RAKS are Back – Get Ready!

It’s December! In previous years, we’ve done a contest all month long involving RAK’s. (Random Acts of Kindness). Last year we didn’t officially sponsor any RAK contests, because we moved the shop from St. Louis to Fort Collins the first week in December, and it was a little over-consuming. But I missed it, and we’re putting it back into the regular December schedule again. This will be our fifth year of December Friday RAK contests, and I’m so looking forward to reading the comments to see who is participating and what you have chosen to do. Thank you in advance for the love that you’re going to share!

There are three Fridays before Christmas, so each of those Fridays will be a RAK reporting day here on the blog. If you’d like to participate, you’re encouraged to do something special and unexpected for someone around you each week. They can be cost-free or expensive, big or little, anonymous or not. Pick something extra nice and out of the ordinary. Not things like “I held the door open for the mom with 3 toddlers at the grocery store.”, because I think we all do those kinds of nice things all the time. Or at least we should be! Need some ideas? If you click on the Random Acts of Kindness blog category over there —> on the right side of my blog, you can read comments from past RAK posts.

Why do we ask you to report back in on Friday? Because your RAK’s inspire other people to go out and do the same. I love the emails that I get in December, where people are telling me how inspired they were when reading someone else’s comment about something nice that they did. You have no idea how your one idea might spur or encourage lots and lots of other people who read about it. That way, your RAK goes even further than you originally intended. To further encourage you to report back in via a blog comment here, we’ll be drawing one name for every 50 RAK comments we get on the Friday blog posts (12/7, 12/14, 12/21). You will win your choice of yarn from our new Loopy Seasonings Series, and we’ll also be adding something extra to your prize as well, because that’s all part of the fun.

Our first reporting day is this Friday and we’ll announce the winner next Monday. You have a few days to do something nice and leave a comment on Friday’s post. (Then – you will have another opportunity to do something else next week, for that Friday’s post.) I hope you’re up for it!

Sheri alreadyplottingmyfirstRAKoftheseason


  1. I do RAK’s in front of my kids often. Little things. I never say anything to them. I just do what I can and let them watch. I do believe some examples are stronger than words.

  2. I’ll share one early, since it happened several months ago.

    I was out to dinner with DH, and a family was seated next to us, a mom, two teenage boys and a younger girl. You could kinda tell they were down on their luck. Mom looked tired and stressed. One of the boys wanted to order something in particular, and mom said they had to stick with the special because that’s what they could afford. One of the boys had to grab his meal and run to work.

    so DH and I picked up their tab, on the sly. Ambushed their waitress and paid for their meal. And then, worried that she might be offended, we skeedaddled.

  3. I was just thinking of RAKs yesterday. I am trying it incorporate RAKs into Advent this year to get double good feelings this month. Thanks for doing them again this year

  4. This Friday, I am taking a personal day off from work to help out at the Domestic Violence Crisis Center…..this is a special time of year that I take to give back as this is a personal cause because I am a domestic violence survivor. When I knit/crochet for a cause, this is my baby…this year, I will be bringing 8 scarves that I both knitted and crocheted as well as three afghans all made with love with yarn that I purchased at Loopy……….

  5. Can I share one from earlier this week? My neighbor and dear friend has two kids who grew up next door to me and have now left home. They have a very old felt Advent calendar, given to them by an aunt many years ago, that was an important par tof their Christmas tradition growing up. This year I sewed replicas for both kids and gave them to my friend on Friday so the kids would have them on the first day of Advent. Now they can continue the tradition with their own families.
    And I should add that I’m a knitter – because I absolutely hate to sew. : )

  6. I may be back with one of my own but today I want to post an RAK that a friend did for me. My friend Liz knew that I wanted to see the Christmas Revels but that cash is tighgt right now. She just offered me two free tickets to the final dress rehearsal. If this comment is chosen as a winner, I will give you her contact info. She is also a knitter.

  7. Speaking of RAK’s….someone blessed us with a sweet note with a Meijer gift card and said, they had been so blessed over the years and thought we could use that blessing, especially this time of year; especially, since my husband is still unemployed. Now, we’ll pay it forward! 🙂

  8. My husband (crocheting) and I (knitting) are making lots of hats, scarves, and cotton dishcloths which will be given to Meals on Wheels for delivery to seniors with their meals in mid-December.

  9. I work at a community college and a student who is a refugee from Burma has been working with me on several transfer college applications and scholarships. She has lived here 4 years, but spent 13 years in a Thai refugee camp (2 of her sibs and her mother still live in the camp). She is an honors student and I nominated her for 3 very competitive scholarships. Yesterday, as we discussed college applications, she asked if I could help her complete several of them. She also confessed that she was worried about making college visits because she doesn’t know what to expect or what to ask. I volunteered to go with her on her visits so she won’t have to worry and can focus on learning about each college. She was thrilled – and very surprised. I want to see her succeed – she has worked hard.

  10. I’ll post early for Friday. My friends mom was ill (and now she is better) then her husband fell and broke his hand. They have 3 little ones. I just made a home made lasagna for her to just be able to reheat. I’ll bring it to her tomorrow. I just hope it helps a little!

  11. Ooops, so mesmerized by the yarn that I forgot to add my RAK. Yesterday driving to the post office I see an elderly gentleman struggling with the flag pole in his front yard. I didn’t know if it had fallen over or if he was going to collapse so I pulled into the driveway and ran over to help him. I said, “let me help you with that,” and so I did. Turns out the flag mast was about 10 ft long and was aluminum so it was pretty light weight, however, he was still struggling to bring it inside his garage and was dragging our U.S. flag along with it. That in itself was enough to make me run from my car! The gentleman looked to be near 90 years old. I didn’t hear a thank you but I felt good about it myself. I didn’t mention it to anyone until now.

  12. My daughter friend s family is rather needy and when she comes over the two fight over my daughters American Girl doll. So yesterday we went and got her a 18 inch doll and outfit and dropped it off just because..

  13. I made five lap blankets for veterans in our local VA Hospital and contributed those along with personal care products.

  14. My RAK was this morning. There’s a very kind older gentleman living down our street. We spoke recently and he mentioned that he has age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The AMD makes it tricky for him to walk alone…. so I walked up to his house this morning, rang the door bell and asked if he’d like to take a walk. I walked with him around the block and listened to his stories about growing up. And then I dropped him off at his front door. We made plans to walk again on Friday! 🙂 Does this count?

  15. This is one I do every now and agAin when I see a need. I did it the other day. I was going into Starbucks for my almost daily chai latte. There were two homeless men outside a bit away from the store shivering in the rain. I went and asked them if I could by them each a cup of coffee. They were so gracious and grateful. It is so easy to judge and walk by but you never really know how or what brought them to such a destitute state. They are people just trying to survive Ike the rest of us.

  16. I feed teenagers (my students) from dysfunctional families lunch. It is hard to learn about the Depression when your stomach is growling.

  17. I work at fast food resturant that caters to a lot of seniors and also a lot of teenagers. Yesterday as I was working the front an elderly man couldn’t find enough money for his entire order. So I cashed it through and I covered the rest from out of my pocket. The teenage boy behind him watched me do this then just smiled a great big smile at me. I told the elderly man that he was all taken care of and to sit down and enjoy his supper. Today, that same young man was in and a woman with a toddler was short a dollar or two and was going to leave to go get the money and come back. That young man just smiled his great big smile and paid for her food and told her to go sit down and enjoy her supper! He looked at me then and said, Pay it forward, a little at a time does help! He and I talked a little while and he said he had talked with a group of his friends at school and that they are each going to each try to do something small for someone each day, I told him to keep in touch and let me know how he and his friends were doing in their RAKing. He had never heard of the term RAK for Random Acts of Kindness. He then thanked me for showing him that a little kindness can make a big difference, I have never felt better about myself then I did at that moment, because he didn’t realize he had just RAK’d me!!

  18. While in line a Costco the lady in front of me said she forgot the walnuts and pecans she needed. I thought I knew where they where on off I ran, Of course the moved them and they where now in the back of the building but I got them for her. I do this all the time as my good deed of the day. I know that some time it will come back to me as a good deed.

  19. The replies here are so inspiring! My RAK kind of pales in comparison to some of the other fabulous stories shared above but I donated handknit hats to a local hospital for distribution to inpatients on Christmas.

  20. One that I do fairly often is pay for a little extra parking for cars on our street if their time has run out or it’s just about to. With two little kids I know how hard it can be to stay on track with timing, so that extra couple of dollars for another half-hour makes a difference when otherwise it’s an expensive parking ticket! We live in Toronto and street parking is hard to find, and the parking enforcement officers are prompt and ruthless!

  21. Today our weaving group is having our annual holiday luncheon. We are all bringing gifts for the needy children in the area. The good looking firemen come and collect them so it is a win-win for everyone.

  22. RAK’s have always been a part of my life. My momma always said we might unknowingly entertain angels when we do these small and sometimes secret kindnesses. One cannot not entertain angels…

  23. I gave my pregnant sister in law the gift of my time and more… I took her shopping for baby stuff in a place I would rather not visit again anytime soon (the crowds! The bargaining!) and I gave her all of My son’ stuff that are too small for him now.

  24. Nancy and Carol, those yarns look like Cascade Ultra Pima to me. I’m going to guess that the colors are Emerald, Ice and Turquoise. Soooo pretty!

  25. Hi, I crocheted a afghan for my girlfriends brother for xmas he lost evrything in hurricane sandy he is a senior citzen on fixed budget and just got a studio apartment .He will be so surprised i did this for him.

  26. Tonight I’m going to my local Knitter’s Guild meeting. I’ve made several hats and mittens that I’ll donate to a our local Youth Service Bureau. they are so appreciated of these donations and I enjoy making them.

  27. We are shopping for kids from the giving tree at church. Usually, I pick up some toys and wrap them myself, but this year the kids will go with me to shop after school tomorrow. They are really excited since we always pick children the same gender/age as them. Last year, my husband told me (and the kids) for the first time that he was one of those kids growing up that received their gifts from the church. Makes me wish I could buy kids for every tag hanging on the tree.

  28. Travelling in Australia we noted that many of the toilets especially at the free camping places (especially in the out-of-the-way places that are not serviced) do not have toilet paper and definitely do not have soap.

    I carry a spare of each and when I come across one of these I leave a roll and/or soap (if there is a hand basin!) And I have in fact done so this week. I have also been known to clean one or two because they were pretty bad.

    I reckon this is a random act of kindness and quite possibly goes unnoticed!

  29. My RAK was just today. We don’t have gobs of money but I would hope that the little things count for something. Someone once helped us so I want to help people as well. Today I went to Walmart and the layaway desk. I told the clerk to pick 5 random people and I paid $10 on each of their layaways. She was a little shocked that someone would do something like that but she did it. $10 isn’t a lot but it can go a long way especially when someone wants to make Christmas special.

  30. I have a co-worker who has been very stressed both at work and at home. She came to me the other day in tears about her situation and after talking to her and letting her know that everything will be fine, I snuck out of work and went the local bakery. I bought a bag full of yummy baked goods, wrote uplifting sayings on the bag and I dropped them off at her desk. Later that evening she sent me a message saying how much she appreciated it. I hope it put a smile on her face if just for a moment.

  31. I don’t like talking about our RAK i think that it defeats the act. Since we are sharing, We live in Canada. But wish we were still in the States(as we call the USA). My Husband and I went to Costco, Bought a whole meal for the mission. John thought that they needed appetizers so we started with that. The main meal spiral hams, potatoes, lg bag of carrots, broccoli, corn, lg bag of rolls, 2bls butter, can of coffee, bag of creamers, 2 lg pumpkin pies, whipped cream of course. Peanut butter, jelly, salsa, chips, crackers, lg cheese, olives, pancake mix, syrup, eggs, the basket was so full, on top a Beautiful Poinsettia Plant for the table. People we looking at us like we were crazy. My Husband almost wanted to say hummm this is not all for us… he just looked ahead and proceeded to unpack it all. Everyone deserves a beautiful meal more so the poor…

  32. One time when I was taking my dog for a walk at the local park, I wasn’t to far from the car when I turned around to see three puppies running away from a young 10 year old girl. She was screaming at them to STOP but they went zig-zaging all over the meadow dragging their leash behind. Panic started to set in for her as the dogs ignored her cries. I quickly put my little sheltie in the car and ran into the meadow. I was a little worried if the puppies went outside of the meadow they would run into quite a bit of traffic. Making clicking soumds & whistles, I had a little bit of their attention. Suddenly I remembered a little bag of Fritos in my pocket…..I opened the bag and threw one or two at the puppies …& they came running to me! I knelt down on the ground , rustled the bag, and grabbed their leash. The little girl caught up as she ran to us, looking very relieved and had happy tears hugging the furry trio !

  33. I love all if your stories ladies. I really do. I try to help as much as I can. I do believe in paying it forward. I try to teach my son about it as well. We always do Toys for Tots. But I try to do little things people if I see they need any kind of help. These stories are all so touching. Thanks for making my evening that much better!

  34. This RAK isn’t really about me, although I do this every week. Here’s the story:

    My friend Karrie Steinmetz (KnitPurlGurl on Rav), blogger, video podcaster and more, started Random Act of Pattern Tuesdays (RAP Tuuesdays) – where she encouraged her viewers to head over to Rav and randomly gift someone a pattern from his or her wishlist. It was so much fun to check my Rav mail each Tuesday and read the lovely kind messages and awesome pattern goodness! Each week I received a pattern or two, and gave as many out.

    On Monday, November 26, Karrie unexpectedly passed away. Our community was rocked by this sudden loss and many of us struggled with how to cope. The next day, which was a Tuesday, the amount of RAPs sent was truly staggering. Hundreds of patterns were gifted in Karrie’s memory. Many people gifted her designs as a way to help her family out financially. So many of her patterns were gifted, two of her designs made it onto Rav’s top 20 pattern list. While nothing we do can bring Karrie back to us, continuing her idea of Random Act of Pattern Tuesday is a way we can keep her memory alive.

  35. Karrie, from the knitpurlgurl podcast, inspired RAP. Random acts of patterns every Tuesday. She was an inspiration and many of us have continued her RAP-ing in her memory…

  36. My favorite RAK is to pay the order for the person behind you at the fast food drive through. What a simple way to surprise someone. Our local Cristian radio station promoted this idea and would get feedback from restaurant workers on how many orders were paid forward. I was planning on a Mc Donald’s stop this am and will do just that!

  37. Here’s a follow up to my post…this is from a person working at a drive thru…

    I just wanted to share a story because I know you are doing the Drive-Thru Difference right now. I am an employee at Starbucks on M6 & Kalamazoo, and yesterday after a very long day I had to work. My supervisor put me on drive-thru for the night. I had a couple cars come through but then this women, probably a little over 22 years old paid for her drink. When I opened up the window to hand give her drink to her, she handed me a $10 and with a smile said please use this for cars until there is no more left. I listen to your station regularly, and the Jesus sticker on the back of her car let me know she must as well. I used that $10 to pay for about 4 cars, the 4th car, after I told them that some of it was covered (because it didn’t cover it all), purchased a $10 gift card for me to use on other cars, and then about 4 cars later, someone gave me a 5. Although I lost track of how many cars this went on for, it didn’t fail to make my long day worth going to work.

    Thank you for encouraging those to make a difference.
    Good Bless

  38. I have to make cookies for a children’s Christmas play today (to serve afterwards) and I’m sneaking some in a bag into our mailbox with a thank you note. Our mail person is always on time and makes sure that if we get anything in the mail, that it’s in a safe place where it doesn’t get wet or destroyed. 🙂

  39. I volunteer at my local hospital seven days a month.I have been doing this for the last 3 years. The wonderful doctors & nurses saved my life during a month long stay. I was so impressed with the care & kindness I recieved I volunteer 4 hours at a time on weekends at the information desk. I have really learned how wonderful people are.

  40. While cleaning out a closet I ran across some, well a lot of yarn. I went on ravelry to see what I could do with some of this and found someone that had the same yarn in her stash. I contacted her and now my yarn is joining hers. I hope this will contribute to her happy holidays.

  41. I participate in the RAP (random act of pattern) which was started by the late KnitPurlGirl. The day after I found out about her passing, I gifted 3 of her patterns, and plan to do so every Friday this Christmas season.

  42. On Monday, I mailed off a package to the daughter of a Rav friend who is stationed with the military in Bahrain. Her mom had asked if we’d send her a card to cheer her up because this will be her first Christmas away from home. I remembered her mentioning that she’s a knitter so I made her a “knitting emergency” ornament and included it with a couple of skeins of yarn, some peanuts and apple butter from Virginia, an “Uncle Sam” ornament, and a Christmas card with thanks for serving our country.

  43. This week I paid for coffee for the person behind me in the Starbucks drive through line. I’ve heard of chains of people doing this and I can only hope that my RAK inspired others to do the same.

  44. I know a single mom who is trying to raise two young boys on a very small salary. Father doesn’t provide support. I know they love anything “cammo” so I bought cammo yarn and knitting them hats and matching scarves. Then I bought them heavier dark green cammo gloves to help keep their hands warmer when they stand outside waiting for the school bus. We had freezing rain this morning…2-hour delay for schools. My husband said…here they come…no hats, etc. So my Golden and I went to greet them and their mom. I told the boys I made them something and they were so thrilled. She was stunned and said no one ever did that for us. I handed her a bag and gave her an infinity scarf and matching hat I made for her…not cammo but in a pretty shade of blue. She cried and so did I. To think how little meant so much. She is too proud to go to the food bank but I called and am working out an “anonymous” Christmas basket to be delivery to them…everything she needs for a great Christmas dinner.

  45. This week was drop off extra yarn good for hats or scarfs and knitting patterns that some of my fellow seniors might enjoy my local senior center. There is a knitting group there and all enjoy different yarns to work with and patterns to look at (or use). Add to that a few hats that I make during the year that go to the Morgan Memorial drop off centers. It is cold in the North East, every can use an extra hat or scarf.

  46. I thought I left this entry the other day but I must have posted it to the wrong place. I went through my stash this past week and got together a box of yarn to be donated to a group of charity knitters in Gloucester VA.

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