Fred Rogers once said that when he saw sad stories on the news, his mother would tell him, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” With many people feeling helpless over the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, Ann Curry started the 26 Acts Movement. In this movement, she is asking people to complete 26 random acts of kindness, one for each of the victims of the shooting. You can read more about the movement here: NBC News: 26 RAOK
I’m a believer that there is better than evil in the world and that one small kind act reaches many more people through a ripple effect. This is the perfect way to honor the victims and their families. Here are my ideas for 26 random acts of kindness.
Please leave me a comment to let me know which random acts of kindness you are doing in honor of the victims.
1. Write a letter to one of the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School. This will be a very kind contribution to the families, saying you understand their pain and you are there with them in their tough times. You can send the letter to the following address: 12 Dickenson Drive, Sandy Hook, Connecticut 06482
2. Value people who offer their services and time to make our lives safe and better, such as firemen, police, delivery boy etc. You can give such people treats with a letter thanking them for the work they do.
3. Encourage staff and residents of a nearby mental health facility by giving them small gifts and chocolates.
4. Have your kids draw pictures and bring them to residents of a nearby nursing home.
5. Salute a soldier by writing a personalized letter to him. You can send it here: A Million Thanks, 17853 Santiago Blvd. #107-355, Villa Park, CA 92861
6. Leave a gift package on the porch of a neighbor, but don’t let them know it’s from you.
7. Buy coffee for the person behind you or for an aged person who has been in the queue for a very long time.
8. Pay the toll for the car behind you.
9. Add quarters to parking meters.
10. Write a long letter of appreciation to all of the teachers, teacher aids, school support staff, and school administrators you know. If you can’t possibly send a letter now, write them an email or find them on social media, connect with them and tell them how much you value their contribution.
11. Anonymously deliver pizza to a loved one’s home, without any special occasion.
12. Leave a nice message or quote in a random book in a nearby library.
13. In winters, while you shovel your driveway and sidewalk, do it for your neighbor as well.
14. If you have pets in the neighborhood, volunteer to walk a dog at a nearby animal shelter.
15. Give someone a 30-minute break. If it’s a friend who is a stay at home mom, you can come by to watch her kids for her. If it’s a coworker, you can volunteer to help them with anything they need.
16. Write a long letter to someone who has had a positive influence on you.
17. Donate blood in the nearby blood bank.
18. Give a pair of movie passes to a stranger or a family who can’t afford.
19. Spend time at a local grocery store and offer to return people’s grocery carts for them.
20. Create small kits with mouth wash, hand sanitizer, bottled water, a snack, and socks and deliver the kits to the homeless.
21. Pick up a stranger’s tab at a restaurant.
22. Hand out lollipops or small gifts to children coming out of a store or school.
23. Leave a tip for workers who normally don’t receive tips, such as a retail cashier.
24. Write nice messages and leave them anonymously on the cars of friends and neighbors.
25. For one day, give as many genuine compliments and smiles to strangers as you can.
26. The next time you receive good customer service, take note of the person’s name and write a letter of appreciation to his or her supervisor or mention their name specifically in the feedback form.
The list of kindness has no end and we can think of a hundred more. Imagine how these tiny actions can make someone’s day so beautiful. Your candy or movie pass may be a child’s long due wish or a family’s struggle to make their children happy. If you want to go beyond 26, check out more random acts from the below book.
Spreading this message is also an act of kindness.