Outreach - August 2020
“Random Acts of Kindness”
“Random Acts of Kindness” is not a new concept. Last year in Stewardship’s “Interests and Talents Survey,” under the category of, “I might like to serve on one of these Caring Ministries/Missions,” 16 people checked off the box for “Random Acts of Kindness.”
One of the Outreach Team’s goals last year was to begin a new ministry based on an interest people had from the Survey. We selected “Random Acts of Kindness,” but the pandemic interrupted our conversation. We didn’t pick up the idea again until our June meeting. Several people volunteered to research the concept of “kindness” further.
On the internet we found half a dozen organizations who were talking about “kindness.” We selected “kindness.org.” and after looking at their website decided to order their book entitled “Be Kind,” “A Year of Kindness One Week at a Time.” The book is written by the founders of “kindness.org,” Melissa Burmester & Jaclyn Lindsey. In their book, the authors share the research they have done on “kindness” in their Kindlab, the research hub for “Kindness.org.”
Kindness comes in many forms. The book “Be Kind” contains 52 weeks of various forms of kindness such as, “love, loyalty, camaraderie, compassion, reciprocity, respect, generosity, gratitude, fairness, forgiveness, heroism, and humility.” Each week offers something to learn about kindness, a reflection on how that kindness was put into action, and something you can do personally in relation to that act of kindness. The book is inviting and easy to read with only 4 pages for each week.
At our August meeting, we will use the information on “kindness” from this book, as well as other sources such as “Inspire to Act,” written by Jennifer Borislow & Mark Gaunya, as we begin to think about a ministry of “Random Acts of Kindness” at First Church. In the meantime, we would like to share with you some initial thoughts on kindness and how doing kind acts might help us during this pandemic.
Why is kindness important? It is important to us as social beings, which have lived in community throughout all time, because we rely on cooperative relationships with each other in order to survive and thrive. Kindness is a way of helping to start and maintain our relationships with everyone with whom we interact.
Any act of kindness, large or small, can have a significant, positive impact on the person who receives it, as well as the person who gives it. During this pandemic, with its incumbent social distancing, many of us have experienced feelings of aloneness and isolation. Acts of kindness, “given” and “received,” can help us all to feel less alone and isolated.
What Can I Do?
Here are some suggestions for acts of kindness from “Be Kind” and our team that you might consider to reach out to others and to take care of yourself during the turbulent times in which we are living.
• Relax with a bath
• Write a gratitude list
• Take a nap
• Take a break from Tech
• Reconnect with someone you haven’t spoken with since the quarantine and social distancing began
• Send a thank you text
• Call an older person to ask if there is something you can do to help
• Ear mark a $5 bill for random acts of kindness
• Donate to a worthy cause
• Be mindful of opportunities to help as they arise
• Let someone go ahead of you in a long line
• Hug your mother or father unexpectedly
• Pick up your toys after finishing playing with them
• Brush your teeth without being asked
• Make a special picture for your father or mother
• Do your chores without being asked
• Read a story to your younger brother or sister
• Take the dog for a walk
• Make dinner for your family
• Mow a neighbor’s lawn
• Talk with your children about kindness
For Your Community
• Create a feel-good sign
• Make a mask (for yourself and others)
• Make a donation
• Give Blood
• Call a neighbor – just thinking of you
Be Kind, Online
• Share a positive news story
• Donate your time & experience for a non-profit
• Respond kindly to a negative comment on line
• Arrange an on-line “date” with a friend
Take the Extra Time to be Extra Kind
• Share a good book
• Write a letter to someone who made a difference in your life
• Answer that email you have been putting off
• Donate your time & expertise to a non-profit
Hopefully these acts of kindness have given you some things to think about. There are no limits to the acts of kindness we can do for each other. If the book “Be Kind” has peeked your interest, it can be ordered from “kindness.org/be kind,” and Barnes and Noble for $19.99 and Amazon for $11.99. “Inspire to Act” is published by Strategic Vision Publishing.
The Outreach Team Cindy Bateson, Ray Benedix, Lori Bennett, Cynthia Causbie, Barbara Donaghue, Deb MaueSprague, Pastor Bill Ingraham, Ken Peck, Sherry Petrakis, Becky Smith, and Marilyn Peck, Team Leader