Posts Tagged: random acts of kindness

Paper Project: Paper Fortune Cookies!

One of my favorite things to celebrate in the winter is the Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year. It generally falls at the perfect time of year for a party – late winter, when the holiday season has passed but you really, really need some socialization.

I lived in China for a year in 2004-2005 teaching English, and honestly I never saw one fortune cookies there. But that doesn’t stop me from loving fortune cookies at Chinese restaurants here, and loving these paper ones filled with positive messages.

These would be fun to put together for Chinese New Year – it is Saturday January 25, 202 this year, the Year of the Rat – or just to give to your kids, your friends, your neighbors…pretty much anyone who would love to unwrap a bit of positivity (which should be everyone!).

Roxie and I had so much fun making these together, and writing our own positive messages too! So let’s get to it!

Supplies:

• Colored or patterned paper
Note: We got our awesome paper at Cardboard Robot in Decorah – it’s actually thick wrapping paper. Cardstock would be too think, but traditional wrapping paper would be too thin, so plan accordingly! Regular printer paper would likely work fine.
• Small bowl for tracing – we tried a cup, but we felt like it made too small of cookies
• Pencil for tracing
• Scissors
• Hot glue gun (adult supervision required)
Positive fortunes/sayings download

Cut out all the sayings (download the page here), or write your own

 

Trace a circle on the back of your paper

Cut out your circle

Place the positive “fortune” in the middle of the plain side of the circle

Fold the top over to the bottom, but don’t make a crease

Turn the semi-circle over and make a small “wave” at the opening

Hold the wave with one hand and grab the corners of the other “spine” of the semi-circle and place your pointer finger in the center

While still maintaining the wave, carefully push the center of the spine in while pulling the edges of the spine toward each other

Place a dot of hot glue in the crease (we found if you place it about halfway up the crease, it holds best)

Hold the crease in place for about 30 seconds while the glue dries and you’re done!

Hand these little presents of positivity all over! Happy winter! XOXO – Inspire(d)

Community Care: 12 Ways to Show Up for Each Other

INFOGRAPHIC & INTRO BY ARYN HENNING NICHOLS

So much of the conversation lately has been about taking care of our selves. Exercising and eating well so we keep our bodies healthy and strong. Taking time to do things that go beyond work and the day-to-day stress and grind. Things that speak to our souls, that help us feel alive and like we’re actually living.

But what happens when you don’t have the privilege – of time or money or mental capacity – to do this? Because for many, self care is not a reality.

When I read an article that quoted Nakita Valerio, a Toronto-based community organizer, as saying, “Shouting ‘self-care’ at people who actually need ‘community care’ is how we fail people,” a light bulb went off in my brain. Yes! Community care. This is the phrase I’ve been missing.

Valerio defines community care as “People committed to leveraging their privilege to be there for one another in various ways.”

It can be something small, like reaching out via text to a friend you haven’t heard from in awhile, or something larger, like volunteering of your time or skillset, or cooking some meals or buying groceries.

It’s performing acts of kindness, but they aren’t random.

“It’s about being committed to being there for people,” Valerio says. “And it’s about being there for people without them having to take the initial first step. It’s about adopting an ethos of compassion and very intentionally applying that.”

Plus, when you’re there for other people, it’s comforting to know there is a community of folks in place to support you when you’re down on your luck.

So, if you have the time and/or the money, think about how you can intentionally care for and foster your community – or communities. In honor of Inspire(d)’s 12-year anniversary, we put together an infographic showcasing 12 ways you can care for your community and Show Up for Each Other. We’re all in this together, friends!

Thanks for helping us foster this community of positive news for 12 years! XOX, Aryn

1. Life is give and take

Although we don’t do things just to have something done for us, part of giving of your time and self is knowing that these people will be there when you need it too.

2. Literally show up

Go to a friend’s birthday party, or help with moving day, or a co-workers city election. Sometimes a person just needs someone to sit with them. Be that person.

3. Digital Love

• Send a thoughtful text

• Like and Love posts on social media

• Write kind comments

• Start a social media group that supports each another

4. Cook a meal for a neighbor

5. Buy some groceries for a friend in need

6. Offer up your skillset

Can you fix or build things? Are you super good at organizing? Maybe you’re a graphic design pro? Your skills are worthwhile and important, and can be a huge help to someone in need.

7. Offer to be there when someone might need it.

Often when we need help, that’s the hardest time to ask for it. So pay attention. You’ve got to be vigilant with your community.

8. Volunteer

9. Support community organizations

That might be through monetary or physical donations, or by giving of your time.

10. Host a potluck

Invite someone new in town to come!

11. Build a community within your community

Book or card clubs, regular friends nights, exercise groups…creating community is an act of care in and of itself.

12. Support local businesses

They’re run by your neighbors… need we say more?

20+ Random Acts of Kindness

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We here at Inspire(d) often talk about changing the world…or, more accurately, changing the community. But what about simply brightening someone’s day? That, honestly, changes the world right there. We thought we’d put together a fun list of ways to easily bring a smile to your family, friends’, neighbors’, and fellow community-members’ faces. It’s not so hard, and, happily, it makes both the giver and receiver feel all kinds of good.

“Kindness Week” is celebrated in February, but we think any time is a great time for compassion and general good-ness! So click below for more than 20 ways to brighten your days (it’s gotta rhyme, right?!). Read more about “Random Act of Kindness” .

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