With our call to Give, Advocate, and Volunteer to improve conditions in our communities, United Way encourages acts of kindness every day. Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 9 – 15), however, is a great time to do good works in a spontaneous sort of way and to bolster our intention to make volunteering and other more structured acts of kindness a regular part of our life throughout the year.
United Ways are celebrating and encouraging random acts of kindness in different ways. Yesterday on Feb 11, United Way of Washington County, Maryland rose awareness of 2-1-1, a free hotline supported by United Way in the Hagerstown area and many other communities nationwide that provides free and confidential help to callers.
With the “2-1-1 Random Acts of Kindness Challenge,” United Way has set a goal for local citizens to commit 211 random acts of kindness on 2/11 and to share what they did via the hashtag #211DayWashCo and by posting on the 211 Maryland Facebook page.
In addition to promoting Random Acts of Kindness Week and tracking acts of kindness on social media, United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties is working with several retailers in Morgantown, West Virginia to establish “pay it forward” boards. A local frozen yogurt and cupcake shop, Naticakes, already has a board with lots of random acts of kindness. One kind person, for example, donated “$4 for a soldier” to use for a purchase at the shop.
United Way of Pierce County makes it easy for individuals and groups anywhere to commit an act of kindness with Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Project Ideas. In February, the featured DIY project is a drive to collect items for a Welcome Baby Kit. Volunteers can organize a drive to collect diapers, wipes, blankets and other baby essentials for new parents, and in Takoma, Washington, the Volunteer Engagement Team at United Way will make sure the baby items are delivered to parents in need. All the DIY projects include a checklist of steps and ideas for other activities for success.
If you’d like to organize a DIY project in your area, your local United Way will help you channel your act of kindness to the people who need it most. And if you also want to practice other acts kindness, let us help you find the right volunteer opportunity – once a week, once a month, or anytime. We welcome volunteers of all ages and every act of kindness, every day of the year.
“A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses.” — Chinese Proverb