My children and I tend to bring a trash bag with us whenever we go into the woods. Human access leads to trash being dumped. We have upped our game and started taking walks and hikes with the express intent of cleaning the world. It’s their idea and I think therapeutic: It’s a tangible something they can DO to affect the state of our world.
I have always known that kids aren’t stupid, they’re just young. Because of COVID-19, kids across the country, and around the world, are out of school with a lot of free time on their hands. It’s not surprising that they are coming up with a lot of ideas about how to affect positive change in the world they will inherit. With the support of adults around them, they are working to make change happen. Big or small, I know their efforts are the right thing to do, for them and the people they serve. Follow the hyperlinks to articles for more detail on each story.
This young woman began hosting bake sales to raise money for Parkinson’s disease research. Inspired by a family who suffers from the horrible disease, she’s working to make sure others can have more effective treatments.
These Girl Scouts are collecting supplies to donate to the local animal shelter. They had plans to complete a group service project, but COVID-19 meant that they had to get creative with their project.
This young man started providing PPE to his community as an Eagle-scout project. He just couldn’t sit by doing nothing when he knew there were shortages happening.
I’m so proud of these young people getting out there to serve their communities despite the challenges of the pandemic. I look forward to the thoughts they will have about the world after this experience. Are you getting out to serve in your area? Comment below with your ideas!
Many times in my life being seen and included by strangers was the difference between having a really positive experience and having a bad one. Being given a ride by a stranger resulted in a short trip in a warm car instead of freezing at a bus stop. Being invited in to a party meant not being alone for a while. Being asked to stay for dinner could mean I got to eat that day.
After having lived in New England, even a smile and eye-contact when I’m out on a walk really brightens my day.
This is why I understand how much it meant to this woman that these boys noticed a her sitting alone and acted. A group of boys at a diner thought about it and made a difference (and a friend!). Here is a news report about it: https://youtu.be/xyhQyi_KrWE
Have you ever felt sorry when you saw someone who was obviously cold, alone, hungry, or excluded. What would our world look like if we were to act on those feelings and make a difference for others?
What small thing could you do to make a difference for someone else?
About a week ago I saw a woman on the side of a busy freeway. It was hot. She looked worried. She was driving a van, so I assumed she had children though I could not tell if they were with her.
I made a split-second decision to pull over to ask if I could help. It turned out she was out of gas. She had been waiting for an hour for road side assistance. She had three sweaty kids getting impatient. Cars had blown their horns at her. Thousands of people had simply rushed by. We chatted for a minute while I tried to think of how to help. I asked if they had water to drink. Then I realized that it would be complicated to drive back and forth, but I could simply go get her some gas and bring it back. It took me about 10 minutes to borrow a gas can from the station, fill it, and haul it down the road and back again to where she was stuck.
Once I’d poured the fuel I had into her tank, she could be on her way again. They could all cool off and get home. She gratefully returned the can to the station so that I could be on my own way again. She couldn’t believe that I had stopped to help. I thought that was a little sad. It should be normal to ask for and receive all manner of help from our fellow humans.
I hope you’ll join me as I continue to seek out opportunities to give a simple act of kindness to those who need it.