Be Random & Create a Culture of Kindness
It Is the Season of Good Cheer After all!
While Random Acts of Kindness Week doesn’t take place until February, the present holiday season is as good a time as any to practice some community-building, love-sharing, message-spreading acts of kindness! Whether your acts are big or small, random or carefully planned, sharing an act of kindness with someone (or many someones) in your community is very meaningful, and will not only brighten a neighbor’s day or boost a community hero’s confidence, but will also help to teach children how to share joy and appreciation with the world.
Despite the community-building nature of the many different cultural celebrations that take place this time of year, the long, dark days and cold weather sometimes encourage us to hunker down and become isolated from one another. The time of year that makes us want to hibernate, however, is the perfect time of year to share love and appreciation with one another. Countering the dark days to provide local folks with inspiration or gratitude will help to keep your community vibrant as winter sets in!
Random acts of kindness can take many forms – sometimes it’s a card or a gift, sometimes it’s a freshly shoveled walkway, sometimes it’s a flower in a hand-painted pot, and other times it’s a homemade loaf of bread. Whatever form your random act of kindness takes, the concept behind the act is the same: share small acts of kindness with those around you, and watch it spread!
Often, opportunities to teach children about living life with kindness arise on their own through everyday situations. However, sometimes learning to be kind requires some specific instruction. Luckily, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation offers a free set of lesson plans developed for teaching kindness to students from kindergarten through high school. While the lesson plans are written for teachers to use in creating kind, safe learning environments, the ideas that they teach are universally useful and parents can easily pull ideas, questions, and even resources like videos from the lesson plans in order to guide their family’s growth, understanding, and practice of everyday kindness.
While the lesson plans are free, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation asks users to provide basic information about themselves and the ways in which they intend to use the lesson plans. The foundation uses this information to support their research into the importance of teaching kindness, so your information helps! Using the tools and tips provided in the plans, create a holiday season random act of kindness as a family! Maybe you’ll share the gift of play, or maybe you’ll spread seasonal joy by sharing handmade cards or a handmade gift.
If you’re looking for an act of kindness with a bigger impact, take inspiration from Hilltown Families’ recent Family Community Service Event, which combined many small acts of kindness to create 600 hours of service to a large handful of deserving community organizations. Part of the mission of Hilltown Families includes connecting, creating and collaborating in service-based learning opportunities for families in Western MA, which includes acts of kindness towards our community members. Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Events are one of our signature events that accomplishes this mission. We have been able to deliver over 1,500 hours of community service through service-based learning with our yearly Family Community Service Events and collaborations with local businesses and non-profit organizations!
Volunteering as a family has so many benefits for children, parents, families and the community… yet families are so very busy that it can be difficult to find the time to volunteer together, or to identify ways to support causes and organizations they care about. Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Events offer a bridge between families and service organizations in our region, bringing our community together in the spirit of volunteerism and collaboration to amplify the work of these organizations while supporting service-based learning and the value of giving back to our community.
Support Hilltown Families with your tax deductible donation during Valley Gives on Wednesday, December 10th so we can generate 1,500 more hours of service & kindness to our community!
[Photo credit: (cc) Derek Bruff]