The Journey of a Kindness Checkbook
--by iferlamb, posted Jul 11, 2011
The green box on HelpOthers.org talks about a $100 contest I submitted an idea that I would love to do. I loved the idea so much that I decided to go ahead and do it, only on a smaller scale. If I am selected as a winner of the $100 contest, I will do it on the large scale. (fingers crossed)
Since I work at a Bank getting the supplies for my idea was easy: a plastic checkbook cover and a transaction register (normally for a checking account). Next I wrote a message on the inside cover:
"Congratulations! You are currently the bearer of the Smile Transaction Register. This kindness checkbook began its journey with $20. Your only job is to keep it going. Don't keep it long. Look over the entries in the register to get some ideas of how to spread small acts of kindness. You can either make a deposit if the funds are low (as your act of kindness) and make that your entry in the register as such. Or you can make a withdrawal from the funds inside to make someone's day and then log that withdrawal in the register. Please include: the date, the description of the transaction, and the amount. Finish the entry by writing in the ending balance. Before you pass it share your story in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and it's your choice whom you pass it on to. Pass it on to someone who enjoys spreading smiles as much as you do!"
The next step was a little sacrificial leap of faith but I dove right in and put $20 in the back of the cover inside the plastic that would normally hold the book of checks. I used a $5 bill and the rest $1 bills. I also attached something I got from the index of kindness ideas "Five bucks and Under".
Only one final step remained. Who to give it to??? This one took a couple of days. I thought and thought. Yesterday the answer came -- the lady at the bird store! She is very sweet and she is just a few steps away in our strip center. So today on my lunch break I went in, enjoyed her peaceful music, (very tranquil) bought a clearance item ( a common practice of mine ), pet the kitty cat (I LOVE THAT!), paid for my purchase and then asked her to help me by taking the register and using some of the money to do a small act of kindness to make someone smile and then pass the register on to someone else so that they may do an act of kindness and on and on...
She took it and jokingly said "Me? Do something nice for someone?" and then seriously asked "Me personally do this?" I said, "Yes," and I gave her a couple of examples, "buy a card for a friend, or if you're in line at the store and hear someone is short you can cover it for them, just something to make someone smile." She seemed a bit confused by the idea but said she would do it. I also told her about the email address to email the story to (that way I can share it with all of you). I believe she will carry it out and I believe it will catch on and I will soon have lots of Smile transaction register stories to share with you all here as soon as they start rolling in.
Can't wait! = )
I am tempted to try this at my college around a stressful time (midterms/finals), but i'm not sure where i could get a transaction register. I wonder if a bank would give me one if i asked! Hmm!