Unexpected kindness can change your day

I wondered what I could do to mark my birthday, have fun and celebrate the gifts of life.

To the editor:

Last week I celebrated my 46th birthday. At my age, it’s not so much about what gift you would like to receive as much as it is about celebrating another happy and health year.

This being said, I wondered what I could do to mark my birthday, have fun and celebrate the gifts of life.

I have a healthy, happy and loving family and we support each other in many ways. Knowing how fortunate I am to be supported by them it led me to think of those who do not have the same love and support that I experience every day.

This is how I decided to have a random act of kindness birthday. I put a challenge out to my family and a few friends: that I would perform 46 random acts of kindness in seven days if they would each do one random act of kindness as a birthday gift to me.

It was such a fun week performing simple acts that made a small difference in the lives of those around me whether they were family, friends or strangers.

I filled my week by tossing coins in expired parking meters, opening doors for strangers, letting people go ahead of me in a line up, paying for coffee for patrons behind me in the drive-thru, sending an email to thank someone for something they had done for me, visiting someone who needed a friend—the list goes on and on.

What a fun week for me, but even more special were all the stories my friends and family told me of their experiences.

My siblings gave me a hilarious video of their random acts of kindness put to music as a gift. It showed my two-year old nephew putting dirty clothes in the hamper for his mom, my niece delivering homemade waffles to someone—so much fun.

I had a text from a friend in Calgary who was sitting in a Starbucks buying coffees for people while on her lunch hour.

February 11 to 17, 2013 is National Random Acts of Kindness Week; it’s also British Columbia’s inaugural Family Day. Why not think of something to do as a family to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week? Organize a classroom project or an office event or just do something on your own. Believe me when I tell you that it’s a great way to feel good and give to someone who least expects it.

It doesn’t have to be costly or extravagant, the simplest of tasks are those most appreciated.

Take a moment and check out www.randomactsofkindness.org/rak-week for ideas or stories.

I challenge everyone in Kelowna to shake off those winter blues and do just one random act of kindness and see how good it feels.

Jill Hotchkiss,



Kelowna Capital News