Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Random Acts Of Kindness

December 1, 2012
Instead of exchanging Christmas presents on my side of the family since we all live all over the country my sister in law gave a suggestion of doing a day of random acts of kindness as a family. Where ever we were on December first we would spend the day doing random acts of kindness then on a blog set up for the family would write about our experiences. I had been trying to find ways to teach the girls about giving this season instead of getting and I thought this idea was awesome! The actually event for us started the day before.

We started by making cookies to put in bags to hand to people we felt needed a little lift. 

 We colored thank you cards for the police station, fire stations, and the mail man.

 And we picked out toys that the girls would be willing to give up (a hard thing to do for them, but they did pick out some great things and I was so proud of them!) and cleaned them to be donated. 

The next morning we head out. First up was a bag of fishy crackers and some RIPS candy with a thank you card for the mail man. 

Next we headed to Grandmas to drop off Oakley. She had offered to watch her so that it would be easier for us to get in and out of the car. Paisley ended up being sick and grumpy so when we went to leave she cried and wanted to stay with Grandma. Grandma was nice enough to watch them both as we spent the day away. 

With the two older girls in tow we went to all a dollar to pick up some popcorn. While Dad was inside paying we opened doors for people. They thought it was really weird. 

 We took quarters to a laundry mat and taped them to the machine. When we were there we gave a cookie to a man doing laundry. He looked very grumpy, then confused when the girls handed it to him, then as we walked out smiled. 

 We went to Alta View Hospital ER and taped money to the vending machines. We were going to hand them to people, but happily no one was there. 
While at the hospital we were walking past the radiology department and noticed a lady sitting in the room with someone. Dave and the girls walked in and gave them some money for the vending machine. Dave said she looked scared to be there and gave the girls a smile when they gave it too her. This was my first tears of the day. 

Next we hit a few different red boxes to leave popcorn and the sign:

 Time to take a break so we headed back to Grandmas. We decided to keep up the service, though, and helped grandma decorate her tree. 

 After lunch we headed to Sonic for happy hour to buy someones drinks. See the car behind us that is who we bought drinks for. Funny story at this stop.....We were really excited to do this, but as we waited in line a guy came out to give the drink to the person behind us. We stopped him and told him we wanted to pay for the drink. He asked why then we explained so we went in to do, we handed him a paper that said enjoy this random act of kindness to give to her. When we got up to the window for our own drinks the guy thought it was so cool that we were doing it that he gave us a free drink token. We planned on giving it away, but forgot. Maybe we can do it another day. 

 We then headed downtown to take the toys. We had tried earlier that morning to take the to toys for tots, but they only allowed unopened toys. After calling around we finally found somewhere that we could take the toys, The Roade Home. As we turned into take the toys there were people lining both sides of the street with people that were waiting to get in for food. This was a powerful teaching moment for our daughters. We were able to explain that these people had no homes, no toys, and thats why we needed to give. Lily started to cry and said that she was sad for them. This was the second moment I cried that day. 

Part of our plan was to pay for meters downtown. This was harder said then done. Most of the meters downtown had free two hours so it didn't really help. So we thought we would head to the university to help out the students. Turned out on weekends it was free all day. While there the girls needed to go to the bathroom so we stopped for a break. We saw a chalkboard so we decided to leave a note for those to see on Monday morning. 

After the disappointment from the meters we headed to Smiths to pay for some groceries, open doors, and put away grocery carts. We also took a plate of cookies to some of Dave's old coworkers. We went and bought the gift card upstairs then turned around and went downstairs to the grocery area lines. We picked someone with lots of kids and Lily went with Dave to had the card to them. The lady looked at Dave then back at Lily then at Dave and said a little bewildered, "but why?" Dave responded, "Just because." She then asked if she could hug Lily. My camera ran out a memory right at that moment and I was unable to catch it with my camera. I will, however, remember it in my memory forever and this was the third time I cried this day. 

 We tried opening doors for people, most took the other door, unsure of what we were doing so after awhile we gave up. 

 Kylie looked really cute trying so hard to put carts away. This was fun one for the girls to do and they loved racing each other. 

We thought it might be nice to get hot chocolate for people waiting for trax. So we headed to Maverick to get some hot chocolate. While there the girls touched my heart and lead me to tears for a fourth time. We were sitting in the car waiting for Dave to get the hot chocolate. The girls saw some homeless people and asked if we could give them a cookie. I had not wanted to get out of the car because of the neighborhood we were in, but there little hearts saw nothing, but those that needed help.

Once we had the hot chocolates we headed for trax. There was hardly anyone there and we realized that people would have to throw them away before being able to enjoy it so instead we hit the road driving around finding people walking in the cold to share our hot chocolate with. Some turned us down, others turned us down then changed there mind. It was fun and a little awkward to do, but most people left with a smile after our gift of warmth. 

After we drove State street handing out the hot chocolates we hit the Festival of Trees at the expo center. It was the last night it was open and we thought it would be fun to take the girls. Although it is stretching it a little we figured this still fit into out Dave of kindness as all the money goes to the Primary Childrens Hospital. Here was a few of our favorites.

Finding Nemo

 This is not actually a tree, but all made out of soda cans! 

 Utes tree

 Rapenzul, the girls favorite

 Another Ute Tree

 Science, upside down tree

 Train Tree

 Race Car tree

 Aggie Tree, for you Tad and Milana

 Cupcake Tree (the tree is underneath!) 

 Lots of Ute Trees- Dave loved it! 

 Crayola, Art Tree

 Train Track Tree 

 Hero Tree

 Pinkalicious Tree, Another of the girls Favorites 

 Coca Cola Tree 

The festival of trees took longer then expected, but after picking up the girls from Grandmas we headed to our last few destinations. We tried to take our plate of cookies to the police station, but they were closed and we had no way to get in. We did hit the fire station and gave them two plates of cookies instead of one and two cards. The girls were all asleep, but Lily at this point so we just ran up quickly. I was glad we were able to knock and still give them what we had made them.

Only a few minutes from home and we still had cookies and popcorn. Lily would not go home until they were all gone. So we hit the Chevron by our house. There were several people at the red box and more people getting gas. Dave ran around giving out popcorn as Lily and I gave out the last few cookies we had. One man and women looked at us weird then said thank you. After putting the item in there car they said, "thats why I love living out here." It was a long, but great day and we had so much fun. We already started coming up with ideas for next year and really hope to make this a tradition! Although somethings didn't go as planned and other things didn't work like we expected we truly loved doing it. People thought it was weird or gave us weird reactions, but that only gave us more want to do it and spread some kindness in this world that has forgotten what true kindness is. Thanks again Milana for such a great idea and for all those reading this try and spread a little kindness today :) 


Desiree Collier said...

That is so sweet of you guys to do this. I cried just reading it. That is an awesome idea and I just might steel it for next year ;) You guys are amazing and I hope you had a wonderful christmas and a happy new year. Love you all!

Emily Fairbank said...

How inspiring. I don't know how you do Katie, but you are a fabulous mom. You spend so much time teaching your children the real important points of life. I think we could all learn from your example. Love you guys!

Kathryn said...

What a great message to all of us! Your girls will NEVER forget this. Neither will the people you served. It's what Christmas is all about! You've got it girl!! :0)