A couple of years ago, I was behind a soldier in line at Chipotle and he was having some trouble getting his credit cards to work. One after another, they were handed back to him and I could sense his rising panic, but I couldn’t figure out if it would be weird to offer to pay and then I didn’t know what to say so, in the end, I did nothing. I have regretted that lost opportunity ever since and, literally, think about him at least once a month.
The good piece, though, is it changed me. I vowed after that to never to sit by idly when someone else was in need and I could easily help. I decided no matter how uncomfortable I felt I would always say or do something, because even if it’s completely off the mark, it’s coming from a place of good intentions and I think it’s better to fail in kindness than fail in passivity.
And the thing is, you guys, it actually isn’t hard! I’ve gotten better with practice, and, sure, there’s often an initial weirdness, but, since I started doing this, I have never been turned down and now I get a kick out of it (I think we all know the giver always wins, right?).
With Random Acts of Kindness coming up on February 17th, we all have the perfect excuse to give it a whirl, and I have the perfect (easy!) idea that your kids can also totally get into: Homeless Care Packages with snacks, toiletries, and Cuties (because everything is better with a Cutie, am I right?).
The kids and I did a lot of thinking and researching about what would be most helpful and here’s what we came up with (if we left off something obvious, please let me know!):
-toothbrush and toothpaste with toothbrush holder
-Chapstick (I think sunscreen would also be helpful)
-non-perishable snacks (I forgot to put water in the photo, but we also do a bottle of water!)
–Cuties (because it seems like it’d be nice to eat something not processed and Cuties are pretty much the handiest snack ever)
-You are Awesome card (which I waffled on, but then figured everyone needs to be told they’re awesome every once in awhile, right?)
I know the hardest part for me at the beginning was knowing what to say so here’s what I’ve come up with: “Hi! My name is Kara. I was wondering if you’d like a bag of some toiletries and snacks?” They say yes (always) and I give them the bag and depending on how much time I have left in the light, we chat a bit more or I go on my way with a wave and a genuine smile. Easy, peasy, right?
The best part is these two characters see how easy (and important) it is to support others. They’re always yelling their names from the back seat and asking people’s names and just generally being kids who are excited to talk to and help other people.
I’m including a link to the You are Awesome card here so feel free to use it to create your own Homeless Care Pack. You could also put it with a bunch of Cuties and leave it on your neighbors porch, or send some to school for a teacher, or leave some in the mailbox for the mail person. The options for random kindness are ENDLESS! Let’s rock this RKD! (Yes, I just gave it an acronym.)
Photos by Milou and Olin
Thank you to Cuties for sponsoring this post!
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