Katie Beacham believes everyone can be a force for good. She leads social impact and sustainability at Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton LLP, a global law firm headquartered in Atlanta.
In the best of times, especially in a time such as now, acts of kindness and giving can bring strength, hope, and goodness to the person you’re helping, to your community, and to your own well-being.
Recently, a friend and former colleague shared a thoughtful article entitled “4 Ways to Improve Your Mood While Quarantined.” 1 One of the suggestions was to give happiness to someone else. We’re all experiencing the pandemic in different ways, whether medical issues, financial concerns, anxiety, or something else. If you’re searching for a pick-me-up, perhaps an act of kindness or giving might help. Below are some ideas:
Share a smile. Performing a simple, random act of kindness can lift your spirits and the spirits of the recipient. Additionally, it’s a great tool to teach your children.
- Write a thank you note to someone on the front lines during the pandemic
- Call the grandparents
- Check in on people in your circle who might need assistance
- Pick up a grocery item or two for a neighbor
- Send a care package to a deployed service member or first responder. Operation Gratitude provides suggestions and accepts letters and packages
- It’s a great time for spring cleaning! Identify gently used items you no longer use, and donate them to a local nonprofit organization that can use them – many are reopening to accept donations. Pro tip: make sure the nonprofit can use them. Don’t let your useless junk become their problem
- Complete your 2020 Census as a family. The results direct billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for schools, roads, and other public services. For more information, visit https://my2020census.gov/. If you need help completing your census, you can call toll-free 1-844-330-2020
- Support local small businesses by ordering carry-out or delivery from your favorite locally-owned establishment
Be kind to the Earth. Two weeks ago, Wednesday, April 22, was the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The first Earth Day in 1970 was credited with launching the modern environmental movement, and Earth Day is now recognized as one of the planet’s largest civic events. How can you and your family extend Earth Day’s impact into the days, weeks and months to come?
- Go for a walk and pick up trash along the way. Be sure to follow social distancing guidelines and bring gloves and trash bags
- Plant something new in your yard or on your windowsill
- Count the number of times you use single-use plastic at home today. What is one item you can permanently remove from that list?
- Don’t print that document – or this article
- Organize or participate in a neighborhood cleanup
- Help your children join the National Parks junior ranger program online. Also, see these ideas from the recent National Park Week!
- Join Earth Challenge 2020, the world’s largest citizen science effort, available on Android and iOS devices. Earth Challenge lets you gather important scientific data near you
- Get to know the spring birds where you live. Enjoy the National Audubon Society’s bird spotting guide and online resources for children
- Make your walk or run steps count toward animal rescue with WoofTrax
- Learn about opportunities in your local area by visiting Patagonia Action Works
- Visit https://www.earthday.org/ for additional information and ideas
Give blood. The Red Cross continues to hold community blood drives with health and safety protocols in place. Search by zip code for a drive near you.
Volunteer from home. We often think of volunteerism as arriving somewhere like a nonprofit or shelter, wearing the t-shirt, and doing a task to reach a goal as a team. Or perhaps you think of using your skills and network. Regardless, there are many opportunities to volunteer right where you are!
Remote volunteering allows you to commit your time and skills away from the physical site of a school or nonprofit organization. Remote volunteers can serve as individuals or families from anywhere in the world, including at home via computer, tablet, or phone. Opportunities tend to be flexible and can be completed during nights and weekends as you have time.
Check out this database from Points of Light and this database from VolunteerMatch. Both organizations promote volunteerism and civic participation, and they have curated extensive lists of causes and organizations you can support from home, filterable by location.
Donate if your circumstances allow. Nonprofit organizations are experiencing the severe financial hit of this pandemic alongside other small businesses. If you are able, consider a donation to your favorite cause. Food banks are seeing a significant rise in participation, more than 40% in Georgia. If you don’t already have a favorite cause, consider supporting your local food bank.
Kindness really is a superpower. Whether you have smiles, time, or money to give, a little bit can go a long way – for the souls who benefit from your kindness, for your community, and for you as the giver. Please let us know if any of these ideas help you and your family.
The same ideas resonate with teams. As leaders of communication, culture, and camaraderie in your organizations, what are you doing to promote kindness and comfort among your colleagues?
1 John Pettit, “4 Ways to Improve Your Mood While Quarantined,” CUInsight.com. https://www.cuinsight.com/4-ways-to-improve-your-mood-while-quarantined.html