A birthday only comes around once a year, and most people try to make the most of it. From special events or trips to surprise parties and birthday brunches, it seems that everyone has a favorite way they like to celebrate surviving another year. But for Sarah Tadlock, her 32nd birthday was an opportunity to give back to her community.
Sarah owns a real estate brokerage company in University City, Missouri. She is passionate about charity work, and stays involved in community projects and issues. That’s why she decided to celebrate turning 32 by performing 32 random acts of kindness all across University City. “I’ve always had this idea of doing the amount of random acts of kindness as I am old,” Sarah shared, “because I think a lot of the time we look over that, really, a birthday is a gift.”
When Sarah told her friends how she planned to celebrate her birthday, they were eager to join in. They brainstormed and prepared for a whole month before hand. They used Google Search and Pinterest to plan the different things that they were going to do. They assembled care packages to give to the homeless, hid toys for children to find in different parks across the city, and taped treat bags with snacks to the outside of Redbox movie rental stations.
Sarah took pictures throughout the day commemorating the different acts, one for each year of Sarah’s life. There were pictures of her troop holding up gifts as they prepared to head out for the day’s adventure, photos of dinosaur toys left on playgrounds, and a picture of a box full of tennis balls reading “Your dog wants to play ball!” that they left in a dog park. When Sarah uploaded the pictures to her Facebook a few days later, she never expected them to go viral.
The photos began making the rounds on social media, and soon hundreds of others were pledging to perform acts of kindness on their birthdays as well. Sarah’s story was even covered by the local news station. During an interview, Sarah shared that she plans to make this a birthday tradition. “Maybe at 70, I can accomplish 70 acts,” Sara told a local reporter. “So we’ll see. I’ll keep you posted.”