The month of February is the month devoted to Black History and the American Heart Association. It also has some well-known days of observance: Ground Hog Day, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day. There’s also some lesser known days of celebration: Lame Duck Day, White Shirt Day, and Random Acts of Kindness Day.

Random Acts of Kindness Day has been extended into the International Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 9-15). During this week, people are urged to complete a random act of kindness for someone different every day.

You don’t have to spend money or a huge chunk of time to perform an act of kindness. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

At Work: Compliment your coworkers, give the secretaries or interns a thank you note, leave a treat for the cleaning crew, volunteer, leave a bag of candy on the break room table, or bring an extra coffee back from break for someone in your office.

At Home: Send a letter to your parents or grandparents, thank your partner for the little things (for taking out the trash, for picking up the mail, for reading the kids their bedtime story), leave a “thinking of you” voicemail for a friend when you know they are at work, shovel a neighbor’s sidewalk, or visit a shut-in.

At School: Ask your children how they want to get involved. Here are a few ideas: write a positive note for a classmate or teacher, bring enough snacks for the entire class, ask a student sitting alone at lunch to sit with you, smile at others, obey your teachers, or be a role-model for younger students.

At the Grocery Store: Help someone get something from the top shelf, let someone go ahead of you in the checkout line, take the parking spot further away so that someone else can have the closer one, offer to take someone’s cart to the cart return for them, or smile at the people you pass in the aisles.

If you want to make a monetary donation, offer to pay for all or part of someone’s groceries.

Don’t stop after this week. Keep showing your gratitude for people, and keep trying to make another person smile. It’s amazing how a compliment, a smile, or a thank you note can brighten up a person’s day. You’ll feel happier for helping others, too.

If you’d like to set up a time to meet up with Reka, you can contact her by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at, or via Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: 155/365. FREE! via photopin (license)