Snap, Crackle, Kindness

This month, my event was about kindness. My idea was to get a bunch of people together to do random acts of kindness at one time. It coincided perfectly with Marielle’s Creative Kindness Month, which you should definitely check out if you haven’t already. She has posted some great challenges, DIY tutorials, and advice, including how to find the courage to do things like random acts of kindness and street art.

So, on a beautiful spring afternoon, some beautiful ladies met up with me at Pitango in Fells Point. We wrote some notes and made little packages to give to strangers. The supplies I brought included stationery, fancy straws, patterned napkins, candy, fake flowers, novelty erasers, balloons, wish tickets, and some mix CDs that Michelle gave me. She came over one day with two giant spindles of CD’s and DVD’s that she didn’t want anymore! It was awesome, and I thought it would be fun to spread around some of her awesome music taste.

After we had all our supplies ready, we walked around and found people to give gifts to. I thought it was cool that everyone was brave enough to go right up to strangers and give them things. We didn’t have many people turn us down, either!

Jessica Lindsay made a bunch of things to hand out, but we did it for her because she was too busy photographing our adventure! The pictures are great! Thank you so much.

I’m really into the confused faces that Jessica captured. This is a common theme on RAOK missions. The beautiful part comes when the scrunchy face turns into a smile.

One of the envelopes we had to hand out was labeled “To a happier you!”, which we realized might be slightly offensive if we handed it directly to a person. We didn’t want someone to think that they appeared rude or mean or something, but then we saw this construction worker hammering really angrily on a building. Joanie ran over to him and explained why we chose him for this envelope. His reaction was perfect! He smiled and said “Thank you! But I’m actually happy!” and then told us he would now hammer with a smile.

The wish tickets were a hit, as were the You Are Beautiful stickers I brought along. You can see me adding one to a very nice memorial. (You can get your own monthly subscription of these stickers for $6 a month.)

Little girls were great recipients. The little boys weren’t that into fuzzy wands and stickers, unfortunately. We decided that the next time we do this, we need to have more “boyish” options. I’m not a fan of stereotypical gender roles, but I do want to make sure everyone is included.

Thank you to the lovely ladies who came out and participated (Jessica, Felisha, Sara, and Anya), and to the gracious recipients of Fells Point.

me, Felisha, & Joanie

One of the coolest parts of this event is that people could participate from wherever they lived! I was really glad to get some e-mails from friends who also spread some kindness in their city:

“I made 10 mini flower garlands and ten little wax paper envelopes with the message on the front ‘It has been a rough winter. Here is a tiny flower garland to bring some SPRING into your life’. I went to my favorite coffeehouse, Coffee Buddha, which is in an actual house and every room is decorated like a cozy retreat. I left envelopes in all the rooms upstairs and on tables downstairs. My plan was to actually hand the envelopes to people but I chickened out. That’s okay. Actually leaving the envelopes where people could see me doing so is an achievement. I’m usually a LOT more stealth.” – Bonnie Jeanne in Pittsburgh

“Went to my friend’s book signing, and have been preaching the word of Stompadon. (little kaiju that was born different and saves his family)” – Mellissa in Maryland

“Since I’m at work today, I put some soda money on the Coke machine outside of the two most critical units in our hospital hoping that a sad family member of a patient would find some joy in a stranger giving them soda money.  Whatever happened to that money and whoever found it, I hope it made somebody smile!” – Janice in Salt Lake City

Feel free to check out more RAOK projects, past events, and RSVP for next month’s event.