random acts of kindness

One year ago one of my best friends lost their daughter to SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). Gwendolyn was one of my girls’ best buddies from the time they were just a few months old. For weeks I’ve been thinking about what I can do to honor Gwendolyn on her first angelversary and support our friends. Nothing seemed right for this little girl who changed the world in a gentle way.

Then a few days ago Victoria posted about this on the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation blog. She asked that to honor her girl who brought, and still brings, so much good and light into the world, we do something good. “Honor Gwendolyn’s legacy on July 25th by being the good in the world. Donate in her memory. Perform an act of service for someone in need. Gather as a family to find a way to give back together. Brighten someone’s day. Remember Gwendolyn and why she moved you and pass that goodness onto someone else.You can share your kind action with us with #GoodforGwendolyn and help her legacy continue to flow through the world.”

teaching children kindness

I suddenly knew just what to do. It felt right. It’s something I’ve actually been meaning to do for a long time. As she has always done, Gwendolyn is inspiring us to be the good and Never Give Up. So this week, leading up to Gwendolyn’s angelversary on July 25th, my girls and I will be sharing random acts of kindness all over our town. We hope you will join us, so we’ve put together a list of ideas and a printable note you are welcome to use.

Here’s what we’ve been up to. The kindness fairies have been busy the past couple of days…

random acts of kindness

Delivering goodies to friends…

random acts of kindness ideas

And dashing away before getting caught!

random acts of kindness ideas

We even RAOK’d strangers. Strangers are really, REALLY surprised when you do something nice for them. While getting smoothies at our local juice place, we got a $5 gift card and handed it to the woman behind us in line. The girls loved seeing her shocked and then grateful reaction. It made me a little teeny bit sad that people were in such disbelief at the thought of a stranger doing something kind. We get so used to strangers being in a hurry, honking, rushing to get to the front of the line, that when someone says, “why don’t you go ahead of me,” we are surprised.

random acts of kindness ideas

We left a reusable shopping bag in a cart a Trader Joe’s.

And bubbles on park benches.

Although we wanted our random acts of kindness to remain anonymous, I’m sharing here to inspire you to make your own random acts of kindness. Lately the world I love so much has seemed so sad. So filled with hate and violence. Sometimes it feels there’s nothing I can do. From the moment we started doing our acts of kindness, however, I realized there is something we can all do. Fill the world with kindness. Be the good and drown out the hate. If you feel sad, just do something good. You’ll feel better – promise.

Random acts of kindness are a meaningful experience for kids who are on summer break right now. I know many families do this over winter break as well, so if you can’t do it now, save this idea for later. The most important part of education to me is teaching our children to be kind, compassionate individuals. Learning the joy of giving is a great way to do that. Share your good with the hashtag #GoodforGwendolyn.

Many of these Random Acts of Kindness require a note attached so that the lucky finder knows it’s for them. Also, I know it hopefully goes without saying, but these acts of kindness are not for children to do alone. As always, keep an eye on your children.

random acts of kindness ideas

Click here to download the printable files for the notes and the Random Acts of Kindness list.

Will you join us in being the #GoodForGwendolyn? Please share your kindness on social media.