February is a month of loooovvvve.…but aside from the Hallmark implied kissy mushiness, there are thousands of ways to show loving kindness to those around you-both within your bubble and outside your comfort zone.
Here are a few suggestions that have personally touched my heart lately (and most of these are great for involving children!). Perhaps one or two will touch yours too.
- Stock or start a Little Free Library. Ever heard of a Little Free Library? They are not only the cutest things, but a wonderful way of bringing communities together. Check out their website to see if there is one near you, and if so, consider stocking it with some books you may not need around the house anymore. Or, maybe start one yourself!
- Letters to the elderly. A handwritten letter or card, even from a stranger, is a special thing. And to the elderly in nursing homes, it reminds them that they are not forgotten. This is an easy one for children to participate in. Check your local nursing homes to see if this would be welcome, or check out this link for an extensive list of nursing homes/long term care where you can send them.
- Take baked goods to foster care centers. Some major cities have a foster care center; this is where children are taken to first, after being removed from their current residence. Sometime they stay there only a few minutes, sometimes several hours, before they can be moved to a relative’s or foster home. Quite often, the only food these children have access to at the center is junk food, and homemade goods are not only far more appealing, but comforting to these children. Check with your local foster care administrator if this would be welcome at their center.
- Grab a garbage bag and take a walk around your neighborhood. Along the way, pick up any trash along the road. Bring your kids along! They can make a game of it, and learn the importance of treating not only your own personal property with respect, but also your neighbors’.
- This one is huge: Restoring a Mother’s Heart is a retreat for mothers whose children have died from chronic illness. This weekend long retreat offers a place of support, comfort, and companionship in the midst of grief, along with talks and resources to aid these precious mamas. Many women struggle or cannot afford the full cost, so there a fundraiser page in place to donate toward scholarships for them.
- Call, text, and….compliment: Never underestimate the powerful beauty of words. Be they spoken, written, or gestured (i.e. waving to a neighbor), words can make or break a person’s day. So even if you cannot do any of the above suggestions, at least take the time today to call someone you love, or text a friend in pain, or even let the teller at the bank tomorrow know that her hair is rock and roll cool. You never know, yours may be the words they need to hear most at the moment.
May the rest of your February, and the rest of your year, be marked by an outpouring of loving kindness!