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Choose to spread kindness this week and always

The week of Nov. 14-18, the Lakes Area United Way is celebrating kindness as part of the Minnesotawide United Acts of Kindness week

Kindness Week 2022.jpg
The week of Nov. 14-18, the Lakes Area United Way is celebrating kindness as part of the Minnesotawide United Acts of Kindness week.
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Kindness is defined as “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.”

The week of Nov. 14-18, the Lakes Area United Way is celebrating kindness as part of the Minnesotawide United Acts of Kindness week.

During this week we are encouraging our entire community to perform and promote acts of kindness — big or small — each day of the week. Everyone has the ability to spread kindness, kids and adults alike, in every aspect of our lives — at home, work, school or during day-to-day interactions with strangers.

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A gesture of kindness can be as simple as leaving a note of encouragement or gratitude for a friend, coworker or family member. Hide a note in a library book for a future reader to find. Send an email of appreciation to your child’s teacher, coach or spiritual mentor for sharing their time and talents with your child.

One way to express your kindness is through time.

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Volunteering at school, church or the food shelf are just a couple of examples of ways to share your time. Make something special for someone — bake cookies for an elderly neighbor, make a card to mail to a distant relative or use your creative talents to create a personalized gift.

On the Lakes Area United Way Facebook page (search "Lakes Area UW"), we will be posting kindness ideas every day.

If you are looking for more inspiration, visit our website at unitedwaynow.org, and under the "Events" tab, select "United Acts of Kindness Week."

A monetary donation is another effective way to spread kindness. A donation to the Lakes Area United Way helps support our own programs, including Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and GetConnected, as well as 17 local partner programs focusing on education, health and financial stability within our communities.

Thursday, Nov. 17, is Give to the Max day and a great way to support many of the great programs and organizations within our community.

The Lakes Area United Way makes meaningful giving easy for anyone, with one-time or monthly giving options on our website, payroll deduction offered through dozens of area employers, or a new Small Business Circle option for area small businesses looking to make year-round impact in the lakes area.

There are numerous ways to spread kindness, but another way to help fill a desperate need in our community is by donating blood. The need is constant. According to the Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood.

To find a local blood drive, visit www.redcrossblood.org.

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As we approach the holiday season and focus on being thankful and giving, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you that there is a great need in our community for those less fortunate.

Christmas for Kids helps area children, ages birth to 18, have a brighter Christmas. Each child will receive clothing, a book, a toy that they asked for and a Christmas stocking full of personal care items.

Donations are much appreciated, or if you know a family in need search for "Christmas for Kids Crosslake" on Facebook.

Another overlooked need in our community is the homeless population. Bridges of Hope — in partnership with law enforcement, Crow Wing County, nonprofit organizations, church partners and community members — recognized the need for a safe place for homeless adults (ages 18 and older) to sleep in our community.

This group has come together in a collaborative effort to address homelessness by providing a low-barrier overnight shelter that will offer a safe place for individuals to rest for the night.

During the 2021-22 winter months, the shelter was open for 147 nights and served 78 unique individuals experiencing homelessness, and offered in total 942 nights of shelter from the cold Minnesota winter.

The first night of this season was Sept. 15. For more information about The Bridge on 7th Overnight Shelter, visit bridgesofhopemn.org.

We are excited to see how you choose to spread the kindness, and hope you will let us know about your gesture of kindness by sending a description and a photo to contactus@unitedwaynow.org.

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It costs nothing to be kind and can create a ripple effect. Imagine the ripples we can create in our community through simple gestures of kindness — not only this week, but every week!

Tracy Wallin is the Lakes Area United Way marketing coordinator.

Related Topics: CROW WING COUNTYCASS COUNTY
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