Started the year with a resolution to get more involved in your community but still need that small push? Here’s your chance.
On March 10, more than 1,000 people across the globe will do something good. Or so they say.
Whether it’s making someone laugh (the promise of Mexico’s Valeria Blanchet) or adopting a pet from an animal shelter (Tennessee-based Steve Carter’s vow), the hope is that each deed will better their community, environment, or personal well-being.
I know these one-time promises often have the best of intentions (“I’m going to do this EVERY weekend!”) but can peter out after the excitement of the day is over. So I spoke with a few folks to see how they’ll be defining their good deeds and sticking to them – both this March and beyond.
Cindy Anapolsky is about to participate in her second Good Deeds Day in Washington, D.C. (the U.S. headquarters for the event) with her husband and two children. Instead of doing a good deed on their own, Anapolsky’s family plans on joining others: Making thousands of sandwiches to hand out to the local homeless population.
“My son hasn’t stopped talking about it since we volunteered last year,” says Anapolsky, who brought her family to a similar sandwich-crafting event last March. “I think it was an important lesson for both my kids and myself.”
Since last year’s Good Deeds Day, she’s been inspired to pitch in on a variety of volunteering opportunities in her area.
“The day is an example of how we should act throughout the year, “ she says. “Not only as an individual, or a family, but as a community. It’s really lovely.”
Toni Gage plans on spending her Good Deeds Day with her synagogue congregation, making food, packaging snack packs for kids, and painting the nails of residents of a local rehab. Like Cindy, she sees the day as an important model for the youth in her community.
“Spending a day helping others keeps kids grounded,” Gage says. “When they deliver food or work with those who are less fortunate then them gives them a whole new perspective.”
Over the past few years, her synagogue has participated in the day together, and continues to host charity and volunteer opportunities throughout the year. And it’s not just the kids that benefit.
“Many of the adults in our congregation don’t even realize how needy our community is,” Gage says.
Ruth Lamberty, who helps manage Good Deeds Day, may be too busy with running the event on March 10 to participate. So, she and her staff organized a trial run in February where they committed an entire day to everything from painting a neighboring preschool to volunteering at a local furniture donation shop.
“It’s important to practice what we preach,” Lamberty says. “Because, if we don’t, what’s the point?”
Ultimately, Lamberty says, the day is meant to trigger good deed-doing in its participants throughout the entire year.
“It’s always the hope and goal,” she says. “But even if it’s just a day, it’s a commitment to something good. It’s a start.”
Inspired to get in on the celebration? Pledge your good deed here in this colorful box conveniently linked to Facebook. Don’t forget to also browse over 13,000 volunteer opportunities worldwide listed on Idealist.