The Scoop: The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) believes small actions can make a significant impact on the world. That’s why RAK shares stories, videos, and ideas about how individuals, couples, and families can be kinder and more compassionate in their communities. Participants can find ways to incorporate thoughtful gestures — from conserving energy in their home to writing a thank-you note every week — into their normal routines. That compassion can impact their community while bringing them closer to their loved ones. RAK’s foundation is built on the idea that people will be inspired to be kind when they witness kindness in action.
Couples who want to develop more thoughtful habits can start small by spreading positivity in their communities. They could write positive affirmations on sticky notes and post them in public places, including bus stops, park signs, or light posts.
They could welcome someone new to the neighborhood by bringing over a meal or providing them with a list of contacts on the street. Even a simple “Hello” can make someone feel like they’re part of a community.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) shares those tips and many more on its website to help individuals, couples, and families get started. The organization is on a mission to spread positivity and compassion by inspiring small actions that lead to big results.
Another thoughtful activity RAK recommends is getting up early one weekend morning and walking through a popular area strewn with litter and cleaning it up. One person shared a story on the site about how picking up trash in their neighborhood park encouraged someone else to do the same:
“I was picking up trash in the park when a woman walking her dog asked me what I was doing. I told her it was such a beautiful park and a shame to see trash lying around. All she said was, ‘Well, isn’t that sweet!’ and we went our separate ways,” reads the testimonial. “When I turned back to grab my bike, I noticed that she started picking up trash and putting it in her dog’s waste bags. Kindness is truly contagious, so lead by example, and others will follow.”
Brooke Jones, the Vice President of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, said small acts of service add up to make an enormous difference.
“Kindness is about creating a connection with others. When we show somebody an act of kindness, we’re showing them the best part of ourselves,” she said.
Celebrating the Benefits of Kindness
RAK was founded in the 1990s after a summer of violence in the Bay Area. In response, the organization’s leaders wanted to encourage society to promote kindness instead of intolerance. Eventually, the foundation moved to Denver, where it remains today.
The leadership team streamlined the organization’s mission in 2012.
“We thought we could make kindness the norm, not the exception. So, we focused on changing the narrative through education, the workplace, and home,” Brooke said.
Today, the RAK website shares stories and videos of people being kind to each other. It also posts a long list of ideas to promote kindness, and lesson plans and curriculum materials for educators.
“There are so many simple ways to find opportunities to be kind. There’s so much good out there. We want to help inspire more and empower people to feel like they’re a part of it,” Brooke told us.
The website inspires many visitors to try out what others have mentioned, and most of the ideas posted don’t require much time or effort. For instance, you could wheel out your neighbor’s trash can or go for a walk around your neighborhood to improve your mood.
The person on the receiving end of a kind act isn’t the only one who benefits, either. People feel good when they help others, but their bodies react the same way even if they witness a kind act.
“We call it the triangulation of kindness. If you are receiving an act of kindness, doing an act of kindness, or witnessing an act of kindness, you have the same body chemistry reaction,” said Brooke.
Helping Singles, Couples, and Families Develop Positive Lives
In addition to finding kindness tips on the website, couples can follow the RAK Facebook group, which has more than 1.3 million followers from around the world. Members say they are regularly inspired by posts that appear on their feed.
Brooke also recommended couples join the RAKtivist® subgroup on the platform. The group focuses on spreading kindness in communities and includes nearly 30,000 activists from around the world.
“People were asking us to give them something to do. Give us ideas. We can give you ideas, but it’s better if you share them with each other,” Brooke said.
That’s what the RAKtivist subgroup does, and it offers a safe, collaborative atmosphere for sharing and inspiring others.
“It’s all about asking others, ‘Have you thought about doing this?’ Or saying, ‘I did this cool thing today,’” said Brooke.
Couples may also choose different acts of kindness based on their personalities. Some extroverts prefer to be exuberant about their service and share it, while more introverted people prefer to keep their good deeds to themselves.
Brooke, who tends to be an introvert, shares that when she bakes banana bread — a favorite hobby — she often makes a second loaf to give to a neighbor.
Organizers said RAK’s purpose isn’t necessarily about asking people to make enormous changes in their lives. Instead, most of the ideas the site suggests are small but will have a ripple effect.
“Even something like letting somebody into traffic can make a difference. We get into an ‘All about me’ frame of mind, and the simple things we do can change our perspective,” Brooke told us.
Fostering More Kindness in the Modern World
Developing more kindness is rewarding for couples. And not only will they make an impact on their community, but they may also become more compassionate with each other.
“Showing kindness together, volunteering together, that helper’s high that’s shared with someone else creates a long-lasting experience. There’s nothing else that is so deeply connecting than doing something kind together,” Brooke said.
Couples can choose to be kind in meaningful ways by using their interests and passions to make an impact.
For instance, if couples want to help the environment, they can start a community garden or decide to eat meat-free meals more often.
Animal-lovers can foster a homeless cat or dog or fill a bird feeder to attract local wildlife.
In an interconnected world, those small acts matter. In the home, being kinder to yourself or your partner can also make your relationship healthier and happier.
It’s particularly important to be kind now in this time of immense change. Simple acts can make even more of a difference with so many people isolated and feeling disconnected.
“Try calling someone you haven’t connected to in a long time and saying, ‘How are you?’ Kindness doesn’t disappear during difficult times. It’s more important than ever,” Brooke said.