At Doing Good Together, we believe it's nearly impossible to feel helpless, hopeless, or overwhelmed when you’re taking action, especially action on behalf of the greater good.
It’s true. It’s science.
Doing good makes us feel better, even as we make a difference for others.
I’m reminding myself of this fact, because… well, let’s just say, I’ve developed an eye twitch.
I’m beginning to resemble that tweaked out guy from Sponge Bob.
Since the beginning of the school year, the pressure has been building.
I’ve been navigating three kids through three different stages of childhood. Add to that, one of those stages is middle school. Add to that my own personal mini-stresses and failures. Add to that the endless grocery lists and work responsibilities.
And the wonky business of day light savings time making everyone crabby.
Then, on top if it all, add the burdens of a nation in chaos.
These things add up to a mountainous sense of pressure. It’s enough to make me – and it appears most of the country – more than a little overwhelmed.
As I listen to the needs, fears, and hopes of this nation, I find myself adrift in the face of the work there is before us.
But let’s remind ourselves, there is always work to be done.
When the goal is a just, equitable, and free society for all, there is always more work to be done as a citizen, just as there is for parents.
As a parent, when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I get organized.
I make a list. I make each task small, knowable, doable. Then I set about crossing them off, feeling hopeful and purposeful with each completed item.
Ultimately progress is made. Even amid the micro steps, I can feel the difference.
So now is the time to make our big-hearted lists for our communities and our nation.
Now is the time to gather our families and get back to the work of helping the fearful, the lonely, the hungry, and everyone else needing a hand.
Because when we help others, we feel better. When we help others, we make progress. It’s the most productive form of self-care we know.
I’ve put together a starter list, but I welcome your kind, thoughtful, inclusive additions in the comments.
Together, let’s start crossing off kind acts and watching their impact ripple out into the world. Together, let’s do all the good we can to bring people together, to lift others up.
Add these big-hearted actions to your to-do- list.
1. Join our Membership Circle.
This is not a shameless pitch. There is no better way to stay committed to raising compassionate kids who care and contribute. Our program will help keep you motivated to make meaningful change in the world. We offer exclusive bonus projects and frequent reminders that will help keep kindness and change from slipping off your family calendar.
2. Enrich the lives of a family in poverty.
This is an excellent opportunity to build bridges across the nation. The Box Project encourages families and individuals living in rural poverty in America to become self-sufficient and overcome the cycle of poverty by offering them friendship, education and supplies. As a sponsor, your family will write to your match family and get to know them. About once a month, you’ll send a box of food, clothing or other supplies.
3. Collect coins for change.
Teach your child about the value of charitable giving and make a difference for a cause you care about by creating a family “giving box.” When it’s full, you all get to decide where to donate the money. Start with a shoebox or coffee can. Once it’s decorated, put it in a prominent location in your home. Some families add money to the box each time a positive event occurs in their lives, as a way of sharing their good fortune. Other families collect loose change in the box or have each family member make a weekly donation from their earnings or allowance.
4. Display a Kindness Quilt (with a new printable from DGT!)
Help your children make kindness a priority in their everyday lives with this new book-based project designed to strengthen empathy muscles. With every new quilt square, your family will have the opportunity to celebrate the small milestones of kindness that ripple out and lighten the world.
Teach your children the power of speaking up by reaching out to newly-elected legislators. Whether you agree with your legislators or not, now is a great time to reach out to share your concerns, hopes, and priorities for your state and your country.
Write letters to your leaders. Make phone calls and speak about your concerns. Make it a priority to attend a town hall meeting together to make your voices heard as you learn more about the civic process.
Be sure to treat leaders with respect - even, or perhaps especially, if you disagree - and express gratitude for their service to the country. This is an excellent lesson in active, respectful citizenship, and a great way support issues you are passionate about.
6. Give essentials to those who need them most.
Help families struggling after a flood, famine, or other disaster. Church World Service (CWS) collects School Kits, Hygiene Kits, Baby Care Kits and Emergency Clean-up Buckets for worldwide distribution to those in need. Organize a kit-making party and bring friends and neighbors together to do good.
7. Make new friends and broaden your tribe.
Create as many connections to others as possible. Our communities are stronger, and the rifts between us are narrower, when we spend time with people of diverse backgrounds and diverse experiences. This recent blog post helps you get started.
8. Reach out to the person next to you.
Read The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth and rediscover the wisdom of valuing the person next to you, regardless of your differences. Then reach out to anyone near you who may be hurting or fearful, angry or lonely. Make your own list of people to connect with. Bring them brownies. Give hugs. Lend books. Swap phone numbers.
Care for each other.
Share your stories of doing good in big and small ways right here in the comments. Our big-hearted stories will ease everyone's worries.
Discover more big-hearted actions to comfort others!
If you like our free resources, you'll love our membership program! Join today and we'll help you keep kindness on your family calendar all year long.
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The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.