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Hump Day Giveaway: 26 Acts of Kindness

The sign that hangs (sometimes invisibly) in my kitchen.

Put good into the world.

That's the guiding principle I try to live by, and the main value I want my kids to remember. It may sound naive and idealistic, but I want to leave this world a better place than I found it.

While that's a great lifetime goal, the day-to-day application of it can get really hard. Despite the sign hanging in my kitchen, I am not always nice. I can easily forget what I so dearly need to remember when I'm dealing with long-division homework and whining kids who don't want the dinner I made and a sore lower back and clumps of dog hair under every chair leg.

But as I said before, Newtown has touched a nerve so raw and so maternal, I can't help but be back on task, reporting for duty. I, as well as all of you, are all about the G into the W.

I thought I was done writing about Connecticut, but then I read this lovely comment that related the 28 deceased in Newtown to the 26 miles of a marathon. It's from Nikkei Meline, and it's a reaction to the post I wrote about Help, how Anne Lamott prays. (You can read Nikkei full piece on her blog, Latter-day Runner.)

For me, running and faith are different sides of the same coin. I pray and mediate during most of my runs. I am dedicating my next marathon (Newport, OR 6.1.2013) to the 26 innocent people killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary. 26 people. 26 miles. Instead of writing pacing splits on my arm, I will write 26 names. And after I cross the finish line, I will walk two more miles (I will run them if I can); one for the shooter, and one for his mother. I invite all marathoners to do the same.

And then another mother runner alerted me to the movement another Ann started: #26 acts. Ann Curry, another Ann I secretly have a girl crush on, began a small healing revolution when she asked everybody to commit 26 Acts of Kindness (or 20 or 28 or however many you feels right to you). And although the grace you produce will ripple through the universe, it might just hit you--and the funk you might be in--the hardest.

Ann Curry writes: I know the truth: if you do good, you feel good. It’s the most selfish thing you can do. Right now, this country wants to heal. I think the only thing comforting in the face of a tragedy like this is to do something good with it if you can. Be a part of that wave.

A few of the latest #26Acts.

I don't doubt that you mother runners are already a kind, thoughtful, loving bunch, but I don't have to tell you we a little restoration of our faith in humanity, in the goodness and kindness that people inherently have. So instead of us doing a giveaway today (which, truth be told, we didn't have planned), we want you to put good into the world. We want you to commit an act or 3 or 26 of kindness.

If your mind is immediately drawn to financial kindness, rest assured: so is mine. And if you happen to be bleeding money, as my family is this month (double car issues; plumbing issues; dog-eating-shoes issues; can't-plan-well-for-holiday issues), I want to reinforce that you don't have to spend a dime to be kind.

Here are a few ways that don't involve cash:
—Ask a friend who you know isn't in the best emotional state to go for a walk or run.
—Pick up any litter you see on said walk or run.
—Offer to babysit for a pal so she can get some kid-free errands done.
—Smile and use your manners at times and with people you normally aren't inclined to.
—Ask a teacher at school if they need any help cutting shapes or organizing or reading to the class.
—Go walk a dog at the Humane Society.
—Let a car or two ahead of you in during rush hour or a person or two in front of you at a grocery store rush hour.
—Before you immediately spit out "no" when your kid asks to play Wii for another 20 minutes or drink a Sprite, pause and surprise him and say yes.
—Donate blood.
—Mentally dedicate miles of your race or run to people who are suffering. Send them light, love, energy.
—Write a letter to one of your old teachers or mentors, thanking them for the role they played in your life.
—Volunteer at a race: slice oranges, hand out water, cut off timing chips.
—Put household stuff you're not using up anymore on Freecycle. (Just no used capris please. If you need to know why, check the TMI post on yesterday's Facebook.)

And there are, of course, plenty of ways to spend just a little to give back a lot.

There are oodles of ideas on this website, but I'm confident you intelligent, creative women can come up with plenty on your own.

Here's my challenge for us mother runners: can we amass 1,000 comments--a number we regularly get for, say, a Garmin or a great outfit giveaway--on one act of kindness you will do shortly or did recently? And if you want to get in on Ann Curry's movement, tweet her @AnnCurry with the hashtag #26Acts.

So mother runners, what acts of kindness are you going to giveaway for yourself, for your community, for our world? 

182 responses to “Hump Day Giveaway: 26 Acts of Kindness

  1. Pick some of your best flowers or lilacs, then bring them to an lonely neighbor and spend time with them. Try to get them to smile at least three times. 🙂

  2. This is a delayed response, but it’s been on my mind. I invited a friend away from her family to our home for Christmas Eve. She later came back to me and said that she was in a pretty big funk, and being at our home made all the difference. Thanks for the reminder to be nice… not sure I would’ve thought to do this had you not issued this challenge.

  3. I love this. All the comments have been so inspiring. I’m still working on my acts of kindness each day! Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Mine have fallen somewhat into the financial category–paid off layoff for someone at a Wal-Mart and paid for the next several cars behind me in line at Starbucks. I love some of the amazing ideas here!

  5. Today I made lunch for a group of my fellow teachers. They work super hard every day, and it was important to me that they know how much I value them and their friendships.

  6. I am in on this action! I sent thank you cards to my daughters teachers for all they do each day and I also helped a young college girl jump her car. I am keeping it up- taking the time to do 26 acts of kindness to spread the joy and gentleness of the holiday season and of the hearts lost on 12-14.

  7. I’ve been leaving surprise chocolates at work for people, I parked in the faaaar parking lot today so someone else who was running late could park close, I stuck a dollar in the vending machine so someone could get a drink on me, and I’ve got a bunch more up my sleeve. This has been instrumental in turning my depression around this week. Truly gifts to someone else are gifts to myself.

  8. Tomorrow will be my annual opportunity to treat whoever is in the office to Starbucks on the last day before winter break (we work at a university).

  9. I helped out our local art class this morning full of beautiful first graders! I helped one little girl, with Down’s Syndrome, write “I Love You Mom Dad Hayley”. She has a soft spot in my heart!

  10. Shouldn’t it be 27 acts of kindness? While I may not agree with the shooter’s mother when it comes to guns, she was hardly guilty of anything but what we all do every day: do our best to raise our kids.

  11. #1 – One of my teaching partners needed to catch a plane after school and was worried about traffic. I took her students the last hour of the day so she could leave early.
    #2 – I’m going to surprise several of my co-workers by bringing them their favorite Starbucks drink this morning.
    24 more to go…

  12. Good Morning Runners,
    I wrote a letter to my Aunt. My Mom died last June and she is my Moms only Sister. She really wants to keep in touch. Also donated needed paper items for the elderly through a local Service agency.
    I will continue to look for ways to reach out to others in need.

  13. Tomorrow I’m going to make paper snowflakes with my young boys to send to Sandy Hook Elementary. They are asking for people to make them and send them by Jan 12th to transform the school into a “winter wonderland” for the returning students. I will pour my whole heart into these snowflakes with all my prayers of healing for those precious children and their families.

  14. They are doing some construction in the area. The road you have to turn on to get to my house is effected by the construction and the cars often block the turn. Yesterday I was in a line of traffic and when I got to the turn, instead of turning right away I let the 3 cars turn out then turned on my blinker and turned in.

  15. Today I bought an elderly man some coffee. I saw him park at the far far end of the lot and walk to the store in the rain with no jacket or umbrella. His walk was slow and he was getting soaked. I had just got a coffee and when he came in asked if he would like one. He reluctantly took it but seemed to thaw out as he held it in his hands. Best $1.50 I spent all week.

  16. Today I let a mother with 2 small children ahead of me in line. They just opened the lane and I had just started putting the things on the conveyor when I saw her looking flustered. Even though she had way more things then me I let her go first.

  17. This is wonderful, thanks for the inspiration everyone. I plan to step up my patience and “give in a little” to those surprise yeses to my kids. Tomorrow I will make matzah ball soup for a sick friend. Friday I will donate my unused vegies and fruit to the local neighborhood house to feed those in need. This weekend I will adopt a family with extra holiday needs, and have my kids help shop for them. Right now, however, I plan to send this post to my family, in hopes of inspiring them to spread some good.

  18. I saw a young boy in grocery store counting his money and looking at his groceries ( pack hot dogs, bottle ketchup, pack buns) I let him in front of me. After cashier rang him up I told her to let me pay for his and add the pack of cookies I had to his bag. I sent him on his way . He looked amazed, put his money in his pocket and thanked me.

  19. Today I gave two giggly, happy 6-year-old friends a ride to a sports and fitness camp. Tomorrow, we are helping organize and distribute toys with Toys for Tots. I’m inspired by the 26 names for 26 miles and am signing up for the Coeur d’Alene Marathon on May 26, 2013. I may cry while running and thinking about those kids, but I feel so helpless not being able to do anything to take the hurt away from the victims’ families and friends. I am a teacher and have a son in the first grade. This has rocked me to the core. I pray something positive must come from this and your 26 Acts may be what helps me. Thank you.

  20. On Friday last week, I dressed up as Susie the Snowflake elf and surprised our local kindergarten class during their holiday party. It was awesome to see the look on their faces. And just to spend time with them.

  21. I sent a group text message to my running gals containing a funny word of the day to make them laugh and remind them I was thinking of them. This is not an easy time of the year to get together and run so it also let them know they were missed and I received nice response. I also said I’d pray for a young man involved in a bad car wreck and I will. Small acts count too! So I can say I statrted on my 28 acts!

  22. I read to a child that is falling behind from my Son’s first girl class. I find cool apps that will make reading fun so he can be engaged and catch up with the rest of his class. I am aware that not all kids are fortunate to have parents with enough time to read to them because they work to support them. I want to help those kids, be as good readers as my son. I also leave surprise baked goods for my postal carrier….

  23. My two children and I packed a nutritious food bag and passed it to the man and his child that stand on the corner.

  24. I sent a $50 grocery store gift card to a lovely family with 14 kids (many adopted or foster kids with special needs) when I learned that the father of this family had lost his job earlier this year.

  25. I am playing secret Santa with a few of my fellow survivors to a family who’s 3 year old daughter was diagnosed with cancer recently. I am also practicing patience with my 2 teenage sons…cant imagine losing them 🙁

  26. Today, I helped a young mother who had her daughter at 12, had to leave high school to work, is now 18 and looking for an apartment under $600 (I am an apartment property manger) learn how to look for an apartment in her price range, and found a way for her to get ged preparation classes online for free..when I finished helping her my boss and friend said to me “Wow! You are really awesome at helping people , you just changed that girl’s life.” I also helped a young girl (19) find a way to find a therapist that would help her with her coping issues and depression and anxiety..I’m 2 for 2 today, but honestly if I am not helping someone every day I am not happy!

  27. I volunteered in my daughter’s kindergarten class. I do that most wednesdays, so that is not my act of kindness. There are a couple of boys in that class that are a handfull to say the least. I try hard not to get frustrated with them, but even the teacher was ready to send one boy to the office. His last chance was to sit on the carpet by me to see if he could be quiet. He stood up, and said “I am sitting on you.” And climbed in my lap. As I held him on my lap, I rubbed his back and told him he was doing a good job being quiet and still. He looked at me, hugged my neck, and snuggled against me. So, my act of kindness was to show love in the form of snuggles to a little boy who maybe doesn’t get snuggles at home. It should be an easy thing to do, but it is so easy to get annoyed and tell them what they are doing wrong instead of just loving on them.

  28. As I was leaving for the grocery store today, I found out about a family that just found out they are getting a 2 month old baby boy and a 2 year old toddler girl on friday and they needed a carseat for the 2 year old. I immediately responded and donated one of our twins gently used Britax seats to them. Her sister wanted to pay me, but I just want to see it get good use and what better way then to a brand new family! Merry Christmas!!!

  29. I try to make time for my coworkers and help them out as much as possible. Our work can be very hard sometimes and I try to be there when they need someone to vent too!

    I also like randomly paying for the person behind me in the drive thru lane.

  30. I was at our local Butcher Shop today just picking up a few everyday things. I got there and to my surprise they were very busy. With the big snow storm coming to the Midwest and days before Christmas. They were under staffed and I am a regular, so I put my shopping and other errands on hold to help out the workers and the other customers. It just what you do in a small town! I thought nothing of helping because they were busy, but they thanked me and it made me realize it was an act of kindness no matter how small. LET IT SNOW!

  31. Organized my colleagues to adopt a family for Christmas – we put together so many gorgeous presents for under their tree! Dropped off toys for a local school that was severely affected by hurricane Sandy and just finished 48 little goody bags for my sons’ classes – a little extra love for the kids this year! Merry Christmas Runners!

  32. Did a couple of things today.
    First, I rescued a friend who was locked out of her car.
    Second, a little boy in our neighborhood lost his mother yesterday morning. Unfortunately he was the one who found her after she suffered a heart attack near the front door. He is 8. No father and his grandmother is going through treatment for breast cancer. Needless to say, this family could use some lifting. Although I wish I could do more, I am donating my time to pick the little guy up from school and watch him when a family member isn’t available.
    Tomorrow I hope to do more.
    Thanks for this, girls. And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

  33. I fulfilled an order for the headbands I make and sell and gifted them rather than charge her.

    I signed up to do the Livestrong Marathon and raise funds in the name of a 4 year old girl that I never met from my hometown instead of just paying the registration fee for the Austin Marathon without the fundraising.

  34. I started this two days ago actually. #1 I paid for the person’s coffee in the car behind me in the Starbucks drive-thru line and told the Barista to just say “Merry Christmas” #2 I went into my children’s elementary school and thanked the principal and admin assistant for what they do for my kids every day and #3 Gave a person in line behind me an extra coupon I had in a store. I am doing 28 acts though, one for the shooter and his mother whom also died as well- they were victims of the system too. Thanks for spreading the word on this!

  35. Delivered Christmas gifts to homeless kids in our community…one generous person I work with had purchased a bike for an 11 year old girl…her mom came to pick up the present and almost broke down with gratitude, saying it was the first Christmas they’ve celebrated in 3 years.

  36. Today’s only acts of kindness involved allowing my children to use my influenza ridden body as a jungle gym and reading book after book after book. But, our advent calendar this month is an act of kindness each day. We’ve kidnapped a friend’s minivan to clean and vacuum it. I offered an afternoon of free babysitting so my friends could shop/clean/bake/etc. and gave the donations to a local charity. Just a few of the ideas.

  37. Yesterday I thanked the policeman guarding my children’s school. We “adopted” a child to buy for from our local children’s home this year, the same age as my kids, who are the same age as the kids murdered in Newtown. I’m training for a half, and hope to run a full. I like the 26 miles for the 26 victims. Tomorrow we’ll be giving out homemade christmas ornaments to my kids’ teachers and the yard duty attendants.

    We haven’t told our 6 year olds about what happened, but I did tell my daughter the other day that sometimes when someone, even a stranger, looks sad or like they haven’t been having a good day, sometimes it really helps just to smile at them. And maybe they can make their day better. And you never know how that may change what they do next.

  38. I’m going to challenge myself and perform 26 acts of restraint because there are many times throughout any given week when I am tempted to pass judgement, get defensive, feel envious, say something unkind, be impatient, feel slighted, etc. When I find myself in such a moment, I’m going to stop, bite my tongue, and work at replacing those bad feelings with good feelings. The best part about it is that when I’m successful, it will all be anonymous.

  39. I always read your posts first thing in the morning so thank you for helping to start my day off right! Paid for the car behind me at the coffee shop this morning and smiled every time I thought of it today.

  40. I read with amazement that Noah’s mom (one of the first to be buried) eulogized her son at his funeral (I don’t know how she got through it because I would have never had the strength to do it). But it got me thinking and this morning when I went into my kids rooms to wake them up I crawled into bed and told them that I loved them and listed the reasons why. You know what amazed me the most? They knew I loved them (I tell them enough), but they didn’t know WHY I loved them ~ and it went much further than God giving you to us to raise. It was more along the lines of, I love when you laugh, a deep hearty laugh that comes from your toes, because then I know you are really tickled about something, or I love your little button nose and that you answer the phone in Spanish when it is a telemarketer. It made me feel good that I told them. Now to see what else I can do.

    1. I love this! This comment inspired me to make a list of 10 favorite “gifts” that each of my kids has given me (in reference to things they have done in the past and who they are as a person), put each list in a box, wrap it up, put it under the tree, address it to “Mom” from “my kid’s name,” and open it Christmas morning and read the list. I want each of my children to know that they already give me so many gifts; they don’t need to buy me something just so I have a gift to open. I also want my children to know WHY I love them. And now that I think about it, I’m going to make a list for my spouse as well.

  41. I have a fairly successful Etsy business on the side, and I have always donated $1 from every order to a fund I call the “Morale Fund”, which goes to the parents of kids that are patients on the floor I work on as an RN at a Children’s Hospital. I chose to donate my money to the parents, because I see a lot of local charities supporting the patients through gifts and entertainment, but I know that the parents need support too. Even though I’m no Paul Allen (AKA Microsoft) with huge donations in the form of televisions and computers, I know my simple gifts of Starbucks cards and other little things can still make a difference.

  42. I’m a teacher and Monday morning, I sent an email to my son’s teacher acknowledging how hard it was going to be for all teachers to walk into the classroom with heavy minds and hearts. I shared with her some stories about how much my son cares for her and thanked her for creating a safe space for him, always. Sometimes we forget that a simple thank you can be so kind when dealt in just the right moment.

    1. TAHNK YOU MILLION TIMES OVER…teachers love and need to hear this…we get soooo much negative rhetoric that email such as these are printed and saved…Thank you! : D

  43. I agree with Jamie from a few posts up…as a healthcare worker, mom,and Christian I already do so many of these things…it seems conceited and braggy to list the “good deeds” that I do on a daily basis anyway…I always strive to have a servant’s heart like Jesus. But I WILL do 28 acts of service above and beyond what I already do, things that require a sacrifice on my part. Certainly slowing down and being in the present is a sacrifice for any mom. Thanks for reminding us all how to be better human beings.

  44. It’s not that great but when I walk into the grocery store from the crowded parking lot, I always offer to take shopping carts in so that someone else who just loaded up their trunk doesn’t have to. I usually do it for elderly or for a mom with young kids. That way they don’t have to worry about leaving their car with their children already in it to go put the cart away. I like your kitchen sign and want to make one for our kitchen. Thanks for a great post.

  45. yesterday, took homemade baked goods to new neighbors in the hood, and had an unexpected play date over for a mom who’s other child was sick.

  46. I have had a recent financial blessing so have been concentrating on sharing what we have. Monday night we split into two teams (2 kids one parent per) with a list and a budget to send care packages to the USO in Kuwait where an OLRB (online running buddy)’s friend is stationed. We had a blast. Yesterday I was a more kind driver! Today… I will think of something. I am going to challenge my kids to do this every day for the rest of the month, have them write what they do on slips of paper and put in a box. We will read them as a family on New Year’s Eve. Where much is given, much is required.

  47. Before I read this post, I was running errands. I decided in my driveway before I left to “slow down.” I let several people cut in front of me (very unusual for me). When the very crowded grocery store finally opened up another lane, I didn’t plow over everyone to get in line. Yes, these are simple little actions–but if we all do them, it removes a lot of daily stress.

  48. I vow to do 26 acts over the next 26 days. Today I volunteered in my son’s Kindergarten class and stayed a little later than usual to help the teacher. Yesterday I donated to the Newtown families and helped a man find the least expensive deli meat per lb at the grocery store. Tomorrow, who knows, but I vow to be more observant and mindful

  49. Rough weather in Denver today. I let my husband off the hook and shoveled the driveway for him (that’s one of his chores). And while I was at it I shoveled for our neighbors…they have two children with a third due in February. I am only going to count that as one act of kindness since shoveling is one act. How many I do it for is irrelevant.

  50. Inspired me to call my neighbor who has had sick kids all week and see if she needed to get out for an hour or two.

    Our cub scout pack went to a local nursing home in a financially depressed area of town to sing Christmas Carols for a bit. It’s always hard to see if the residents are enjoying it but the staff always report that it makes their day.

    Some other folks had great reminders of simple acts of kindness that really don’t take much effort to complete but make every difference to the recipient. Will do my best to complete a few over the next few weeks.

  51. I tend to keep my random acts of kindness private—I generally don’t really tell people what I’ve done/am doing, as sometimes it feels like it can be more about ME doing something for someone else rather than the act itself—hope you can understand what I mean by that.

    BUT. On Saturday, I finished reading a wonderful little book called A Simple Act of Gratitude by John Kralik, and I ended up writing very emotional thank you notes to the my first grader’s fantastic teacher and the principal, who is amazing. Both notes were hard to write because I couldn’t find the right words I wanted to say to express to either of them how much we appreciate them.

    And, of course, I’ve kept doing all the other random acts of kindness that I try to slip in privately each day/week, some of which have been mentioned already (and some new ideas—thanks!!)

    (My favorite to do is paying for Starbucks/groceries/tolls for the people behind me! It’s all secretive and surprising!!)

  52. I have had several things planned but I need to get on it! We’re taking treats to our library and post office; buying a hot chocolate for the bell ringer at our local supermarket; buying coffees for the folks behind us in line. We’ve already delivered our neighbor gifts. Tis the season to do good deeds but it’s important to remember to do these random acts year round. Thanks for the nudge!

  53. Just saw the post re: Ann Curry’s 26 Acts Challenge today. 1st act done less than 2 hours later. Was buying some bows/hairclips from a local vendor in town. Gave her more than what she charged and asked if she would make a bow for someone who needs one and give it to them. Gave her a note explaining why. Love it, can’t wait to get my kids involved in this as well.

  54. Like so many, the shootings in Newtown have left me overwhelmed both with grief and a the maternal desire TO DO SOMETHING. I love the idea of acts of kindness because the desire TO DO SOMETHING is swamped by the feeling of helplessness of what can I do. I’m in.

  55. Love this idea! Just this week we donated a TV to Goodwill, donated new toys at school for a toy drive, and gave our kids’ teachers Christmas presents with handmade cards to thank them for all they do for our, and everyone’s, kids every day. I plan to continue doing acts of kindness, borrowing ideas left by all the awesome mother runners!

  56. I’m in! I don’t have financial means, but I can give of my time and my talents. Thank you, AMR, for sharing Ann Curry’s 26 Acts campaign.

  57. Ladies,

    What an inspirational post! I was on my morning run after reading this and passed a Moon Pie wrapper on the ground. I ran about 10 steps, thought about what you said in your post, and then turned around, ran up the hill and picked it up. Then I got to work today and our boss gave us $50 to give to someone who needed it. I donated to the Family Fund at our elementary school to help families in need. Loving getting all this kindness out there to make others feel good! 2 acts of kindness, 24 to go! or maybe even more!!

  58. The kids and I will be dropping off a bowl full of goodies in the teacher/staff lounge tomorrow morning to let them know they are loved and appreciated.

  59. In my day job, I work on programs that serve foster youth. Some are pregnant and parenting; others are at risk for being pregnant or teen parents. I will give myself permission to see life through their eyes a bit more. Sometimes, I get so caught up in what I need them to do for the program that I forget how hard it is to just be a teenager. For them, it is even harder due to their being in foster care. I will remember to treat them with respect and dignity even when they are being frustrating.

  60. In lieu of a “gift”, I donated to a cancer foundation in her name. A student at my sons school is suffering from cancer and this foundation will help her move into a newly built home. I love reading these ideas, especially after this terribly tough weekend.

  61. I needed to hear this today, thank you.
    Firstly I am going to be kind to myself: give myself a freaking break from not doing everything perfectly.
    Secondly I am going to be kind to my family: patience, love and appreciation.
    Thirdly I am going to extend kindness in my jobs to my coworkers, customers and patients: patience, understanding and compassion.

  62. #2 Earlier this week, I slipped a Starbuck’s gift card into the envelop with our family’s Christmas card to a mom friend who just had her third child while her husband is on his fifth deployment. Starbuck runs with the kids in their jammies is one of the ways she has kept her santity through 3 kids and 5 deployments.

  63. Love this idea and hope it becomes a trend! We need more kindness in the world. I will be looking for ways to do more random acts of kindness with intention, but one kindness that I did yesterday was to send a co-worker a list of all the vendor research and DIY info from my wedding to help with the planning for her daughter’s wedding so they can keep the costs down.

  64. Today I registered for a half marathon virtual run that will benefit the families of the shooting. Though my 6 yr old daughter is not aware of the tragedy (and I don’t plan on telling her) I’m going to sign her up for the virtual 5K so we can give more and run the first 3.1 miles together.

    http://www.active.com/half-marathon/tampa-fl/sandy-hook-elementary-memorial-half-marathon-and-5k-2013

    Tonight I will also be sure to use the Charity Miles app on my phone to help raise money for DoSomething.org.

    I love that I can use my love for running to help others!

  65. I was thinking this very thing yesterday. I saw some gloves and knew my kid’s school was having a warm clothing drive. I hesitated a moment as our budget for December is already completely blown. Then I looked at my small girl and couldn’t imagine her without warm hands in the coming storm and bought four pairs for my almost four year old’s class.

  66. My boys and I are making chocolate chip cookies for our firefighters to thank them for all their hard work and bravery. We will also be shopping for a family in need this Chrustmas. I’m trying to write emails, texts and even real letters to let the people in my life know how much I love and appreciate them. I’m still trying to figure out how to support Newtown community. Nothing feels like enough but I desperately them to know they are loved and in our thoughts and prayers.

  67. I wrote a note to my twins’ 1st grade teacher on Monday. I wanted her to know I was thinking of her and the rest of C&L’s teachers as they braved smiles on Monday in an effort to give my twins’ a “regular” school day. I sent her healing hugs and reminded her how much she has helped my children and our family already this year.

  68. Today my children (ages 3&5)and I are taking gifts of blankets to a local nursing home. I wanted to get my girls involved in giving this holiday season, and so often the elderly are forgotten. I am also doing this in honor of my grandmother who raised me- she passed away this year after suffering in a nursing home for several years following a stroke.

  69. Friday morning, before I heard the news, I was blissfully shopping for our two “Wishing Tree” kids. We try and give to those less fortunate every Christmas and this year we chose two children.

  70. I’m going to go to my gym and tape a dollar bill on the pop/gatorade machine for someone to use (isn’t that cheap pop anyway?). And take some cookies to our lovely librarians.

  71. #5 I sat and rocked my 3(!) yr old to sleep yesterday because he asked me to. Housework & work be damned. There are only so many more times I’m going to be able to enjoy rocking my baby to sleep.

  72. On sunday I took my kids to the Nutcracker downtown. I scrounged up $5 from my dresser and washing machine knowing I probably wouldn’t be able to find a free spot and would have to resort to a parking garage. Low and behold, I found a spot 2 1/2 blocks away. As we were walking we passed a homeless man, he told us Merry Christmas. Of course we got stopped at the traffic light right in front of him. We began talking and that is when I felt drawn to give him my parking money.

    Later during intermission my kids were asking me to buy a cookie in the lobby. I explained that i gave my last $5 to a homless man. They agreed that helping him out was worth going without a cookie….after all, we had plates full of cookies at home.

  73. These comments are so amazing! I made dinner for a friend and her kids. And threw in some Hershey kisses:) I have had sick kids home from school and have really made an effort to enjoy being their mom….not always easy when there are so many things to get done before Christmas, but it has made my week much less frantic. I guess that’s an act of kindness towards myself, as well as my kids. And probably my hubby too:)

  74. As part of my neice and nephew’s Christmas gifts this year, we donated money to Heifer International in their names. I think helping others is the true meaning of Christmas and I know they are now old enough to understand that it is better to give than to receive. In fact when I asked my neice what she wanted for her birthday last year (turning 10!) she said she wanted to make a donation to her local animal shelter. She is a remarkable little girl!

  75. I volunteered in my son’s kindergarten class on Monday and and my daughter’s preschool class yesterday. Tomorrow I go back to my son’s class to help with their winter pajama party. This could be three separate acts of kindness but I’m counting volunteering this week as one extended act.

  76. I worked the food kitchen with my 12 year old. Boy that was HARD work, god bless those that do it every day. My son liked it so much he wants to go back. And when my younger son is old enough we will take him with us.
    I have also seen a homeless man on the same corner, so I am going to pack a brown bag lunch and give it to him.

  77. My daughter and I made cookies for all the teachers and kids in her school. We also plan on baking bread for our neighbors. 24 more to go…we will get them done by Jan 1!

  78. Thanks for this blog post and project! My neighbor called this morning asking if it was okay to use expired medicine for her sick child. I offered to give her ours, but she needed something special so I offered to go to the drugstore for her before I went to work so she wouldn’t need to leave the house with her kids. I was also able to talk to my daughter on the way about why it is nice to do things for other people and hope some of that message set in!

    1. Good for you for being such a good example for your daughter! When children see their parents serve others, they will grow up to do the same. And the learning goes both ways. Our children have much to teach us about love and compassion as well.

  79. #3 I’m running 26 for 26 over the next week or so. I can’t pull a 26 mile run out of a hat, but I can still dedicate 26 miles to those people lost. I still haven’t decided how I feel about running 28 for 28.

  80. At my recent 5k, The Nutcracker Run, I was in the back of the pack when I saw a runner who looked like he was in pain. Turns out he was doing the tri that was going on simultaneously. He had recently gone through a hip replacement and the hills were overwhelmingly hard. I stuck with him and kept encouraging him not to give up even when my knees were unhappy and we both ended up run walking. I would not leave him and when I got done and he was headed to the bike cage, I kept cheering him on. It was fun to see the smile on his face. I felt good and hey, he did that tri. Made me inspired to keep going with my own journey back to running.

  81. Instead of returning the unused formula canisters to the store for a refund, I’m dropping them off at the food bank today, along with some diapers and wipes that we can afford to buy more of.

    BTW – this is a great idea. Thank you!

  82. It was so cold and windy the other night when I made a quick trip to the grocery store. Yet the man ringing the bell at the Salvation Army kettle was still smiling and greeting everyone. I went inside to the coffee counter and bought him a large hot chocolate to warm him up.

  83. I love this! I’m part of an “experiment” periodically throughout the year to do 30 Random Acts of Kindness in 30 days, one per day. It was started by a FB friend that I’ve never met and it’s awesome. He set up an FB group and it’s so much fun to see what others do. Plus random acts of kindness always help me more than the receivers.

    I will do my 28 random acts of kindness before Jan. 1 and I will write them all down! Thanks for sharing!

  84. I read about Ann Curry’s #26Acts last night and decided to write out a Christmas card for a homeless man who always stands on a median strip I pass every day. He holds a well-lettered sign, usually asking for work, and carries himself with pride. He never makes me feel uneasy or pressured. I’ve never given him money before. I’m going to write a note in the card telling him the above, and include $20 or so — haven’t decided on the amount yet.

    I’m also writing cards out with my son’s teacher gifts that I recognize that risking their lives isn’t part of their job description, but I know they would do it in a heartbeat to keep my son safe, and how no gift could ever say how much I appreciate that.

  85. I love this post… and will definitely participate in #26Acts. Everyone just needs to slow down and give their children, spouses, neighbors the love and attention that humans need. Perhaps then we’ll stop stealing and hurting each other. The golden rule… Treat thy neighbor as you’d like to be treated.

  86. We purchased soccer balls as part of a toy drive for children in need and also purchased holiday gifts for a homeless family making the transition to a home. Small potatoes but a start!

  87. I took my boys (4 and 10) for a date last night, we ate at a local pizza place and then stopped by a house that is a Christmas Light Show with music over the car radio. Then we came home and had a few pieces off their gingerbread creations.

  88. I’m volunteering after I run a 10 mile race on the 29. I showed a newbie in our running group where the 5k trail is and slowed down to run it with him. And I’ve got one box ready for Goodwill, and can probably fill another if I’m honest with myself about my closet.

  89. We gave cookies to the garbage man this morning when he picked up our garbage. I need to do more because my sadness over Sandy Hook isn’t lifting.

  90. I bought a bunch of craft kits at Oriental Trading when my kids were in elementary school (they are now in 7th and 9th grade) that I will be donating…not sure where yet but I’m going to call the local food bank to see if they can give them out.

  91. I will help my own son’s first grade teacher continue their Christmas trip around the world, but bringing a little bit of Germany to them. Anything I can do to help and thank my children’s teachers…

  92. I “adopted” a couple at the nursing home where I work and wrapped up some books and Christmas goodies for them next week.

  93. I do a lot of little things all the time, like picking up litter, and letting people in front of me in line. But last week, before the tragedy, I was in line at the grocery store and the woman in front of me could not pay for all of her groceries. She was short $8.55. Her bank card said there was nothing left in her account, and she was understandably upset and confused. She was going to have to leave her groceries there and come back in the morning, so I paid the $8.55. Just like Ann Curry said, I felt almost selfish, because I rode the high from that act of kindness for hours.

  94. We have adopted an elderly neighbor who has no children and little family. Yesterday we took her to a university clinic to help her apply for a low-income program hearing aid. She is an amazing woman who always has interesting stories to tell me about her life, and it makes me feel good to be able to do things for her. As I told her last week, we’ll all be in her position some day and I hope there’s someone around to help me the way we’re helping her.

  95. My boys and I worked on our Christmas baking again last night. Every year we bring plates of cookies to anyone who has impacted our life. This year it’s our Pastor, Sunday School teachers, school teachers, the mail carrier, etc … Cookies make everyone happy! 🙂

  96. I didn’t know who they were, but I paid for the order of the car in line behind me at the McDonald’s drive-thru. I hope the little surprise just made them a little happier….I know it made me happy to help.

  97. sending a small gift with my first grader for the special needs child in her class~ think he would really appreciate the extra gift and make his day~ my daughter is very protective of him and is a great friend to him~ so proud of her!!!

  98. I have shed a lot of tears recently. And yesterday, my aunt passed away. While distance prevents me from doing this for the Connecticut families, I will be preparing meals for my uncle and out of town family that will be coming today.

  99. I just put out 3 large bags and 1 large box of toys and other things for donation to Big Brother Big Sister. This afternoon, I’ll make chocolate dipped pretzels with my daughter because I know she loves to be in the kitchen with me.

  100. A wonderful idea, Dimity. The opportunity will arise at some point today, and I’ll be ready. I’m going to post a link to your post on my blog today. I’m sure I can convince a few readers to do the same.

  101. I am having a little party for some of my second graders for speech therapy today instead of drills and making them work. I have done nothing but think of Sandy Hook, and because I work in two schools, I have made a conscious effort to take a step back and be more forgiving and less like a drill sargeant when it comes to their therapy. When we get back from school holiday, then I will start drilling. But, for today, we are having fun.

  102. I intend to find 5 friends that I haven’t told how much they mean lately and let them know it and the qualities of goodness I see.

  103. I have a good friend who is struggling financially right now. She has 4 kids ages 6, 5, 2 and 5 mo. I went and got her a $100 gift card to our local grocery store, so she didn’t have to worry about putting food on her table. I was once in her boat once, (less the 4 kids) and had so many kind people help me out, it was my turn to do the same. Hello warm fuzzies. 😉

  104. A girlfriend of mine had surgery right before Thanksgiving, and her husband was not able to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I had plenty of leftovers, so I fixed a huge plate and had my kids take it to him (I am currently nursing a broken foot or I would have done it myself).

  105. I work as a playground supervisor a couple days a week at my girls’ school, and the administration came up with a great idea in light of Friday’s events. This week, instead of focusing on writing kids up for bad behavior, we are looking for the good, and are handing out little peace signs for the POSITIVE behavior that we see.

    My personal project for the day is to round up a bunch of my girls clothes and coats that I was going to sell on Ebay, and donate them to Goodwill instead.

  106. I will be on the lookout for a way to do an act of kindness today. I always try to put the cart back at the grocery store.

  107. I’m going to really focus on my patience with my two year old, my difficult patients at work, and my in-laws (we have very different communication styles, and it’s been causing miscommunication).

  108. I try to live by this philosophy every day and pass it on to my kids. You never know when that random act will make a big difference in another persons life.
    Recently I have:
    Volunteered at a race
    Made goodie baskets for neighbors and my uncle who is about to deploy
    Donated items for a senior citizen center

  109. On Monday I delivered coffee to the staff at our Elementary school. Yesterday I took extra ultrasound pictures for the patient that was rude to me and the physician I work with.

  110. I am giving a gift card to the local grocery store to a friend on Facebook. I am sending it through the mail so that she does not know who gave it to her. The gal never asks for anything but prayers for her and her daughter (her daughter has been ill lately).

  111. Paid for 2 appointments for a friend who’s struggling financially and emotionally for reflexology and healing touch appointments. Also have found myself letting others who are in a hurry ahead of me in line since I have off work this week and didnt have the time constraints. Amazing how the little things make a difference to people. Merry Christmas 🙂

  112. Monday I was in line at the post office. While the PO itself is rather small, the line was very long. I waited in line longer than it took to mail my three boxes. Anyway, the elderly woman with a portable walker that came in after me had a single envelope going to Canada. She was unsure if she could stand long enough to get through the line. I took her card and mailed it for her so she could leave.

  113. Yesterday I brought flowers and candy to a friend who is going through a very difficult time right now. The offering put a smile on her face.

  114. I offered a mother who desperately needs a trip to the hair salon to take her daughter ome from basketball practice tonight.

  115. My sons and I are making “love bags” for the homeless– I have a number of drawstring nylon bags that I’ve gotten (many from races) that we will fill with a bottle of water, a meal, a new t-shirt, and a note of encouragement.

  116. I love this! Like all of us, I’ve been so sad for all of the families of Newton. There is some power in focusing on doing good deeds. I have no idea what the acts of kindness will be, but I’m sure opportunities will reveal themselves.

  117. I have been trying to do one random act of kindness every day this month. It is so emotionally enriching. The challenge was issued my the 16 year old son of a friend. He has done something big each day and posted about it. He is so inspirational.
    Thus I will up the ante and do more each day from now til the end of the month. Yesterday I bought coffee for the man behind me at starbucks and googled I formation for a lady on my phone while shopping (she was perplexed by the standard/metric conversion).
    Saturday (in the midst of planning dinner for 30) my kids and I are scheduled to volunteer at the parish food pantry. I at first balked that I didn’t have time but my kids groaned and said it was a tradition they were not willing to give up…these are TEENS!
    So I commend you for your post and challenging all of us to create a snowball of kindness!

  118. I am going to write 24 notes to the 24 kindergartners I teach and tell them I miss them (we are on break already) and love them. I am also going to tell their parents that their child WILL be safe at school and that I will do everything possible to keep them safe and happy and full of life while in my care during the day (yes they will learn too!).

      1. thank you for noticing! my school has been a victim of gun violence 17 years ago, and while no one was hurt, i can understand some of this…the night of the shooting i emailed all my parents, passionately telling them all this…while I a BAMR without children of my own, these are my children! merry merry and happy happy this time of year! : )

  119. I surprised my staff with pedicures on monday. They are so awesome, and don’t hear it enough. We had a great time relaxing together.

  120. Last Friday I helped kids in my son’s classroom make gingerbread houses and cleaned up afterward. I also sorted papers for the teacher, and stuffed “Friday Folders” for a couple of other teachers in the school. To me, school is a very important time in my child’s life, and hope to show him that by helping out in his classroom.

  121. I will need to commit my own acts of kindness, but today I received kindness when my friend brought me lunch and then watched my daughter so I could finish my Christmas shopping. I then witnessed kindness when the moms at our neighborhood park welcomed a new family to the neighborhood. There really is a lot of goodness in the world. I will try to make a contribution myself.

  122. Despite the fact that I’m due any day with baby #2 and I’m tired and achy from 39 weeks of pregnancy, I scheduled two women to have operations (I’m a surgeon) tomorrow so they can start their chemo ASAP with a device that will make their blood draws and infusions safer, easier and more streamlined.

  123. I LOVE Kelly-Anne’s random act. SO important and so needed — school spirit is IMPORTANT! Bravo sister!

    I started mine by helping a hearing impaired couple on my flight from Singapore to the US. The airline wasn’t aware of their disability and they were struggling. I only know the sign language alphabet but it was enough. That was in honor of Principal Hochsprung.

    My #2, #3 and #4 were to buy Kiva gift cards for my three precious children. They are in honor of Noah Ponzer, Jessica Rekos and Vicki Soto (teacher). We will talk about their meaning when they open the gift cards at Christmas. The honor and memory will live as long as the recurring Kiva loans do!

    Going to keep my eyes out for #5 – #26 for the rest of this week …

  124. I normally wouldn’t have gone to our local HS basketball game but I did tonight just to volunteer my time working so another parent could watch their kid play

  125. I plan on using my Shine (pass it on) cards when I go through the drive thru to pay for their food. I offered to bring coworkers who were still at work at 930 last night dinner–

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