I have a lot of experience with Random Acts, as both a donor and a volunteer. I researched the organization thoroughly before I made my first donation because I was suspicious that it was an actor's vanity project. I was so aggressive with my questions that I was worried that a year later, when I met the Random Acts team, they would hold it against me. Obviously I was satisfied with what I learned. I consider the money I raised and donated to Random Acts money well spent.
I've been a supporter of Random Acts for many years, having both raised money for their projects and promoting them via social media. During their AMOK (Annual Melee of Kindness) I became a hands on volunteer for the first time. I attended an event in Waianae, Hawaii where we painted the interior of a homeless shelter for Vets. We partnered with local groups and the Wounded Warrior Project to accomplish the task. Over 60 people showed up. It was amazing to be able to finally support the org hands on instead of just through promotion or donation. I hope we have more events out here.
I'm also looking forward to their You Are Not Alone project, where they'll be partnering with the IMAlive crisis support network to help those in the middle of a crisis situation. This project, as well as the one I participated in during AMOK, highlight how amazing this org is when it comes to working with established groups. They take groups with knowledge and know how about certain charitable efforts, rally the Random Acts supporters, and make amazing things happen.
Random Acts is an amazing charity that does a variety of good deeds. My favorite recent activity they did was the 12 Acts of Kindness, which helped a new person, family, or group each day during the Christmas season. They bought a laptop for a working mother who was trying to earn a degree to become a teacher. They helped winter proof a feral cat colony with a local animal shelter. They also treated a couple who'd had a rough year filled with medical and financial difficulties to a treat that they found "invigorating and motivating." These are just three of the 12 Random Acts they did in the month of December and I haven't even mentioned all the amazing stuff they did the rest of the year.
Another one of my favorite acts they did last year was supporting The Wolf Conservation Center and providing them with much needed medical equipment.
They help people in need. They help support animal based charities. They spread random acts of kindness big and small all across the globe. It's truly an incredible charity and I'm proud to donate whenever I can.
I had the pleasure of participating once again in the Annual Melee of Kindness on March 5-6, and it was everything I love about Random Acts. Thousands of people across the globe spent their weekend doing small acts of kindness in their local community, with the organization offering suggestions, tips, and support for the months leading up to the event.
Random Acts endeavors to show that charity doesn't have to be stodgy, and kindness isn't something only those with the financial means to spare can spread. In my community we collected coloring books and crayons, easy paper crafts, word searches, and books for the local children's hospital. Friends in our group hand-made small toys for the children, and everyone in my family (even my own young children) wrote get well cards for all of the children. After, we got the wishlist for the local no-kill animal shelters and brought them a cart full of food, toys, treats and cleaning supplies. We dropped a load of donated books off for our local 'Little Free Library,' and we gave a load of donated toys to the battered women and children shelter.
It was a fun weekend, and a productive one: it brought friends together in a way to give back to the community, and brought the online Random Acts supporters together online swapping stories on everyday ways to give back.
Every month Random Acts has a #GetKind focus, encouraging their followers to help out in specific areas of need (this month it's single mothers), encouraging them to find someone in their local community to help, and swap ideas for how to do so.
While I love the larger projects that Random Acts facilitates (the orphanage in Haiti, the high school in Nicaragua, the crisis hotline), I appreciate that more than any other charity I've every supported, they encourage people to get INVOLVED. You know your money is going to a good place with those large scale projects, and small groups of volunteers are part of making each of those happen. Even more than that, though, you know that you can make an impact on a local and personal level, and that Random Acts is there to help you do so.
I believe in charity and fandom: it's a concept that I have supported for years in other fandoms, and have put at the center of every fan group I've ever been involved in. The idea of fans, like the people reviewing on this page, taking something that they love and using it to do real good in the world is something that I wholeheartedly support.
Fandom has a great deal of power, because fans are dedicated, passionate, and involved, and there is so much more that we can do with that passion than just yell at each other on the Internet. There are one-star reviewers on here sneering at Random Acts as if it should be ashamed that it is supported by a fanbase. It's a kind of internalized contempt for fans--a sense of shame at being an active, invested fan voiced by other fans who hold different views on the source material. It's the obsessive, destructive side of fandom: and I think we have had enough of that in the world.
I don't support Random Acts because I'm some "underaged starry-eyed twittering fangirl convinced Misha Collins is a god." I support Random Acts because it encourages fans to get out into the community and give back to it. Even fans that can't contribute monetarily are encouraged to do acts of kindness in fun, engaging ways. Charity doesn't have to just be done just through the pocketbook or in grueling work that feels like penance for not having it as bad as some others.
By taking kindness and making it something fun, Random Acts built a community of its own, people who banded together to do good and have fun in it. I made it a family affair, myself, and brought my children in to run AMOK with me, to do E4K, GISHWHES, RA4M, and other events--and I also encouraged them to find ways to give back even without an event, and even if they were unrecognized for the act.
As someone who HAS also donated monetarily, though, I have to say that the attacks on here are unfounded as well. The financial reporting period for Random Acts is December. It stands to reason that you won't see their financial statements updated on their website until after that. And yet, when fans "concerned" about Random Acts requested the financials prior, they were given them. They continued "concern trolling" (that is, trying to cast aspersions by "raising the question" loudly and repeatedly regardless of the veracity of their concerns/complaints) on Twitter, and Random Acts reached out on Twitter asking if there was any additional information they could provide.
If the argument is that what you wanted wasn't on the website when you wanted it, Random Acts went above and beyond in making sure that was no more than a mild inconvenience. Meanwhile, all of their other records were available on charity sites, like this, and on their website.
They go on to sneer at individual projects, demanding explanations for them. When they receive the updates from fans linking them, and when the charity updates to give it all in one place, they sneer at the fact that RA compiled the information and restated: as if in providing answers directly, it's somehow proving that Random Acts was doing something shady prior.
They attack the individual appearance of Random Acts staff members and volunteers. They attack the character of the fans supporting it, and they post over and over again, weekly, the same baseless attacks. Attacks that, if you follow them back, originated on the Twitters of people who genuinely hate Misha Collins, and on the "Anti-Misha" and "Destiew" tags on Tumblr.
I can provide evidence for that, as well.
But I'm fairly certain you don't care about evidence, by now.
I have participated in events out in by and raised money for Random Acts a number of times. I was at a low point awhile back and found a sort of outlet through this organization. It's a wonderful feeling to help spread kindness. I've watched as RA has spread their goals globally. They do everything from small kindness prompts to month long charitable inspirations to building schools for couniries who lack the ability. I am equally touched by each act because their volunteers take these things to heart. Their mission is invaluable. I am awaiting the Crisis Line and have already thrown my hat in the ring to volunteer because the community they are spotlighting is in need. And to have something like this by the people, for the people is an incredible thing. I am and will continue to raise funds for this organization as well as shake as many hands as I can along the way. They deserve not only my money, but my time, and loyalty not because of their affect on my personally, but because of how strongly I agree with their cause. Kindness is not just an action, it is a way of life.
I see Random Acts as a very trustworthy organization and I am very satisfied with their projects. Not only do they use the money for concrete, hands-on projects, like the orphanage in Haiti and the highschool in Nicaragua, they also host worldwide events to spread kindness everywhere. Random Acts is extremely skilled at highlighting special days, and their monthly themes serve to direct focus to specific groups of society e.g. single mothers, people with mental illnesses etc.
I have both donated money directly to the organization, but also indirectly via partners (YANA, Gishwhes etc). Despite being a member of several charities, none of them are as transparent and all-inclusive as Random Acts is.
The next time I have a little room in my budget, I know where my money is heading.
I think Random Acts has a lot going for them with how they encourage kindness, etc. But I wouldn't seek them out if you need help. Here's my experience:
A volunteer found out I was going through a very hard time and she referred me to the RA Director. The Director reached out to me and I told her my situation. She asked what I wanted. I really didn't know. I just knew I needed support and that I did feel very alone. (it's too personal to share publicly) To make a long story short, I told her more of what was going on and let her decide what could be done to help. She never contacted me again. I was so upset.
I do believe this helpline they are starting up could be great for Random Acts, if the volunteers and the Director take on the training, this way they can use what they learn for clients. They do a lot of great things - donating to other charities, encouraging kindness acts towards others even with their contests with GISHWHES. But currently I believe they lack when someone goes to them in need for help. I hope that changes and that if someone in a similar situation to mine reaches out to them, they are better equipped to handle it.
I would gladly have reviewed this wonderful charity of my own volition (I've been a longtime supporter and donor) , but I feel the need to first respond to "Writer" who posted on January 10th. I was at the RA 5 Year Anniversary celebration at NJ Con and I know the woman (not girl) who threw her bra onstage. She's 24, which is by no means a "young teenage girl" as you libelously said and it was meant as a joke. Anyone with a sense of humor and without a clear bias against Misha can see that.
As for the picture on twitter, it was an advertisement that West saw and had a genuinely honest question about - I'm thankful Misha chooses to share such funny moments with his fans, because all children ask the darnedest things. There was no "situation" to handle and my children have said and done far worse. They're children.
Both Misha and Random Acts do so much good for others - they are truly wonderful, caring people who practice what they preach. I am so humbled by what they've accomplished in the past five years, and I hope to get involved with the next Nicaragua trip. Misha cares so deeply for those less fortunate and he encourages others to get involved and help spread the message of kindness and caring. And if he does it with humor? More power to him - it makes him more relatable and is completely harmless. Misha Collins is definitely a man of integrity and his nonprofit reflects that beautifully - now please, truly, stop slandering a man and a charity who have done nothing to deserve the few negative (and most likely from the same source) reviews on here. Go out and do good.
This charity is about Random Acts of Kindness.
Started by a man who has been raised poor and at times homeless himself, he has been touched/helped in various ways by people who have shown both large and small acts of charity.
Are they focused on one large goal? No.
Do they help as many as some of the larger celebrity charities? No.
What they DO is reach out in small ways to help those who are in need.
They have worked on a couple of large projects, such as building a Children's Center in Jacmel, Haiti as well as helping build a Free High School in San Juan del Sur.
Most activities center around helping children and families in small ways, such as purchasing beds, collecting donations for local shelters, etc.
Other events this charity promotes include AMOK, which is an annual day to focus on being kind to others.
Also, Endure4Kindness, which is a fundraising endurance event.
So, while their gestures aren't as "grand" as others, they focus on showing people it doesn't take much to be kind to others, and that is it possible to take over the world, one random act of kindness at a time.
Random Acts is a wonderful charity and has done many wonderful things. I am honored to donate to it every month. Couldn't think of a better place to send my money :)
Review from Guidestar
I'm at a loss to understand the (few) low reviews; I've had experience as a donor and a volunteer, and they've always been positive. I'm especially drawn by the philosophy that small acts of kindness and generosity can make all the difference in people's lives. I'm impressed that so much of RA's money goes to these acts; they have a very high percentage rating. It's beyond amazing that a relatively small charity has been able to complete the beautiful facility in Haiti. I have no doubt that the work in Nicaragua will be just as successful. I would not hesitate to recommend Random Acts to anyone.
I prefer small charities with as few paid positions as possible, and those that spend nearly all their donations on their actual work. When I researched Random Acts a few years ago that's exactly what they found. Being 'small' doesn't mean they aren't capable of large projects: the Jacmel Children's Center in Haiti was built and is operating now with ongoing support and funding from RA. (Yes, it's operating, contrary to reports posted here. It's not empty; I'm not sure where that info came from, but there are reports from the staff and the woman who runs the place.) RA also funds small local projects: food and sundries for homeless folks, bikes for kids, books for schools, donations of food and cash to food banks, the list goes on. The organization is also very transparent, despite claims here to the contrary. All you have to do is examine the documents to see where the money's going.
I like donating to and supporting smaller organizations that are more focused on directly serving those in need, locally and in the larger community. I'm very satisfied with RA's work, and will continue to support them and encourage others to do so.
The true meaning that lies behind charity in itself, is random acts of kindness. This charity is amazing and it's amazing to see what this charity has accomplished all over the world. This is my favorite charity for so many reasons!