by Beth Maas,  human resource manager, for our Random Acts of Kindness blog series

I’m the human resource manager at HRG, and every year we conduct fundraising throughout the year for various causes. It’s an important part of our culture here – giving back. We make a point of giving our associates the opportunity to bring forward the charities that are meaningful to them. One of our associates had suggested we create a “challenge” around random acts of kindness (ROAK). We immediately liked the idea and started planning how to incorporate it. Last year we decided that we’d issue the challenge to employees who wanted to participate at the beginning of December.

We explained that we would be providing cash to be used in random acts of kindness, and the amount of money given to each associate participating would be determined by how many signed up. Quickly we had 30 associates respond. The response in and of itself was fantastic, but the snowball effect that took place from there was especially heartwarming. Some associates added their own money or matched what the company had provided. The thoughtfulness and creativity in finding ways to give was amazing. We initially set a two-week timeframe, but they couldn’t be stopped! The giving continued into January when it was discovered that some families that had been gifted initially needed additional help. I can’t tell you how proud I am of our associates and the outcome of this challenge.

I don’t tell you all of this to toot our own horn. In fact, when our marketing team first suggested this blog series I wasn’t sure about doing it because we didn’t and don’t give back to get recognition for it. But I thought about how impressed I was with the variety of ways our associates found to give back and how good it made them all feel to be able to do it, and I thought perhaps we can inspire others. In reading this series, I hope you pick up some ideas that you may not have thought of but are easy for you to apply.

My family’s joy in giving

My husband and I try to conduct random acts of kindness throughout the year. We always try to do so when our kids are with us to teach them about helping others. We were excited to further our giving with the help of HRG.helping others

With the money we were given for the RAOK challenge, we did a few things. One night we were at Culver’s to get dinner and we paid for a couple of the drive–through orders that were taken while we were ordering.

We went to the dollar store and gave my son who is 6 and daughter who is 4 each five $1 bills and told them to give a dollar to different people in the store. They were nervous at first and the shoppers were a little taken aback, but once the kids explained that their mommy’s company had given her money to conduct random acts of kindness, they were very grateful. Then I gave each of the kids another five $1 bills to put near or under items they liked. My daughter went for the toy aisle, and my son headed for the colorful sports drinks.

The last of our HRG challenge money was used toward paying the grocery bill of an elderly woman that was in front of us in line. My daughter was with me on this trip, and as I explained to her that we were helping to pay this nice woman’s bill, my daughter asked me if the woman also needed help getting her bags to her car. That made me really happy to know that she was getting the idea of just being kind to others and to offer a helping hand when you can.

I’ll leave you with some other ideas of activities my family has done that might in turn give you some ideas.

  • Bake cookies and take them to the police department and fire department.
  • Buy the big drinks from the local convenience store and give them to road construction crews working in the neighborhood.
  • Pay off or put money towards someone’s bill – layaway, daycare, membership, electric… the list is endless.
  • Give a meal, money, or supplies to a homeless person.
  • Stand outside of a Goodwill or other donation drop-off and hand out $1.00 bills.
  • Leave or tape quarters to toy vending machines.

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