My Amazing Birthday Of Giving!

Like I told you last week, I’ve been looking forward to this birthday for almost a year after I read this post. Talk about inspiring! So, I planned some random acts of kindness for my 29th birthday. I didn’t plan 29 because I wanted some opportunities to just come up. At times I didn’t have much faith, but I have to say that giving does hearts good – for both the giver and the receiver.

I truly have the best family, friends {and readers, of course}! My running buddy made cookies for me to give away. Little does she know that her baking made some people really happy…more on that in a few!

We packed Ridley in the car and headed out.

I had a list of several ideas and I had $100 {thank you hubby!!} to impact at least 29 lives.  We didn’t actually do 29 different things…but more than 29 lives were touched. That was my goal!

#1.  Put cookies and a thank you note in the mailbox for our mail lady.

She left the sweetest note that we found later…

#2.  Dropped off cupcakes to a local elementary school for the teachers.

{I think the receptionist thought I was nuts!}

#3.  Made the Dollar General Dude’s day. We stopped by Dollar General to buy stuffed animals for the hospital peds floor and the DG dude/cashier was “down in the mouth”, so I ran out to the car and grabbed a bag of cookies…he smiled. :)

#4. Took stuffed and oh-so-soft animals to the hospital pediatric floor. These nurses took care of my sweet nephew when he was in the hospital with RSV recently.  My sister and her family were also there at the same time delivering rice krispie treats for the nurses.  LOVE!

#5. We taped quarters to two vending machines at the hospital. So much fun! I wish I had a hidden video camera to watch people’s reactions!

#6. Took a stack of coupon inserts and walked through Publix until I found someone who I knew was “the one” to receive them.  This makes me cry, but when I asked an older lady if she liked to use coupons {she had a stack in her hand}, she said yes and I gave her the coupons.  Then she said, “I have four foster children. You’re not just helping me, you’re helping them today.” {happy sigh}

#7.  Caught a runaway buggy for an elderly gentleman

#8. My hubs helped a couple people with their groceries

#9.  We went to the bank and put a bag of cookies and a thank you note through the drive-thru. The teller’s face was priceless!

#10. We went to Starbucks, bought a $10 gift card and paid the person’s bill who was behind us in line. Again…priceless.

#11.  We went to the gas station and surprised two people with happy notes with $10 bills inside. Seriously, amazing reactions!  One man was practically jumping for joy and shaking his money in the air!

#12.  Ernie gave $5 to a very happy little boy walking to the car with his mom. Of course, he asked the mom first. :)

#13.  I wrote little notes and rolled them up and filled up three vending machine change dispensers with quarters and notes. :)

#14.   We bought a princess balloon and found this little girl to give it to. She was elated.  {Her dad gave permission for this photo.}

#15.  We bought crayons and coloring books and took them to our local Honda dealership’s waiting room.  There are never enough things to entertain Ridley when we’re getting an oil change, so I know some children will be really happy!

#16.  We delivered three Starbucks hot chocolates to our insurance office! It was a cold, windy and rainy day…perfect for hot chocolate.

#17.  See these cookies? They are about to make some certain people very happy…

#17 continued…A funeral was just getting out at lunch time and there were several cops lined up for the funeral procession.  Ernie did a crazy U-turn in the median {ahem} and we pulled over on the shoulder and I ran from cop to cop delivering cookies to at least six. They were rather stunned.  I ran out before I got to the last cop, but I looked pleadingly at him and said, “I’m sorry, please don’t give me a ticket if you catch me speeding!” Ha!

#18.  We surprised Memaw by eating lunch with her. My Mom’s and brother’s RAOK was to buy her favorite chicken – Popeye’s!

It wasn’t exactly the healthiest meal ever, but it was special nonetheless!

After lunch, my mother-in-law came over to be with Ridley so he could nap and we could go out for more RAOK.  She did my dishes and cleaned up for me.  So nice!

#19.  We went to Starbucks for the THIRD time and got coffee and pumpkin bread for this sweet friend of mine. She was so surprised when we delivered it to her at work!

She took two dozen doughnuts to her co-workers for her RAOK.  It was so fun to see how happy they were about it!

#20. I mailed a package for my sister.

#21.  Bought some groceries for her too. It was a nasty day, so it was a huge help for her not to have to get her babies out!

#22.  We found a Kroger employee who loves Starbucks and gave her the $10 gift card that we bought earlier. She glowed.

#23.  We had $10 left and went by the mall and got the bills changed for carousel ride tokens. There weren’t many children at the mall for some reason {it was after school}, but we made three little girls really happy. :)

While we didn’t actually do 29 different things, hopefully we impacted at least 50 lives {if I’ve counted correctly}.  Amazing!!!  And so much fun!!

Here are what some other friends and family did to help me fill my birthday wish!

The Bank Teller: Donated to Relay For Life after she received the cookies

ChaCha: “I teach a homeschool class on Tues. and one of my girls did a very mature and kind thing and I gave her candy afterwards. Because we all know that candy is kids love language. I had so much fun doing this thank you for letting us honor your birthday this way.”

A. C. L. – took doughnuts to her co-workers!

Mom and Joshua – bought Popeye’s chicken {and crawdads, ewwww} for Memaw

Deb – did dishes and cleaned up for Myra! :)

Kelly – took rice krispie treats to pediatric nurses and sent a pin to a friend

Tim – helped an cripple elderly man into a restaurant

Luke – complimented his younger brother.  this is HUGE and must have taken a lot of kindness! Ha!

Ernie – helped Myra with all of her RAOK!

L.R.T. – made dinner for a friend

Amy – darted in front of someone ordering their food in a drive-thru. they were miffed, but got over it when they realized what I had done.

Katie – cleaned my brother’s room for him while he was at school

Emily – helped an elderly lady by putting her bags in her car so she could get out of the rain

Elizabeth – “I just made & mailed off a ‘thinking of you’ card for someone at church…”

Jessie Leigh – “Just delivered my children’s bus driver’s favorite Dunkin’ Donuts Cherry Almond latte to her! #RAOK :) Happy Bday!”

Kate – “My RAOK: donated a dozen business suits to Dress for Success.”

J.C. – My #ROAK today? Donating to a prom dress collection for inner city girls!

Jess –  “I helped an older lady at the store find some stuff she was looking for! A little thing but it seemed to make her day!”

Rebecca – “I paid for a strangers lunch, and my niece a ride to work. :)

Amelia – “I wrote 3 anonymous encouragement cards to 3 people I know are struggling/going through a rough time.”

Becki – “I dropped off my clothes at the Goodwill store this morning before I went to work. Would love to see the lady’s face when she see the slacks with the price tags still on them! Hope your day is blessed!”

JoLyne – “My Random Act : Paying for the lady behind me in the drive thru line at Starbucks. The look of pure confusion on her face, as I drove away, Was priceless! Happy Birthday!”

Wendy – “My random act: My good friend and neighbor has a sick child at home, and is worries about him,. Add to that school was canceled due to flooding, and she couldn’t get out at all yesterday. I went to the market and got bagels, cream cheese, and some of her favorite coffee and creamer, put it all in a basket, and left on her car, knowing her husband would see it when he left this morning at 5am. I put a note in it saying– Believe in yourself, and believe in Him. She called me this morning all excited about it. Happy Birthday!”

MrsD05 – “I’m going to make a donation to Sistercare of food and household items and I’ll do that in your name. I probably won’t have a chance to take it until Friday though. I’ll try to get a picture of everything before I take it down there.”

Lyn – “My random act: I had left over cookie dough in the freezer, I thawed it out and baked them. A friend of mine is building a house (they are contracting it themselves – so they are busy, busy!) so I took the cookies to them this afternoon so they could have a sweet snack.”

Kerry – “My random act is really more of an unplanned act. My father who has no computer or internet access, called to see if I could take some pictures of stuff he was selling and email them to someone. So I headed over to his house, about 20 miles away, to do as he requested because I wanted to and because I could! Happy RAOK B-day Myra!”

Tam – “I am under the weather, so only got half way through my RAOK. I have a couple of packages here of goodies to mail–things I know they want/need. A canning set for a friend who needs jar grabber, colored bags for a friend who can’t get any and needs it to make plarn, etc. Will finish up tomorrow or Thursday, when I get out. Might even make another couple of packages while I wait if I can.”

Mitzi – “I made more than enough Lasagna tonight for our family, so I sent home a family serving of Lasagna with one of my son’s neighborhood friends. His mom is a dear friend who works full time outside the home. I wanted to give her a small break from cooking. Your idea was just the little nudge I needed to share!”

Y’all made my day!!! :)  Thank you so so much for helping my birthday wish come true!!

I can attest to the reality that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.

My birthday ended with a sweet gathering of family and friends.  We shared our RAOKs and snacked on some good food.  It was a birthday to remember!

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  1. says

    Myra, this convicted me BIG TIME. I spent my birthday a couple months ago moping around the house because my husband didn’t plan anything and I felt jilted. I thought it was all about me on my birthday. You are a beautiful soul and your RAOK inspired me to follow in your footsteps. I’ll update. Thanks for the reality check. 😉
    xo Amber

  2. says

    Beautiful. Such wonderful ways to touch people’s lives! My fave has to be the crayons and coloring books… those will make a difference in many, many children’s lives and may just save a few parents’ sanity too! :)
    JessieLeigh´s last blog post ..Prayer For the Unborn

  3. says

    OMGoodness!! That was ah-mazing!! I loved what you planned for your birthday! I am sad to say I didn’t do any RAOK, but I made cookies with Daniel and watched a movie HE wanted to watch…considering I had TONS of school to do, I was happy to make him happy! =)

  4. Jolyne Bock says

    Awww! Glad I could help fulfilling your birthday wish! It got me thinking, Why wait until my Birthday to do the same? So my goal, is to try to do one RAOK everyday..Big or small, it will make a difference to someone :)

  5. Gailanne says

    In tears reading all this, and if you’d accept a late birthday present, I’d like to buy a bouquet of tulips and give them to my neighbor. We are new to the area, and I don’t know her real well, but her husband died this last Christmas. I’m thinkin’ a little bit of Spring and hope might make her smile.
    Thank you for this, and besides a Happy Birthday…I hope you have a Blessed Year!

  6. Becki says

    Thanks so much for inspiring us to be better people. Treating others the way we would like to be treated. Paying it forward!

  7. Tammy says

    Wow!! So amazing! This has inspired me to do this for my next birthday instead of focusing on myself! Thank you!

  8. Lisa R says

    The RAOK is an amazing gift to others. The planning for our RAOK in honour of you has started but won’t be completed until Friday. It’s an owl cupcake cake for a very pregnant friend and ALL of her family. This way she can relax and won’t have to make dessert and her family can enjoy. It’s a great way to show her family that we love them too.

  9. says

    Myra what a beautiful birthday!! This post was so touching and I know you impacted TONS of people. God is definitely smiling down on you and I know you felt His love yesterday as did many others. You are such an inspiring woman! Happy birthday my friend. :)

  10. says

    What an incredibly idea; it sounds like you had an awesome time! I stumbled upon your blog and “birthday wish” on Monday and come Tuesday I thought of you as I was presented with an opportunity to serve. I saw a facebook post of a girlfriend of mine who was having a rough day (mother to a 15 month old and 12 week old), so I packed up my baby, some food for a meal, stopped to get flowers and drove across town to deliver a hug and some goodies. She burst into tears and could not express her gratitude…thanks for your prompting!

  11. says

    I am crying tears as I read this. Myra, you are an amazing gift to this world. This is showing the love of God in practical ways. You have truly blessed me. I think maybe I might do this for my 45th birthday this year! Woo Hoo!

  12. says

    My goodness… what a blessing you were to others… I am so touched & impressed with your kindess… You definitely made a bigger impact then you probably imagined!

  13. B says

    What a wonderful , fun , exciting and exhilerating birthday…… I bet you felt SO alive.
    Wonderful of you and yours.

  14. sarah says

    Myra, you are so inspiring on so many levels…Thank you for giving of yourself to show love to others. tears of joy and warm sense of happiness reading what all you and so many others have done.

  15. Frances Kalender says

    What an AMAZING day you had! I hadn’t had a chance to let you know until now, but yesterday,in honor of your birthday, I made a “Fake” Thanksgiving dinner and invited my neighbor over with her son. I call it “Fake” because I made a stuffed chicken instead of turkey :), but we had all the fixings with it :) She is a single mom and is struggling right now, so I know it made her day! And her soon to be 2 year old son was excited because he was able to play with my granddaughter and we even let them stay up a little past their bed time too :)
    My 18 yr old son also had is own RAOK last night too :) He had gone fishing with some of his friends early in the evening (He NEVER passes up the opportunity to fish) and afterwords he called asking if I had a couple of bucks to give him because they were all going to Krispy Kreme for some doughnuts. I told him that he would have to use my card because I had no cash on me. When he came home to get the card he even asked to use the coupons we had just gotten in the mail! Now this is a boy that when I use coupons in the store he goes out and waits in the car! He not only bought 1 box of doughnuts but 2! and he also bought his friends some drinks too :) He also paid a portion of it with a bunch of change he had been saving so that he didn’t put too much on my card! & if that wasn’t good enough he even made sure to bring me & my granddaughter home a few doughnuts for the morning too! I LOVE that boy! :)
    Thank you for your birthday wish! It REALLY made not only me and my son happy, but also his friends, my granddaughter, neighbor & her son too!
    This went so well that I think I am going to do the same in August for my birthday!


  16. 1955nurse says

    What a FABulous idea you had…. a perfect way to get “out of ourselves” and focus on spreading love and good feelings! I your honor I : Got some Redbox codes and sent them to our Son/Daughter-in-law – our Son is recuperating froma devastating infection in his arm that almost resulted in amputation – they all have ‘Cabin fever’ and this helped to destract them a bit, and I planted some ‘stuff’ in a pot for my Daughter-in-law who LOVES houseplants but doesn’t have a green thumb – can’t wait to surprise her!!!

  17. Ruby Showalter says

    Myra ~ I think this is the best birthday story I’ve heard yet!!! God bless you for giving of yourself…I am so inspired to be intentional about reaching out to the people around me!

  18. says

    You have made me cry, the ugly kind of cry. I love that so many people loved on strangers, we were all being His hands. This is so powerful, so glad that I got to share in it.

    Cha Cha

  19. Cherrill says

    I read your blog. :) I was inspired by your Birthday request and made a few RAOK myself… I pre-paid for a box of girl scout cookies while purchasing my own. Smiling the whole time because we all love those cookies. Took an elderly persons buggy to the return for them and as I am always doing when not with my husband helping the folks in the store find what they are looking for. I will continue to do RAOK thanks to your inspiration. We are looking to adopt a family members 17 month old so please pray for us. Thanks

  20. says

    Aww, Myra, I knew you were a special girl! what a sweet thing to do for your 29th birthday. I love all of these stories, how great it is to do nice things.

    My RAOK for today was giving my mother-in-law my washer & dryer set instead of selling them in my sale. She needs them and seeing her appreciative face after picking them up today, made my day.

  21. says

    You INSPIRE ME!! WOW! This was a great post to read and to share. I was telling my kids about your day and what you did. Great way to share with others and still make your day special!

  22. says

    I just found your post via Nice Things Now and you and the post you linked to have inspired me!! I was already planning to do 20 random acts of kindness for my 101 Challenge, but after reading what you did I’m going to up it to 28 and do them all on my next birthday. It’s a wonderful thing you did and I love it! Thank you!

  23. says

    What an AWESOME birthday!!! Love all your ideas!

    A scripture just came to mind — about being refreshing to others so you yourself will be refreshed!

    It’s definitely about being a blessing to others.

    I might have to “borrow” this idea…. :)
    ellen´s last blog post ..My Funny Valentine

  24. says

    Wow! I am so inspired by you! It’s been so impressed upon my heart lately how important it is to encourage others. You’ve given me some wonderful ideas about how to make this happen, and confirmed that that’s the message He’s trying to teach me. What a wonderful birthday celebration. Happy birthday!

  25. says

    Myra, I LOVE what you did for your birthday! What a neat way to focus on giving to others! And truly it is such a blessing to bless others. I would love to do a RAOK day and get my children involved…what a valuable lesson to teach them!
    Sarah´s last blog post ..The best things

    • Myra says

      Thank you Sarah! It was so much fun! And I think it’s a wonderful way to get children involved in giving!

  26. says

    I found this post through Nice Things Now, and I’m so glad I did. I thought you might like to know that you inspired me to a not-exactly-random act of kindness.

    Long story somewhat shorter: I was close friends for more than 30 years with H and thought I knew her better than almost anyone…until she shocked me with an email, after several months of not hearing from her at all, telling me she’d been having an affair with a married man and was leaving her husband of 10+ years. Over the next year I struggled to maintain a friendship with her despite the facts that she was angry with me for not telling her to do whatever made her happy, that she seemed to have become a different person, and that she didn’t understand the reason why I was reeling had almost nothing to do with the affair itself and everything to do with the fact that she’d apparently been desperately unhappy for years and had never said a word to me (her supposed best friend) about it.

    Eventually, I came to the conclusion that she didn’t really want the kind of friendship I was offering her, and I let go. I still send her birthday and Christmas cards and occasionally comment on her FB statuses, but it’s a far cry from the frequent emails and several-times-a-year visits (we live in different states) that used to happen. I think she likes it like this, everything on the surface and nothing deeper, but it still makes me sad when I think about it.

    Recently, I learned from her FB statuses that H had surgery and was struggling a bit to recover. I bought her a small gift and a get-well card and was going to send them, but then I reconsidered whether I wanted to even engage her that much, because interaction with her inevitably ends in heartache on my part. So I decided, after some thought, to not send them.

    Then two things happened: I remembered how I felt this past winter when my 1-month-old baby was hospitalized briefly with RSV and I received messages of support and encouragement from H’s mom and siblings, but heard nothing from H. And I don’t want to make H feel that way; I want to rise above. And then, I read this post and it made me cry in a good way, thinking of all the lovely things you and others did in honor of your birthday. So I decided to send H the card and gift after all, even though they’re a bit belated. I have no idea what they might mean to H, and even if it turns out they don’t mean anything and nothing changes, I want to be the kind of person who’s open to good things happening.

    So thank you! And a belated happy birthday to you. :-)
    bethany actually´s last blog post ..sweeping the clouds away

  27. Wendy Henderson says

    I wish I knew about this a few days ago. My birthday was Tuesday, but I will do this next year for my 40th. What a fun, exciting thing to do!

  28. Tara says

    I found the link to your blog on facebook. I am inspired by this post and have a newfound hope in my heart that things can get better, just when you are least expecting it. Thank you.

  29. Rebecca says

    What a sweet idea! I think I might {steal} your idea for my birthday in a few months. =) I always enjoy doing things for others! =)

  30. Jennifer says

    What a sweet idea! I typed 29th birthday in the search on pinterest and found your story! I’m celebrating mine next month and I am inspired!!

  31. Lee-Ann says

    Hello Myra,

    I found this post by Googling “Giving for my Birthday” (I’ll be 40 this March). I am always a string advocate for giving to others as its the gift that keeps on giving and subsequently ‘random acts of kindness’ helped me to get over a bad break up.

    So thank you and Bless you.

    Lee-Ann (Bermuda).



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