2018 has been a doozy of a year. So was 2017 come to think of it. Too much hate. Too much narrow-mindedness. And too much sorrow. You feel me?
All of it had me thinking this year how I wanted to use this platform for a bit more good when possible. It led me to the idea that I’m excited to share today: a little campaign around Spreading Kindness & Joy (aka #SpreadKindnessSpreadJoy.)
Join Me: Spreading Kindness & Joy
I put “Kindness Campaign” in my editorial calendar at the beginning of the year but wasn’t sure what it would look like. And I had a vague idea but it took sitting down this summer to really iron out the idea. I decided I’d like to time it in December when so much of the world (and especially the world of blogging) is focused on commercialism and buying. I wanted something that would have a different focus and would give back.
So here’s the idea…
Between now and the end of the month I’m hoping you will join me in spreading kindness and joy through small actions. Below I’ve compiled a bunch of thought-starters to get you thinking but it can really be any act of kindness and joy. Small! Large! Whatever it is it counts! It can involve monetary donations or acts or things that cost only time. My hope is that this goes far and wide and creates a ripple effect in every community where you – a wit & whimsy reader – resides.
I know this is such a busy time of year but I’m hoping we can all together carve out a moment for an act!
Once you’ve done your act I’d love for you to come back to this post and share it in the Comments. (I will pin this post to the slider on the home page just under the wit & whimsy logo so you can easily find it!) At the beginning of 2019 I am going to randomly select one person who submitted their act (or acts!) via the Comments section and I will give $500 to the charity of their choice. More acts = more entries. I’ll also be randomly selecting a few others and sending some little care packages of gifts from some of my favorite brands as a little thank you for participating.
If you want to share your act to spread the word and inspire others on social media I would LOVE for you to tag me @meghandono and use the hashtag #SpreadKindnessSpreadJoy so I can see what you guys are out there in the world doing. I’ll be sharing some of mine + some of yours on my Stories! (Just be sure to also note your act in the Comments section of this blog post so I can include it as an entry if you’re interested in potentially having your favorite charity get a donation!)
And, of course, if you’re up for it, email this post to your friends + family so we can keep the love and joy spreading.
This community gives so much to me every day and I hope to be able to make an impact on each of your communities by this little movement in the month of December.
#SpreadKindnessSpreadJoy Thought Starters
- Run an errand for a friend or loved one.
- Give to your favorite charity.
- Babysit a friend or loved one’s children for a few hours so that the parent can accomplish something on their to do list.
- Sponsor a light bulb from the Saks Fifth Avenue holiday display. (The proceeds go to Broadway Cares!)
- Give a stranger a compliment.
- Send a card in the mail.
- Give a holiday card to someone who may not expect it.
- Bring baked goods to your office for a morning or afternoon sweet treat.
- Buy several Starbucks cards with $10-$15 on them each and hand them out during the month as you see someone who may benefit from a little pick me up.
- Frame and gift a photo for a friend or loved one.
- Buy extra cans of food on your next grocery run and donate them to a food bank.
- Surprise a loved one with a book they may like.
- Donate items in your home you no longer use.
- Volunteer for a soup kitchen.
- Visit GoFundMe and donate to a cause or two that touches your heart.
- Pick up the tab on a stranger’s coffee order.
- Research a new charity to donate to.
- Help teachers out with donations Donor’sChoose.
- Surprise your mailman/FedEx delivery person/doorman/garbageman/etc with a cookie.
- Send a care package to an unsuspecting someone in your life.
- Leave a more than 20% tip for great service.
- Throw a dinner party that gives back to families in need.
- Buy a small gift for a friend just because. Include a card that notes their best attributes.
- Give a homeless child a gift via Covenant House.
- Leave sticky notes with kind words on your co-workers desk.
- Give a gift card to someone in need.
- Send supplies and gifts to St. Jude’s to distribute to those in their community in need.
So what do you guys say…will you join me in spreading kindness and joy this month?
I can’t wait to see what we all do together!
This is such a good idea! I bought a light at Saks! Merry Christmas! #spreadkindnessspreadjoy
Yay!!! Bridget thanks so much for being the first to participate! I’m so grateful
This is such a good idea! I bought a light at Saks! Merry Christmas! #spreadkindnessspreadjoy
This is such an amazing idea! I try to do little things throughout the year when the opportunities present themselves, but you’re right that everyone gets caught up in the busyness of the Christmas season and we sometimes forget how blessed we are! Thanks for the list, I’ll have to start thinking of what I can do 🙂
You’re amazing, Mel! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!! Know it’ll be great.
Couldn’t love this more! Count me in 🙂 I’ve already got a few things planned out for this week thanks to your thought starters!
YAY! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
I sent my best friends some happy snail mail with some $$ for coffee to treat themselves!! I love this premise Meghan!! You rock!!
YESSS! The perfect kind act! I am so happy thinking about how delighted they’ll be when they open your cards 🙂 Thank you so much for joining right in, Libby! You’re the best!
What a great campaign! This month I participated in NY Cares Winter Wishes program, gifting an elderly NYer with the Christmas gift of her choice. On the 11th, I’m volunteering with my company for 3 hours to help NY Cares sort through their coat donations. I’ve recorded about 15 hours of volunteer hours so far this year and I’m looking to squeeze in some more before the end of the month.
Lauren, WOW!!! You’re amazing! I love New York Cares and need to get time set up with them for 2019 for sure. Thank you so much for all the good you are doing!!
Love this campaign!
While shopping this past weekend, I picked up a toy for the toy drive at work. And I stocked up on the adorable cards at Trader Joe’s to send to friends “just because”. Already have 2 of them in the mail!
Thanks for inspiring us 🙂
YAY! These are such great acts!! Thank you so much for sharing them!!
i love this! i just saw a woman on a bike outside my office, pulling a little trailer that had a huge coffee thermos in it. she was offering hot coffee to the people experiencing homelessness throughout our downtown. it was so inspiring to me, and then i came in and read this and now i’m even more inspired! so important to make time to bring light to other’s lives. can’t wait to see all the ways your followers find to #spreadkindnessspreadjoy <3 thanks for inspiring me!
Oh this story warms my heart!! Thank you for sharing it and for the sweet words!
What an awesome idea – Merry Christmas – I donated to St. Jude’s.
Fantastic!! Love hearing that, Kathy! Thanks so much for participating!
Love this idea! The last couple Christmases I’ve made an effort to give out a couple gifts that are completely unexpected to their recipients. Last year I mailed small gifts to all my high school friends – it was so fun to reconnect and they were completely surprised! This year I got a little something for each of my bf’s roommates. Gotta spread the cheer around!
How fun to surprise people like this! Absolutely love this idea, Carolyn!!
Ok, every year I go to waffle house on Christmas Day and leave a $100 tip! If you are working on Christmas Day, you need this tip! So fun!!!
How amazing! I always think of those who work on holidays and I think this is the loveliest gesture, Cynthia! Good on you for this tradition!
I work with a vendor who’s niece has Rhett’s syndrome. Every year his sister (the niece’s mom) hosts a fundraiser for Rhett’s research. I have my company donate a $500 gift card to the auction each year at this time. She and I have never met, but I am so moved by the love and courage she has for her daughter. #spreadkindnessspreadjoy
I love this idea Meghan. For me, when I am feeling down or in a funk, nothing brings the smiles back faster than helping someone else. I regularly work at our local food pantry which is not only enjoyable but also very rewarding. I usually bring along a few friends. It helps spread awareness and the joy of giving to others.
Today I bought a couple of outfits for a little girl from a Chicago family in need. I can’t wait to wrap them in festive Christmas wrap with a little toy incl. This is part of a larger “giving project” that was organized through my church. (making it pretty easy to join in the giving)
Love hearing these great ideas. We all gain far more than we give.
Sent snail mail to my best friend and grandma back home in Kansas! Excited to keep this going in the coming weeks 🙂
Snail mail really is the best! So easy to do and means so much! Thanks so much for participating, Jess!!
With each year more kiddos are added to our friends group and it can be overwhelming to buy “stuff” for kids. All moms say their kids have too much stuff and they don’t want anything. This year, I have asked each family what organizations they donate to or would like to donate to, and I’ve made a donation in the child(ren’s) name(s). I am then sending a book to the kiddos about being kind and letting them know what good they are doing in the world. I thought the book was helpful to show/explain the impact they are making. #spreadkindnessspreadjoy
This is such a good idea! All my friends with kids say the same thing! The book is an added lovely touch. Thank you so much for sharing as I think a lot of other readers will love replicating this idea!
@whatkatefinds did a month of kindness in November which is still ongoing. The overwhelming feedback and shares from her viewers brought me such joy and some tears. So many good people and ideas. Great encouragement for all. Thanks for putting the lists together.
I don’t know her but am going to check this out pronto! Thank you so much for sharing it!!
Our first act was buying some toys for our church’s Christmas pantry, where people who can’t afford gifts get to come choose some toys to give to their children for Christmas! It was so rewarding to pick out and donate some gifts for teenage boys! Already thinking about the next act of kindness & joy! Love reading all these other ideas!
Such a meaningful thing to do, Mel! Love that you’ve already got this done! You’re amazing.
Love all these ideas!
My sister’s bike got a flat tire today in copenhagen and I paid to have it replaced to #spreadkindnessspread joy.
I have also been picking one friend a week to Venmo money to for a cup of coffee. They are so surprised and thankful. Most of them have paid it forward and done the same!
Go, Erin go!! I totally love the idea of the quick Venmo for a coffee. Going to do that, too this month!!
I usually save cash throughout the year for my ‘holiday fund.’ With all sorts of things happening in the world, I decided that instead of gifts, I would donate the money to organizations that help refugees, immigrants, women, and dogs. My dog doesn’t need a new toy and I don’t need a new coat this Xmas, so all cash has been donated and I couldn’t be happier because my holiday fund will make others in need happy this holiday season..
What a lovely and generous thing for you to do, Rosa! So glad you shared – thank you for participating!!
I love all these beautiful ideas and will keep weaving them into my day to day this year and onwards!
Earlier this week, we made and shared some beautiful holiday cards for the local vets in our community!
Love that you’re doing acts of kindness for our vets!! Thank you so much for participating!!
Amazing idea! Just wrote some Christmas cards to send out tomorrow. Thank you for this wonderful idea!
YAY! Go, emily!
I donated to my former classmate’s Giving Tuesday fundraiser – he is a surgery resident and also in the army, and he is raising money for medical/surgical missions in Afghanistan.
I love the sound of this cause, Elisse! Thank you so much for participating!!
Love this!! I ordered a toy on Amazon and they ship it directly to toys for tots!! #lazy 😉
The theme of our gals holiday party is always giving back. This year we collected 15 boxes of diapers for our local food pantry
By any chance would you consider writing a letter for The Letter Project as part of your kindness campaign?
We would be so grateful for your support!!
Feel free to email me details!!
The other day, I paid it forward at Starbucks, and I started this chain reaction, and everyone started to feel joy and buy each other’s coffee, and it felt like holiday magic 🙂
had to share this one!!
I want to cry reading this!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!
Love reading these! Made cinnamon rolls for my team on Monday and they were so excited! Handed out a few pieces of fruit on my walk to work this morning, too 🙂
Aren’t they so fun to read through!? I LOVE the idea of handing out fruit – such an affordable yet thoughtful deed!
I adopted a family through my church for the holidays! It was fun!
Love this idea!! Thank you so much for sharing!
Amazon’s direct donations to Toys for Tots makes this so easy! You get to pick out the toys you like and then can ship them directly to Toys for Tots via AmazonSmile!
YAY! So glad to hear that. I want to do this, too!
Left a big tip for my pedicurist yesterday who is putting herself through nursing school! And gave some candy to my hard working UPS delivery man who always makes sure I get my many packages!
I buy $10 McDonald’s gift cards and hand them out to people who are begging on street corners in my city. It will buy them a sandwich, fries and a drink and it’s so much better than handing out cash when you don’t know if that $ is going to some type of addiction. They are always appreciative and surprised :). #spreadkindnessspreadjoy
SUCH a great way to spread happiness – I love this!!
Made cinnamon rolls for my team on Monday and they were so excited! Handed out a few pieces of fruit on my walk to work this morning, too ?
My 7 year old son approached me last week, after he heard a friend giving treats to those in need, if we could create gift bags. We called family and asked for donations. We created five gift bags for the people we see all the time at major intersections where we live. We gave them bottles of water, warm socks, food, holiday treats and a Walmart gift card. He was so tickled to walk up to them and give them the bags. He wants to continue this tradition every thanksgiving.