May 142013
 
 May 14, 2013  Random Acts of Kindness

I am so pleased to announce the return of the popular series on Random Acts of Kindness. What started as a temporary series last fall is now a regular feature. Each month, a blogger shares the random acts of kindness they have committed with their little ones. You can visit the Random Acts of Kindness page to see previous installments of this series. You can also follow the Random Acts of Kindness Pinterest Board. I have been truly inspired by these wonderful posts!

Today we learn ways to show kindness to the homeless, from Jill of amazing Moms Gone Global.  She sent me this post as she was packing for vacation: Talk about commitment!  Thank you, Jill, for this great post!

Teaching Kindness: Moms Gone Global - Random Acts of Kindness on Alldonemonkey.comI feel honored to be a part of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. Thank you Leanna for putting this series together and for giving me the opportunity to participate!

Teaching compassion is a cornerstone of raising good global citizens. When driving around our city, we witness many homeless individuals in need of compassion every day.

Therefore, the focus of our random act of kindness is to give hope and aid to these homeless individuals on the street by providing them with care kits.

It is very important for parents to model empathy and charity when it comes to the plight of the homeless. It’s easy to look the other way and ignore the people on the street who are holding up signs in a state of desperation, but kids must learn to see these individuals as human beings who deserve kindness, comfort and consideration.

Some argue that giving to the homeless enables them and perpetuates their predicament. I believe that being generous with the homeless is necessary and good for the community.

To help the homeless is a compassionate act which is a high virtue and demonstrates a concern for the welfare of others without judgment. This sets a good example for the community. Further, to help the homeless in their time of need is a model of good behavior that may inspire them. It may also provide them the hope that is required to lift themselves out of a bad situation. They may one day pass those acts of generosity onto others — as kindness can be contagious.

With these sentiments in mind, I thought it would be a great idea to put together care kits and personally deliver them to the some of the people we see standing on the streets each day hoping for handouts. Speaking to a homeless person while making eye contact with them is a great way to show them respect and let them know that you recognize their value as a person. This provides them a sense of dignity that they rarely experience.

The care kits we created consisted of a reusable shopping bag filled with healthy snacks and personal hygiene items including sanitizer, toothpaste, toothbrushes, moisturizer, tissue packs, wipes and deodorant.

Teaching Kindness: Moms Gone Global - Random Acts of Kindness on Alldonemonkey.com

In an effort to feed the recipients’ souls, we included a small handwritten heart-shaped note in each bag.

Teaching Kindness: Moms Gone Global - Random Acts of Kindness on Alldonemonkey.com

The men and women we have approached on the streets were all very polite and appeared genuinely thankful for the gifts. We have seen most of them before, but only through the car windows. To engage in a conversation with them made a big impression on my boys. They now understand that these folks are real human beings who need and deserve compassion and comfort like the rest of us.

There are many ways to be kind to people who are homeless and looking to rebuild their lives. Several programs exist in shelters that require interested volunteers. In most instances, all that is needed is a small amount of your time.

Each member of our family volunteers at our local shelter which provides many services to the homeless in our city. The boys donate their outgrown clothing, toys and books to the shelter on a regular basis. We work at the donation center during the holiday season, and I serve as a reading tutor for some amazing children at the shelter’s elementary school.

Another easy way to engage in a random act of kindness for the homeless is to carry fast-food gift cards with you and hand them out when you see a person in need. This is a great option for those who have any fears about the way a cash gift could be spent.

Links for more information about helping the homeless:

GiveBackpacks.org is an organization dedicated to supporting the homeless population in Austin. Visit the organization’s website for ideas on what items homeless are often in need of.

Homeless Shelter Directory to find a homeless shelter near you.

35 Ways to Help the Homeless

 

Moms Gone Global

Jill is the co-founder of Moms Gone Global, whose goal is to help parents foster cultural awareness within their children so that they may grow up with a meaningful understanding and appreciation of diversity.  The website’s contributors write about their experiences as they endeavor to enrich their children’s global education by the exploration of foods, music, languages, customs and traditions of the world’s cultures.
 
Random Acts of Kindness - Alldonemonkey.comYou can see a full schedule of the posts in this series by visiting the main Random Acts of Kindness Challenge page. You can also follow the Random Acts of Kindness Pinterest Board.

  7 Responses to “Care Kits for the Homeless: Moms Gone Global {Random Acts of Kindness}”

  1. Wonderful and inspiring! Compassion and respect for others are virtues we should all strive to instill in ourselves and our children. Thank you for this post.

  2. Love that you did this with your kids! (thanks, Leanna for sharing your space to show these ideas!) I really like the idea of gift cards. I’ll be sure to pass that idea along to others when they share discomfort with giving money to those that are homeless. Great post!

  3. What a great project! So thoughtful and compassionate!

  4. What a great post – I especially love what you said about making eye contact. That one small act of actually seeing someone as an individual (especially someone that many people try not to see) is huge. I also love the handwritten notes included in the care packages. I’ll be sharing this post!

  5. […] Check out our Random Acts of Kindness Challenge post HERE. […]

  6. Hi, ladies! I’m finally back online and I just want to thank you all for your thoughtful comments! This project proved to be quite simple and something that we will be able to continue to build upon in our community. I am currently looking into working with local student groups (from high schools and universities) who are seeking community service opportunities. With that kind of help, we can get many more care kits distributed. Thank you all for reading about our Random Act of Kindness and for sharing the post!

    Jill@MomsGoneGlobal

  7. […] The lovely photo at the top? It is from here. […]

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