celebrate kindness

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To honor the memory of Renee Parr, her family asked those that loved her to complete 14 random acts of kindness as we approach the one year anniversary of her passing, July 14, 2014.

Last Saturday, my two older children came with me to The Dollar Tree as we picked up some last minute glow sticks for our 4th of July festivities. As we paid for our purchases, I saw my son go to the candy machines and check to see what was inside. In an instant, I felt that nudge and suddenly I knew what I wanted to do to honor Renee’s memory:

I wanted to share in the joy of surprises for children.

I dug around in my purse for all the quarters I could find – only two, but better than nothing. I opened my wallet to count my cash and there found disappointment as well – two single dollar bills folded behind my license. One more search in my purse resulted in a third dollar bill, crumpled and disheveled, the edges ripped and worn.

Two quarters and three dollar bills.

I asked the sales clerk if she could change my bills into quarters and she refused, saying she didn’t have any quarters in her tray. In desperation, I located the store manager and explained the RAK I wanted to do, its purpose to honor the memory of Renee. She used her master key to open two additional registers and finally we were able to complete the transation.

Two quarters and three dollar bills, now 14 quarters to give away.

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It didn’t take the children long to fill all the candy machines. Some required two quarters; some only one. They finished their task with two quarters left and had to decide which “big machine” would receive the money.

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Renee was always a princess, to her family and her friends, so it was only fitting that the remaining coins went toย the Frozen Disney Princesses Tattoos.

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We took a moment, my children and I, and said a silent prayer for Renee’s family and those sweet children who would receive the joy of a Renee RAK. She will always be in our hearts, forever.

If you would like to share your Renee RAK, click here to add your information. If you would like to see some of the other random acts of kindness completed in memory of Renee, click here.

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This week we visited the Jelly Belly factory in Wisconsin. (Yes, we are a long way from home!) We took a tour through the warehouse and learned lots of interesting facts about how Jelly Belly gourmet jellybeans are made.

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As the tour ended, the workers passed out free bags of jelly beans to all the riders. What a sweet random act of kindness!

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As we were walking through the store, deciding what kinds of treats we wanted to purchase, I decided to “sprinkle kindness like glitter” (thanks, Renee!) and bless others around me.

I put quarters in the candy machines. I left quarters near the candy jars at checkout. I even left a dollar in the candy corn bin, my youngest son’s favorite Jelly Belly product.

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What fun! The best part was discovering my surprises had been taken in the time it took for me to complete my mission.

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Yes, I realize my RAKs are small, but just knowing that someone else was blessed with an unexpected sweet treat made me smile. What a wonderful way to roll into a new year!

May 2015 bless you with abundance and joy through all your adventures. Thank you for continuing to share this journey with me! ๐Ÿ™‚

This random act of kindness dedicated in memory of Renee Parr.

When was the last time you put money in a gumball machine? How much did it cost? I might be dating myself here, but I still remember a time when gumball machines were only a penny to use. Now the going rate for the “cheap” treats is a quarter. A quarter! At this rate, my children won’t even know how to use a penny!

My son is a gumball machine fanatic. Anytime he sees them, he can’t resist the appeal of checking to see if anyone left a toy or perhaps forgot to turn the dial all the way to release the candy. Almost always he is disappointed. Even so, he still checks again and again with giddy anticipation of what might be left behind.

Channeling this wonderful childhood innocence, we decided to make this our next Random Act of Kindness. Armed with quarters and joy, we went to Kroger to leave quarters in gumball machines.

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We even left a few quarters so someone could try to win a stuffed animal, too.

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This Random Act of Kindness was so much fun I decided to do it with my daughter, too, as we went to the local shopping mall.

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Following our shopping trip, we returned to discover a little boy dancing around the machines and all the quarters gone!

The next time you have a pocket of change, pick out a few quarters and put them in some gumball machines. You will absolutely make a child smile, guaranteed!

Be blessed my friends and keep passing it on! ๐Ÿ™‚


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