Passionate About the Community
and the Moms Who Live Here

Little Lights in the Dark {Random Acts of Kindness}

 As my children grow older, I find myself trying to explain the sad and painful parts of life. I know they are looking to me to show them how to respond to difficult moments. I try to put things into perspective for them in ways they can understand while still respecting their abilities to process and comprehend the reality of certain situations. We like to draw/paint our feelings sometimes and we do a lot of praying but as they grow older, I see that they feel frustrated by their lack of control over the “bad things”. I think we all feel that way at times.

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   Last Fall, I was interning at a high school where students expressed also feeling like they were not in control of difficult situations they were experiencing, I came across the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and decided to use some of their teaching tools to help show a small group of students how a small act of unexpected generosity or care can spark a small amount of hope in even the most challenging situations. I challenged the students to perform a random act of kindness in their school or community for a stranger and pass on a little card that read “Tag! You’re it. Please pass on an act of kindness for someone else today.” Many of the students actually followed through and reported on how good it make them feel.
     I know we’ve all heard about people buying coffees for strangers, etc. Has this ever happened to you? Once I was very ill and feeling very down. The doorbell rang and a package arrived. Inside, were around 500 hand drawn cards from my Art students. These drawings were the most precious gifts they had to give and were full of so much love. I still have every single one. It made a huge impact on my life and attitude.
     And so with my little ones, I still practice this idea that we can find a small bit of control in situations that may seem larger than we are. We try to find ways to practice Random Acts of Kindness when we can. Recently, our great city experienced a horrible tragedy when 9 beautiful people lost their lives to senseless, racially motivated violence. I sat my children down and we discussed the incident. I allowed them to ask me their questions and listened with an open mind and heart as they told me how they did not understand why someone could do something like that. And then they asked me, “What can we do Mommy? How can we help these people?” This was fortunately the attitude of so many in this city and there were many opportunities to serve and deliver meals, etc. I also make sure my little ones understand that we do this not for praise, but out of love. It helps us return something back when we count our overflowing cup of blessings. It teaches us to be thankful for what we have and to experience the joy in humility, my most favorite virtue.
        In honor of September 11th and those who lost their lives, we have elected to choose three random acts of kindness to perform that day and will choose a local organization to serve in some way.
Here a just a few opportunities to spread a little joy
One80 place is one such organization in the Charleston area that provides food, shelter and support to individuals, families and Veterans who are looking to turn their lives around.
This is a great place to start with ideas for everyone. You can even download lesson plans and resources for your classroom. November 12th is the Worldwide Random Acts of Kindness Day! 
Inspired by a foster child, Together we Rise works hard to educate others about the hardships of foster care and inspires people to take action. You can even host an event to decorate “sweet cases” for foster children.
  • Volunteer with your local nursing home
  •  Write letters and send care packages to our heroes in the armed forces – Operation Gratitude
  •  Get involved with local church service groups – (There are many in the Charleston area)
  • Get involved with your local animal shelter -(There are many in our area. Some allow children to volunteer with parent supervision)
  • Donate for the holidays – We like to donate toys, clothes and save change for the Salvation Army bell ringers. The kids love doing that!
What are your favorite ways to spread a little kindness? Which local opportunities would you add to this list?

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