August Act of Kindness: Week Four

Day 21: Diapers for Parents
For this day, I wanted to do a “random” act of kindness or something that would impact a stranger. I ordered a pack of eco-friendly disposable diapers off of Earth Hero and put several of them in the changing table in the family restroom at Publix while I was doing a grocery run. I also included a note letting the next parent who came in know that the diapers were left there for them intentionally, in case they forgot one or were short on money for diapers for whatever reason. I usually try to leave notes with these random acts because I want to make it clear that it isn’t just someone being forgetful and leaving something behind, it is someone who intentionally wanted to brighten their day or make it easier in some way.

This activity cost me about $15 since I bought a full pack of diapers. Granted, it could have been slightly cheaper had I not opted for an eco-friendly brand from Earth Hero, but that was an important aspect to me. I only used four or five diapers on this actual day, so I still have most of the pack left. My plan is to continue doing this at public restrooms whenever I do actually venture out. If you are a parent yourself though, this would be relatively easy because you could just take a few diapers out of the pack you already have and leave them behind for the parent(s) coming behind you. This activity also didn’t take a lot of time because I was already going to Publix for some groceries and just stepped into the restroom to do this real quick, and it will be the same whenever I put diapers in other public restrooms at places I will be going to anyway.

Day 22: Family Dinner
For this act of kindness, I coordinated time for my husband and I, my brother and sister and their families to all visit my granddad at once and bring him dinner. This was one of the first ideas I had when I decided I wanted to do some sort of kindness challenge and one that was really important to me. My grandad is my only living grandparent, and it is my mom’s dad. He had a tough year, just like us, and he isn’t able to get out nearly as much as he used to. Although we all visit him regularly, we never do it with all of us at once. In fact, it’s probably been since my mother’s funeral since he’s seen all of us together. It was also a surprise that we were all going to be there, and so it was really cool to see his reaction as everyone got there one by one. Whenever it was time for all of us to leave, my brother and sister-in-law were the last ones in the room with him and they told me later that he said he really enjoyed having all of us together at once.

The being together part of this act of kindness was free, but I did buy my granddaddy a hibachi dinner plate and some sushi. This cost me about $15, and although I know he was happy with all of us just being there, I also wanted to bring the food because we all used to go to a hibachi grill together for birthdays and anniversaries and other special occasions. Although it wasn’t as high quality as that food, I wanted something that would at least remind him of that and something that he doesn’t get at home very often. This did also take some planning on my part because I had to coordinate with my siblings and their schedules, and we actually had to move the date from the Saturday I had originally thought we could do it due to a conflict. It was also a little bit of a commitment as far as time because my grandad lives about 30-45 minutes away, we spent 1-2 hours with him, and then had to drive 30-45 minutes back. However, knowing how much he enjoyed us all being together, it was totally worth it, and we have even talked about trying to make weekend dinners at his house a more regular occurrence.

Day 23: Kindness Rocks
This act of kindness is one I have seen on Pinterest and Instagram a good bit, and I really thought it would be fun for me and my husband to do together. The premise is simple, pretty much all you do is collect some rocks and then paint them with short, inspirational messages. We did both have a really good time doing it, as it was a way to express a little bit of creativity and have a little fun with one of these daily acts of kindness. I will say, it was a little harder to write the messages on the rocks than either of us anticipated. I think part of that was because we didn’t pick out the smoothest rocks, but we may not be the most artistically inclined if we’re being honest.

This act of kindness was free because we got the rocks from outside, just around our apartment complex, and we already had painting supplies on hand. It did take a little bit of time, more because the original coat of paint has to dry before you can write or paint your messages, but it’s also a fun way to spend your time. And you can use a hair dryer to speed up the process if you want to (we did). I think this would be a great activity to do as a family if you’re looking for acts of kindness that would work well with kids.

Day 24: Coffee Pick-Me-Up
With this challenge, I have really tried to incorporate both things that would benefit strangers and people close to me. For this one, I wanted to brighten the day of another sister-in-law (my husband’s sister), and initially I had not written down anything specific for her, just that I wanted to do something for her. Then on the same day that we did the family dinner, my sister gave me a $15 gift card to Starbuck’s that someone had given her and told me I could use it for my kindness challenge if I wanted to. I thought it was perfect, so I printed out a cute little free printable that said “Just a little something to get you through the daily grind” in the shape of a coffee mug that I thought was perfect to go along with it. It also worked out kind of perfectly because the same day that I had planned to do this act of kindness for her, she asked us to watch her daughter that afternoon too. Without going into any detail, she’s been going through a lot lately, and I think this really brightened her day.

Since my sister passed this gift card along to me, this act of kindness was actually free. Even if you wanted to do something similar to this and had to buy it yourself, you could buy a $5 or $10 gift card or even a $1 cup of coffee for someone, which would be a cheaper alternative. This was also not a time consuming act of kindness either. I could have taken less time with it by not printing out the little coffee mug printable, but I wanted to make it a little cuter and more heartfelt. Plus, even that didn’t really even add more than a couple minutes.

Day 25: Reasons I Love You
So like I said, I really wanted to recognize people that were close to me in this challenge as well as strangers in this challenge, and I could not forget my husband when it came to brightening the day of people close to me. He has been so supportive to me through everything that happened earlier this year, and he has also been very supportive of a lot of the (sometimes) weird stuff I do and document on this blog and this challenge itself. He is the perfect partner for me, and I try to acknowledge that often, but I wanted to make sure he was included in this. Since there’s not really anything he really truly needs and we do a lot of things for each other anyway (like cooking and things like that), I felt like the best way to brighten his day would just be to leave him a sweet note. I’ve seen on Pinterest where people will leave sticky notes in the shape of a heart on someone’s door or on a mirror, and I thought that was a cool idea. So that’s what I decided to do! We get up at the same time every morning, and I’m usually the one in the bathroom first. Rather than trying to get up in the middle of the night and put the notes somewhere he would see them first thing in the morning before I would, I just put them on the bathroom mirror after I was done fixing my hair and makeup before work. He is in the process of looking for a job right now, so he is at home during the day, and I knew he would see it once I left. I just listed several random reasons I love him and arranged them in the shape of a heart on our small (and dirty) bathroom mirror.

This act of kindness was free. All it took was a sticky note pad and a sharpie, which we already had. It also didn’t take that much time. I did it extra quickly because I was trying to get to work and didn’t have much time, but realistically it probably only takes about 5-10 minutes depending on how many notes you’re writing, if you’re arranging them into a particular shape, and how big the space you’re arranging them on is.

Day 26: Paying Library Fines
I love libraries and have loved the act of going to a library and being able to pick out a book ever since I was a small child and my grandmother would take me. There is something magical about libraries for me, and working at a library for a period of time in college, I saw that libraries can really offer access to a wealth of information and resources for a lot of people who might not otherwise have access to it. However, because of the way the fine system is often set up, once patrons hit a certain mark (usually $10), until they pay that off, they are not able to continue to use the library’s services. For people with disposable incomes, this is not much of an issue, but for the most vulnerable population groups, this can be devastating. And from my experience working at the library, I know how it easy and common it can be for patrons to rack up $10, $20, even $40 or $50 in library fines. So for this act of kindness, I put money towards other people’s library fines, in hopes that I can open the doors of access back up for at least a few people.

I had intended to spend $10 on this act of kindness, which was actually outside of my budgeted $150 because I sold something I decluttered, but I forgot that I still had $1.40 in fines myself. Once I paid off my own fines, I paid $8.60 towards other peoples fines, and the library worker was very understanding of what I wanted to do. I’m not sure if she put all that money towards one person’s fines or multiple peoples’ to get them under the $10 mark, but I am fine either way. This act of kindness was a pretty small time commitment because I was already going by the library to pick up a book for my husband that we put on hold, and to try and find a book for myself (we love getting books from the library), so it was really an act of kindness I could easily just tack onto an errand I was already running, which is important to consider if you’ve got a lot going on in your life but want to try and work more acts of kindness into your life.

Day 27: Dollar to Brighten Your Day
For this day, I just wanted to do something simple, and I decided to put a dollar in the toy section at our local dollar store and in the canned food section there too. This was an idea I’ve seen on Pinterest multiple times when looking for acts of kindness ideas, and I thought it was really simple and easy. I was originally going to just do the toy section, but then we had two dollar bills, so I thought why not go ahead and put one in the food section as well? We also included a note with these, because again, I wanted whoever found it to know that it was placed there intentionally and not just an accident. That might not seem that important, but I really want them to know that a complete stranger is looking out for them and wants them to have a good day.

This act of kindness wasn’t free, but it was relatively cheap since it only cost $2. You could also go with what I was originally going to do and just do $1 in the toy section, and I think that would totally be fine. This also was pretty quick and easy to do. I will say that I wasn’t planning on going to the dollar store for any other reason than to this, so it was a little out of my way, but it didn’t take more than 15 or 20 minutes. This might also be something that would be fun to do with children as well.

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