SPREAD KINDNESS, NOT CORONAVIRUS
It's Day 34? in Quarantine. Honestly, I've lost count. It's been a while.
And it's been weird. Adjusting to this new "normal" has hit a lot of people hard. People are stuck at home. Cooped up. Out of work. And nowhere to go.
That being said, I've seen COVID-19 bring out the best in people. Roadside food pantries have been set up. Donations are pouring into local shelters. Thousands of masks are being donated to healthcare professionals.
But, I've also seen COVID-19 bring out the worst in people. After being cooped up for ~ a month, everyone's patience is running thin, and people are becoming more and more agitated. Road rage, rudeness, and general irratability are on the rise.
Maybe I'm an optimist. But in times like these, when people are down on their luck, we need to stand together (metaphorically). Now, more than ever, we need to support one another. And now, more than ever, we need to spread kindness, not coronavirus.
In these trying times, here are some small acts of kindness that you can do that can make a big difference in the lives of others.
1 . CHECK IN ON PEOPLE
You're stuck at home. I get it. But, guess what? So is everyone else. That means that everyone is starving for human interaction. Now, more than ever, people are waiting by their phones and by their mailboxes, just hoping that they'll get a little taste of the outside world. If you're looking to make a big difference in someone's life right now, check in on them. Give them a call. Send them a letter. Guaranteed they'll remember for years to come.
2 . DONATE TO A FOOD PANTRY
At this point, over 22 million Americans have filed for Unemployment. That means that there are millions of families out there that are hurting right now. Many are struggling to make ends meet and to put food on the table. Grab an extra can of tuna before you check out at the grocery store. Take a second glace in your cupboards. Even set aside a coveted roll of toilet paper and donate to your local food pantry. Chances are, someone may need it more than you do.
3 . PICK UP LITTER
As the cabin fever sets in, more people than ever are frequenting local hikes, rail trails, and parks. And while fresh air does wonders for the soul, that extra foot traffic means extra litter too. It happens. Candy wrappers can fall out of pockets. Lake tides can sweep loose flip-flops off shore. Pick a nice day, grab a trash bag, and head to your local lakeshore, park, or even roadway--chances are you'll find something!
4 . DONATE MASKS
Six months ago, who would've thought that face masks would be a hot commodity. Masks are highly encouraged by the CDC to slow the spead of COVID-19. Everyone should be wearing them, but not everyone has them. Lucky for you, there are countless templates that you can follow to make your own masks. If you have access to a 3D Printer, try printing masks or faceshields. If you find that you have a hidden talent for mask making, consider making extras and donating them to local healthcare professionals.
5 . CLEAR OUT YOUR CLOSET
So, you're stuck at home. You find that you have a lot of free time. What do you do? Well, when was the last time you cleaned out your closet? Never? It's time to hop to it. Grab those clothes in the very back of your closet that you never ever wear anymore. If they're in good shape, donate them to your local charity, shelter, or church.
6 . DONATIONS IN LIEU OF GIFTS
We're a gift-giving society. From Easter baskets to birthday presents. From First Communions to graduations. We love to give gifts. But the question is, do we love to receive them? We all have gotten that gift that just sits in the closet until it ultimately gets re-gifted *gasp*. This season, if you feel so inclined to give someone a gift, consider making a donation in their name instead. You could donate directly to the Coronavirus efforts or you could choose another cause entirely.
When my husband and I got married, we chose to do donations in lieu of wedding favors. Instead of cheap mugs or candy, we purchased baby chicks, fruit trees, agricultural tools, school supplies, etc. etc. for families in need, allowing them to become more self-sufficient in the future. At the end of the day, that made the biggest impact, and no one missed the cheesy mugs.
7 . PICK UP SOMEONE'S GROCERIES
As we enter month #2 in quarantine, chances are your fridge is looking pretty barren. You'll have to replenish your stock at some point. If you find yourself heading to the store to pick up some essentials, check in with your loved ones first. Maybe your in-laws need some food for Fido and your neighbors are running low on bread. The goal is to expose the least amount of people and to do a good deed. Just remember to drop off your goodies curbside!
8 . TURN THE OTHER CHEEK
I get it. Tensions are high. People are cooped up, out of work, and have no idea when things will return to normal. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think that's reason enough to be a jerk. Slow down. Take a look around you. Each and every person has their own story. You just never know what someone's going through.
So, in the face of adversity, choose to be kind.
If a stranger cuts you in the check-out line, let them.
If someone says something rude, pay them a compliment.
If your family is driving you up the wall, choose to hug them a little tighter.
In times like these,
Kill them with Kindness.
L O C A L R E S O U R C E S
Catholic Charities NH Crisis Fund