I didn’t realize until just now, that today was “Random Acts of Kindness Day.” I guess I don’t think there should be only one day for this. They should be carried out everyday. Random acts of kindness don’t have to cost a thing. They might not even always be noticed by others – but you will know because “no act of kindness , no matter how small, is every wasted” Aesop.
This afternoon, we had a small holiday party in my class. We have been celebrating the holidays all month long and learning about all sorts of December traditions. Parents and grandparents have been coming into our class and sharing ways that their families celebrate the holidays. It has been a great way to learn about each other.
Today’s party was just a winter celebration. We had hot cocoa with marshmallows and candy canes. My class gave me a beautiful gift. Each one of them had written a page of a book called, “Acts of Kindness in Honor of Mrs. Sinclair.” Over the last few weeks, each of them had done something kind for someone, illustrated it and put it together in this special book.
This is one of those gifts that I will treasure. It will have a special place in my classroom but hold an even more special place in my heart. I am so grateful.
A friend shared this with me yesterday and I thought it would be perfect to put on my Facebook page (A Project for Kindness) to start the month of December. My family has an Advent calendar that we use every year, but I thought that this would be a wonderful way to share Kindness during the Advent season. The best part about it is that it doesn’t have to be just for Christmas. It can be a Hanukkah Kindness calendar or just a way to share holiday kindness. I don’t know where it originated from, but I loved it. Such a great way to get into the holiday spirit.
I got home from work today and checked my Facebook page and saw that it was shared over and over again. It made me so happy. If you notice, most of the things are VERY easy to do. Today was “Give a compliment to a friend.” Simple. Something most of us do everyday anyway. The boys are actually excited about it too which is great to see!
Share it! Spread the kindness during the holiday season. It is a great reminder of what the holidays are really all about.
A few days ago my friend Tammy, who was my biggest inspiration when starting my blog, shared this with me, writing, “I think this would make a great prompt for a blog post! How wonderful to have people share these acts of kindness with you!” I love the idea! I love hearing about kindness shared. Whether it is something big or a small gesture, a simple act of kindness can affect you.
I was touched by kindness today by the parent of a former student of mine. She was cleaning out her sons’ bookshelves and wanted to donate them to my classroom. I went to her house and went through them finding appropriate ones. As I went through the books I was able to find ones that were fitting to share with another teacher in our school who is new and is in need of books for her classroom library.
That’s mine. Tell me something kind someone did for you today. Keep the chain of kindness going. Kindness is contagious! I hope you catch it!
This afternoon, Drew and I had the opportunity to volunteer with TAKE THE CAKE, a program serving Maplewood-South Orange, New Jersey and our neighboring communities. They are a proud part of Rent Party Pantries (501c3) and are committed to the idea that every child deserves a special birthday party. Last month, I took photos for their first party and I was so happy to be able to be a part of it again.
Drew decided to join me today because he was invited to a Bar Mitzvah for his friend Jacob. Jacob is involved with Take the Cake as his Mitzvah project and since we aren’t able to donate a lot of money to the cause, we decided that donating our time would be beneficial as well.
Today’s party was for a child who was nominated by Good Grief, an organization that helps children and teens cope with the loss of a family member.
When I found the quote I added to my blog today, I was brought to a blog on, Chaos in My Arc. It offered so many suggestions for ways children can get involved. From small things like random acts of kindness, to full blown projects. I think it is so important to get children involved in volunteering as early as possible. Hopefully it will be something that sticks with them as they grow up and they will continue to see the good it can do for others and make a difference in the lives of others.
My Lenten “sacrifice” this year was to do a Random Act of Kindness everyday. I should not say it is a sacrifice because I have been having so much fun leaving little treats for my coworkers. I don’t sign who they are from, I just place it on their desk or in their mailbox each morning. A few days ago, there was something in my own mailbox and I have been seeing little treats in other mailboxes as well so someone else…or maybe a few others are doing the same thing! The students are talking about it with their own RAK’s and sharing their ideas of paying it forward.
Right now at our school there is some sort of outbreak of illness going around and a large number of students have been out of school for the week. Our school nurse has been busier than ever. We joked that she needs one of those, “take a number” machines they have at deli counters with the amount of kids showing up at her door! Hopefully, whatever it is that is going around ends quickly. This is one thing spreading around the building that I hope ends soon!!
As for the kindness, I hope that it becomes even more contagious and continues to spread throughout the community because the more massive it gets, the more amazing it will become!
This week, the librarian at our school and I launched a Pay it Forward Program. We are so excited about it. The idea behind it is that every child starts their very own chain of kindness. Each child has been given a laminated card. Each of these cards is numbered and has directions on how to spread kindness and watch it grow.
When a student does a Random Act of Kindness, we asked them to give the card to the recipient of the RAK. That person is asked to email us telling us about the RAK. We will add all of the emails to a website so that our students can watch their kindness spread. After emailing us, it is our hope that the recipient takes the card and does a RAK for another person, handing the card onto them. Thus, continuing the chain of kindness as they pay it forward to someone else and so on and so on…. Each card has a registration number on it so that the original card holder can follow it as it travels.
It is our hope that this project encourages positive acts that bring brightness to others, with the hope they will pass it on. We cannot wait to see how far the kindness will spread and for how long it will continue…
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.
In my coaching group, we are talking about “realizing our Epic.” Not an easy task. We are thinking about the path that it will take to get us to reach it. What do we truly want to do, or be? How will we be fulfilled? For a few of us, we aren’t really sure what it is yet. We talked about what we want. What we need. How we will get it…
Our group leader Tammy, gave us an assignment. She wants us to write about how we’d like to be remembered. I haven’t begun to write it, but the more I have been thinking about it, the more I hope that I am remembered for being a good friend and a generous and kind person. I know she wants us to dig deeper than that. Perhaps when I do, I will be inclined to share it. While trying to think about it, I came across this quote, “Perfect kindness acts without thinking kindness.” That is my hope, not just for me but for others. Being kind doesn’t have to be a hard thing. It can just happen if we let it. It should not take a lot of effort to be kind. Random acts of kindness are what made me start this blog in the first place. I still hope that when people read it, they are reminded just how easy it is to be kind.