Random Acts of Kindness Week 2015: Spread a Wave of Kindness Online


The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAKF) is encouraging people to commit 100,000 random acts of kindness by Sunday, Feb. 15, amplifying the kindness by sharing that act online to the world during International Random Acts of Kindness Week.YouTube Preview Image

“Imagine if for one week, all of your social media feeds were flooded with kindness. Uplifting news stories, inspiring quotes, kind comments…for one week everyone united to focus on the positive. That’s the goal of #RAKWeek,” the RAKF website states. The goal is for people to do an act of kindness, and then create a social media post using the hashtag #RAKWeek2015.

Now in it’s 20th year, International Random Acts of Kindness Week began Monday, Feb. 9, and continues through Sunday, Feb. 15. Millions of people around the world participate each year, including classroom students and teachers, community organizations, and individuals. The RAKF highlights dozens of kindness stories from RAK Week, as well as hundreds of kindness ideas, on its website.  [Read more…]

The Kindness Challenge Day 3


random-acts-of-kindness-week-random-acts-of-kindness-foundationIt’s Day 3 of Random Acts of Kindness Week, and time for a third Kindness Challenge. Every day this week I’m issuing the challenges to encourage us to start a wave of kindness through our communities and the world.

On Monday I encouraged readers to smile a little more. Tuesday’s challenge was to have lunch with someone you don’t normally eat with. Today’s challenge: let someone behind you in line jump ahead of you. The extra twist is to tell the person you’re doing it for Random Acts of Kindness Week, and ask them to “pay it forward” by doing something kind for someone else. [Read more…]

The Kindness Challenge Day 2


random-acts-of-kindness-week-smiling-is-good-for-you-science-of-smiling-by-pam-marino-good-neighbor-storiesIt’s Random Acts of Kindness Week, Day 2, and each day I am issuing readers a “Kindness Challenge,” some simple act to spread kindness and cheer to friends and strangers you come across during your day.

Yesterday I challenged readers to smile at one extra person during the day. Did you know that smiling gives you the same (if not better) effect on your brain as eating chocolate, and that the relaxing effect of smiling is similar to getting a good night’s sleep? People who smile more are generally healthier and live longer than people who don’t. [Read more…]

Be Kind! Random Acts of Kindness Week Kicks Off


Image by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

Kindness is a popular Internet topic. People are consistently searching the word “kindness,” which I know personally since the Good Neighbor Stories “Be Kind: Kindness Ideas” page is usually the most viewed on the site every single day. It’s heartening to know that there are folks out there who actively seek to be kind in a world where the bad can at times seem to overshadow the good. But this week the good will hopefully shine above all in a wave of kindness, thanks to International Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week, which kicks off today and ends on Sunday.

For 19 years the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and others have promoted the event, which always falls during the week of Valentine’s Day. The idea is to promote kindness by encouraging people and organizations to perform good deeds for others around them, both those they know and total strangers. The acts can range from simple things like smiling at people, to more involved community volunteering. The foundation has a list of 10 ideas for this year’s week, plus dozens more for places like the home, school, and office, as well as hundreds more ideas on its site. Of course you can always check out my “Be Kind” page for more ideas. [Read more…]

‘Random Acts of Kindness’ Has Bay Area Roots


As we celebrate Day 2 of Random Acts of Kindness Week, it’s interesting to note that the term ‘random acts of kindness’, which is now so firmly planted in our collective cultural mind, was born right here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Writer and peace activist Anne Herbert is widely recognized as the person who coined the phrase, “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” She reportedly wrote the phrase on a Sausalito restaurant place mat in 1982 or 1983. Because it turned the well-used terms “random acts of violence” and “senseless acts of violence” on their heads, many people found it instantly inspiring. Before Internet memes, it became a popular saying on bumper stickers, posters, and more.

Thirty years later Random Acts of Kindness Week and Day are gaining popularity, with more and more people and organizations wanting to promote awareness of how important spreading kindness for kindness’ sake.

Yesterday’s assignment from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation was to smile at 10 strangers. Today’s assignment: buy something for the person in line behind you. The above video will serve as the perfect inspiration. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

For more inspiration, see our Be Kind: Kindness Ideas Page.


26 Acts of Kindness Campaign Goes Viral


A grassroots wave of people across the United States are performing millions of acts of kindness to honor the memory of the victims of the Dec. 26-acts-of-kindness-facebook-page-ann-curry-nbc-news14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT., after a single tweet by a national journalist.

“Imagine if all of us committed to 20 mitvahs/acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown. I’m in. If you are RT #20Acts,” was the tweet NBC News’ Ann Curry sent out soon after the shootings.

Within hours, thousands of people had tweeted in response; it quickly grew into 26 acts of kindness, to honor both the children and adults who died at the school. In a blog post, Curry said that there was some debate to make it 27 acts, to include Nancy Lanza, shooter Adam Lanza’s mother. Some even suggested making it 28, since Adam himself was struggling with mental illness.

The popular sentiment of 26 acts of kindness stuck, however, and over the last couple of weeks has gained in popularity. Besides the official 26 Acts of Kindness Facebook Page, many more unofficial pages, or pages for specific communities, are springing up. A Twitter account was also established, @26acts.

All over social media people are reporting their acts of kindness, from handing out cash to strangers, to paying for people’s coffee or meals, to baking cakes and cookies for others, to donating money to organizations, and much more.

If you’re feeling motivated to get involved in the 26 Acts of Kindness campaign, Good Neighbor Stories has a large number of ideas for you to choose from. Check out our Be Kind: Kindness Ideas or More Ways to be a Good Neighbor pages, or consider helping out one of the many organizations listed on our Be a Good Neighbor Page.

What acts of kindness will you perform to honor the children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary? Tell us in comments!


Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in November


There are many, many ways to be a good neighbor in your neighborhood, larger community, and the world, in the month of November, but I’m focusing on just five here. Two have a military theme, another two encourage supporting local crafters and artisans, as well as small businesses, and the fifth shines a light on World Kindness Week.

Before I do, this November is a big presidential election month; check out earlier posts on how to be a good neighbor at election time. Number one is voting, and next is getting along with others both online and off while discussing political viewpoints.

I also shared a short list of where to donate to help victims of Superstorm Sandy, another good thing to do in November. Later this month, look for a post on “Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor at Thanksgiving.”

In the meantime, here are the five general ways I’m suggesting this month.

  1. Honor Our Veterans: Sunday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day; show you care by attending a local Veterans Day parade or event. The largest Veterans Day parade in Northern California is in downtown San Jose. A special ceremony takes place “at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month” at Plaza de Cesar Chavez on Market Street, in honor of the 1918 Armistice of the “War to End All Wars.” The Parade begins at noon, traveling [Read more…]