Random Acts of Kindness With Kids!
It’s been a few months since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary where 26 children and teachers lost their lives in a senseless shooting. This tragedy could engulf a parent in sorrow, but a movement rose from the darkness and has helped create a beautiful legacy for the victims. The movement called “26 Acts of Kindness” began with the thought that random acts of kindness could help celebrate the lives of the victims with light, rather than surrounding ourselves in darkness.
In December, one BC family started their journey of 26 random acts of kindness after mom Crystal wanted to ease her own sadness over the tragedy. And since most of the victims were children, she decided to include her daughter, 4-year-old Dallace on her mission. How many times have we as parents searched for ways to increase our own children’s appreciation for their healthy, happy lives? Random acts of kindness are a fun way to introduce kids to helping others. Children notice the ripple effect of how one small act can inspire greater things and gain appreciation for the difficulties others are facing. It can be as simple as Act 2 of Crystal’s journey of treating a man in line at Starbucks to a coffee – children learn how acts of kindness have the power to create joy.
For Crystal and Dallace, each of their 20 acts of kindness have been documented with a photo so that Crystal can create a memory book of the journey. The latest act photographed (above) included taking pre-orders from friends and family and baking cupcakes. The goal was to raise $500 for the BC SPCA for National Cupcake Day, which took place February 25th. Crystal and Dallace ended up raising $550 and this is just one act! Look at the adorable cupcakes that Dallace helped bake and deliver to family and friends. The variation in acts has kept the activities fun, ranging from surprising strangers to helping the food bank, animal shelter and transition houses. Number 10 was probably 4-year-old Dallace’s favorite act of kindness which included bringing toys and treats to the local Coquitlam animal shelter. She loves animals and got to have some snuggles with kitties – smart idea to keep the acts relatable to organizations close to the family’s heart. Crystal is starting to plan larger acts of kindness and hopes to cook meals for families staying at Ronald McDonald House while their children are being treated at Children’s Hospital.
Feeling inspired to start random of acts of kindness in your community? To start, remember that random acts of kindness can be a spontaneous gesture. Simply become aware of circumstances when someone needs help and act. It’s that easy. Opening a door for someone that is struggling, playing peek a boo with a baby getting impatient in a lineup, helping carry heavy bags for an older person or busy mom. These small acts start to build up into something larger. Crystal is the perfect example of this!
Stuck for ideas? UsedEverywhere has started a Pinterest Board for Random Acts of Kindness. There are lots of inspiring stories and pins to help get you started. A wonderful act that will be at the top of my list is creating a blessing bag. This is a bag filled with basic necessities that can be kept in your car for that moment when a homeless person that you’d love to help in some way approaches you. By collecting personal care products, coins, warm socks, packaged food items, coffee card, all sealed in a bag, these blessing bags can be stowed away for that perfect moment when you see the opportunity to help. It’s a way to have children hands-on with coordinating a project to help the homeless and understanding the ripple connection. It also removes the awkwardness of wanting to help a person standing outside in the cold, but not having time to react quickly enough to have a lasting effect. Children would love to assemble Blessing Bags and could recruit little friends to help gather and collect supplies. Thank you to Kids With A Vision for sharing this wonderful idea. Photo Credit: Joy’s Hope.
Our thanks to Crystal and her family for inspiring change and sharing her journey with the UsedEverywhere blog. You truly embody the proverb “little by little, a little becomes a lot” and we are lucky to have you in our community!