It all started in a Sausalito, California, restaurant in 1982! Anne Herbert scrawled the words “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” on a place mat. The idea took off slowly at first – on bumper stickers and the like. Herbert then wrote a book of true acts of kindness stories called Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty in February 1993 that set off a chain reaction.
Random Acts of Kindness Day [February 17] was first created in Denver, Colorado in 1995!! Colorado… who knew?! A random act of kindness [also known as RAoK] is a selfless, unpremeditated act of kindness to the outside world, to either help or cheer up a random stranger, for no reason other than to make people happier. Following are fifteen ways you can practice RAoK:
- Donate your old clothes to the Salvation Army.
- Help a senior with their groceries.
- Shovel a neighbor’s driveway when it snows.
- Walk a neighbor’s dog.
- Babysit for free.
- Plant a tree.
- Do a favor without asking for anything in return.
- Take someone new in your neighborhood on a tour of the city.
- Pay for someone’s coffee who is behind you in line at the coffee shop.
- Spread some encouragement online.
- Tutor a struggling student.
- Reconnect with old friends.
- Take time to listen to someone.
- Participate in a fundraiser.
- Leave a waiter a generous tip.
Let’s all celebrate RAoK month by doing something for a stranger this month!!