Nice, how we never get dizzy from doing good turns.

-George Bengis

Community Corner - Shared Ideas
1. Birthdays for the Homeless
Submit your own community kindness activities at the Community Corner on the Community page, or directly to us at info@actsofkindness.org This is a growing document, and you may see your own activity here soon!
Submitted by April, Maryland

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For the last two years, my family and I send birthday gifts to women living in a shelter who have AIDS. Often, people only think of those less fortunate during the holidays. So I’ve decided to send a birthday card and a handmade pair of earrings to the recipient in addition to extra gifts during the holidays.

2. Stuffed Animals for Hospitalized Children
From article in Prison Tribune Inmates at Eastern State Prison created fabric covers for stuffed animals, which volunteers then stuff with padding and sew together to distribute to hospitalized children. The inmates earn the right to participate in this program. “It’s a way of reaching out in a different way than just through the cell bars,” said one inmate. This idea could be adopted by community groups as well.

3. Books for Students
Submitted by Anonymous We are donating books to fourth graders. Each book will contain a note for the children. When they are finished reading the book, they are to give leave it for someone else to read.

Practice Random Acts of Kindness™

4. Drive-by Flowering
Submitted by Shannon, Wisconsin I lived in a very small town growing up, and my friends and I had to be very creative to alleviate boredom. One night, we decided to do a “drive-by flowering.” We went to a few different fields and gathered bunches of wildflowers until they filled my family’s van (not just with flowers... also with dirt... so be careful!). Then we drove to our friends’ and teachers’ houses and left flowers tucked under the wiper blades of their cars and hanging from their front doorknobs.

The Random Acts of Kindness™ Foundation 1727 Tremont Place Denver, CO 80202 800-660-2811 Fax: 303-297-2919 info@actsofkindness.org www.actsofkindness.org

It was an unforgettable night. NOTE: This activity could be used with both adult and youth groups in the community.

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5. Wake-up Flower
Submitted by Anonymous, Colorado I was just in the mood to make someone’s day. So I went out and bought some flowers, and I put a flower in the plastic newspaper bags in the neighborhood. I put flowers in everyone’s bag I could find until I ran out of flowers. The next day my neighbor said, “I got a flower in my newspaper!” and I just said, “Someone cares for you.”

6. Nursing Home Fun
Submitted by Cammie, Colorado Tomorrow, on Tuesday, I get to go to the nursing home again. You know that people in nursing homes cannot hold things very steady. Well, some of the ladies there wanted to feel young again. So I go paint their nails and do their makeup. Last Tuesday I read them some poems, and I wrote them letters and let them type back to me. It was really interesting to see them. I can’t wait until tomorrow.

7. Celebrating a World Kindness Day Birthday
Submitted by Tammy, Alberta We just signed up for the monthly newsletter. And, therefore, we are letting you know that we have used the “free stuff” already! My daughter was born on World Kindness Day, and so we make a special effort to do something on her birthday in honour of this day, such as donating clothes/books/toys to children in need. This year, we are again donating toys and clothes to children in need. And we have used the “free stuff - graphics” and printed out the bookmarks for kids, and the stickers. We are giving them away in our treat bags to children attending my daughter’s birthday party. Thanks for all the great information!

8. Leaves for Kindness
Submitted by Paula, Rhode Island The community service learning students of Warwick Veterans Memorial High School in Rhode Island are spending their class time in November raking the yards of elderly Warwick residents. Charging a nominal fee of $1.50 per bag, the students are earning money to buy holiday presents for teenagers in state care, toiletry items for impoverished senior citizens, and will be making a donation to the emergency fund of the local Community Action Program.

9. Kindness in a Healthcare Center
Posted by katlipstick on our Discussion Board Our plans for World Kindness Day (November 13th): At Good Shepherd Healthcare Center, where I work in Activities, we are planning to make dog biscuits in the morning for the dogs who come to visit in pet therapy. In the afternoon, we will be making bookmarks for children who will come to visit next week as part of Children’s Book Week. On our daily board, I post a quote every day under the title of the Good Shepherd Daily Kiss. I will be posting a quote about kindness, and throughout the day I will be handing out stickers to persons who have committed a Random Act of Kindness.

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10. De-littering for Kindness
Submitted by Chris, Illinois This de-littering project was a tremendous success. We had 90 volunteers collect 45 bags of trash at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve in Glen Ellyn, IL on Saturday, November 15th. What a terrific group! They came out in the rain and cold and were absolute diehards cleaning around Round and Eagle Lakes and throughout the preserve. (Note: Chris organizes a Random Acts of Kindness de-littering event every year at The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.)

11. Kindness on an Amsterdam Tram
Submitted by Elena, Amsterdam I just read in your newsletter that Europe is “far away.” This e-mail brings you a little news on faraway kindness. These pictures are from a party I threw, in which my friends got a secret assignment in small groups. The assignment was to decorate a bus, tram, or subway car in style of choice. One group did some undercover theatre; another hung streamers on the back of a tram so they went flying in the wind as the tram accelerated. The group I was in bought about 15 packets of balloons and asked the people in a subway car to help blow them up -- which they did! Then we hung them up using sticky tape. It was a funny sight because we didn’t stop when the car was decorated in a normal way. We went on until it was absurdly crammed with balloons. —Groetjes from Elena in Amsterdam

12. Gift: Kindness Challenge
Submitted by Jacki, California For our four nieces and nephews who live across the country, every year we try to send a non-traditional gift: a cooking package to make cookies for the family, craft projects to do, etc. This year we sent a one dollar bill and a ten dollar bill to each child with the challenge to find a way to do an act of kindness with the one dollar before spending the ten dollars. They were challenged to try to keep it a secret and then report back to us. We are anxiously awaiting the results. They range in age from five to fifteen.

13. Family Kindness Journal
Submitted by Yvonne, Florida Last month I started a family kindness journal. Every day each member in the family must write down the good deed that they did that day. It is amazing to see how far my children’s deeds have come. At first they helped the teacher or shared school supplies, but it has progressed to wonderful things I never imagined. For example there is a boy my son has not gotten along with since the first day of school. My son came home and told me his good deed for the day was to make friends with this boy.

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I said, “What possessed you to be friends with someone who has been mean to you all year?” His response? “I gave it a lot of thought and realized he was lonely and didn’t know how to make friends, and that was why he was mean.” This boy has had quite an attitude adjustment (no longer hitting and calling names) and has been welcomed into my son’s group of friends. Some deeds are big some are small, but the point is for us to think of other people.

14. Orchids for Seniors
Submitted by George and Judy My husband and I are on the local Senior Citizens Housing Board. A local lady, who wishes to remain anonymous, called today to say that she would make up twelve orchid corsages from flowers she had grown in her home. She just now delivered them to me to give to our twelve senior housing residents. What a nice Valentine’s Day surprise! They will be so appreciative, and so are we.

15. Baked Potatoes for the Hungry and Homeless
Submitted by Marina, British Columbia In my city of Vancouver, Canada, there is a group which volunteers one Saturday a month to bake potatoes and serve them to people in the downtown eastside, which is one of the poorest and most drug-addicted neighborhoods in North America. The group has been doing this for the last seven years in Vancouver. Volunteers bake as many potatoes as their ovens can hold and bring butter, sour cream, and chives for toppings. Some Saturdays they have given away up to 2500 potatoes and have heard more “God Bless You’s” in thanks than they might otherwise have heard in a year. Groups have also been started in the Vancouver Island cities of Victoria and Nanaimo. In March, one will start in Seattle. Organizers hope their concept of “Family Feeding Family” will spread to other cities and countries.

16. Women’s Random Acts of Kindness Group
Submitted by Marilyn, Idaho On May 7th, I am starting a women’s group with no set membership and no dues. The only requirement is participation. We will meet at 8:30 Friday mornings once a month and have coffee, get acquainted, and talk about the Random Acts of Kindness that we can do or have done. To join the group, you must do three Random Acts of Kindness a week and volunteer your services for one hour a week to some community group. I will have many different organizations there that need help, such as the animal shelter, the cancer community group, the Disabled American Veterans, etc. Group members can sign up for a month. If they want to, they can choose a different group the next month. I hope to empower women to make a difference in the community. I will keep you posted on the outcome.

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17. Random Acts of Kindness Weekend - Girl Scouts
Submitted by Kathy, Girl Scout Troop Leader, Maine My Girl Scout Troop is sponsoring a “Random Acts of Kindness Weekend.” Girl Scout troops all around Aroostook County, Maine, will be performing three Random Acts of Kindness at some point this weekend. We are holding this event in honor of our mothers who are always displaying acts of kindness to us and others. The youngest Daisy to the most mature adult Girl Scout will be participating. The girls even designed a patch to commemorate the day.

18. Helping Out
Submitted by Jo, California In our community in northern California (especially in winter), we see many people asking for help by standing with signs in all kinds of weather at freeway entrances and exits, in front of the entrances to shopping centers, department stores, on random street corners, etc. My husband and I are retired and on a fixed income, but it’s not expensive to help these poor folks who are down on their luck. Every month we go to a fast food restaurant and buy several books of food gift certificates. When we arrive home, we take sandwich-sized zippered plastic bags and make up little packages for the people we encounter who need assistance. In each little bag we put $4 in food gift certificates, $2-$4 in cash, and a couple of pieces of hard candy. The feeling we get from doing this is worth it when you see the smiles and gratitude of the people whom we’ve helped. Everyone says “Thank you,” and most people also say “God bless you.” It’s fun to help like this, and it makes people smile inside and out, especially us.

19. LINKS and Clowns
Submitted by Cindy, Program Directo, Arizona Our volunteer corps does many projects. A recent one that was a big success was LINKS Learning, Interacting, Networking with Kids and Seniors. Twelve students met with seniors at a community center twice a month to learn and have fun. Our schedule of events: Class 1: Making Memory Books. Each person was given a disposable camera to take pictures during the sessions. At the end, the pictures will be developed and put in personal memory books. Class 2: Chia Heads. A gardener came and taught everyone how to make a take-home Chia Head. Class 3: Story Telling. Members of a story tellers club came and told stories. At the end, audience members were encouraged to share their stories. Class 4: Pioneer Rhythum Band. Members of a nursing home have a rhythum band and they performed a concert. They then taught LINKS members how to play the instruments. Class 5: Bird Day. A local expert shared bird calls and what kinds of feed and feeders are appropriate for our community. Class 6: Game Day. Played UNO and BINGO. Class 7: Graduation day. Had dinner at a restaurant. The Volunteer Corp also will have member clowns celebrate National Clown Week (first week in August) by going downtown to share cookies and kindness with police departments, city chambers and friends.

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Empty Bowls Project: During school breaks, students visit the local blind center and blind clients teach the students how to make pottery bowls. The bowls are glazed and sold at the Empty Bowls project to raise money for hunger projects.

20. Girl Scout Kindness Project
Submitted by Girl Scout Troop 514, Florida Girl Scout Troop 514 made kindness their project to earn their Silver Award. The troop researched and contacted other Girl Scout Troops across the country and asked them to participate in a Kindness is Contagious Day on May 14, 2004. Each Girl Scout was asked to perform three random acts of kindness on that day. Over several hundred kind acts took place throughout the United States as a result of Troop 514. Some examples of the kind acts: holding a book drive for a women and children’s shelter; donating dog food, cat food, and kitty litter to an animal shelter; visiting senior centers; planting flowers at schools, parks, and senior homes; gift boxes given to teachers and school staffs; treats were given to firefighters and policemen, plus many other acts of kindness!

21. Multi-Cultural Kindness
Submitted by Donna, Children’s Library Specialist, Tennessee During the month of November our library system holds special children’s events and story hours with a multi-cultural theme. The system-wide craft program for this year involved each child “making a twin.” The twin is a paper doll from a website and includes paper clothing which each child put together to look like themselves. The twins went to the main library where they were displayed, showing the wonderful diversity of our great city. In addition, each branch library had a family program during which we were entertained by someone from various interesting cultures (i.e. Indian dancers, Native American storytellers, African drummers, Mexican Mariachi, etc.). At my branch, we also had stories from a different culture each week. One of our family times was a bread program based on the book “Everybody Bakes Bread” by Norah Dooley. We had a display of as many different kinds of bread as we could gather, did a brief talk about bread and then enjoyed sampling the breads. The more we know about one another, the less we fear and the more we like.

22. 5th Annual Kindness Clean-Up
Submitted by Chris, Illinois On the sunny Saturday, November 6, 2004 our annual Random Acts of Kindness Clean-up was held at Hidden Lake Preserve. We had a tremendous turn-out of 110 volunteers who participated in the workday. Groups included several cub, boy, and girl scout troops as well as the Glenbard East High School Ecology Club and many other interested volunteers -- young and youthful! This was the largest de-littering event ever at the District! The group collected 25 bags of garbage and other miscellaneous debris including a bowling ball! The trails, lakeshores, picnic areas, parking lots, tree lines, and roadsides look terrific thanks to the kindness from these thoughtful individ-

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uals. The workday was enthusiastically received by all the participants who encouraged the District to continue these successful events. We provided goodies for the volunteers to eat. We also had an educational display to help people learn about the environment and nature.

23. Flowers of Thanks
Submitted by Anonymous I work at a gas station. One night, a man came in and wanted a fountain soda for him and his wife. He did not have the full amount for them both. So I told him that he could have them anyway. When I went to work the next day, I was presented with six roses and a really nice note from the man thanking me for letting him have the pops, along with the money he owed me.

24. Different Ideas
Submitted by Anonymous I personally enjoy saving the pull tabs off of soda cans and turning them in to a local kidney association. They use them to help pay for dialysis treatment for their patients. I also enjoy saving “Labels for Education” for a local middle school that my son attended when he was younger. One other thing I do is cut out manufacturer’s coupons to send to Commissary’s for Military Personal and their families to use in the Commissary as they do not get coupons in their Sunday newspapers in other parts of the world. The military personnel can use coupons that have are expired by as much as six months!

25. Post Office Samaritan
Submitted by Jay, California It was the 20th of December and I was in the one-room post office of my small town. The lady in front of me was somewhat elderly and handed the post lady a package. “It’s a Christmas present for my granddaughter,” she said and counted out her money to cover the First Class postage. When she left, the post lady took some money out of her purse and put it in the P.O. cash register. Then she proceeded to change the postage on the elder lady’s package from first class to Priority Mail and smiled. And when I walked out of that post office I was smiling too.

26. A Friend Helps Out
Submitted by Cheryl I had caught a bad cold and was feeling terrible. My energy level was pretty low and my son hadn’t been out all weekend to enjoy the winter weather. I knew he was sad that I wasn’t feeling well as I had planned to take him to the ski hill. Now I could see the disappointment in his eyes. I also had studying to do for a college exam and I was feeling very frustrated. Out of nowhere, my friend calls me and asked if she could come pick up my son and take him to the ski hill with her son. I gladly accepted. She also went out of her way to pick him up and bring me cough drops to make me more comfortable after she had worked all day. Now that is a true friend!

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Youth Group Practicing Kindness
Submitted by Dave

When we started this with our youth group, I had no idea how it would go. Our Wednesday night “meetings” were getting old and quite frankly boring so I wanted to spice it up. Once each month we take about 40 teens out for two hours to do AOK in the community. We call it A-OK night. By the way, our group has grown from 18 to 40 since starting this.

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Some of the things we have done (all have been well received): 1. Cleaning bathrooms and windows of local businesses. We have hit about 70% of the businesses in our community. 2. One night we met the three janitors of our local middle school and our kids cleaned the entire school, in and out. It was awesome! 3. We call this one “Baked with Love.” We take homemade bread, cookies etc. and deliver a plate to local businesses, schools, government offices, rec center etc. 4. We bought a whole bunch of squeegees and we go to a large retail store and clean all of the windows on the cars in the parking lot. 5. We bought “mini pies” from a grocery store and we deliver them door to door in our neighborhoods with a little note that is real cute. 6. 7. 8. We took big trash bags and walked the neighborhoods. We went to our local low income mobile home park and did repairs for the folks living there. We held a soccer camp for a neighborhood of underprivileged Hispanic children.

9. We went to our local copy center and cleaned the store after they closed.

28. Blankets for the Homeless
Submitted by Barbara, Indiana This summer I collected 65 blankets and sleeping bags in good condition at garage sales and auctions. I washed them all and put them in boxes. On Thanksgiving Day, my husband and I took them to the Hope Rescue Mission in South Bend, Indiana and asked that they be given out free to all the homeless who came in for the dinner. A week later, the lady that gave them out told us that they were all gone by the next day. She said the people who received them were so thrilled they were jumping up and down and hugging one another and were so very thankful for them. One man had heard about the sleeping bags, and he walked a long distance to get one, but they were already gone. We were able to purchase another one from the store and leave it for him. This was the most rewarding Thanksgiving Day of our lives. And it was so much fun collecting these. Now I am looking forward to collecting more blankets and bags this summer as well as stocking caps, scarves, gloves, and warm socks. It doesn’t cost a lot to make a big difference.

29. 6th Annual Park Clean-Up
Submitted by Chris, Illinois We thought you might enjoy some of these photos for your newsletter. We had a glorious day for our event and everyone was very enthusiastic as they shared their kindness with us. Here’s more information about the project... The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County celebrates World Kindness Week! On Saturday, November 19, 2005, over 150 volunteers contributed their “Random Acts of Kindness” to a workday at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve in Glen Ellyn, IL. Five groups lead by dedicated East Division Rangers assisted with shoreline de-littering, parkway clean-up and removal of buckthorn in the preserve. Acts of kindness were shared by Boy and Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts,

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middle and high school students from DuPage County not to mention the interested volunteers from several suburbs of Chicagoland. Participants learned more about kindness for our wildlife neighbors from Willowbrook Wildlife Center volunteers and their exhibit on the affects of litter on wildlife. This is the sixth “Random Acts of Kindness” workday for our energetic volunteers!

30. PB&J Drive
Submitted by Roslyn, California For years, I have spearheaded a Peanut Butter and Jelly drive. All proceeds go to Saddleback Outreach to feed the hungry. We have averaged 300 lbs. per year. In 2006, we set a goal of 400 pounds - and we exceeded it by 45 pounds for a total of 445! It was our fifth annual drive. It’s barrels of fun to spread the joy! We feel especially good about this result because the local paper did not publish anything until the day before the drive ended. The community still came through for us! One overheard conversation at one of the drop-off sites was as follows: A man saw the barrel with the request for PB&J. He laughed and said, “There are no poor people here. Why are they doing that?” A woman happened to overhear and she piped up, “When I was a young mother with three little children that I could not feed, I went there and they gave me food.” She went on to add that she was going to the market and pick up some PB&J - which she did. That same man made two more trips back to the coffee shop collection site - both times with bags full of peanut butter and jelly! I have also handed out red carnations in my brother’s memory and asked the recipient to pass it on. He’s smiling down on us!

31. SPCA Benefit Basket
Submitted by Donna, New York One thing I have done for the past two holidays was making a basket filled with homemade candies and raffling it off to benefit the SPCA of Wyoming County in New York. This organization is a no kill shelter and it is located in a poorer farming community. The past two years I have raised $180 from the raffles. I also make catnip bags and cage comforters for a few local organizations. Keep up the great work!

32. Donating Frequent Flier Miles
Submitted by Tanja, Texas I used my airline miles for giving several magazine subscriptions to our local nursing home in Elgin, TX. I found this to be a very good use for my miles.

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33. RAK Week in Morgantown, West Virginia
Submitted by Janey, West Virginia On the eve of Valentine’s Day, the United Way – accompanied by representatives from the city of Morgantown, Monongalia County and West Virginia University – is gathering at the Monongalia County Courthouse Square to officially kick off Random Acts of Kindness Week (Feb. 13-19). The event will begin at noon and feature popular local entertainer Bobby Nicholas and a visit from Captain Kindness, a United Way super hero who dons a cape, sings and plays a banjo. In addition, Morgantown Mayor Ron Justice and county commissioners will be on hand to make a special proclamation, designating Morgantown the “Kindest Community in America.” Guests will be treated to cookies and cocoa while master of ceremonies Scott Rotruck, president of the Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce, will moderate the activities. The event will last about 30 minutes. Businesses are encouraged to attend to show their support for Morgantown and its positive business climate. “I want to invite business people and everyone else out to our courthouse Monday,” he said. “One of the big reasons Morgantown has grown so rapidly in recent years is because of our people and their supportive spirit. This will be a time to celebrate that.” Throughout the week, the United Way is asking community members to report kind acts by sending an e-mail or calling. The Dominion Post will keep track and publish a daily “kind-o-meter,” and some of the stories may be posted to a special United Way kindness Web site. At the end of the week, the names of the good deed-doers will be entered into a drawing for a Mountaineer fan package consisting of a football autographed by WVU’s Sugar Bowl Championship team, a mini basketball signed by head basketball coach John Beilein, two T-shirts and sports media guides. Kelly Stobbe, Wellness Councils of America director of council affairs and United Way Random Acts of Kindness Committee chairwoman, said more than 6,500 good deeds were submitted last year. This year’s goal is 7,001. Once people have experienced a caring act, the idea is to “pay it forward,” creating heartfelt momentum that will continue throughout the week and hopefully become an everyday endeavor, she explained. Other Random Acts of Kindness Week activities include showings of the movie “Pay It Forward” at the Metropolitan Theatre on High Street. Show times are Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 18, at 1 p.m. Sponsored by the Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners, the event is free and open to the public. Participating businesses will hand out special cards for random acts of kindness, and The Dominion Post will publish an insert with kind ideas in its Sunday, Feb. 12, issue. Kindness will also be contagious at WVU and WVU Hospitals. WVUH is set to play host to Captain Kindness at the Child Development Center Feb. 15; an Intranet Web site was established to promote the week; volunteers and security officers will have treats for patients, visitors and staff; and the cafeteria will randomly award coupons to customers. From 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 15-16, there will be free cookies and cocoa in the Mountainlair for WVU students and employees; members of the University community can send eCards with kind messages to co-workers, family and friends (go to http://ecards.scripts.wvu.edu/); individual colleges and units are encouraged to organize employee appreciation activities; and the WVU Center for Civic Engagement (formerly the Office of Service Learning Programs) will honor students for their outstanding community service with President Volunteer Service Awards. Kindness will also be the word of the week at Mon General Hospital. Beginning Monday, Feb. 13, Mon General will partner with the Morgantown Police Department by collecting stuffed animals for Morgantown’s finest to distribute as needed to Morgantown children. Mon employees will drop off the toys at the hospital’s main lobby to be picked up by Morgantown police Friday, Feb. 17.

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A drop box and cards will also be placed in the Mon cafeteria for patients and employees to write anonymous notes to others, expressing what they appreciate about them. Some of the notes will be displayed on Mon’s wellness bulletin board. On Valentine’s Day, employees will pass out flowers to patients; musician Howard Emerson will be on hand to play the harp for two hours Wednesday, Feb. 15; the Center for Complementary Medicine will provide five-minute chair massages for guests; and Mon employees and guests will be treated to hot chocolate and cookies Thursday, Feb. 16.

34. Fort Smith, Arkansas Kindness Plans
Submitted by Jay, Arkansas Here is what I have planned for RAK Week in Fort Smith, Arkansas… Dr. Phillips wants to continue to get the word out about kindness! He is being interviewed on KFSM TV-5 (CBS) here in Fort Smith, Arkansas on Thursday morning. He will be talking about the 12 mayors from surrounding cities coming together to proclaim Feb. 17th “Random Act of Kindness Day”. He will also hint to the award that is going to be presented. He will also let the people know what they can do as a random act of kindness. The presentation will happen Friday at 1:00pm at one of the parks in Fort Smith. All 12 Mayors will be present and they will read their Proclamations. Then Dr. Phillips will present a new award. “Dr. David P. Phillips Presents The Arkansas River Valley Act of Kindness Award” Below this will be 10- 2 inch brass plates. (This is where each year’s name will go). Then under the two columns of brass plates we will have a long bar with “No act of kindness, however small, is ever waited.” Aesop. We will be honoring a different person or organization each year. I hope we can make you and your organization proud. It isn’t a lot but it is a start!

35. Iceblock Patrol
Submitted by Carmel, New Zealand I decided quite a while ago that nobody does much for free these days, so I drove up the streets in our town and gave away free iceblocks. At first I bought them myself, but now people supply me with them for free. It’s awesome to cruise up to someone and say, “Hey, How are you doing, Do you want a free iceblock?” Sometimes I take others with me and they’ve enjoyed themselves so much, that they want to do it in other towns as well.

36. Women’s Ministry
Submitted by Maranda Our women’s ministry tries to have an organized event each month. In addition to our meeting we have an act of kindness that correlates with our monthly event. For example: February - we distributed Hershey’s kisses to church members as they exit the church March - each lady is tasked with cleaning out her personal library and donating a book(s) to our church library

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April - we are having a make it and take it craft workshop and each woman will make a craft to keep and an additional craft(s) to be donated to a local shelter that works with women & children. Each month we have a different RAK. We started incorporating the RAK to foster fellowship and the spirit of giving back to the members of our church, immediate community surrounding our church, and organizations that benefit / meet the needs of women and children.

37. Operation Noah
Submitted by Lori, Arizona Operation Noah was started in 2004 by my son, Dennis. This past week he (now 14) and my youngest son, Sammy age 10, went with a friend, Kyle, from Arizona to California to surprise hospitals with new stuffed animals. We took over 1,000 with us. Dennis wrote up information on Random Acts of Kindness Week to pass on to each hospital. They were able to personally hand out stuffed animals to children in need of a friend. Operation Noah, his quest to comfort hospitalized kids, was started after Dennis was hospitalized for a colonoscopy. “It was scary. The nurses gave me a stuffed animal, and that comforted me,” the teen said. When Dennis discovered there was only one item left in a box of donated toys for patients, he decided to start his own effort to collect toys for children in local hospitals. Operation Noah has grown and as of RAK Week 2006, Dennis has donated over 12,000 new stuffed animals.

38. Feed the Hungry
Submitted by Melissa This is a simple way to help others meet an important need. I carry in my car a variety of nonperishable food items such as granola bars or cereal that I can distribute to people on the streets panhandling. Generally I don’t carry cash and would actually prefer giving something I know a person will use properly. I’ve heard of others that put together bags of food, toothbrushes, and other toiletry items to hand out when they see someone in need. It doesn’t cost too much and it helps fill the hungry stomachs on our streets.

39. Beary Christmas
Submitted by Cherise Anyone can do this - for the last four years I have collected new and almost new (bearly used) stuffed bears and animals and held them in storage until Thanksgiving and Christmas. I get great pleasure in wrapping them and sending them to new homes to children who have nothing. This last Thanksgiving was the most touching for me when I took over 30 stuffed animals to a homeless shelter and got to meet some of the children. It was fun watching them pick out a new friend and enjoy having something special that they could cuddle with each night. Call your friend who are spring cleaning and grab those nice looking stuffed animals and give them a home! It will make you feel good and best of all it will make a child so happy and feel loved.

40. Community Car Washes
Submitted by Heather, North Carolina I run a non-profit organization in North Carolina. One of our major focuses is promoting all kinds of volunteering, including random acts of kindness, in our area. In May, for example, we will be conducting “Free Community Car Washes.” While a “free car wash” fundraiser is not a new idea, our event is NOT a fundraiser. It’s simply an act of kindness we do for our community. When a person gets their car washed, we give them a “DO GOOD” card that requests for them to go to two good deeds for other people as payment. It’s worked amazingly in the past, and this year we

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want to step it up by offering a list of “random acts of kindness ideas” to individuals, to make it easier for them to go help others!

41. Warm Bread
Submitted by Theard, The Netherlands The following is an example of a warm act of kindness: In our little Dutch town here there is one supermarket who, at end of certain days, places its loaves of unsold bread at the outside back of the shop. The homeless are mostly the ones who collect. These are usually loaves from either the same day or perhaps the day before and thus are still suitably fresh. How caring and what an act of kindness! Perhaps an thought to share this idea with your nearby supermarket.

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Submitted by YOU?

Have you or your community group done an act of kindness? If so, share it with us! E-mail RAK at info@actsofkindness.org. Your activity could be the next one added!

Practice Random Acts of Kindness™

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Random Acts of Kindness is the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. It has changed my life. People are so receptive. It just grows and grows!
— Betty, Community Organizer, WA

IDEAS for INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS
These Activity Ideas for Individuals and Groups provide a wealth of kindness ideas for people, organizations, communities and groups who want to do kindness in their area. Feel free to adapt these ideas to your own environment!

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CONTENTS
Welcome! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 RAK Celebration Dates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Ideas for Individuals and Groups
100 Ideas for Kindness. . . . . Communities . . . . . . . . . . . . Cooks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Diversity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faith Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . Families & Neighborhoods . . . Homebound Persons. . . . . . . Individuals . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kindness to Animals . . . . . . . Kindness to the Environment Gardeners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Service Clubs . . . . . . . . . . . Mentally Challenged . . . . . . . Physically Challenged . . . . . . Correctional Facilities . . . . . . Winter Holidays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Practice Random Acts of Kindness™

WELCOME!
Welcome to the Kindness Movement! We hope you find in these pages a wealth of ideas to help you encourage and promote Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) in your community! Whether you choose to implement these particular ideas or allow them to stimulate ideas of your own, we hope that your brainstorming and planning is both exciting and inspiring for you.

The Random Acts of Kindness™ Foundation 1727 Tremont Place Denver, CO 80202 800.660.2811 Fax: 303.297.2919 www.actsofkindness.org info@actsofkindness.org

We call our volunteers Kindness Coordinators, and they come from all walks of life, ages, and professions. We hope you will decide to join our tens of thousands of participants and become a Kindness Coordinator in your area. Everything you do to share and promote kindness helps make the world a better place. Please use our website to print our free resources. This “Ideas for Individuals and Groups” document provides a wealth of kindness ideas to help you get

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started. Our “Project Planning Guide” offers tips for planning and implementing projects both small and large. If you are an educator, our “Teacher’s Guide” (on our education webpage) will help you encourage kindness in your classroom and contains hundreds of ideas. In addition, using our “Publicity Guide” will allow your efforts to receive the media attention they deserve. We all need to read good news in our daily paper, and you can provide some of it! All of the above guides are on our website at www. actsofkindness.org. While you’re there, check out our free lesson plans, project plans, inspiration, and other resources! Please let us know how you use the ideas in this booklet. Learning which ideas are implemented in different communities helps us improve our resources, so please tell us about your kindness activity or project. When you share with us your project description and reflections about that project, you are helping people around the globe! We encourage you to use the handy webpage templates on our website and create your own kindness webpages! You can announce to others what kindness activities you have done, share photos, and make connections with other organizations who have already posted their kindness webpages with us — all free of charge. The staff of The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is available to you for consultation and support. Our contact information is below, and we hope that you will take the initiative to stay in touch with us. Your friends at The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation Website: E-mail: www.actsofkindness.org info@actsofkindness.org

RAK CELEBRATION DATES
2006
Random Acts of Kindness Week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Feb. 13-19, 2006 World Kindness Week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nov. 13-19, 2006 World Kindness Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nov. 13, 2006

2007
Random Acts of Kindness Week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Feb. 12-18, 2007 World Kindness Week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nov. 12-18, 2007 World Kindness Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nov. 13, 2005 Feel free to adapt the RAK Week dates to your own community. You are welcome to celebrate RAK Week or RAK Month any time of the year — or all year long! We support participants with ideas and materials on our website throughout the year. Also, please keep us informed about your kindness activities. We are a clearinghouse for ideas, and your sharing of ideas will help thousands of others encourage kindness in their communities.

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COMMUNITY IDEAS
100 IDEAS FOR KINDNESS
1 Deliver fresh-baked cookies to city workers. 2 Collect goods for a food bank. 3 Bring flowers to work and share them with coworkers. 4 Garden clubs can make floral arrangements for senior centers, nursing homes, hospitals, police stations, or shut-ins. 5 Adopt a student who needs a friend, checking in periodically to see how things are going. 6 Volunteer to be a tutor in a school. 7 Extend a hand to someone in need. Give your full attention and simply listen. 8 Merchants can donate a percentage of receipts for the week to a special cause. 9 Bring coworkers a special treat. 10 Students can clean classrooms for the custodian. 11 Buy a stranger a free pizza. 12 Distribute lollipops to kids. 13 Sing at a nursing home. 14 Offer a couple of hours of baby-sitting to parents. 15 Slip paper hearts that say “It’s Random Acts of Kindness Week! Have a great day!” under the windshield wipers of parked cars. 16 Have a charity day at work, with employees bringing nonperishable food items to donate. 17 Serve refreshments to customers. 18 Draw names at school or work, and have people bring a small gift or food treat for their secret pal. 19 Remember the bereaved with phone calls, cards, plants, and food. 20 Treat someone to fresh fruit. 21 Pay a compliment at least once a day. 22 Call or visit a homebound person. 23 Hand out balloons to passersby. 24 Give free sodas to motorists. 25 Be a good neighbor. Take over a baked treat or stop by to say “Hello.” 26 Transport someone who can’t drive. 27 Mow a neighbor’s grass. 28 Say something nice to everyone you meet today. 29 Send a treat to a school or day-care center. 30 Volunteer at an agency that needs help. 31 Wipe rainwater off shopping carts or hold umbrellas for shoppers on the way to their cars. 32 Give the gift of your smile. 33 Send home a note telling parents something their child did well. 34 Adopt a homeless pet from the humane society. 35 Organize a scout troop or service club to help people with packages at the mall or grocery. 36 Host special programs or speakers at libraries or bookstores. 37 Offer to answer the phone for the school secretary for ten minutes. 38 Volunteer to read to students in the classroom. 39 Write notes of appreciation and bring flowers or goodies to teachers or other important people, such as the principal, nurse, custodian, and secretary.

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40 Incorporate kindness into the curriculum at area schools, day care centers, or children’s classes in faith organizations. 41 Give a hug to a friend. 42 Tell your children why you love them. 43 Write a note to your mother/father and tell them why they are special. 44 Pat someone on the back. 45 Write a thank-you note to a mentor or someone who has influenced your life in a positive way. 46 Give coffee to people on their way to work in the morning. 47 Donate time at a senior center. 48 Give blood. 49 Visit hospitals with smiles, treats, and friendly conversation for patients. 50 Stop by a nursing home, and visit a resident with no family nearby. 51 Plant flowers in your neighbor’s flower box. 52 Give another driver your parking spot. 53 Leave a treat or handmade note of thanks for a delivery person or mail carrier. 54 Give free car washes. 55 Clean graffiti from neighborhood walls and buildings. 56 Tell your boss that you think he/she does a good job. 57 Tell your employees how much you appreciate their work. 58 Let your staff leave work an hour early. 59 Have a clean-up party in the park. 60 Tell a bus or taxi driver how much you appreciate their driving. 61 Have everyone in your office draw the name of a Random Acts of Kindness buddy out of a hat and do a kind act for their buddy that day or week. 62 Give a pair of tickets to a baseball game or concert to a stranger. 63 Leave an extra big tip for the waitperson. 64 Drop off a plant, cookies, or donuts to the police or fire department. 65 Open the door for another person. 66 Pay for the meal of the person behind you in the drive-through. 67 Write a note to the boss of someone who has helped you, praising the employee. 68 Leave a bouquet of flowers on the desk of a colleague at work with whom you don’t normally get along. 69 Call an estranged family member. 70 Volunteer to fix up an elderly couple’s home. 71 Pay for the person behind you in the movie line. 72 Give flowers to be delivered with meal delivery programs. 73 Give toys to the children at the shelter or safe house. 74 Give friends and family kindness coupons they can redeem for kind favors. 75 Be a friend to a new student or coworker. 76 Renew an old friendship by sending a letter or small gift to someone you haven’t talked with in a long time. 77 For one week, act on every single thought of generosity that arises spontaneously in your heart, and notice what happens as a consequence. 78 Offer to return a shopping cart to the store for someone loading a car. 79 Invite someone new over for dinner. 80 Buy a roll of brightly colored stickers and give them to children you meet during the day. 81 Write a card of thanks and leave it with your tip. Be sure to be specific in your thanks. 82 Let the person behind you in the grocery store go ahead of you in line. 83 When drivers try to merge into your lane, let them in with a wave and a smile. 84 Buy cold drinks for the people next to you at a ball game. 85 Distribute kindness bookmarks that you have made. 86 Create a craft project or build a bird house with a child. 87 Give a bag of groceries to a homeless person. 88 Laugh out loud often and share your smile generously. 89 Plant a tree in your neighborhood.

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90 Make a list of things to do to bring more kindness into the world, and have a friend make a list. Exchange lists and do one item per day for a month. 91 Use an instant camera to take people’s photographs at a party or community event, and give the picture to them. 92 As you go about your day, pick up trash. 93 Send a letter to some former teachers, letting them know the difference they made in your life. 94 Send a gift anonymously to a friend. 95 Organize a clothing drive for a shelter. 96 Buy books for a day care or school. 97 Slip a $20 bill to a person who you know is having financial difficulty. 98 Take an acquaintance to dinner. 99 Offer to take a friend’s child to ball practice. 100 Waive late fees for the week.

COMMUNITIES
Work with schools and service clubs to raise “Pennies for a Kindness Park” (or other community beautification project). Pennies don’t seem to have much value, but when combined, they do make a difference. In the same way, one kind act may seem insignificant, but many kind acts practiced daily have great impact. Collect goods for a food bank or shelter. Develop interactive programs between retirement homes/senior centers and schools. Older children can read to the elderly and younger children can simply visit. Seniors can also tutor children in their schoolwork. Plant a Kindness Tree or Garden with the help of youth groups, service clubs, or other volunteers. Plant a tree or flowers in a public area like a park or walking trail, and ask the mayor to make a brief presentation at the dedication. Set up free coffee or hot chocolate for morning commuters. Offer lemonade or water during warm months. Organize a blood drive dedicated to Random Acts of Kindness. Ask a fast food restaurant to hold a “Customer Appreciation Day.” They can decorate the dining area and post signs. Schoolchildren enjoy “hosting” at these events after school, carrying trays for people, getting beverage refills, or just greeting them at the door with a smile and suggestions for acts of kindness. Ask groups, such as a garden club, to create floral arrangements for a senior center, nursing home, police station, hospital, or the homebound. Prepare a special meal or dessert for seniors or nursing home residents. Hold a kindness concert with a band and give out ideas for kind acts. Invite role models and community leaders to public events to speak about the importance kindness has played in their lives. Instead of distributing invitations to a public Random Acts of Kindness event, create and distribute RAK “punch cards.” The recipients punch a hole around the edge of their cards whenever they perform a kind act. Print the event information on the back, along with instructions to bring their completed punch cards to the event. Put all the cards on a wall to show how many acts of kindness the activity generated. Ask your library or bookstore to host storytelling parties, a children’s kindness hour, etc. Create a special newsletter featuring kindness stories. Ask permission to put story collection boxes in stores. Create a Random Acts of Kindness mascot to circulate in high foot-traffic areas, distributing gifts and suggestions for acts of kindness. Then send the mascot to visit schools and talk about kindness. Hold a children’s kindness drawing or coloring campaign. Hold a teddy bear drive and donate the bears to police or fire departments for traumatized children. Suggest that city hall host an open house for employees and residents. Organize interracial/interfaith programs and performances. Organize public presentations by community/religious/civil rights leaders about bringing kindness into the community. Get the police involved! Ask them to hand out “Kindness Citations” as they witness kind acts. (Seattle’s Chief of Police spent the day on bicycle patrol giving out kindness citations.) Police can also give out “Good Driving” tickets, visit classrooms with stories of kindness they encounter on duty, put a banner over their entryway, or display kids’ kindness drawings. After collecting safety tips from firefighters and police, organize a program to discuss safety with seniors living alone. Ask the mayor’s office or city hall employees to host a coffee and cake party for merchants or community groups. Ask the librarian to forgive late fines during RAK Week.

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Place a “Practice Random Acts of Kindness” or “Kindness Zone” banner across a downtown street. Ask residents to drive with car headlights on to convey participation in Random Acts of Kindness Week. Start a ribbon campaign. Give out kindness ribbons to be worn and passed on to another person. The giver of the kind act can sign the back of the ribbon before passing it along. At the end of the campaign, display the signed ribbons at the mayor’s office or city hall. Make cookies and bring them to downtown merchants. Organize spring and fall clean-up projects. Choose an area that needs attention and collect debris, abandoned items, and other materials that have collected in the area. Invite faith organizations and/or schools to come together as a “harmony choir” and perform. Ask the chamber of commerce to help you recruit merchants for a kindness planter box project. Suggest that the merchants buy the boxes and that schoolchildren have a penny drive to purchase the flowers. Paint the boxes with kindness slogans and pictures (e.g., hearts, stick figures holding hands). People can write stories about kind acts they have performed and received and post them on a community bulletin board. Help schoolchildren design and make Random Acts of Kindness bookmarks, stickers, or buttons. Ask teachers, libraries, and merchants to distribute them. Create Random Acts of Kindness signs (stickers or clear static) for windows of official city vehicles, buses, factory worker safety helmets, or residential windows. Conduct an annual poster contest for all ages. Display the posters at city hall or the mayor’s office, and ask a newspaper, radio or TV station to announce the winners.

COOKS
Make meals to reheat for a recovering surgery patient. Deliver soup and crackers to a sick friend. Gather friends together and prepare sandwiches, chips, cookies, and drinks. Fill lunch bags and distribute them to the homeless. Share a recipe. Begin a Comfort Food Group at your faith organization. Members rotate preparing and delivering food to those in distress. Make and decorate Halloween cookies and deliver them to a children’s home or family shelter. Invite a teenager over for a cooking lesson or collaboration on a cooking project. Host a gathering of friends and ask each to bring a recipe to exchange. Make one or two of the recipes in quantity and distribute to neighbors or to an ailing friend. Collaborate with friends to bake cakes and pies, and arrange with a soup kitchen to deliver the desserts for Thanksgiving dinner. Bake cookies and make hot chocolate (in the winter) or lemonade (in the summer) to give away to commuters or wherever people are standing in line. Prepare treats for neighbors, emergency workers, mail carriers, coworkers, or other community members, along with a note of appreciation. Before mailing packages or letters to military service personnel, contact your American Red Cross chapter for current procedures and regulations. Bake an extra loaf of banana or zucchini bread and bring it to a neighbor. A cookie exchange is when several friends bake a batch of cookies and then gather to assemble a collection of the various cookies and recipes to take back home. At your next cookie exchange, ask each friend to bake some extra cookies. Create an assortment of the extra cookies and deliver them to a family dealing with illness or surgery. Call a soup kitchen to find out how many people they generally serve. Then offer to prepare and deliver muffins, salad, or dessert for one of their meals. Have a potluck at work to celebrate a milestone like a birthday, promotion, or successful event. With friends, organize an ice cream social, a tea, or a bingo event for residents at an assisted living center. Bake sweets or assemble root beer floats for the residents, and stay and visit. Create a cookbook with recipes from different cultures. In the cookbook, include kindness stories and information about the food or the region from which it came. Distribute the cookbook to teachers, administrators, friends, and the community.

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DIVERSITY
Have a photography contest after taking field trips to diverse locations in your city. Have the student photographers write essays about the differences and similarities among neighborhoods. In the essays, suggest ideas about how to help people, the environment, the buildings, etc. Post the pictures and essays in a school, at a shopping mall, or at a city building. Create a club that promotes multicultural awareness, increases tolerance of differences, practices kindness and addresses critical social issues. Sponsor speakers from various backgrounds to talk to the group. Also, re-create different cultural holidays with food and festivities. Discuss the differences and similarities among all the groups. Have a “Show and Tell” day where students bring in items that represent their heritages, e.g., cookware, food, or clothing. Discuss kindness and the role it plays when experiencing various cultures. Have an ethnic potluck where everyone is given the name of a country. Each student researches an area and brings in an entrée or dessert from that part of the world. Dress in clothing from that region and discuss kindness as the “international language.” Create a cookbook with recipes from different cultures. In the cookbook, include kindness stories and information about the food or the region from which it came. Distribute the cookbook to teachers, administrators, friends, and the community. Create a multicultural event for the community. Each “exhibitor” should plan a display of his or her culture or heritage, an essay, a map, personal artifacts, music, costumes, or food. Include flags from the countries, and be sure to extend kindness and hospitality to every guest. Afterward, discuss the responses and comments of the visitors. Hold an “International Dress Parade” and collaborate with both art and music experts to include ethnic studies in the activities. Be sure to discuss the role that kindness has across the world. Hold an “International Dance Festival” where dancers will be able to actively participate with family and community members in learning about the customs and dances from across the world. During morning announcements at school, have the principal announce a little known fact about a country or culture each day of the week. Include a kindness quote from a famous person from that country. Set up pen pals from different countries for the members of your class, community group, or club to communicate with on a regular basis. Be sure to hold class meetings to discuss the differences and similarities between your students and their pen pals. Read a story from another culture. Ask students to choose words from the language of that culture. Practice speaking the words together.

FAITH GROUPS
With other faith groups, create an ecumenical kindness prayer for faith leaders to use. Put information about Random Acts of Kindness and RAK Week in your bulletins or newsletter. Ask congregation members to write down acts of kindness they have given or received so they can be printed in a newsletter or read aloud during services. Hold a teddy bear drive and give the bears to police or firefighters for traumatized children. Put suggestions for acts of kindness in a congregation kindness basket. As congregation members leave the building, ask them to select one of the suggestions and perform it during the week. Hold a kindness potluck or dance. Attendees can bring a donation of food or clothing. Have a special Random Acts of Kindness celebration, during which the congregation gathers and shares inspiring stories of kindness from their lives. Hold a Random Acts of Kindness Bingo Night, and donate the profits to a community group or family in need. Set up free coffee, tea, or hot chocolate for morning commuters. During warm months, offer water and lemonade. Organize a sing along at a senior center. Collect home-baked cookies or other treats to send to a faith group you don’t know. Put up a decorated collection box for kindness stories, then create a newsletter featuring these stories. Distribute or sell the book to congregation members. Draw Kindness Buddy names during a service. Participants can secretly do something kind for that person during the week. Organize a group of congregation members to prepare a special meal or dessert for nursing home residents. Organize a group of congregation members to provide hugs and conversation for senior citizens who live alone. Help them

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shop, do paperwork, or pay bills. Contact another faith group you don’t know and suggest a joint RAK activity or social. Form a Random Acts of Kindness committee to implement your congregation’s suggestions for acts of kindness with funds generated by RAK socials. Form a volunteer committee to visit nursing homes or senior centers with recordings of songs that bring back memories, such as Mitch Miller, Benny Goodman, and Glenn Miller. Plant a Kindness Tree or Garden with the help of youth groups, service clubs, or other volunteers. Ask your officiant to say a few words. Participants can offer wishes for the good of humankind as they empty a shovel of soil.

FAMILIES & NEIGHBORHOODS
FAMILIES
Go to a children’s zoo or a park where feeding animals is allowed. Offer a bag of food to another family to feed the animals. Bake cookies together, and take them to a neighbor who needs a lift. Pitch in and clean up the yard of a neighbor who is ill, has had surgery recently, or has had a family emergency. Walk to a nearby park and pick up trash, then have a picnic there. Go to the pool for a swim, and pay the entrance fee for another family. Organize a carnival for young children, and invite neighboring families or a group of preschoolers to have fun throwing foam balls, fishing for prizes, and playing games. Be sure everyone gets a prize. Bake a treat and take it to a police or firefighter station. Arrange to plant flowers or a tree at a school or park on a Saturday morning. Have each member of your family choose someone outside the family who has made a positive difference in his or her life. Write short thank-you notes, and mail the letters together. Discuss the best things about the area where you live, the best places to shop and have fun, etc. Have someone take notes. Then type up the ideas to give to new neighbors who move in. Volunteer with your children to help at a soup kitchen. Create a Thanksgiving basket of food for a needy family. Make a card with cheerful artwork drawn by each of your family members. Deliver the basket and card to the family. Leave a bouquet of flowers on a neighbor’s front step anonymously. Make some small gifts or write kindness wishes and drawings on bright greeting cards. Deliver them in person to residents of a nursing home, children’s home, or senior facility. Collect stories from family members about kind acts both given and received, and create a family scrapbook. If you have photos, include them with the stories. As years go by and as your children grow, all of you can review the many ways that kindness has touched your family’s life. Choose a family who is facing a meager holiday season, and begin collecting items in September for them. If you buy a package of six socks, put one pair aside for the surprise gifts. When you shop for food, buy a couple extra nonperishable items each time. Be sure that both the parents and the children have at least two gifts each, along with the food. Gift-wrap it all, and choose a time when you know they are home. Leave it on their doorstep, and have one person stay to ring the doorbell and run. Tape a lunch bag to each family member’s door. For a week, put a daily treat or note inside for them to find when they wake up in the morning.

NEIGHBORHOODS
Plant flowers at a neighborhood school. Clean up litter on a stretch of road in your neighborhood. Work with a scout troop and paint house numbers on curbs to help emergency personnel find addresses. Shovel snow or rake leaves for a neighbor. Spruce up the yard of a neighbor or friend who is ill or who has just had surgery or a death in the family. Organize spring and fall clean-up projects. Choose an area that needs attention and collect debris, abandoned items, and other materials that have collected in the area. Start a neighborhood welcome service, with hints from residents concerning best shopping, childcare, restaurants, etc. Create a welcome basket or bake a treat for a new neighbor.

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Roll an elderly neighbor’s garbage cans back up the driveway at the end of trash pick-up day. Sponsor a charity run/walk through your neighborhood streets. Runners either pay an entrance fee or get sponsors for their run, and the money goes to charity. Publicize a “Thank a Mentor” month in your neighborhood newsletter. Encourage residents to write a thank-you note to someone who has made a difference in the neighborhood or in their life. Collect brief personal stories about acts of kindness given or received, and print one in each neighborhood newsletter. People connect with personal stories, and stories are powerful community builders. Get a group together to drive to a children’s facility and distribute Random Acts of Kindness bookmarks with kindness quotes on them that you have made. Gather a few neighbors to adopt an entrance to your neighborhood and periodically have a get-together to keep it weeded and cleaned up. Serve refreshments and make it a Saturday morning party! Collect teddy bears for police officers to give to traumatized children. Attach a note to each teddy bear for the donating resident to sign. Invite a police officer and/or trauma social worker to your neighborhood meeting to accept the bears and speak to the residents briefly about the role of kindness in trauma. Start an inter-generational program, in which senior citizens help schoolchildren with their reading, writing, or math. Create “Kindness – Pass It On” cards for residents to pass from one person to another to accompany kind acts that they do for one another. The card might have a simple graphic with the words: “This act of kindness was performed especially for you. Please offer an act of kindness to someone else, and pass this card on to that person.”

HOMEBOUND PERSONS
Send cards or letters of appreciation to people you read about in the news who have done good deeds. Send kind thoughts to people you hear about in your community who have suffered a setback. Provide homework help to younger relatives or neighbors. Create art or crafts, such as quilts, afghans, or baby blankets, and donate them to be auctioned or given away by a nonprofit organization or group. Sew comfort items for the police trauma unit or a children’s hospital. Traumatized children and pediatric cancer patients appreciate small quilts or stuffed animals for cuddling. Chemotherapy patients often need head coverings. Write a kind note to relatives and friends, letting them know why they are special. Create photo albums for your family and friends to remind them of special times. Help a neighbor or friend who has lost a job write a resumé or cover letter. Gather a collection of kindness stories from friends and relatives. Copy these stories and give the collection as a gift. Communicate by e-mail with a friend, sharing kindness stories and your current kindness projects. If your town or city has a Kindness Coordinator, offer to help create giveaways or other gifts, such as RAK ribbons or handmade prizes.

INDIVIDUALS
Help a neighbor weed or plant a garden. Select some people in your life who you feel need a special lift and send them a gift: flowers, tickets to a special event, or a gift certificate. Write a note to the supervisor of someone who has been particularly helpful, letting him or her know how the employee helped you. Stop for a person waiting to cross the street. Leave enough money in the vending machine for the next person to get a free treat. Call or write to someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time, just to say you’re thinking about them. Purchase a copy of a book about kindness, read it, put your initials, city, and state on the inside, and pass it on. Call loved ones just to say “I love you” or to tell them what you appreciate about them. Create or donate floral arrangements for a senior center, nursing home, police station, hospital, or the homebound.

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Smile and say “hello” to someone you don’t know. When you are waiting for service at the deli counter, trade “ticket numbers” with someone in a hurry. Put a flower on a neighbor’s porch. Pick up litter. Help someone struggling with heavy bags. Offer to baby-sit for free to give a single parent an evening off. Call someone who has no family nearby and invite him or her to your home for a visit. Call someone who doesn’t drive, and invite him or her out to lunch or a movie. Surprise someone in your house with breakfast in bed. Compliment a stranger about something they are wearing. Pay the toll for the person behind you. Volunteer to help at a school or library. Adopt a stray animal. Give a lottery ticket to a stranger. Include a note or joke in your child’s or spouse’s lunchbox. Shovel your neighbor’s driveway or mow the lawn. Write something nice about your waitperson on the back of the bill. Give your place in line at the grocery store to another person, such as someone in a hurry or a parent with restless little children. Smile and say thank you to the bus driver or toll collector. Hold the door of the elevator, subway, or bus for someone rushing to catch it. After loading your groceries into the car, return your shopping cart. Donate blood. Let someone merge into traffic during rush hour. If you play a musical instrument, visit a senior center or hospital and give a brief recital. Ask your children to go through their toys and donate some of them to children who are less fortunate. Make an anonymous donation to a charity that is actively helping your community. When visiting a hospital, spend a few minutes with someone who has no visitors. Tape coins to a pay telephone with a note saying that anyone who needs it can use it. After reading a book you enjoyed, send a note of appreciation to the author. Ask your children to wash an elderly neighbor’s car, mow the lawn, or rake leaves without charge. Next time you finish your punch card for a free cup of coffee, give it away or ask the cashier to give it to someone who might need it. Host a party for the kids in your neighborhood. Make snacks and watch a movie, giving the adults in the neighborhood a night off. Drive safely and courteously. Carry inexpensive, pocket-sized rain ponchos in your car and hand them out to pedestrians who are getting drenched in a downpour. Donate soda tabs or cans to a local organization that can turn them in to raise funds. Save box tops for education and donate to a local school, even if you don’t have children Save coupons and send them to the commissary for military families to use overseas. They can use coupons expired up to six months. Send a card to a lonely person

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KINDNESS TO ANIMALS
CHILDREN and YOUTH
Write a play about being a responsible pet owner. Ask brothers, sisters, and friends to help. Make programs for the play to hand out to the audience. Include information about the play and the actors. Sprinkle in a few tips about kindness to animals and being a responsible and caring pet owner. Make posters reminding others to spay or neuter their pets and to place them in a safe, quiet place during parades, fireworks, and picnics. Get permission to hang these posters in stores. Set up a booth at a town, church, or neighborhood fair. Give out information encouraging people to be responsible pet owners. Make bookmarks to remind people to spay or neuter their dogs and cats. Distribute them at an animal shelter or pet store. Call an animal shelter and find out what donations they need. Collect treats, food, first aid supplies, toys, cat litter, towels, and soft blankets for the homeless animals. Help others to create safety kits for their pets. Supply these emergency kits with pet food, medicines, pet carriers, ID tags, leashes, and blankets. Make a birdbath from a plastic dish and put it in your yard or on the windowsill. Keep it filled with water. Notify authorities immediately about pets left in hot cars. You may save a life. Set aside a special time each day to play with your pet. Cut up plastic six-pack rings. Place them in the proper trash receptacle so small animals don’t get caught in them. Talk to younger children about why catching wild creatures like frogs and turtles is not a good idea. Remind them that wild animals need to stay wild and free. Offer to wash your dog or a neighbor’s dog. Make nutritional treats for dogs and cats, and give them to neighbors for their pets. Make extra for animal shelters. Be sure your pet’s shots are current. Brush pets daily to keep their fur smooth, clean, and free of ticks and fleas. Trim their nails regularly. Research animals shelters and gather information about their services for a flyer. Distribute copies of the flyer to classmates and friends so they know what to do if an animal needs help.

ADULTS and FAMILIES
Ask lawmakers to establish dog parks in your community, and offer to raise money to help maintain them. Hold a fundraiser and donate the proceeds to an animal shelter or wildlife fund. Participate in beach cleanups to remove debris that can harm birds, sea turtles, and other beach creatures. Maintain water bowls during cold months for both migrating and local birds. Make birdseed available as well. Create a pet care plan in your will to guarantee a happy and secure future for your pets, should you die before they do. Cats and dogs may live past 15 years, and some birds can live 50 to 100 years. Switch to pet-safe antifreeze. Antifreeze contains propylene glycol that carries a tempting but fatal taste to animals. Just one teaspoon can kill a cat and two ounces can kill a dog. Ensure your pet’s safe return if it scoots out of the house by putting an identification tag, license tag, microchip, or tattoo on it. Offer ID tags as gifts for your friends who own pets. Place a sticker on your window, alerting firefighters to the number and types of pets inside your home. Encourage people not to buy baby bunnies and young chicks for children’s springtime gifts. These animals grow up and are not always appropriately handled and loved. Delay adopting a dog or cat until a couple weeks after the winter holidays. Just like other gift returns, far too many pets offered as presents end up in animal shelters. Slow down on curves on winding roads in areas frequented by deer. Each year, 500,000 deer are killed and 29,000 people are injured in deer-vehicle collisions. Deer roam at dawn, dusk, and the first few hours of darkness. “Adopt” a lion, tiger, whale, or other animal. Many zoos, aquariums, and animal sea habitats have adoption programs. In exchange for financial support, you get a photo and biography of your new adoptee. Don’t allow your dog to ride in the back of your pick-up truck. Not only will you risk the dog falling out of the vehicle, but in hot weather, a dog’s pads get burned standing on the metal floor of a truck bed. Provide outdoor animals with food, water, and shelter. Ensure that their drinking water does not freeze. Bring them inside, if possible, during extremely hot or cold weather. Provide them with regular human contact.

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KINDNESS TO THE ENVIRONMENT
Clean up trash and refrain from littering. Keep your neighborhood looking its best by promoting a regular neighborhood cleanup day for homeowners. To reduce air pollution, consider these options instead of driving: carpooling, taking public transportation, biking, or walking. Plant trees and plants in your yard. Recycle all aluminum, plastic, newspapers, papers, etc. After obtaining permission, plant flowers around a school, church, park, or other public area. Make signs with tips on how to save energy and water. Post these reminders in stores and other well-traveled areas. Fix faucet leaks promptly, and don’t leave water running. Use a clothesline to dry your clothes instead of a dryer. Cut down on the energy you use by lowering the heat and turning off lights, TV, etc., when you are not using them. Decide what you want before you open the refrigerator. Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes to save water, electricity, and soap. Make sure your car has a tune-up regularly. Unchecked cars can waste fuel and pollute the environment. Create contests for poster, T-shirt, bookmark, and stationery designs. Proceeds from the sale of these items can be used to support environmental action groups. Take short showers to conserve water. Make or buy recycled paper. Investigate the purchase of recycled paper for school use. Try not to buy any foam packing materials or aerosol products. Make birdhouses and feeders or other wildlife feeding stations. These can be sold as a fundraiser. Give house plants to teachers, friends, or coworkers to display as air fresheners. Give people a mug for coffee or tea to cut down on the use of disposable cups. Begin recycling programs in your school, business, or neighborhood, or analyze the ones already in place and suggest improvements. Organize spring and fall clean-up projects. Choose an area that needs attention and collect debris, abandoned items, and other materials that have collected in the area. Plan a school field trip to a sewage treatment facility, sanitary landfill, zoo, arboretum, or nature center. Make a scrapbook of newspaper and magazine articles about environmental issues. Include labels from products that are and aren’t “Earth friendly,” and explain why. Help maintain park, bicycle, and recreation trails. Make a large Earth on a bulletin board and have each student trace his or her hand and write one thing they can do on it to save our planet. Staple the construction paper hands around the world and post this message: “The future of the Earth is in our hands.”

GARDENERS
There’s something special about plants! A study at Washington State University by Virginia Lohr, a WSU professor of horticulture, and Caroline Pearson-Mims, a research technologist, indicates that live indoor plants may increase productivity and reduce stress. Another study by these two researchers has shown that the presence of plants can help people tolerate short-term pain. At the University of Delaware, Roger Ulrich, a professor of architecture, has studied how hospital surroundings influence patients recovering from surgery. Patients who had a view of trees from their hospital room used fewer pain-relieving drugs than patients whose view was a brick wall. So, whether you tend indoor house plants or enjoy working outdoors in the garden, use your green thumb to pass along to others the comforting presence of living plants. Most of these ideas can be implemented either by one person or by a group of greenery-lovers who would like to undertake a Random Acts of Kindness project together.

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Create or donate a floral arrangement to a senior center, nursing home, police station, hospital, shut-ins, etc. Tend a garden at a school or faith organization. Bring fresh produce or flowers to neighbors, coworkers, or homeless shelters. Put a flower with a RAK note on a neighbor’s porch. Organize a flower-planting party in a nearby park, school, or faith organization. Donate individual flowers for food trays delivered to the homebound. Help a neighbor weed his/her garden. Set aside a portion of your garden for a neighbor child to tend, and work in the garden together, offering ideas and expertise as you go. Or simply help the child start a vegetable plant, teach the child how to tend it, and allow him or her to take the produce home. Assemble and deliver a basket of vegetables or fruit and a few flowers for a homebound person. Grow herbs and offer them to your neighbors for recipes that require fresh herbs. With your garden’s yield, bake some zucchini bread and share it with neighbors or coworkers. Nurture small flowering plants in pots until they are in full bloom. Then deliver them to shut-ins or recent surgery patients. If you have plants that propagate easily, offer cuttings to neighbors and their children to take home and root. Select some people in your life who you feel need a special lift, and send them flowers or a houseplant. Why do you love to garden? Share your gardening inspiration, knowledge, stories, and favorite sources for seeds and plants with interested groups of adults and children.

SERVICE CLUBS
Deliver Baskets of Kindness to shut-ins. Include items such as stationery, stamps, a deck of playing cards, a puzzle or game, a magazine, fresh flowers, a book, a mug, cookies or other treat, and a greeting card signed by the service club members. Take a Head Start class or a youth organization to a fast food restaurant for conversation and possible future mentoring. Prepare a special meal or dessert for seniors or nursing home residents. Create floral arrangements for a senior center, nursing home, police station, hospital, or the homebound. Create kindness handouts for merchants to give out. Visit nursing homes or senior centers with recordings of songs that bring back memories, such as Mitch Miller. Create a collection box for kindness stories that merchants can put on their counters. Then create a newsletter featuring these stories. Host a kindness storytelling party at a veterans hospital or other health care facility. Organize a blood drive dedicated to Random Acts of Kindness. Collect goods for a food bank or shelter. Work with retirement/senior centers or residential facilities to develop interactive programs with young children. Set up free coffee, tea, or hot chocolate for morning commuters. During warm months, offer water and lemonade. Host a tea and dancing social or bingo night for seniors. Sponsor a “Kindness Zone” or “Practice Random Acts of Kindness” sign at entrances to the downtown area of your community. Start a ribbon campaign. Give out kindness ribbons to be worn and passed on to another person. The giver of the kind act can sign the back of the ribbon before passing it along. At the end of the campaign, display the signed ribbons at the mayor’s office or city hall. Hold a teddy bear drive, and donate the collected bears for police or firefighters to give to traumatized children. Work with schools, businesses, and merchants to raise “Pennies for a Kindness Park” (or other community beautification project). Pennies don’t seem to have much value, but when combined, they do make a difference. In the same way, one kind act may seem insignificant, but many kind acts practiced daily have great impact. Sponsor the planting of a Kindness Tree or Garden. With the help of youth groups, service clubs, or other volunteers, plant the tree or flowers in a public area like a park or walking trail. Sponsor a “Kindness Mascot” to visit schools for a day. The mascot can talk about Random Acts of Kindness and distribute cheerful stickers or handmade bookmarks with kindness quotes on them. Collect personal care items, new underwear, and socks for homeless shelters and safe houses. Create art or crafts, such as quilts, afghans, or baby blankets, and donate them to be auctioned or given away by a nonprofit

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organization or group. Sew comfort items for the police trauma unit or a children’s hospital. Traumatized children and pediatric cancer patients appreciate small quilts or stuffed animals for cuddling. Chemotherapy patients often need head coverings. Write a kind note to relatives and friends, letting them know why they are special. Create photo memory albums for your family to remind them of special times. Help a neighbor or friend who has lost a job write a resumé or cover letter. Gather a collection of kindness stories from friends and relatives. Copy these stories and give the collection as a gift. Communicate by e-mail with a friend, sharing kindness stories and your current kindness projects. If your town or city has a Kindness Coordinator, offer to help create giveaways or other gifts, such as RAK ribbons or handmade prizes. Draw secret pals and do anonymous kind acts for your secret pal. Have a donation drive for dog food, cat food and kitty litter for your local animal shelter. Make cards and favors for homebound people that can be delivered with meals.

MENTALLY CHALLENGED
Support Random Acts of Kindness initiatives by donating support and volunteer time to a nonprofit organization. Recycle all newspapers, plastics, aluminum, and paper. Create art or crafts, and donate them to be auctioned or given away by a nonprofit organization. Clean up trash and don’t litter. Keep your area looking its best. Create a “smile file” with cartoons and pictures that make others smile; pick out a cartoon to cheer up a friend in need. Extend a hand to someone in need. Pay a compliment once every hour. Create a “good news” bulletin board to fill with upbeat news about your family and friends. Go out with a group of friends and family and perform acts of kindness. Help out with community events by making crafts, planting flowers, etc. Put up “Kindness Zone” signs and banners to remind people to practice Random Acts of Kindness. Write a kind note to relatives and friends, letting them know why they are special. Open the door for another person. Arrange with a nursing home to visit a resident who has no family nearby. Give the gift of your smile. Organize a wheelchair basketball tournament and invite children from the community to participate in borrowed wheelchairs.

PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED
Create a “good news” bulletin board filled with upbeat news about your coworkers and friends (such as pictures of coworkers’ babies or articles about their accomplishments). Hold a special class and teach neighbors and members of service clubs basic sign language skills, such as the alphabet and common phrases. Organize a group of friends and family to go out and perform acts of kindness, such as cleaning up a schoolyard or park; delivering baskets of goodies to elderly people in the community; visiting a nursing home to provide conversation and company to the residents; and teaching at an adult literacy center. Invite community organizations to participate with you and your group in reading to, helping with, and singing to physically challenged children. Put up “Kindness Zone” signs and banners at the entrance to your house, place of work, etc., to remind people to practice kindness. Set up a free coffee, tea, or hot chocolate station near a heavily commuted area. During warm months, offer water and lemonade. Be sure to have a banner and a smile to encourage people to practice Random Acts of Kindness. Approach bookstore owners and publishers about ordering and carrying more books in large print or on tape. Hold a canned food drive and give the food to a food bank or shelter. Be sure to include some kindness cards or quotes with

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the delivery. Ask the mayor or city council to build a wheelchair-accessible park or to enforce laws requiring accessible ramps and doorways. Sponsor the planting of a Kindness Tree or Kindness Garden. With the help of youth groups, service clubs, or other volunteers, plant the tree or flowers in a public area, like a park or walking trail. Display a kindness plaque for others to read about kindness. Write or draw a kind note to relatives, coworkers, and friends, letting them know why they are special. Give lectures and attend special events at high schools, colleges, universities, and rehabilitation clinics. Your presence and ideas about kindness will promote tolerance and a sense of community.

CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES
We recognize that some facilities allow residents to work on projects together while others do not, so we have included both group and individual activities. Below are participation ideas that can be tailored to your community.

INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITIES
Write a thank-you note to a staff member who went out of his or her way to help you. Draw bookmarks with kind sayings on them for the library to copy and hand out. Pass on personal books, newspapers, or magazines to another inmate. Refrain from judging others or harassing them because they may be different or because of their crime. Send money to a utility company to pay a bill for a family member or friend. Forgive a debt. Become a tutor. Help someone write a letter or learn something new. Put notes of encouragement in library books for someone else to find. If you are in a self-change group, initiate positive affirmations to be given out to one another. To make sure everyone gets one, make a master copy of names of group members, then copy it for each member. Suggest that each member write at least three positive statements – qualities that they admire about the person — for everyone on the list. An example of a positive statement would be: “You have made great progress in your communications skills.” On the outside of an envelope to a loved one, write: “This letter is being sent to an angel!” Send a kindness story or poem to a friend or family member. Refrain from telling “war stories” about drugs or criminality. If someone lets you use a radio, return it with new batteries. Give a birthday card to a friend on his or her birthday. Send your children candy or other goodies from the canteen. Do not talk behind anyone’s back or spread rumors. Send positive letters to a juvenile detention facility. Have your family donate something of yours anonymously to a charity. Assume that everyone has gone through pain and heartaches, just as you have, and treat them with the same kindness and respect that you would like to be given.

GROUP ACTIVITIES
Learn how to repair used eyeglasses, toys, etc. (donated by the community), for distribution to homeless or low income people. If you have a print shop, make flyers, posters, bulletins, and newsletters for faith organizations, schools, or charities. Hold a read-a-thon for a worthy cause. Find sponsors from the staff who will pay money per book read by an inmate, and donate the proceeds to a charity such as child abuse causes. Also, consider holding walk-a-thons or “lift-a-thons” (using barbells) inside the yards. Perform paralegal services or research for the elderly or for low income people. Most adult correctional facilities have fairly comprehensive law libraries. Repair computers, VCRs, furniture, etc., for schools or faith organizations.

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Run a recycling center for the community. Make quilts, baby clothes, dolls, etc., for low income people. Establish a community volunteer program inside the institution to help with outside community volunteer activities. Meet with community organizers to determine what jobs (e.g., writing, collating, design work) could be done by inmates. Begin an assembly program to assist with houses being built for lower-income people. Assemble parts of housing structures or cabinetry for use in the community. Most adult correctional facilities have wood shops or vocational programs. Bring in a craftsperson to teach papermaking, bookmaking, or other crafts. Use the skills to create thank-you gifts for family, community members, social workers, or benefactors. Make frames to display the artwork of students in hallways, libraries, airports, etc. If the institution has a good wood shop, make park benches or trash receptacles for the community at cost (to cover of the materials). At the end of a youth class or group gathering, do a “validation chain.” One student begins by sharing a respectful, appreciative remark to another person. This is passed on and on until everyone has been included. In a living situation that can be demoralizing, the participants leave feeling good about one another. Present a special event – a Poetry and Inspirational Reading evening — at juvenile hall. Incarcerated youth read original and selected poetry and inspirational material, focusing on tolerance or another positive trait. Invite parents, institutional staff, supervisors, district leaders, and the press. This gives the students a chance to engage in a cooperative, kind, respectful activity with staff as well as to develop self-esteem. A high-security correctional facility in Colorado has had success with its knitting program. Inmates use knitting machines to create caps, teddy bears, scarves, mittens, and dolls for homeless or poor children throughout the state. Inmates earn the right to enter this program through good behavior.

WINTER HOLIDAYS
Volunteer to set up, decorate, register guests, serve lunch, or sell raffle tickets at a community event for the elderly, students, or a nonprofit organization. Sort, wrap, organize, or deliver holiday presents for people who can’t do it themselves. Celebrate senior citizens or students by having a special holiday dinner. Set up the dining room, prepare and serve dinner, visit, and play holiday games. Prepare treats for neighbors, emergency workers, mail carriers, coworkers, military personnel, or other community members, along with a note of appreciation. Before mailing packages or letters to military service personnel, contact your local American Red Cross chapter for current procedures and regulations. “Adopt” a family, child, or senior citizen and spend time with them, especially during the winter holidays. Call an animal shelter and find out what donations they need. Collect things like treats, food, first aid supplies, toys, cat litter, and blankets for the homeless animals. For a charity, volunteer to distribute or deliver clothes, food, and gifts. Dress up as a holiday helper and visit neighbors and friends. Make or teach holiday crafts. Mentor, tutor, or teach youth, especially before final exams. Organize, clean up, or provide entertainment for holiday parties and get-togethers. Give a donation to a charity as a gift for someone who already has everything. Donate gift certificates to be given to families in need during the holidays. Volunteer for a meal delivery service. Bring kindness and warmth, as well as food, to the homebound. Collect coats, hats, gloves, socks, scarves, boots or other warm items for the various homeless shelters to be distributed before the cold sets in. Delay adopting a dog or cat until a couple of weeks after the winter holidays. Just like other gift returns, far too many dogs and cats offered as presents end up in animal shelters. Visit a neighbor and help him or her prepare for the holidays. Help decorate a senior center or an elementary school for the winter holidays. Sing or carol throughout your neighborhood. Volunteer at an animal shelter or pet-sit for a neighbor during the holiday season.

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Organize a diverse holiday exhibit or parade to kick off the holiday season. Showcase different celebrations, such as Kwanzaa, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Ramadan. Plan and help with holiday activities for homeless children. Participate in family-oriented activities, such as helping together in a soup kitchen or sponsoring a homeless family. Design and send homemade holiday cards and send them to people in the military, homeless shelters, or nursing homes. Perform acts of kindness rather than buying gifts. Provide transportation for elderly neighbors to help with their holiday gift or grocery shopping. Serve holiday meals at a shelter, soup kitchen, community center, or faith organization. Put together a notebook and fill it with holiday kindness stories. Share these treasures with your peers and family. Cut out the pictures from holiday greeting cards, and send them to a charity that uses them for projects. Help an elderly neighbor or nursing home resident with holiday decorations.

Practice Random Acts of Kindness™

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“There’s something wonderfully rewarding in being part of an effort that does make a difference.”
— Brian O’Connell

ACTIVITY IDEAS: WORKPLACE
These Activity Ideas for the Workplace provide a wealth of kindness ideas for workplace colleagues. Feel free to adapt these ideas to your own work environment!

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kindness
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CONTENTS
Welcome! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 RAK Celebration Dates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Workplace Ideas
Business and the Community Co-workers . . . . . . . . . . . . . Health Care Facilities . . . . . . Libraries and Bookstores. . . . Local Government . . . . . . . . Professional Organizations . . Senior Facilities . . . . . . . . . . Supervisors . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wellness Teams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Practice Random Acts of Kindness™

Welcome!
Welcome to the Kindness Movement! We hope you find in these pages a wealth of ideas to help you encourage and promote Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) in your workplace! Whether you choose to implement these particular ideas or allow them to stimulate ideas of your own, we hope that your brainstorming and planning is both exciting and inspiring for you. We call our volunteers Kindness Coordinators, and they come from all walks of life, ages, and professions. We hope you will decide to join our tens of thousands of participants and become a Kindness Coordinator in your area. Everything you do to share and promote kindness helps make the world a better place.

The Random Acts of Kindness™ Foundation 1727 Tremont Place Denver, CO 80202 800.660.2811 Fax: 303.297.2919 www.actsofkindness.org info@actsofkindness.org

Please use our website to print our free resources. This workplace guide provides a wealth of kindness ideas for the workplace. Our Project Planning Guide offers tips for planning and implementing projects both small and large. If you are an educator or know one, our Teacher’s Guide will help encourage kindness in the classroom and contains hundreds of ideas. In addition, using our Publicity Guide will allow your efforts to receive the media attention they deserve. We all need to read good news in our daily paper, and you can provide some of it!

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All of the above guides are on our website at www.actsofkindness.org. While you’re there, check out our free lesson plans, project plans, inspiration, and other resources! Please let us know how you use the ideas in this booklet. Learning which ideas are implemented in different settings helps us improve our resources, so please tell us about your kindness activity or project. When you share with us your project description and reflections about that project, you are helping people around the globe! We encourage you to use the handy web page templates on our website and create your own kindness web pages! You can announce to others what kindness activities you have done, share photos, and make connections with other organizations who have already posted their kindness web pages with us — all free of charge. The staff of The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is available to you for consultation and support. Our contact information is below, and we hope that you will take the initiative to stay in touch with us. Your friends at The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation Website: www.actsofkindness.org E-mail: info@actsofkindness.org

RAK CELEBRATION DATES
2006
Random Acts of Kindness Week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Feb. 13 - 19, 2006 World Kindness Week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nov. 13 - 19, 2006 World Kindness Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nov. 13, 2006

2007
Random Acts of Kindness Week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Feb. 12 - 18, 2007 World Kindness Week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nov. 12 - 18, 2007 World Kindness Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nov. 13, 2007

Feel free to adapt the RAK Week dates to your own employment environment. You are welcome to celebrate RAK Week or RAK Month any time of the year — or all year long! We support participants with ideas and materials on our website throughout the year. Also, please keep us informed about your kindness activities. We are a clearinghouse for ideas, and your sharing of ideas will help thousands of others encourage kindness in their workplaces.

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WORKPLACE IDEAS
BUSINESS AND THE COMMUNITY
Donate goodies for children to deliver to city service workers (e.g., police, firefighters, animal shelter). Create or donate floral arrangements for senior centers, nursing homes, police station, hospitals, etc. Collect goods throughout RAK Week (or during the whole year) for a food bank or shelter. Give coupons for discounted or free goods to schools to use as incentives for their kindness programs. If your community has a RAK Week committee, put out a memo to your staff asking for volunteers to help plan and implement the next campaign. Allow them to use your copier or fax if needed. Donate a percentage of your revenue for one day to a group in need. Donate flowers to a meal delivery program. Work with schools and service clubs to raise “Pennies for a Kindness Park” (or other community beautification project). Pennies don’t seem to have much value, but when combined, they do make a difference. In the same way, one kind act may seem insignificant, but many kind acts practiced daily have great impact. Take up a collection to purchase items needed by a nonprofit organization. Plant a Kindness Tree or Garden with the help of youth groups, service clubs, or other volunteers. Ask the mayor to give a brief presentation at the dedication. Organize a blood drive dedicated to Random Acts of Kindness. Sponsor a Random Acts of Kindness mascot to circulate, distributing gifts and suggestions for acts of kindness. You could also send the mascot to a school to interact with the children. Hand out suggestions for acts of kindness to each customer, and offer a nominal discount in exchange for their pledge to do an act of kindness. Hold a children’s kindness poster contest for the community. Give away the first $10 of purchases on a given day or pick a couple of days during RAK Week to do this. “To cultivate kindness is Set up free coffee, tea, or hot chocolate for morning passersby or people who enter a valuable part of the your store. During warm months, offer lemonade or water. business of life.” Put a collection box for kindness stories on your counter. Then create a special -Samuel Johnson newsletter featuring these stories and distribute it to your customers. You may want to have a RAK bulletin board instead for people to post their stories. Banks with drive-through booths can have someone wash the car windows for a day. Offer a nominal discount on purchases when people agree either to perform an act of kindness or to write out a story for a kindness story collection box in your store. Use bags decorated by participating school children. Distribute kindness bookmarks or buttons created by schoolchildren. Put “Kindness Zone” signs in your front window. If you have a marquee, put a kindness phrase on it, such as “Practice Random Acts of Kindness” or “Kindness — Pass It On!” Buy a big box of donuts and give them to the store next to yours. Give kindness-related items, such as “pass it on” cards or bookmarks with kindness quotes on them, to customers. Start a ribbon campaign. Perhaps senior citizens or another group can create Random Acts of Kindness ribbons for free distribution at your place of business. Ask an elementary school to have their students create posters for your establishment with suggestions for acts of kindness your customers can do. Restaurants can host outings for Head Start classes. Give discounted or complimentary meals to seniors. Restaurants can give a participating school blank paper place mats on which kids can write their kindness stories or drawings depicting kind acts. Then use the place mats during RAK Week. You can perpetuate the supply by offering customers a discount in exchange for their creating a replacement Kindness Place mat. Give coupons for discounted or free goods to schools to use as incentives for their kindness programs.

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COWORKERS
Invite someone new to lunch. Welcome and get to know new hires. When a coworker needs to talk, meet him or her at lunch and listen with compassion. Tell your boss why you appreciate him or her. Walk a coworker to the car or bus at nighttime for safety. Leave a treat on the desk of a coworker with whom you normally don’t get along. Write, draw, make, or buy something encouraging for a colleague who is experiencing difficulties. Offer to baby-sit a coworker’s children for an evening. Remember others’ birthdays and important events. Take a photo of your colleagues at work and give it to them so their families can see them on the job. Help an overworked colleague with some tasks. Place a flower on the desk of each of your coworkers. Do some yard work for a coworker who is ill or recovering from surgery. Refrain from negative talk; concentrate on the positive. Surprise a coworker with a soft drink, coffee, or bottled water. Offer to help out with the not-so-pleasant tasks at work. Show your appreciation to coworkers through words and notes. Bring in a treat to share with coworkers. Give a compliment. Allow a coworker’s child to shadow you for a day and learn about your job. Write a letter commending an employee who helped you, and address it to his or her boss. Share positive news and quotes with others. Teach one of your skills to another coworker, and learn a skill from him or her as well.

HEALTH CARE FACILITIES
Put a large blank banner in the entry way or in waiting rooms. Invite patients and visitors to write their kindness stories on it for all to enjoy. Invite families and friends of patients to a kindness party. Let guests know ahead of time that they will be asked at the party to stand up briefly and honor their family member by sharing memories of their kind acts. Have volunteers visit patients to share and hear their kindness stories. Host a kindness storytelling party, during which patients share stories of kindness from their lives. In addition to stories from the past, consider asking for tales about recent acts of kindness demonstrated by the staff or kind acts shown among the patients or residents. Staff members can spend a break doing something extra special for another staff member or a patient. Organize a massage-a-thon for caregivers. Contact massage therapists to donate massages to the hospital staff. Schedule the massages so that caregivers on all shifts receive one. Invite a community group, such as a classroom or service organization, to join you “Nice, how we never for a storytelling party or a special dance, tea, lunch, or bingo game. get dizzy from doing How about a special party for the children’s ward? Patients can thank the staff for all good turns.” they do with special cards or handmade gifts created in art therapy or at other social gatherings. Staff can write anonymous notes to patients commenting on their special -George Bengis qualities. If your town or city has a Kindness Coordinator, offer to help make RAK giveaways, such as ribbons or bookmarks. Create a collection of kindness stories from patients and staff; copy and distribute the collection to staff, patients, and their families. Invite hair stylists to come and style patients’ hair. Ask them to share a snack or meal, or join you for a kindness storytelling party. Create a kindness box where patients and staff can deposit anonymous notes to others saying what they appreciate about them. Notes can be distributed regularly or held for a special event.

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Brighten patients’ days by arranging with a florist or garden club to donate flowers to put on meal trays. Work with schools to develop interactive programs. Older children can read to the patients while younger children can visit or play games.

LIBRARIES & BOOKSTORES
LIBRARIES
Help someone get a library card. Donate books. Read stories to children at the library. Volunteer for the Read Aloud program or to help with special events. Participate in library-sponsored programs that teach people to use the Internet. Be kind in the care of your library books. Be respectful of other people who use the library. Deliver books to people who are homebound. Help shelve books if your library offers this as a volunteer task. Read to someone who is blind. Teach someone to read through a community literacy program. Help with homework assignments or tutoring programs if your library offers these services. Donate photographs, diaries, letters, and books with historic significance to your library’s history/genealogy department. Assist customers with disabilities to use on-site library services.

BOOKSTORES
Host a special Random Acts of Kindness storytelling evening with your customers. Ask them to bring their experiences to share with others. To publicize the event beforehand, collect stories from your employees and some of your regular customers. Ask a newspaper or radio station to announce the event, and include some of the stories. Afterwards, be sure to have participants send their stories to the radio station and/or newspaper again for a follow-up piece. Don’t forget kids’ stories! Create a kindness wall journal in your store by posting large sheets of paper on the walls. Customers can write their personal kindness experiences on the journal. Organize a group from your community to go out and offer acts of kindness, such as cleaning up a schoolyard or park, delivering baskets of goodies to elderly people “Kindness is a language in your community, visiting a nursing home to provide conversation and company, the deaf can hear and and teaching at an adult literacy center. the blind can read.” Collect donations and help for disaster or accident victims, or for families who - Mark Twain have recently suffered some sort of loss or setback. Invite speakers to present a series of in-store evening discussions about kindness in their lives. Give out ideas for acts of kindness to your customers. Put up kindness posters or drawings created in school Random Acts of Kindness programs. Create and hand out bookmarks, ribbons, buttons, or other Random Acts of Kindness reminders. Host a book drive to benefit children or senior citizens. Put a collection box for kindness stories on your counter. Then create a special newsletter featuring these stories, and give it to your customers. Put planter boxes of flowers in front of your shop, and invite schoolchildren to paint them with kindness slogans and pictures (e.g., hearts, stick figures holding hands). Hold a children’s kindness drawing or coloring campaign. Start a ribbon campaign. Give out kindness ribbons to be worn and passed on to others. Have each person sign the back before passing it along. Gather the signed ribbons at the mayor’s office or city hall for display. Hold a teddy bear drive and donate bears to police or firefighters for traumatized children. Put up “Kindness Zone” signs at the entrances to your store, or create a Random Acts of Kindness poster or sign for your window.

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT
GOVERNMENT OFFICES
Health department employees can give up a lunch hour to give lollipops, balloons, and kindness stickers to children in the waiting rooms of a medical clinic. City hall can host an open house for employees and residents. Be sure to hand out RAK activity ideas printed from our website at www.actsofkindness.org. Local schoolchildren could decorate kindness posters to display at the open house. Create and hang RAK banners over the doors and RAK posters in the lobbies of government buildings. Ask schoolchildren to create original artwork for the displays. Organize a blood drive dedicated to Random Acts of Kindness. Donate floral arrangements to a senior center, nursing home, police station, hospital, or the homebound. Make collection boxes for kindness stories for merchants to put on their counters. Then create a newsletter featuring these stories. Send out a news release periodically to the media about agencies and businesses committed to kindness toward children, the elderly, homeless, handicapped, abused, the environment, etc. Get the police department involved! Police officers can hand out “Kindness Citations” as they witness kind acts on duty. (Seattle’s former Chief of Police spent the day on bicycle patrol giving out kindness citations.) Police also can give out “Good Driving” tickets, visit classrooms with stories of kindness they encounter on duty, put a banner over the police station entry way, or display kids’ kindness drawings. Firefighters can visit shut-in residents or schools to discuss safety. The town library can forgive late fines on RAK Day. Start a ribbon campaign. Give out kindness ribbons to be worn “Once you begin to acknowledge ranand passed on to another person. The giver of the kind act can sign the back of the ribbon before passing it along. At the end of the camdom acts of kindness--both the ones paign, display the signed ribbons at the mayor’s office or city hall. you have received and the ones you Hold a teddy bear drive and donate bears to police or firefighters have given--you can no longer believe to give to traumatized children. that what you do does not matter.” Put up “Kindness Zone” or “Practice Random Acts of Kindness” Dawna Markova signs at entrances to the downtown area.

MAYOR or CITY COUNCIL
The mayor can make an official proclamation of the community’s participation in RAK Week. Samples are available in the Publicity Guide on our website at www.actsofkindness.org. The mayor’s office or the city council, with the help of a kindness committee, can host a coffee and cake party for community members to inform them of the importance of the community’s participation in Random Acts of Kindness Week. The mayor or city council members can visit schools, civic organizations, youth groups, and sports teams to discuss the importance of the community’s involvement in RAK Week. The mayor can record a public service announcement for RAK Week that can be distributed to radio stations.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
Take a Head Start class or a youth organization to a fast food restaurant for conversation and possible future mentoring. Work with a children’s residential facility to develop an interactive program for the children to meet with members of your organization. Sponsor a “Kindness Zone” or “Practice Random Acts of Kindness” sign at entrances to the downtown area of your community. Post a plaque in your business lobby that has a kindness slogan, such as “We Promote Random Acts of Kindness.” Sponsor the planting of a Kindness Tree or Garden. With the help of a youth group, service club, or neighborhood group, plant the tree or flowers in a public area like a park or walking trail. Create kindness handouts for members to distribute.

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Organize an internal kindness activity at your place of business. (See our other workplace ideas.) Host a kindness storytelling party at a veterans hospital or other health care facility. Distribute a collection box for kindness stories that members can display at their workplace. Then create a special edition of a newsletter featuring these stories. Organize a blood drive dedicated to Random Acts of Kindness. Deliver Baskets of Kindness to shut-ins. Include items such as stationery, stamps, a deck of playing cards, a puzzle or game, a magazine, fresh flowers, a book, a mug, cookies or other treat, and a greeting card signed by the members of your organization. Volunteer to visit high school classes and talk about your work responsibilities and the education and skills required to perform your job. Start a ribbon campaign. Give out kindness ribbons to be worn and passed on to another person. The giver of the kind act can sign the back of the ribbon before passing it along. At the end of the campaign, display the signed ribbons at the mayor’s office or city hall. Hold a teddy bear drive and donate teddy bears to police or fire departments for traumatized children. Arrange for youth to shadow willing members and learn what different profes“The ideas that have lighted sions entail. my way have been Work with schools and service clubs to raise “Pennies for a Kindness Park” kindness, beauty and truth.” (or other community beautification project). Pennies don’t seem to have much -Albert Einstein value, but when combined, they do make a difference. In the same way, one kind act may seem insignificant, but many kind acts practiced daily have great impact. Collect goods for a food bank or shelter. Gather personal care items, disposable diapers, new underwear, and socks for homeless shelters and safe houses. Sponsor a “Kindness Mascot” to visit schools for a day. The mascot can talk about Random Acts of Kindness and distribute cheerful stickers or bookmarks with kindness quotes on them. Start a mentoring program in a school, community or recreation center, faith organization, or library. Donate your computer skills. A computer society in Florida schedules regular Random Acts of Kindness computer clinics at libraries. Society members donate their time for the day, and community members sign up ahead of time for a free troubleshooting session.

SENIOR FACILITIES
Invite a community group, such as a classroom or auxiliary, to join you for a special dance, tea, lunch, or bingo night. If you have a Kindness Coordinator, offer to help create giveaways or other gifts, such as RAK ribbons or handmade prizes. Make cards to give to the residents. Invite a classroom of children to come and talk with or read to residents. Have a gathering of residents during which they share their personal kindness stories aloud. Invite families and friends of residents to a kindness party, during which each guest stands up and honors the elderly family member by sharing memories of his or her kind acts. Organize a sing along. Host a kindness storytelling party, with residents and staff members sharing stories of kindness from their lives. To boost morale, you might focus on stories about recent acts of kindness from the staff or kind acts among the residents rather than stories from their past. Staff members can spend a break doing something extra special for another staff member or a resident. Residents can thank staff with special cards or handmade gifts. Interview the residents and learn about similarities and differences in how you both grew up. Ask them what influenced them in history. Write up the interview, take their photo, and give them and the facility a copy of your story. Put a large blank banner in the entry way to the facility and invite residents and guests to write their kindness stories on it. Bake cookies to share. Create a collection of kindness stories from staff and residents. Copy and distribute it, and display it in common sitting or dining areas. Invite hair stylists to come in and style residents’ hair and share a snack or meal. Bring flowers, small gifts, or cheerful cards with a message of kindness, and distribute one to each resident.

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Create a kindness box in which residents and staff can deposit anonymous notes to others saying what is special about them. Notes can be distributed regularly or held for a special event. Praise the work or attitude of an employee.

SUPERVISORS
Bring someone a cup of coffee, hot cocoa, or a soft drink. Discuss with coworkers acts of kindness you all have given or received. Leave a kind note on the water cooler or counter with suggestions like, “Take a deep breath and move peacefully through your day.” Post copies of inspirational poems or thoughts for all to enjoy. Put an anonymous, supportive note on an employee’s desk. Give “Go Home Two Hours Early” certificates to employees during RAK Week. Or enter employees’ names in a drawing for a “Leave Two Hours Early” certificate. Carry small wrapped candies in your pocket to give as “angel kisses” to someone who needs a lift. Attach suggestions for acts of kindness to Hershey Kisses and Hugs. Each employee takes a candy and then performs the RAK suggested to benefit another employee. Sponsor a kindness drawing or coloring campaign for your staff’s children. Put plants in your facility. A study at Washington State University indicated that living indoor plants may increase productivity and reduce stress for employees. Give employees the option to take a paid day to go volunteer at a charity of their choice. Help them research a charity that most interests them. Boost morale at the workplace by having your staff submit stories about kindness in the workplace. Start with a memo giving them information about the RAK movement, letting them know your plans for RAK Week, and asking them to submit their stories. When the week is over, distribute the stories as a collection, post them on a Kindness Bulletin Board, or include one or more in each company newsletter. If you don’t have a newsletter, create a weekly or monthly Kindness Bulletin and keep it going throughout the year. Create a “good news” bulletin board to fill with upbeat news about employees (such as pictures of coworkers’ newborn babies or articles about the coworkers’ accomplishments). Distribute a recording of relaxing or healing music to each employee.

WELLNESS TEAMS
Deliver an encouraging quote about kindness or another positive character trait to employees every day during Random Acts of Kindness Week. Build a library of inspirational or healing tapes, videos, and books for employees to check out. Offer special “Be Kind To Your Body” incentives for employees who begin or continue healthful programs, including exercise routines, stop-smoking methods, yoga, weight management, and stress reduction. Distribute an instruction sheet of simple, brief stretches for employees to do during their workday. Have a “Thank a Mentor” week and distribute note cards so employees can write “Kind words can be short a thank-you note to someone who has made a difference in their life. and easy to speak, but their Collect brief personal stories, perhaps in a collection box, from employees who echoes are truly endless.” have overcome difficult circumstances with the help of the kindness of others. With -Mother Teresa permission from the employees, share the stories with all employees by e-mail, or publish them in the company newsletter. People connect with personal stories, and stories are powerful community builders. Create a “Peace Zone” for centering, meditation, or music-for-reflection during the last part of lunch hour. Offer employees a chance to use their lunch hour to drive together to a nearby children’s facility and distribute bookmarks with kindness quotes on them, or arrange for the employees to leave work an hour early to do this together. Create a Kindness Box where patients and staff can deposit anonymous notes to others, expressing what they appreciate

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about them. Notes can be distributed regularly, published in an employee newsletter, or held for a special event. Collect teddy bears for police officers to give to traumatized children. Attach a note to each teddy bear for the donating employee to sign. Invite a police officer and/or trauma social worker to your facility to accept the bears and speak to the employees briefly about the role of kindness in trauma. Put a large blank banner in the hall and invite employees to write or tape their kindness stories on it for all to enjoy. Create “Kindness — Pass It On” cards for employees to pass from one person to another to accompany each kind act. The card might have a simple graphic with the words: “This act of kindness was performed especially for you. Please offer an act of kindness to someone else, and pass this card on to them.” In February 1999, Oprah! featured a story in which an employee described how she began an Office Kindness Chain. “Employees performed acts of kindness for one another and wrote a card to the employee describing what they had done. Acts of kindness included arranging for a single parent’s children to visit her for lunch at work, filling an employee’s desk drawer with snack food, or donating a few hours of volunteer work in the name of an employee. Other ideas that have worked well in the past are: offering to take a coworker’s children to the zoo for a day or organizing a lawn care day for an incapacitated or post-surgical employee.”

Practice Random Acts of Kindness™

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Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.
— Seneca, philosopher

Workplace Corner
Our Workplace Corner shares ideas that companies and organizations have used to share kindness in their workplaces. To add your own Workplace Corner kindness, e-mail RAK at info@actsofkindness.org

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kindness

1. Little Bags of Candy
Submitted by Deana, Iowa

I am the coordinator for Children’s Miracle Network at a hospital in my town. I am responsible for all of the employee fund-raising events that go on inside of our hospital. Back in early February we held a Random Act of Kindness event for our employees. We sold bags of candy for $1.50, carnations for $1.00 or both for $2.00. Employees were able to purchase these gifts for their fellow employees as a “thank you” or “great job.” The gifts were then delivered to the specified employees during the week of Valentine’s Day (Random Acts of Kindness Week). The event went over fabulously! We raised over $700 for an amazing charity and brought happiness to our coworkers at the same time. The looks on the faces of our employees made the whole effort worth it!

2. Birthdays
Submitted by Melissa, Texas

Practice Random Acts of Kindness™

When I started at my job, I thought it would be nice—because it is such a small company—to have everyone be more personal. So I got a list of everyone’s birthday. Every time one comes up, I bring a cake, and we take a moment out of our day to celebrate that person’s birthday. Everyone really gets a kick out of it, and it makes them feel cared for and special.

3. Secret Pals
Submitted by Anonymous

At our workplace, we have what we call secret pals. Whoever wants to participate fills out a form with information about themselves (hobbies, interests, favorite candy or colors, etc.).

The Random Acts of Kindness™ Foundation 1727 Tremont Place Denver, CO 80202 800-660-2811 Fax: 303-297-2919 info@actsofkindness.org www.actsofkindness.org

One person collects these forms, then gives each form to a different person. So everyone has a secret pal that they do things for (e.g., give gifts, leave notes, or just about anything you would want to do). You know who you are doing nice things for, but they don’t know who is doing it for them. It is really fun. At the end of the year, we have a little party. We reveal who is everyone’s secret pal, and then we start it all over again.

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4. Scheduling Kindness Surprises
Submitted by Karlene, Indiana

Our organization is a great place to work, but there is always room for improvement. We value our fellow employees, and decided we should demonstrate just how we feel about them. There are many of us in positions that are unique; therefore, interaction with other employees is rare. The physical location of our company is not conducive to fostering interactions with other employees either. Our departments are split up on different floors of our building, and the majority of us reside in 6’x8’ cubicles. For this reason, there are times that we feel isolated. Everyone needs to feel they are essential to the organization as both an employee and as a person. So we decided to break through the cubicle walls and reach out to our coworkers. During our December meeting, we unanimously decided to perform Random Acts of Kindness on a monthly basis. We created an “Acts of Kindness” schedule. Yes, a schedule. What happened to the “randomness” you might say? The recipients don’t know there is a schedule. They have no idea what we’re doing! We keep them guessing... “Who is next?” “Who is doing this?” “What is going to happen next?” So you see, it really is random... to the recipient, that is. We created RAK “calling cards.” Each recipient of our “Acts of Kindness” receives a calling card. It is our intention that the recipient will then use the card for someone else. Hopefully, this process will enable us to keep “passing on” the acts of kindness. We assigned two Health Services employees to head up the Random Acts of Kindness for each month and for each department. The assigned employees are free to do the acts on their own, or they can include the entire Health Services Department. Some acts of kindness are anonymous, while others are not. The total cost of each kind act is less than $10. Our preference is that the only cost involved is our time and effort. In addition, the random acts are applicable to more than one person. The schedule contains “suggested” acts of kindness based upon the department’s individual needs or circumstances. An example we can share would be our Member Services group. It is difficult for them to leave their desks since they are on the phones nearly all of time. They miss out on free food in the break room a lot! Another reason for this is that our Member Services Department is located on a different floor from the break room, and employees can’t always get there fast enough. So our “Act of Kindness” was taking food to them on a tea cart. There were plenty of goodies on the tea cart—donuts, coffee, tea, and hot cocoa. In this case, we personalized the “act” to meet the need of the department. See Karlene’s kindness webpage at: http://www.actsofkindness.org/member_sites/Karlene/index.asp

5. Parenting Idea Pool
Submitted by Riaz-ul Haque, Ph.D. (Emeritus), University of Illinois

When it comes to education, kids and parents suffer in silence. The only avenues open to them are schools, tutoring, summer camps, counseling, and eventually medication. This is a lifelong struggle because kids, if they don’t do well after graduation, continue to be source of stress to themselves as well as to their parents. These worries also bleed into workplace affecting parents’ job performance, which, if not rectified, could lead to warnings from the employers and eventually to getting fired.

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If we continue to regard this dilemma to be of the kids or the parents but not of the employers, then we are being unkind to all three, especially when kids, parents and employers are all part of life as we now know it. Why not cooperate instead of reprimanding, demanding and punishing! One solution is an idea pool where innovative and analytical ideas and solutions are pooled and made available to the employees through a company newsletter. These ideas have to be over and above the conventional summer camps, tutoring, or similar keeping-busy activities without much learning. The ideas need to be analytical enough to spell out the problems in education while finding innovative ways to get around those problems, resulting in lessening the stressful situation both at home and at work. Searching for such answers thus becomes a mission with the individuals, and sharing these ideas anonymously through a company or faith group newsletter are single, ego-less acts of kindness. The rewards blossom as people hear their colleagues talking about how their troubled kids are benefiting from this or that idea and how workplace is getting less stressful, since the proud parents are not bringing their worries to the workplace.

6. Share a Condo
Submitted by Cindy, Illinois

My employer, Carolyn G., CEO of our company in Lake Zurich, Illinois, owns a condominium. She uses this condo to get away and refresh herself after a long week at work. She felt so blessed to be able to enjoy this that she wanted to share it with her 45 loyal employees. She decided to lease and furnish a second condominium for the employees to use on the weekends. The employees can earn points with several incentive programs that she has put in place and they can redeem the points for a limo to and from the condo, restaurant gift cards, etc. The employees recognize this as a very generous act of kindness. We are all extremely fortunate.

7. Thanksgiving Door Bag
Submitted by Brooke

The random act of kindness I started at my Youth services agency was a thanksgiving door bag. I gave every employee a white sack and told them to decorate it and hang it on their door. Their other goal was to write at least one anonymous note to each person in the office thanking them; telling why they’re appreciated; and so forth. It has been such a great success and has gotten the whole agency supporting each other! This idea can be passed on to other agency’s, or to teachers and parents at home who want to do something for their wonderful children!

8. Not Going Away Pizza Party
Submitted by Tia, California

I am throwing my staff a Not-Going-Away pizza party. Too many times, it seems like we only celebrate people once they are leaving (e.g., got a new job, moving away, etc.). RAK week seemed like the perfect time to do something fun that celebrated them for just being here.

9. RAK Week Activities in Tennessee
Submitted by Ted, Greeneville, Tennessee

I own and operate the Century 21 franchise here in Greeneville. I decided to promote the concept to a high degree as a ‘corporate’ sponsor in 2005. I wrote an informative article for the local paper and took Bar-B-Q dinners on Thursday night prior to the official start of RAK week to feed 45 volunteer firefighters from around the county as our ‘kick-off’ Act of Kindness.

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Additionally, I had a 30-foot banner created and erected out in front of our office facing a four-lane highway in our business district. Plus, I took an opportunity to promote the idea of RAK week to my area’s State Representative - and I have talked personally to the County Mayor about making a public proclamation next week on courthouse steps. Lastly, I challenged the 23 real estate agents who work here to come up with their own Act of Kindness, regardless of how trivial it may seem (such as letting a car out into traffic).

10. Papering Daycare Centers
Submitted by Mary

We have a small office, but we use a lot of continuous feed white computer paper as we print daily reports. There are lots of blank sheets when reports form feed to the next report. We were throwing away a lot of perfectly good paper. One of our employees has her two children in a small local day care center. We now collect this paper, and she brings it to the day care center for the kids to use for drawing and coloring. I’m sure there are lots of workplaces that are throwing away these single sheets of paper. The paper would make good donations to day care centers or elementary schools.

11. Helping a Customer
Submitted by Jean

One of my customers at the coffee house where I work has brought in some books by a famous Russian author. I told him that my local library was selling paperback copies of this author’s books for 25 cents each. He hasn’t gone there to get them, so I plan to buy them and give them to him when he next comes to our store.

12. Tissues for Tears, Happy or Sad
Submitted by Bunny K.

I work in an Outpatient Cancer Institute where I take care of cancer patients; educating them at their chemotherapy and giving them hope and support. I also provide them with a small token on their first visit for themselves and their families. I make covers for small packets of tissues, I call them “Tissues for Tears, Happy or Sad.” They are usually bright colors, with themes of the season and especially breast cancer patterns. I try to take away some of their fears of their first day. Even the nurses use them when they are having a rough day. This little project of mine has grown and I donate them to friends who are diagnosed and women’s support groups. I also started a project five years ago where I had friends for a special birthday luncheon where we all created handmade get well cards for my patients who become hospitalized and may then enter a hospice environment. This has been going on since then. My friends are wonderful about continuing to support it.

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13. Feel Good Faerie
Submitted by Bonnie, Florida

I’m a nurse and work as a Case Manager; we manage care for four large employer groups in Naples, Florida. It can be stressful at times and there have been some changes recently which aren’t always well received. So I have been making an anonymous ‘feel good faerie’ surprises for the past five weeks. Since it’s a small company it doesn’t take a lot of time and if I choose to make a purchase for anything it’s manageable. Week One - I used helium filled, plain red balloons, attached a tag ‘Enjoy Simple Things’ used curly ribbon to attach. Week Two - I printed one of the RAK bookmarks, added a tassel, found small pink, lip shaped postits, added (also from your web-site) ‘Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you’re up to.’ Week Three - I made a ‘Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation.’ I printed a rosebud, added ‘For all you do... this Bud’s for you. Thanks for being part of the team. You are valued.’ Week Four - I was away so they didn’t find anything on Monday, which is when I discovered that it was making a difference! Week Five - I placed a small candle in a holder I made from pink foam hair curlers cut into thirds, printed a picture of a hand to ‘hold’ the candle, all attached to a small 3 x 3 inch green felt covered square, added a sticker ‘TOGETHER’ and printed a very small card with a tiny candle with ‘No one holds a candle to our team’ and attached it standing upright beside the candle. Week Five happened to fall on World Kindness Week, with Monday being World Kindness Day. For this I did something special for the entire company. I printed the Random Act of Kindness Foundation Mission Statement, a note of my own with the idea of ‘what a perfect time to create a positive, appreciative and courteous work environment.’ I kept it simple; I suggested it was ‘a wonderful opportunity to start in our ‘WORLD’ at (the name of our company) and embrace new beginnings, respect and honor one another by showing random acts of kindness...’ At the end I added a quote from Margaret Mead from your web-site. I enclosed World Kindness Day/Week and ‘Pass It On’ cards and gave everyone a $1.00 scratch ticket. (a lottery type of thing). For Friday, I printed a bookmark I have with a verse, “A Little Love” by Mary Elizabeth Masters and put one in everyone’s mailbox. Week Six - The prize will be a huge candy ‘gem’ ring with a card stating, ‘You are truly a gem, thanks for all you do!’ So, that’s what I’ve done, and the kinds of things I do. I am very grateful as I believe I was blessed with a gift of imagination and creativity and I try to put it to use the best I can. If my small efforts can make even one second of difference in a life than I’ve succeeded. As a follow-up, I wondered if it was making any difference or even noticed. I was away one weekend and unable to make and deliver the ‘feel good faerie’ treat. I was pleasantly surprised when I returned to work and overheard people talking and wondering what happened since there was no surprise. I think this is a wonderful program and intend to advocate it with one person, one day at a time.
(Editor’s note: You can find RAK’s graphics at: http://www.actsofkindness.org/inspiration/graphics.asp)

14. ?
Submitted by YOU?

Help our Workplace Corner to continue to grow! Submit your own workplace kindness ideas and experiences for this document to: info@actsofkindness.org.

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