The post, Spreading Cheer with Small Acts of Kindness, is sponsored by Frost Bank and their Opt for Optimisim Campaign to spread joy through generosity.
If I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times. I am an introvert. But I love helping others and will always come running when a friend or family member is in need. However, getting me out of my comfort zone is a challenge. I am not usually one to strike up a conversation with a stranger, but I have always wanted to share my good fortune with others in more meaningful ways. When Frost asked me to help spread cheer with small acts of kindness and generosity, I was all too eager to push myself out of my confort zone to spread a little winter cheer with strangers.
Between Christmas and New Years, I visited my favorite places around town with my kids to spread some cheer. Little did I realize that while making someone’s day brighter, I would also get a jolly feeling deep inside. An optimism boost, if you will.
Coffee for the Community
First, I asked two women doing some last minute holiday shopping if I could buy their coffee and snack. They were so surprised and giddy with the offer. Many thanks were given, but the smiles on their faces and sheer awe struck looks were amazing to see. Not only did they appreciate the small gesture, but they then turned around and purchased the coffee for the man behind them in line. A chain reaction of good cheer that started with just the smallest of gestures.
With a smile on my face, I headed to another coffee shop to spread even more cheer and kindness. While there I ran into a neighbor who lives down the street that I have never introduced myself to. So with my new sense of community I took the plunge, said hello, and offered to buy his coffee. That little gesture turned into a 10 minute conversation about how our kids actually went to the same preschool. This really opened the doors for a new friendship!
Not only did that small act of generosity turn into a conversation with a neighbor, but later than evening when back at home, I found a box of chocolates on my doorstep with a note from him and his family. It’s amazing how such a small act leaves such a lasting impression. Not only that, but how buying a simple cup of coffee can make others want to pay it forward to others. It’s like a domino effect of happiness!
It seemed that most of the patrons at this coffee shop were using the drive through. So we hopped in the car and paid for the 3-4 cars behind me in line before heading home for the day.
Desserts for Everyone!
A few days later when out with my family for frozen yogurt, I bought a few cups for the patrons that came in after us. They were so joyful and taken aback that a stranger would do that. But not only were the customers overjoyed, the cashier was suprised as well and we spent the next few minutes talking about how little acts of kindness can do so much to boost the attitude and mood of the community!
Feeding Generosity Through Small Acts of Kindness
As my final act of kindness, I offered to pay for the meal of a family out to dinner at the next table. To say they were suprised is an understatement. I can’t wait to see he ripple effect of these small acts of kindness and generosity as they spread through the community!
It was amazing getting out of my comfort zone and spreading cheer through small acts of kindness. Next on my list is to buy groceries for someone at the checkout of our local grocery store.
Have you ever paid for a stranger’s coffee? Or offered to buy food for the homeless? What small acts of kindness have you done in your community? I can’t wait to get more ideas for my next generosity adventure!
For more ways to spread optimism in your community, check out my post on when I volunteered at a local charity.