We All Can be a Ripple


no act of kindness no matter how small


I completed 40 Random Acts of Kindness before my 40th Birthday!!

I will admit that the other week I had a small panic attack when I realized that I hadn’t focused on my RAK list and Mr. T, who I’m not sure how he is so calm when I’m so hyper, said “Just take a look at the list, I bet that you’ve done more than you know.”

So, we sat down together and started going through the list, and darned if he wasn’t correct!  We both have completed more than 40 random acts of kindness – that’s a total of more than 80 RAKs!!

The Lorax

On another note, we both mentioned how hard it was to help someone with car trouble! I can’t tell you how many times we’ve stopped and asked only to be told that they were okay/had someone on the way/didn’t need anything.  So, we didn’t cross that one off, but not for lack of trying!

  1. Hold the door open for someone
  2. Teach a child something you wish you knew at that age
  3. Tip a waitress more than you normally would Done – at Starbucks 🙂
  4. Spend some time with a senior citizen
  5. Smile at a stranger
  6. Compliment a stranger Done! Thanks to Cranston for this http://cranstonholden.com/ Go check out his blog 🙂
  7. Put a quarter in a meter that is about ready to expire
  8. Leave the mail person a thank you card
  9. Donate unwanted items to a homeless shelter Done! I donated to a store on the campus of a high school that has a high homeless population
  10. Donate your unwanted suits to a place that caters to single moms re-entering the work force or older workers re-entering the work force.
  11. Smile at the Walmart greeter  Always!
  12. Help someone learn something new
  13. Bake someone a cake
  14. Carry someone’s bags to the car at the grocery store
  15. Walk or run for charity Done!  American Heart Walk in honor of my brother, Lee.
  16. Thank a soldier
  17. Let someone go in front of you in line Done!
  18. Say “thank you” to the cashier Easy!
  19. Share inspirational quotes
  20. Donate books to a school or library
  21. Give your box tops to a school ( found on General Mills products)
  22. Help someone for free
  23. Bring flowers to a co-worker, friend, or someone that may be having a hard time.
  24. Tell your family you love them.  I did this today! 11/20/13
  25. Donate coupons that have expired to a military family (they are honored at the military commissary)
  26. Buy that young mother a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, and a jar of peanut butter.
  27. Praise a parent for their child.  I’d like to think that I’ve compliments several of you reading this on your kids!
  28. Praise your boss  Done!
  29. Instead of asking for gifts ask your friends to do random acts of kindness on your birthday.
  30. Donate stuffed animals, coloring books, crayons, stickers, and little toys to the police station to hand out to sick, abused, or scared kids.
  31. Give someone a hug
  32. Help someone whose car is broken down
  33. Send a sunshine box to someone that is sick (put in Kleenex, their favorite cough drops, magazines, and anything that might cheer them up. Don’t forget the get well card )
  34. Hand out pennies at a wishing well or fountain. You never know whose wish you may help come true.
  35. Surprise someone with a cup cake, muffin, cookie, etc.
  36. Pre-stamp some thank you notes and hand them out, letting the recipient know to send it to someone they appreciate
  37. Hide notes in library books for someone else to find.
  38. Make or buy hats for kids that are suffering from cancer and donate them.
  39. Be a friend who listens
  40. Stick your change in the Ronald McDonald box at McDonald’s
  41. Make care packages and take them to a homeless shelter.  Modified into the Blessing bags
  42. Leave your newspaper for someone
  43. Donate blood The day this list went live, I got a tweet that the blood mobile was in my neighborhood – was it kismet or what?!? 🙂
  44. Donate school supplies to a school or preschool
  45. Call a friend and let them know you are thinking about them
  46. Donate a $1 (when asked in line at grocery/convenience store “would you like to donate” say yes)
  47. Thank the police or fire department (drop off a case of water) done 1/25/14
  48. Return a shopping cart for someone and save them the trip We’ve done this several times already – and it’s always been appreciated!
  49. Take new parents a date night kit. (Movie rental, popcorn, 2 liter of soda, and candy.)
  50. Collect canned food for a food bank
  51. Hand out Valentine cards with lollipops on Valentine’s Day.
  52. Write a letter to someone who made a difference in your life.
  53. Pick up trash.
  54. Plant a tree
  55. Pat someone on the back
  56. Take little care packages to a Cancer center. Fill them with a travel size hand lotion, chapstick, and purse size package of antibacterial wipes. They will be much appreciated!
  57. Pay it Forward at the coffee shop Mr. T and I bought the coffee order of the people behind us in the drive thru
  58. Make and distribute Blessing Bags to the homeless
  59. Listen intently to people’s stories without trying to fix everything
  60. Offer your seat to someone when there aren’t any left.

I was really pleased to challenge myself and to work with Mr. T and show him that you don’t need a lot of money to change the world and that small acts can become habits!  I think that the biggest lesson we learned was that we may not be able to make a huge change, but we can make lots of small changes that have a huge ripple in the world.

We can do that – we can all be a ripple.

Pay it forward

50 thoughts on “We All Can be a Ripple

    • That was a great post – reinforces that we all can make a difference in someone’s life. We did have a list of suggestions, and trust me, we helped out at random times! It was very random! And that was one of the best parts, we performed an act of kindness as we felt inspired to do so – whether it was picking up trash in the parking lot as we walked into a store, or offering to take the cart back to the stall from the dad that had his hands full with two fussy kids. 🙂 I think the only one that wasn’t random was the delivery of water to the firehouse, but I had to purchase that in advance

    • Thanks so much Diana! We really did have fun, and it really did make a huge difference in our life, and will continue to, as we’ve incorporated RAK into our entire being and do them all of the time. Thanks for the kind words 🙂

      • Kate Happy Birthday for the other day!!! I was trying to find your about page so I could post a comment but I don’t think you have one. WordPress is being funny everytime I try to click into your blog it unfollows so I have to hit follow again. I hope you had an awesome day. Forty is the new thirty lol xxxxxxx

    • I didn’t overlook!! I just haven’t gotten to it yet!

      Okay, the funny part is, I keep trying to listen and run to the window and look at the mail person – to see if I have a regular person – cause I’d hate to leave a thank you on the regular person’s day off and the once a week person covering the shift gets it!

      Seriously, that’s how my head works!

      • Nice. That is a trifle strange…. Usually you have one mail person, and theres a back up. Why not leave a card for them both? Two cards with one stone. Seriously though, don’t throw stones at the mailman.

  1. I love this idea. I especially love the leave-a-huge-tip one. I love to tip well but I’ve never just left something outrageous that’s more than the bill itself. I need to make a 20-before-30 list and put that on there!!!

  2. I am super proud of you and Mr T!! Mr T is so game to do this with you. I am sure you feel very good about making someone’s day! Now shall I add on one more act of kindness? Taking a few minutes of your time to leave a thoughtful and nice comment on a blog post certainly makes my day! 🙂

  3. Mr. T has a really good point about sitting and looking at what’s been done. Making lists is a great way to raise our awareness of what can be done and what we have done. We often miss the things we do in the day to day that make a difference in other people’s lives. Because of that, we sometimes miss the chance to do something for someone else, because we aren’t aware of how many opportunities there really are for such things in a day. AND I love the point you make about RAKs not requiring a lot of money–and often, they don’t require a lot of time. Nice post!

    • Thanks Deborah! I think you are right, making the list helped keep it fresh in my mind – and it was really important that I be able to show Mr. T that we didn’t have to spend a lot of money, and I’m just so impressed at how quickly he took to it! It was like he just needed to be told it could be done and he was off and running!!

  4. Kate, this made my heart sing! I’m so delighted that you finished by your birthday. When you announced that you were doing this I immediately made a conscious effort to do one RAK every day. Sometimes they are as small as a wave or smile, or letting someone in line ahead of me – or bigger RAK’s like donating to charity or buying a meal or groceries for someone…
    Thank you for being such an inspiration!

    You gave a gift to the world for your birthday this year!

    • That’s right, you were increasing your RAK output, too! I remember! 🙂 I think we both have made the world a better place, and as much as I don’t feel the need to track it – I do love that it brings it to the front of other’s minds, so I made do 41 before 41 just to be able to write a post again next year! 🙂
      We both made some great ripples, and touched many lives, this year Katherine!

    • 🙂 Thank you! We really did have fun – between dropping water off at the fire department – or his favorite was getting to pay for the person in line behind us at Starbucks – to the simple things like picking up trash from a parking lot, we had fun and since he is my kid – a challenge is always a good way to motivate us!

  5. I think it’s really cool that you and Mr. T took on this challenge and that you completed it. Paying it forward – awesome.
    It’s funny to think that you were asking people to help them with their car. “Please, I need to help you.”

    • It was bad! We stopped so many times and asked if someone needed help – and kept an eye out on the freeways and T would go “Should we stop?” and at that moment we would see they had help already!

      And really, it’s not like we could have done anything except offer a phone call or possibly a bottle of water – I know nothing about cars! But I really wanted to help someone! LOL

    • It really filled my heart watching Mr. T – he had such a good time giving back! It was amazing to watch, and he really has carried those lessons over – but it was like all of the sudden a door opened and he realized all he could do for others. It really was a great experience!

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