Have you ever experienced a Random Act of Kindness? Have you ever done a Random Act of Kindness, or had someone give you a Random Act of Kindness?

A random act of kindness can be something small but thoughtful. You can let someone go in front of you in line at the grocery store. You can give someone change for a dollar. Or you can also do meaningful things for charitable organizations – such as giving canned goods to a soup kitchen, or coats for the homeless, or toys for disadvantaged children.

There are many ways that you can perform a random act of kindness, often it just takes a little extra time or thought to do so.

Random Act of Kindness Week is celebrated this year from February 12th through February 18th.

This week has been created byThe Random Acts of Kindness Foundation was created to raise awareness about kindness and to encourage people to daily give and receive kindness. It began in 1995 and this year will be the thirteenth annual Random Acts of Kindness Week.

Julie Kauffman has had many experiences with kindness. As someone who works at the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, she is very experienced with kindness. “I have experienced different acts of kindness. One of my favorites is hearing from people who appreciate what The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is doing. Those are great!,” said Kauffman.

“On a more personal level, I had a friend volunteer to watch my cat for me while I was out of town. It was only supposed to be for a week, but I ended up being gone nearly a month due to my mother’s ill health. She watched the cat for the entire time – and she absolutely hates cats! I still can’t thank her enough.” To pass the chain of kindness along, Kauffman also volunteers, she holds open doors for people, regularly gives up her seat on the train, thanks workers – especially wait staff and salesclerks, and she keeps a polite and positive attitude.

The week celebrating Random Acts of Kindness is also during the week of Valentine’s Day, and some schools may include Valentine’s Day as part of their celebration.

According to Kauffman, people plan many different activities to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week. “Community activities include food drives for food panties; blanket/clothing drives for homeless shelters; community garage sales with proceeds benefitting a charity. Schools feature kindness in their lessons and daily announcements. Some decorate their halls with posters that include kindness sayings.”

She is quick to point out that Random Acts of Kindness can be quick, simple and easy things that you can do with little planning. Here are some of her favorite ideas:

  • Hold a door open for someone.
  • Write a thank you note to someone who helped you or made a difference in your life.
  • Give blood.
  • Call an old friend.
  • Buy the person behind you in line’s coffee, lunch or toll
  • Tell your co-workers you appreciate them and give examples why.
  • Compliment someone.
  • Volunteer to read to students or at a nursing home.
  • Smile at people on the street.

For more suggestions, you can get ideas on the website including Ideas for Individuals and Groups Activity Guide.

“A random act of kindness is any act on a person’s part that helps someone else. An act of kindness does not have to be large or detailed. It does not have to be pre-planned. The Foundation supports both planned and un-planned acts of kindness. The word “random” encourages us to look beyond our circle of friends and family. It is sometimes those completely unexpected gestures to or from total strangers that have the most impact on our lives,” said Kauffman.

“To get involved in Random Acts of Kindness Weekdo an act of kindness! It’s that simple. One of the great things about kindness is it doesn’t take forethought or planning to do something that matters to someone else.

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Posted on 12 February 2007

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