Monday, December 22, 2014

Holidays...making people better, one random act of kindness at a time

Paying it forward...If you've heard the saying, you probably know what it means. If not, this is it in a nutshell: You receive a random act of kindness (especially from a stranger) and rather than paying them back, you do something nice for someone else. You pay it forward.

I was recently told about this movement that came about due to the Boston Marathon bombings. It's call Boston Strong Ducks. http://bostonstrongducks.com/

Basically, they're adorable little rubber duckies with a note around their necks, explaining that in order to counteract the few acts of pure evil in the world...like the Boston Marathon bombings, a new Boston revolution has begun. Do a random act of kindness, then hand the recipient the duckie which will explain that's what you're doing, and the duck asks that the kindness be paid forward.

So, cool! How fun and wonderful--at any time of year. In any city. But I'm a suburban Boston girl (born and raised,) so I went to the website and ordered 3 ducks. I'll put 2 in Christmas stockings, because why should I have all the fun? And they're only $5 with the proceeds going to the One Fund. (The fund helps the hundreds of people affected by loss of life, loss of limb, and/or loss of income.)

Okay...I'm prepared, but what to do? It's supposed to be random, so I waited to see when inspiration would strike.

A few days ago, I was at a large parking lot and couldn't find my car. I know. It happens, right? Well, I went up and down the same two lanes twice and a gentleman noticed me looking forlorn. He asked me to describe my car and said he'd help me look for it. My panic button didn't work, so I was sure it was stolen. A few minutes later, he found it! I was so relieved! I hugged this total stranger as if he'd just given me a new car. LOL

Well, that was a random act of kindness. Reminding me that it was my turn. I even had my duckie in my purse just waiting for the right moment.
 
I had to stop at the liquor store to pick up a gift, and as I was walking in I thought about the random act. I bought an extra bottle of wine and knew just who to give it to, Gail--The wonderful woman at the post office in my little town. She always has a bright smile and pleasant attitude. This time of year must try her patience, but she never loses her cool.

On my way home, I swung my car into the post office parking lot, (without so much as a card to mail.) I waited in line, then plunked down my Flirting with Fangs trilogy, the bottle of wine, and the rubber duckie, saying, "This is a random act of kindness...Ducky will explain everything." And out the door I went. I heard her exclaim in delighted surprise.

Boy that felt good!

I did another thing this season that felt especially good. I donated blood. I used to be one of the blood drive nurses, so I know how important those donations are this time of year! My pint of blood could save up to 3 lives...and it should be on shelves and ready by New Year's Eve.

So, think about the random acts of kindness you might want to do. Even though thinking about them makes them a little less random, all the kindness we can put back into the world should help make it a little bit better.

Oh, I suppose I should add a bit of promo here. One of my readers (Jennifer H.) does random acts of kindness for me all year. She takes little snippets out of my books and tweets them, along with links and hastags like @GoddessAsh's #pnr How to Date a #Dragon ow.ly/FOzKI #shifters #humor


And here comes the promo...Watch for the new spin-off series called Boston Dragons! Book 1 is titled:  I Dream of Dragons and will be released in Fall 2015. Book 2 is My Wild Irish Dragon has no release date yet. There will be a book 3, but titles haven't been discussed yet--mainly because I haven't written it yet! LOL. I'll keep you posted! Sign up for my newsletter or check my news blog. You can do both from my website:
http://www.ashlynchase.com

If you love an author's books and want to do a random act of kindness, try promoting them for her!

Happy holidays to everyone, no matter what you celebrate! If you've ever been in a pay it forward situation, please share!  I'd love to hear it! 




 

10 comments:

  1. I tried donating blood once...I thought I was finally over the minimum weight requirement...but evidently I couldn't spare the amount I donated, since I have never been that dizzy before, lol. I love your gift to the lady at the post office, one of my recipients at my local office from last year has remembered my name ever since...which makes mailing my boxes to the soldiers much easier since she vouches for me when I come in! So, random acts of kindness have unexpected benefits. Congrats on the new series, I am sure it will be a lot of fun, just like the rest of your books!

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    1. There are a few tricks to giving blood without getting dizzy, like drinking a gallon of water a few days in a row before donation. You won't feel the volume lost and drinking water is good for you anyway. ;)

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  2. Fabulous idea about the ducks! I see my post office workers every week, so I feel like they're friends too!

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    1. Thanks, Shana...
      I think anyone could buy a few rubber ducks and write a note to tie around their necks. Maybe that's easier when it's for someone you don't really know. For your post office, you could drop off some goodies and they'd love it!

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  3. Such a cute idea Ash! I'm sure the post office worker was great fun. Oh, and you're from Boston? Who would've know? LOL :P

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    1. I love a good snarky tease, Megan! Well done. :)

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  4. I wish I had the ducky today. My daughter mentioned someone that she works with that doesn't have a ton of money and loves to read so I found out what genre she likes and gave my daughter a bag of books for her. I don't know her but I was happy to share.

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    1. That's terrific! Hopefully she'll pay it forward anyway.

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  5. I was in line at a popular coffee place, not in a rush, thinking about what I had to do next. The lady in front of me was purchasing a bunch of $5 gift cards. She says she keeps them in her purse and when she see an opportunity she give them out as RAKs/Pay It Forward. I thought what a great idea. As she was leaving, she handed me one and said thanks for waiting so patiently. Merry Christmas.

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    1. What a great idea! The person receiving must be so pleased that they can treat themselves to something they really want.

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