The past couple of years I have followed Facebook pages and blogs dedicated to doing random acts of kindness each day. I enjoy reading what these people are doing to brighten the days of others and how they’ve helped in ways both big and small to do good things.
Sometimes the acts were as simple as holding a door for someone or making dinner so their spouse didn’t have to do it. And other days there were more elaborate, involved or expensive gestures, like sending a game system to a sick child or helping to raise money for various causes or giving flowers to a co-worker or leaving generous tips for waitresses or changing a flat tire. I enjoy reading each one and look forward to the next day to see what’s next. It’s feelgood entertainment and it is inspiring.
This past fall, I thought I’d try and share some of the good deeds done by people in town every day and I started the “Lansing Acts of Kindness” Facebook page. In the description, I put “to challenge the people of Lansing to do 100 kind acts by the end of 2013.”
Imagine if everyone in Lansing made a new year’s resolution to go out of their way to do a kind act for someone just once a week, so much good could be done. And acts like this are contagious. Doing good things makes you feel good and others want to get in on it. Or those who are recipients of the kind acts choose to pay it forward and do the same for someone else.
Here are a few of the kind acts that were shared on the site over the past couple of months:
“Today we went to South Holland to Holland Home and sang carols to the residents. There were over 20 kids that went dressed as elves and they did Awesome!!!”
“I gave a lady my cart at Aldi today and didn't take her quarter.”
“Had a 15 minute conversation with a homeless person. Her response, ‘Thank you for treating me like a human being.’"
“Took a surprise lunch to a friend.”
“Wednesday I bought a hungry homeless couple some warm food in the evening.”
“I helped my elderly neighbor pick up all her leaves. I would have usually had my kids help her, but because of this site I wanted to give back. It's very rewarding!”
“My class has collected new pajama sets for kids in orphanages through the Scholastic Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive! With each pajama set they will also be receiving a new book and story time.”
I know that these posts are just a sampling of the good deeds being done. I saw overflowing boxes for toy drives at the holidays, stacks of canned foods to go to the food pantry and people dropping spare change as they passed the red Salvation Army kettles.
Now that the goal was passed and there are over 200 likes on the page, it’s time to set a new goal: 365 kind acts for 2014. Please continue to share the kind acts you are doing, are witnessing or that people are doing for you. I look forward to hearing about the good things being done in our town and being inspired by your kindness.