Do One Nice Thing Niceness Can Be Habit Forming!
Each Monday the site Do One Nice Thing gives surprisingly simply yet effective ideas on reaching out to do something kind.
If you think you don’t have time to lend a hand to someone in need, think again. Do One Nice Thingstarted in June 2005 as a way to encourage people to do one nice thing for someone every Monday, and to shine the spotlight on people who are kind.
Debbie Tenzer, founder of Do One Nice Thing says, “I started the project because, well, I got fed up! I was tired of getting hammered by nonstop bad news. I’m not advocating that we all wear rose-colored glasses – not at all. We have huge problems, and we have to face them. But when the media makes everything sound like a crisis, it’s exhausting. I felt numb, and numb is not a good way to be. We need energy and focus more now than ever.”
Tenzer says she decided to stop focusing on the giant problems of the world, and instead search for some smaller ones she could solve. These have included:
- More than 50 TONS of school supplies to our soldiers in western Afghanistan to give to needy Afghan children
- More than 1,000 blankets to soldiers in Iraq, who in turn are giving them to local people without heat
- More than 8,000 get-well cards to hospitalized children in Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, Memphis, Boston, St. Louis, Houston, New York, Miami, Detroit, Tucson, Jerusalem KwaZulu Natal (South Africa), Rwanda and Baghdad
- Thousands of toys, books, games, clothes and art kits to homeless families, foster children and hurricane survivors.
To further document the success of the site, Do One Nice Thing has a Kindness of Strangers” blog where people can make comments on projects and suggestions, as well as share nice things that have been done by and for them. Tenzer says she’s often amazed by the touching stories people post, adding, “One woman was newly married and she and her husband moved to a state where they knew no one. She was terribly lonely, but she remembers how happy she felt – and touched – when a neighbor brought over a cake to welcome her. Many people have written about the terrifying feeling of being stranded on the highway, and how unbelievably grateful they were when someone stopped to help them, changing the flat tire with traffic speeding by or even accompanying them to a gas station.”
Tenzer comes up with most of the ideas, but the site also receives suggestions from their “Nice-oholics,” a name given to members of Do One Nice Thing since once someone starts doing nice things every week, they become hooked. “Nice-oholics” reside in 50 countries, and the number is continually growing. Tenzer indicates that the long-term goal of Do One Nice Thing is simply to “empower people to believe that every one of us can make the world better” and says she hopes anyone logging on to the site will come away with two things:
- Despite the news, there are a LOT of good people in the world helping others.
- You can be one of them.