celebrate kindness

Posts Tagged ‘ticket

This entire weekend has been rainy.  Dark.  Dreary.  Drizzle.  Downpours. Depressing.  Somehow the alliteration of my words echoes the dullness of the day.  So… what better way to beat the doldrums… but to don my raincoat and drive out to perform a RAK! 🙂

Photo Mar 29, 3 23 34 PM

As many of you know, several of my RAKs occur at grocery stores.  Usually this is because I am ALWAYS grocery shopping.  (Hey – I like to cook and I like to eat… it’s a logical place to spend my time, lol!)  Kroger, Martin’s, Food Lion, Target, Walmart, Pole Green Produce… if you sell food, chances are I have visited your store a time or two!

Some people clip coupons; some people look for sale flyers… I’m a gal of convenience.  If I need something and you’re on my path from here to there, then I’ll shop at your store.  I like to stick with stores where I know the general layout (mainly because my time is precious and it’s easier to run in and out if I know where something is located versus hunting the entire store for a box of rice noodles that can only be found down the Asian food aisle.)

There are times when grocery store chains try to reel me in as a repeat customer by offering special deals or perks.  Kroger offers fuel points and sometimes if you purchase gift cards there you can earn up to 4x the price paid.  Now that’s a good deal!  Food Lion is currently running a special where each week if you spend a certain amount of money you earn a ticket – 6 weeks of tickets can be redeemed for a “free holiday meal” (which is a $20 credit on your next food bill.)  That’s a good deal, too!

Photo Mar 29, 11 47 10 AM

Well, as luck would have it, I earned three tickets, not six.  Again, I shop for convenience, not for dedication.  Instead of just throwing away the tickets which were useless to me, I decided to take this rainy weekend and bring a little sunshine to someone else’s day.

I made a sign, explaining that the tickets were free to take, then I taped each ticket to the message along with my business card so those who received the RAK could visit this website and read the background story of their RAK.  Then I drove to Food Lion and taped my sign and tickets to an outdoor display right outside the storefront doors.

Photo Mar 29, 3 37 01 PM

Photo Mar 29, 3 30 42 PM

Photo Mar 29, 3 30 50 PM

I thought maybe someone might be collecting tickets, but missed one week, or maybe didn’t spend enough money to earn a ticket. Whatever the reason, I hope the person (or people!) were blessed by this Random Act of Kindness.  If you are reading this today and you were the lucky recipient, please comment below if you like to share the joy of paying it forward!

I hope you can find inspiration in even the darkest of days to bless someone else in fun, creative ways.  Performing this RAK sure did bring a smile to my face!  🙂

 

Advertisements

Last night I decided to celebrate the life of James Mattioli, age 6. I discovered through the internet that he was actually 6 and 3/4 and was “quick to remind everyone” of his exact age. Like many boys his age, he was active. He loved playing outside. Riding his bike. Swimming. He enjoyed playing inside, too, especially on his iPad. I learned that he was born four weeks early and his family would joke it was because he was hungry. Apparently James loved to eat, too, lol.

As I was standing in line with my family at Stevie B’s, a local all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, I began to think of James and how much he would love this restaurant. Endless rows of pizza with combinations galore. You could even request your own pizza to be made just to your specifications. In the back of the restaurant was a small arcade/game room where children could use tokens like quarters and earn tickets from various games of skill and luck to be traded in for trinkets and prizes. Yes, it’s hard to think of any child that wouldn’t want to come here for dinner.

RAK2

My thoughts were interrupted by the cashier’s friendly voice. “Would you like to buy some game tokens with your dinner?” We always get game tokens (although we try to teach our children the value of money by having them purchase their own tokens from time to time.) This evening, I bought three packs of tokens: one for my son, one for my daughter, and one for James.

As the cashier handed me my charge receipt to sign, I returned one container of tokens with my #26acts card and said, “Please hand this to the next person who comes in line to purchase tokens for their child. It’s a random act of kindness for James.” The cashier paused as she read my card, obviously surprised, and replied, “Yes… yes… wow, that is really sweet.” I made sure to put James’ EXACT age on the card, too. 🙂

RAK2-1

A little while later, as we were finishing our mealtime and about to head home, I walked back to the arcade/game room. It was a very small room, but alive with sparkling lights, bells and whistles, and happy smiles all around. The redemption counter was surrounded by children, all about the age of James, patiently waiting their turn to transfer tickets into prizes. I felt a lump in my throat as I thought of my own children who love coming here and playing the games. Ordinarily the bright lights and giddy chatter might give me a headache, but tonight it was pure bliss. Oh, to be a child again, without a care in the world. Such pure and innocent joy.

RAK2-2

For the person who received my random act of kindness tonight, I hope your child spun the big wheel and landed on the jackpot, receiving 100 tickets with the cost of only one token. Please share your joy by paying it forward. For James, I hope your memory will live on in the smiles and laughter of others as they remember what it’s like to be a child.

Be blessed my friends and be inspired! 🙂

This week I received a random act of kindness from someone at my school:  a note in my mailbox stating, “You are worth a million!  Good Luck”, attached to a lottery ticket.  What a delightful surprise!  It’s kind of funny to be on the receiving end of a RAK – I was humbled that someone might want to bless ME instead of the other way around!

lotto 1

Little does this person know, but lottery tickets have a special meaning for me and my family.  In fact, I’ve been scratching lottery tickets since I was a child (shhhhh… don’t tell!)  See, my grandmother thought lottery tickets were the most amazing surprises in the world.  She loved the anticipation that led up to the “big reveal”.  Each Christmas, she would line up our “lotto stockings” (small stockings just big enough for a few lottery tickets to slide inside) and hide a quarter or dollar coin inside.  She knew it would be the first thing we looked for coming to her house on Christmas Eve.  We would talk about all the wonderous things we would buy with our winnings.  I’d promise to take her to the mountains in the winter to watch the snow fall and she’d promise to take me to a tropical island where we would sip fancy drinks all day long.

We never won more than a few dollars here or there with our lotto stockings, but I later realized the real joy wasn’t in the end result, but everything that led up to that moment.  Lotto stockings, for me, were about sharing hopes and dreams with my grandma.

Although my grandma went to live with Jesus more than ten years ago, we still keep the lotto stockings tradition alive through my dad, affectionately known as Pappy.  Here are a few pictures of my sister and I scratching our tickets this past Christmas (I won $6!  Woo-Hoo!!)

lotto scratch

lotto tam

Which brings me back to my blessings received – the mystery lotto ticket in my mailbox.  As soon as I realized it was a lottery ticket, it brought a smile to my heart because of two reasons:  1) someone thought I was worthy of a note and a surprise and 2) lottery tickets always, always, ALWAYS remind me of my grandma, which always makes me smile.  🙂

So I grabbed a coin and scratched away.

lotto end

Unfortunately, despite the well wishes of my RAK giver, I am not worth a million today.  However, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am worth MORE than a million to some little kiddos who share my home.  To them, I am worth the stars and the moon, forever and a day, as they for me.  🙂

Thank you, kind stranger, for spending your own time and money so that I might have a moment of joy.  You are a blessing to me!  I promise to pay it forward, so don’t be surprised when you see one of my #26acts as a copycat of your RAK today!  🙂

Now that my 40th Birthday Project is complete, I find myself in “Random Act of Kindness Withdrawal” (if there even is such a thing!)  I have read many articles and blogs about people doing kind things for others in rememberance of the 26 students and teachers who lost their lives in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting on December 14, 2012.  As a teacher myself, this hits very close to home.   It simply broke my heart to learn of this tragedy and I am still affected daily when I see my children and students returning back to school after the holiday break.

I have decided to perform another 26 random acts of kindness, but this time each act will be either student or teacher focused.  I will create new website cards with a dedication section so each recipient will know the purpose of the act and whose memory is being honored.  I also plan to send a card to the Sandy Hook post office for each act of kindness I perform with hopes that they will forward the card to the appropriate family.  I want each and every one of them to know their child/family member continues to make a difference in the lives of others despite this horrible tragedy.

Join me on my mission!  If you perform an act of kindness, please post to Twitter with hashtag #26acts.  If you are a Facebook junkie, you can “like” the pages 26 Acts or Acts of Kindness, then post to their wall the things you are doing.

All it takes is one act of kindness to make a difference in the life of someone else.  Be the change!  Make a difference!  Start small.  Even something as simple as a smile or a compliment can have amazing impact on someone’s day.

Be inspired and join in on the fun!  🙂

 

What are your favorite Christmas traditions? Do you decorate your home with boughs of holly and mistletoe? Bake cookies to share with neighbors and friends? Maybe you enjoy riding around doing the “Tacky Tour of Lights” (or perhaps your home is one visited by others on the tour?)

One holiday tradition many families enjoy is watching a live performance of the Nutcracker ballet. Just the music alone reminds one of childhood innocence and wonder. It’s a long show to watch (and many men I know will agree with a resounding “once was enough for me”, lol) but for any little girl, attending the Nutcracker ballet at least once is a must.

20121222-141441.jpg

Though it has been many years since my daughter and I have seen this show, we decided to attend a performance this year. In the blink of an eye she will be grown, have children of her own, so moments like these are precious.

As a random act of kindness, we donated a ticket to bless someone’s day. I attached my birthday project card with hopes that the person who received free admission would pay it forward this holiday season.

20121222-141738.jpg

Oh, to be a child again! Such joy, such wonder, such excitement! The theater buzzed with animated chatter in anticipation of Clara’s debut with the Sugar Plum Fairy. I am sure the show was delightful for all in attendance.

With all the hustle and bustle of this time of year, I hope you can find a moment to pause and simply BE. It’s a wonderful time to celebrate Jesus’ birth and show kindness to others, too. Merry Christmas dear friends and be blessed!


Follow celebrate kindness on WordPress.com

Blog Stats

  • 45,685 hits
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: