My Kind of Birthday

I can’t take credit for the idea, but I also can’t give credit where credit is due because I read about it on some random blog and lost the original post.

The idea: do on your birthday as many random acts of kindness as years you are turning. So for me, that number was 33.

I expanded the idea to invite at least 33 friends do one random act of kindness each, too, as their gift to me, so to speak.

So many friends loved the idea! Some have decided to do it for their birthdays as well. One friend is not limiting kindness to her birthday but doing at least one random kind thing every day of 2013.

I asked friends to report back to me what they did so I could share ideas here, in case others are looking for ideas on the future. I also wanted to share some of the impacts in hopes of impressing on others just how one seemingly small kind act can impact someone for the better.

So here’s some of the things friends did:

Gave away $5 off $50 purchase coupons at the grocery store. “I greatly enjoyed handing them all out to strangers w full carts!” said my friend.

Paid for the person in the drive thru behind them and tipped the window clerk.

Big tips to the pizza delivery guy or the restaurant server.

Cooked supper or treats for neighbors or service people. From a friend: “Made a bag full of chocolate kisses and Ghiradelli square treats for our mailman with a note that said “thanks for braving the weather everyday to bring us the mail, you are awesome!””

Gave away restaurant gift cards. One story: “We have a friend that has a corroded water pipe being replaced and has holes in two bathroom floors, and had their kitchen emptied as well, just in case. Took over a gift card to a local restaurant for dinner. It was so cool to see them ‘check in’ tonight on FB!”

Gave money to strangers. “Went to Kroger and gave a 20 Dollar bill to an elderly man… Told him that in honor of a good friends birthday she asked all her friends just to do something nice for someone else… He was beyond thankful!”

My friend’s teenage son bought dinner for a friend at work who forgot his food for break.

Put change in the change return of a vending machine; could also work at a parking meter or at the hospital parking garage where you buy a token to exit.

Give blood.

Give away arcade tickets to kids trying to save up for something BIG.

And those are just a few examples ….

A couple of fun notes:

I got a Facebook message from someone I don’t know who was a recipient of a friend’s act and she was so thankful.

Several of my friend’s friends participated, despite not knowing me.

One of the things I did was give away a scarf at the Krispy Kreme drive thru window because it was a cold, cold morning and I thought it would keep the worker warm. It’s inspired me to keep extra things like scarves for the cold, packs of crackers for the hungry, etc., in my car or on my person.

I was the recipient a few months ago of the person in front of me at the Starbucks drive thru paying for my coffee. It really does perk up your mood, your belief in the goodness of people and goes a little a way in making the world a better place.

So consider spreading the kindness, on your birthday or any day.

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