Outrageous Acts of Kindness

Outrageous Acts of Kindness

Whether your family's talents range from singing and dancing to cooking and collecting, reach out and touch someone's life this season.
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Fulfill even one dream below and you and your family can help make the world not just a better place, but a more exciting one!

Throw a "One-Family One-World Party."

 Organize an international potluck meal and invite neighbors of various faiths to share their holiday traditions. Have a child from each faith present a story or symbols, then exchange gifts and share songs from each culture.

Read awhile.

 Lost touch with your "inner child"? Gather up some heartwarming stories like O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi" to read to children at homeless shelters. Take along some homemade goodies and offer small gift bags of hotel-sized toiletries.

Give the gift of life.

 In the book Buddhist Acts of Compassion (Conari Press, 2000), there is a story about Tibetan monks who annually visit fish markets, buy up live lobsters, and release them back into the ocean with a prayer. (It's said the good karma will return to them.) Follow their model and create your own ritual. Or, visit a pet shelter and adopt a precious cat or dog.

Reinvent old cards.

 Gather up holiday cards from friends and family, then cut and paste to create one-of-a-kind holiday greetings. Leave off any specific religious symbols, then pass them out at retirement homes with your own personal greeting.

Pay it forward.

 Pop up some popcorn and share an at-home movie night watching the heart-inspiring film Pay It Forward—where one act of generosity inspires a spiral of good deeds. Then perform a similar act of selfless kindness and ask the recipient to "pay it forward"—that is, just say "thank you" by doing someone else a kindness.

Scavenger hunt.

 Invite your child's class over, break up into teams, and go door-to-door collecting for a charity: canned foods, small appliances, old computer, pet supplies, and/or clothing donations. Give each team a stack of brochures on the agency you're collecting for, a street map marked with their designated block, and a time limit. Meet again afterwards for hot chocolate and cookies and to see who collected the most.

That's entertainment.

 So you didn't make the cut for American Idol? Recycle your musical gifts by organizing a "talent night" at a homeless shelter, hospital, or retirement home. Present a few of your own acts—opera, musical comedy, belly dancing—then invite the audience to get up and perform. Have a great pianist on hand or at least karaoke tracks.

Outrageous kindness.

 Inspire your children to dedicate a day during the holidays to unpredictable niceness. Accompany them to a busy shopping mall and do something nice for someone every hour. Encourage your children to use their imagination and awareness to notice other people's needs. An elderly person with heavy bags? A blind person who got lost? A young mother with crying babies? Opportunities are endless to be a good person.
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recent comments
9/7/2010 , 
Kris  H.
Diane, thank you for your act of kindness. We have 2 sons that are currently in the military and have experienced this act of kindness many times while traveling for their branch of the military. Your kindness and others that do the same truly is appreciated. God Bless
10/8/2009 , 
Diane  B.
One of the random acts of kindness that my husband and I have made a habit of doing is when we are out at a restaurant and see a person in military dress, we pick up the tab. They have sacrificed SO VERY much for us, it is the very LEAST we can do for them. They leave spouses behind who have to take care of all the responsibilities of life while they're gone. Children grow up and our military miss first steps, first birthdays, graduations, etc. Some give their lives and these brave men and women never ask for anything in return.
2/4/2009 , 
Jane  V.
We have given the Gift of Life a dozen times over. We have sheltered homeless neighborhood kitties for many, MANY years. We recently had new members join us, back in July. A stray popped up on our doorstep on my husbands birthday and low and behold, we had new babies in Aug. I played mid-wife( sadly 1 did not make it) we adopted out 2 and kept the 2 brothers and the mom. It is a great feeling knowing that we DO CARE, and go to great lengths to give ALL the LOVE & CARE that they wouldn't have found if on the street or in a KILL shelter. Fostering is a great job, but, it is hard and emotional. I would recommend it to any, who are TRUE animal lovers. We have been blessed over a million times, and the Karma just gets better.
7/19/2008 , 
Nancy  J.
My girls are Girl Scouts and we do many acts of kindness within the troop and out of the troop- I think it is important for our young people to learn this at an early age. Just the other day we were at a card store (and had some time) and I noticed a man with two young children buying an anniversary card for his wife (one child was in the stroller and the other child was trying to run around the store) I called to my girls who are now 11 & 13. After talking to the man my girls sat on the floor and read cards to the little boy- they bought him an anniversary card- that he and his siblings can give to his parents (with his fathers permission) and they then showed him the new ornaments that were out). The man was VERY grateful! He not only got a card for his wife he got to buy her something too! We try to do something daily for someone-somethings are free! Sometimes we do BIG projects and take on ALOT...whatever we do we do it with love! :-)
7/17/2008 , 
Rachel  C.
I love the acts of kindness that you have here. They are really great. I also really like the movie night outdoors! We have a few friend who really cannot afford to take their kids to the movie, and some with special needs, and we have been thinking about doing this for some time. Well, I think it's that time! Thanks!

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