In honor of National Random Acts of Kindness Week, we’re throwing it all the way back to December 2016 (ok, so only a few weeks ago) when we paraded around San Francisco sprinkling kindness everywhere we could. 2016 was a tough year. Even the New York Times recognized 2016 as one of the worst years yet, so we couldn’t think of a better time to take to the streets of Soma with kindness on our mind.
Four ladies, five hundred dollars, seven destinations in mind and one light up headband (totally necessary). Our one goal was to spread happiness through completely random acts of kindness. Our first stop was Starbucks, where they likely know W Talent by name. This time, we weren’t here to fuel our coffee addictions, but to surprise a few customers in line with a coffee on the W.
Our second stop was The Grove, another establishment where W Talent have become familiar faces. We talked to the cashiers ahead of time, handed over the credit card and told them that we would like to pay for the next person in line’s lunch. We waited for the right moment, and in walked a dad with his 6-year-old daughter. When the cashier explained that the W Hotel wanted to pay for their lunches, he immediately turned to us and said that he could not accept the gesture. He would rather us pay it forward to someone that needed it more than they did. He explained all of this to his 6-year-old daughter who learned a valuable lesson on this day. The sandwich we bought went to someone on the streets in Union Square.
Next, we hit Philz Coffee (that Mint Mojito Iced Coffee though...), where we attempted to start a chain of kindness. We purchased six coffees and encouraged the recipients to pay it forward to the next person in line.
From Philz, we headed to the Union Square Ice Skating Rink where we purchased a family’s tickets to ice skate. They were shocked and confused by the gesture but eventually came to terms with accepting the act of kindness.
One of the highlights of my day was our stop at Winter Walk, where children rode around on motorized stuffed animals. The inner-child in me really came out – I just HAD to try these scooters out for myself!
After some quality control, we bought four tickets for children to ride the scooters. The kids were just excited to get on these life-sized stuffed animals, but the random acts really resonated with the parents. We received big hugs, lots of laughs, and priceless moments watching the little ones romp around Winter Walk.
Then we hit the BART station (the Bay Area subway system) as rush hour was approaching, where we purchased tickets for eight lucky riders.
Our last stop was the AMC Movie Theater in the Metreon, where we met a group of 5 friends all seeing a movie together. We paid for their movie tickets and sent them off to enjoy the flick and their buttery popcorn.
Taking part in WISH was one of the highlights of my holiday season. There's something about not only giving back but getting to see the reactions of those that were touched by these acts of kindness.
My favorite reaction was watching others become inspired by our acts of kindness. WISH is testament that generosity is truly contagious, so we want to continue making the world a happier place during National Random Acts of Kindness Week. It all starts with one act - one smile, one coffee for a stranger, one favor for a friend.
We're passing on the torch - what will you do this week to make the world a better place than you found it? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag #RAKWeek2017 and @WSanFrancisco. Win brunch for two in our restaurant TRACE by submitting the most creative random act of kindness. Ready, set, go!