Random Acts of Kindness Week
Author: Shannon Miller
In the early 1990’s, news media liked to use the term “random acts of violence,” as if there were any other kind.
People around the world grew weary of hearing those words and the negativity implied by them, so a group created Random Acts of Kindness foundation in 1995.
Shortly thereafter, Random Acts of Kindness Week was established in February, so that we would be reminded to practice Random Acts, without any expectation of reward, toward others.
A great way to celebrate RAK Week is to share the concept of random acts with your children.
Example of Random Acts of Kindness you could engage your children in too would be:
Monday: Write a nice note to a teacher.
Tuesday: Help someone carry something.
Wednesday: Hold the door for someone.
Thursday: Send an email to someone you appreciate.
Friday: Help someone with a house or yard project.
Simple little things like that can start creating habits of kindness that last past Random Acts Week. Be warned that Random Acts of Kindness can be contagious! Suddenly, when people start to feel the good happen around them, they want to get in on the goodness. In this small way, we start to improve our community.
A true Random Act of Kindness Story, submitted by Jerri:
This happened to me 25 years ago yet I think of these people every New Year’s Eve. I was driving from my parents house in New Jersey back to school in Rochester, NY. In Binghamton NY my engine started giving off steam. At the first chance I got off the highway and went to a self service station. The nice man came out and helped me check my oil – empty. He sold me three cans of oil and I refilled the car. When I looked underneath I could see the oil literally pouring out of the bottom. I knew I’d never make it home. He sent me to a car repair shop. When I got in the car was already smoking again. The man at the shop told me they were closing in an hour and had cars ahead of me. I had no choice but to beg him to look at the car and wait till he could. After an hour he checked and said that the oil pressure gauge had snapped off. He told me the auto parts store was closed but he knew the owner. He called and the owner went to the store and got the part and brought it to the garage. As I sat on a pile of crates to wait the mailman stopped by. They had all indicated the waiting soda machine but I only had $50 with me and was terrified of what would happen if I needed more money. I figured I couldn’t even afford $.25 for a drink. The mailman heard my story from the counter person and on his way out bought me a soda. At last my car was fixed and they handed me the bill – it said $714. I nearly fainted and said seven hundred and fourteen dollars? The man laughed and said no – $7.14. I couldn’t believe it! They had only charged me for the part! He told me it was a gift and I was to remember and if I ever had a customer who needed help to remember. That day was made up of random acts of kindness – from the man at the self service station who helped me get oil in my car and directed me to the shop, to everyone in the shop and the mail man. They knew I wasn’t a local and would probably never be back. But they helped a young woman who needed it and I will be forever grateful.