It has been 10 years since Duvall Random Acts of Kindness Week was started. Even though it was initially started as a single week to bring our local community together, to support local businesses, it has since grown to a year-round celebration of kindness within our community and beyond. One of the things Duvall RAK is involved in is starting RAK Clubs in our local schools and in schools across the U.S. Locally, clubs have been started at Eagle Rock Multi-Age, Tolt Middle School, Carnation Elementary and most recently, a club was started in North Bend.
It’s amazing the difference one student can make just by helping to start a RAK Club. All it takes is the support of a school staff member, whether it’s a teacher or a counselor, and a motivated student or students. It’s also nice to have a parent or two to help at the meetings, depending on the size of the group. Once the meetings start, the students usually have tons of ideas of what the club can do. One thing RAK clubs have done at their schools is hand out chocolate kisses with little notes that say, “Have a great day!” to students who look like they might need a little extra kindness. Students have written notes and made posters for community members that needed a little encouragement as they were going through a difficult time. Students have sat with kids at lunch that didn’t have anyone to sit with. Kindness boxes have been used for students to write notes about students who were “caught” being kind and then the notes have been read out loud at RAK meetings. There have also been food and clothing drives, and so much more.
In a recent meeting at Tolt, the students decided to have a “Kindness Wall” where students can post kind messages to each other on bright sticky notes. They will also start handing out “Tolt Kindness Cards” with words of encouragement. Duvall Print and Post generously offered to donate the printing of the cards for the Tolt RAK Club. The Grange Café has agreed to purchase all of the sticky notes for the Kindness Wall.
This year, the 10th Annual Duvall Random Acts of Kindness Week will be celebrated March 7-13. In years past, daily suggestions were made for each day, during RAK Week. This year, Duvall RAK is asking you to brainstorm, and to come up with your own ideas. This is a fun thing to do as a family or within a scout troop, youth group or in a classroom. Monday – Thursday, come up with your own ideas and then if you choose, you can participate in the following activities during the weekend.
Fun Flower Friday: Buy a flower or flowers and give them to someone to brighten their day. If you want to attach a “kindness card” to your flower, you can go to www.rakduvall.com and print out a kindness card.
Silent Saturday: Unplug and spend time together with your family and or friends without looking at a screen. Play games, take a hike, donate your time at a local charity, have a special dinner together. Just play and have some fun!
Sparkling Sunday: Clean up litter in and around your community. Helen Hoenig has been cleaning up trash around Duvall for years. She has donated over 1,000 hours of her time, making Duvall the Cleanest Little Town on the Eastside. If you participate in Sparkling Sunday, please post where you went on my Duvall Random Acts of Kindness Facebook page and be entered into a drawing to win Mr. Piggy. Mr. Piggy is a piggy bank filled with change that Helen has found over the past several months while she has been picking up garbage in and around Duvall. She would like to donate Mr. Piggy to a local cleanup volunteer!
If you need ideas of what you can do to spread some kindness, here are some simple suggestions. Be aware of people around you. Take notice of the expressions on their faces and make a point to smile and say hi to those that look like they could use some encouragement. A simple smile can completely turn around someone’s day.
For those of you who buy coffee from local coffee shops and have punch cards, once you have filled your punch card and earned a free coffee, instead of using it for yourself, give it back to your barista and ask them to use it to pay for someone’s coffee. Tell them to pick someone that looks like they are having a tough day.