Though it may seem that nearly everything gets its own awareness day or week these days, some are more worthy than others. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK), Random Acts have some ideas on how the entire family can get involved in performing random acts of kindness. Not only can participating in these kinds of activities build character in your children, they can also teach them the concept of civic responsibility and build a strong sense of caring for other people. Additionally, it’s a great way for your family to spend quality time together.
Change Your World
To many, the world’s problems can often feel so big and overwhelming that you’re not sure how to go about making any kind of positive change. However, by starting at the community level, or even just taking a little time out of your busy schedule to show someone in need some much-needed kindness, small changes can grow into big ones. Becoming a RAKtavist doesn’t even need to take much time. Something as simple as sending a letter to someone who inspired you or your kids making a nice drawing for the elderly lady next door can lead to a warm heart.
There are likely many different issues that you or your family members feel passionate about and by volunteering you can help make a difference. Hold a toy drive for women’s shelters, focusing on both baby toys and useful learning toys for older children. Some inexpensive and durable toys can be found at stores such as Target which as an added bonus also makes generous donations to public education. There are also organizations that help disadvantaged people get back to work such as Dress for Success which is always looking for gently used business clothing and tutors to help with resumes and job training. The whole family can volunteer at a pet adoption center, raising funds and gathering donations for their furry friends.
2) Surprise a neighbor.
Many of us don’t take the time to get to know our neighbors, but fostering a relationship with them can improve your community’s sense of togetherness and security. Take the family over to introduce yourselves, perhaps bringing some baked goods that you all made together. Your kids can pitch in with the decoration of both the cakes and the basket. Offer to help out an elderly or shut-in neighbor with grocery shopping or even some yard work.
3) Adopt another family in need.
Helping another family in your community can show your kids that lending a hand can have a direct impact on someone else’s life. Encourage your children to find toys they no longer play with to share with the other family. You can take casseroles, or even provide the family with a grocery card so they can do their own shopping. You can find out more about adopting a family by visiting your local Salvation Army, or your church may also have families they sponsor.
4) Help decorate your local senior center.
Your whole family can bring a smile to an elderly face by bringing homemade decorations or floral arrangements to your local senior center. Have your kids create paper decorations for holidays such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Halloween that can be hung up in the center for all to see. Flowers are especially appreciated, and bringing an arrangement from your own garden will cheer anyone up.
5) Make a care package.
Think about the people in your lives that could use a little “happy” or a helping hand. What kind of things could they really use? Students struggling with bills might enjoy some home baked cookies and a grocery card to help them through the tough times. Those who are homeless are especially in need of blankets, a phone card, and non-perishable snacks. Discuss it with your family to come up with ideas for care packages.
Helping others can evoke a warm feeling inside you, and passing that gift on to your children can elicit a lifetime of giving back to the community. Think of creative ways you can help those in need, or things you can do to bring a smile to someone’s face. Sometimes even the most simple of gestures can go a long way.
Armed with a degree in Psychology, Melanie Fleury entered into the workforce to change the world. As a foster mother of 5 boys, the world changed her. Now, as a freelance writer and blogger, she enjoys writing about issues that are close to her heart like family and children. She hopes that each article she writes finds an audience in need of the information that she provides.