At Springs Rescue Mission, it brings us great joy to see people choosing to Love Bigger.
To us, part of loving bigger is meeting people where they are; treating them with kindness and respect. And if you look, you’ll always find Good Samaritans “paying it forward” and helping those in need.
Random Acts of Kindness Day — celebrated in the U.S. on Monday, Feb. 17 — is a time when people across the country practice these principles and the importance of treating others as they would like to be treated. It’s a time to slow down and lift up others with smiles, kind words, helping hands and selfless acts.
Here are a few random acts of kindness to help you Love Bigger on Monday:
- Compliment drivers on how well they parked;
- Send an encouraging email;
- Text someone good morning or good night;
- Help someone in need;
- Find out something new about a coworker or acquaintance;
- Feed someone’s parking meter;
- Reply to a social media post you enjoy;
- Donate to or volunteer with your favorite nonprofit;
- Give a care package (food, toiletries, socks, etc.) to a homeless neighbor;
- Thank people for things;
- Write something nice online;
- Take out your neighbor’s trash;
- Pay someone a compliment or provide encouragement;
- Don’t jump to conclusions (give people the benefit of the doubt);
- Surprise strangers by leading with kindness;
- Start a conversation with a stranger;
- Be a courteous driver;
- Pick up trash around town;
- Flash a smile at everyone you see.
To illustrate the effect (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or financial) these simple actions can have on someone in need, read about some of the experiences our guests have had with random acts of kindness.
“Can you tell me about a time you received a random act of kindness?”
CJ, Entry Shelter / Work Engagement
“When Chef Lukas made me a team lead in the kitchen, that was nice and I felt like he trusted me to take on that responsibility. It felt good to be trusted. He is one of those people that you can rely on when you need something: someone to talk to, a prayer, kindness. He’s there for me everyday. Kindness is just like a second nature to him.”
Jesus, Samaritan’s Inn / Work Engagement
“When I got here I had a lot of anger and a lot of issues, and they helped me put that to the side and receive that help. [Shelter coordinators] Lee and David went above and beyond to give me a hand. They gave me the opportunity to help myself and they opened a lot of doors for me. It makes you feel that you really are something important. You’re not just a nobody. When people give you a helping hand — they don’t judge you by the situation you’re in — it really does give you hope. And that’s a good feeling. Everyone here has shown me a lot of respect, and that makes me happy. I’m grateful for that.”
Mary, Women’s Shelter / Work Engagement
“People donate warm clothes for us to wear in winter. It makes a huge difference for us to have those warm clothes, because we as homeless people spend so much time outside. … I had someone come up to me out of the blue and give me a coat. It made me cry. I expect to help other people, and I don’t expect to be helped like that. The people who donate need to understand what a huge difference they make in our lives. … I’ve see people just get out of their cars and gives clothes and gloves and socks. I just love that.”
Tyrone, New Life Program / Work Engagement
“Me and my wife were on the streets and we were starving. One day we didn’t have nowhere to get any food. But Jesus said don’t worry about clothing and food and anything like that (in Matthew). So we sat down and said, ‘we’re gonna wait for it.’ Across the street was a coffee shop. That night, they were closing and we noticed they were bringing sandwiches out and setting them on the tables. They said, we put these sandwiches that we didn’t sell out at the end of the day for the homeless. That blew my mind, because we were sitting there and trusting what Jesus said was true; and that’s what He did.”
Matthew, Entry Shelter / Work Engagement
“Chef was able to help me out with some clothes for interviews, because I don’t have that. He helped me so that I can get a job. It made me feel good. I had to start from the bottom and work my way up, so stuff like that really helps and makes me feel more hopeful. Because there are people who really care — just out of love and nothing else.”
Bryan, Men’s Next Step Shelter / Work Engagement
“When I first came to SRM, I was a stranger. But they opened the doors for me anyway. They gave me somewhere to stay, they gave me a shower, a place to sleep, a place to go get something to eat. They talk to me and help me keep my head above ground. It feels good to have that. It gives me motivation to keep moving forward and not get stuck in a slump.”
* Some of the photos in this story are of other homeless individuals, not the individuals interviewed, in order to protect their privacy.
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