Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and love is definitely in the air! We’re not talking about the expensive chocolates, candle light dinners and gold dipped roses (seriously, does anyone actually buy those?!) kind of love. What we’re talking about is the love, romantic and platonic, that you show towards everyone around you – every day.
This February Philly Gives is all about celebrating the power that small acts of kindness have to change someone’s life, which is why we’re challenging YOU to do one kind thing each day this month for someone else.
Smile at a stranger (but not in a creepy way).
Send someone a text that reads “Thank you for being you. I’m grateful to have you in my life.”
Hold the door, or the elevator, for the person behind you (make sure you look them in the eye and smile while doing it).
Pay for the person’s coffee behind you in line at Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, or any coffee shop for that matter.
Leave an encouraging note for someone somewhere unexpected (in a cab or in someone’s locker at the gym, for example).
Put your phone away when you’re in line at the coffee shop, grocery store, etc., and ask the person helping you how their day has been/is going (and really mean it).
Leave something sweet – like cookies or chocolate – in your mailbox with the flag up for your mailman or mailwoman.
Compliment a stranger – on their scarf, outfit, hair, shoes, etc. – and watch them light up (remember, it needs to be genuine).
If your boss is having a tough week, leave a small token (like a bar of chocolate, a soothing candle or a calming tea) on their desk with a note that says – “Thought you might need this this week!”
Write a letter to a soldier thanking them for their service. No idea how to mail it? You can send it for free through A Million Thanks and they’ll make sure it gets delivered.
Ask someone for advice. Tell them you value their insight because you admire a specific quality or character trait about them.
Offer to help someone. Whether it’s a tourist that looks lost, an older person that dropped something, or your co-worker that is running late on a big deadline – just ask if you can help.
Refuse to label others. Don’t assume you know what someone has been through or what their story is. If you have time, ask them, and if not then at the very least don’t label them based on your assumptions.
Refuse to spread or listen to gossip for 24 hours.
Donate gently used toys and/or clothes that are still in great shape to a low income child care center, a local Salvation Army, or a shelter.
Take cookies to your local volunteer fire department (they don’t even have to be homemade).
Buy 5 non-perishable food items on your next trip to the grocery store and donate them. Don’t know where to donate them? Most ACME food stores have bags already set up that you can purchase at check-out and they’ll donate them for you!
Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while just to say hi.
Tell someone how they’ve inspired you.
Make it a point, for one day, to say “thank you” for everything – the change the cashier hands you, the door someone holds for you, etc. Why? Because the act of expressing gratitude for small things cultivates gratitude in YOU!
Skip your afternoon coffee run and donate $5 to your favorite charity.
Pay-it-forward by paying for an extra hour of parking when you pull out of that awesome spot on the street you scored. Can’t pay for parking? Pay something else forward, but nothing that costs more than $3-4.
Acknowledge that the homeless person you pass every day is human, and ask if you can buy him/her a cup of coffee or a sandwich.
Give out Valentine’s Day heart candies just because it’s fun (and throws mature adults for a loop!).
Donate old, but not ancient, magazines to a local shelter, nursing home, community center, or even the library.
Show some kindness to a furry friend by volunteering to walk a dog at a local shelter for an hour.
Put together a $5 “shelter care package” using travel sized toiletry items from the Dollar Tree.
Take a meal to a friend or co-worker who’s not feeling well (ordering a pizza and having it delivered to them counts too).
Article by Katie Everett, Founder of Philly Gives – an organization aimed at maximizing positive community impact in Philadelphia by fostering collaboration and generating increased awareness, support and involvement in local charitable efforts. You can connect with Philly Gives by liking them on Facebook, following them on Twitter or e-mailing them at [email protected]