Airam Gomez, our MKRO August Grant Winner, shared how her day of spreading kindness for her 18th birthday went. I was so inspired by her letter, I could feel the joy she was spreading and it had me smiling and feeling good all day. I wanted to share her letter so you can feel the ripple, smile, and pass on that happiness to the people around you too.
Hi to everyone at MKRO,
I want to start off by thanking you for choosing to help fund my idea and for all your support. I had been thinking about this idea since May, at which time I did not think I would be able to do everything I wanted to do. When I found out I was chosen, I couldn’t believe it, and I was so excited. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the moments spent planning for and implementing these different ways of spreading kindness have been some of the best and most exciting moments of my entire life. I started a countdown on my whiteboard days before, and I was constantly talking about it with my roommate and adjusting ideas when we thought of new things.
Again, to be able to put this idea into action was such a blessing and it was literally a dream come true for me. Thank you tons! Here are some of the things we did. (My roommate, Jhoana Chavez, was kind enough to help me throughout the whole process and drive around town with me) :
We started off by leaving snacks in the laundry room, along with some note cards with motivational quotes. We had also planned to leave change for the machines, but laundry is free this year!
A couple of weeks ago, I started listening to a book called The Compound Effect and loved it, so I bought a copy, put a Starbucks gift card inside, wrapped it up, and placed it on some tables outside of Starbucks. Although we don’t know who took it, when we passed by around 20 minutes later, it was gone! 🙂
Then, we headed out to find some vending machines to attach a notecard with money for a snack/drink.
We then loaded up and headed into town to spread some more kindness! Our first stop was Dollar Tree where we left some dollars and bought some things we still needed. I included a picture of one of the places we left a dollar.
Our plan for the park was to leave some toys with a note for whoever found them to keep. When we were walking to find a place to leave the soccer ball, this cute kid started pointing at it and saying something like “play” and his mom kept telling him it wasn’t his.. we just had to give it to him. He was so excited and wouldn’t stop looking at it while he held it! It was one of the best parts of my day!
When we gave out one of the gift cards at the park, a lady was a little skeptical at first and asked if there were no strings attached and if we were sure. She finally took it happily and said she was from out of town and would be sure to use it before she left.
We also took a gift to a nursing center and asked the worker to give it to someone they thought needed it most. In it were slippers, a big warm blanket, mug cake packets, a coffee mug, and a bag of Hershey’s kisses. We really hope it brightened someone’s day!
At Walmart, we estimated the cost of the groceries of the person behind us and bought a gift card to cover the cost. I handed it to the lady behind us right before leaving.
Another of our stops was at the hospital, where we dropped off some bouquets of flowers for patients, different toys for kids, and a basket with snacks and candy for the workers. The nurse from the ER department was very appreciative and said it was a great way to end the day.
Along the way, we also gave out baggies we put together for the homeless. In them were a travel-size lotion and body wash, wipes, deodorant, a couple of packs of snacks, socks, and a shirt.
We also made a stop by the Hope Cottage, a homeless shelter for women and children. I had called in advance to obtain an age range for a child who had a recent birthday, and we were able to deliver a birthday present based on what she liked (Frozen pajamas, stickers, a Paw Patrol toy, a small chocolate cake, some chocolates, and a tray of cookies). She immediately grabbed the bag, said thank you, and started walking away; I think she liked it :).
Our last stop was the police station, where we dropped off some snacks and a gift.
I feel like I could go on forever. I didn’t get a picture of all of the things we did, but I included the things we did get a picture for. There are also a few more we couldn’t get to (like the drive-thru we chose to pay for someone’s food in, where we waited and waited and no one got in line behind us, so we left and tried another one, in which there was a problem at the register so we decided to buy a gift card to go to the next person’s order but they were out of them..). We will finish the remaining this weekend; I can’t wait!
Thank you so much again for making what was once a dream, a reality. It is a blessing to be able to brighten others’ days and these are all moments I will cherish forever. I hope that you all are happy with how this turned out too, and I can’t thank you all enough for your help. Matt’s kindness will ripple on forever 🙂
Wow, I hope you’re smiling too after reading this. Wouldn’t it be great if we all committed to a day of kindness? I like the idea of doing it for a birthday but it can be done on any day. It doesn’t have to cost money. For example, you could make it a day of 10’s. So you could smile at 10 people, give 10 compliments, tell 10 people how much they mean to you, write 10 inspirational message cards and leave them in random places, as Mr. Rogers would say, “look for the helpers” find 10 of them and thank them for their work (building services people, trash collectors, restroom cleaner, housekeepers, etc). Make a day of it and you’ll find it makes you feel good too.
Thank you Airam for being the kind of person who cares and inspires all of us.