We finished out our 7th year of 12 Months of Kindness in 2015. It has truly become part of what our family does together. It's incredible though how even after seven years, it is still so important to write it down and plan what we are going to do each month. As the kids grow and our family grows (!) and we all become more involved in activities - it seems even more necessary than ever to make sure we have a plan already for what we'll do each month, otherwise, our acts of kindness would be too easily swallowed up in the regular fast-moving stream of family life.
In 2015, our plans for each month seemed to be the most aligned with what we reasonably could accomplish, as a family of five to three very young kids. We re-aligned our original plan only in one month (November), changing up the goal with something that was a little easier to orchestrate between the holidays, kids, and expecting number studerbaby#4!
January: made a meal and dessert, delivered, and visited with a new mom friend after the arrival of her first baby
February: anonymously paid for a meal of an elderly couple at a restaurant
March: served a meal at the Winder Area Community Kitchen
April: mailed a care package to our WorldVision sponsor child Raph in Democratic Republic of Congo
May: 7th year awarding our Studer Scholarship to two CV high school seniors based on their essays about their positive influence and contribution to the school and community.
June: organized the 2nd annual CV Alumni Association 5K and family fun run
July: organized and hosted the 7th annual Beer Olympics, fundraising for a family friend who's child is a cancer warrior.
August: dropped of a donation of goods at our local Humane Society
September: volunteered an evening packing weekend food bags for students in need with the Johnstown Backpack Project
October: participated in Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF as a family and with my 5th grade CCD class
November: volunteered three hours to help a child in need at the Needy Children Shopping Tour where I helped the child select clothes, a winter coat, and other necessary items for the winter.
December: volunteered as a family for 8 hours to ring the bell for the Salvation Army on #GivingTuesday
We were also lucky to join an amazing group this year that a dear friend and inspiration started for young families looking to give back. It's called the Family Service Club (FSC) Johnstown. Each month ideas and opportunities are posted that are family friendly to give back and act out in kindness. Through the FSC-Johnstown this year, we helped pack hygiene kits for the Johnstown Backpack Project, donated extra Halloween trick-or-treating candy to servicemen and women abroad through Operation Gratitude, and were inspired to bake cookies and thank you notes for our local first responders. (Thank you Megan for organizing this group!)
We are working now on compiling our 12 Months of Kindness 2016 list and will be sharing it by next week. We are still in the planning phase though and would love to hear about any activities that you participated in this past year that might inspire this year's acts of kindness - please share!