I gave this birthday a lot of thought. Typically I love to celebrate birthdays. I give myself permission to extend my celebrations as long as I want. Usually a birthday weekend will suffice. This year was different. I wasn't really feeling a birthday celebration…sightseeing, dinner out, presents. This year I wanted to do something on my bucket list. For a long time I've wanted to do Random Acts of Kindness for my birthday. I'm sure you've seen the certain number of acts of kindness to correlate with your age. It's something that appeals to me and my giving side. With a little nudging of my good friend, I decided to make 35 the year for the project. It was the most rewarding birthday celebration ever. Exactly what I want my future birthdays to be about. It's so highly addicting!
It took a little time and some help of a few wonderful friends. But over the course of 4 hours we were able to bring some cheer to many unsuspecting people in our community.
Here is the list of the 35 Acts of Kindness for 35 years of life:
#1- #3 Gifts for friends. I wanted to thank my friends who gave up their Saturday to help me carry out this crazy adventure.
#4 Make the kids' beds
#5 Sidewalk chalk message for the neighbor.
#6 Post new pictures on Facebook of the kids.
#7 Baby gift for the neighbor's friend.
#8 Send a letter in the mail.
#9 Send expired coupons overseas to a military base.
#10 Bring donuts to the military family on the corner. Don't judge but I had yet to introduce myself. 11 months in the house…there is no excuse. So I got a little nerve and walked up to the front step. Stumbled through a silly apology slash introduction. She was so surprised. Hugged me. Told me their story. Husband on the opposite coast at school. Three kids to raise alone. Future in limbo after his training. Typical military family stuff. But donuts on a Saturday morning was a welcomed surprise. And I met my neighbor. Win win.
#11 Bagels and coffee for the firefighters. This was my friend, Rachel's act of kindness. We were pretty excited to be thanking some cute firefighters. But wouldn't you know they weren't at the station. So we left the goods, a note, and continued on with our day.
#12 Gift card for a Toys R Us shopper. Heart wrenching! A mom with five foster children under five. Two of which were just accepted the previous night from their homeless drug addicted parents. The sweetest little baby and his toddler sister. The foster parent just happened to stop and offer to take our pic. The last thing I would think to do with a basket full of toddlers. But clearly this person was much bigger than I. After learning her story, my friend Cynthia decided she would gift them the Toys R Us gift card. Of course, there were tears and hugs and pictures. And the rest of the tasks may have well been forgotten. My heart still warms at the thought of that woman and those babies.
#13 Organize shelves of toys.
#14 Candy bars for the store cashiers
#15 Coins in the vending machines
#17 Dry erase messages on the mirrors. I felt like a rebellious teen vandalizing the dressing rooms. But it washes off easily and hopefully made a few people smile along the way.
We were very sneaky by bringing in some clothes to try on. Too bad that neon leopard print strapless didn't work for ya Cynthia!
#18 Leave coins heads up in the parking lot.
#19 Diaper/wipes in the changing stations. Note said "You are blessed."
#20 Give flowers at the hospital. We dropped them off in the ER. I'm not sure who needed them more... a patient or the staff there. Bless their hearts on that busy Saturday.
#21 Leave an encouraging note on a car in the hospital parking lot.
#22 Left magazines in the waiting room.
#23 Taped dollar bills to the vending machines
#24 Collect coins for Rancho Damacitas aka Pan Handle. This was a very uncomfortable act. We had a lot of avoiders, staring, and even a shout out from a homeless guy. "Hey, I'm homeless too!" Nice. However, there were supporters too. We had many empty their coin purses into our coffee can. Good news, in 35 minutes we collected $20.14.
#25 Water for the sign spinners.
#26-28 Giveaway Bubble Baskets to families at the park.
#29 Contribute to Help Whip Cancer Fundraiser
#30 Donate money to Rancho Damacitas, a group children's home in town.
#31 Take down garage sale signs in my community