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#26 Acts of Kindness —20 Simple Things You Can Do

One thing about the Sandy Hook tragedy; it makes us all feel powerless.

Across the nation, many of us are struck with an urge to act and to do something in honor of the 26 victims of the senseless mass shooting that occurred in Newtown, CT..

Some of us are are planning on marching on the capital to encourage a change to our current gun laws, others will fight for more resources for the mentally ill, hundreds are sending flowers to the funerals of the children and educators gunned down in the tragedy, many are donating money to the people of Newtown, while others will sit frozen with their grief and feeling bewildered by what to do.

Ann Curry of NBC News had a suggestion. One that is easy, simple and a wonderful way to offset the evil that this tragedy bestowed upon a undeserving community.

Curry wrote: “Newtown’s heartbreak has a lot of us asking, “What can I do?” Thinking about this, I took to Twitter and asked people to imagine what would happen if all of us committed to 20 acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown. I added, “I’m in. If you are, RT #20Acts.” Some took her message and changed it to #26ActsofKindness in order to also honor the others killed at Sandy Hook. ”

I love the idea of doing something immediate to pay honor to those who lost their lives beyond the political or by simply lighting a candle or sending some flowers. Creating a positive moment and a random act of kindness to make the world a better place, all in memory of those who lost their lives.

Here are 20 acts you can do – which will you do?

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  • Volunteer 1 of 20
    Volunteer
    Volunteer! There are so many places that could use people to come in and help, from a local shelter to your nearby SPCA.
  • Send Cards to the Troops 2 of 20
    Send Cards to the Troops
    You may send Christmas cards to friends and family, but why not widen your holiday joy? Send cards and treats to the troops overseas, they can always use a bit of cheer.
  • Smile 3 of 20
    Smile
    Something as simple as smiling at strangers and giving a friendly nod can bring brightness to the moment.
  • Strike a Conversation 4 of 20
    Strike a Conversation
    A simple act of kindness to pass on to our kids; ask them to say hello or talk to someone in their class that they usually don't.
  • Cookies 5 of 20
    Cookies
    Make cookies and deliver them to patients at a local hospital (if they're allowed to have them) or to your local senior center.
  • Bring Coffee to a Salvation Army Bell Ringer 6 of 20
    Bring Coffee to a Salvation Army Bell Ringer
    Those Salvation Army bell ringers always look so chilly, warm them up by bringing them a hot cocoa or a cup of coffee.
  • Give a Mom a Break 7 of 20
    Give a Mom a Break
    One Twitter responder said that one of her #20Acts was that she, "picked up a friend's baby today to let her get some sleep after a rough night."
    Source: Twitter
  • Give Food 8 of 20
    Give Food
    Your local food bank is always looking for donations, now is a great time to give the gift of food to those in need.
  • Give Toys 9 of 20
    Give Toys
    Another thing you can give is toys to an organization like Toys For Tots or to your local homeless shelter.
  • Pay a Strangers Toll 10 of 20
    Pay a Strangers Toll
    Pay for the toll for the person behind you. It would be a pleasant surprise.
  • Help the Homeless 11 of 20
    Help the Homeless
    If you have people who are homeless living on the streets in your community, give them a sandwich, a meal or a warm coat.
  • Write a Letter 12 of 20
    Write a Letter
    Write a letter to someone that you'd like to give good thoughts to. One choice is to give a thank you note to your children's teachers.
  • Pay off Someone’s Layaway 13 of 20
    Pay off Someone's Layaway
    Go into your local superstore and pay off a stranger's layaway. It will be a wonderful, heartwarming Christmas surprise.
  • Give a Loan 14 of 20
    Give a Loan
    Give a loan via a organization like Kiva, giving the gift of empowerment to people around the globe.
  • Give 15 of 20
    Give
    Give money to a charity (and there are so many to choose from) in the name of the victims of Newtown.
  • Pay for a Chid’s School 16 of 20
    Pay for a Chid's School
    One generous #26Acts Twitter responder named Beth wrote, "Just paid the school fees for 26 children with AIDS in Mombasa, Kenya." There are several organizations you can go to help, one of which is World Vision (learn more here).
    Source: Twitter
  • Buy a Coffee 17 of 20
    Buy a Coffee
    If you are at your local cafe, buy a coffee for the stranger behind you (or if you can afford it, the next couple people as well).
  • Meals for Seniors 18 of 20
    Meals for Seniors
    Bring a meal to a senior living alone, be it a neighbor or someone in your community that could use a home-cooked meal.
  • An Extra Tip 19 of 20
    An Extra Tip
    Give more when you tip, be it to your waitress, delivery man or the person who makes your coffee at Starbucks.
  • Spread the Word 20 of 20
    Spread the Word
    Spread the word! Let everyone know you are participating in the movement and perhaps you'll inspire more to perform acts of kindness!
    Source: Twitter
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Photo Source: iStockPhoto

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