I love birthdays. A start-counting-down-a-month-before kind of love. So, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that I was introduced to The Birthday Project by a beautiful member of the More Love Letters team a month before I turned 23.
I was so moved by the original Random Acts of Kindness that started this project that I knew I had to try my hand at my own list of 23 acts in honor of my birthday. So I did just that, over the course of the week that my birthday fell on. What a better way to celebrate than by giving back a little to others?
23 “Random Acts of Kindness”
1. Helped celebrate She’s the First‘s 2nd annual Tie-Dye Cupcake Bake-Off by baking cupcakes with the STF chapter at Bryn Mawr College. She’s the First is not-for-profit that sponsors girls’ education in the developing world.
2. Went to a local shelter and helped the children there with their homework.
3. Returned stranded shopping carts back to their stores.
4. Left a letter to my postman, inspired by The World Needs More Love Letters.
5. Donated canned goods to a food drive.
6. Donated toys to a children’s Christmas drive.
7. Left some spare change on a vending machine.
8. Made a donation to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where I spent time when I was younger for two open-heart surgeries.
9. Took my aunt’s dog for a walk. (Apparently he’s camera shy.)
10. Donated my old children’s books to a local library.
11. Put change into expired parking meters.
13. Held doors open for others throughout the day.
14. Donated children’s books through Barnes & Noble to a local school.
15. Left love letters on parked cars. (Another plug for More Love Letters. Over at MLL, we’re gearing up to start our 12 Days of Love Letter Writing from Dec. 3-14, and are collecting love letters to baristas until the end of November. Join our cause?)
16. Made a donation at Panera for the WMMR Camp Out for Hunger.
17. Pumped someone’s gas.
18. Rearranged books on the shelves at Barnes & Noble. (I do this almost every time I visit the store, but with the start of the holiday chaos, I figured their staff could use a little extra help.)
19. Dropped off recycling.
20. Made cards to contribute to Cards for Hospitalized Kids, an organization that encourages supporters to make cards for hospitalized children in an effort to bring them a little joy.
21. Donated to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
22. Created donation bags for the classrooms at my little brother’s school, where they’re currently collecting Campbell’s labels for education.
23. Made a donation to Operation Christmas Child. (I had hoped to make a shoebox for this amazing cause, but missed the deadline. If you ever have the chance to contribute to this amazing cause, do it. It is so simple and gratifying.)
I can say with certainty that this was one of the most interesting and exciting birthdays I’ve yet to experience. And I will probably end up doing this again sometime… maybe to mark turning 25?
Last Minute Shout Out’s & Thank You’s
The Birthday Project, for being so incredibly inspiring
Marie Torto, for helping me find this project in the first place
my Mom, for giving me ideas of tasks to accomplish
Liza Rubin & Makenzie Albrand, two of my best friends for helping me think of ideas
& tagging along to spread kindness & take photos
Leonora Fleming, for helping me find a STF bake sale to jump on to
the girls of STF at Bryn Mawr, for allowing me to join them in baking for the night
the team of More Love Letters, for being incredibly inspiring all the time
Claire Biggs, for loving this idea & believing that I could accomplish it
…and anyone else who is inspired by this and plans to do the same to mark a big occasion– be sure to tell me all about your adventures with random acts of kindness; spread that love.
Finally– I’d ask that you’d show this post a little love: tweet it, share it on Facebook, pin it, email it to your friends. I want to spread this idea so that we can spread a little more kindness into the everyday.