Showing Kindness: One Task Per Month
We make all sorts of resolutions each year, but how often do we resolve to be more kind? It has been proven that being kind and showing kindness can help us lead healthier and happier lives – which is just the beginning of why it is important to practice kindness whenever we can.
You might not be sure where to begin, but the best answer to that is – anywhere. Is there something you can do for someone else, your child’s school, the animals outside, or anyone else? That is where you can begin. It can be as little as holding a door for someone else or telling them that you like their t-shirt. The opportunities are endless, but here is what you can do each month to get you headed in the right direction.
January: Ring in the New Year
Craft New Year’s cards with the kids or on your own and drop them off for delivery at a local nursing home, mental health home, rehab facility, or any other facility that you think might need a little pick me up. You don’t have to know a single resident at the location in order to bring some cheer to many, many people.
February: Make Many Valentines
Take handmade or store bought valentines to your local nurse’s station or bus driver. You can drop off prewrapped candies or cookies as well if you wish. (Make sure you inform them of any allergens you’re aware of!) These people work in thankless jobs daily, so they are sure to feel the love from your gesture!
March: Pass out Some Green
March is all about the color green. Take a few dollar bills and tape them to vending machines. This way someone can enjoy a treat on you!
Don’t have the money to spare? Print out a few coupons or cut them out of your Sunday newspaper and leave them on top of corresponding products in the grocery store. It’s the intention that counts and people will appreciate it!
April: Shower Someone with Kindness
April showers! Donate shampoo, conditioner, soap, towels, socks and anything else you see fit to a local homeless shelter. The residents are sure to appreciate the gesture.
This doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor. If funds are tight, take whatever amount of money you can afford and go to the dollar store to shop. Brand names are far less important than the feeling of being warm, clean, and cared for.
May: Bring May Flowers
May is all about flowers in bloom. Take the time to plant some flowers for an elderly neighbor or spruce up the yard of someone who could use the help. The garden will be there to remind them of your generosity long after you leave.
June: Offer a Cold Treat
Take ice cream sandwiches to your local firehouse. Fire fighters battle the heat so that we don’t have to, but they often go underappreciated. Help them cool down with some ice cream or ice cream sandwiches.
July: Pay for Someone’s Picnic
Pay for the person behind you in the food or coffee drive through line. Okay, so maybe they aren’t heading out on a picnic, but they are sure to enjoy you paying for their lunch!
August: Prepare a Child for School
Donate school supplies to a local religious organization or school. There are always families who cannot afford any or all of the school supplies (the lists are often very, very long), so your gift would mean the world to the children as well as their teachers.
Many stores offer back-to-school sales, so keep your eyes open. You’ll find items for $.01 or $.25 at places like OfficeMax (usually with a purchase of five dollars, which can be other school supplies), so there are affordable ways to help a child.
September: Gather Those Canned Goods
This is the time that families are beginning to prepare for the holidays, and many struggle to put a holiday meal on the table. Pick up some extra canned goods and donate them to a local food bank or a collection at the grocery store so that they can help a family in need.
October: Offer Some Warmth
The weather is getting chilly, so this is the time to donate old coats, jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves to someone in need. Clean out those closets and make a donation to a local shelter or the Red Cross.
November: Spread the Toys
Grab an extra toy or two and donate them to a local shelter or Toys for Tots. They will make sure that a child in need get a new gift this holiday season, no matter how tough their current financial situation. Everyone deserves to have something to celebrate during the holidays and your gift will help make that possible.
December: Don’t Forget the Pets
Pets have needs too! Donate blankets, treats, feeding bowls, and other pet related items to a local pet rescue center. You can even offer to volunteer your time to walk dogs, clean kennels, or work the front desk. The best way to find out what they need is to give a call before you shop, but they will appreciate any donation you make!
Most of this list is medium-sized gestures, but you can go much grander (like hiring a cleaning crew for a friend with six kids or offering to spend the day with someone going through all of their closets), or much smaller (like leaving a note on someone’s desk telling them how much you appreciate them). But the bottom line is that there are tons of ways to show kindness if you open your eyes to them. So the next time you hold the elevator for someone who is rushing to get there, make sure to tell them how much you like their shoes. The smallest gestures have the ability to change someone else’s entire day.