Browsing through #randomactofkindness (RAK) on instagram one day and I came across @nysmilemovement. A whole year of RAK’s documented. How cool. And what an impact they’re having! From leaving lottery tickets in grocery stores for strangers to find, to volunteering to pet sit, to giving away arcade tickets, smiles and hope in humanity are being shared everywhere, Join in the movement! Get to know a little more about Alex and a little more about Alec below, and then find @nysmilemovement on instagram and @ROCsmilemovement on twitter! And then go spark some hope with your own SmileMovement! Let me know what you do in the comments!
How did you come up with the idea for 365 days of Random Acts of Kindness?
Earlier this year I saw a couple of inspiring posts throughout the week on social media and spent some time pondering the effects that such kind deeds can have on the world…I thought up my first idea soon after and decided to attach quarters, with kind notes attached, to vending machines at a Tops market near my house. The joy I got after seeing the “free candy recipients” post a picture of their combined smile to my feed was so contagious I couldn’t stop! I then made a personal goal to perform the 365 days of Random Acts of Kindness and the rest is history!
What project/activity has impacted you the most so far?
I can’t choose just one so I’ll give you my 3 personal favorites!
1) I got contacted by a mother who really wanted to give her son WWE tickets for his birthday. I had just sold the tickets however, but had an opportunity to win another pair that night if I somehow won another 16 person competition at the nearby bar that night. I ended up winning the whole thing and surprised the mother, and her son, by giving him the tickets for free on his birthday! 🙂 Seeing his smile was absolutely priceless.
2) Shoveling out cars on my street for 2 hours after a snow storm so my random neighbors could get out easily in the morning 🙂 Actually putting in all that sweat and effort for others felt great to know I saved each of them that task.
3) Personally Messaging all 700+ of my followers has been amazing so far. Spending the time to view most/all of the pictures on each account and tailor each message to every person has brightened dozens of people’s days. I approached this with the mindset that “You never know quite how rough someone’s day/week/month could be and how much that person could benefit from the tiniest thoughtful gesture of kindness to show you’re thinking of them”. I’ve connected with 230/700 people so far that I’d normally never interact with otherwise. Of the people that responded, SO many of them said that I had made their day and that “you have no idea how badly I needed this…thank you”. Over and over I’ve seen that response this past week and it just reemphasizes how important such a small gesture can truly be. On top of that, I’ve gotten to know so many of my “followers” that I’ve never talked to before and have found many things we share in common after lengthy convos. It. Has. Been. Great!! Can’t wait to conquer the next 2/3 :]
Rules to live by?
I grew up with the golden rule and have been stickin’ to it ever since (thanks Mom haha). Treat others the way you’d like to be treated. It’s that simple!
Quote you turn to when you need to be uplifted:
“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted”.
“Don’t worry, be happy” 🙂 Also, Funk. Funk warms the soul and gets the people movin’! haha
Activity that lifts your spirits:
Random acts of kindness ALWAYS lift my spirits whenever I’m having a crummy day. Putting a smile on the face of a random person, or even a friend/family member, is priceless.
Your philosophy/mantra that you’d like others to know about you.
For so many years of my life I never truly understood the power, and meaning, of giving with the intention of getting nothing in return. Now, that is how I live my life. Many of the RAOK I do, I don’t even get to see the reaction of the people who end up receiving them. I just try to do everything with strong faith that they’ll reach a person who needs it, (hopefully) appreciates it, and (hopefully) pays it forward. I believe in “creating waves”. The power of the ripple effect that follows from a single good deed can be tremendous! The best part? We all have that power!!
What would you do with a million dollars?
I’d travel for awhile and then invest a big chunk into my big RAOK career idea that will be very well spent towards inspiring & uplifting the country if it all pans out! To be continued… 🙂
Who do you admire?
I admire anyone and everyone in this world that lives their life with undeniable passion working towards their dreams. Anytime I see someone like that I admire their drive and it reignites the fire in me to keep doing the same!
What is your mission?
A huge goal of mine is to inspire people across the country to start their own “SmileMovements” in every state. I want kindness to become such a common gesture that it’s rare to see someone not smiling!!
My mission is to make my stamp on this world by doing everything in my power to make it a happier place to live. One small act at a time. One small city at a time. One state at a time. One Country at a time. Bit by bit I will be spreading kindness and inspiring people to pay it forward as long as I live.