CAOK 2015

Sedona hiking + Valentines weekend 2015

Ash Wednesday is when Christians are metaphorically reminded how brief this life is. We are made of dust and will one day return to dust. And while it may look silly to have the black mark of ash on your forehead today, this time of year is what it is all about. Sure, Christmas gets the lights and the presents and the hype — but Jesus’ 40 days the desert leading to Easter defines our faith. (As does the Easter story.)

40 days is both exceedingly long if you make lent about what you are “sacrificing” or a quick few weeks if you consider adding a new attitude. Calculated Acts of Kindness (CAOK) is a campaign I’ve led for the last few years to encourage others to use these 40 days as a time to give to others. Do it in huge, self-congratulatory ways. Do it anonymously. I don’t care. But make the next few weeks brighter for those around you. Practice kindness and love by picking up litter, donating to the food bank, complimenting the cranky admin assistant.

I’m doing it too. I promise.

If you want ideas — I’ve placed a few here, including some great quotes. And I’ll be posting a daily idea on twitter, and when possible to match — on instagram.

There is no need to be of a specific faith, or have faith, to participate. If there is one thing all humans should be able to agree upon, it is that we could use some additional kindness in our world.

with love,



P.S. I’d love to hear how you participate!

7 Replies to “CAOK 2015”

  1. I am so in. I have been a bit overwhelmed of late seeing many friends go through some deep life struggles and feeling powerless to be of much help. I love the idea of CAOK, and the recognition that though there isn’t much I can do to help or change their situations, a little extra kindness in the day can go a long way.

  2. Count me in Kelli! By the way, received my knitting needle case yesterday afternoon. Thank you so very much! Love, love, love it! You are a gem Miss Donley. Give Nelson a belly rub for me. xo

  3. I am all in. Starting with volunteering tonight! Volunteering a lot. May be blogging about this (as a comeback, of sorts – I miss blogging so much).

  4. I’m in. However – some days my calculated act of kindness may be intertwined with work. hope that’s okay 🙂

  5. I think your Lenten practice of CAOK is wonderful. Any Lenten discipline that forces one to focus outside one’s self is sure to lead to growth. I look forward to following your journey.

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