"KINDNESS MATTERS." You're reading this on the internet, so it must be true! But in real life, I literally have a t-shirt that says this. I wear it often. I try to act like it's truth as much and as often as I can. Of course, no one's perfect... but it's still a good feeling to try to extend this kindness to others, and there are so many ways to do so!
Just before COVID-19 hit us in the Spring I was starting this career in Real Estate and decided to also put myself out there and look for ways to volunteer and give back to my community. I have to say, I was awed and inspired by the volume of opportunities in Lancaster County.
I settled on Habitat for Humanity. I have a lot of experience doing home construction and renovation, both of my own residence and through volunteer services in my youth. I thought this would dovetail nicely with my Real Estate career in that I could help get people into houses whether they could afford it or not! Also, my husband works in the construction industry, and we could do this volunteer work together.
Of course, then COVID-19 came and was followed quickly by shut downs and quarantines, murder hornets, birds falling from the sky, rivers of fire, the Four Horsemen... you get the idea. But in all seriousness, I live with a very high risk individual, so we've been extra cautious and I had to put the volunteerism on hold. I'm so looking forward to being able to get out there and do some hands-on work though! If you've never seen me with power tools, it's a sight to behold! (I won't say if that's because it's scary or because I'm intimidating... it might be a little of both. But I'm safe, promise!)
I wanted to put together this Little List of Kind Acts because with coronavirus still an issue and causing rifts and a highly contentious election coming up, it seems like more and more of the news and social interactions out there are negative and malicious. In the end, we're all people, and we all deserve a little kindness. These are things that are beyond the every day politeness.
Little List of Kind Acts (for a friend, family member or neighbor)
- Drop off some baked goods (be allergy-friendly) or a home-cooked dinner
- Make a basket of goodies that the person could use to make a dinner
- Drop off some items that fit around a theme, like the person's hobby
- Grab a DVD or two that you already watched and tie a ribbon around it with a bag of popcorn
- Rake your neighbor's leaves without being asked
- Do the dishes or clean the house without being asked, even if it's not your chore
- Volunteer to babysit so your neighbors, friends or family members can have a date night. (Maybe offer to do so at your house if feasible so that they can stay in if they're being careful and not eating at restaurants right now.)
- Pay for the person behind you at the drive-thru or grocery store
- Hold the door for someone and SMILE
- Offer to drive a homebound neighbor to the grocery store or a dr.'s appointment
- Everyone in your family could choose a person to play Secret Santa to this year, with the catch that you each have to do or give something meaningful to that person for less than $10
- You can also do a more pointed "kindness campaign." My daughter and I like to do the 12 Days of Christmas Kindness, where from December 1-12 we come up with a different conscious thing we can do that forces us to go out of our way. For example, she isn't walking to school this year (cyber), but we may give all the crossing guards a card with a grocery store gift card inside. Or maybe we drive to a local park and hand out candy canes and little cups of hot cocoa to people.
And if you're looking for a place to volunteer around Lancaster, there are a lot of places that could use your help. Volunteermatch.com is a good place to start! There's Habitat for Humanity, Girls on the Run, Volunteers of America, United Way of Lancaster, The Humane League, and many, many other wonderful organizations that will fit your personality and be happy for your contributions. It's also a great way to make friends!