you card for a volunteer you know: school aide, hospital volunteer, animal shelter worker, volunteer fireman, etc.
Learn someone’s name, & speak to them regularly {i.e., Sunday School, work, your regular gas station or grocery store, etc.}
Stage an early morning chalk attack. Pick a street ~ yours or another! ~ & write a “good morning” or “have a great day” message on every driveway.
Visit an inner city playground & bring a surprise picnic lunch for as many kids as you can. Think coolers of drinks, sandwiches, a piece of fruit, & cookies for all.

Take a moment to serve those who serve for a living. Drop off gift cards for the leaders of your local ministries.  Remember children & youth ministers, worship ministers, day care leader, secretaries...
Host a baking party for moms & kids, then encourage everyone to use their goodies to “light up” the season for others once they depart.
Set up a free gift-wrapping stand in the neighborhood. Think specifically of who could use it & pass out invitations.
Show up at your local church with a group of kids to sing carols. Or, deliver a special treat to thank the staff. Ask if even they’d let you sneak kind notes all over the pastor’s office!
Make homemade yard signs or flags & place encouraging notes in friends’ or neighbors’ yards. Think superlatives like “best yard”, “sweet family” or “best Halloween candy”.
Find a parking attendant in a cold garage & take him or her a hot cup of cocoa or coffee & a fun puzzle book or magazine.
Pick a favorite retailer or restaurant. Have your kids write “why I love [blank]” & deliver the note to the manager.
Try to find out when your child’s FRIEND has a game or performance coming up. Surprise him or her by attending & bringing a poster or other fun ways to cheer them on.
Think of someone you hesitate to thank or celebrate (especially a strained or hard relationship) & do it anyway.
Have the kids spend time writing 10 reasons why they love EACH grandparent. If you live close enough, sneak over & serve them in some way.

KIDS: Sneak attack Daddy’s office &/or car, armed with special notes or a sweet treat. Make sure the people he works with know that he’s the best dad in the world…then, do the same for Mom!!
Think of those without (or living far away from) little ones in their family & invite them to join some of the season’s sweet moments with yours.
See if the director of a local preschool will let you in early to put a note of thanks or a treat to welcome teachers as they enter the door {Perhaps a prayer card or note of encouragement}.
Pack a cooler of lunches & look around your city for those who could use it that day. There are so many hungry people within blocks of our daily routines!
Have your children write notes of thanks for police officers & take them by the station with something yummy to eat. Or, bring gift cards for them if your budget allows.
Host a Christmas Party for elderly neighbors. (Or take the party to them if they can’t travel!) Have them read books with the kids & sing a few Christmas songs. Have the party as little or big as you’d like. Consider inviting other neighbors or young families to join!
Visit with elderly neighbors in November & ask how you can help make their Christmas special. What was their favorite tradition? See if you can make it happen in a small way. Could you & your children help decorate their home? Send out their Christmas cards? Wrap gifts?
Make a “Sock Hygiene Pack”: fill socks with mini items, such as: tissue pack, toothpaste & brushes, razors, chap stick, lotion, hand sanitizer, shave cream/gel, deodorant, shampoo/ conditioner, soap/body wash, mouthwash, etc., then tie together & hand out to the homeless!

Host a birthday party for Jesus as a play date for the neighborhood. Ask all of the kids what they can give to Jesus this year (such as: kindness to brother or sister, obeying mommy & daddy, respecting my teachers, loving others, a happy heart, gratitude, etc.). Have them wrap their idea in a box & open with friends.
Take a jug of water & a small bowl to the park, & give drinks of water to the dogs playing/walking there. {This may be easier to do if you have a kid with you, or a “test dog”; otherwise, the owners may fear you’re trying to poison their babies!!}
Stand outside your child’s classroom & give each child a single flower as they walk in. Then, as the children enter the classroom, have them hand the flower to their teacher. By the time class begins, he or she will have a vase full of flowers!
Take coffee to someone who works outside in the cold. Or, if you’re in a warmer climate, take them some Gatorade!
Take the Candy Cane Challenge! See how many candy canes your family can distribute in your community during the month of December. Each sweet treat must be accompanied by a genuine smile, thoughtful note, or audible kind wish from a child in your family.
Print a happy photo of your children. Write “thank you for how you serve our family” on the back. Take copies all around town to those we never thank but should.  {N’s Note: I would hesitate on this for a couple of reasons, one being: these acts really should be as ANONYMOUS as they can possibly be!}

Take your smiling, healthy kids & hug some nurses &/or doctors in your community. Call the hospital ahead of time & ask if you can bring a treat for the staff & the children who are there. Make a poster to leave with the treat at the nurse’s station.
If you are able, be an angel to one struggling family. Sneak a HUGE gift card into their mailbox to answer prayers for Christmas needs. Give what you can.
Think of friends you know who own their own businesses. Invite them to PASS IT ON & PAY IT FORWARD, & donate goods or services that your kids can help deliver to those in need.
Buy a bouquet of flowers & have your children give them away one at a time as you are prompted. Think of the grocery store employees behind the scenes, lonely folks you pass on the sidewalk, etc.
Think of unique ways to send love to teachers of every age (preschool, day care, after school care, etc.), maybe with a flower, treat or special note from your child.
When you make dinner for your family one night, make double; then share that extra meal with another family that could use the help.
Feed the meters around town {& have lots of fun explaining to the kids what “feeding” a meter means!} INDIANA PARKING METERS: “feeding” the meters is NOT illegal!!  You may check out the laws & regulations HERE: http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title36/ar9/ch12.html
Hang out with your nearest Salvation Army rep (at the mall, the grocery store, etc.). Give his or her arm a break & ring that bell!!
Think about an organization or friend that has to raise funds each year to survive. Send them a check with a note that keeps them going.

Color posters with your kids, grandkids, or nieces & nephews, then head to the airport ~ kids & posters in tow!! ~ to welcome soldiers home.
Take a few minutes to hold the door for everyone who walks into a restaurant or office. Teach your kiddos what to say. You’ll get a reaction!
Leave a basket of Easter treats, Summer outdoor play stuff, Thanksgiving goodies, &/or Christmas gifts on the doorstep of a family that needs this.
Give out coupons for free services you can perform for those you love. (Think free back scratch, a ‘chore’ duty, hand massage, or porch sweep!)
Find a family who needs a sponsor…then buy Christmas for the entire family!!  {Or Easter or Thanksgiving dinner!!...or hold a “cook out” for them during summer!!}
Take a basket of treats for those that clean your church or your children’s school. Let’s recognize the people we never see or who serve us behind the scenes.
Think of all the service people who might help maintain or visit your home (delivery person, lawn service, etc.). Have some treats & a handmade card ready just for them.
Lighten the load of someone you love. Ask if you can take a “to do” item off their list. Can you go to the grocery store for them? Paint the kitchen? Help organize the garage?
Donate poinsettias {in late autumn/winter} or other bright & cheery potted flower {in warmer months} to the local assisted living facility, group home, homeless &/or women’s shelter…
Make a “see what happens” basket of goodies & notes to keep in your car so that you are ready for unexpected opportunities to LIGHT ‘EM UP & PAY IT FORWARD as you go around town!

Go by the airport with treats, a sign & balloons. Wait at baggage claim for troops to arrive home, then celebrate them!! Contact your local airport or Veteran's Association & find out how you can help formally welcome troops home if a large group is involved.
Fill your car with as many balloons as will fit. Take your kids to hand them out one at a time to strangers. Teach them how to say, “We just wanted to make you smile today” & maintain eye contact.
Thank all of those tired employees of the local mall for their hard work during the Holidays; think: stores, small booths, security guards, make-up/ear piercing ladies, janitorial staff, food service workers…
Send servicemen/women you know a big box of “goodies” {the Post Office has boxes that cost a set amt. for overseas military shipments; so get one, & FILL IT UP!!!!}; think: stuff they can share with their troops, especially drink/water mixes, jerky, hand sanitizer, chapstick, etc.
Buy 20 mini stockings from the $ Store, then buy 20 candy canes & 20 mini fun items {check out the ‘toy’ aisle!} to go in them; hand them out throughout December to the person who cuts your hair, the one who changes your oil, the person who gives you that manicure/pedicure, even the person standing at the stoplight with their sign…
Contact your local battered women's shelter & make sure they're accepting donations, then ask your friends to join you in a Christmas gift project: Each of you purchase an encouraging CD, make or purchase a necklace, & write an encouraging note. Have each person gift wrap these items, then deliver them to the shelter! Tip on notes: Look up Psalm 27 & consider adding it to your encouraging note.

Christmas Eve:  Take all night drug store or gas station employees a Christmas surprise (because it’s no fun to work on Christmas Eve!)
Christmas Day:  Deliver something special to folks who are working &/or recovering at a local hospital, or Coordinate a Christmas party at an Assisted Living Home, or a Shelter, nearby!
Thank God for Christmas, the birth of His Son, & the gift that He offers us. Let this be a reminder to teach your kids how to pray & why your family gave so much that one day, or has been giving all month {or all year!} long.

Attach an appropriate note to each gift you leave behind {where appropriate & possible!}, such as: “Today is my 50th birthday! To celebrate, I am doing 50 nice things for 50 random people… & YOU are one of them!!!!  Please enjoy this tiny gift…no strings attached!!  Thanks for helping me celebrate my birthday!!”, or perhaps for the Holiday Season: “Random Acts of Christmas Kindness: you’ve been RACK’ed!!  This Christmas season, we are counting down the 25 days of Christmas by performing Random Acts of Christmas Kindness each day.  You are a beautiful Child of God, & we pray you find His blessings this Christmas season!”

Try to be “sneaky” & ANONYMOUS, as much as possible!!  The idea is to give a true service, NOT to receive the credit for same!  ;-)  Give of yourself, out of love for God & others.

…& if someone does a random act of kindness for YOU…just turn to them & say: “Folks like you make this world a beautiful & better place!!”  ;-)

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