Random Acts of Kindness for Kids: The Power of the Personal Note

The bus driver who gets our kids to school safely. The mail carrier. The barista who remembers your order. The UPS delivery person. Often we thank them, but in a cursory way, a casual “thanks” as they complete whatever it is they are doing for us. Saying thank you validates a person’s contribution to your life and makes them feel appreciated. Saying thank you is an act of kindness. But what would happen if you kicked it up a notch?

Handing someone a personal note of thanks is a tangible expression of gratitude that the recipient can carry with them as a reminder that they touched someone and were appreciated. This is an easy project to do with your children to reinforce that everyone deserves gratitude and kindness, and that they have it in their power to give it. A note, a picture, a smile, a wave. It makes a difference.

I live half a block away from an elementary school, on the same street. Every afternoon parents line up along my street, waiting to pick up their kids. And almost every day, they park in front of my driveway and block it. A minor annoyance, and it usually only affects me when I am in a hurry to get in or out, so I grumble a little and deal with it. One day, out of the blue, there was a folded piece of paper stuck in my front door. When I opened it, I found a handwritten note, with a drawing, written by a fifth grade student from the school. It said simply, “Thanks for being a good neighbor.”

I had never complained to the school about the parking, so I have no idea if the note and the parking were related, but I can tell you that receiving that note completely changed my attitude. It just made me feel…acknowledged. And that felt good. So take the time to write a note of gratitude. Together, you and your little ones can change someone’s day for the better.

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