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

raok sandy hook

As I’m writing this, it’s actually the 15th and yesterday, on the 14th, I did a Random Act of Kindness in honor of Sandy Hook Elementary.  You can read about my year-long pledge here.

Unlike last month when I did something for a complete stranger this month I did something for someone I see nearly every day… our mailman (or woman).  In truth, I’ve never met the person who delivers our mail but I’ve seen them drive by hundreds of times.

I went to the store and picked up some white chocolate truffles then came home and wrote a little note for them. Monday morning I stuck them in our mailbox and put up the flag.  I know it’s something little – but hopefully it’ll brighten their day.


What about you?  Did you do a Random Act of Kindness this month in honor of Sandy Hook?  I’d love to hear about it if you did.

Note:  I read about an amazing Random Act of Kindness that someone else recently performed for Sandy Hook.  You can check out that story here.

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

raok sandy hook

As I’m writing this, it’s actually the 18th but the other day, on the 14th, I did a Random Act of Kindness in honor of Sandy Hook Elementary.  You can read about my year-long pledge here

Hi friends. 

I’m so sorry for being a few days late with my RAOK for March.  It was a crazy week last week.  I actually spent the week in Calgary for work.  I flew home on the 14th and was able to squeeze in an RAOK on the way home.

We stopped for dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, Gringo’s.  Right before we paid our tab I scouted the surrounding tables to see if anyone caught my eye.  As luck would have it, there was this absolutely adoreable elderly couple across the room from us.  I asked our waitress to have their waiter come over and when he did, I told them I wanted to pay for their dinner.  He looked at me like I was from Mars, but he brought me their tab.  I paid it in full and then wrote this message for them:


(note: I also marked through the ‘total’ and wrote ‘paid in full’)

I also gave both our waitress and their waiter a 50% tip. 

Then we left. 

Yep, that’s right.  We didn’t stick around to see their reactions.  We just wanted to bless them. 

It felt great to do something small for someone else especially when I was having a crazy day.  Sometimes when we’re really busy, we forget to take a moment to focus on someone other than ourselves. 

What Random Act of Kindness did you perform this month?

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!

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In Honor and Remembrance

 no act of kindness

I haven’t taken much time on my blog to talk about the senseless tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary school on Friday, December 14, 2012.  I posted a poem about the loss, but otherwise, I’ve been relatively silent about it.  This isn’t because I don’t want to talk about it.  In fact, it’s just the opposite.  I think it needs to be talked about.  I think, all too frequently, we forget tragedies like this as well as others such as Columbine and 9/11.  Like a lot of other things, those memories fade with time.  I get that.  Our heart guards itself. 

I don’t believe that we should all walk around in fear of each other or of what the future could hold for us.  Instead, I think we should each make a concerted effort everyday to see the pain in other people, and to make a positive difference in the lives of those we come into contact with.  I’m not saying that these tragedies could have been prevented – sadly, there’s no way to know if that’s the case.  And I’m not sure that any of us would actually feel better if we knew that those tragedies could have been stopped beforehand simply with an act of kindness. 

I do believe, however, that it’s time to focus on ‘paying it forward.’  Have you seen that movie?  Pay It Forward?  It’s an incredibly poignant and touching movie.  If you can watch it and not cry, then I think perhaps you might be broken. 

As I’ve been reflecting on the tragedy at Sandy Hook over the last few days I keep coming back to the fact that in a month, this story will be forgotten by the majority of the populous.  That makes me sad.  I know that the grief of that day will forever live on in the families and loved ones of those 26 souls that went to meet their Savior that day.  Thinking about this tragedy makes me sad.  My heart cries for those families. 

So the question remains: how can I remember this tragedy without being overwhelmed with sadness?  I think, perhaps, I have the answer (at least for myself).  In honor of those 26 souls, I will, over the course of 2013, pay it forward.  On the 14th of every month, I am going to practice a random act of kindness to a complete stranger.  This might be paying for the guy behind me at Starbucks, giving clothing and food to a homeless person, or cooking dinner for a family in need.  There aren’t any specifics or ‘rules’ except the date… the 14th

To my friends, family, and to those complete strangers that read this blog post I ask this of you… would you practice a random act of kindness on a regular basis if you knew that it might have the potential to prevent a tragedy like this?  I heard a story the other day about a lady driving through Starbucks and when she got to the window, the cashier informed her that her order had been paid for by the person in front of her.  She, in turn, decided to pay for the order of the person behind her.  She asked the cashier how long this had been going on, and the cashier said ‘at least the last two and a half hours.’  I realize that it’s coffee, but how profound is this?  That with one simple random act of kindness this started a trend that lasted for hours and brightened the lives of who knows how many others. 

Will you join with me in honor and remembrance of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary by practicing a random act of kindness on the 14th of every month?  I hope you will. 

I would love for you to post ideas for RAOK’s or your own personal experiences with them.  Please feel free to put the button below on your blog. 

raok sandy hook

You can read about my RAOK experience throughout the year by clicking these links:


I’m sharing the word about this project here:



One Artsy Mama

Creatively Living Blog




alderberry hill


Beyond The Picket Fence


Made in a Day
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
It's Overflowing
Spotlight Saturday button

Mod Vintage Life

Crafty Confessions


Home Stories A2Z

Skip To My Lou



DIY Show Off


More the Merrier Monday