Birthday Acts of Kindness

birthday

Yesterday was my birthday, and I wanted to be sure to be really intentional about how I celebrated this year: by spreading joy in as many ways as possible. I’ll share more soon about the amazing fun I had with friends & family to continue the celebrations! I am so, so incredibly blessed and thankful for the people in my life, and wanted to ensure others felt loved, too! Just because it is my birthday doesn’t mean it has to be all about me. I mulled over a couple ideas for how to give back/spread joy/have a slightly less selfish birthday celebration, and it was fun thinking through various ways to do this (my friend Julie’s birthday celebration was a big inspiration!).

I mailed 28 handwritten cards to family and friends across the country (since I turned 28!), letting them know how much they mean to me, how much I love them, and how they’ve inspired me. It was so special to send a letter to so many of the people who mean the most to me. I also included an insert with the card asking them, should they like to, to join me in initiating an act of kindness on March 2nd (my actual birthday). Since so many of my closest family and friends don’t live near me in DC, I wanted to celebrate them (from afar!) in a little way and extend the invitation to spread joy in any way that they choose.

I also emailed the same letter and information to 28 local friends here in DC – double the amount of joy spread, I hope!

The full text of the insert:

In honor of my 28th birthday, I would love to invite you to join me in spreading a little extra joy and love this day (and always, really!). If you are willing and able, please initiate (at least) one act of kindness on Monday, March 2nd. Pick anyone (friend, family member, neighbor, coworker, stranger), and spread some extra joy into his or her life. If you need ideas, consider donating to a cause near and dear in that person’s honor, pick up the phone or send an email letting that person know how much they mean to you, bring a homeless person a warm meal or cup of coffee, say an extra prayer for someone, pay for someone’s meal in line or in a drive through, volunteer, or do really anything that brings more joy and love into someone’s day! I can’t wait to hear what you do, if you’d like to share with me!
“Spread love wherever you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” Mother Teresa

birthday1I had several friends and family text me pictures, share with my how they participated. Y’all, I was BLOWN AWAY and moved to tears so many times throughout the day!!! Seriously amazing to see how the Lord works in our lives and how kindness can spread like kudzu (or, as my friend Leslie said, “throw kindness like confetti, right?”). Flowers were left on doorsteps, grandparents were called, payments were secretly paid in full, notes were left around town, money was left in favorite books of mine in a bookstore, drinks were paid for in line, muffins were baked for teachers, homeless people were talked to and treated to lunch, books were donated to classrooms in need… and so, so much more. Infectious, I tell you! I was deeply touched and pretty darn ecstatic to hear about all of this. Tis so, so much better to give than to receive!

As Mother Teresa so wisely said, “Spread love wherever you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

 

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4 thoughts on “Birthday Acts of Kindness

  1. I am a teacher in Oklahoma. I had a project on Donorschoose for a classroom set of Lord of the Flies and The Great Gatsby and someone donated (and my project ended up fully funded with that donation). They donated because you wanted to spread joy for your birthday which is an amazing idea. So I just need to give a big thank you to your family or friend and a really big thank you to you. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for leaving this comment!! One of my dear friends (a teacher – I work with a children’s literacy nonprofit) donated to your classroom, as we both are avid readers and love empowering students! Her act of kindness and generosity definitely brought tears to my eyes, and I am SO glad your classroom is fully funded now! I hope your students love the books!!

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