RAOK – Random Acts of Kindness

We have all heard the term Random Act Of Kindness. Some of us have been on the receiving end and others have been in a position to perform them. Without a doubt, they change all involved. Its what humanity is all about. Helping out our fellow man.

Living in the Inland Empire of Southern California, I am not far from where the source of RAOK’s have taken on a new level of giving. John Gordon and his family started a facebook page that has ballooned up to over 37,000 members. Take a peek at just how amazing this group is and what they are doing for the community.

To start, all members are introduced to what RAOK is all about.

This is a community where ALL members are strongly encouraged to interact with one another and share your stories of your acts! It can be something as simple as holding a door open for someone, complimenting someones outfit, or buying someone a cup of coffee. When you take the time to break the mold and go out of your way for someone to brighten their day, you have just made a difference to someone. Some people may say that they feel it is “bragging” or “tooting your own horn” by posting your stories to social media of helping a random stranger or someone in need. Well guess what? What happens when you read a feel good story of a person who helps a family in need to fill their empty cupboards with groceries, or a nurse that spends the final moments of life with a hospice patient that has no family in sight to be with them as they take that journey to the other side?………..That’s right, it fills you with the warmth and desire to go out there and do good for someone else. There’s no better feeling than doing something for someone else that can never repay you. This is our goal here at RAOK, to spread the love and brighten the day of someone else. Even a complete stranger.

The scale of their events is incredible…it takes time and planning that you can only envision once you have experienced it for yourself. They packed and handed out thousands of backpacks for kids when the school year began. They hosted a free community Trunk Or Treat for Halloween. They outdid themselves providing meals during their Thanksgiving Food Drive & Giveaway. Christmas is no different, as they hosted a Toy Drop Off.

As a group they are beyond phenomenal, but the members are incredible beams of light that spread throughout the county. Members often post their RAOK’s to the timeline and its so absolutely inspiring. I encourage you to check out their page here and join in spreading the love.


Time, Talent & Treasure

How many of you have heard the term Time, Talent or Treasure? It is used often among Catholics however, it is also a common term used when people want to pay it forward or participate in a random act of kindness. Giving back takes many forms so I wanted to share some ways to share your own time, talent & treasure.

Your time shared can be anything from volunteering your time at a nursing home, church, hospital or community center. Giving of your time to just be with someone or help them out with a task could be the highlight of their day.

Your talent can be anything from music & art or your skills whether work or hobby based. For example, if your neighbor’s garage has chipping paint you could offer to re-paint it for them. If construction is your trade and you know of someone on the community that needs repair work done, you could pitch in to help.

Your treasure isn’t simply cash. Although money is helpful, treasure means you can donate items from your home. Clean out your closet, donate kitchenware, offer up linens. You never know how much it will mean to give your extra tablecloth to someone who doesn’t have one.

This holiday season, share the love and give of your time, talent or treasure.


Giving Back – Feeling Thankful

With the evolution of social media and specifically, sites like Pinterest and Facebook, we have an infinite amount of information that we share with one another. Lots of tips are related to life hacks but have you ever stopped to think about those who are more concerned with shelter and their next meal instead of how to use a binder clip to prop up a keyboard?

There are lots of ways to give back and I hope you find these helpful. If you have tips not listed, please share in the comments so all can benefit. Feel free to reblog and post all over social media. If anything should go viral, random acts of kindness should be at the top of the list.

#BlessingBags – Take a gallon sized ziploc bag and fill with travel sized hygiene items. Anything from toothbrushes & toothpaste to deodorant & feminine products. Some additional items that we take for granted like mints, gum and hand cream should also be included.

#PursePurge – Take your old purses and fill them with things women use regularly. Take a look inside your own bag and think of what you would like if someone blessed you with one. Items like those above can be included but keep in mind, these bags will be for women.

#SweaterSwap – Clean out those closets and grab all the old sweaters you can find. Kid sizes too. Many who sleep outdoors layer their limited clothes so the more pieces you find, the better.

#PrepaidCards – Whether you grab a prepaid Visa or a calling card, both are valuable beyond measure. Imagine having to decide between using your change to eat or call a loved one. You never know when a phone call could change a life.

The possibilities are endless. Take the initiative and host a blanket drive at your office or in your local community. Ask all the men in your life to donate their old wallets with a single dollar inside. Collect solar blankets and travel sized emergency kits too.

So…what are some of your tips and ways to give back?

blessing bags