21 Things This Girl Did Instead Of Getting Wasted On Her 21st Birthday


While many young people usher in their 21st birthday by going out for drinks or throwing a huge party, Bristol, Tennessee resident Alexa Sexton opted for something a little more memorable. 

To celebrate her 21st birthday on April 25, she decided to perform 21 acts of kindness in and around her community.

Miss Sexton wasn't always so civic-minded, however. In an interview with the Bristol Herald-Courier, the self-proclaimed former "princess" talked about her shift in thinking: "My whole mentality changed after I got baptized," she told the paper. "It was as if I didn't care about my needs anymore. I started thinking about how appropriate it would be to give to others on the day I turned 21. I didn't want to go out partying and not remember becoming an adult. I wanted to impact people by kindness."

She was kind enough to provide us with a full list of her acts of kindness. These are in no particular order, and she notes that some developed spontaneously. She spent a total of nine hours with friends going around the city, performing random acts of kindness.


1. She started out by giving a gift to her mother.

"She went through 16 hours of labor to birth me, so I felt the most important thing for me to do was give her a present on my birthday," she told the Bristol Herald-Courier. "She loves Grumpy Cat, so I bought her a stuffed one to keep on her bed."

2. Bought something for the next person in line.

3. Prayed over each floor in the hospital for all the patients, nurses, doctors and families.

4. Took lunch to the families in the ICU waiting areas.

"One act of kindness that I loved the most was when we went into the ICU at Bristol Regional Hospital to take food to the people in the waiting rooms," Sexton told the paper. "One of the people in there was a pastor. I felt like God put him there at just the right time. Because after we left the food for the visitors, we were going to all of the floors to pray for the patients. We asked the pastor to join us and he was very excited to do so."

5. Left crayons, coloring books, and word searches for the families in waiting areas.

6. She visited a firehouse, bringing doughnuts to appreciative firefighters.

"I just wanted to say thank you to them for all they do." 

7. Added time to the expired parking meters at the airport.

8. Left quarters in the toy machines at Food City.

9. Left gas money with the cashier for someone in need.

10. Left lottery tickets on gas pumps.

11. Bought a random person something off of their public Amazon wishlist.

12. Left the adoption fee for an animal.

13. Donated dog and cat food to the animal shelter.

14. Left the waitress a generous tip at lunch.

15. Left a letter of encouragement in the mailbox of a single mom.

16. Left her mail carrier a thank you gift.

17. Let someone skip her in line.

18. Left quarters at the laundromat.

19. Donated clothes to a clothing drive.

20. Donated to the Boy Scouts.

21. Gave a thank you note to a teacher that had a huge impact on her life: Matt Chandler of Bristol Tennessee High School.

The best thing is that Miss Sexton is planning to continue this tradition every year and hopes that it might inspire others to do the same. She says: "The list may change as I get older. I'll meet more people and there will be more lives that I want to touch. It's also something that I would like to teach my children when I have them. I think it's important to teach the next generation to give."

We couldn't agree more. Please join us in wishing Alexa a belated happy birthday by following her on Twitter.

(H/T: The Bristol Herald-Courier was exceptionally kind for letting us use quotes from this article by Tammy Childress, along with photographs by David Crigger. Alexa Sexton was kind enough to provide us with the list of her acts of kindness and photographs by Michelle Hachten. This story was brought to our attention by Twitter user Dowzerw.)

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