rak featured imagePlanning a 40th birthday can be a bit challenging.  You have moved past all of the fun milestones. (16!  You can drive!  21!  You can drink!  Even 35 can be encouraging.  You could run for president!) At 40 you are suddenly dropped into the age of celebrating “Oh, crud, you’re old.  Where did the time go?”  ~I hate that the focus is so negative.

Rather than tell stories about the good ol’ days gone past, or wallow in awkward attempts to make fun of the “ancient” age of 40, I decided to throw my husband a Random Acts of Kindness party.  He is the kind of guy who is known for volunteering often, for always going out of his way to help others, and for using his amazing fix-it skills to get people out of a jam at the drop of a hat, so it was a perfect fit.  DSC_0055

At first I got a lot of push-back.  “What’s a Random Acts of Kindness party?”  “Won’t people feel uncomfortable?”  “I’m not really outgoing.”  It took a bit of initial convincing, but after telling and re-telling the story of how much fun we had surprising people when my in-laws gave us the treat of using the remaining money left on their meal cards to pay for random strangers’ meals on our trip to Disney, we won everyone over.

40th birthday invitation

The party started with lots of casual chatter, then I gave them a quick overview of the project and allowed everyone to divide themselves into groups of 3-6 and choose a general destination.  I made several lists of destination specific RAK ideas so that we didn’t have everyone headed to the same place in our small town. {lists available at the bottom of this post} They were then given a bag full of supplies and sent on their way with instructions to e-mail back photos of their adventures.

rak bags Collage

It was hilarious to see the images start rolling in.  There were just so many!  (In fact, it bogged down my e-mail so badly that I still can’t retrieve them all.  If I could do it again I think I’d use something like Picassa to collect them all rather than my personal e-mail)  From cleaning up random spills on busy roadways, to decorating the town hall, everyone had fun with the process.  There isn’t anything that can make you feel better than surprising people with kindness.  Some acts were big, and some small, but all of them made people smile, and that made us smile too.    Here are just a few of my favorite photos:

service 2 Collage2014-05-04_15-19-19_178service Collageservice 3 CollageA giant ice-cream sundae bar complete with every topping imaginable closed our our fun day.  It was a very happy birthday for my husband, our RAK crew, and our entire town.

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Happy 40th!!

Sheryl e-signature

 

 

 

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For those of you interested in the printables for this party, the original credit goes to Jessica of Thumba-Lea who created these beautiful RAK tags.  

I made a few additional cards, tags, and signs to match the same general theme, and just like Jessica’s cards, these are free for you to take and use to bless others.

Foldable Kindness Cards

Kindness Inspires Kindness sign

Kindness can Change the World sign

Ice-Cream Topping Labels

 

Last but not least, here is the promised list of List of RAK activities grouped by location.

Have a fantastic time making the world a better place, and please come back and link your own activities in the comments below.  I’d love to see you in action!

 

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Random Acts of Kindness Party
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