April 1, 2010

The Random Act of Kindness Challenge – One Month. One Act. Every Day.

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RAOK Challenge

My friend Valerie posted a status update on her Facebook earlier today encouraging others to do one Random Act of Kindness (RAOK) every day for the month of April.  I immediately knew I had to tell her I’d do it too.  After speaking (well, in this day and age we did an online chat!) with her later in the evening, she said she had read an article about Cami Walker’s book 29 Gifts in which the author discusses how the showing of gratitude can be good for the soul.  It’s much deeper than that, but that’s the gist.

So Valerie and I chatted this evening about turning this idea of creating the RAOK Challenge.  Every day for the month of April we would do one RAOK and then come back and blog about our experience.  Did it make us feel better?  Did we do it anonymously and watch from a distance to see the person’s reaction?  Did we truly do it in an anonymous fashion and just leave something for someone to find?

We have 30 days (well, really 29 now but I’m confident you’ll be able to squeeze in an extra one).  One act, every day, for a month.  And the opportunity to change not only how we feel personally but also how someone else feels.  And even though I didn’t know about this, I did do my RAOK today when one of my friends on Twitter asked for help and I was there to offer it.  It made me feel good, I think it made her feel good, and I know that we both had a brief moment of knowing that even in this big blue marble we call Earth we’re really not that far removed from one another.

Are you unsure what to do or worry that you can’t participate because you don’t have the extra funds in your budget.?  I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to spend money to do this.  That, itself, could make this challenge more fun!

Here are 10 Random Acts of Kindness you can do, for free:

1.  Hold open the door for the person behind you even though you have to wait a minute or two.

2.  Say ‘Thank You’ to a member of the military or law enforcement officer.

3.  Thank your cashier at the grocery store and offer a compliment.

4.  Let someone go ahead of you in line if they appear to be in a hurry.

5.  Write a letter or card to a friend who might need an extra pick me up. (yes, this may cost you a 44¢ stamp)

6.  Call someone you’ve been meaning to call just to say hi!

7.  Help someone unload their cart at the store and take the cart back for them.

8.  Offer to go to the store for a friend who can’t get out.

9.  Bring up your neighbor’s trash can.

10. Leave a Thank You note for your mail carrier.

This isn’t about spending money or elaborate acts.  Truly, it’s about finding a small way to do something kind for another person.  Even within our own families there are little acts of kindness.  You have the rest of the month – 29 days – to make a change in your life … and that of someone else.

If you would like to join our Random Act of Kindness Challenge, please leave a comment and let us know what you’ll be doing.  If you have a blog, please grab our RAOK button in my sidebar and show the world you’re out to make the world a better place – one day at a time!  Come back on Monday and visit my site and Valerie’s and link up what you’re doing for the RAOK Challenge.

I would like to thank Honey at Sunflower Schoolhouse for making the button for us.  It was a RAOK on her part.

Sara

{ 10 comments }

Valerie D April 3, 2010 at 10:57 am

Thanks Sara. I’m glad we’re making a difference in even a small way. I love the blog badge! Thanks!

Nanny @ Naughty Mommy Reviews April 4, 2010 at 2:41 am

Sara- Thanks for stopping by my blog. For my random act of kindness I’ll be nursing a stray cat back to health. 🙂 Grabbing your badge as well. I think this is a great idea!

Sara April 4, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Nanny, the cat will appreciate it and I’m sure your daughter will too. My best friend did the same thing with a stray cat and ended up having her for about 13 years. Sending some kitty love!

Linda April 4, 2010 at 5:34 am

Stopping by from SITS. I love this post. I agree with you. There is always something nice to do for others. Doesn’t have to be big…just something nice.

Li April 4, 2010 at 11:23 am

Awesome! However, I will say this, I did this one last month “Say ‘Thank You’ to a member of the military or law enforcement officer,” to a stranger and he was like, “huh?” And I was terribly embarrassed on the subway. so from then on it’s only been written appreciation for the military and police. LOL But I think this is just wonderful! Keep it up ladies!

Best,
Li
http://twitter.com/LaLicenciada

Sara April 4, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Li, that’s a bummer that the person said ‘huh?’. But, it goes to show how taken aback the person was that you were nice. I often found that when I was in NYC (my husband worked there for 2 years) and I would be my chipper self that I’d get strange looks. Even just saying hello when walking in to a shop often garnered strange looks. I had someone ask me what’s wrong with me b/c held the door open for them. I don’t think it has to be that way. And don’t stop being nice, especially if it comes naturally.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you won’t let other’s negativity get on you.

Diane Prouty April 4, 2010 at 11:26 am

many years ago i heard a sermon on 1 corinthians 13 which is called the love chapter. anyway, the preacher said if you read it every day for a month it would change you life. two friends and i decided to give it a try. dang if it didn’t work..that constant reminder on how to treat people acted as a regulator on our behavior. anyway, your post reminds me of that little experiment so many years ago. i’m sure this will change you too….good luck and blessings on you.
found your blog on SITS btw. dianeswords.wordpress.com

Sara April 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Thank you, Diane, for stopping by and commenting. I am a firm believer that goodness begets goodness. I try not to be negative, but sometimes it seems like I’m surrounded by it via news. I will now add a short reading of inspiration each day! To remind me when I wake up that the day is to be enjoyed.

Aimee @ Ain't Yo Mama's Blog April 4, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I LOVE this post! I like to think I do random kind acts all the time, but it’s a good reminder to keep it up even more often than that. I know how much I appreciate it when someone holds the door for me, smiles, or otherwise says or does something nice. It’s great to keep paying it forward, so count me in for the challenge!

-Aimee

Sara April 4, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Thank you, Aimee, for joining the RAOK Challenge! I hope it brings you much joy and your acts encourage others to do the same. Definitely, pay it forward!

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