Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Gratituesday in honor of "Random Acts of Kindness Week"
Last week our local paper featured an article that really struck a chord. There was a large picture of an elderly man picking through blankets. This man looked disheveled, tired, lonely. He is someones son. Possibly someones husband, father, or brother. Well, he is homeless. The local soup kitchen (yes, we have one of those in this tiny little town) at the church hosted a "fair" for the homeless with free dental screenings, caseworkers on hand to check on them and to do the census, and free clothing, blankets, personal items, and winter coats. The article said the turnout was down this year due to the snowstorm that morning. It also said that homeless members of the community look forward to this all year, and quoted many as saying so. This one gentleman happens to live above an old hotel and restaurant, which the paper said is now housing the homeless. I couldn't stop looking at this picture. This could be any one of us. Well, I needed to do something (other than donating countless tubes of toothpaste...which I'm sure was given out at the fair), shampoo, and other CVS-type items. Don't get me wrong, these items are essential!! But I wanted to do something from my heart, and get my children involved as well. My daughter didn't even realize there were homeless people and even children, living in our area (which prompted countless questions). She wanted to do something nice for "Random Acts of Kindness Week". (Feb. 9-15th)
So...we were already making Valentine's for her kindergarten class, and we made some extra. For "Random Acts of Kindness Week" I made some vanilla chai tea and some gourmet hot chocolate into little bags for my husband to bring in and pass out to the other teachers (hoping they'll pay-it-forward in the kindness department!) so we made some extra. And we'll be making a few batches of heart shaped poundcakes tonight and wrapping them in cellophane with a little bow, then placing them in a basket and we'll be bringing one basket (filled with Valentine's, tea, cocoa, and cakes) to the "hotel" where the homeless are staying and another to the soup kitchen tomorrow, so they can hand some out as well. That way, if there are any "visitors" or "residents" in need of a valentine, or would like to receive one themselves, they'll have one. Everyone deserves a little love on Valentine's Day. Let's remember to "pay-it-forward"...show a kind, compassionate heart, not only on this holiday or during this week, but always.