Discussion Forums - Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK)

Topic: Random Acts of Kindness in real life...

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Random Acts of Kindness in real life...
Date Posted: 8/25/2012 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/12/2008
Posts: 350
Back To Top

Hi guys,

Have you ever done something special for a complete stranger in real life (as in not involving books) and expected neither thanks nor repayment?

Maybe you would like to inspire the rest of us.....


Last Edited on: 8/26/12 2:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 8/25/2012 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2005
Posts: 25,391
Back To Top

I got this idea from a friend of mine.  When I get to the pay window at a drive through, I ask how much the bill is for the vehicle behind me.  If I have enough, I pay for the entire thing.  Or I'll pay a portion of it.  It's really gratifying if it's a car with a bunch of teens (and you overhear them ordering drinks all around and one order of fries) or a parent with a bunch of kids.

Or if I'm getting gas and I see someone only putting in a couple of dollars worth of gas, I'll tell them to pull up to my pump and I'll add another $5 for them (of course, this is only one gallon right now)!

Date Posted: 8/26/2012 1:01 AM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 2,898
Back To Top

Whenever I have money to splurge on myself with I always try to help out whoever is in front of me if they need some change to keep from breaking a bigger bill or find out that they don't have enough to pay for their purchase completely. It's never really all that much but they seem that they have to thank me beyond the norm over a couple of cents or a dollar or two. I got this from my mom though, she does it a lot as well.

My dad's been doing a couple of RAOK when we go to St. Augustine. You have to pay to park in certain places so if we ever get back to the car before our time is up he pulls out of our parking space, waits for someone to grab it, and gets out and hands them our parking ticket that's usually still paid for another hour or two. Those he gives them to are always shocked but thrilled. You could tell they appreciated the kind gesture that saved them some money when someone else most likely would have just tossed those paid extra hours away.

Oh and one of the instructors at the academy recently did two RAOK for me. I had a presentation to due for class and because I was so worried about getting it done and to perfection I didn't sleep for over 24 hours and didn't eat in that time as well, which giving how high of a metabolism I have isn't good. So by time I got to class I had the biggest headache, I was nauseas and a couple blinks from passing out and eating floor. So the corrections instructor down the hall pushed me into her truck took me to McDonalds, because I didn't have any money to buy dinner that night, and bought me dinner. Not only that she heard of my presentation and took me to her house and gave me all the info she had on the topic I was given to help with whatever I might have missed. Seriously the first time someones done anything like that for me.

Date Posted: 8/28/2012 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,976
Back To Top

Jessica-- we've been to St Augustine a couple times in past year and we do that too!  I hate "over-paying" for parking so am glad when someone can use the rest of the time we put on our ticket.

My frequent RAOK in public is to help an elderly couple or a mom with little kids unload their shopping bags from the cart into the car, then I take their empty cart and return it to the store or to the cart corral.  and as a RAOK to store staff, when we are entering a store,  I also push an empty shopping cart that's been left in the middle of the parking lot up to the store's cart storage space and I ask my daughters to do the same--- guess this one is also a RAOK for anyone trying to find a parking spot too!

Date Posted: 8/28/2012 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,554
Back To Top

I've paid for the car behind me at the drive thrus before. Although I claim to know who is behind me so the money goes towards that order.

I sometimes have extra school supplies with me when I go to work. If I see a child missing crayons or pencils I leave the supplies when they are away so they don't know who left it.


Date Posted: 9/6/2012 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 136
Back To Top

At times, I carry (new) handmade earrings in my purse and leave them at the table for the server/waitress, or hand them over to a cashier at a supermarket.

IDK is this RAOK, but MIL introduced me to volunteering works at retirement homes years ago and I love it --- we've been to high (rich) & low (poor) kinds of homes.

We just did a "tea party" kind of thing recently where most attendees (70's and above) doesn't have family who visit (i.e. no siblings, relatives, etc.). I offered to have a "jewelry making" theme for our next visit so I can make jewelries for them ( when I noticed most of them doesn't have any bling). Needless to say, they love the idea and can't wait for our next visit.

Date Posted: 9/7/2012 1:31 AM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2005
Posts: 723
Back To Top

   Kim gave me a coupon for old navy.  I also got a coupon at Mc sports for old navy of all places, which I didn't expect to get..  So I ended up with 2 coupons and  I didn't spend enough to use them both. Before I left I found a family in line and passed out the other one.  It was a great feeling. In fact I got one as I checked out for my next purchase and I didn't feel right passing that one out.

       We ran into a homeless man in the grocery parking lot. My girls wanted to help him. I know you never give them money but then I realized I had just bought groceries.  So we gave him some hot pockets. I figured he could find somewhere to get them warmed or they would thaw enough soon enough that he could eat them.  He was gratefull. I gave him some fruit as well.

       I payed for a family behind me at Mcdonalds who needed the help. Years ago when we were on vacation all of our travlers checks were in our motel in 2 different suitcases. Our kids were little and hungry. We had been at the zoo longer than planed and had eaten everything we had brought with us, which was quite a bit. All of our spare food was in the motel as well.  So we decided to stop at  Mcdonald's to eat. The kids are happy we are going to feed them. I think they were 4 and 2.  Remember that fast food restraunts didn't take credit cards back then which we had with us. We get ready to order and discover that we have no money and have to explain to the kids that we can't eat because we don't have money. We tell them we can eat when we get  to the motel which is an hour away. Remember this is before dollar menus so even if we could find change in the car we don't have enough money to feed the kids let alone us.  I know we have over 100.00 in travlers checks at the motel but that won't do use any good.  Ready to get in the car and listen to the kids complain that they are hungry and know it is going to be a horrible hour. A man turns to us and gives us a $20 and tells us to buy food.  I tried to get his name to pay him back and he wouldn't let us. I had never been so gratefull in my life. It wasn't that we didn't have money, it just wantn't with us.  I sure wish I could send him a thank you note.  I will never forget his generousity.  I made sure my kids remembered this story when I helped the family behind us.

        At different points in our life we have brought groceries to people who needed them. They were not stangers but they were people we knew from church who always apprecated the groceries. The one I remember the most was our neighbor in the downstair apt who we did not know well. Her boyfriend left her and she was left with nothing. We didn't know her well but we brought her a couple bags of groceries. She was in tears. She said I  can't believe you did this for me you hardly know me.  I don't know who was more blessed her or me that day.

Date Posted: 9/7/2012 7:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2005
Posts: 2,962
Back To Top

I do a something everyday. I call it "A good deed for the day. 

 1.Buying someone a coffee, or sandwich, if i am in a fast food rest. I will not give them money. some say yes some say no. 

2.Smile to ppl to walking by, some smile some don't but the one who do, have a big grin, 

Little simple things.


Date Posted: 9/8/2012 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2010
Posts: 513
Back To Top

I work in a daycare center and we get new parents all the time signing their kids up for daycare.  I work with the 2 years olds mostly but have also worked in every room, so I know just about all the kids there.  When we get new kids, some of them jump right in and start playing and making friends.  Some of them, though, cry and look terrified because all they want is their mommy and/or daddy and to go home.  For these children, I think it's important to give them lots of hugs, lots of cuddling, lots of encouragement.  I hug and cuddle them all, but it's especially important to do this for the ones who are having a hard time fitting into the group.  I make sure I talk softly and cheerfully and tell them they're such a pretty girl or such a handsome boy.  Physical contact helps a lot too...like I'll swipe a stray hair off their forehead or place their hands in mine and cup them gently.  We have a 2 year old who just started September 4th and she was just like what I said...always crying and terrified.  It's now September 8th and she's smiles and hugs me when I see her!  It makes me feel so good that I was able to comfort her when she needed it. And I'm so glad she's feeling better about being in daycare. 

Like BostonBooks above me said-- it's the little things that count.  heart

Date Posted: 9/8/2012 11:47 PM ET
Member Since: 10/12/2008
Posts: 350
Back To Top

You guys are awesome! I know there are lots of good people out there, but sharing your stories inspires others in the way they can do Good and make our world a better place!

My favorite thing I have done so far is buy a couple of toys for 2 very sweet (and well behaved) girls in a discount store. Their mom couldn't afford to spend her money on toys and they did not throw temper tantrums, just looking forlorn they left the toys on the shelf and followed mom to food section. I picked up the toys and waited for mom to get to the cashier. I was ahead of her, and I paid for the 2 toys separately and handed them over to the girls. Their stunned expressions were priceless!

I also buy the Amish romance books and give them to my elderly Neighbour, who shares them with her husband (he loves them too) and all her church friends. She always tells me about them! And I'm glad it keeps them reading and interested in things around them. They even found an Amish shop they go there to get their veggies and stuff they bake.

I have also found an immigrant family who are not doing so well, so I try to help them. I got a new freezer for them, and couple of closets when they needed them. And books, cloths and toys when ever our house budget can stand it. (We are running on one income only).

And I give free English lessons over the Internet to kids overseas. I also get books for them, and if they do very well I buy big stuffed toys (or a pretty dress) to encourage them.

Last Edited on: 9/10/12 2:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/13/2012 11:39 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
Posts: 1,411
Back To Top

I always go crazy at Christmas with those trees of kids in need. I always take a kid to fill their wishes but I also get a whole bunch of small generic gifts to put under the tree (like coloring books and crayons or a couple of stuffed animals) for kids who might not get their wish list picked. At least they have a little something on Christmas.

Date Posted: 9/13/2012 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,976
Back To Top

Some history on the RAOK movement--  there is a school curriculum for RAOK developed by the Univ of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS). It's also called "the Kindness Campaign".  Back in the early nineties the school where my 2 oldest girls attended used it and the military base where I worked in CS bought it to use in their kids' programs. Yep, unfortunately, you do have to teach this type of stuff cause some kids wil never get it at home.  The binder had dozens of ideas for promoting kindness in the schools or children's programs.  I really think this was a precursor to anti-bullying curriculia.

More recently I have been very supportive of all the high schools and school clubs that require students perform volunteer service to graduate or to remain an active member of the club.  Even the state of FL requires a minimum of 100 vol hours to be done during HS in order to qualify for their Bright Scholars scholarships which pay approximately 25% of college tuition  at in state schools.  The White House also has a Presidential Award given to minors who perform 100 hours of vol service in a single year-- my 16 yo won that when she was in 7th grade and we were living in Germany at a military base.