Acts of kindness, big and small, have the ability to change the world, one community at a time. After more than a year of isolation for many people across the country, now is the perfect time to do good and build unity in your area.
According to a national survey from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, more than 1 in 3 Americans (36%) faced “serious loneliness” during the pandemic, including more than 60% of young adults.
You can help those craving a sense of connection with a few tips from SECU Maryland. The largest chartered credit union in the state continues to strengthen and enrich the lives of neighbors and communities, in this case aiming to inspire 70,000 acts of kindness nationwide.
Use Your Voice
Words have power, and you can leverage yours to uplift, support and offer love.
- Thank a teacher for making a difference in your life or your children’s.
- Send a “thank you” card to your local fire station or police department.
- Decorate your children’s bedroom doors with paper leaves, each featuring a reason you love them.
- Leave a positive online review for a company, business or organization in your community.
- Write an uplifting text message to five friends whom you haven’t spoken to recently.
There are many benefits of showing gratitude to those around you, both for your friends and family and for you. Start by focusing internally; begin writing in a gratitude journal, jotting down three things you’re thankful for each day before going to bed. Continue by reflecting on each day with your partner or family at mealtime, celebrating the moments that brought a smile to your face. Finally, show your gratitude to those all around you by saying “thank you” at every opportunity for the big things and small ones.
Take making a difference in your community to the next level by getting active with the organizations and associations that mean the most to you, starting at home.
- Complete chores you know your partner or family members don’t like doing.
- Donate old towels and blankets to a local animal shelter.
- Surprise a neighbor with freshly baked goodies.
- Take used books to a local library.
- Put your phone away while enjoying the company of others and focus on being present.
- Start a piggy bank for a cause in need of funding.
- Volunteer for a nonprofit that’s close to your heart.
- Surprise someone behind you in the drive-thru line by paying for his or her order.
- Leave an extra tip at your favorite restaurant or for your grocery delivery person.
No matter the size of the act, random acts of kindness can leave a large and lasting impact. Instilling kindness in your children can be as simple as encouraging them to take part in simple (and fun) activities like these:
Sidewalk chalk: Inspire creativity in your little artist by using sidewalk chalk to write uplifting messages or draw colorful images in your neighborhood.
Wildflower seeds: Sprinkle wildflower seeds along your next walk to add pops of color for others to enjoy.
Notecards: Pick an uplifting design for your child to share his or her thanks with a teacher, send a sweet note to a friend or family member or write an inspiring message to mail to a child in need.
Cookie dough: For a delicious way to put a smile on someone else’s face, choose your favorite cookie dough and bake a sweet treat to surprise a neighbor or family member.