Have you ever noticed that Valentine’s Day has a way of kind of losing its meaning in between all of the flowers and chocolates? If you’re single it seems a lot more like singles awareness day and can be downright unpleasant. If you’re not single it can turn into a head-ache really fast and leave you wondering why you can’t just show your significant other how much you love them any other day. It’s time for something different. Let’s show some love to those who really need it this year and commit some random acts of kindness.
– It’s not just people that need a little extra love sometime. Save money on chocolates (or a pint of Ben and Jerry’s) and buy a couple boxes of dog treats to drop off at local animal shelters. Take it to the next level and arrange to help out around the shelter or walk some dogs too. Check with your local animal shelter to find out what their specific needs may be.
Love Letters –
Write letters or make Valentine's for those who may not be able to be with their loved ones. Consider including cookies or other donations with your cards or letters to make it feel extra special. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Give Gifts that Give
- Active Duty Military and their families. Check ESA's Hope For Heroes page for more ideas and details.
- A local children’s hospital. For health reasons, donations are often accompanied by somewhat strict guidelines. Consider sending blank Valentine's for children to give out themselves. Of course call or check with the hospital's website to be sure of any donation guidlines or needs. If you love St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as much as we do and want to send something to the hospital in Memphis check here for ideas.
- A local nursing home. Many people in nursing homes become lonely. Consider making a trip in person and spending some time with residents. Be sure to call to check what you may bring with you and what time would be appropriate.
- Domestic Violence Shelter. Consider including a donation of cosmetics. Not only will it help some women feel better about their appearance, employers often descriminate against women who interview without makeup, so it may jsut help someone land a job. Check your local domestic violence shelter for a list of needs
– If you are buying gifts anyway, consider purchasing items from retailers who give a portion of their profits to a charity you love. Take a look at St. Jude’s Corporate Partners
. Consider gifts from the RED movement
, or local businesses who give charitably. If you're just giving chocolate (or buying it for yourself) go the extra mile and look for certified fair trade chocolate.
Say Thank You –
Consider writing Thank You notes to those people you see nearly every day who may go unnoticed, think about your barista, mail man, the person who cuts your hair, janitor, gas station attendant, etc. A heartfelt thank you goes a long way to making someone feel special.
Love Is Random
– Random acts of kind are great any day. Here are seven ideas
that we love that are completely free. For even more ideas take a look at the random acts of kindness website
– Instead of going out to dinner with your date, or your friends, or just yourself (let’s be real you’re the best date ever) arrange to help out in your community, picking up litter, helping at a soup kitchen or look for opportunities at your favorite local charity.
Love comes in all shapes and forms. Valentine's Day tends to glorify romantic love, but we all have so much more to give. Looking for a group of fun people to show the love with all year round? Learn more
about joining ESA. Contact us
to learn more about ESA chapters in your area.