Sunday, September 1, 2013

52 Acts of Random Kindness, Week 5

My random act of kindness for this week was premeditated way before it was implemented.  Last week I received a $10 birthday gift card in the mail from Kohl's.  It had to be used by August 31st, and I knew that since I was going to be heading to Kohl's to use my birthday card, that my random act would be performed there.

It's an awesome campaign!
I'm not sure how many of you have a Kohl's where you live, but in the front of every store I have been in they have shelving that holds books with corresponding stuffed animals.  These books and animals are part of Kohl's Cares, a charity campaign where 100% of the proceeds goes to education and  health initiatives for kids nationwide.  These goodies are always the same price, $5 each, and they change up quite often.  I have a few of the animal and book collections already.  I bought Piper an Aesop's Fables book with a stuffed owl while I was still pregnant, which was my last purchased one before this week.  I'm not sure if those two were supposed to go together, but the great thing about the campaigns is that you don't have to pair an animal with a corresponding book.  You can get just books, just animals, combos of both that go together, or mix it up a bit like I sometimes do depending on which items meet my fancy.

Piper and her new kangaroo!
Right now the Kohl's Cares campaign is running a Curious George special.  From looking online, it looks like there are five stuffed animals to choose from right now which include a monkey, kangaroo, dinosaur, puppy, and a moose.  There are also five book, Curious George's First Day of School, Curious George's Dinosaur Discovery, Curious George and the Puppies, Curious George Visits the Zoo, and Curious George Goes Camping.  You can probably figure out which stuffed animals goes with each book, but at my Kohl's only the monkey and kangaroo were left, along with the dinosaur and zoo books.

The whole collection of goodies available right now.
After picking up Piper some new 6-month clothes, I went to go checkout.  I knew going in that whatever Kohl's Cares campaign was going on, I was going to purchase a book and animal combo for whichever lucky child happened to be near the checkout lines.  Seeing that there were two books and two animals being sold, I got one of each and headed to the checkout line.  (I did get an extra kangaroo and zoo book for Piper, too, as you could probably tell by the earlier picture).  As my purchases were being rung up, I noticed two little girls about 7 or 8 years old checking out the Curious George display.  I knew instantly that those two darlings were going to be this week's random kindness recipients.  And wouldn't you know it, right as the lady checking me out was finishing up putting the stuffed animals and books in separate bags for me to give away, as we had discussed my plan while chit-chatting during the checkout process, the two little girls and their parents got in line right behind me.  Once again, the universe speaks!

Close-up of the monkey, obviously Curious George.
As soon as I had all my bags of goodies in order, I turned to the family behind me, explained briefly about my paying forward a random act of kindness that was done for me, and handed each little girl a bag with a book and a stuffed animal inside.  I have never seen two little faces light up with such joy!  And the parents, they really made this weeks act feel special.  They were so surprised, amazed, and grateful of such an unexpected nicety, the mom teared up and almost cried.  Let me not lie, the dad did too!  It was so touching seeing their reaction.  They were in total disbelief and shock that this total stranger was doing something so kind and generous for their little girls.  The moment was so overwhelmingly emotional that I totally forgot to even mention my name or the blog, not that I do any of this for recognition.  But it would be nice to be able to share the write-up about my experience with them.  I'm thinking I should design little blog business cards I can hand or send out.  That way I wouldn't have to say anything much, just have the card ready, especially since I tend to get a bit tongue-tied when the reaction of others is so strong.  It's unexpected and totally awesome!

Close-up of the kangaroo.

It's kind of sad, but I think the reactions of people to these acts are so strong because there are just not a whole lot of random kindnesses in the world anymore.  At least that is the feeling I get from people.  I'm sure there are many people out there being nice without cause, but you just don't hear about it like you should. Our media is focused so much on the negative, and if you ever look at social media sites you will see a pile of negativity on those, too.  So it's not like people aren't being kind, it's that the majority of what you see and read is just the opposite.  I've always wanted my blog, my little corner of the internet, to be a happy place. There is too much negativity in the world, and I don't want to be a party to all of that.  I want people who visit here to leave with smiles on their faces.  That doesn't mean I'm going to try and be humourous all of the time, my humor comes when it does and I don't force it.  But one does not have to be doubled over laughing to be joyous and happy.

Too bad the corresponding dinosaur was sold out.
This week's random act was such a moving experience, yet such a simple concept.  I don't know if I can ever top it.  Then again, I'm not trying to top myself every week, if so I'd be in real trouble!  This was the first kindness I had performed where I was directly interacting with the recipients, so that may have had something to do with my feelings towards it.  Hopefully I will have the opportunity to be directly involved again soon, even though this was never a requirement of performing these acts.  Then again, anonymity was never a requirement either.  On a side note, this week was also really cool in that not only did I put joy on those little girl's faces, along with their parents, the proceeds also went to charity, which made it double the good deed!

Also got Piper her own copy of this one to go with her kangaroo.
I hope everyone has enjoyed the story of this week's act of kindness.  If you feel the inkling, go out and be kind to a stranger the next chance you get, it feels really good!  And if you want to be really kind right this second, then drop me a vote over at Top Baby Blogs by clicking on the button below.  I've made it to #28 thanks to all you folks, and my next goal is to break into the top 25!  Also, come visit me over at my other social sites by following the additional links.  I especially recommend Facebook as Piper and I are on there daily.  If nothing else, have an awesome holiday weekend!

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