I've first learned about Acts of Random Kindness or what I like to call A.R.K. from the movie Evan Almighty. The concept is actually quite simple. You simply perform an Act of Kindness that doesn't require any form of payment. I'd like to think it's what God would like to see more of us doing.
I created a blog, A.R.K. for God, that I established attempting to encourage people to share their acts of random kindness with everyone else. It was created to help provide ideas on just how simple it can be to step outside of our own world and increase our population in our own little world one person at a time. You can visit that blog and if you want to submit ideas simply email me. You can get there by clicking on the link below:
I had seen people sharing videos of what they were doing and something got started called the Birthday Project. Simply put it's doing however many Acts of Random Kindness as the number of years you are celebrating in one single day if you can. It seemed like a simple thing and the best part I noticed is that far too often we don't remember the presents we get but we do remember things that truly touch our hearts in profound ways. This year I wanted to give back instead of simply getting and I wanted the results to last way past the celebration of my birthday. My family was super excited to share in this and what better way to inspire them to do the same hopefully.
On March 3, 2013, I gave back in 49 unique and sometimes very simple ways. I wanted to share some of those highlights with you and hope that it might inspire you. I know it has completely changed my life, and I now I look for ways to pay it forward and do something nice for someone else when I can. Trust me, the response you get from people who are on the receiving end is worth it.
1. My daughter's boyfriend locked his keys in his car and I called AAA for him and showed up with him to wait for help.
2. My daughter's cell phone was dead and she needed a replacement but didn't get paid for another two weeks. Bought her a new phone.
3. My kitties wanted water from the sink, so I turned them on and waited for them to finish.
4. Took my youngest daughter on a spur of the moment shopping trip to make her feel special.
5. Took all my kids to lunch.
6. Left my husband a message on our glass shower door that he could see when he took his shower, telling him how blessed I was to have him in my life.
7. Filled all my bird feeders and fed all the neighborhood birds.
8. Left my hair dresser a very BIG tip!
9. Gave 33 lbs of Iams Dog Food to my neighbor who just got a new puppy.
10. Paid off my daughters medical bills that were simply stressing her out.
11. Loaned money to a friend to buy his dream drum set.
12. Donated 2 bags of clothes to the Salvation Army.
15. Drove 2 hours to pick up drum set for a friend who couldn't fit them in his car and his car literally wasn't that safe to drive that far.
16. Went all out and bought my 3 kitties premium canned cat food. They LOVED it!
17. A friend was moving out of state and needed to sell items to help her move and we bought some stuff from her.
18. Mailed my step mom a birthday card. First time in over 17 years.
19 -30. Mailed out 12 encouraging, inspiring cards to let some special people in my life know just how much I appreciate them. Most I've never personally met.(Also all those cards that were sent out, also sponsored the Compassion International Project with the money used to buy the cards, helps orphans in third world countries!)
31. Sent my niece a $10 Amazon gift card to purchase some books for her Kindle.
32-40. Sent 8 cups of coffee to our service men and women serving our country overseas through the Cup of Joe for a Joe program. (I got responses back from almost all of them, thanking me!)
41. Deposited money in expired parking meters to give people an extra 15 minutes to get to their cars before they received a ticket.
42. Left pennies by a fountain for someone to stop and make a wish.
43. Offered to take someone's picture for them as a couple.
44. Donated money to MDA or Muscular Dystrophy Association.
45. Paid for a strangers coffee and cookie at the Coffee Bean behind us.
46. Bought $20 worth of tokens at Shakey's and donated all the winning game tickets to one little boy.
47. Turned on a heating blanket for my kitty when she got cold.
48. Let a cars go in front of us at a busy intersections.
49. Gave our waiter a HUGE tip. Wish we could have stayed long enough to see his face, but it was super crowded.
These are what my family and I enjoyed doing for my birthday project on completing 49 Acts of Random Kindness. Hope you get the urge to try and do the same. Next year, I am already thinking bigger.
Philippians 2: 1-4 (NIV) "Therefore if you have any encouragement from
being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common
sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."