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Ripples of kindness – I need your help

standard December 8, 2010 15 responses

I love doing little random acts of kindness. Helping a stranger here, doing a favor for a friend there. It makes me happy to give someone an unexpected reason to smile.

Last year Yahoo! organized a “pay it forward” campaign, urging people to perpetuate random acts of kindness. The campaign was so successful that they’re doing it again this year – and asking the Yahoo! Motherboard to help spread the word.

So here’s the deal.

I get $100 of seed money to start the ball rolling. Now, $100 in tiny increments can go a long way and while I know that kind of money could make a big difference to one family or one person, the challenge here is to create random acts of kindness, not random acts of charity.

I considered buying a $100 Starbucks card and asking the baristas to “buy” coffee for all the regulars at my Starbucks.
I considered paying for someone’s gas.
I considered buying a bunch of paperback books and leaving them in public places.
Then I considered asking you.

So, what are your thoughts. If you had $100 to spread some kindness, what would you do?

How about if I told you that I’ll give $50 to the two best ideas so you can go out and put them into effect. (This is above and beyond what Yahoo! is sponsoring for this project and not the money Yahoo! is giving me. That money will go towards the random acts of kindness you inspire.)

I’ll pick the two best ideas to seed $50 to on Friday December 17th. You can comment and let me know that you’re not interested in the money. That said, this is a kindness sharing campaign. If I send you the money I’m counting on you to do the right thing.

If you need inspiration hop on over to the Yahoo! Ripples of Kindness page where people are sharing their acts of kindness. It’s neat to see.

So go on, go forth and comment and help me spread some joy already. Please?

*** PLEASE NOTE: This is for random acts of KINDNESS. I give to charity. This is different. This is bringing a smile to a stranger or friend completely and utterly regardless of need.****

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15 responses

  • I would likely do something a bit more random, like buy flowers and put them into small vases and take them to the local senior center; Go to a local family-type restaurant on a Saturday afternoon and tell the server you’re paying for ‘pick a family’ meal (or a portion of it); Pay for parking for someone; Go to a restaurant early in the morning when mostly senior citizens are there and pay for their breakfast; Pay for a family’s pictures with Santa; Buy small gifts and wrap them and taken them to the local senior center; leave small gifts for children at a local homeless/domestic violence shelter; leave card with $10 gift cards to target/walmart/grocery store at a local domestic violence shelter; buy a prepaid cell phone (like the trac-phone or metro pcs) and wrap it for a family at a homeless/domestic violence shelter; pay for lunch for the person behind you, reward someone for doing something nice like offering to take a shopping cart to the return for a mom putting kids in the car.

    There are so many things. I’m so excited you get to do this. I’ve done this once before (back in April) and it was so much fun! You’re going to have a great time, I wish I was there to do it with you.

  • what a wonderful idea! I would randomly spread the wealth. Pay for people here and there and let them know why I did it. Hopefully it would then spread like wild fire. Nothing specific, but a cup of coffee here and a slice of pizza there. I think this is such a wonderful idea

  • Love this idea, heard someone from Yahoo talking about it on the radio last week. During the holidays is a nice time to do this, since there are many non-monetary things you can do – let someone go first in the checkout line, stop for all pedestrians crossing the street, smile at others as you pass them on the sidewalk, say “hello” to the bell ringers outside Walgreens, take in your neighbors garbage cans. Be nice.

  • The thing I’ve always wanted to do? On grocery checkout, turn to the person behind you and pick up their tab.

  • I(duh) would throw a party at a children’s hospital, get a local company involved to help and/or a boy/girl scout troop. I am doing something with the Ronald McDonald House with pedialyte doing the same kinda thing.

  • There are so many amazing ideas!! Since it is Christmas time, I think I would start by buying a family a Christmas tree and leaving it anonymously on their doorstep. As a family without a Christmas tree this year, I know it would mean a lot.

    I had a bunch of other ideas but they are all similar to Sara’s. If I were to do this, I would look for ways to get my kids involved in spreading the kindness, and get their feedback on things we could do with the money. Kids sometimes have the best ideas.

  • How about buying some flowers and handing one flower out to several people. Maybe include a tag that this is a Random Act of Kindness and to instruct them to please do another RAK for someone else they come in contact with that day?

    Most of the reusable bags at stores cost $1 each around us. You could buy 100 of them and as people are checking out – give one to each person as a RAK – this is nice for them AND for the environment!

    Do you have a ride area for little kids at your Walmart or other store? Take quarters and hand them to the parents who have kids wanting to go on a ride – makes the parents and the kids happy!

    Buy some notecards and write an anonymous note to many friends and family and send them. It will brighten their day for sure – but remember to keep it anonymous!

    Kids at my son’s high school love gum. By a bunch of gum and give everyone a piece of gum as you see them throughout the day at school (if the school allows it)

  • If I had $100 for a random act of kindness, I would go to Petsmart or Walmart and get much need pet supplies for our local pet shelter. So many pets get overlooked. If I won the $50.00, I would let you send it directly to The Boston Terrier Rescue of North Carolina for vet bills, that way you could feel warm and fuzzy to! 😉 {I love nice people! Many blessings to you and your family!}

  • When I was in Seattle this year, I had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in Downtown Seattle. When walking in there were some homeless men singing/playing instruments trying to get spare change. When dinner was over, at first I opted out of having them package my food up and then we decided to give it to the men sitting outside. They were so grateful for a warm meal. So I would love to be able to get a bunch of takeout meals and give those to people less unfortunate.

  • For a RAK that’s not a charity thing, I’d use the grocery & coffee ideas that have been going around, but take them to my favorite indie businesses. Most of the small businesses are suffering, so they are getting a boost in sales. At my favorite businesses: 5-10 people would get free coffee/drinks (www.sturbridgecoffeeroasters.com), 1-3 people would get free or severely discounted organic groceries (atservicetothepotato.blogspot.com), and someone would find themselves with a beautiful necklace (www.stainedglasscreations.com). Since I know all the owners, I’d ask them to include a handmade (by me) Random Act of Kindness card explaining why they are receiving this gift, and inviting them to spread the joy.

    That’s what I would do with the seed $. 🙂

  • Books. I would buy as many children’s books as possible and bring them to a school that does not have budget for “extra” books. I would have my son help me pick out the books and bring them to the school with me.

  • What a cool idea! I remember once seeing an episode of Oprah where she gave people money & asked them to do something nice for people. It’s amazing because you NEVER know how your small act of kindness may have changed someones day (or even LIFE) for the better.

    I would most likely go to the grocery store and pay for the groceries of a young mom or family like mine. 🙂

  • Years ago, some younger woman walked over from another table at Olive Garden and said she wanted to pay for my daughter and her group of friends’ dinners.The girls were dressed up like beautiful princesses for Winter Formal.

  • Trying to think non-charity, just random act of kindness is a little tough. Have to say I really like one of RobynsOnlineWorld’s ideas – the quarters for the kiddie rides. At our mall those rides cost 4 quarters for 1 short ride. And you always see sad little kids near those rides because their moms say it’s too expensive. Really liked that idea.

    PS: Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  • For a RAC I would buy pizzas and have them delievered to the fire department or a busy nurses station. There is nothing like free and hot food when you are busy!

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