"What Would Nana Do?" 2018
"What Would Nana Do?" to me is a reminder to be kind. To love those around me fiercely and unconditionally. To laugh loudly, smile often, sing along to all the songs you love, and wear your heart on your sleeve. It's a reminder to put others first, and to treat everyone you meet with kindness and respect. It's a reminder of my sweet Nana and all the things I wish she didn't have to miss.
My Nana, with her heart of gold, passed away in the beginning of 2013. Not a day goes by that I don't miss her. That I wish she were here to chat with, to get advice from, and to share the memories we are making with. Something I still struggle with to this day is why God had to take one of the kindest human beings from this planet, while so many others get to stay. Why her? Why then? I know I won't get answers wondering these things (not here on Earth, at least) but I still wonder them nonetheless.
If you had the honor to know Mary Cordell (a.k.a. "Nana", a.k.a. "Shannequia", a.k.a. "Jackie", a.k.a. "Jackrabbit") you may get where I'm coming from. My Nana had a lot of redeeming qualities, including her amazing cooking, her love for singing, and her devotion to her family and church. My Nana put just about everyone else before herself in every way, and that's one of the things that I admired the most about her. Sure there were times that I thought "Nana WHY are you letting so-and-so take advantage of you!?" and I wanted to shout at said so-and-so's (there were many) and shake my finger at them (okay, maybe more than just shake a finger at them) for taking advantage of my kind-souled grandma. But looking back, she just honestly couldn't help herself. That's just the person she was, she didn't care if something put her behind, inconvenienced her, or caused her to not be able to do the things she'd like to do. If she could help someone in whatever way they "needed" help, she did. If she could make someone's day, she did. If she could put a smile on your face, she did.
My Nana was able to be/do all those things because of her unfailing faith in Jesus. No, she was not always the person I knew her as. And no, she did not do the things she did to "impress" Jesus or anyone else for that matter. She was who she was because she always strived to be more like Jesus, as best she could at least. And to show herself, Jesus, and those around her that despite her sins, her love for Jesus trumped everything. Her love for Jesus was bigger and greater than any sin she'd ever committed. And THAT'S something to admire.
Last year, in honor of my Nana's birthday, we held the first "Random Acts of Kindness Challenge" and we had almost 50 entries!!!! On top of that, Joel and I did about 50 random acts of kindness ourselves! I LOVED seeing everyone participate and come up with their own ways to spread kindness in a world that can ALWAYS use a little more love.
THIS YEAR, since Nana would've been turning 74, my goal is to get 74 entries from YOU GUYS!!!!!
Big or small, ALL random acts of kindness are important and can easily be incorporated into your day-to-day! You can make someone's day a little (or a lot!) better with just a small act of kindness!
HOW TO ENTER:
- Perform random acts of kindness from Friday, August 10 to Friday, August 17.
- Document each random act of kindness with a video or photo.
- Post your video or photo to your Instagram feed or Facebook page, and tag Letters From a Good Friend and use the hashtag #whatwouldnanado
- Repeat steps 1-3 as many times as you want for unlimited entries!!
- **BONUS ENTRY** for each time you share about the challenge/this blog post on a FB post or Instagram story/post (limit 1 a day) and encourage your friends/followers to join in! (*Must tag @lettersfromagoodfriend and use #whatwouldnanado on post!)
(*If you would like your act of kindness to remain anonymous, just private message me your entry!)
(**If you can't document your act of kindness with a photo or video, just write a little description of what you did in a post on Instagram or Facebook, and still tag me!)
*Must be following @lettersfromagoodfriend on Instagram
or "like" Letters From a GOOD Friend on Facebook
As you get ready to perform your RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS, you might be saying to yourself "I have no idea what I should do!?" or "I don't have extra money to spend on other people!" or "This is going to be too hard!" BUT I have solutions for all of those things!! Check out my list below of "FREE" "CHEAP" and "BIG" random acts of kindness that ANYONE could do!!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS IDEAS:
- "heart attack" someone's front door/bedroom door (cover it with heart-cutouts)
help an elderly person get their groceries into their vehicle
make a cute bookmark to leave in a library book
babysit for someone you know who needs a break (even if it's just while they catch a shower or do something in their own house!)
write a list of awesome things about someone (and give them the list!)
write a note of appreciation to the local Police Department, Fire Department, a bus driver, teacher aide, etc.
leave a happy note for your garbage man/mailman
give a stranger a genuine compliment
spend time with an elderly family member
leave a funny note in a library book
donate items to a local homeless shelter
leave an encouraging note in the diaper aisle, for a mom/dad to find
clean up litter
cut a neighbor's grass
leave a GOOD review for a local small business
tell a manager when you have GREAT service somewhere
visit a nursing home
tell a friend why you appreciate them (in detail!)
call an older family member just to chat
leave an encouraging note on a public bathroom mirror
let someone go in front of you in line
walk dogs at a shelter
donate old blankets and towels to an animal shelter
return stray carts to the store or the cart-coral
take someone's dog on a walk (someone who you know has been really busy!)
give a shout out on social media to someone who inspires you or makes you happy, or even a local small shop that you love!
pack your spouse's lunch (and leave a cute note in there!)
make a special, fun lunch for your kiddos
do a family member's chore for them
leave encouraging notes in chalk on a sidewalk
pray for someone
write a letter to someone who is deployed
donate your hair to Wigs for Kids
let someone have the good parking spot you were about to park in
hold the door for 10 people
do a friends' dishes while you're at their house (or any other chore!)
make your spouse their favorite meal just because
give your spouse a back or foot rub
run an errand for a friend/family member
volunteer to help teachers set up their rooms at a local school
give hi-fives to people you pass on the sidewalk
make someone laugh
help a friend with lawn work
send a nice email/message to someone (think co-worker, a new member at church, neighbor, cousin you don't talk to very often, etc)
give a friend's dog a bath
hand out pre-stamped "thinking of you" cards for people to send to someone they love
pay for a game of bowling for someone at the bowling alley
leave a bag of diapers on the doorstep of a new mom
take a homemade meal to a friend, just because
Leave flowers by your mailbox with a sign that says "FREE: Take for someone you love!"
Give a $5 grocery gift card to the person in line behind you at the grocery store
take snacks/treats to the local Police Department/Fire Department (prepackaged food is best!)
send a thoughtful card to someone
leave bubbles/chalk/hula hoops/etc at a local playground
"Ding-Dong-Ditch" someone you know (with a box of ding-dongs!)
buy a cheap bouquet of flowers, and pass them out to strangers telling them to have a good day
leave a few quarters taped to the lid of a washer at the laundromat with a note "for you"
leave tennis balls at the dog park
tape a bag of popcorn to the redox with a note for the next person
send someone a thank you card
pay for the coffee for the person behind you at the coffee shop
make a neighbor or friend a special treat, just because
leave a little happy surprise for your mailman/dog walker/etc
hide $1 bills (with notes) in the toy aisle of the Dollar Tree
pay for a book of stamps for the next person who needs them
leave an unscratched lotto ticket taped to the gas pump
take treats to pass out at the dog park (ask the owners before you give them out though!)
leave detergent or softener at the laundromat
give your umbrella to someone that doesn't have one on a rainy day
leave quarters taped to parking meters
make someone a handmade gift just because
take a new coworker/member at your church/person new to the area to your favorite local lunch spot
leave $1 taped to the vending machine at work
pack a lunch for a coworker friend
mail someone a "box of sunshine" (all yellow things!)
leave a $20 gas gift card at the gas pump
tip BIG to a waitress/waiter
buy lunch for an older couple at a restaurant
bring donuts or cookies to work to share
buy someones popcorn/drink at the movies
pay for someones gas at the gas station
take your spouse on a surprise adventure just because
send someone "just because" flowers
pass out flowers at a local nursing home
surprise someone with a gift that you know they've been wanting
donate food to an animal shelter
leave a case of waters at the front desk of your gym for other members
pay for someone's groceries at the store
send pizzas and chips to the local Police Department/Fire Department
buy school supplies for a friend/family members student
give someone you know tickets to a local event
take school supplies to teachers at a local school
take treats to a local nursing home or hospital for the nurses there
pay for a stranger's pedicure at the nail salon
pay for the adoption fee for an animal at an animal shelter
pass out free waters at a local outdoor event (think ballparks, running events, etc)
donate money to a local charity
anonymously send a family in need a gas gift card/grocery gift card