Last December I was packing up my life to be put into storage for at least 6 months, preparing for Christmas, New Year’s in Newport, and a 30+ hour drive to Birmingham right after the holidays.
Friday, December 14th, I had taken the day off to get my car serviced, pack more, and finish Christmas shopping. I had a couple of conference calls in the morning, and had the TV on mute in the background, and noticed the local news had taken over earlier than usual. When I got off my final call, I turned the sound on and realized the horror that was occurring at Sandy Hook Elementary.
I lived and worked in Connecticut, a little more than half an hour away from Sandy Hook. Coworkers live in Sandy Hook and the surrounding towns, and working for a large health care company, our counselors were immediately inundated with calls from those in Sandy Hook, and around the country struggling to make sense of it. While I did not know any of the families, it made my heart break, over and over again.
In the hours, days and weeks following that horrible day, you could not be in the State of Connecticut without seeing, hearing, or feeling something about the families impacted that day. As soon as I heard about Ann Curry’s 26 Acts of Kindness movement, I jumped on board.
My first act: I raised money at work to provide meals for our emergency response counselors who had taken more calls in the immediate days following Sandy Hook than they had since 9/11. My goal was to make their lives a little but easier. My dollar goal was blown out of the water, and I ended up making 2 sizable donations to local Sandy Hook charities to help first responders and families.
Over the course of the next month, I completed 25 other acts, everything from leaving gift cards with notes on cars, buying coffee for strangers, and paying for cars behind me at toll booths. It was a wonderful way to end 2012 and start 2013 while honoring the memory of lives taken too soon.
Each year, I plan to do this again, starting on December 14th. With the snow honing in on Philly tomorrow, I’m sure it will be easy to find something to do.
Did you participate in the 26 Acts of Kindness last year?
Have you ever received a random act of kindness?
Have you done any Random acts this year?