New thing #3: 31 Random Acts of Kindness

First, I freely admit that I stole this idea. There are people doing random acts of kindness every day all over the world and posting them on the internet. It’s practically a movement. There’s even a Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

Second, I realized last night as I was planning out some of my “random” ideas, that this project might be more about making myself happy than others. I love doing these sorts of things. I like to plan, give gifts, and surprising people. So really all this “kindness” is just selfish— ha!—who knew? I confessed this to my mom and she said, “Well, can’t it be a win-win for everyone?” I don’t see why not.

The 31 Acts

1) I brought two dozen Krispy Kreme for the office…

2) …AND DIDN’T EVEN HAVE ONE! (Someone left a thank you note on the box!)

3) I brought gluten free cupcakes to my gluten free friend and fave co-worker (shout out, Jamie!) from the best ever cupcake place: Sinful Bliss Cupcakes.

4) I gave anonymous “you rock” cards to four of my friendliest co-workers, along with $5 gift cards to the coffee place across the street.

5) I got Ria stuff for her cubical at her new job (in the building next to mine).

6) I brought my favorite umbrella to leave for someone to find and use.

7) I gave three $5 Peet’s gift cards to random people. The first two were walking inside to buy their coffee, and the third I gave to the group of men who sit outside Pete’s almost every morning. When I told them why I was giving it to them, they asked which organization I was with. I said no organization, I just felt like doing it. They looked suspicious but thanked me.

8) I gave a $20 Books, Inc. gift card to the woman shopping in the store (support your book stores people!). She looked teary eyed and told me she would pay it forward.

9) I was at the toy store with Ria, and I was going to buy a random gift for a random kid. But instead Ria found a little boy playing with a toy train, and insisted on paying her gift from me forward by buying it for him.

10) Ria and I anonymously paid for someone’s meal at the place we were having lunch. When the waitress told him, he looked so confused. But she said later that he was really grateful.

11) We tipped the waitress nicely too.

12) I put a lot of quarters in a lot of meters (the picture below is only the first handful).

13) I picked up some trash (didn’t get very far with that- there’s too much!).

14) Once as a graduation gift I got a jar full of “Kind Notes” (fortune cookie type messages) in tiny envelopes. I took the little envelopes out of the jar and hid them around my work neighborhood (and hopefully people will find them so I’m not just another litterer).

15) I also put some of the notes in plastic Easter eggs along with a couple bucks, and left them around popular homeless hangouts near by.

16) And put some along Frontage Road on the way home.

17) I left a Magic-8 Ball for someone to find, with a note that said, “Take me. I will help you make those hard decisions.”

18) I got my dad, a Giants fan, a book at the bookstore called “100 Things Giants Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die” and left it in his mailbox.

19) I talked to my Grandma (who recently doesn’t drive) on the phone, and offered my services as driver for an errand when she needs it.

20) I went to a BART station and gave someone my ticket with $8 left on it.

21) I got my Mom some flowers and a thank you card for being awesome.

22) I sent my friend a postcard, because she always sends me postcards (shout out, Roxanne!)

23) I sent my friend a message with an offer to babysit again sometime soon (shout out, Veronica!).

24) I bought my friend across the country an online gift card (shout out, Katie!).

25) I sent my aunt a guidebook for her upcoming vacation (shout out, Aunt Karen!)

26) I gave lots of sincere compliments.

27) I picked up dinner at Panda Express for my brother.

28) And paid for lady in front of me in line. She said, “Are you serious? Like, for real? Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.” She was the only person all day who asked my name, shook my hand, and told me that it would all come back to me ten fold.

29) I donated to a classroom project online via!

30) I sent a couple “thinking of you” e-cards to friends I haven’t talked to in a long time.

31) I signed up for a CPR certification class, and maybe that will come in handy one day for another very specific act of kindness.

Honestly, I am exhausted. It was a long, rainy day. I feel drained (energy level and bank account), but very full at the same time (heart and soul). I consider myself a kind person, so doing something nice isn’t exactly a new thing for me, but I’m so glad I was able to devote a whole day to acts of kindness (I also found out that it’s national “I Want You to Be Happy Day!” What are the chances??). You can tell by the looks you get from people when you tell them you want to do something nice for them, that it just doesn’t happen often enough.