Tovah Staudt, a Houston resident, started the campaign Random Acts of Kindness for Phoenix (RAOK4P) a couple of months ago as a way to celebrate what would have been her son’s, Phoenix Staudt, third birthday on July 24 who passed away on Dec. 13, 2015 due to aspiration pneumonitis. The campaign has taken off and many Houston residents have been spreading random acts of kindness within the community.
One participant in the campaign, Aynsly Trew, recycled bottles and bought drop in bowling and pool passes that he distributed to kids under the age of 13 in Houston.
Another participant donated 40 ounces of breast milk to a mother in need.
One other participant picked raspberries from their own yard to give to a neighbour.
“It mean it’s that simple,” said Staudt. “There is no small thing as a random act of kindness.”
Staudt explained that since Phoenix’s birth, he experienced a myriad of complications including epilespies, seisures, resistance to drugs, prone to illness.
“Phoenix was born after a slightly complicated pregnancy. He was diagnosed hypo-tonic two weeks after birth,” said Staudt. “His passing is complicated but in a nutshell it boils down to aspiration pneumonitis. So what happened was he aspirated during a seizure and it just spiraled out of control extremely quickly.
Staudt said to help ease the grief of Phoenix’s third birthday, she thought random acts of kindness would be an amazing thing to do.
“At first it was just going to be random acts of kindness on what would have been his third birthday to help make the day a happier thing rather than the sad one it would be,” said Staudt. “But as July started, I knew it was going to be for all of July, not just his birthday.”
Staudt said as Phoenix’s birthday was approaching, she found herself wondering about what he would be like at three.
“Phoenix was just the greatest little guy,” said Staudt. Though Phoenix struggled with many health issues, “that never stopped the crazy smiles and the cheeky laughs.”
Staudt first asked her family and friends to be apart of the challenge and spread the kindness.
“It isn’t hard to be kind to people. I think we forget that,” said Staudt. “Being kind is not hard and it can take as little as 30 seconds. A compliment, or holding the door open for someone. We all can spare 30 seconds, can’t we?”
Phoenix is remembered by his mother, father, older brother and sister, and younger brother who was born November 2016. ”He is known as a rainbow baby which is a baby after the loss of a child or pregnancy,” said Staudt.
Staudt said the campaign has just started and will be on going and that there are big things in the works for December.
To be apart of RAOK4P visit the Facebook page, Random Acts of Kindness 4 P or tag a post of your random act of kindness with the hashtag #RAOK4P.