Random Act of Donuts
“Distribute 450 dozen donuts to local businesses,” he said. That was our goal. It should be easy and fun. Who would resist free donuts? However, the rest of the mission sounded like a buzzkill: “Then offer to clean their bathrooms!”
“Random Act of Donuts” started as a crazy idea of Traders Point North’s Campus Pastor Aaron Hoover as a tangible way to bless the community by showing appreciation to hard-working local businesses. On the boxes of donuts, volunteers taped cards that read, “Random Act of Donuts — Why? Because you matter, you are loved, and working on the weekend is always better with donuts.”
As the 120+ volunteers embarked into the brisk autumn day with dozens of boxed donuts and buckets jammed with cleaning supplies in hand, no one knew what to expect.
My group headed to downtown Carmel with a large zone to cover and 40 boxes of donuts stacked in the trunk. Our first stop was the shops at the Palladium where we found ourselves in a welcoming Aveda Salon. The receptionist looked puzzled at our bathroom-cleaning offer but immediately took us up on it. The donuts were a slam dunk. As our morning continued so did the smiles when we appeared through doorways with free treats. However, the follow-up offer left many with confused looks and questions. “You want to clean the bathrooms? Why?” one owner asked. The answer was simple: Because it’s the job that no one wants to do.
Apparently, donuts are not the only thing that makes cleaning bathrooms better. Sunglasses help too!
During our 40-dozen distribution efforts, we met jewelers, chefs, stylists, salesclerks, business owners, tattoo artists, receptionists, barbers, and designers. Later, as I reflected on the day’s activities and especially the conversations with new friends made along the way, one thing stood out. Everyone we met was curiously surprised -- wondering why a group of complete strangers would show up in the cold with a gift and no agenda other than to brighter their day. At each stop, I was reminded that everyone wants to feel loved and appreciated -- or maybe even just noticed.
On that chilly Saturday morning, I believe our Random Act of Donuts represented what the church should be about -- loving and serving people right where they are. Just showing up and saying, “I care about you. You matter. You are loved.”
The delicious treats in the boxes -- they were just icing on the cake. I mean donuts!
Toto made the trip, of course!