In Honor and Remembrance: My January RAOK in Honor of Sandy Hook

Every month on the 14th I’m going to practice a Random Act of Kindness (RAOK) in honor of the 26 victims who lost their lives in the Sandy Hook tragedy on December 14, 2012.  If you didn’t read my original post, you can go here to check it out.

raok sandy hook

I have to be honest with you guys, this first RAOK was a lot more nerve-racking than it should have been.  I had originally planned on the Hubs and I just picking up something for dinner on the 14th and I was going to pay for the order for the person behind us in the drive through.  However, after grocery shopping this weekend our left over grocery budget only came to $9.  That’s hardly enough to pay for dinner for us and the people behind us.  So, I figured I’d have to hold on to that idea for another month and think of something else. 

I decided, in turn, to take that left over $9 and turn it into change… as in literal coins.  Then I taped them ($1.25 per card) to individual cards that said ‘here’s a random act of kindness for you, have a blessed day!’  On Monday, I went to the local emergency rooms not far from my house and taped those cards with the coins on the vending machines in the waiting rooms. 

raok 2-edited

Sorry the photo is blurry.  I was shaking! (lame)

Sorry the photo is blurry. I was shaking! (lame)

In all honesty, I was freaked.  I felt nervous.  My heart was pounding.  It was like the feeling I got when I used to sing in front of people… pure nervous terror. 

Like I said, waaaaaay more nerve-racking than it should have been. 

I got lucky at the first ER.  The vending area was in a little alcove and there was practically no one in the waiting room.  The only way someone was going to see me was if they were actually headed to get a soda or snack from the vending area.  My luck held, and I was able to get everything taped up and get out of there before anyone saw me.  WHEW!

Then my luck totally ran out at the second ER.  It was absolutely PACKED.  I mean people on top of people.  AND the vending area was not in an alcove.  It was pretty out in the open.  It was sort of a mad dash to run up to the vending machines, tape the cards up real quick, keep my head down and get out of there. 

Isn’t that lame? 

I mean, what in the world did I have to be so nervous about?  I didn’t want anyone to see what I was doing.  Why you ask?  Well, I don’t honestly know.  What I do know is that I stressed about this RAOK all day long and at some point I said to myself “Self, you have no idea what fear is.  Can you imagine the way that those students and teachers felt in that school last month?  That is fear.  And they are who you’re doing this in honor of.  Suck it up!”  So I did.  For the most part.  I didn’t chicken out at least. 

Then, as I was headed back to my car after the second ER, I passed a family walking in.  There were 5 or 6 of them, and they were all in tears.  Whatever had happened was obviously a pretty big deal.  My heart sunk.  I honestly just wanted to hug them.  And then I thought to myself “what if they’re the people who find your RAOK on the vending machines?”  That thought made me smile.  What if my one, tiny, relatively insignificant act of kindness made this horrible day even marginally better for those people?  Isn’t that what this whole project is about?  Making the lives of strangers just a little bit brighter? 

no act of kindness

What about you?  Did you do an RAOK on Monday in honor of Sandy Hook?  I would love to hear your story!

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

Alderberry Hill
Beyond the Picket Fence
Chef in Training
Chic on a Shoestring
Classy Clutter
Crafty Confessions
Ginger Snap Crafts
Handy Man, Crafty Woman
Home Stories A to Z
House of Hepworths
I Gotta Create
I Heart Naptime
JAQS Studio
Kammy’s Korner
Lil Luna
Made in a Day
Mod Vintage Life
My Girlish Whims
One Artsy Mama
Skip to My Lou
Under the Table and Dreaming

5 responses to “In Honor and Remembrance: My January RAOK in Honor of Sandy Hook

  1. Gerri

    WOW! That’s very inspiring! What a cool thing to do!

  2. Jane Hardee

    I agree with Gerri. What an inspiring thing to do, especially in an emergency room. You have no idea what those people may be going through. I took your idea and copied it today on our vending machine in our hallway. Not nearly as touching as what you did however. You are awesome!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Grey

    I am behind on reading blogs (Classy Clutter), but I did leave a very good tip at my favorite Chinese buffet restaurant tonight. There were few customers and I knew they would be short on tips.

  4. I think it was just a brilliant idea to go to ERs. Glad to land on your blog today. I told myself to really work on RAOK and have kind of forgotten about it.

    • Thanks so much snskee! I completely understand how things like this slip your mind. Prior to this RAOK “pact” I made with myself I had the same problem. I’m finding that having a specific day (in my case, the 14th) where I “have to” perform an RAOK is helping – I can plan in advance and put it on my calendar! I’m not very spontaneous. 😉 Good luck!

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