Random Acts of Kindness Day: Recognizing Everyday Heroes With Commemorative Plaquesnavypaddles
“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” – Amelia Earhart
Besides its frigid temperatures, most Americans associate February with Valentine’s Day’s overt displays of love via hearts, roses, and chocolate. But February also plays host to a lesser-known holiday that more accurately embodies the meaning of love: National Random Acts of Kindness Day. On February 17, our communities recognize kindness by doing nice things for others without expecting anything in return.
So many men and women have exemplified kindness in the last year, as communities have had to come together to ensure the well-being of our friends, families, and fellow Americans. Our nation’s frontline workers, including first responders and military service members, have gone above and beyond to keep us all safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. On this year’s National Random Acts of Kindness Day, commemorative plaques are a great way to show our appreciation to the frontline workers and everyday heroes in our lives.
Read about the heroes who have served our communities through the challenges of 2020, as well as what you can to do spread kindness to others.
Everyday Heroes of 2020
The popular expression, “Not all heroes wear capes,” has been especially relevant this past year. In addition to our frontline workers, who work tirelessly for our communities, everyday men and women are doing what they can to help those who need it most.
They may not make the nightly news, but the following people are making a big difference.
Food Bank Volunteers
New York City has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. On top of hospitals being pushed past capacity, the food rescue organizations that 1.2 million hungry people in the city depend on have also been threatened. In response to the dire situation, determined volunteers from organizations like City Harvest have found resourceful ways to keep up their important work and get food to those in need — even in lockdown.
Driven by the knowledge that people’s lives depended on their services, volunteers are keeping an appropriate distance from each other and the people they helped so that they can continue sorting, packing, and distributing food to their communities.
Engineers in the Army Corps
Military service members are trained for battle. However, this time, the battle is against an invisible enemy. As the pandemic worsened and hospitals overflowed, U.S. Army Corps engineers switched gears from fighting localized disasters like earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes overseas to fighting the coronavirus across the U.S. The engineers put their skills to use building emergency facilities in stadiums and convention centers across the country in record time.
The facilities – which opened up thousands more beds in major cities like Chicago, Nashville, and New York City – allowed medical professionals to treat many more people and save thousands of lives.
Pen Pal Writers
In a world obsessed with instant gratification and constant socialization, stay-at-home orders have proven difficult for many. In fact, Frontiers lists anxiety and panic, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, insomnia, digestive problems, depressive symptoms, and post-traumatic stress as consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To mitigate the effects of social isolation, a New Yorker staff writer launched PenPalooza, a pen pal project that enables thousands of people across the U.S. to send each other handwritten letters and gifts. The initiative quickly gained momentum and has now grown to over 10,000 participants ranging from school-aged children to seniors.
Random Acts of Kindness
A simple act like shoveling snow from your neighbor’s walkway or volunteering at a local soup kitchen could mean a whole lot to someone else. Here are other kindness ideas to inspire you:
- Write a positive review. Small businesses need positive word-of-mouth to grow their business. Writing a review may take little time, but it can boost buyer confidence and help increase their sales.
- Be a laundromat angel. Have you ever been to the laundromat only to find you don’t have quarters? Help someone out by leaving a few coins for the machines.
- Connect with someone unexpected. Whether it’s the barista who makes your coffee or that person in the park who always seems to have lunch alone, make an effort to connect with someone new. A smile or a brief conversation can make a world of difference to someone who might feel disconnected.
- Honor a service member. Do you know a first responder who risks their life to save others? Is a friend of yours serving in the military? Help keep service members’ spirits up by sending these brave heroes personalized commemorative plaques recognizing their service and dedication to helping others.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation‘s mission is to “make kindness the norm in our schools, workplaces, homes and communities.” The movement is catching on, as more individuals and organizations are joining in and becoming “raktivists.”
It’s not always easy to be positive when you’re tired, overwhelmed, and a little lonely. But by focusing on just one good thing, whether it be about your day, someone you love, or a touching story you saw on the news, you can change your whole outlook.
Recognizing our service members is a great way to practice positivity, and it’s not difficult. Even though we can’t meet with these everyday heroes in person, sending handwritten notes of gratitude or more tangible gifts like commemorative plaques to show your appreciation will remind them that people care.
Of course, being kind isn’t limited to one day, but February 17 should act as a reminder for all of us to make kindness a daily habit.If you’d like to explore our commemorative plaques and other custom military memorabilia to spread kindness to an everyday hero, visit the Navy Paddles online shop.