Quite a few months ago, I got a little black box in the mail. On the front, in simple letters, it said, “How kind of you.” I hadn’t done anything particularly nice that I could remember, so I couldn’t imagine who would be sending it to me.
Now, perhaps you should know, I am a sucker for things that come in the mail. Letters, cards or packages, it really doesn’t matter. Getting something in the mail feels like a mini birthday celebration to me.
I gently lifted the top off the small square box to reveal the mysterious contents. Inside I found a little book called “Kind Spotting,” three KIND bars and 10 business cards. As I looked more closely, I realized they weren’t business cards at all. They were vouchers for free KIND bars that I got to give away when I saw people doing random acts of kindness.
What a fun surprise! I’m sure the people at the KIND snack company pegged me as someone who would write about them if they sent me a gift, and as this column indicates, they were right. I told you, I’m a sucker for things that come in the mail. Except for bills. I hate those.
Anyway, I ate my KIND bars and read my “Kind” book and handed out my KIND coupons in about 10 minutes flat. I gave coupons to college girls who held the door open for me. I gave them to a woman who didn’t speak English and was very certain I was trying to sell her something. I gave them to a mother and her teenage son who looked incredibly concerned when I started rapping on their car and asking them to roll down the window. But every time I left my comfort zone to confront someone about their act of kindness, I was rewarded with a huge smile of appreciation.
I loved it so much that I actually bought a dozen KIND bars on my own to give away. I taped a note on each one with Aesop’s famous quote that says, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
People love to be noticed, and I loved to be the one who got to tell them I noticed. That’s why, after several months of sitting on it, I decided I was willing to risk sounding like an advertisement in order to let you in on the fun.
The program is called #kindawesome and it works like this:
Spot someone being kind.
Go to howkindofyou.com and enter that person’s Twitter, Facebook or email address.
That person will receive a virtual #kindawesome card that they can redeem for a KIND snack, no hidden costs involved.
If you know people who are doing some big, amazing things in the name of kindness, you may also want to head over to kindsnacks.com and check out the KIND Movement tab. Every month KIND gives away $10,000 to organizations and individuals working to make the world a little kinder. You can vote for the cause you find most inspiring or submit your own idea.
Someone you love and admire could win a huge chunk of money to further their cause, and wouldn’t that be #kindawesome?
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.
Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is a writer, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Ohio University’s men’s head basketball coach Saul Phillips. Her column runs every Saturday. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.