Have you ever had one of those days? Slept through your alarm. Couldn’t find anything to wear. Barely got the kids to school because they refused to even try that nutritious breakfast you threw in front of them. Tripped over your own feet on the way into the grocery store and dropped the eggs on the way out? Hit the drive-thru for coffee and they give you tea instead! Sigh. You know, nothing catastrophic but certainly not the best start to your day. On days like that, when you feel like everything you touch is an unmitigated disaster, one tiny show of kindness, perhaps a smile from a stranger, or help cleaning up those darn eggs could have made a difference and set the day on its end.
A small kindness, a little thing, can make a big difference.
I try and smile at the grumpy people in the grocery store. Give random compliments to strangers when we have encounters in the mall. Show kindness to the Mama who’s trying in desperation to get her toddler to simply stop screaming. But I also try and pay it forward in bigger ways. In our house, making a difference, paying it forward, donating, volunteering our time, being mindful or just making the effort to be kind is more than a passing thought. It’s part of what I want my girls to grow up seeing and doing. It’s something I want to be part of their everyday life. So what do we do?
Each year we make a point of shopping, collecting and donating food to our local food banks. We try and include products on the most needed list. Diapers, personal feminine products, peanut butter and pasta sauces are always a good idea. We are sure to make these donations not just at Christmas time and Thanksgiving, but in the middle of the summer and dead of winter when Food Banks may need products the most.
My teen girls have participated in a music night at a Senior Citizen’s home. The gift of time, music, and theatre was lovingly received. Our youth are talented and our seniors always provide a warm and welcoming audience.
My girls have collected school supplies and backpacks for children who need them, and organized fundraising, for sporting equipment for children in another country ~ for children that had none. It’s so important to pay it forward in any way we can.
This year, the family did something just a little bit different. On Valentine’s Day we went and did some flower shopping.
Then we took those lovely bundles of pink, red and white and provided a small surprise for a few very deserving people.
We delivered flowers at a Senior’s Home….because on Valentine’s Day, every one can always use a little extra love.
90 seniors, 90 flowers, 90 smiles…and for us, 3 very full and happy hearts.
I’ve seen first hand the joy my girls get from paying it forward and how one good deed inspires the next. I believe the next generation has the power to be even smarter, sweeter and kinder than the last. It’s an incredible thing to be inspired by your children.
RBC also believes in the power of young people. To demonstrate this belief they’ve started an initiative to challenge thousands of young Canadians, it’s a call to action to “Make 150 Count“, and it’s contagious. To celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary, they are inspiring thousands of young Canadians to make a difference in their communities by challenging them to do something great with $150. Whether its feeding the homeless, creating an art display, giving kids the opportunity to participate in sport or buying essentials for someone in need – they believe that by investing in youth, we can all help create a better Canada. They believe that by supporting youth to help realize their potential and make an impact on their communities, we can shape our country’s future.
They hope #Make150Count will ignite a national movement of young people doing acts of good that will inspire others. It’s what makes this country great…..and it worked with my kids.
With just a little bit of encouragement our youth have the power to truly make a difference and make incredible things happen in their very own community. It’s true what they say; when we invest in youth, great things happen.
If you want to be part of this national movement, be sure to tell everyone how you will Make 150 Count by tagging @RBC on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #Make150Count or submit your application at rbc.com/make150count.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada, however the views and opinions expressed within represent my own views and not those of Royal Bank of Canada or any other party.