What’s Random Acts of Kindness Day, and how do I celebrate it?

(Debbie Mcfarland, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

This story originally appeared in our Positively Jax email newsletter. Subscribe here.

There’s nothing like the feeling of being pleasantly surprised by someone doing you a favor or lending a hand. Except for maybe the satisfaction that comes with going the extra mile to help someone else out, whether it’s a friend or stranger.

Here at News4JAX, we believe that kindness is contagious. That’s why we’re celebrating the random acts of kindness happening around town this year as part of our Positively Jax campaign. Like years past, this means acknowledging the people and groups going out of their way to make a difference in others’ lives. But this year, we’re adding a wrinkle by challenging you to get involved.

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And what better day to show your commitment to paying it forward than Random Acts of Kindness Day? This unofficial holiday, celebrated on Feb. 17, recognizes people who spread positivity through good deeds and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

What’s Random Acts of Kindness Day?

According to National Day Calendar, Random Acts of Kindness Day got its start in New Zealand, where it’s celebrated every year on Sept. 1. Elsewhere, this holiday is celebrated on Feb. 17. But no matter when you choose to observe this unofficial holiday, the idea behind Random Acts of Kindness Day is to lift one another’s spirits by performing good deeds that motivate our neighbors to pay it forward.

How to celebrate this unofficial holiday

Simply put, you can celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day (or Random Jax of Kindness Day, as we’re fond of calling it) by making a point of doing something nice for someone else on Wednesday. While it couldn’t hurt to do this every day, let’s start with baby steps. So, what can you do? Consider buying a cup of coffee for the person behind you at the drive-through or helping a neighbor with yard work.

Need some inspiration? We’ve compiled a list of inspiration ideas, including: picking up litter at a local park or beach, donating blood or plasma, donating your unwanted clothes to a local shelter, volunteering your time for a local nonprofit, sewing face masks for essential workers, or giving a gift or handwritten note to your postal worker. Click here to view our running list of inspirational ideas. 💡

Share your Random Jax of Kindness

Through Positively Jax, it’s our goal to share 1,000 good deeds happening around town this year because we believe no good deed should go unpublished. You can help, too. Whenever you see a random act of kindness, whether it happens on Wednesday or any other day, let us know. Share these good deeds by uploading them to SnapJAX 📷 or by dropping us a line about them. ✉️