The Random Acts of Kindness movement continues to be a way of spreading joy within communities and has benefits for both the giver and the receiver. There are many ways people choose to demonstrate their kindness, but using craft is increasingly popular.
Many crafters will be familiar with the problems that come from being a prolific maker. Firstly, crafters are known for building up a stash of materials, so having a way of using these for good is a positive. Secondly, it is easy for crafters to end up with an excess of finished projects without a home – there are only so many handmade gifts you can give your loved ones. By leaving a completed craft project in a public place to be discovered by a stranger, makers get the opportunity to enjoy their hobby and have the pleasure of knowing what they are making will bring a smile to someone’s face.
Although gifts left are often made of yarn, such as knitted or crocheted decorations or toys, the beauty of this movement is that there are no set rules. For jewelry makers, simple bracelets are a nice gift, whether made by threading beads or tying knots to make the friendship bands that are so popular in elementary school. Small origami figures can be fun to leave in indoor places such as coffee shops or on public transport. Post-It notes declaring a positive affirmation written in elaborate calligraphy can be stuck inside a library book for the next borrower to find. The diversity of gifts left only adds to the charm.
The Facebook group “Random Acts of Crochet Kindness” has over 200,000 members worldwide. The initiative started with crafters using leftover wool from their stash to make small token decorations such as hanging hearts or stars before leaving them in their community to be found. This has now spread across the globe; with the notes accompanying the gifts directing the finder back to the group to share their gratitude. So many messages say the same thing – finding the unexpected gift brightened a difficult day.
If you are considering getting involved in raising a smile through craft, there are many free knitting and crochet patterns online; as well as little rhymes you can leave tied to your gift to explain to the finder that what they have found is not lost, it is there for them to take away if they wish, or leave for someone else to find.
Where you place your gift may depend on what you have made. Small soft-bodied dolls are great to leave near a playground or school; hanging stars or angels can bring hope to those visiting hospitals or cemeteries. Some gifts may be more generic and can be left anywhere – grocery store trollies, hanging from a tree at a park, or in an elevator.
The act of giving brings with it a sense of fulfillment, and this is especially true when you give wholeheartedly and without expecting anything in return, which explains why random acts of crafting kindness are as rewarding for the giver as they are for the receiver. So, what are you waiting for? Get crafting!