Experiments in Anonymous Kindness

>> Monday, December 8, 2008

In a post I wrote awhile back, I asked, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if the holiday of Thanksgiving were accompanied by a season of kind-giving?"

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I'd like to rephrase the question: Wouldn't it be wonderful if every day were a day of kind-giving?

That's the goal of one group of people I discovered at the Green Festival in DC. They call it the SmileCard project, and their slogan is "Kindness is contagious! Keep it going."

Their idea goes like this: You perform an anonymous act of kindness for someone, leaving behind a card that says, "Smile. You've just been tagged. Experiments in Anonymous Kindness is the name of the game, and now - you're it." Then hopefully that person will perform an anonymous act of kindness for someone else, who will perform a kindness for someone else, and so on and so on.

Want to play? Visit their website at helpothers.org where you can print Smile Cards and read hundreds of suggestions of ways to be kind.

Here are some of their suggestions to get you started:

  • Donate your unused winter-wear to those who might not have a home.
  • Arrange a clothing drive in your neighborhood.
  • Become a 'secret santa' for a family in need.
  • Next time you're on the streets, take some soup or hot chocolate for a homeless person.
  • Clip all the positive news stories you read this season, make a nice album and leave it at your dentist's office.
  • Teach a child about generosity by asking them to donate one of their toys this Christmas.
Christmas is a great time to get into the habit of kind-giving. I'm helping my boys and a few of their friends put together a little Christmas program that they'll perform for a couple of homebound elderly people in our area. The Nativity Story performed by a bunch of three year olds is bound to be a disaster, but I'm sure the people we'll be visiting will love it anyway.

What suggestions do you have for spreading kindness this Christmas?


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