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Chic Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness

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This week, Rachel and I set out to spread some joy in our community with our first Chic Challenge. From handing out In-N-Out gift cards to hungry college students, to giving a roll of quarters to a woman at the laundry mat, we came up with 50 random acts of kindness that we hope will inspire those people in the neighborhood to pay it forward.

While I expected the day to simply be filled with smiles and thank you’s, it ended up being filled with so much more. From people refusing our gift because “Someone else needs that more,” to a tearful woman hollering after me “You made my day!”… The challenge got me thinking, if we each did 1 random act of kindness a week, how HUGE would that be? I hope you read about our day and snatch some ideas that you can easily incorporate into your week. Or even better, share your own ideas below in the comment section so we can combine our forces in making every community just a little bit happier!


So what inspired this challenge, you may ask? In July, Rachel and I went to a fantastic conference in San Francisco called Alt Summit and while we were there, we came across this colorful wall. The Neighborhood was sponsoring a giveaway awarding $500 to a lucky participant in which they would use to execute any “act of neighboring” in their community. So Rachel picked up a pen and wrote her idea: “50 random acts of kindness at $10 a piece!” To our delight, her idea won! So here we are, executing the plan and loving every minute of it!

We documented the day because we wanted to inspire you to do the same!! No, we don’t want you to spend $500 (ok, unless you really want to), and we’re not suggesting you spend three hours approaching strangers on the street (which we found to be rather difficult at times!). The goal is to give you ideas on how to fit a random act of kindness into your day without much effort at all. So I included both what we did, and how you can do something similar without breaking the bank or eating up an entire afternoon!

50 Random Acts of Kindness

We started off by making little tags so people would be reminded of the reason why we were showing them kindness: to inspire them to “pass it on.”
 
For those of you that are joining our challenge, here is the FREE printable template of these tags. Consider printing them out and keeping a handful in your purse or car… when the inspiration hits you can leave them along with your random act of kindness.
 
 
How WE did it: Our first stop was the laundry mat to pass out rolls of quarters. Rachel and I approached people with “Here are some quarters for your laundry. It’s just a random act of kindness!” People seemed confused, and then were blown away by the gesture.
 

 
How YOU can do it: We experienced people’s reluctance to accept money from a stranger, so here’s an idea! When you’re getting quarters for your laundry, leave a few extra in the change machine. Someone will come across it and utter “YES!” under their breath. Who knows, maybe it just might make them smile.
 
 
How WE did it: We brought flowers to all the teachers at Rachel’s son, Sawyer’s preschool. It was especially satisfying to see these women’s excitement for the unexpected gift because they all work so hard and deserve to be celebrated!
 
 
How YOU can do it: You don’t have to go overboard and by everyone flowers. Buying just one bundle for your child’s teacher, or your favorite barista, or the nice lady down the street is all it takes to make a positive difference. Just make sure it’s on a random day for no apparent reason… so that way it will be “random.”
 
 
How WE did it: Rachel filled up this woman’s gas tank. She was a young mother in an old car and when Rachel offered to fill up her tank she nearly squealed she was so thankful.
 

 
How YOU can do it: Approaching someone at a gas station might make them feel like a charity case. With gas prices, filling up someone’s tank feels like quite a hefty gift, so here’s an idea. Sneakily fill up a friend or family member’s gas tank when they’re not looking. If you are SUPER sneaky you can even leave a note that says “Random Act of Kindness from Someone Who Loves You.” If you’re not that sneaky just write, “Love you! From _______.” Whether they know it was you or not, it might just inspire them to be a little more giving that week.
 
 
How WE did it: First we went to Coffee Bean and bought the paid for the orders of the next several people in line. Then we came across these lovely baristas on break and offered them two gift certificates to get their nails done together. They were both in tears and their reactions were truly the highlight of my day! The amount of instant gratitude and joy was so contagious I couldn’t help but walk away with a giant smile on my face.
 
How YOU can do it: Give someone who is clearly a hard worker an excuse to pamper themselves.
 
 
How WE did it: We drove out to the local college and handed out In-N-Out gift cards to college students. All I kept thinking was, when I was in college I would have killed for some free food! And what I was experiencing in college was exactly what I saw on these students’ faces. They were so excited!!
 
How YOU can do it: Instead of handing a random person a gift card, you can always pay for the person behind you in a drive-through. Just ask the employee at the pick-up window to tell the random person that it was “all taken care of.”
 
 
How WE did it: We went around a busy street and started feeding every meter that was almost out of time .
 
How YOU can do it: Feeding meters with your extra change is one of the simplest ways to help out strangers during a typical day. You can simply leave your meter nice and full so that the next person who pulls up won’t need to pay at all. If you have our printable tags on stand-by, you can even tape one to the meter so the person knows it was intentional. It’s simple, kind and effortless to do.
 

 
How WE did it: Handing out balloons at the park was one of the favorite moments of the day. We spent time letting the kids pick their favorite color balloon, tying it on their wrists and leaving a park sprinkled with colorful balloons. It’s as if we brought a party to the park.
 
 
How YOU can do it: I love the idea of getting your own children involved in this one. Pick up some balloons before you go to the park and ask your little one to hand out the balloons to other kids. It’ll be a great lesson for them to see how fun it is to give to others. {Follow Rachel’s Instagram for more fantastic pics like this one!}
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More Ideas Like These: 
Bring donuts to the local Fire Station or Police Station.
Buy the person’s coffee behind you in line at Starbucks.
Help someone carry their groceries to their car.
…..
Help us with this list and share your ideas below!
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Share your Random Acts of Kindness by tagging them #TheChic on your twitter or instagram! We want to see what you’re doing in your community!

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