Random acts of kindness do not take a lot of time, energy or money — all it takes is your heart. A random act of kindness can make someone’s day. If a person is having a sad or bad day, it could make their day better. If a person is already having a good day, it could turn it into an awesome day!
My mom showed me an article about a new initiative in her Chatelaine magazine called Kindcycle , which got us really excited. The idea behind KindCycle is that giving an act of kindness not only makes the person who receives the kind act feel good, but it also inspires them to do something kind for another person. It’s like playing tag, when you get tagged with an act of kindness it’s like saying “you’re it!” Now you have to go out and tag another person with an act of kindness. This could be the biggest game of tag you’ve ever played! For example, if I do something kind for someone, that person might do something kind for another person and then maybe that other person might tag somebody else with a kind act maybe on the other side of the world and it will keep going and become a worldwide game of kindness tag. Cool, right?
Chatelaine‘s goal is to reach 20 million random acts of kindness, but I bet a whole lot more than 20 million acts can be reached if all of us kids become Kind Agents too. I made a list of more than 50 ideas of random acts of kindness for kids — most of them don’t cost money and are about being thoughtful, creative and kind (of course). Adults can do these too! I saw this quote about kindness that I really liked:
“Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for kindness.”~ Seneca
I think that that is so true. I think that we can do our random acts of kindness for each other and for animals and the environment too. Imagine how much good we can do as Kind Agents. By being an Agent of Kindness, you are also being an Agent of Change.
Chatelaine made a sheet of printable cut-out cards that will help to keep the cycle of kindness moving forward. Print them out and hand them out as you do your acts of kindness so that they will join us as a Kind Agent. Kind, you’re it!
50+ Ideas for Kid Kind Agents
- Give someone a compliment.
- Help someone carry their groceries.
- Clear the table for your mom so she can relax after dinner.
- Call a family member for no reason other than just to say “hello”.
- Give a thank you card to someone who is not expecting it.
- Offer to help someone with their work at school.
- Ask someone to play with you if they’re alone.
- Congratulate someone on the presentation they did.
- If someone is having a bad day, talk to them or just listen to them.
- At school if someone lost something, try to help them find it.
- Talk to the cashier or just smile at them, ask them how their day is.
- Write a note to your friend, teacher or principal — just because.
- Hold the door open.
- Shovel snow for your neighbour.
- Donate your toys.
- Write a letter to your parents to tell them how special they are.
- Help a new student settle in at school
- Tell your parents you want to help them do the laundry or clean the house.
- Pick up litter at school.
- Pick up litter wherever and whenever you see it.
- Let your neighbours know when you are going to go drop things off at the recycling centre and offer to take what they have to save them a trip.
- Collect coupons for things that you don’t use and give them to someone who needs it. Families with babies always need diapers.
- Go through your movies, books and toys and donate it to someone who will enjoy it.
- Collect your toys, movies, clothes and books and donate them to a organization.
- Take toys, clothes, books and movies that are still in really good condition to Once Upon A Child. They will buy them from you and then you can donate the money to an organization or buy something like Tim Hortons gift cards and randomly give them to people.
- Make a pencil holder and fill them with with pencils for your classroom so that if one of your classmates lost or forgot theirs they have one.
- If there’s someone who inspires you, or did something you like (like an author of a book), write them a note to show them your appreciation.
- When your mom or dad is busy making your breakfast, surprise them by making your bed AND make their bed too!
- Clean up your room without being asked.
- Make eco-friendly cleaning supplies with your mom.
- You can be a mother’s helper and play with a toddler so the mom can relax.
- Get packs of bubbles and hand them out to little kids at the park.
- Help your mom do stuff around the house so that she dosen’t have to do it all alone.
- Create an art piece or picture and give it to a family member.
- When you bake cookies take some to your neighbor.
- Give the mailman a gift card for coffee or hot chocolate to warm up after delivering the mail in the winter.
- Send a present to someone you know who lives far away.
- Leave a small gift for the cashier that you see all the time at the grocery store, post office or coffee shop.
- Find a cause that you believe in and do something.
- Help someone who is having a hard time with school work.
- When you send a card to someone, include a blank thank you card with a stamp and a envelope so that that person can write a thank you card to someone else.
- Organize your friends to clean up your neighborhood park or schoolyard.
- Offer to return a shopping cart to the store for someone loading their car.
- When you go to the mall or grocery store with your mom or dad bring a roll of stickers and give them to young kids you meet.
- Have thank you cards ready with you when you’re out so that you can leave them for somebody who did something nice for you.
- At school, organize a game for younger kids and play with them.
- When you’re finished with a book or magazine give them to a friend that would like them.
- Make a new friend.
- Eat lunch with somebody that you don’t usually eat lunch with.
- Always use your manners — people appreciate it when you say please and thank you.
- Leave nice comments on someone’s blog that you enjoy reading.
- Put a bird-feeder in your backyard.
- Start a kindness club and find new ways to be kind.
- When you’re at the grocery store with your mom, ask if you can pick out your dad’s favourite chocolate bar and surprise him with it when he gets home from work.
- When you’re out with your dad, ask if you can buy some flowers for your mom, just because.
- Hide little love notes around the house for your parents to find (you can leave them under their pillow, in their sock drawer, with the pots and pans or in the linen closet.
- Share information about a cause or an organization that you believe in. They always need help to get the word out.
- Do or buy something with some of your allowance or birthday money for someone special. Take your parents out for ice cream. Make a donation. Buy a gift card for someone you want to say a special thank you to.
- When you’re at the library, pick out a book for your mom or dad that you think that they’ll enjoy. Write a note to tell them why you chose it for them.
Here is a beautiful piece of art by Kathleen Tennant to inspire your quest as a KInd Agent.
Note: If you’re over 18 years old, you can officially register at www.kindcycle.ca. (it’s free!) and $100 will be donated in your name to the Canadian Women’s Foundation by the Lise Watier Foundation to support programs across Canada that move women and girls out of poverty, out of violence and into confidence.
How to Create Less Garbage and Create More Change
Happy New Year! All of us make new year’s resolutions – things that we are going to do better or different when a new year begins – and mine is to be more eco-friendly and to help the environment in many, many ways. I think that this will be one of my New Year’s Resolutions for a long time. If your resolution is the same as mine - awesome. If not, it would be great to make it one of your goals. We need everybody to take care of the environment. We need to do this together. Every little thing that we each do will add up to make a huge difference in the world.
To help get you and your family started, here are some things that I put together for you. These are ways we can create less garbage and create more change.
1. Recycling all around the house.
Other than the kitchen, we have the most garbage in the bathroom. There’s so much stuff that we throw out in the bathroom that is not garbage at all. None of these things is garbage and should be disposed of in an eco way: hair (green bin), toothpaste/ soapboxes (blue bin), cotton balls (green bin), toilet paper rolls (blue bin), tissue (green bin), empty cans and bottles (blue bin).
There’s a easy and simple way to turn your bathroom garbage can into a recycling center. To do that you need a big bin and get 3 smaller containers to fit into the big one. Then label them green bin, recycling bin and garbage. This makes it really clear and simple.
2. Not everything you throw out is garbage
Everyone knows that paper goes in the blue bin and so do cans, newspaper and other paper good, but not a lot of people know that batteries, styrofoam, ink and toner cartridges, and electronics can also be recycled. In every city there is somewhere where you can take all those stuff to recycle them! Recycle things that are unwanted, things that don’t work, Recycle it!
If you have old toys, clothes that don’t fit anymore. Books that you don’t want, donate them! Maybe you need things but someone else does! I have donated to a couple of charities, I donated baby blankets and towels to the vet to make the pets more comfortable.
Stuffed toys are not accepted by most donation places because they say that they are full of germs. I found a great solution to this and I donated a huge box of my stuffed animals to the humane society. I was happy to give them all the dogs there something to play and sleep with.
3. Create a Recycling Centre
There are so many things that need to be recycled that can’t go in the recycling bin Things like: batteries, styrofoam, small electronics, clothing, books and toys. Find a space in your garage to make a recycling centre with bins that are labeled for each. When the bin is full, take it to the depot in your community for proper and safe disposal.
4. Make Eco choices when purchasing your school and work supplies.
There are a lot of products that are eco-friendly for school and work. You can buy recycled notebooks, biodegradeable pens and pencils, pencil cases made from recycled water bottles. When you are shopping look for the recycled symbol- the triangle made for the 3 r’s- and make an ‘eco’ choice.
5. Share what you are doing to help the environment. Inspire people to join you.
Tell your family, friends, neighbors and teachers what you are doing and they might be inspired to join you. Then they might pass it on and then those people will pass it on and it will keep going. This is how we can all make a difference.
And my other New Year’s Resolution for 2013 is this:
I’m not the only one in my house that has been inspired by Craig and Marc Kielburger of Free The Children. I came home from school yesterday and it looked like my mom was doing a science project in the kitchen. Then she told me that it was and that we were going to do our own version of Marc’s science fair project and make our own eco-friendly cleaning products.
When Marc was 13 years old he had to do a science project for the science fair and couldn’t think of a topic. He asked his mom if she had any ideas and she didn’t. She asked Marc to help her with her house-cleaning on a Saturday and when he was taking out the cleaning supplies he saw that they were all labelled with symbols and words for hazardous, toxic and danger. Scary stuff. He thought about his science project and decided that he would experiment to make his own safe cleaning supplies.
He went to talk to his grandmother to ask her what she used in ‘her day’ to clean her house. She told him that she used natural things and whatever else she had. She used things like lemon, baking soda and vinegar. Her friends did do and they told him that they didn’t have all these fancy things to choose from.
So, back to my mom and the science project in our kitchen. My mom told me that she had looked up “do-it-yourself” cleaning products and eco-friendly cleaning products on Google and decided on a few recipes for us to try. She said that we already had almost everything that we needed in our house and that she bought the rest in the afternoon.
My Mom’s Project
Borax, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, castile soap, warm water, corn starch, spray bottles, measuring cups, funnels, essential oils
*have a marker and labels ready to label them when you are done. My mom also wrote the recipe on the label so that it’s easy to make when she runs out.
All-Purpose Cleaner (makes 2 spray bottles)
- 4 cups hot water
- 1/8 cup white vinegar
- 1/8 cup castile soap
- 1 tsp Borax
- a few drops of scented essential oils
Directions: Combine all ingredients, pour into spray bottles and shake well.
Glass Cleaner (makes 1 spray bottle)
- 2 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1 tbsp corn starch
Directions: Combine all ingredients, pour into spray bottle and shake well.
Tub Scrub (makes small container)
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup castile soap
- 1 tbsp vinegar
Directions: Mix baking soda, soap and water well to make into paste then add the vinegar and mix well. A fork works best to do this. After you use it on the tub, rinse it off with cold water.
Our homemade eco-friendly cleaning supplies were amazing. They worked really well everywhere my mom used them – the kitchen and bathroom counters, sinks and floors – all clean and smell really good too. Each one cost less than a dollar to make. Now that we have all the materials and recipes we can make more when we run out.
Do you have any eco-cleaning tips for me and my mom?
Hello! I just wanted to write and let you know I have joined the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. It’s a truly unique event across Canada with over 300,000 people have already signed up to participate in, and where 30 minutes or so of volunteering not only has a direct impact on the health of our neighbourhood, but also makes us feel really good to know the environment is being watched and cared for by us, too!
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, is presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, is a conservation initiative of Vancouver Aquarium and WWF and is one of the largest contributors to the International Coastal Cleanup, making our participation part of global effort.
I volunteered to be the site coordinator for a cleanup locaition right here in our neighborhood – the trail and water between Castlerock and Weldrick. You might know what I’m talking about, it’s where my family and I take my dog for walks, it’s where we ride our bikes and sometimes my mom and I walk to school there. It’s important to me that we all keep it clean, my team is called Keep It Clean and I hope you’ll join me!
When: SUNDAY September 23th 2012
Where: Richvale Greenway Park. We’ll be meeting at the main sign on Castle Rock Drive just west of Kitsilano Cres on the North side.
What to bring: Garbage Bag, gloves, rainboots, wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty
Where to register: http://shorelinecleanup.ca/en/og/use-code/98B68D-79360
I hope that you want to come and if bring a friend too. It will be a great day and we will together feel good about taking care of environment so close to home.
Top 5 Reasons Why We Need To Keep It Clean
1. We live here. This is where we walk, run and bike.
2. Shoreline litter can harm the ecosystem and reduce the cleanliness and quality of the water.
3. Litter can kill – literally. Small animals can get trapped in pieces of net, plastic and wire.
4. Animals can eat litter thinking that it is food. It makes them sick and they don’t know better. They cannot always tell the difference.
5. The animals aren’t the ones littering. We are. The animals can’t clean up. We have to.
Looking forward to seeing and meeting you there!
If you need more information, please visit www.shorelinecleanup.ca or email me at Hannah@callmehannah.ca
Yesterday was Sunday. I woke up earlier than normal, like so many people and kids across Canada to do The Terry Fox Run. I went with my Dad to do a 2k run in my community. There were about 200 people there. It was good to see so many people come to do this together to remember Terry Fox and continue his dream.
Terry Fox was 18 years old and he lived in Vancouver when he got bone cancer in his right knee. He had chemo and he had to amputate his right leg. Before he got sick he was a distance runner and basketball player. He wasn’t going to let having cancer stop him from running. Terry trained for 14 months for what he called The Marathon Of Hope. He set out to run across Canada to raise money and awareness for Cancer Research. His mom asked him, “why can’t you run across British Columbia?” He said, “because not only people in B.C get Cancer.” She couldn’t argue with that. There was a van following Terry with his brother and best friend to make sure that he was safe and healthy and also to support and encourage him.
On April 12th, 1980 he started The Marathon Of Hope. Terry would run a marathon a day-26 miles. He would go through snow, rain, heat – no matter what he did it everyday. Everyday he woke up at 4am to run 12 miles then he rested and then ran another 14 miles in the afternoon. At first his goal was to raise 1 million dollars and after two months he changed his goal to $1 for every canadian which was 24 million. Terry Fox had honesty, innocence and determination, that’s why his friends said that people loved Terry Fox. My dad is training to run The New York City Marathon right now, so I know how hard they have to train, the pain and how determined you need to be to run a marathon. Terry Fox ran a marathon every day.
What inspired Terry was the children he met – especially the children who had cancer – just like him. Terry said “I had the most inspirational day of my life today” when he met a young boy named Greg he had the same Cancer as Terry. He took his 4th day off in 137 days of running to spend the day swimming in the lake with Greg. Greg gave a boost to Terry because at the time Terry wasn’t feeling very good.
In Thunder Bay, Ontario on Sept 1at 3339 miles Terry asked to be taken to the hospital. When he got to the hospital the doctors told him his cancer had spread and was in his lungs. He had to stop and go to his home Vancouver for treatment. There was a telethon organized that raised more than 10 million dollars, that was added to the 2 million Terry raised on his own. On June 28th, 1981 Terry Fox died- he was 22 years old. The nurse who made the announcement on television said that he was “surrounded by his family and the love and prayers of the entire nation.”
On the night before he started The Marathon of Hope, Terry told his brother “I want to try the impossible to show that it can be done.” More than $600 million has been raised by Terry and The Terry Fox Foundation that was created after he died.
September 27th is the Terry Fox National School Run Day. I’ll be running with my friends and teachers at school. Will you?
Terry Fox ran across Canada with one leg! Terry didn’t give up, he believed that what some people might think is impossible is actually possible. He tried so hard to help people with cancer – especially children. He was kind, generous, strong and determined. Terry Fox was and still is a great Canadian hero who inspires so many to live well and try hard.
Two other great Canadian heroes who also talk about what is possible are men I also admire – Rick Hansen and Spencer West. Rick Hansen was inspired by Terry Fox and did his own Marathon of Hope called The Man in Motion Tour in 1985. Rick was in a pick up truck accident when he was 15 and had spinal cord injury that paralyzed him from the waist down. For 26 months, he and his team wheeled over 40,000 km through 34 countries raising awareness about the potential of people with disabilities, creating accessible and inclusive communities, and finding a cure. The other hero I want to tell you about is Spencer West. When he was 5 years old he had to have both of his legs amputated because of a genetic disorder that he had when he was born. Spencer is awesome. In June 2012 he climbed Mount Kiliminjaro – with his hands. These three men – Terry Fox, Rick Hansen and Spencer West – have all shown to me and to everyone – that there is nothing that is impossible if you are determined and passionate and have support and love around you.
I have Celiac Disease. It means my body cannot digest Wheat and Gluten, if I do, I do not grow because my body does not get the nutrients it needs. I was diagnosed when I was 3 years old. Having Celiac Disease means that I have to be careful with what I eat. As long as I keep to my gluten-free diet, I will be perfectly healthy. I have learned a lot about how to read ingredients so that I can be responsible for my health.
Things I cannot have are things like french fries at most restaurants, pizza on pizza on pizza day at school and hot dog days at school, birthday cakes, ice cream cones at Baskin Robbins, chicken fingers and nuggets, dessert at most restaurants, donuts, muffins and bagels, cookies, cupcakes, pretzels, egg rolls, tempura, noodles, pasta, onion rings and a lot more!
The good news is that there are lots of foods and treats and snacks that are gluten free and lots of companies are making more gluten free products so that I can have most of the list above because there are substitutions that are good for me.
Because I have Celiac I take a lot of care to be prepared for everything. Even though I’m not able to have things what other people are having, It doesn’t mean that I can’t participate I just have to bring my own dessert for a birthday or pizza for pizza day at school. Packing lunch for school is sometimes hard because my Mom and I have so many things to think about. There are a lot of kids in my school with different allergies like peanuts and sesame seeds. My lunches have to be nut-free, sesame-free and gluten-free. A lot of the gluten-free foods are made with either nuts or sesame seeds. It takes some extra time when we grocery shopping, but we do ok. We want everyone to be safe and healthy.
It bothers me when some other people are having something I can’t have and I feel left out. I deal with this by having a different treat and still participating. It’s not a big deal even though it is hard. My health’s more important and I always remember that. It’s sometimes frustrating when we’re out for the day and there aren’t a lot of things that I can eat for a meal. Places that are especially hard are Canada’s Wonderland, The Zoo, Baseball games and the EX. My parents always ask about the ingredients and sometimes the people working there don’t know if there is gluten in it or not. So I don’t have it just in case there is gluten in the food.
In the 6 years since the doctors told my parents and me that I have Celiac disease, there are more products at the grocery store and more restaurants that have gluten free food choices. My favourite restaurants to go are Swiss Chalet, Boston Pizza, The Olde Spaghetti Factory, Il Fornello, Pizza Pizza and PF Changs.
Here are some of my favourite Gluten-Free foods that we always have:
From the top left: Lundberg Risotto, Corn Pasta, Blue Diamond Crackers, Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cake Mix, Kernels Popcorn, Chapman’s Ice Cream, Cinnamon Chex, Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, Nature’s Path Waffles, Schneider’s Country Naturals Hot Dogs, Gluten Free Cafe by Health Valley Chicken Noodle Soup, Rice Crackers, Nature’s Path Gluten Free Crunchy Maple Cereal, Annie’s Gluten Mac & Cheese and Popcorn.
Thank you Minna Rhee and Leslie Roberts from Global News for including me on your show to talk about my blog and my eco school supplies.
In the last 2 weeks we cut down the amount of garbage we collect in our bathrooms.
I was reading a booklet that the city made when the Green Bin program started. They made a little booklet to tell people what goes in the green bin from every room. I realized that other than the kitchen we have the most garbage in the bathroom. There was so much stuff that we threw in the bathroom but was not garbage at all.
None of this is garbage:
- Hair > Green Bin
- Nail Clippings > Green Bin
- Pet hair > Green Bin
- Toothpicks > Green Bin
- Cotton swabs/ Cotton balls > Green Bin
- Tissue > Green Bin
- Paper > Blue Bin
- Toothpaste/soap boxes >Blue Bin
- Empty cans/bottles > Blue Bin
- Toiletpaper rolls > Blue Bin
So me and my mom went to the Dollar Store to make special bins. First we to chose a big container and then were chose 3 smaller bins to fit the inside. We found 3 cereal containers that fit perfectly. The big box was $2, the smaller ones were $1.50 each. It was less than $10 for the whole thing! We then had to label the containers to know where we had to put things: Green Bin, Recycle and Garbage. We used plastic file-folder tabs to put them in. It looked amazing! And it works too!
This was really easy and it’s working. I can already see how much less we’re throwing in the garbage. I hope that you might try this too.
If you have other ideas like this, I’d love to hear about it!