Tag Archives: random act of kindness

Dishing out the blue balloons! Happy RAK Day!

Louise told me this morning that it was Random Acts of Kindness Day today, something that had completely slipped me by this year. To be honest, I somehow managed to forget about it again until this evening in Asda whilst at the checkout. Quickly, I picked up a random gift card and added it to my shopping. I love doing this RAK because it really is random. Noone was coming to follow me to my checkout (probably because I had a fair bit of shopping!) but I loved the randomness of the people eyeing up the checkout and the fact that my RAK was based on who decided to follow me. No matter what kind of day this person has had, this RAK will have made it better. If their day had been terrible, average or even brilliant, it will have risen them.

Quite often when I have difficult days or moments (and I’ve certainly had a few of those this week) I have the urge to do RAKs to counteract the negativity I’ve felt or have faced, so doing this has brightened my day too, which is a welcome side effect this week!

The one piece of advice from mum that I remember and recite the most is “Rise above it” (I talked about this here). I hope, in doing this RAK today, I’ve helped someone Rise Above whatever has been troubling them recently. Doing it has certainly helped me to be my inner giraffe.

That’s me: the giraffe. Sometimes, like this week, I dip below the clouds but I try to Rise Above and, in going about my life, I try to spend time with other giraffes and dish out as many blue balloons as I can along the way.

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Advent Random Acts of Kindness

As well as the Reverse Advent Calendar, we are also doing a random act of kindness a day throughout December.

I hadn’t really thought much about what we will do each day so yesterday the RAKs just happened themselves (which is really how it should be, if kindness is the path you choose to take in life – and it is a choice you can make, and a choice many don’t).

Yesterday we had a disagregated training day and so it allowed me to help out at my son’s school Christmas fayre in the afternoon, whilst my husband took him and his best friend around the stalls. When my son came running along to me on the cake and sweet stall with all his winnings from the tombola, teddy bear raffle and his homemade Christmas decorations, he chose a cupcake for himself and also chose a little Freddo chocolate for his sister who was still at her nursery. He also offered his marshmallow Santa’s Rolo hat to me as well as saying that a massive bar of Galaxy he won on the tombola was for mummy, daddy and his sister to share. Okay, so he has a milk allergy and can’t eat them himself, but as a five year old he could have kicked off and got upset that he couldn’t have what he won. Instead, he didn’t bat an eyelid at winning something so awesome for his family to enjoy (and it’s Galaxy chocolate so I totally will – post detox completion of course!).

Later, I went to pick up our daughter from nursery. On the way home she likes to tell me about her day (which is novel because her brother never has). She told me how her friend at nursery had said to another girl “I don’t like you”. She told me how, in response to this, she had said to the other girl,

“Don’t worry, xxxxxx, because I LOVE you”

and later, to the girl who wasn’t being kind,

“That wasn’t a very kind thing to say to xxxxxx”.

I’m really pleased that, at three, my daughter is not only trying to make sad people better but she’s also standing up for kindness and isn’t afraid to stand up and say if something isn’t right.

I am aware that she’s only 3 and this story may or may not be entirely as it seems, and there are, of course, many times where she is most definitely a typical ego-centric preschooler (in fact, she told me I wasn’t her best friend any more the other day because I wanted her to settle down for bed!). But, I can see her mind working and her empathy growing, showing us little hints into her growing-up personality, which is more selfless.

So those were the children’s 1st of December Random Acts of Kindness. Let’s see what the rest of December will bring!

A ripple of coffee rak

Today I experienced a true ripple of kindness. All along we wanted this project to ripple out and spread kindness and today I witnessed that first hand. I’ve often passed Motore Cafe on my way into town and until now haven’t bought a coffee there despite wanting to every time I pass (I’m always pushing a double buggy so it makes it difficult!). The coffee always smells delicious and the cakes and biscuits always look so tasty too! What I love about this place is that it’s a small local business that prides itself on quality. We’ve done quite a few coffee-based RAKs but these have  involved big chain coffee shops. This time I wanted to support a local business. 


Today it was really early when I set off into town with my little Love Join Mes – too early even for the shops to be open – and I approached Motore Cafe intending to purchase 3 of his most popular coffees for the next three orders. As I was getting my purse out a man ordered his coffee. He was clearly a regular customer and I liked that so I told him I would like to pay for his coffee along with my order. I briefly explained the project to them; it was the most detail I’ve gone into when talking about it in person. A wonderful thing happened: the ripple! The man whose coffee I paid for also Paid it Forward. What’s more, I was also on the receiving end too – I was given a delicious cookie with my order. 

There was another man, Shaun, who had joined in the conversation. He was heading for breakfast in town so he didn’t want a coffee but I talked to him for a good 5 minutes as our journeys followed the same path. He mentioned how expensive it must be doing this so I explained how yes, some of our RAKs have cost us but many more have not and how because I rarely buy things for myself I choose to spend small amounts doing kind things instead. 

I hope the ripple continues! It was such a lovely experience. 

I won’t walk past in future – pushing the buggy with my coffee in hand wasn’t too bad after all. The coffee was great and I would highly recommend it – Motore cafe, Howard Street, Sheffield. 

Milk 


Browsing the internet one day I came across a story about a baby who had received donor breastmilk while in special care. I wasn’t aware such a practice existed so I researched further. Now, here I am, a few weeks down the line expressing my own breast milk into bottles and storing them in my freezer ready to be collected in a few weeks. 

I’ve always had a pretty good milk supply (my record is 10 ounces expressed in 20 minutes) so I knew it was something I would be able to do. 

There are a few rules to follow – hygiene of course being extremely important – but basically I sterilise my equipment (I use a manual hand pump), express milk, put the expressed milk in a bottle, write my name & date on it, pop it in a bag & store it in my freezer. I also keep a record of my freezer temperature on a daily basis. 

When the time comes to collect, a volunteer courier will come from Chester to my house, collect my milk and take it back to Chester.  When the courier picks up my first batch of milk I will get a form to have a blood screening test from my doctor to make sure I’m free of infectious diseases. 

When the milk is received it is pasteurised and tested for its macronutrient content (its composition of fat, carbohydrate, total solids and calories per 100ml). It is then refrozen and issued to hospitals. 

This is probably one of the most time-consuming RAKs for me as it is something I really have to do every day to ensure I can keep providing enough milk (the body’s production of milk works on a supply and demand basis). It’s not a chore though – bizarrely I enjoy watching it collect in the little bottle knowing it will help a sick or premature baby in the future. Also, I see it as a way of giving something back to the NHS. I’m looking forward to my first batch being collected and processed.

http://www.northwesthmb.org.uk 

A long-thought of RAK for dementia

A lot of our Random Acts of Kindness were thought of when we first had the idea of doing this project. This 56th RAK was one such idea that came to us right at the start. 

People whom we are close to have been significantly affected by the loss of a loved one to dementia and  Alzheimer’s Disease.  Right through from diagnosis to death, this is a dreadful disease, robbing the person of their memory and robbing their family of the loved one that they know. The grief starts long before the death even happens. 

Having been through the loss of a parent who was diagnosed with a terminal illness, we have some experience of grief. But she was her until she died. She knew us. Alzheimer’s takes that away; it takes the person away from the body long before they die. 

Her father, for whom we did this RAK back in November, suffered from dementia as a result of a stroke before his death and it was dreadful to see him not knowing who people were. In some ways we were grateful that, for him, his suffering was for a short period of time. We can only imagine the impact that Alzheimer’s must have had on our close family members. 

Not only that, the nurses and carers who work with dementia sufferers every day are incredible. We imagine it to be a difficult job indeed. After all, once the residents are in a care centre for dementia there’s not exactly going to be a good outcome and the nurses and carers must deal with this time and time again.  They give up their Christmases, their nights and weekends, all for the caring of others, others who can no doubt be difficult at times. 

Over the last couple of days I have witnessed such care and compassion first hand. Whilst sat in A&E with little LJM2 (she has a probably but not definitely fractured leg!) I saw an elderly woman arrive with a carer. The woman obviously suffered from a form of dementia. The carers (I saw her again the next day at the fracture clinic with a different carer) were fantastic with her, despite being accused of hurting her, dressing her in someone else’s clothes and effectively kidnapping her. If it wasn’t so sad, it would have been amusing. The carers’ patience was amazing. I wish I had such resolve with my children’s repeated questions and their irrationality! 

Today, we put together the package for this RAK, dedicated to dementia sufferers and their nurses and carers. We sent some reusable pictures designed for dementia sufferers to be able to paint with water, along with some paint brushes. In the end I posted the package as, although I was meant to take it in person, one of the nurses who works there (and the reason we chose this RAK and this place) was working and we wanted to make sure we weren’t seen! 

Woolly Sheep 

Meet LouBaalia*! Louby for short. 

She’s our donation to Yarndale 2016’s community project. All the sheep will be displayed at Yarndale in Skipton on the weekend of 25-26th September. The sheep with then be sold to raise money for Martin House Children’s Hospice. Any unsold sheep will be taken to one of the Martin House Charity Shops. 
A small gesture for RAK number 55 but one that is filled with love for those who use the services of Martin House. 
*Purple yarn is Stylecraft Special DK Lobelia

Flowers for Strangers


Friends are not the only recipients of flowers today! Strangers have received flowers too. 

Each stranger was left a flower and an envelope explaining the RAK on their car. Well, one recipient had a soft-top car with the roof down so his was left on his driver’s seat. I watched him and another return to their cars, rather puzzled as to where the flowers had come from! 

I found this RAK quite difficult. I hated the thought of fiddling with people’s wipers in a public place and I definitely didn’t want to be spotted by the car’s owner. As I approached one car I noticed someone sitting in it so quickly made a sharp exit! In the end, I found a quieter car park and slotted the flower stem under the wipers without lifting them, hoping that the envelopes taped to the stem will weigh them down a bit! 

If you were the recipient of a flower today I hope it brightened your day! Pay it forward when an opportunity arises. We’d like that. 

Flowers for Friends

 
Freesias were her favourite flowers. She loved how scented they were. 

This Random Act of Kindness was for her two oldest friends who knew her the longest. We spent many holidays together growing up, had meals and played games at each other’s houses. There are many very happy memories that were created as a result of these friendships, friendships which will always be there somewhere even though she is no longer here. 


This was a nerve-wracking RAK because, although it’s anonymous, I am pretty sure that they will work it out easily. Plus, one friend was most definitely in when I left the flowers on the doorstep and ran away. At the other house, it looked like no-one was home but, because of all the windows facing the paths to the house, I left the flowers by the back gate. 


A boy of about 7 watched as I ran around with flowers and ran back to my car without them. I did have the thought of asking him to deliver them for me but thought that I should probably do it myself. 

It’s quite a windy day. I hope the flowers are found soon before they blow away! I know she would have liked this RAK. Time passes but her memory lives on and her old friends will know that their friendship is never forgotten. 

Baby clothes for Marie Curie – 220! 

Between us LJM 1 & I have 4 little LJMs and many friends with little ones too. Having the youngest baby has meant that a lot of friends & family have passed on baby clothes to me. When my son outgrew the smallest sizes I decided I needed to donate some as he hadn’t worn so much of it. I kept enough back should I or LJM1 have any more children in the future but I still managed to get together 220 items of clothing in the smallest sizes! 

Yesterday I took the huge haul to our local Marie Curie shop to donate. 

She never needed Marie Curie nurses but I know there are many who rely on this wonderful charity. I hope these items help raise some money for the great work it does. 

Kindness Rocks! 

Kindness Rocks! It does indeed! 

LJM2 visited me last weekend and together we collected a few beach rocks and decorated them with the children’s paints and some varnish. 



On Thursday I took the rocks on holiday with me to the highlands of Scotland where we are staying on holiday. This morning we went for a walk around the small loch in the village and my little LJMs helped leave them in places by the water-side footpath. We also left a couple of posters at the entrance points to the Loch to explain what they were.


Our hope is that the rocks end up spread far and wide and that people will take them home or take them and leave them somewhere new for someone else to find. The rocks are designed to bring happiness to the finder and as such they may pass on that happiness in the form of kindness to others. 

If you have found one of our rocks please let us know. Leave a comment on our blog or tweet us! We’d love to know where our rocks end up. 

This Random Act of Kindness is our 50th! How exciting is that!