Remember celebrating Valentine’s Day as a kindergartner? Chances are you didn’t deliver just two or three heart-shaped cards to your favorite friends and teachers. More than likely, you carefully prepared something special for every single classmate and teacher, as well as your parents. The excitement of handing out — as well as receiving — dozens of cards and treats is unforgettable for many of us.
So, who says that generous spirit should be limited to childhood? Start making Valentine’s Day even more special by showing others — besides your significant other and family members —that someone cares. The options for making others smile on this special day are countless. And you don’t have to bust your budget. Consider the following 4 ideas for inspiration.
1. Recognize unsung heroes. Many volunteers and employees work diligently without receiving much recognition. Think of people who work behind the scenes, whether it’s maintenance staff members, bus drivers, PTO volunteers, or scout troop leaders. Pair small thank you notes with small bags of candy and hand them out on Valentine’s Day.
2. Surprise residents at various centers. Purchase several bouquets from a discount store and separate them into smaller bouquets using ribbon. Stop by senior citizen facilities or domestic violence centers to surprise the residents and staff members with sprigs of sunshine. If you have more time, be a DJ at a senior citizen center, playing some classic tunes.
3. Change someone’s life. Forever. Sometimes it’s hard to grasp that you can actually save a life with just a few dollars. For the same amount you would pay for a Hallmark card, for example, you can save several lives under Kiwanis International’s initiative to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus. Imagine the gratitude these mothers must feel when given access to life-saving immunizations that protect them and their future babies through The Eliminate Project. It takes only a minute or two to make an online donation.
4. Perform small acts of kindness. Take notice of the people who regularly make you smile, whether it’s a friendly neighbor, a barista who always serves you with a cheerful greeting or a co-worker who is positive and encouraging. Surprise them on Valentine’s Day with small boxes of chocolates.
With this Valentine’s Day, spread the love. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to make others feel appreciated and loved. And if you’re interested in helping others out year-round, visit our club locator to find a club in your area and get involved in efforts that help your community.