The real estate agents, staff, and leadership of CENTURY 21 Affiliated decided to spend a single day spreading kindness, impacting lives, and putting smiles on peoples’ faces. Ruta Susinskas, CENTURY 21 Affiliated Principal, proposed the idea of the company hosting a day for Random Acts of Kindness.
"Having gotten to know many Team Leaders and Agents associated with CENTURY 21 Affiliated I realized we have a high energy, thoughtful and caring group,” Ruta explained. “I had seen some stories of others performing Random Acts of Kindness, so the thought was “Why not us?”” Leadership and the rest of the company enthusiastically embraced the idea. CENTURY 21 Affiliated does their very best to serve their communities professionally, but also feel it is important for us to make a genuine impact in our communities.
On September 25th, 2014 CENTURY 21 Affiliated team members either individually or as a group office effort spread acts of kindness across the areas they serve in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, & Michigan. Their RAK’s ranged from baking fresh goodies for service men and women, handing out flowers to unsuspecting businesses, giving money and supplies to those in need, surprising drive through customers with free food and coffee, handing out gifts, buying a vehicle for someone in need, and the list goes on. Many reported sparking a “chain of giving” where those who were recipients of acts of kindness also decided to “pay it forward” in their own way.
But not all involved monetary value, we had many acts of kindness that involved assisting another person just by lending a helping hand. There has been lawn mowing, helping mothers with strollers get through large crowds, rebuilding a patio for the elderly, giving rides to those without vehicles, and simply giving time, hugs, and thanks.
The offices who decided to perform their “RAKs” as a group effort not only reported optimism but some also decided to keep their giving efforts going throughout the year. Our Winfield, Crown Point, & Valparaiso, IN offices, for example, collected 21 boxes filled with 21 food items in 21 days and donated the food collected to their local food pantry. “They were so thrilled and happy, smiles and tears were shed and handshakes and hugs given all around,” Laurie Pollard, the Administrative Assistant for Winfield, explained. Since the pantry runs low on food each month the Winfield & Valparaiso offices have decided that they are going to continue collecting nonperishable food items to take to the food pantry each month.
Other Random Acts of Kindness performed in an office effort include:
- Yorkville, IL office went to schools, police station, fire station, zoning and a few businesses to thank them for their services. They gave each office enough goody bags for each staff member or employee.
- Homewood, IL office went to the Homewood Metra Station during the morning rush hour and offered commuters a refreshing start to their morning by handing out complimentary bottles of water. They also collected toiletries, magazines, greeting cards, & accessories to donate to the South Suburban Family Shelter & Manor Care Senior Facility.
- Agents of the Risner Group, in our DeMotte, IN office completed a landscaping project for New Leaf Resources in Demotte/Wheatfield, a non-profit organization that had just opened up in the area.
- Hyde Park, IL office donated money, supplies, and paper products to their local Ronald McDonald House.
- Stoughton, WI office collected 13 bags of clothing to be donated to the Easter Seals of Wisconsin.
- Joliet, IL office spent their day packing 67 cases of food for Feed My Starving Children.
The feedback from the offices who participated in the CENTURY 21 RAK Day 2014 have been full of enthusiasm. Many Agents explained that it was not only rewarding but also helped get to know agents even better in their offices. “I know each agent that participated really enjoyed the day," Bonnie Kunstman, Yorkville Office Manager, said.
“RAK'd,” as it's known by us now, is a simple concept but we have seen how big of an impact we can make on our communities. Our biggest challenge was being able to document our team members' random acts. We created “You’ve Been RAK’d” cards to hand out explaining our gestures for the day and to encourage further gestures of kindness. Some people who were recipients of a RAK took to Social Media with our hashtag “#C21RAKDay”. Although we were not expecting a lot of participation with the hashtag we thought providing one may aid in tracking and we were glad we did. Not only did it give us a way to track participation but it gave us a chance to thank the recipients for sharing their stories.
"The day proved to be successful; we touched lives in a positive manner and put smiles on quite a few faces. I’m certain we will continue hosting this event and every year will bring increased awareness that simple acts of kindness can affect people in very positive ways," Ruta explains.
Many of our offices and Agents are choosing to continue providing Random Acts of Kindness in their communities. Thus we have dedicated the entire month of October as "CENTURY 21 Affiliated Kindness Month," and will continue sharing our RAK stories and pictures each week throughout the month.