I’m having a hard time this week thinking of anything but last week’s tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, which resulted in the horrific deaths of 20 children and six adults. At a time traditionally spent by families readying themselves to celebrate the holiday season, many families in Connecticut are instead planning their children’s funerals. It was heartbreaking to see the images of the children whose lives were stolen by such evil, and the more recent coverage of the funerals makes the feelings of loss and sorrow even greater.
As a fan of the TV show, "The Voice," I was touched by its Monday night tribute to the lost souls at Sandy Hook Elementary School. You can watch a clip of the song dedicated to these individuals below.
It’s hard to imagine such evil in the world; and there are folks around the country who are trying to counteract it by spreading kindness in their communities. For example, NBC correspondent Ann Curry tweeted: “Imagine if we all committed to 20 acts of kindness for each child lost in Newtown? I'm in. RT #20Acts if YOU R in.”
The hashtag #20Acts along with #26Acts for all the lives lost at Sandy Hook has caught on like wildfire, and it’s amazing to read some of the tweets about what people are doing to spread joy instead of sadness this holiday season.
People are giving gifts to the homeless; paying for groceries for someone in line ahead of them at the store; leaving money on random windshields in dedication to the children; and buying presents for children who are less fortunate.
There are so many ways to spread kindness around the world, and I’m definitely joining in. This week, I’ve donated blood at our local holiday blood drive, as well as clothes to Goodwill. My sister Courtney and I also donated all of our old prom dresses to the Cinderella Project, a non-profit organization that gives dresses to girls whose families can’t afford to buy them for events like prom. Also, as a member of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Auxiliary, I’m proud our group is giving beef roasts to the food pantry again for Christmas. Finally, this Christmas, I donated close to 100 copies of my children’s book, “Levi’s Lost Calf,” to kids in need.
Random acts of kindness don’t have to cost money, either. Why not donate your time and talents at your church, local food bank or homeless shelter? Or take some time to write something nice on someone’s Facebook wall? Call up your folks and tell them how much you appreciate them. Make a nice dinner for your spouse. Spend some time with the neighbor kids and teach them something new. Donate some of your Christmas goodies to your mailman, hair dresser, bus driver, etc. Write letters to the troops, or support the All-American Beef Battalion. The possibilities are endless.
Please join me in making something positive out of such a terrible act of violence. Let’s honor the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School by spreading kindness, joy and charity around our communities. Just imagine if each of us committed to doing one nice thing each day from now until Christmas; the number of lives we can positively impact together is huge!
Will you join me? If so, what acts of kindness will you try to do this week? Share your ideas in the comments section below to help inspire others to do the same!