Bumper stickers urge people to “Commit Random Acts of Kindness” but an Iowa organization is putting a new spin on the old slogan. Amy Smit, spokeswoman for Character Counts in Iowa, is encouraging people to do something nice for a family member, a friend — or a stranger — as part of Kindness Counts Week.

“We’re inviting Iowans to visit the Kindness Counts website, log in a random act of kindness or a good deed or an act of character that you’ve completed that day,” Smit says. “Iowans will not only be able to see the acts of kindness other people are submitting but you’ll also be eligible for some fun prizes.”

Smit says folks will quickly find out, kindness can pay, with cash prizes.  They’ll be giving away “a couple hundred dollars in prizes” and gift packs and gift cards from several retailers and the Iowa Cubs.

Smit says it doesn’t take a lot of effort or forethought to commit an act of kindness.  It can be something like helping a neighbor rake their yard, taking out someone’s garbage, holding a door open for someone or even buying a stranger a cup of coffee.

To visit the Kindness Counts website, go to: www.kindnesscounts.ning.com or visit the Iowa Character Counts page at www.charactercountsiniowa.org.