Acts of kindness: 25 ways you can make someone’s day

We’ve been writing about the Kindness Lady for quite a while. Never has her message been more critical.

It all began when Centerville resident Anne Sheehan visited The Villages in Florida in March of 2019 and learned about two men — Joe Santoro and Lindsay Collier — who were starting a group called the Acknowledging Acts Of Kindness Club.

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The idea is to show appreciation to someone who has done something kind for you by handing them a printed “Kindness Card.” Sheehan offered to distribute the cards free of charge to anyone who wanted some, and even covered the postage for mailing them.

“It resonated with me that it was something our community and country needed — more kindness to one another,” she says. “So I contacted them and asked if I could use their logo and start this in Dayton, Ohio.”

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Sheehan reports that since the original Make a Difference article about her group ran in the Dayton Daily News in August 2019, there have been 30,750 Kindness cards distributed. “This includes cards that schools and businesses have and many, many individuals who have requested cards,” she says, adding that the Florida men who started the project are amazed at what has been accomplished in Dayton.

Although we may not be able to hand one another the cards at the moment, it doesn’t mean you can’t mail one to someone who has treated you kindly.

If you’d like to have some of the cards, just fill out a request at Sheehan’s website —

The cards and the postage continue to be free.

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Here are Anne Sheehan’s 25 suggestions for kind acts you can perform during this stressful time:

1. Younger people can grocery shop for seniors. They can shop online, pick it up and deliver it to their front door.

2. Deliver books and puzzles to seniors and others.

3. Organize a neighborhood prayer chain — everyone praying at a certain time of day. Do the set daily time via email to neighbors.

4. Share any abundance of frozen groceries.

5. Check in with neighbors, even if not elderly, via email or phone. These will provide a feeling of "connection," especially for those living alone.

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6. Offer to pick up medications at a drive-up pharmacy window for the elderly.

7. Send some email jokes to friends and family. It cheers them up!

8. Send cards to neighbors and friends-always great to get mail!

9. If the elderly have a pet, offer to walk their pet for them or pick up pet food if they need it.

10. Be positive about the future when talking/emailing. Positivity breeds a positive outlook. This will pass and we will get through this together.

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11. Children's artwork cheers anyone up. Maybe have your children make artwork for neighbors. Ask neighbors to hang the artwork in a front window of their house to show your street is working together to keep smiling and be positive.

12. Take the time to call/write/email those friends/relatives you have been meaning to contact.

14. When you see someone walking outside, getting their mail or morning paper, give them a big smile and say how good they look and how good it is to see them. Smiles help everyone!

13. Make a yummy dessert for a neighbor/friend. That makes anyone smile!

15. If you have enough, share a pot of soup you make with others.

16. Share DVDs of good movies, especially if a neighbor/friend/family member does not have cable.

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17. Weather permitting, encourage all to go for a short walk outside each day. Fresh air does wonders. This can be done with social distance.

18. If you feel you should not interact with someone but want to keep in touch, FaceTime with them.

19. Recommend a funny TV show you like so they can watch it and laugh. As they say, "laughter is the best medicine."

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20. Find/recommend groups you can play online card games with. Always fun and a great time-filler.

21. Play a trivia game with neighbors via email. Send trivia questions and give a time frame to answer! Once all are able to interact safely again, have a potluck neighborhood supper and announce the winner.

22. Anyone you have been on the "outs" with, email or text asking for/giving forgiveness. Forgiveness is a wonderful act of kindness.

23. Distribute any craft items/coloring books/computer games to families with children.

24. When ordering take-out food, see if an elderly neighbor would like to order, too. Pick it up and deliver it to them.

25. Say "I Love You" every day to those close to you.

Each week Meredith Moss writes about the non-profit organizations in our area and their specific needs. If your group would like to be included, contact Meredith:

Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.

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