Random Acts of Kindness Day :: 3 Ways to Show Kindness in your Neighborhood

It’s a little more difficult to find ways for our families to serve in the midst of a pandemic, but it’s not impossible. Here are three ways your whole family can safely show kindness in your neighborhood:

Kindness Rocks 

Our neighborhood loves kindness rocks. These painted rocks, meant to brighten anyone’s day, fill our parks and walking trails. Before COVID-19, our neighborhood gathered every so often at a park to pool our resources of paint and brushes to create kindness rocks together while enjoying popsicles and conversationWe haven’t gathered in a while, but my kids still enjoy making kindness rocks at our kitchen table. These paint markers, recommended by a friend, cut down on the supplies needed AND the mess. My kids can make more detailed designs with the extra fine tip marker than with a plain paintbrush. My two-year-old can even use the markers, which makes this activity a hit for the whole family. 

Kindness rocks might not seem like a monumental way to show kindness, but it’s been a helpful practice for my kids to create something they’re proud of and then give it away. In our neighborhood, people of all different ages and backgrounds regularly take pictures of rocks they find and post it to our neighborhood Facebook page. It’s fun to follow and it gives our community something positive to gather around online. 

Little Free Libraries 

We have way more children’s books than we need, and every so often we go through them and pull out a few gently used books. The addition of a Little Free Library in our neighborhood a few years ago gives us an excellent place to donate these booksLittle Free Libraries first began in 2009 and it’s grown into a worldwide initiative to help all communities have access to free books. Here’s a map that shows where many of the Little Free Libraries are located. If you don’t have a Little Free Library in your neighborhood and you’re interested in building your own, you can find the plans here.  

There are a lot of places that will accept gently used books, but what I like about Little Free Libraries is that my kids are the ones who place their books inside the Little Free Library and they experience the feeling of sharing what they have with others.  

Front Porch Food Drives with Lovepacs 

Lovepacs began in 2011 when some families at a local school realized several students would be without food over Thanksgiving break. The families packed backpacks full of food for the students and Lovepacs was born. Since then, it’s grown to include 13 communities, serving over 170 schools in North Texas and beyond. Find your community here for where to drop off food and the food items that are most needed right now.  

With the need to stay socially distant during COVID-19, front porches have become superstars and they’re also a great place to collect items. Let your neighbors know you’re collecting items for Lovepacs and leave a box out so people can make a contactless drop off safely. This is a great activity to begin conversations with your kids about food insecurity and it also shows that serving others often means sharing what we have.

Communities thrive when we take care of each other. What are some ways you’ve received kindness or shown kindness recently? We’ve love to hear so we can take part, too!

Ashley Ashcraft has spent the majority of her life in North Texas. Born in Dallas, she attended Concordia University of Texas in Austin for an undergraduate degree and spent her mid-20’s in beautiful, easy-going Hawaii where she taught at a high school and obtained a M.E. in Educational Foundations from the University of Hawaii. The birth of her first daughter, now seven years old, brought her and her husband back to Texas and to family. Since then, they’ve added two more girls and a boy to the mix. Ashley now teaches at Prince of Peace Christian School in Carrollton (Go Eagles!) and has learned it takes a village and a lot of grace to be a wife, mom of four, teacher, and avid Eagle fan, but she is thankful for all of it. In the evenings you can usually find her supporting Eagles’ sports, trying to keep up with laundry, coaxing her kids to eat meat, or enjoying time out in the neighborhood with her wonderful neighbors. Ashley is not an expert mom, but she’s surrounded by an amazing tribe of women that help her to be the best mom and wife possible. She recently started blogging at As You Do Life and you can also find her on Twitter @AshleyAshcraft .