A few months ago I read on the Good News Network about a lady who had done 42 RAKs for her 42nd birthday and was inspired to do the same for my upcoming milestone. I had a budget of $300 which felt like heaps but when my list got to #18 and was already way over budget I realised I needed to find some more cheap or free options. Here’s the list I ended up with:
- Compliment a stranger
- Drop two $20 notes on the road in a poor area
- Tie balloons in the park for kids to play with
- Drop coins in the park for kids to find
- Give blood
- Put coins on some parking meters for people to use
- Put some coins up for people to use in a laundromat
- Give Harry a foot massage
Give a nicely wrapped gift of homemade fudge with a personalised note to:
- – the postie
- – a bus driver
- – the priest after mass
- – the letterbox of a random stranger down my street
- – the security guard at the hospital
- – the information lady at the hospital
- – another information lady at the hospital
- Give a big box of chocolates with a thank you card to the midwives in the birthing unit
- Give a big box of chocolates with a thank you card to the post office workers
- Play with Adoomi in the park for a while
- Pick up rubbish on the beach
- Give a $20 supermarket voucher with a card to a homeless person on the street
- Say a rosary for lonely people
- Put some food items into the food collection basket at mass
- Donate some extra money to the collection at mass
- Put coffee vouchers on the three breastfeeding chairs in the parent’s room at the mall
- Put a $10 note in a random box of eggs at the supermarket
- and another $10 note among the laundry detergents
- Tape a $20 voucher for the supermarket to one of the aisles
- Put a $20 voucher in a kid’s book at the bookshop
- Put a $20 voucher in a book at the catholic bookshop
- Tape a $20 voucher to the petrol pump
It’s pretty repetitive and not super inventive but worked with the budget restraints and with me not wanting to freak people out too much. My wonderful friend Alicia and I had a blast completing all these RAKs and the feel-good buzz was incredible. I don’t think there is anything more freeing than deliberately throwing money out the window of a moving car! There were a few hurdles we needed to overcome, like our first park being filled with teenagers when we went to tie balloons and drop coins, not even being able to find a park in the second neighbourhood we wanted to hit, the postie not coming by the house, not being allowed to give blood, difficulties finding a quiet spot at the supermarket, not being able to find a coin-operated laundromat, and a serious lack of homeless people; but these all just added to the exciting unknown and the adrenaline of the adventure. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.
Two best feel-good moments of the experience: getting this letter in the mail the next day from the postie, and the conversation I had with the information lady at the hospital (one of the only people I actually had to talk to):
Me: Hi, are you the only one working today? [I had two packets to give but wasn’t sure what I should do. Felt super awkward and stalkerish]
Lady: Ah, yes at the moment, but someone else is coming soon…?
Me: Ok, cool. Well, um.. this is for you, and this is for the next person to come on. [Said all in a rush and with awkward blushing because I felt like I was being weirder and weirder]
Lady: What? [Stunned.] Where did you get the fudge from?
Me: Oh I made it. There’s a card there too.
Lady: But, why?
Me: Just because. [Edging away: awkwardness level – off the charts. Lady super confused. Alicia enjoying the moment.]
Lady: That’s so nice, thank you so much. Usually people aren’t very nice when you’re working here!
Me: [Waiting for the ground to open up so it can swallow me] Ok well enjoy it, have a nice day.. [Running away]
Oh hospital helpers, just what shall I say
To thank you for being there, day after day?
This way! And That way! You point to the crowds
With smiles and laughter abounding around
No grumbles are heard as you sit in your booth
And so I just wanted to tell you the truth
You’re awesome, amazing, spectacular! Now
This fudge is for you, and please: take a bow
Night and day you sit and stay
Watching and checking your shift away
Thank you for the service that you provide
It makes me feel safe when I’m inside
It seems a hard job but you do it with grace
So here is some fudge for you to taste
I hope that your shift passes quickly today
And you get home to your family with time to play
Oh midwives dear, you’re always here, with hugs and drugs and lots of good cheer.
Underpaid and underloved, but looking great in those gorgeous scrubs.
Thank you for the job do, dealing with labour and the occasional p_ _!
There’s no better way to say it than with Roses, so here’s to celebrating when this shift is over!
Roses are red, violets are blue. Here’s some fudge just for you!
From: a down-the-street neighbour
Why: because i can.
Hope you’re having a great day
I’m sorry to see you’re out on the street
Hopefully this will buy you a treat.
Lunch or a snack or breakfast for two
Anything at all, it’s now up to you
But mostly I hope that you know that out there
People are praying and people still care.
The life of a bus driver must be so neat
With all of the people that you get to treat
To views of the city, the skyline, the sea,
It seems so amazing, if only to me.
But today I wanted to give something back
To the guy that sits up the front with a hat
Keeping us safe and getting us home
With care and precision, not hitting a cone
So I hope you enjoy this fudge that I made
At the end of your very important work day.
Never ending queues and grumblers in shoes
With questions aplenty and hard tasks for you
The life of a post shop employee must be hard
But I’m sure that at times it’s tough not to laugh
When lovely old ladies and young mums with babies
And bikers with valentines to send to their ladies
Bring joy to your counter with smiles all around
And you get to hear that most beautiful sound
Of words said with care: a thank you to you
For all of the wonderful work that you do