Monday, January 02, 2012


August 1974

Today is my birthday. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I have a birthday tradition of giving you, my blog readers, a gift. This birthday is no different, except I’m amping it up…way up!

Recently I ran across this blog post via Pinterest.  This woman actually started her own site called The Birthday Project, all stemming from the response she received from her desire to give back on her birthday.  When I read this post, my birthday was just days away. I wasn’t sure how many good deeds I could complete in a day by myself, but I sure could try. And so, on this, my 39th birthday, I’m attempting 39 random acts of kindness. But I need your help!

If you feel so inclined and inspired, please commit to one random act of kindness this week. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or even cost much, it can be something little, simple, but something that will likely be very much appreciated by the recipient. Here are a few ideas (and you can read many more on this post):
  • Buy the coffee drink of the person behind you in the drive through line at Starbucks.
  • Hand out thank you cards to local police officers.
  • Leave coins taped to a vending machine.
  • Help someone put groceries in their car.
It’s amazing how good it feels to be kind to a stranger for no other reason than you just want to! We could easily surpass the original goal of 39! And here’s how I can be kind to you:

If you decide to spread a little kindness this week, leave a comment on my blog telling me about your random act of kindness. You have until Sunday, January 8, 11:59 pm PST to leave your comment with your good deed. After that time, I’ll draw one name to receive some random act of crafting kindness, this blog candy:

Say It Loud Stamp Set by Waltzingmouse Stamps
Labels Sixteen Nestabilities Die Set by Spellbinders

One more thing before I go. I recently created a Simple Flourishes page on Facebook for my blog. If you “like” my page and leave a second random act of kindness on that post, you’ll have an additional chance to win this:
Snowflake Impressabilities by Spellbinders

Round & Round 3rd Anniversary Stamp Set by Papertrey Ink 

For those of you who are already a Facebook fan of my page, simply leave your random act of kindness on my status update and you’ll be entered to win. It’s that easy!

Have a great day and enjoy making someone else’s a little brighter! Thank you all for being a part of my birthday in this very special way. I’ll be posting updates on my Facebook page, so check back often to see what I’m up to today and come back on the 9th to see if you won!


Joan B said...

Have a wonderful birthday. Such a nice idea.

Lisa Stenz said...

Happy Birthday!!! I LOVE your RAK idea. Here's my idea, which I actually got from Nichole Heady a couple of years ago. When I turned 40, I sent a thank you card to 40 different people who have touched my life and helped me become the person that I am today. You don't need to send cards to as many people as I did, but maybe pick one or two people who have been a big influence in your life.

I included the following saying inside each card, "I guess turning 40 makes one reflective.

Many people have asked me how I want to celebrate this milestone. And after lots of consideration, I've decided that what I really want to do is thank 40 of the people who have been influential in my life and helped to make me who I am.

So, today is my day to honor and celebrate you! You're important to me. You've had an impact on me and I'm grateful to the Lord for bringing you into my life."

I hope you have a wonderful birthday! (And thanks for the chance to win such great goodies! *Ü*

Holly Saveur said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY...what a super idea!

~Tammy~ said...

Happy birthday!!! This is awesome!!! My husband is a soldier and I like to spread RAK to other soldiers especially those in real thankless jobs.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful idea. I have thought of many things to do, but so often I fail to do those RAK. You have inspired me to just do it! A friend recently had some cancer cells removed from her face and has some scarring. I told her I knew of a good product to help with it and she asked me to email the name to her...instead I am going to buy her a tube of the ointment and just mail it to her. Happy Birthday!
Marilou S.

Casey said...

Happy birthday, Jennifer! I often use ideas on your blog to make WMS cards, so I'll try this for another way to make someone happy! Hope you have a great day, and a wonderful year.

cards by cara said...

I took a bunch of clothes, coats, toiletries and shoes to a women's shelter. People don't seem to be donating as often anymore so they were super grateful!

Thanks for the chance to win and have a fabulous birthday!! :)

Sara Mac said...

Happy Birthday!! What a wonderful way to celebrate your special day. I teach my children to do RAKs everyday no matter where they are. We always offer to help someone whether it's carrying bags, picking up trash or putting a shopping cart into a corral for someone else. Even holding a door open nowadays seems to surprise people. There's always something (big or small) to do for others.

ashjoy said...

That is so generous of you. We spent most of the morning cleaning after the holidays and getting things back to normal. Now we are going to go to my parents and help with some household chores as my dad just had surgery on his shoulder and can't use is arm. I'm not sure how random that is but it's what we are doing.

Cathy Weber said...

Happy Birthday! I remember #39 as well as all the other times I turned 39! I just paid some guy to wash my car windows eventhough I had just gotten a car wash and they were clean. A couple years ago my husband was briefly laid off from his job and a remember those days very well. It can happen to anyone and everyone could use a little RAC once in a while. This is a wonderful and uplifting idea.

Karen B. said...

Happy Birthday! I saw this post this morning and took careful time to read it. I really wanted to participate but wondered what I could do, since 1. I'm not really random and 2. I don't talk to people I didn't know. I even thought about this on the drive to work, through work and then when I was grocery shopping. It must have been fate as when I was putting my groceries in the trunk the van next to me couldn't start. It is so cold today, about 10 degrees. I normally wouldn't have thought twice but today I stopped and asked the strange man if he needed help. Got the jumpers out and stood and waited in the cold while he started his van up again. What a great feeling that was to be able to help someone and I really want to thank you for giving me the purpose and courage to do so. I hope that I can continue this in the future!

Kathy Martin said...

Love the RAOK idea! You go girl! Happy Birthday! :)

Rea said...

Happy Birthday. I like to show random acts of kindness in many different ways. One of my favorite is to tip BIG, above and way beyond what would be 10 or 15 percent.

Bonnie said...

Happy Birthday! One of my favorite RAKs is to help little ladies at the grocery store. I am fairly tall and when I see them struggling to reach something on top shelves, I offer to get it for them. It is such a small thing but, such fun to strike up conversations. Some of the ladies are lonely and are excited to have a brief conversation with someone.

Suzanne said...

Jennifer, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! This is such a wonderful idea!

One thing I always do is give someone my coupons in stores where I am not buying anything. Today I was in the mall at Banana Republic with a coupon and I didn't want I looked around for someone who was buying stuff. I spotted a woman with a stack of clothes and three small children. I approached her to ask if she had the coupon, and she didn' I gave her mine. It ALWAYS make the other person so happy! I love doing this!

jan said...

Happy Birthday Jennifer!! Lovely idea for celebrating! The wonder of how this will spread and grow from one person to the next, just lovely! Our friends taught us to pay for the car behind us in the toll booth lines! Just telling someone they have a beautiful smile works wonderfully as well!! The other day I received free coffee at the drive through, someone left a gift card for multiple cars,so my barrista received a $2.50 tip! Or how about just sending one of our handmade cards to someone new?

Super Jen said...

Happy Birthday, Jennifer! Love this idea. Just snuck a diet coke on to the desk of the office admin while she was away. She is a diet coke addict! Jen

Stephanie Gruss said...

I taped a bunch of quarters to the vending machine with a note saying "Here's a RAK, have a happy new year!" My tape wasn't very sticky though, so I hope someone takes it quick! :D Happy birthday, Jen!

Nancy L. said...

Happy Birthday Jennifer!
I try to do RAKs all the time, in the grocery store (helping the elders or holding the doors)! But I'll have to try the suggestions that you've listed! Thanks for the great ideas!!

Kanani said...

I love it when you do a random act of kindness and the person pays it forward which is EXACTLY what happened for me!

At Starbucks, I bought the lady behind me her coffee. When she went to pay she was completely taken aback and offered me a $5 gift card with tears in her eyes for my kindness!

I promptly told her no and she in turn decided to pay it forward and bought the person behind her their drink...who then bought the next person...and the next was FUN to watch people be surprised and turn around and pay it forward to someone else!

Denise said...

Happy Birthday to you!
I just happened to help out a lady today. She was in the restroom of the Sam's Club I was shopping at, with her motorized cart parked right outside the restroom door. I saw she needed a hand getting back to her cart so offered her some assistance. She was very appreciative of the help.

Stephinka said...

Although not really a stranger, I decided to make a thank you card for the nurse/receptionist at my psychiatrist's office. I've been hospitalised a few times in Nov/Dec '11 and had moments where I needed my psychiatrist and could not directly reach him and the worst part was that it was not office hours; I had been hysterical and they were kind and helpful to me.

I wrote to them, saying it may sometimes be a thankless job to be a nurse, but that someone out there like me appreciates and needs them, and my doctor told me that it made the nurse's day to get my card in the clinic mail.

Breaking Free From Old Ways said...

Happy Birthday! My RAK was I drove a couple people to the mall. I was at Kohl's and some people needed a ride from Kohl's to the mall since they had walked.

Jen Cuthbertson said...

This is wonderful, Jennifer!! I'm getting teary-eyed reading about all of these!! I've got to try the Sbx idea but one I love (and is easy to do since I live in SF) is to pay the bridge toll for the car behind me. Fun!

Paulette Still said...

Happy Birthday! The last RAK I did was at TG, I made extra cranberry sauce and sweet potato stuff and a cool whip to my neighbor, who had back surgery a month prior. they were so delighted that they sent me a basket of fruit and homemade breads for Christmas.

Deirdre said...

Happy Birthday - your post is so inspiring. Off to do at least one RAK each day this week.

Does this count! I started today by visiting my parents with my two little guys(okay so they are not strangers!) and brought the makings of courgette and almond soup. Made a large batch - which my parents and I had for lunch. Washed up, packaged up my pot/blender etc and left the remainder for my Mom/Dad to use tomorrow or to freeze. My Mom was firstly annoyed I had brought lunch with me! then got used to the idea as the soup cooked! (btw - she loved it!).

Thanks for the inspiration Jennifer and I hope you have a wonderful 2012.

Isabel Z said...

What a wonderful idea and thank you for the inspiration. My daughter and I had fun paying for the order of the people behind us when we drove through the McDonald's to buy some milkshakes. Hope your day was as special as you are to all that you touch.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin