Erik, my husband, decided to complete 42 Acts of Service for his 42nd birthday.
We woke up early. Packed a bag of snacks, paperbags, coins, markers, gifts, notes, postcards, dollar bills, tape, and bags and were ready to spend the day being extra, extra kind!
Act of Service #1: Erik paid for the gentleman behind him at the donut store.
The man was all laughing and grins and hugs and thank yous. That interaction alone made the entire day worth it! So fun to witness my husband being kind to others in such a deliberate way!
Act of Service #2: Delivered donuts to a friend.
It was fun to give the family donuts and also a great way to catch up with them on what is going on with that family.
Act of Service #3: Delivered donuts to the fire station.
What could be better than thanking those firefighters!
Act of Service #4: Delivering donut holes to the security guard at Erik’s work.
Grins, laughter, and thanks!
Act of Service #5: Gave donuts to a stranger in a parking lot.
“Want some donuts?”
“Why not!” with a huge grin.
Bonus Act of Service that we forgot to count: Donuts to our very most favorite “fix our old car” auto repair shop. These guys are so good to our family!
Act of Service #6 to 8:
Left dollar bills in coloring books at the dollar store.
Some kid is going to be surprised!
Act of Service #9: Erik gave a nice gift to the cashier. She was really surprised and kind of didn’t know what to do at first. After a couple of seconds, she recovered and was all grins for the rest of the time that we were in the store, which was quite a while because we like to browse at stores.
Act of Service #10 to 12: Being Secret Vending Machine Ninjas is one of our most favorite acts to do. The boys pretend that they are ninjas as we locate the vending machines in the ER. They are so fun to watch. Then, Erik and the boys left bags of coins on the vending machines with the message, “Take what you need!” Always a fun thing to do!
Can’t you just see the stealth!
Erik ran to catch these two elderly ladies at the library. He offered to help them and received some nice thank yous and smiles in return. He didn’t count this as part of his acts. It is just how he is. He has never met a stranger.
Act of Service #13 to 20: Erik has Soviet Era postcards and decided to write a nice note on some of them and leave them in related library books. Don’t you love it when you open a book and get a nice surprise from the previous person that read the book!
Act of Service #21 to 25: Erik and the boys gave gum and “Star” candles to the librarians. Always fun to see how surprised and happy people are when you thank them for doing a great job!
Erik had a nice chat with this elderly gentleman. Not counted as one of the acts, just wanted to show how Erik always takes the time to talk to others.
Act of Service #26: Erik gives flowers to his wife.
Right in the middle of all of this, Erik brings me flowers. My favorite: Gerber daisies! So sweet!
Act of Service #27: Erik compliments the manager, Andre, at his favorite burger place and calls the corporate headquarters to leave a compliment for the manager as well.
I LOVED seeing how touched Andre was when Erik complimented him. The boys decided to give him a “Star” candle, too, and Andre thanked Erik for taking the time to notice all the effort he puts into his job. Lunch time was extra fun because we started it with such a nice exchange!
Act of Service #28: Erik picked up litter every where he went all day (as did the rest of the family)
Act of Service #29: Erik donated a toy to a sand playground.
Act of Service #30 to 33: Birthday boy Erik *really* liked putting happy chalk messages in driveways for friends. We were both surprised at how quick and fun it was to do. (It has to be quick when you are writing on a DRIVEWAY. We like to try and make it as anonymous as possible.)
Act of Service #34: Erik and the boys donated 10 children’s books to a local children’s nursery.
Act of Service #35: The guys had a great time burying treasure at a sand playground.
They buried individual “diamonds” and “coins” and they also grabbed huge handfuls and buried the large bounty all at once. We wish we could be there to see the discovery of that buried treasure!
Act of Service #36: About 35 dinosaurs invaded a playground and stayed.
The boys really had fun with this one as they would “pose” the dinosaur before leaving it for other kids to find.
Act of Service #37: We took several bags of marbles and “lost” them at a playground!
Act of Service #38 and 41: We had to take TWO Sonic drink breaks during the busy day and each time we left a nice compliment and gift for our carhop. The boys REALLY liked being the ones to be extra kind to her. And, even more fun, we had the same lady TWICE. Lots of laughing and grins with this act of kindness!
Act of Service #39: Erik surprised his wife with a happy chalk message.
The boys were happy to help out!
I LOVED it!
(This is the youngest helping!)
Act of Service #40: Pulled up weeds in a very weedy yard.
We are aware of a family that is going through a very tough time. Erik doesn’t know them at all, but when I mentioned that the yard needed some work, Erik was eager to help. Luckily, the family wasn’t home and we were able to get right to work.
We weeded that yard for about an hour. I should have brought more bags for the weeds. The one bag I brought was splitting down the sides.
And, this was Erik’s most favorite act completed for his birthday.
Love how the boys are working together!
Act of Service #41: Special gift for our Sonic carhop lady. (see Act of Kindness #38)
Act of Service #42: A special gift for the waiter at our favorite restaurant.
We were TIRED at the end of it all. It was TOTALLY worth it!
When I asked the Birthday Boy what he thought, he said that he was glad and happy that he spent his birthday doing this.
I asked him if he would do it again. He paused and said that he most enjoyed the acts where he interacted with people. So, for his next birthday, he’ll do 10-15 larger acts of service where he is focused on interacting with others.
Where did we get our ideas?
From other people and some we made up (like the buried treasure one).
If you want to see what other people have done, check out:
And, if you are thinking about a service birthday party, don’t miss what we did for our the boys.