January 8, 2014 7:30 pm
Updated: January 8, 2014 10:06 pm

Social media challenge inspires random acts of kindness

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CALGARY- A simple social media challenge inspired by a woman’s huge loss is gaining momentum—and having an incredible impact.

Danielle Stewart’s husband Warren passed away suddenly last April.

“He was one of a kind, I don’t think I will ever in my life meet someone like him again,” Stewart says. “Warren always cheered the loudest. You can’t make up for a presence like that.”

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To mark what would have been his 50th birthday this coming May, his grieving wife is challenging others to do something selfless, like he would have done.

“This would be such a great legacy for [our children] to see other people doing things for their dad,” she says. “He is up there smiling. I don’t think he realized what an impact he had, and I just know this is something that would honour him in so many ways.”

Starting on New Year’s Day, Stewart started a Facebook group inviting both friends and strangers to commit 50 random acts of kindness this year. So far, nearly 800 people have signed up.

Some of the suggestions are simple things like leaving the quarter in your shopping cart for the next person, or donating air miles. Others have bought coffees for the people behind them at a drive-thru, or purchased packages for the food bank.

The Rasmussen family is taking part, and says it’s already made a difference in their daily lives.

“We walk around with blinders all the time, it’s such a shift making yourself aware of what’s going on,” says mother Jenn Rasmussen.

“I’ll be honest. For the most part when people say ‘now you have to do 50 random acts of kindness,’ I’m like are you kidding? I have my own stuff I have a life,” adds her son, Justin Thomas. “But it started to get me to think, a lot of the time when people do something they expect something in return, but this is completely different.

“You’re just doing something to be kind.”

Click here for more information, or to join the 50 random acts of kindness challenge.

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