Tag Archives: RAK


pay it forward drew

Today I am letting Drew help me write my blog.

He told me that today at his school there was a Monday morning gathering where the social workers handed out “Pay it Forward” bracelets.  Each student was given two of them.  They were told that one was for them to keep and the other was for them to give away AFTER they did a random act of kindness for another person.  The person they give it to has to do a RAK for another person and they will pass the bracelet on to that person.  The cycle should keep on going.

I asked him if they could only have two bracelets and he told me that was just to start it off.  He said that the goal is that you always have two on your arm because people should be doing RAK for each other all of the time.

I love the idea.  Especially at the middle school tween ages.  I hope that the idea takes off and it starts something wonderful.  How inspiring it could be for these kids to know that by doing even a little thing for someone else can change their attitude  – because even the simplest thing could have a huge impact on someone else.

pay it forward bracelet

Another Random Act of Kindness

make a difference

Early this evening, my sister shared this story with me and I decided to put it away for a later blog.

Then, I sat down to do school work, write lesson plans for a substitute so that I could go to a workshop tomorrow and begin my report cards.  By the time I sat down to write tonight, I was exhausted and stumped for something to write about.   As I said to Dave, “I honestly think I have nothing to write about,” another friend shared the same story as my sister, so I took it as a sign to share it tonight instead of waiting.  It spotlights a woman, who is going through a tough time and is treated with a random act of kindness from a stranger.


It doesn’t always have to be something big that will make someone’s day.  Even the littlest gesture at just the right time, could turn someone’s day around.



Today’s assignment for Random Acts of Kindness Week was “get in touch with an old friend”.  I thought about it during the day and decided there were a lot of people that I could get in touch with, but four of the most significant people I wanted to reach out to were my college roommates, Brooks, Mary Lynn, Debbie and Jen.  Until I began writing to them this evening. I did not realize just how much I missed them.  I was going to write each of them a personal note, but last minute, decided to send out one email with all of their names so that we could all respond to each other together.  It has been several years since all five of us have gotten together.  Mar, Deb and Brooks live in the Washington, DC area, which is where we went to school.  It has been so long that Jen and I have spoken that I am sad to say, although I think right now she is living in The Philippines, I am actually unsure where exactly she and her husband are living.  She has a glamorous, fascinating job in the foreign service and has lived all over the world.

In my email, I told them about what has been going on in  my life.  It made me realize just how long it has been since we have caught up with one another.  We share photos on facebook and we send holiday cards, but really, I was not sure how long it had been or how much I needed to share!  It actually made me a bit melancholy wondering where the time went.  Some of us have children, mine being the oldest yet I don’t even know if they realized he was in high school and that in my household, we are beginning to talk about college!!

Even so many years later, there are so many things that make me think about them.  I cannot eat a slice of white chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory without thinking of Mar and how we’d go there before our late night Astronomy class to share a piece for dinner!  Anytime I watch Forrest Gump, I get reminded of Jen, whenever Forrest pronounces his girlfriend Jenny’s name as, “Jenn I”.  The day I met Jen, she told me her name is “Jeni with an I”, so I would jokingly call her, “Jen-I” and now I always think of her when I hear him say it.  Deb was in many of my classes, as we were both education majors.  She had the most perfect handwriting of anyone I knew.  Just today, when I was writing my morning message for my class, I thought of her when I formed the letters of “Good Morning” and it looked like something she would have written!!  I have actually seen Brooks fairly recently.  She is in the NYC area often and this summer, I had the chance to meet up with her and catch up a bit.

As with any good friends, there are so many stories that I remember and just start to smile or laugh out loud.  Probably things, that would never be funny to anyone else, but can make me not only crack a smile, but often burst out laughing.

I cannot wait to hear back from all of them and see what is going on in their lives.  Often life just gets too busy and I find it hard to get it under control!  I am hoping to try to find the time to “slow it down” and take more opportunities to get in touch with my old friends.  Perhaps this year, we can have one of our mini reunions and just spend a long weekend together – just the five of us, reliving those days and just catching up with life.

Making the World a Kinder Place

kindness gift

Last night, I began to hand out “Smile Cards” in celebration of Random Acts of Kindness Week.  I shuffled the deck and told them that they could choose a card.  It looks like a regular deck of cards, with all of the typical suits.  The tasks begin at number one and are rather simple and they get more difficult as the number gets higher.  Each suit is a different color and represents a different category.

  • For people you know
  • For yourself
  • For our world
  • For those unknown

It started out with a lot of laughter after my kickboxing class as I had each of the women choose one WITHOUT looking.  Some of cards just don’t work for  everyone, so I let them put it  back and choose another if it was not appropriate for them.  It seemed a little silly at first, but as they chose cards that had significance to them, it became more meaningful.  We all got a good laugh from the first one chosen, which was in the category, “for our world” and was  “hug a tree in public and inspire others to do the same”.  Not that any of us don’t respect our planet, but it just was not feasible or realistic with a foot of snow on the ground right now in the freezing weather.   One of them chose the card, “Call a mentor to say ‘thank you'”.  She loved that one and was happy to have a reason to do it.  Each of the women chose a card that inspired them and will try to act on it this week.

At school this morning, I shared the cards with teachers and staff as well.  Here are some of the favorites.  Perhaps you could try a few of these too!!

  • Connect two friends who had not previously met each other
  • Help someone with a chore unexpectedly
  • Create five cards with positive messages and leave them in a coffee shop for someone to discover
  • Donate your favorite book to a library with a note inside why you love it
  • Get in touch with an old friend who you’d like to reconnect with
  • Strike up a conversation with an elderly person
  • Leave a snack for an unsuspecting co-worker

When you do an act of kindness, someone else will be inspired to do the same, keeping the kindness chain alive.  If you would like a directive, I will be happy to pass along some of the ideas from the cards.  If you have some of your own that you’d like to share, post them as well.  The more kindness shared, the more power we have to make the world a kinder place.

Random Acts of Kindness Week

RAK rain

Today is the start of Random Acts of Kindness Week.  Coincidentally, I was a part of a few RAK’s today.  When I arrived at work today, our custodian, a woman named Stephanie, was outside all by herself shoveling and salting the sidewalks to make it safe for the students and teachers.  Later in the day, when I saw her, I thanked her for doing it.  She told me that I was the only person who had said anything to her about it and it made her so happy to know that at least someone took notice.  Later in the day, a fellow teacher at my school gave me a beautiful mug today with the words, “Kindness Matters” written inside.  She said she thought of me when she saw it.   When I arrived home, in the mail were “SMILE CARDS” waiting for me along with a note saying, “May this help you spread kindness in many ways”.  It is a deck of cards with ways to spread kindness written on each one.  They can be used by just me, or I can let others choose one and let them do the RAK.  I got the cards from  http://www.helpothers.org/.  Their mission is to to spread anonymous kindness and tag others so they can go ahead and do the same.

Seemed so ironic that so much happened on the first day of RAK Week.  I got some suggestions from http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/rak-week with some easy things you can do this week to promote and spread it:

Monday, Feb 11—Smile at 10 strangers.

Tuesday, Feb 12—Buy something for the person in the line behind you.

Wednesday, Feb 13—Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while.

Thursday, Feb 14—Bring a treat to a neighbor or your co-workers.

Friday, Feb 15—Donate your time or money to a local charity.

Saturday, Feb 16—Cook a healthy meal.

Sunday, Feb 17—Let someone go in front of you in line.

All of these are easy to do!  They don’t have to cost much, if anything at all.  If you can’t do them all, choose two or three.  It does wonders, not only because of the way it makes others feel, but because of how wonderful it makes YOU feel.