I was inspired by a friend who was doing some volunteering. When someone asked her what prompted her to do it, she said, “Well, I figured I could be mad and shout at my TV. Or I could do something.”
A family kindness challenge with my kids–I can do that!
I’m feeling very frustrated about the anger and divisiveness that we’re seeing, particularly from those who are supposed to be representing us. They sure don’t represent me and my views!
If you’re like me, you might feel hopeless at times because you’re only one person. But collectively, we’re a lot of people. And together, it adds up.
I won’t go into too much detail as to why I chose these acts. For the most part, they are not terribly time-consuming. Or expensive.
You might also want to consider keeping a gratitude calendar or diary while you do this. The visual schedule may be helpful for kids.
Author’s Note: This post was an actual 20-Day Kindness Challenge that we did together on the blog a while back. That’s why some of the acts are geared toward autumn or fall.
Since then, we revisit it every year on my IEP Parent Chat Forums, and do as many activities as we can.
National Kindness Day
November is Kindness Month and World Kindness Day (November 13).
That is another reason many of the ideas reference autumn activities. But of course, many of them can be adapted for any time of year.
Kindness Challenge Ideas
- Call someone. As a society, we have to rebuild personal connections. Think of someone whom you used to talk with on the phone frequently, and just don’t anymore. Call them and chat.
- Find donations. Whether it is clothes from yours or your kids’ closets, or favorite books you don’t read anymore. Gather up a pile to be donated and take it. November is a great time to gather up Kids Christmas Books that your kids have outgrown and donate them.
- Go through your Halloween candy. Keep some, donate the rest. Soldiers’ Angels and Operation Gratitude are two organizations that will send it overseas to troops. Around here, the Acme will take it.
- Skip one day of driving your car, which is kind to the environment. Try to make this one a weekly habit.
- Take your child or dog out for a nice walk. No gadgets, just walking and talking. (kindness begins at home!) Don’t have a dog? Borrow one–walk one for a neighbor.
- Leave a positive online review on Google or Facebook. Or, take the time to search out the company website and contact Customer Service with your positive experience at that business.
Since many choose November to do a kindness challenge, it often includes Election Day.
- Offer rides to the polls to those who need them. You can post it on community bulletin boards on Facebook, or your church or school.
- Volunteer at the polls for a few hours.
- Take some bottled water, a bag of hard candy or some other treat to those who are working the polls.
- Do a “pay it forward” if you go to Starbucks or some other place like that. (I’ve since been told that for many drive-thru cashiers, this is a tremendous burden for them. Maybe give the drive-thru worker a significant tip instead!)
- Clean out your linen closets and donate your old sheets and towels to an animal shelter. We love dogs, right? And they need kindness too.
- Write a long overdue Thank You note. You can even start it with, “I am embarrassed at how late this is, but I still wanted to thank you…..”
- Do that rock painting thing where you paint some rocks and leave them where people will find them.
I’m having a lot of fun with this. I find it really refreshing to be doing something positive each day. Last week I worked the book fair at my son’s school, and several kids were a few cents short. But, I let it go and covered it for them.
- Make a plan to donate items to a food pantry this week or next.
- Next time you’re asked at a register if you want to give $1 to ‘worthy cause,’ go ahead and do it if it’s a cause you like to support.
- Since November is the month of gratitude, thank someone in your life who is important to you. And don’t forget to thank a vet!
- If it’s chilly where you are this week, pack a cup of hot cocoa in a disposable cup and give it to the bus driver who picks up your child.
- Send a text or private Facebook message to someone. Make it “just for so” as my Nan would say. Just something simple to brighten their day.
- If you have an elderly or disabled neighbor, make sure that they are taken care of in case snow, ice or extreme heat is in the forecast. If they don’t, see if other neighbors will join in on a rotating schedule.
- Offer to watch a friend’s kids while she attends parent-teacher conferences so that she can fully participate.
- Acts of kindness that are free: A telephone call, spending time with someone, writing down what you’re grateful for, paying someone a compliment, thanking someone.
- Invite someone to Thanksgiving or another holiday. Pick someone who may not have anywhere to go.
- If you have friends who have Thanksgiving plans, ask them if they want to come for dessert.
- Participate in Giving Tuesday. If you cannot afford to donate money this year, do them a favor and promote the cause on your social media.
- When you are with your family for Thanksgiving, pick a project for the holidays. (adopt a family, angel tree, etc.)
- Don’t forget to encourage your kids to do this too!
More Random Acts of Kindness
Why not watch a movie that is sure to inspire your family?