Saturday, November 12, 2011

Let’s Go RACK’ing!

I have been SO inspired by all the Random Acts of Kindness ideas I’ve been seeing {& pinning!} on Pinterest. The boys and I had our very own RAOK day a few weeks ago and we delivered homemade cookies & muffins to the fire station, friends, and neighbors and did a whole lot of other kind things that day, too. Hands down, one of my favorite days ever. I was especially inspired when I found the idea to start a Christmas advent calendar counting down the 25 days of Christmas by performing a different random act of kindness each day.

RACK banner

I know Christmas is still over a month away, but the holiday season is quickly approaching. According to the majority of major shops and stores, holiday season has been here for a few months ;) When I saw THIS and THIS idea for Random Acts of Christmas Kindness, I knew this had to be a new Christmas tradition for our little family of four. Even though my boys are still really young, I want them to see how much better it is to give than to receive. I don’t expect them to fully understand the concept, but it never hurts to plant the seed :)…and what a FUN way to grow in kindness & compassion as a family!!

I’ve been compiling ideas from different sites {you can find the links to different ideas on my “Serving Others” Pinterest board} and thinking about the different things I want our family to do and I came up with our kindness advent for this season…EEEK! I’m SO excited!! I plan on spending Thanksgiving break preparing our advent calendar and organizing all of our activities. I’d LOVE for you to join us and start a kindness advent of your own!! Just incase you want to plan ahead, I thought I’d share our RACKs with you.

RACK advent banner

Day 1: Leave happy notes & candy canes on cars in parking lots. You can download our card by clicking on the pic below.

RACK happy note

Day 2: Surprise Mrs. Wendy {our sitter} and her girls with hot chocolate and cupcakes

Day 3: Make a donation to the food pantry

Day 4: Pay for donuts and coffee at church

Day 5: Surprise Mrs. Liffey (our other sitter) with a Sonic drink and cupcakes for her family and little Christmas treats for all the kids that stay with my boys.

Day 6: Visit our neighborhood grocery store and help shoppers load grocery bags into their cars; leave little Christmas treats in the carts for the next shopper.

Day 7: Tape coins & candy canes to vending/soda machines at various stores in the area.

Day 8: Deliver poinsettias, treats, and cards to the local assisted living center.

Day 9: Deliver Christmas treats to the local post office & postal workers.

Day 10: Go to a grocery store and hand a (grocery store) gift card to someone standing in line.

Day 11: Visit the hospital and deliver balloons to the patients and snacks to the nurses station; leave stuffed animals/silly bandz/coloring books & crayons/holiday books on the children’s floor

Day 12: Deliver hot chocolate to the Salvation Army bell ringers {and if it’s too warm for hot chocolate, we’ll deliver Sonic limeades :)}

Day 13: Deliver homemade cookies & cards to the local fire station/police station

Day 14: Deliver Christmas treats to neighbors

Day 15: Visit the public library and pay for someone’s overdue fines and deliver Christmas treats to the librarians

Day 16: Leave holiday books in the mall play area

Day 17: Go into Starbuck’s and hand out gift cards to people standing in line (I buy coffee for the car behind me every Friday…that’s the only day I treat myself…but I thought this would be so much more fun!!!)

Day 18: Adopt a family in need

Day 19: Anonymously pay for someone’s dinner

Day 20: Leave a gift for the mailman in the mailbox

Day 21: Make and deliver “blessing bags” to the homeless

Day 22: Clean out ALL of our toys (we’ll be getting plenty from our families & Santa!) and clothes and donate them to a local homeless shelter

Day 23: Leave a “Christmas tip” for a server at a restaurant

Day 24: Deliver little Christmas treats to people working late on Christmas Eve (drugstores, gas stations, hospitals)

Day 25: Deliver Christmas treats to the people working at the airport {we’ll already be there, so we’d like to say ‘thank you’ to those spending their holiday helping others get to their families}

Of course, there are a GAJILLION other ideas that would be awesome, too!! I’d love to hear if you have any other great ones!!

I plan on stocking up on gift cards starting now. I’ll probably do $5 Starbuck’s gift cards and $25 or $50 grocery store gift cards, depending on if we give out one or two. I’ll be doing a lot of baking and handing out lots of treats, but I have some really EASY recipes (like this one) that make a TON! Plus, I found a TON of fun {inexpensive and practical} ideas on Pinterest. You can check out my idea boards HERE and HERE. I’ll be making most of my things in bulk and preparing a lot at once so that afterschool delivery is easier. I’ll also be handing out these little RACK cards with every delivery of kindness. {Disclaimer: this is NOT my idea or my wording!! TSJ photography made these cute little cards when they went RACK’ing, but I couldn’t find a download so I made a template for us to use.} You can download a copy by clicking the pic below.


Just incase you’re wondering about Day 23, here’s a little backstory... When I was student teaching in college, my car broke down one day. I had NO money and was freaking out about the cost of fixing it. I waited tables at the time and when I went to work that night (after a sweet friend let me borrow her car!), I was put on the patio. The weather was TERRIBLE. FREEZING cold and NO chance of me making any money that night. I was SO upset. Shockingly, this sweet family of 4 came and sat on the patio right underneath the heaters. They were my only table that night. I was chatting it up with them like I normally did with all my tables and they knew my entire life story within the first 5 minutes they were seated :) I figured I’d get a pretty good tip…at least $7…but I wasn’t expecting what I got. When they handed me the cash to pay, they told me to keep the change. The change was $100. I started crying. God knew EXACTLY what I needed and he provided it to me under the craziest of circumstances! HE never fails!!! I said thank you about a million times and even tried to give their money back! I was sure they weren’t serious!!! I told them they were my angels because I had NO money to fix my car and I was sure I wouldn’t make any that night. They said that each year they give a “Christmas tip” to a server and I just happen to be the lucky recipient. I’ll NEVER forget that as long as I live. I’m SO anxious to pay it forward!!!!! I absolutely CAN’T.WAIT!!!!

I plan on starting each day with a prayer for God to lead us to the people that need our kindness the most. I’m SO excited to start this tradition!! I’d love to know if you’re planning on doing something like this with your family this year!!!!

Let’s go RACK’ing!!!!!

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