The Gifts We Give for America’s 241st Birthday

As our nation’s birthday approaches next week, most of us are ready for a real celebration in these troubled times—or maybe a celebration of something real. Something more than a backyard barbecue and a day off work.

At ACTIVE, our mission is to promote a more active way of life—and that means more than just physical exercise. An active life also encompasses the way YOU live for young people.

You inspire. Invest. Advocate. Protect. Sacrifice. Coach. Instruct. And delight in kids. You live this truth: The United States of America isn’t an “it.” It’s a “we.” Yes, we’re imperfect, but when we follow your example, and live active, intentional lives for the good of others, there’s a lot of good to celebrate. Good that isn’t legislated by Washington. Good that doesn’t make the news. Good that doesn’t go viral.

So, we want to recognize this type of being active—for the good of others—by issuing a special challenge. We’re devoting July 4, 2017, to Random Acts of Kindness—241 of them, to be exact, honoring each year of our great nation.

So consider joining us—you and your tribe—in celebrating July 4 with Random Acts of Kindness and helping us reach our tally. Here are the details:

  1. Decide it. Determine the who, what, when, where of your Random Act(s) of Kindness.
  2. Stretch it. Make sure at least one of your kindnesses goes to someone who is very different than you are—someone who cannot return the kindness, someone you would not normally encounter, or someone who disagrees with you.
  3. Acknowledge it. Write a notecard for each kindness, acknowledging Independence Day. Say something like this … “We’re celebrating our nation’s birthday today with Random Acts of Kindness. All the best to your journey in this great land!”
  4. DO IT!!
  5. Share it!! Post a message about your kindness, or a photo, on our Let’s Talk Camps Facebook page, so we can add it to our goal of 241 responses!

Need some ideas? Here are some kindnesses to help get your creative juices flowing:

  1. Give goodie bags to give homeless people. Fill Ziploc bags with your July 4 notecard, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, wipes, socks, lip balm, cereal bars and other softer snacks that are easy on sensitive teeth.
  2. Purchase the order of someone behind you in a drive-thru line, and leave your notecard with the restaurant employee to pass along.
  3. Bake cookies and pass them out with your notecards at a veterans’ rec center. Thank them for their sacrifice!
  4. Visit a senior center, and pass out your notecards with tiny American flags. Make sure you sit and listen to those who want to talk with you.
  5. Mow your neighbor’s lawn, and leave your notecard, anonymously.
  6. Create bags of doggie treats, and include your notecard. Pass them out to pet owners at a dog park or those walking dogs in your neighborhood.
  7. Take a couple of dozen glazed donuts early in the morning with your notecard to a place where people work on holidays—a police or fire station, a hospital information desk, an urgent care facility, a grocery store, etc. Thank them for working to make your holiday better (or safer!).
  8. Go out to eat and leave an extra-large tip with your notecard.
  9. Do someone else’s chore at your own house.
  10. Buy someone’s groceries in the check-out line. If money is tight, stand in the express aisle.

For more ideas, check out

Remember to keep us posted! We’re excited to hear about your kindnesses.

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About Gina Calvert

Gina Calvert is the Senior Marketing Writer for ACTIVE Network, providing marketing and business resources for active lifestyle organizations across a range of markets, including government, nonprofits, camps, schools and endurance events, for more than six years.