If You Give A Stranger A Cookie…

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… they might say “Umm, who are you?” or “DAMMIT!” or “You must be an angel!”

Today was Random Acts of Kindness Day in Saskatoon. When I first heard about the Saskatoon Community Foundation‘s efforts to make Saskatoon “the Kindness Capital of Canada” I thought I simply needed to get involved. After all, Random Acts of Snacks is, at its core, about showing kindness to others.

But what could I do? How could I make it big? I don’t do anything half-assed. I was going to put my back into it!

I came up with my concept – 20 nonprofits, 20 plates of cookies, one morning of guerrilla cookie delivery.

The prep was both easy an arduous – 6 batches, around 40 dozen cookies, only took about 4 hours to make. I visited a local second hand shop to buy 20 vintage plates for serving. Playing defense with 4 cookie-hungry kids, I got everything ready and headed out this morning.

And what an extraordinary morning it was!

Responses ranged from quiet blushing gratitude, to surprise, to confused wonder, to one of my favourites – John Allen at Big Brothers Big Sisters yelled “DAMMIT!” He had just been “random acted” prior to my arrival, and paid it forward by buying his entire staff coffee. He was grateful, of course – and like at every stop along the way, we had a great chat about what’s been going on in our city.

“Can we give you back your plate?” was a common question.

“No way!” I responded. “Use it in your lunch room, or fill it up and pay it forward sometime.”

I was hit afterwards with many tweets of gratitude – please check out my twitter feed to see all the amazing responses.

A surprising encounter – as I was walking down the street, a plate of cookies and card in hand, a random man inquired “Hey! Are those for me!?” I offered him the entire plate, and told him what I was up to for the day. He declined, but did opt to hold the door open for me, and when I came out he said “I sure hope you have a great day – you must be some kind of angel or something!”

My hope in doing this? Really, to just spread some smiles and surprise. People who work at nonprofits work so hard and make magic happen everyday.

But I truly can’t describe in words the warmth I feel right now. I knew it would feel great, but this is beautiful.

So back at home, a warm cup of tea beside me (it’s chilly out there today!), my beliefs are solidified.

Do good stuff. Be kind to one another. Everyday. 

This was a planned act of random kindness, but kindness should be a knee-jerk reaction to encountering others.

If you give a stranger a cookie, they might be confused, but they will smile. And feel blessed. And grateful. And chances are, they will do something kind and gracious for someone else, who will pass it on to someone else, who will one day no doubt pass it back to you or someone you love when you need it most.

Pass the milk,

xo.