What is a Random Act of Kindness and how did it start? In 1982, Anne Herbert wrote “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty” on a restaurant placemat in Sausalito, California. This began Random Acts of Kindness (RAK). A Random Act of Kindness, as defined by GoodTherapy.org, “refers to selfless acts, both large and small, that are committed unexpectedly, without prompting and with no apparent ulterior motive.”
“Find your talents and find out how to use those talents.” These were the words given to Megan Randoll by her daughter, Kiley, when asking her thoughts on being a Random Acts of Kindness spotlight for United Way. Megan didn’t want to feel like she was boasting, but Kiley reminded her that everyone has a talent and can use those talents for good. According to Kiley, Megan’s talents are organizations, passion, and commitment. Megan uses those talents in her Acts of Kindness.
After sitting down with Megan for a bit and talking to her about her Acts of Kindness she’s given and received, I heard her repeat these words several times: “I’m a big believer in being the change you want to see.” She has people tease her about always being sunshine and rainbows. Megan says we all have choices. We all have challenges we face in our home life, school, and work. We all have a choice to either be a victim, or choose the positive side of life.
One of Megan’s most memorable Acts of Kindness she has received was being in an ambulance with her son (who was about 2 ½ years old). He was scared. His mom, whom he loved and respected, was in and out of consciousness. Megan was in a violent relationship. There are groups that give stuffed animals for ambulance drivers to give out, and her son received one of these. He still has that stuffed animal at 26 years old. When she was at the hospital, the domestic violence advocate was there for here. She did not judge her. There she was, at the hospital with her young son, with a volunteer advocate telling her “if you decide to go back, I understand that. There will be a day that you no longer want to be there and that switch will just flip. We will be here for you.” Eventually that switch flipped for Megan.
Megan encourages giving and acts of kindness in her workplace. A lot of people don’t know how to give or don’t know where to give. Being in HR at Carver Pump has really given her a good way of presenting that to others. Megan runs the United Way giving campaign each year, noting that it’s an easy way to give financially and help the entire community, with no pressure on the employees to give. Carver Pump hosts a blood drive. Everyone has been affected by someone with cancer. We need that blood. Carver Pump doesn’t have a large number of employees, but the 20 units of blood given at each blood drive helps 53 people. With Carver holding a blood drive three times a year, it is easy for them to give. Megan and Carver Pump also participate in the Thanksgiving in July food drive, pencil drive, purchase caramel apples from the Humane Society, and help at Senior Resources, along with many other giving opportunities in the community. They also try to support local business. They have banquets and purchase their gift cards at local small businesses.
There are so many opportunities to show Acts of Kindness. To quote Megan’s daughter one more time: “Find your talents, and find out how you can use those talents.”