The Pleasant Valley Church is having its members "RACK" people for the holidays.
Members of the church have been distributing special red and white cards with the message "You've Been RACK'ed" written on them. This refers to Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.
Pastor John Weisman said the Random Acts of Christmas Kindness aims to get people to smile and is a simple way of letting people know that God cares about them.
"We are just one of many churches taking part in this. We were able to get many from the congregation involved in doing various acts of kindness. I know many from the church who have said it has been a lot of fun," he said.
Weisman said churches across the country are taking part doing good things for others.
Weisman said one member went to help pay off the layaway for shoppers at a local store while others paid for someone's haircut or pedicure. He said one man helped repair someone's furnace at no cost.
"People have told me those they have helped were amazed and very appreciative of what was done to help them," she said
Marci Bowser of Howland, a member of the church, approached the church leaders with the idea when she heard about the grassroots effort.
She said this is the first year for the cards which ran out since so many from the church were taking part. The cards are left with people so they understand what was done.
She and her daughter, Courtney, were in line at Starbucks and helped pay for people's orders. Weisman helped pay for meals at McDonald's.
"He recently did the bubble gum machine at Giant Eagle where he left the cards with quarters on them so children could get bubblegum." Bowser said.
Bowser said her sister saw the idea online, and she thought it was a great idea and brought it to the attention of the pastors.
"I kept telling them we need to do something like this locally, and we came up with the cards," she said noting the congregation welcomed the idea immediately.
Bowser said she went several mornings through the drive-through at Starbucks.
"Starbucks did a pay-it-forward morning where each car in the drive-through for one hour had the driver in the vehicle pay for the person in front or behind them," she said.
"Everyone has gotten into this. One of the members thought it should be done all year long and not just at Christmas" Bowser said.
Bowser said the people given the cards are very touched, and the stores and businesses have been cooperative with the idea.
Jeff Bowser said at restaurants he has given the card and tipped the server 100 percent of the bill.
"People can make up their own way to show kindness at Christmas. One of our parishioners went out and paid off someone's layaway at Kmart," Marci Bowser said.
Jack Simon, a member of the congregation, said he is aware of other churches that have done this and helped pay off people's gifts in layaway at a store or helped pay for a meal.
Weisman said despite the stress of the holidays people are more open to God during the Christmas season than any other time.
Suggested ideas have included volunteering at food and clothing ministry, giving away a plate of cookies to someone, leaving a treat or small gift in the mailbox for the mail carrier, baby-sit for free, rake leaves or shovel snow, visit someone in a hospital or nursing home, pay for someone's Santa pictures at the mall, buy hot cocoa for a Salvation Army bell ringer, pay post due library books, or treat someone to a pizza who has to work on Christmas.
People have helped at the church making donations to programs the church helps with, volunteering as the church host's the regional Bible quiz, delivering Angel trees and giving financially with special offerings to the Summit Academy in Warren and the benevolence ministry.
Weisman said plans are to continue the effort next year and do it throughout the year.
"It's important to let everyone know that God does care," he said.