About a month ago, I celebrated my 21st birthday. You can even read a little bit about it here. As conflicted and anxious as I was for my birthday, I knew I wanted more than the celebration of just myself to come from this (because let’s be real, that’s awkward). I could have asked people to donate to a charity in honor of my birthday using that cool new Facebook tool OR I could have even spent my day at the local soup kitchen. These are both amazing ideas that I highly suggest. But I decided to jump out of my comfort zone a bit. I designed a game that would make people ACT. I called it “The 21 Acts of Kindness” game. This is how it worked:
I posted a photo on Instagram (as seen in the featured image) with a poster-board labeled 1-21. I asked people to comment a number and whatever number they commented, I directly messaged (dm’ed) them a personalized act of kindness from a list I made.
I disclaimed that it might be a small financial contribution, a small portion of their time, or just a big smile to a random stranger.
With over 130 comments, I spent my “birthday eve” sending people their “act.” It was such a joyous process. The next day, I had people sending me pictures of themselves doing their act of kindness and I could not have been more blessed.
Even if only half the people participated, that is still a ripple effect starting with nearly 70 people. Incredible!
Here are a list of the Acts of Kindness in case you want do this yourself!
- Buy a small gift for someone.
- Bring 2 friends a meal.
- Call 3 friends/ family members and ask how you can pray for them.
- Make a gift basket for your neighbor with 4 items in it.
- Call 5 friends you haven’t talked to in a while and pray for them.
- Buy coffee for the person behind you in line (approximately $6).
- Walk/play/wash 7 dogs or cats at the local animal shelter.
- Send letters to 8 chronically ill children or to families at the nearest Ronald McDonald House.
- Visit the nursing home and hang out, talk, play bingo, read, or pray with 9 elderly people.
- Give a random person a $10 gift card to a place of your choosing.
- Give 11 thank you cards to the local police station.
- Take 12 photos of someone to make them feel beautiful- edit them and email them to them.
- Write a positive review on a business that you like and admire with 13 different aspects in which you like the business.
- Donate 14 of my items to a local women’s shelter or charity.
- Give the double amount of money to the charity you usually give to, or if you do not give regularly, start doing so!
- Collect 16 soda can pop tabs to give to the local Ronald McDonald House.
- Put 17 positive notes around campus (or your work).
- Give 18 compliments friend or strangers.
- Pick up 19 pieces litter around me and throw it away/recycle it.
- Send 20 texts with encouragement to numbers you haven’t texted in a while.
- Smile at 21 strangers.
You can reference the Instagram post here. I hope you feel inspired to do an Act of Kindness today, everyday, and especially on your birthday!!
Hebrews 13:2 (NIV) “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”