When Was the Last Time That You Made a Charitable Donation?

You had a surprise when you went in for your substitute teaching job today. The classroom hours of the day were normal, but their was an extended home room time. The junior class all went to the auditorium for an motivational assembly about the upcoming April ACT test, but the rest of the classes were in their home rooms. These freshmen, sophomores, and seniors were asked to use their school issued laptops to to make an Extra Mile Award Nomination. In a year when all of the school districts in the city are focusing on a Be Kind philosophy, the building administrators thought the extra time this morning could be spent creating a 30 second video about one word students think of when they hear the phrase Be Kind.

Far from growing weary of this message, both schools and the community have found the Be Kind movement pretty contagious. American Red Cross donations have increased and there are an increasing number of churches and businesses in the area that are dedicating specific days to make sure that the city is a kinder place overall. After the short video has been made, each student is then asked to take time to nominate someone from their school who has made a difference in their day, their month, or maybe even their year. Although some of the students nominated one of their peers, there were an even greater number of students who nominated a staff member. In this year of Being Kind there have been many staff members who have been more intentional about the kindness they show.

Are You Looking for a Way to Make a Difference in Your Community?
We are living in some troubling times. While politicians cannot seem to agree on anything and during a time when you can find plenty of bad news stories on the local news, as well as online, there are also many people who will still do their best to help those who are less fortunate. Whether you are making monetary American Red Cross donations on a regular basis or you are serving at a local soup kitchen once a year, there are many ways that every person can make a difference and go the Extra Mile.

From regular drop offs at clothing donation centers to making sure that you are more aware about making used clothing donations at least once a year, there are numerous ways that you can give of your time and your resources. Not everyone will have a chance to make regular financial contributions to local charities, but many of us can be intentional about the clothing and household items that we keep in our homes. If, for instance, you are at the high end of the average Americans who consume nearly 20 billion garments a year you likely have some items in your closet and drawers that are no longer being used. The consumption of these 20 billion garments means that 68 garments and 7 pairs of shoes are purchased in a year. Divided by the number of weeks, this means that the average American is purchasing more than one piece of clothing every week.
Demonstrating that there are many people who were practicing kindness and going the extra mile already, 70% of people in the U.S. give to charity each year. If you are not someone who has not yet jumped on the kindness bandwagon, then maybe you should make an effort this week to make a difference: recognize someone for their kindness, be kind yourself, or consider making American Red Cross donations of the gently used items in your home that you no longer use.

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