Story by Ammie Bryant
‘Tis the season, right? The season to focus on giving to others and the perfect time to focus on kindness. Wouldn’t the world be a wonderful place if everyone focused on being kinder to one another? I, for one, am exhausted by the last several months of vitriol and bile that the election and politics has magnified in the world around me. It is past time to change that script through acts of kindness and love.
So, in thinking about how important kindness is and how our family could give back this holiday season, I thought, “What better way to do that than countdown to Christmas with random acts of kindness?” We began brainstorming for ideas that we could be kinder to others and give back as well. The following is the list of ideas we came up with. It can be used as an Advent Calendar to inspire your own random acts of kindness throughout the month.
For more kindness inspiration, be sure to visit the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation online at https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/ to learn about the Kindness Movement.
To learn about ways you can volunteer or donate in the community check out stillwatercares.org and the Stillwater Area United Way’s Volunteer Center (http://www.stillwaterunitedway.org/page/home/volunteer/volunteer-now).
Let’s carry the momentum of kindness into the the new year and make the world a better place together.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” –Aesop
- Stock up on candy canes and hand them out to strangers and friends every where you go.
- Donate a coat to someone in need, to a shelter, or a coat drive.
- Let someone cut in front of you in line.
- Crochet or knit? Make scarves and give them away.
- Pay for someone else’s coffee or meal. Pay for the person behind you in drive thru line.
- Volunteer to walk a shelter dog.
- Donate a pair of new pajamas, socks, underwear, or toiletries to the Youth Shelter. Call ahead and ask what they need most.
- Thank a Veteran or First Responder for their service.
- Do yard work for a neighbor.
- Help a friend or family member with a chore.
- Donate food to a local food pantry or resource center.
- Smile and say hello to 12 strangers.
- Donate pet supplies to an animal shelter like the Stillwater Animal Welfare, Humane Society, or Tiny Paws Kitten Rescue.
- Pick up litter.
- Donate books that you no longer need to the Stillwater Public Library for future used book sales.
- Make holiday decorations for school support staff members.
- Volunteer or donate to a local non-profit. If you do this on a regular basis, try finding a new organization to learn about and donate to before the end of the year.
- Pick an Angel from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree and buy a gift for a child in need.
- Compliment a stranger on their sense of style or smile.
- Put money in the Salvation Army bucket.
- Make a special treat for a teacher.
- When eating out, tell a parent of young children that their kids are well-behaved and they are doing a good job as parents.
- Leave your server a bigger tip than normal.
- Feed the birds.
- Spend time with your loved ones–without distraction–and let them know how much you care.