If you regularly perform random acts of kindness, can you share with me

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Posted 1/27/2013 by Just T in NSBR Board

Just T
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PeaNut 65,272
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Posted: 1/27/2013 5:32:59 PM
some specifics, such as why you decided to, do you do them in memory of someone, and most of all, how does it make you feel when you do something randomly for someone else.

I am working on a small project at work about performing RAKs when you are grieving and how it can help.

Thank you bunches!

Mes Trois Meows
Pourrai-je jamais ĂȘtre heureux?

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Posted: 1/27/2013 5:37:07 PM
Whenever I hear of a cat abuse story or see one killed by a car or whatever, I make a donation of food or money to a local shelter. Since I was not blessed to have children my cats are like my kids and I can't bear the thought.

The donation is my weird way of coping when I hear about a loss....because it makes me so sad.

Kirsten =^..^= =^..^= =^..^= =^..^= Yes, we have 4 now : )

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Just T
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Posted: 1/27/2013 5:41:39 PM
I don't think that is weird at all!

What sparked my interest in this was something I heard on the Today show, I think, just before Christmas about how planning and carrying out raks actually releases feel-good chemicals in your brain.

Mes Trois Meows
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PeaNut 269,796
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Posted: 1/27/2013 5:57:37 PM
Thank you for understanding....

The other thing I do on occasion is keep a huge stack of thank you cards at work and try to write a few a week to people. I work in healthcare (large company) and people are very stressed and busy these days. I like to remind them that they are appreciated (I am in a senior level position.) Sometimes chocolate or coffee card too - esp when I am having a bad week. Although I normally leave them on someone's desk when they aren't there - once in awhile I will get an email back which completely puts me in an awesome mood....

Kirsten =^..^= =^..^= =^..^= =^..^= Yes, we have 4 now : )

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lurking leeny

PeaNut 67,997
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Posted: 1/27/2013 6:52:16 PM
I try to take part in RAKS as this lady does: Secret Agent L I keep little gift packets in my car and drop them off when I see a good spot. I also send random donations when I hear of someone needing something. For instance, our local Little League team made it to the World Series but it was costing their parents a lot to get there, so I sent what I could afford. I also leave books around that I have already read.

During back to school time, if my friend sees someone stocking up on supplies, she asks if the person is a teacher. If so, she hands them a $20.

I actually do a lot of one-time only volunteer work, too. It all makes me feel good to give back or to others.


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PeaNut 194,444
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Posted: 1/27/2013 7:29:35 PM
I don't know why I decided to start doing RAK's, but I know that I wanted my dd's to grow up willing to give. I love doing unexpected things. I do pay at the drive through occassionally, but that is getting old. I like to purchase flowers at the grocery store and then look for someone sitting in the coffee area by themselves and give them to them. I also like to leave something on random cars, such as a gift card for coffee or something similar. I have also put gift cards in envelopes and given them to the autistic young man on our street who brings up our garbage cans. We have a foster child through world vision which has been fun watching her grow up. I'd like to put together giving bags with some staples in them for homeless people, but haven't yet.

Last year, I along with a couple of friends adopted two families for Christmas. Through donations of stuff from friends and family, we gave them a lot of winter clothing. We also put our money together and recieved some gift cards and were able to buy all the kids the main thing on their christmas lists and had some left over to get something for the mums too. We also got given some grocery cards and were able to provide two whole christmas dinners. It was awesome to see them so excited. My dad was in the hospital dying last year, and that was a good diversion for me/us.

This year, we did 26 rak's in memory of the Sandy Hook victims. Usually though, they are just done as we think about them. I believe that whatever you do matters, no matter how big or small. I love watching peoples faces when you do something unexpected. I guess it just makes you feel good. You don't even need to see them receive it to get that warm fuzzy feeling. That must be why we continue on.

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Posted: 1/27/2013 7:35:38 PM
Sometimes we do them as a pay it forward. Other times it's because we saw the idea and thought it was neat.

Most recently my son & I did a few while running errands because we heard a spot on the radio asking local listeners to participate in a morning long RAK fest of sorts.

One I like to do is to leave quarters or little piles of quarters on top of gum ball machines.

There was a time when DS #1 kept finding 50 cents left on the machines in the vestibule at our local grocery store and he was always so thrilled because I used a debit card to buy our groceries and rarely had any change to give to him.

So those 2 quarters made his day.

So sometimes I'll purposely take quarters with me now when I shop, not for DS #1, who is now in school for the day, nor for DS #2, who is still too young to understand the concept of gum ball machines, but for some other little boy or girl wishing for a quarter or two to feed the machines.

Just T
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PeaNut 65,272
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Posted: 1/27/2013 7:39:00 PM
Thanks so much Kirsten, Ilene, still smilingn and melanell for sharing your thoughts.

You don't even need to see them receive it to get that warm fuzzy feeling. That must be why we continue on.

I think this is so true...it is the act of doing it in my opinion. I just read something a few minutes ago that said that even people who observe a rak benefit from it even though they weren't involved in any way.

I live for the applause applause applause...

PeaNut 526,154
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Posted: 1/27/2013 7:57:54 PM
I do them - I did one today.

For me it's more of an alleviating of a feeling of guilt. I have so much and am so lucky in so many ways.

I also feel like... we can all use kindness. People have been kind to me when I needed it. So I pay it forward.

And maybe a sense of empathy. I know that when someone does something nice for me, it resonates for a long time. Several years ago I lost my job and I really wanted to take the Library of Memories class but of course, I could not afford it. Some anonymous person paid for me to take the class. It was expensive (cose to $100). To do that for someone and not take any credit and not let me thank you!?!? It was incredible.

I know how I feel when someone is kind to me so I like to share that, if I can.

Ideay pues?

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Posted: 1/27/2013 8:00:19 PM

some specifics, such as why you decided to, do you do them in memory of someone, and most of all, how does it make you feel when you do something randomly for someone else.

Why did I decide to? Well, I heard a story from my grandmother in my early 30's about how strangers came up to her when she returned to Nicaragua after my grandfather's death. Many, many people told her how my grandfather did x, y, z and how sad they were to hear of his death. My grandmother was astounded because she had never heard of these people. I thought HOW awesome is that?

My grandfather died when I was seven years old; he was a wonderful man, and I do RAKs in his memory.

My grandmother is a famous RAKer as well.

It makes me feel awesome...to bring a smile to someone's face. I think RAKs don't have to be anything elaborate, something as simple as sharing extras of something, like when I bought some lens cleaning cloths and I had extra eyeglass cloths. I gave one to my Judge and she told me on Friday "thank you so much for the cleaning cloth, it's awesome and my husband wants it but I refuse to give it to him."

I like RAKs because it reminds me to get outside of myself and think of other people.


PeaNut 194,444
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Posted: 1/27/2013 8:21:08 PM
Just T, when you said, "I just read something a few minutes ago that said that even people who observe a rak benefit from it even though they weren't involved in any way." it reminded me of something from before Christmas. You are right on so many levels.

Dd and I were grocery shopping. On the way out, we spotted small pink pointsetta plants in a nice wrap for under $10.00. We picked on up with the intention of leaving it in a basket or on a car. Instead, as we were walking out, we saw an old lady sitting by herself eating a muffin and a cup of tea. She just looked lonely. I looked at dd and said what do you think? We walked up to the lady and I handed her the plant. I said, "we saw you sitting here and thought we would like to add a little bit of christmas cheer to your day". She was so suprised. She asked if we were with the store. I said "no, we just thought you might like a little day brightener. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas. God bless." and left. She had tears in her eyes and a smile on her face and all those sitting around her were smiling too. I think she felt special and that was good enough for us. So yes, I think everyone who watches it happen, benefits from the feel good vibe too.


PeaNut 427,876
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Posted: 1/27/2013 8:28:27 PM
I started out with a goal of one a month about 3 years ago. I had to plan them out a little bit but after awhile I started to recognize moments of opportunity to help. Sometimes they are friends of mine and sometimes they are for strangers.

I started 6 months after my FIL passed away. My whole family was living under this cloud and I was so sad all the time. I just decided that I was focusing too much on what I didn't have and not enough on what I did. So, I started a 101 things to do in 1001 days to get my family living again and a RAK a month was one of my 101 things.

Does that make sense?

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." Melody Beattie

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Posted: 1/27/2013 8:31:47 PM

I just read something a few minutes ago that said that even people who observe a rak benefit from it even though they weren't involved in any way.

That's exactly what the people calling in to the radio station were saying that day.

Several callers had witnessed a RAK, and though not the giver or receiver, they really felt good about what they had seen and happier because of it.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 1/27/2013 8:35:46 PM
stillsmiling, that was so nice! It makes me happy to hear what you did. I think it's important to look for people who look lonely and do what we can to cheer them up. I hope to be able to do something like that for someone too. Thank you!!

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Posted: 1/27/2013 8:41:18 PM
I like everyone else's ideas too! I can't wait to try the suggestions.

I have 3 girls and I have always taught them to say please and thank you when people compliment them in the stores, to hold the door for anyone who comes in behind them, etc.. The girls also love to offer their seat to men and women when sitting in a waiting area at a store or anywhere. It makes the people smile, especially men who aren't used to girls offering them a seat. I think compassion is a great lesson for kids to learn.

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Posted: 1/27/2013 8:50:52 PM
"I am working on a small project at work about performing RAKs when you are grieving and how it can help. "

I think anytime a grieving person can think outside of themselves and help another person would help their grieving process.

I like to do raks anonymously. It makes me feel good just knowing whoever is on the receiving end is going to have their spirit lifted.

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Posted: 1/27/2013 9:02:29 PM
A few days after Grandpa died I went into Caribou and there were three service men in there. I had the cashier give me three giftcards and told her to give them to the men after I left. I wrote on the back that my grandpa had just died - and he was also a service man, and thank you for your service.

I felt better, but then cried. A lot.

But DH and I do things like that frequently anyhow - paying for an old man's lunch who is eating alone, buying someone's diapers, whatever. We just feel called by God to do it, as Christians.

"Do you know what the chain of command is here? It's the chain I go get and beat you with to show you who's in command!"

Sometimes I wonder if God made stupid people purely for the entertainment of the rest of us.

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PeaNut 163,613
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Posted: 1/27/2013 9:09:38 PM
We do them as a family at Christmas.
We make really beautiful ornaments assembly line style.
Sometimes beaded snowflakes with crystal and silver, sometimes glass ones that are glittered inside, another time we did angels that were crystal etc.
We wrap each in a box and attach a tag with a merry Christmas sentiment.
We give them to people at the mall or out and about that look exhausted or like they need a pick me up.

One year our local radio station asked what traditions people have. I wrote in and said we did this and won $500

We used that money towards the next two years ornaments

ETA: we do them because one year put family was having a really really hard time at Christmas. DH had several pulmonary emboli and was hospitalized. He does not receive disability because he works for the state.
At the same time DD was hospitalized and being treated for the wrong thing because they hadn't correctly diagnosed her yet.
DS was just diagnosed with Aspergers and hyperactivity.
I was suffering from severe depression.
I was overwhelmed and just trying to get through the day.

Our friends came together and brought meals, groceries and Christmas gifts and even a Christmas tree.
It touched our hearts and we felt loved more than we ever had.
Ever since then we do for others . Especially at Christmas.

Oh, and we shop all year for super sale toys and books. Then deliver them to the fire station or the Santa Train to be given to needy kids.

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Posted: 1/27/2013 9:37:12 PM
While small, what I used to do when I lived in Baton Rouge and the Sunshine bridge was still a toll bridge was to pay the toll of the car behind me...or even cars. I would try to put distance between me and whomever would likely come behind me so that the kids and I could see them waved through but not close enough they could catch us.

I likely would not have waited to see them waved on, but the kids would giggle like mad and be happy for the whole ride. Such fond memories since they are all grown now.

I believe that my Grandparents and Moma were the ones who used to pay tolls for folks (Oklahoma has a LOT of toll roads! I love it!) and that is where I got the idea.

I love the ideas here and think I will work on something like the giving bags and watching for lonely people. Thank you all for sharing!

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PeaNut 123,471
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Posted: 1/27/2013 9:47:19 PM
I sometimes pay for the car behind me when I'm getting my ice tea at mcd's in paddock lake. And whenever I'm buying a bunch of roses from Aldi's, I will buy another bunch and give them to an older couple or lady.

Why? Because those tiny little acts, can make someone's whole day. I even had one sweet woman grab me in Kohls and give me a big hug. Freaked me out. "You're the little girl that gave me flowers at aldi's!" ... can't believe she would remember me, but she did.

When those little sweet acts of kindness are done to me? it stays with me. For days!


PeaNut 466,390
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Posted: 1/27/2013 10:29:07 PM
There's some great ideas in this thread that I will now try to incorporate into my life. Thanks!

My husband was a contractor in Iraq. He died two years after getting home, but he told me so many stories about working with our military. After his passing, I decided to become more involved. I occasionally make cards for Operation Write Home. I've bought a meal for soldiers I've seen in restaurants. I always thank a soldier when I see them. I also joined Soldier's Angels. Through this organization, I "adopt" a deployed soldier and send him/her care packages every month. I'm on my third soldier now. He started to write to me after he received the first package, and now we are pen pals. He's on his third deployment in the last six years.

At Christmas time, I like to participate in the Christmas tree event, where you adopt a child and buy the things on his/her wishlist. I usually buy some toys for Toys For Tots, as well.

The other day, I gave some money to one of the homeless gentlemen near my work. He is mentally disabled. Soldier's Angels recently sent an email asking for donations for homeless soldiers, so I'll be shopping for that this week.

I like to donate to causes that people at work or other friends might participate in, as well.

I've paid the toll for the car behind me when going through a toll booth. Then there's stuff that doesn't involve money, like walking people to their car while helping carry bags and such. I was a volunteer firefighter and EMT for 16 years but gave that up after Rick died. My heart wasn't in it anymore and it was just too hard to be there (we met at the firehouse and volunteered together for years).

I love to play the games at amusement parks but don't really want the prizes, so I give the toys to kids. If a child is playing with me, I let him/her win or if there's a chance another adult playing might win, I try to win and tell the person running it to let the child pick a prize.

I've had people help me out in my life; giving back is a way to pay that forward, I guess. Sometimes, something that seems so little to me can be a huge uplifting factor in another person's day. Knowing I could do that for someone makes my heart glad.


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PeaNut 279,621
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Posted: 1/27/2013 10:41:20 PM
When our twins were born, someone from the hospital gave Natalie and Olivia matching bears- each girl had one in their bassinet. I took them home, and they're still together on the shelf.

Remember when someone posted a picture of Snowybliss (?) owls that she'd featured on her blog? I bought the pattern and make about 5-6 a week... Just sewing at night after the kids go to bed. I made a fox and panda bear pattern, too. I have little "olivia" tags I sew into the side, and bring them to the children's hospital the girls were born in, and also donate them to Olive Crest, an organization that places children into foster homes- they make a welcome basket for each child, and I have a fluffy critter and matching pillowcase for each one.

Why? I'm a school teacher, I love kids, we've had 2 miscarriages and lost Olivia... My heart is with kids, especially when they're hurting.


PeaNut 33,625
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Posted: 1/27/2013 10:50:17 PM
Most recently dd and I took fruit, juice & donuts to my co-workers that had to work mandatory OT last Saturday. Dd and I have also over tipped at Thanksgiving ($20.00) for our coffee. Both of these times we discussed how it made us feel to see how happy the people were.

Her 4-H club takes the dogs to the retirement home to visit the residents and let them pet the dogs. They also make them cards.

Some of my scrapping friends and I leave handmade cards in the waiting room at the cancer care center. This idea came from a scrapping friend that passed away of cancer. She said it was nice to have cards to fill out while waiting or having a treatment.

Those are off the top of my head things we try to do. We do try to do things for others as often as we can.

~ Dori ~


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Posted: 1/27/2013 11:38:47 PM
I turned 40 earlier this month and wanted to do something to mark the occasion. To be honest, I would have really loved a trip to Vegas but a trip of any kind is waaaay out of our budget. So I decided to do 40 RAKs instead. I gave myself a month to do it.

I did things like pay for the drive thru order behind me at McD's, I left quarters at one of those ride-on toys at the mall, I loaded all the washing machines at a local laundromat with quarters, I bought gourmet popcorn for the neighbors and left it on their porches, I went around the Target parking lot and corralled all the loose carts, I brought up the neighbors' garbage cans, I picked up garbage that had blown loose on the street. I even mailed off some extra SB supplies (a brand new Cricut cartridge, paper trimmer blades) to some random peas here on the boards. A bunch of different things- 40 altogether.

Why did I do it? I was freaking out a little about turning 40, so I wanted to get out of my own head for awhile and do something for others. And I also wanted to MARK THE OCCASION. I often let major milestones like this just pass... wishing I had done something special but never actually doing something special. I wanted to change that.

It was great!


PeaNut 526,836
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Posted: 1/28/2013 12:47:48 AM
I love witnessing the kindnesses peas do for each other on the MSG boards. I AMAZed by the time and effort given by peas to help each other solve problems, answer questions, or whatever. It warms my heart to see that help given to virtual strangers. It really does make me happy to see and I hope I can be as helpful.



PeaNut 280,247
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:50:53 AM
This is just a small one, but when I go to AC Moore (several times a month for work), I always print out a 40% off one item coupon from their website. I've started printing 2 or more and giving them to people in the checkout line.

I also place coupons I have clipped but then decide I won't use before they expire next to the product at the grocery store. When the opportunity arises, I give coupons to people who I see are buying a product I have one for. Occasionally my grocery store gives out $10 off your next purchase of $50 or more (or $80 or more, or $100 or more) coupons. I save them for my next visit to the store, but sometimes I have more than I can use before they expire, so I make sure to find people who have full carts and give them away.

I won 4 free IMax tickets once, and only had two people who wanted to see one of the Harry Potter movies with me. I waited around until I saw a couple come in to buy tickets to HP and gave them my extra ticket.

Once in awhile I play Skeeball or other games in an arcade and get prize tickets for them. I always give those to a child who is with a parent (and move away quickly so they don't think I'm trying anything funny!)

Like I said, these are very small things, but I always figure if I can't use the $1 off or whatever, I'd like for someone else to benefit from it if possible. It doesn't even cost me anything. I do sometimes get people who act suspicious, like I'm up to no good, or tell me no thanks--they don't use coupons (they'd rather spend more money I guess??), but I try not to let that bug me.

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Posted: 1/28/2013 8:04:59 AM
I buy mc Donald Gc and hand them to homeless around my office in the city when I am out at lunch or doing errands

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PeaNut 99,833
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Posted: 1/28/2013 9:03:29 AM
I think of grains of sand and drops in the ocean when I think of RAKS. Each one of us is like a drop in the ocean or a grain of sand. Without the collective drops or grains, there would be no beautiful ocean or beach.

Each time we RAK, it makes affects the entire body. Our body, the recipients body, the observers body...and if we are just one part of that ocean or beach, our entire collective is affected because we are all one body.

Some of my favorite things to do is ask a grocery store worker what their favorite candy is...I then pick out a bag or a bar and purchase it with my groceries, then give it to the worker for break.

I sometimes take a bag of candy with me when I go to the bank or some other service office and after we transact my business, I give them the bag of candy to share with co-workers. I love just giving a bar of candy to the teller.

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PeaNut 217,769
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Posted: 1/28/2013 9:45:06 AM
I've been driving a mom (who doesn't drive) and her daughter home from school everyday so they don't have to walk in the really bad and cold weather we've been having lately. She really appreciates it.

I gave a man my umbrella when I saw him walking in the rain. He appreciated it.

I've saved dozens of homeless pets.

I don't do it in the memory of anyone, instinct just takes over and I do it. It doesn't make me feel better, I just like helping people and hope they feel better receiving the help.

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PeaNut 52,817
October 2002
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Posted: 1/28/2013 11:12:06 AM
I just pay attention to what is going on around me and if someone looks like they need help, I offer it. Just this morning, I was driving to work and there was an elderly man with a very bad limp walking with grocery bags and was clearly struggling. I pulled over and asked if needed help. He said, "Oh no, I couldn't put you out." I said I was happy to help if he wanted me to and it was no inconvenience. He said, "Ok, I'm just on the next block and my groceries are heavier than I thought." So I parked, took his groceries and walked him home. He was a delightful man and was so grateful to have that help. His wife passed away a few months ago and she used to do all the grocery shopping. He said he's still figuring out how to do it when he can't drive anymore.

I have an extra wheeled grocery tote at home (for the farmers' market - I got a new one this summer, but still have my smaller one and it's in great condition). I'm going to drop it off on his porch with a note in the next couple days. It will make transporting the groceries a lot easier for him.

RAKs don't have to be about giving anything to someone (if I didn't happen to have that extra tote, helping with his groceries would still be a RAK). IMO, they're about paying attention to those around us and offering help or some other kindness when it seems it could be used.

It makes me feel more connected to my community and more human. Like most everyone, I have a very busy life and it's easy to get caught up that. RAKs help me by slowing me down and being more aware of others.
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