Random Acts of Kindness
12 Days of Holiday Cheer
It's been a roller-coaster of a year but for today's #12DaysOfHolidayCheer we're encouraging you to do a Random Act of Kindness!
The holiday season is soon upon us and gift-giving is probably already on your mind. Sometimes, the best gift is giving to those in need. This holiday season, look into your community to see if there’s an event you can volunteer at or an organization you can donate to. Here’s a list to start you off on your search for organizations to give back to in London.
Whether it's donating to a charity, doing a favour for a stranger or someone you know, or helping someone in need this Holiday season, we'd love to see you spread the Holiday Cheer!
LOCAL CHARITIES & ORGANIZATIONS TO GIVE BACK TO:
The Children’s Aid Society of London & Middlesex (CASLM) provides services to vulnerable children and families in Middlesex County, Ontario, Canada. Accountable to the community, their mission is to ensure that all children thrive in a safe, stable and loving family. The identity of families and children they serve is kept in the strictest confidence. Their hope is that their assistance will contribute to increasing the well-being of children and youth through an effective, dynamic and child-centred organization.
With the winter months approaching, that means so is the cold. The London & Middlesex Humane Society is dedicated to providing shelter to abandoned, surrendered, and neglected animals to make sure they’re not left in the cold. If you want to support this organization that cares for furry friends, there’s the option to sponsor a kennel or donate food, collars or other animal health supplies. They also have volunteer opportunities which make for a fun way to donate your time and make a difference. Grab a couple of friends or family members and make a day of it at the Humane Society’s many events throughout the year or at the shelter.
The holidays are a time for spending time with friends and family and eating food made with love. But not everyone can afford to feed their loved ones during the holidays, and that’s where the London Food Bank comes in. Not only do they distribute food to over 8500 families who require assistance per month, but they also help more than 25 groups and agencies who aid those struggling outside of London. The food bank is always accepting donations of perishable and non-perishable food donations to provide their clients with foods that support a healthy diet. They also encourage community members to help at their warehouse during the week or on Saturdays to sort donations. Make it a fun work event by organizing a group to give back this holiday season.
Ronald McDonald House London is a place where out-of-town families with seriously ill children can stay for as long as they need –only 165 steps from Children's Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre. By providing things like a private room and bath, homemade dinners, laundry facilities, and all the other comforts of home for just $12 a night, they are able to help bring a bit of "normal" to families with sick kids while lifting some of the financial burdens weighing on parents. With major renovations in 2011 bringing their House from 17 to 34 bedrooms, they continue to grow to provide comforting and supportive programs and services to help families going through very difficult times.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of London is an organization that provides mentoring services to young people and families throughout London and the surrounding area. Donations are always accepted to assist in providing underprivileged youth with better living conditions. Any help you can give is always appreciated and accepted.
The United Way is the largest non-government funder of social services in London, Elgin, and Middlesex counties and contributes to improving the quality of life in our communities by bringing together research, experts, and resources to invest in the most needed programs. Any type of monetary donation is accepted as well as volunteering with your community, workplace, friends, and families. The most important thing for United Way is that every contribution stays in the community to support local — so you know that your donation is helping those in the London area.
Mission Services of London’s mission is to actively respond to people experiencing need, affirm human dignity and inspire hope by providing community mental health programs, women’s shelters, and emergency shelters for homeless men. Donations are always accepted but Mission Services also has events, like the upcoming Scan Away Hunger event, running through November and December, where shoppers at participating grocery stores can donate $3.11 (the basic cost of a meal) or multiples thereof to donate meals to the less fortunate. Volunteer opportunities are always available if you and your family would like to donate your time together to help people in the community.
The Salvation Army is one of the world’s largest social services agencies that is committed to helping disadvantaged people by providing housing and shelters, food services, social services, and so much more. There are so many opportunities to volunteer with the Salvation Army, like helping as a community outreach volunteer in the shelters, food banks or warehouses. Or, volunteering at special events throughout the year. There is always the option to donate clothing or household items as well as any amount of money to help the people who need it most in your community.
The 519 Pursuit is a local London organization that focuses on helping the homeless. By taking the 519Pledge, individuals, businesses, organizations, sports teams, and anyone else who feels inspired to participate commits to collecting 519 pairs of socks to donate. It’s an important way to bring homelessness into conversations and start a dialogue about what it means for others. While donating socks is the focus of this organization, any clothing is accepted for care packages. The winter months are especially harsh on those without shelter, and every donation helps.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP YOUR COMMUNITY WITH NO COST:
- Shovel your neighbour's drive-way.
- Hold the door for someone.
- Give an unexpected compliment.
- Plant a tree.
- Let someone cut in front of you in line.
- Slow down so someone can merge in front of you in traffic.
- Let someone else take that primo parking spot.
- Say something encouraging to a parent who’s struggling with rambunctious kids in a restaurant or grocery store.
- Offer to return a stranger’s grocery cart to the front of the store.
- Leave a great coupon next to that item in the grocery store.
- Pick up a piece of litter on the street and throw it out.
- Pass along a compliment to a service worker’s boss.
- Take the time to write a great online review for a restaurant you love.
- Leave a positive comment on a news article or blog post.
- Write a thank-you note to your mail carrier.
- Smile at someone who looks sad.