Laurie Sayers of Niles turned 41 on Saturday, the first day of autumn. This year, Sayers is striving to ring in her 41 st birthday in style by performing 41 random acts of kindness during the days leading up to her birthday.
For Sayers, having the power to spread positive energy is a natural gift that keeps on giving.
"Every year, everyone makes a big deal about my birthday," Sayers said. "I really didn't want to do anything this year, so I wanted to give back. I was searching online for ideas on giving back. I found a story about a woman who was teaching her children gratitude. She was turning 35 years old and was doing 35 random acts of kindness during the week of her birthday. So I thought this would be a neat way to celebrate my birthday."
Photos special to the Tribune Chronicle
For one of her 41 random acts of kindness, Laurie Sayers of Niles left dollar bills and cards explaining her project in the toy aisle of a dollar store.
Sayers said she began her random acts of kindness on Sept. 17 and continued her good works all through the week. Her goal was to do 10 random acts of kindness a day during the week.
"On Monday, I bought someone behind me at the drive-thru lunch. I also took flowers to the nurses at Trumbull Memorial Hospital. These nurses have helped me with family crises during the years. I left change at the vending machines at the hospital for those who needed change. I was picking up supplies at the dollar store for projects that I was working on for different charities. I placed dollar bills for children in the toy department at the dollar store with a note about the random acts of kindness project," Sayers said.
Niles resident Michelle Robbins has known Sayers since the eighth grade. Robbins said that Sayers has always been a giving and generous person.
"I think that 41 random acts of kindness is a wonderful idea," she said. "It's typical of Laurie to do something like that for others. I think the idea is fun, and when I saw the dollar bills on the dollar store shelves in the toy aisle, I was laughing out loud."
Robbins said that Sayers included a "pass it on" note with each of her acts of kindness.
"I think 41 is a lot of things to do, and hopefully the recipients will pass it on, just like her little card read," Robbins said.
On Monday, Sayers also donated items to Diva Donations. Diva Donations is a local charity that is devoted to helping girls who are in need in the community to have that special ideal fairytale homecoming or prom. Sayers said that Diva Donations takes in used formal wear such as shoes, gowns and jewelry.
"Diva Donations reaches out to girls who want to have a 'Cinderella Experience' for homecoming or prom, but who cannot have it," Sayers said.
On Tuesday, Sayers donated clothing to the Warren Family Mission and throughout the day she lifted the spirits of those who were down by giving them carnations. She also handed carnations to the secretaries at JAD Equipment Co. in Youngs-town, where her late ex-husband, James Dagan Jr., was co-owner and founder.
Joe Hunsbarger, owner, believes that Sayers' 41 random acts of kindness is a great way to celebrate a birthday.
"She bought all the girls here at JAD Equipment Co. and my wife carnations. I think it's an awesome thing," Hunsbarger said.
Sayers wanted to spread her good works to young people who work at her family's restaurant, Caesar's Italian Restaurant, in Warren.
"On Wednesday, I did some teen mentoring," Sayers said. "I have some teenagers who work for me at the restaurant, and I spoke to them about the random acts of kindness. I gave some hairclips to a daughter of one of the waitresses. She is going to homecoming and I said to her, 'If these aren't something you can use, give them to someone who would like them.'"
"I think it's great because she has been through so much," said Pam Wright, Warren resident and one of Sayer's coworkers. "You could not ask for a better person. I worked with her for a long time. She could show people the importance of how to treat others and how to always be the better person."
Sayers has shared her random acts of kindness with her friends on Facebook ,through photos and status updates.
"I've had a really great week," Sayers said. "Everything that I do adds up and makes me feel better. A birthday is usually one day, but with me and my family, I end up celebrating my birthdays for a whole week. I hope to not just do 41 random acts of kindness, but many. I feel thankful and blessed."