26 Random Acts of Kindness Revisited

Let me start by saying this is a hard post to write because I really don’t want to come across sounding like I’m tooting my own horn. That was not my intention in blogging about my random acts of kindness at all… I was hoping to inspire others to do the same as well as get some press for some of the good causes I donated to. I actually found that the hardest acts for me to complete were when I came face to face with the person I was doing it for. There’s something really fun about leaving something for a stranger and then wondering about it.

I think that moving forward I’m going to try to do something like this more often, maybe even when I’m having a bad day. This whole exercise taught me just how easy it is to do something kind for someone else and made me more aware of the kind things people were doing for me, even if it was just holding the door open when my hands were full. It was also really neat to see how my acts of kindness impacted the people who helped – from the friend who gave me the clothes for the convalescent home to the barista who was touched by my note to the person behind me at Starbucks. I was tickled pink to have a friend tell me the other day that she and her husband were inspired to do their own twenty-six random acts – they’re spreading it out over the year. It just goes to show how something good almost has a ripple effect. I know there’s no way to erase the horror of Sandy Hook, but I hope in some small way that I made a difference in these twenty-six different acts.

Over the course of just under one month, these are the twenty-six random acts of kindness that I completed:

  1. Charlotte Bacon – taped a dollar bill to a vending machine
  2. Daniel Barden – left a Starbucks gift card in conference room
  3. Rachel Davino – bought stamps left for a stranger at the post office
  4. Olivia Engel – bought Starbucks for the person behind me at the drive through
  5. Josephine Gay – donated food and toys to the animal shelter
  6. Ana Marquez-Greene – left two movie passes for the next people to buy tickets
  7. Dylan Hockley – donated food to the local food bank
  8. Dawn Hochsprung – left a Cheesecake Factory gift card for the janitor at work
  9. Madeleine Hsu – left a Trader Joe’s gift card on a desk at work
  10. Catherine Hubbard – left a gift card for a free lunch in the cafe in a random place at work
  11. Chase Kowalski – bought In-N-Out for the person behind me at the drive through
  12. Jesse Lewis – donated three meals to Drive to End Hunger
  13. James Mattioli – donated to the Alzheimer’s Foundation
  14. Grace McDonnell – left a Spa Finder gift card in a mailbox
  15. Anne Marie Murphy – bought a stranger a dozen donuts
  16. Emilie Parker – left lottery tickets in a mailbox
  17. Jack Pinto – left a gift certificate for the next person at the garden center
  18. Noah Pozner – left quarters in the sticker machine at Safeway
  19. Caroline Previdi – bought a large pizza for the next person at the pizza place
  20. Jessica Rekos – paid for McDonalds for the next person in the drive through
  21. Avielle Richman – donated clothes to convalescent home
  22. Lauren Rousseau – gave a fern to the next person in line at Safeway
  23. Mary Sherlach – bought frozen yogurt for the next person
  24. Victoria Soto – left money for a gallon of gas at the pump
  25. Benjamin Wheeler – donated clothes to Goodwill
  26. Allison Wyatt – donated $26 to the Grace Foundation

Random Act #26: Allison Wyatt

Random act #26 is one that is very near and dear to my heart and combines both my love for horses and my wish to do some little bit of good in the world. Many of the children killed at Sandy Hook had a love for animals, so I think this one is really a great deed. I hold a special place in my heart for animals who, like children, cannot defend themselves. It breaks my heart to see the terrible things people do to animals. My own Shadow was neglected, as was my sister’s Lilah and both have shown nothing but love for us and our families.

The Grace Foundation is an animal rescue and rehabilitation ranch here in Northern California that provides care to abused and neglected horses. I had the pleasure of doing some volunteer work there a couple of years ago and fell in love with the animals and the Foundation’s charter. They take abused, neglected animals and rehabilitate them. They then use those horses as rehabilitation animals for disabled and at risk youth. It creates a sort of perfect circle – the animals helping the children and the children helping the animals in return:

Since its founding in 2004, The Grace Foundation has been dedicated to saving the lives of horses and other animals. Grace provides critical care and rehabilitation for abused and neglected horses, livestock, dogs, and other animals.

Many of these animals are then utilized for equine-assisted learning and therapeutic programs for youth and children. Since its inception, The Grace Foundation has helped thousands of kids who are at-risk or have suffered from abuse and neglect themselves.

Grace also offers programs for people of all ages that are struggling with autism and other physical and emotional challenges, as well as a variety of youth leadership programs and life science classes.

Sadly, the Grace Foundation had to close its doors to the public this last October due to an ongoing battle with the banks over funding. They are working to reopen their doors on February 1st but need the help of the public. I donated $26 to the Grace Foundation in honor of the Sandy Hook victims to try in some small way to help these animals. Click here to make a donation of your own – any amount helps and it all adds up!

Please share this with your friends, family, and coworkers. This is one of those truly selfless causes and your money goes directly to the care of the horses and upkeep of the ranch.

Random Act #26: Allison Wyatt
Random Act #26: Allison Wyatt

And just like that, my 26 random acts of kindness are done. I’ll post a recap in the next couple of days with some reflections along with what I’m doing going forward. Stay tuned!

Random Act #25: Benjamin Wheeler

Today I completed random act number 25. One more to go! I donated some clothes and shoes to Goodwill… I had wanted to do a local women’s shelter that I’ve volunteered at before, but they have really weird hours/days that you can donate, so I went with Goodwill.

This act is in honor of Benjamin Wheeler, a six-year-old who loved swimming, soccer, and his big brother Nate.

Random Act #25: Benjamin Wheeler
Random Act #25: Benjamin Wheeler

Random Act #24: Victoria Soto

Random act number 24 was to leave $5 on the pump at the gas station. This was in honor of Victoria Soto, a young teacher who died trying to save her students. You know how every now and then when something terrible like this happens, you sometimes find one person in that event that really touches you, maybe because you identify with them a little more than the others? Well, Victoria was that person to me in this tragedy. I don’t know what it is, but I found myself drawn to her story in all of the news reports. There is now even talk about naming a new elementary school after her!


Random Act #23: Mary Sherlach

My 23rd random act of kindness was to buy frozen yogurt at work for the next person that came up wanting one. This is in honor of Mary Sherlach, the school psychiatrist at Sandy Hook Elementary School. She sprung into action when the gunfire started, running towards danger in an attempt to protect the children. Mary was known as the voice of reason, calm, and comfort in her circle of friends.

Random Act #23: Mary Sherlach
Random Act #23: Mary Sherlach

Random Act #22: Lauren Rousseau

Today I completed random act number 22. I was buying the groceries for my crock-pot-a-poloosa and I saw this great little fern. I took it with me to the register and asked the checker if I could pay for it and then have her give it to the next person who came through that looked like they were having a crummy day. This is in honor of Lauren Rousseau, a thirty-year-old teacher who had recently become a permanent substitute teacher and died shielding her students.

Random Act #22: Lauren Rousseau
Random Act #22: Lauren Rousseau

Random Act #21: Avielle Richman

Today I completed random act number 21. This one was done with the help of a friend who wishes to remain anonymous. She had some clothing that wasn’t quite her style, and asked if I could donate it to one of our local retirement homes for those who might really like it. This is in honor of Avielle Richman, a six-year-old who loved swimming, going to the library, and riding her pony.

Random Act #21: Avielle Richman
Random Act #21: Avielle Richman

Random Act #20: Jessica Rekos

For random act number 20, I bought McDonalds for the person behind me last night. I was needing a little snack to get me through the long drive home and thought I’d share the love. This is in honor of Jessica Rekos, a six-year-old little girl who absolutely loved horses (near and dear to my heart!). She had just learned how to tie her own shoes.

Random Act #20: Jessica Rekos
Random Act #20: Jessica Rekos

Random Act #19: Caroline Previdi

Today I completed random act of kindness number 19. We headed over to get some pizza for dinner on the way home and I decided to buy a pizza for the next person to come in and order “The Cowboy” (we were at Papa John’s and that’s their most popular pizza). The cool part was that when I told the guy at the counter what I wanted to do, he asked if I had Twitter. I said yes, why? and he told me he had heard of this #26acts thing. How cool is that? It’s catching on!

This is in honor of Caroline Previdi, a six-year-old who loved the color pink, the New York Yankees, and donated money from her piggy bank to the church toy drive.

Random Act #19: Caroline Previdi
Random Act #19: Caroline Previdi

In other news, I know in my original post I had said that I was going to try to have twenty-six acts done by December 31st, but it’s going to take a little more time. I want these acts to be meaningful, so I’m getting rid of my deadline (I’ll likely have them done in the next week or so). I don’t want to rush just to have them done by tomorrow and not do something that helps others.

Random Act #18: Noah Pozner

This one randomly came to me while I was driving today – I wanted to do something that would be special to a child since many of the victims were children. I stuck 50 cents into one of the sticker machines at Safeway. I know the kid who gets it may not understand, but it makes me happy to think that I’ll put a smile on a child’s face today. This is in honor of Noah Pozner, the youngest victim in this massacre. This sweet boy once told his family that he wanted to be a taco factory manager. 🙂

Random Act #18: Noah Pozner
Random Act #18: Noah Pozner