Project Kindness – Who’s In?

Project Kindness – Who’s In??

By Angela McNerney


So…. last year I gave each of my 3 sons $50 around Thanksgiving and charged them with going out into their respective worlds and really look at at people. I wanted them to find someone who looked like they were struggling, having a bad day, stressed out or generally overwhelmed – to really ‘see’ them. I asked the boys (ages 19, 20 & 25) to go up to this random person, look them in the eye, give them the $50 and say, “Happy Holidays” …. and then walk away. And for Christmas…., I wanted their stories.

I think we all get turned around about what this time of year is supposed to mean. I brought my kids up with loads of presents under the tree every year and killed myself each year to make it happen… for what?? It wasn’t their birthday. They hadn’t earned it. Buying things they don’t need with money I don’t have wears a person down over time. But it was just too hard ‘not’ to do it. The older I get the more I have become beleaguered by the Hol-i-daze. My children are nice people, but do not need or deserve random expensive gifts in order for them to feel loved by me – although they may tell you differently. I’m pretty sure the gist of the Holidays is the focus on ‘giving’, but not necessarily to those who have so much already. Because the fact is.. it just feels so good to give, to contribute, to be useful and make an impact. I think that’s why the feeling may last longer than ‘receiving’ gifts.

Its not that I don’t want a nice pair of diamond drop earrings for Christmas, but I think I wanted their stories more.  I felt great when my kids showed up early Christmas morning with their stories… and they begrudgingly admitted that they did too.

This year, I’m thinking I’m going to spread it to my nieces and nephew;  so there will be (6) $50 bills = (6) Holiday Stories that I will get for Christmas.

Checklist is pretty straightforward:

• Option to match funds with some of their own money

• Find two random people who seem to be having a tough day

• Give them the money – wish them a Happy Holiday

• Don’t tell them who you are

• Try not to pocket one of the $50’s

I’m going to participate this year too, so my kids can have ‘my’ story! Some of my friends are going to incorporate this ritual into their Holidays as well. I have been asked to share this on social media to see if others want to join in these shenanigans.

So if you’re in…. let’s hear it?

Project Kindness