Last weekend we had two friends from our quarantine pod over to help make winter care packages for the homeless.
Here in our hometown, Syracuse, NY, we have a very large homeless population. We also have long, brutal winters, so more than ever I need my kids to understand how crucial it is that we do more to help our community members.
One way to try and teach this is by getting them do actually participate in kind acts for others.
So I made a list of supplies (that a mom-friend picked up for me- thanks Mag!), and we set up an assembly line to fill the care packages. We included the following:
- Sealable bags
- Hand warmers
- New socks
- Hand lotion
- Hand sanitizing wipes
- Granola bars
- Kindness Notes (with hand written messages from the kids)
The kids had fun packing 35 packages, each one personalized with a kind note. We dropped them off to be delivered through our local Rescue Mission, but I also made sure to keep some that we can hand deliver the next time we see someone in need in our city.
These are the kinds of acts that kids need to witness, and get involved in- and will allow them to become empathetic and giving adults.
A small, thoughtful gesture can make someone else's day. Commit to showing extra kindness each day this month. Below are some simple ideas to try!
1. Mail someone a card with thoughtful sentiments like "I am so proud of you because...", "I think you are a really wonderful friend" or "Thinking of you makes me smile." Be sure to show kids how to address the envelope. As I recently learned, my 13 year "forgot" where the stamp goes.
2. Offer to shovel the driveway for an elderly neighbor, especially in extreme weather.
3. Prepare and hand out winter care packages for the homeless.
4. Say "I love you" to someone you truly love. Don't let a moment pass by to let them know. You will never regret it.
5. Each time you get a new item of clothing, give away two items from your closet. Declutter for a good cause!
6. Bring your partner a morning coffee in bed.
7. Out of the blue, leave some warm cookies on a friends doorstep. (My kids like to ding-dong ditch, but maybe stick on a little note saying who it's from.)
8. Tell others how grateful you are to them—and really mean it. Teachers, customer service phone operators, mail men and women, the barista at Star Bucks! Everyone needs to feel appreciated.
Happy National Kindness Month everyone! Get out there and show some love.