(This is the story as I remember it told. True story. Name of my friend changed.) My friend Stew told me a story. He was in line at Walgreens. He knew he wanted to pay for someones groceries. There was a guy in front of him. The guy looked very tired. Stew is a big dude. Big and tall and bald with a goatee. "Sir, I'd like to pay for your groceries" he said in his deep boom of a voice. The man looked confused. Stew proceeded to pay for him. The man thanked him and left. As Stew got into his truck, he saw the man in his car, sobbing. He didn't know why. He didn't ask. He looked away and cried as he drove home.
On 12/12/12, we hosted an online event for SPS. "Random Act of Kindness Day for SPS!"
The page states: The holidays are tricky and evoke many emotions.
Perhaps brightening up a strangers day would brighten up your day as well.
ON 12/12/12, where ever you are in the world, please participate.
** Simply do a random act of kindness. **
It can be as simple as paying for a stranger's coffee. Paying for the car in back of you at a drive through. Or even leaving a random note on a car, wishing the person a great holiday. No act is too small. It's simple. You never know who may need an extra lift of spirit.
We had 770 people RSVP "Going" to the event on Facebook.
The day started off with a "Guest Blogger" on Patch. Randy the Renegade Elf: http://yorkville.patch.com/blog_posts/join-randy-the-renegade-elf-and-suicide-prevention-services-to-celebrate-121212
The stories of random acts of kindness were motivating and touching:
"I walked down Michigan Ave today and handed out $5 to each homeless person I passed... My $ went quickly! So sad :( I hope they all have somewhere warm to sleep tonight!"
"I spent the day with my grandparents. Started the day making breakfast at 6AM, then cleaning/scrubbing/vacuuming. Made cookies. Then made lunch. Went to the beach for an afternoon meditation break and returned to make a Chinese feast for my aunts, uncle & grandparents. All-in-all it was a day spent in service to family. Fulfilling and with much love."
"We stopped at kmart today and gave the bell ringer a carnation and wished her a Merry Christmas. Hailey Turner jumped out of the car and gave a lady a card to wish her happy random act of kindness day. The lady was so overjoyed she jetport hugging Hailey. She exclaimed she was going to show her family and she would pay it forward. ♥ what an experience"
"Tonight, when a saw a friend on FB post she had no time to stop and get dinner between her day job and working at a local theater, I texted her and said "No worries, I'm in town and I''ll bring you something, just let me know what you want!" And wasn't the hot soup I brought her from Olive Garden, or even the side or fruit I cut up from home that made me feel good inside when she smiled at my delivery service. What made my night was actually having the chance see this person in different environment, to witness how much she loves working with kids at the local theater. That was my random act of kindness, but who knew I would also receive a certain gift of kindness of my own at the same time."
"I bought Pizza for my coworkers:)"
"I bought two large hot chocolates with extra whipped cream(all the $ i had left today) for an elderly homeless couple my lil one and i saw organizing their belongings in a parking lot. Everything they had was in two laundry carts, a couple of suit cases and a few sacks. Broke my heart talking to them. But today has been a wonderful learning experience for my 5 year old. Have a nice rest of 12/12/12 everyone.
Be grateful. Always."
"I was in the drive thru of Starbucks and bought the gentlemans order behind me...the nice young kid at the window then in return thought it was so cool that he said he wanted to buy mine and only charged me for the other guys...I tried to pay for both and he wouldn't let me..so in return I gave him the rest in tip. That was so unexpected and didn't not expect anything in return..kind of got me slightly emotional just seeing and experiencing how paying it forward happens..Hope its an captivating and addictive..."
"I paid the package postage for a lady behind me at the post office this morning. It brought her to tears. She then told me she had been in the hospital recently and was having a terrible week so this really touched her heart. She wanted a hug and I happily obliged. The post office line was quite long so maybe this will encourage someone else to do a random act if kindness too!"
There were more stories. You can see all the posts here: https://www.facebook.com/events/458961140809201/
Part of the inspiration of the day was terrible news in Yorkville. When I heard the news of the Yorkville murder suicide about a month ago, it really chilled my bones. I couldn't shake the feeling.
I had to do something. So I did a few random acts of kindness. It made me feel like if I could reach someone who was contemplating something terrible, maybe it would make them pause. Maybe they could feel the universe whispering to hold on.
I will continue to do this and hope that the positive energy will curb some of the negatives in the world. It's a lesson for me, and for my son.
Thank you so very much to all who participated and supported this. It truly felt like Christmas.
It's never too late to do a random act of kindness. I hope that you can join us in doing these throughout the year. Feel free to share ideas or experiences.
www.spsamerica.org We are here for you if you'd like to talk or need some extra support now and anytime throughout the year. Call: (800) 273-8255 24/7/365