There is a movement underway on Twitter. It’s called #26Acts and was started by @AnnCurry and is going viral with tweets.
Before describing the movement, let me do some deciphering. If you don’t know, Twitter is a social media information network on the internet. Tweets are information bursts that make up the content on Twitter. A tweet can be no more than 140 characters total.
@AnnCurry is the user name that the real Ann Curry, former NBC News and Today Show anchor, has given herself on Twitter. (My username is @MayorKirk). I follow her on Twitter, and she tweeted a message that is circulating now among millions of people – in other words, going viral.
@AnnCurry’s Tweet was this: “Imagine if all of us committed to 20 acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown.”
A hashtag, or #, is a mark that can be put into a Tweet, and is a way to categorize the content on Twitter. If you search on #26Acts, #20Acts or @AnnCurry on Twitter, the Tweets describing the acts of kindness people are doing pop up.
Here is a list of 26 acts of kindness that people have tweeted about:
1. Delivered food to the food bank.
2. Act 5 of 26, just gave a lady $5 at AC Moore in memory of the principal.
3. Donating to 26 different charities.
4. Christmas caroling at Target.
5. Put quarter in parking meter for a stranger.
6. Donated gift cards for children living in domestic violence shelter.
7. Gave my trash man cookies.
8. Getting people on the bone marrow registry.
9. Gave away $10 Starbucks cards.
10. Went to a local diner and left tip as big as the bill.
11. I don’t earn much but donated 10% of this week’s paycheck to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
12. Dropped off toys and dog food at animal shelter.
13. Today is my son is 11 years old. We gave gloves to every child in his class.
14. Saw three homeless men sleeping on the cold sidewalk. Slipped them each $20.
15. I paid for 26 bus fares during rush hour. The driver asked me if I was an Ann Curry follower.
16. Donated frequent flyer miles to MakeAWish.
17. Let a cold woman take shelter in my cozy apartment lobby waiting for her ride.
18. Gave a Subway giftcard to a man who needed lunch.
19. Finished my first act. First-time blood donor.
20. Paid off layaway at Kmart for two families with children.
21. Donated $10 to Newtown Youth and Family Services.
22. A latte for the kind security guard who stands outside our building, rain or shine, making sure we are safe.
23. I can’t help anyone financially, so I am visiting people.
24. We made cookies for our firemen and even got to play dress up.
25. Your drink was paid for by another customer so you are all set.
26. I gave 20 flowers to 20 unsuspecting people. Each flower had the name of a child whose life was so tragically taken.
Some people are calling this movement a rampage of kindness. It’s now all over Facebook (another social media website), and the Associated Press is reporting that the movement is going worldwide now.
It really is a counterforce to the feelings of sadness for the victims and their families, and despair for our society that many of us had upon learning of the Newtown tragedy.
I’ll close with this tweet that I am about to send: “You in? I am in @AnnCurry #26Acts.”
Carolyn Kirk is mayor of the city of Gloucester.