By Victoria Lawson | Echo
Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Day is a national holiday celebrated annually as both a day and a Random Acts of Kindness Week. It begins Feb 17, and is observed by individuals and organizations alike. Observers make it a goal to perform a certain number of spontaneous thoughtful deeds to make someone's day or display kindness for people, animals and the environment. According to nationaldaycalendar.com, the holiday originated in New Zealand, and now it has spread throughout the world - yes, even in the middle of the cornfields.
Random acts of kindness don't have to be elaborate or expensive. College students often have limited resources when it comes to generosity, so here is a list of five ideas for RAK Day/Week for students who may feel particularly stumped.
- Donate blood. Last year marked Taylor's inaugural blood drive, and it will be making its comeback on February 20 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in the KSAC indoor track. Orchestrated by the Indiana Blood Center and a blood drive cabinet formed by Taylor students, giving blood during Random Acts of Kindness Week is a fitting way to exhibit care for others. See last year's article on the blood drive, From the heart, for more details on the blood drive's origins and why it is important to donate.
- Send out kind messages. Whether you're a prolific note-writer or have never considered writing personalized cards to friends or strangers, a well-placed note with a sweet message is sure to brighten anyone's day. Praise someone for a quality you see and admire in them, tell someone you're praying for them in a specific way or leave an anonymous note for a stranger complimenting their outfit. If you're not creative or have handwriting that's impossible to decipher, thoughtful texts, DMs and emails are also quick and easy options. Don't forget - professors need encouragement, too!
- Serve your community. This can be your floor or wing, your hometown or people and organizations in Grant County - even the ones not affiliated with Taylor. Empty the trash cans for neighbors in your hall, shovel driveways in your neighborhood back home or volunteer with some friends at a local nonprofit. Can't think of ways to serve? Ask around - there will always be people in need of help.
- Pay for the person behind you. The classic "pay it forward" attitude can go a long way. Whether you're covering the person behind you at the Jumping Bean or cutting down on Chick-fil-A milkshakes for a week to pay for someone's meal at Cracker Barrel, you never know how your gift could impact someone.
- Hop on the internet for inspiration. Go to www.randomactsofkindness.org and go to "Kindness Ideas" under the "Get Inspired" dropdown menu. There you can scroll through dozens of kindness ideas based on 13 categories - ideas that can be done individually or as a group. Can't decide? Make it a game - close your eyes and have a friend scroll through the ideas until you point at one at random, or make a scavenger hunt and see how many you and your friends can check off the list before the day ends.