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Spread a little kindness

Spread a little kindness

Now is the season to be kind. Random Acts of Kindness Week stretched from Feb. 10 to 16, spurring people to engage in spontaneous and thoughtful acts for the benefit of others. Meanwhile, Cleveland’s Mayor Frank Jackson proclaimed Feb. 17 Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere Day, as part of a nationwide movement started by a local comedian.

Businesses that missed their opportunity to participate need not stress – the very objective of the RAKE movement, according to its website, is to promote kind acts in communities through charity, education, social awareness and health care year-round, not just once every February. Organizations interested in joining the trend may want to emulate others’ random acts from these most recent events or get creative with their own. There are also plenty of useful promotional products that may constitute an act of kindness, from jumper cables to water bottles.

Kindness as movement
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation took to social media in the middle of February in order to spread the word about doing good for the community. In addition to posting different people’s kindness projects, they also released a handful of infographics with ideas to celebrate the event at home, in the office or on campus.

When in the neighborhood, people may want to shovel a neighbor’s walkway or do a chore without being asked, the organization suggested. At the office, employees could post sticky notes on computers with positive sayings, eat lunch with a new coworker or surprise everyone with coffee or tea. For people in school, the organization suggested setting up a custodian appreciation day, bringing a treat or thank you note to bus drivers or highlight a kind person in history in the classroom. Of course, a number of these ideas may be equally applicable no matter the institution involved.

Some people have already embraced Random Acts of Kindness Week. The students at Tibbetts Middle School in Farmington, New Mexico participated through a series of acts, such as leaving positive messages for people and writing thank-you notes, The Farmington Daily Times reported.

Ricky Smith, the founder of the Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere project hopes to inspire more than just school children. To celebrate doing good, he made sandwiches for the hungry, handed out gift cards and paid for shopper’s clothes at consignment shops, according to NBC-WKYC.

The business of kindness
Organizations may easily follow in the footsteps of Smith, Tibbetts Middle School and the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. Charitable deeds can start small and in the office, simply by way of kind words and encouraging treats, which employees and managers alike can provide. Businesses that wish to expand their operations to the community at large can make contributions to homeless shelters, organize participation at a soup kitchen, collect clothes and canned goods for donation or simply have retail staff wish in-store clients a happy day.

Promo items can also play a part in a strategy of kindness. Any sort of product, from pens to calendars may serve as a small reminder of Random Acts of Kindness. Personalized mugs may be just the gift to brighten someone’s day. There are also plenty of products that can become a huge help for people in emergencies. Car kits complete with jumper cables, flashlights and basic tools for changing a tire are invaluable for people on the road, and could be more than welcome by plenty of drivers. Meanwhile, health-conscious gifts such as first aid kits and water bottles promote the importance of safety and hydration.

Managers struggling where to start need only think about a random act of kindness they themselves would like to receive. There just might be a promotional product that serves that need.

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