In case you're having a hard time thinking of ways you can participate, I've made a list of inspiration. Most of these come from the stories I've heard about what other people have already done. You don't have to be a certain kind of person to do this. You just have to be willing to go out of your way. Do it! I'm on Act #6 today and having so much fun!
1. Buy lunch/coffee/whatever for the person behind you in line. Ask them to do the same for someone else.
2. Think about how cold it is outside, and imagine what that might be like for someone without a home. Buy a few $5 gift cards to Starbucks or a local coffee shop. Then, hit the streets and hand them out to people you see.
3. Go through your closets and give away anything you haven't worn in the last 12 months. Be brutal. If you want a more personal interaction, take one of your extra coats and give it to the first homeless person you see on the street. Look them in the eye and wish them a Merry Christmas. Make sure they know where the nearest shelter and food pantry are located before you leave. Drive them to it if you think it's wise.
4. Ask your local school if they know of children that don't have proper winter coats. Buy some new ones and deliver them to the school.
5. Volunteer an afternoon at a soup kitchen or shelter. Bring your kids!
6. Write 26 letters to active military and/or veterans.
7. Deliver homemade treats to your neighbors. Stay and chat with each one. I can attest that this can be the beginning of sweet friendships.
8. Visit your local VA and deliver Christmas cards with a note and a gift card to wounded veterans.
9. Deliver toys and treats to a shelter housing children and families.
10. Bring a warm drink to the person ringing the Salvation Army bell outside the store in which you were just shopping.
11. Ask for the tab of the table(s) near you at a restaurant. Have the waiter/waitress put a note in their billfold explaining #26Acts and asking them to pay it forward.
12. Drop off 26 cans/bags of food to your local food bank.
13. Purchase gas gift cards and put them on windshields of cars in your parking lot with a note.
14. Ask your pastor about families in the church struggling to make ends meet. Find out how you can help. Then, do it.
15. Coordinate with your local retirement/assisted living home and bring meals/gifts to home-bound seniors. Stay and talk with them a while.
16. Coordinate with your local children's hospital to bring gift cards to patients and their families.
17. Ask your church or school if there are any exchange or international students without family for the holidays. Invite them to spend it with yours.
18. Call a restaurant in Newtown and pay for the next 5 pizzas/meals/drinks ordered.
19. Give your waiter/waitress/valet/massage therapist/doorman a HUGE tip and thank them for what they do.
20. Write your child's principal/teacher a note thanking them for investing in kids.
21. Deliver a meal to a family or friend who's sick.
22. Ask someone at the gas station if you can buy their gas and pump it for them.
23. Pay for the groceries of someone in front of or behind you in line.
24. As you fly for the holidays, find uniformed soldiers and buy them a beer or a meal. At the least, look them in the eye and shake their hand.
25. Deliver cookies to your local fire/police department. Thank them for keeping us safe.
26. Write 26 encouraging notes and put them on car windshields.
I could seriously go on and on and on, you guys. There are SO MANY ways you can join in. Just start with one! Please come back here and share more ideas and how you're doing your #26Acts.
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