For many years we have done Random Acts of Kindness blog posts in December, and we’re ready for that again! We know you all do many nice things year-round for people around you. We know this because we hear about it! But our RAK blog posts in December are a way to share some ideas with everyone else. To encourage you to share, we’ll be drawing one name from the RAK reporting posts today and next Friday, and will be sending the winner a sweet Blue Sky Alpaca Kit as a thank you. We get these kits in at Christmas time and we love them. Quick for knitting up speedy gifts.
Be intentional about your kindness this month and come back to today’s blog post to share what you were able to do. We’ll take reports on today’s post and then again on next Friday’s post. I hope you post both days! Need some quick ideas? Shovel a neighbor’s walk, pay for the car behind you in the Starbucks drive through, clean the snow off a co-worker’s car in the parking lot, leave a sweet treat on someone’s desk or porch, write an appreciation letter to a past teacher, buy a present for an Angel Tree, offer to run an errand for someone, donate clothes to a charity or homeless center, etc. We always love reading about what you’ve have been doing!
I tried a new recipe this week from my sweet friend Susan in Alabama. SO quick and easy, and if you pop this into a jar with a ribbon around the top, they make great gifts for friends!
1 lb. pecans
3 Tbl. butter (original recipe calls for 4 Tbl but Susan uses slightly less)
1 Tbl. seasoned salt (like Lawry’s)
Add all ingredients to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 4 minutes. Stir well and then turn out on a cookie sheet to dry. Enjoy for snacking!
I have belonged to a small online group of mothers, started years ago when our children were starting their teens. The children have long ago grown up, but we have all stayed in touch over the years. Right now, our only member down-under has been struggling with divorce, a layoff and resulting depression. So one of our members suggested to the rest of us that we send her a gift via Paypal. After collecting whatever each of us felt we could afford, last night, as a group, we sent her enough money to get her through to the new year. Not random, but unexpected and it truly let her feel how much we have grown to care for her, even though most of us have never met in person.
I am a nurse, and I no longer work in he clinical area. For the past ten years, I have been sewing teddy bears for kids who are in shelters here in NYC. This year I made 500 teddy bears. I put each bear in a brown paper lunch bag and fold down the top and seal it with a Christmas sticker. Each child then gets to open their own present. This year I have met my first goat which is 8,000 teddy bears made since 2004. My credo is that every kid needs a bear !
Took a bunch of barely used, much loved hand knit socks to the inner city school where I volunteer. Requested that the office staff distribute to kids who might be in need (and this is a school where EVERYONE has need)–just not necessary to tell them where/from whom the warm woolies came. So grateful to see one of the little boys wearing “my” socks in gym class today.
After I knit a pattern for someone I like to knit multiples because I especially like the yarn or the pattern or both. This leaves with with a trunk full of lovelies with no where to go. This year my daughter started a program for dog owners to trade in their prong collars for their dogs for a better collar that’s pet friendly. She took most everything from my trunk and sold it at a holiday craft show to support this cause. I was honored and thrilled to support all those dogs! It’s an uphill battle but one by one she’s making a difference. Not so random perhaps but every bit as important!
I sent 2 skeins of Lorna’s Laces yarn (one from my LYS, one from TLE) with a co-worker who was making a family emergency trip to India. His mother knits, but has trouble finding yarn made of wool. He was so excited to take the yarn with him!
I donated a bunch of my hand made items to a local seniors group for their Christmas Craft sale.
For the last 6 years I have been a volunteer tax preparer. Although the actual tax prep won’t start until February, there’s a lot of preliminary work that I’m doing this month, including setting up the sites, arranging to have all of the volunteers trained, and passing the IRS certification exams. It’s a lot of work but the appreciation of the taxpayers when we help them prepare their taxes and show them the credits they’re entitled to makes it well worth the effort!
I made dinner for a co-worker and brought it over to her when she wasn’t feeling well.
Yesterday I won a book in a blog contest (Sew Mama Sew) and asked them to send it to a local nonprofit instead of to me.
I bought three toys for Toys for Tots this week.
Not sure if it counts, but I just donated to Wreaths Across America for them to lay wreaths for Christmas at Arlington National Cemetery during the 150th Anniversary. I did it in memory of my Dad, who served 29 years in the Navy.
I have an elderly friend who has been battling cancer for 6 mos now – she is in her mid eighties and I ‘m afraid she might not have long. She called me the other day and said she was out of the hospital and in rehab and was trying real and hoped to be home for Christmas, hard bless her heart. I went to take her a little tiny live Christmas tree to brighten up her spirits.
Well, this isn’t random but I organized folks at my workplace to sponsor a family in need this holiday season through a neighborhood charity. Donations will help the kids get some clothes that they need, give the family a gift card to a grocery store, some pet food and some holiday treats.
Recently I was asked to compose the newsletter that is done annually with girls I went to college with. With today’s technology, I admit to ignorance and putting together a newsletter in any way, shape or form had me a bit baffled, so as I collected newsletters as they were sent to me,and I forwarded them to my tech savvy who designed the most beautiful and creative newsletter for me to send out to my friends. I then sent her a gift card. I don’t know if it’s a random act of kindness on my part, but maybe more likely on her part for helping so graciously.
Inspired by this post, I picked up several classic books for the kids at a nearby church I don’t attend. I’ll wrap them and drop them off anonymously tonight. My “acts of kindness” have all been planned lately or general donations, so this was a nice change of pace. Happy holidays, everyone!
My son and I took a couple bags of Christmas presents to our local tv station, which was collecting toys for children in foster care. Every month or so, my son and I also gather his gently-worn clothing, toys and games and donates them to charity or we send them to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which I also knit items for.
I have been working with inner city youth for years and this is what we have done for Random Acts of Kinness:
Shovel a random persons walk and driveway when they are at work after a big snowfall
Give a bus driver a coffe and donut.
Boost a car during cold weather.
Offer someone a ride who just got groceries and does not drive. Carry groceries for them.
Bake and deliver cookies and give to people in a nursing home. Etc. etc.
A coworker that I didn’t know very well left for a new job in Germany today. I knit him a hat to take along.
Today we were having our guild lunch, it is standard practice to donate one item to the City Mission food bank. I donated 3; 2 of which were baby food which is something people don’t think of and the other was a treat being a packet of jelly beans. Someone will be happier as a result of me going a little beyond requirements I hope.
I made scarves for my Christian Women’s group – and since I always make extras, those went to the local knitting group to add to their give-away of hats, mittens, scarves, etc.
I volunteer at my local library. I also donate books to them. Last spring, when I was working, I’d buy books for my students who liked to read.
We adopted a family who needed a little help with Christmas for the kids, so we were able to have fun shopping for clothes, shoes, and TOYS, and then turn them over to mom and Santa for wrapping and distribution.
I bring bags of yarn and needles, quilting fabric and thread to my local senior center where the seniors make items for both donation and fundraisers.
Earlier this week I dropped off a bag of shawls, hats, scarfs and mittens I’ve knit over the last year at a church down the street from where I work. They hand them out to the homeless or elderly in need. And then while waiting for the bus last night after work, saw one of my scarfs snuggly wrapped around an elderly man’s neck – doesn’t get much better than that.
I don’t like to tell when I do a RAK because I usually do them anonymously, but I will share here only because you asked and I can trust that the Loopy Groupies and fans who read this won’t tell -I sent a hat and coordinating cowl to my friend’s SIL whose husband is in very poor health. I didn’t include my name or address – just signed a card “Hope this little gift puts a smile on your face. xoxo, a Christmas elf.”
My husband and I are hosting dinner at church for all attendees after the annual Christmas service and children’s program. It is such a great opportunity for fellowship and to show our appreciation to our church family and all that they do for us.
A couple of acts – when at Barnes & Noble was asked if I wanted to donate a book to homeless teens – chose the Hobbit for them. I also contribute to the Bundles of Joy group on Ravelry and recently sent the OB ward several fleece sleepers, socks and knit sleep sack, hat and mitts. Also sent the foster care group toys for Christmas distribution. Like so many I have more than I really need and it feels great to share with others.
Bought Christmas gifts for 2 of the adults in the developmentally disabled group we sponsor at work. These are awesome folks!!
I’m putting aside my Christmas (and Loopy Academy) knitting for a bit, in order to knit up a small toy menagerie for a lovely little girl named Mary Cate that lives in my area. She has Apert Syndrome, which is a genetic disorder that results in severe craniofacial deformities. Along with her mother, Mary Cate visits local schools to tell kids that it’s OK to be different Together, they teach kids that it’s always best to “Choose Kind”, which is the message from the book “Wonder” by RJ Palacio (a terrific, fabulous, awesome MUST read!). The main character in the book also has craniofacial deformities. Mary Cate will be visiting my kids’ school in a few weeks, so I’m dropping everything to knit her up a little Thank You gift 🙂
Mary Cate’s mom has a blog at http://www.mymarycate.org … its a wonderful, heart-warming story!
Book drives are always a big deal for me, no matter what time of year. I believe every child needs access to books no matter what. This season I bought books to be given to local children in foster care.
While shopping yesterday at a local big box, I entered an aisle with a dear lady using one of the store’s scooter carts. She was having difficulty reaching from a higher shelf, so I was very happy to assist with getting it down. I teamed up with her to make sure she was able to get everything on her list as well as get it loaded into her car.
One of my good friends from grad school recently had surgery for her breast cancer. She is in her early 30s and has the world’s most positive attitude. When she first was diagnosed, she told everyone, “Please don’t be sad for me, because this might turn out to be a really positive gift, you never know.” I sent her flowers after her surgery and signed them from all of us who had worked with her in grad school, (even though it was really just from me). I wanted her to know a big team of folks was cheering for her — which is true, even if I was the person who pulled the trigger.
Her surgery went really well, with all the outcomes they were hoping for! Yay!
I gave groceries to our local food bank. Food is needed all year but with heating bills and the holidays coming their shelves empty quickly.
At my favorite big box retailer, I bought an extra gift card and gave it to the clerk. Retail workers need all the encouragement they can get in the holiday season!
Some lovely young women from my daughter’s dance studio are aspiring professionals, and, as part of their training, they must complete a service project. They hosted an event for a ministry that reaches out to women involved in human trafficking, and I was blessed to make desserts for the buffet.
My daughter and I saw a blind man in the middle of the street when leaving our hairdressers, and stopped to offer help and it turns out he was trying to get to the blind school to get some money to pay his rent, he had run short this month. He had been walking for two days. My daughter and I put him in our car and drove him to his apartment and paid his rent and gave him money for food. It totally made OUR day to help out a stranger that we will most likely never see again. What a blessing that was to us to be able to help a fellow human being.
So far my RAKs are in progress. Knitting teddy bears that will travel to Ethiopia. And now making cookies that will go…when I have enough….to my daughter and SIL PD……because of the protests they have spent more hours at work than home with their families during this holiday season. Not much, just something got let them k won’t everyone hates them
Everyone is so inspiring with all these wonderful accounts! I sent an anonymous donation to a family who are trying to raise money to adopt a child. I heard recently that their paperwork is well underway, which means they’ve raised the necessary funds and I’m so pleased to have been a (small) part of building a family.
The bellringer outside work came in to get some coffee and warm up. He’s disabled, and pushed in a cart with his blanket and belongings ahead of his walker. I pushed the cart in for him, and he told me that a few days before,when he came in for a minute, someone stole his bag. He felt that someone stole his holiday spirit. I made a bright red hat and cowl (bulky, I cheated!) and gave it to him with a cup of hot chocolate. He said I gave him back his holiday—which made mine.
Oh! I miss the chance to participate. No problems I will try next time. Moreover, all images are looking very pretty in the post.