We were all taught the golden rule as kids: treat others the way you want to be treated. When we were young this meant sharing our toys, not leaving anybody out and saying please and thank you. Be kind to others and they, in turn, will treat you with kindness. Of course, we still teach this to our kids today, but how do we as adults incorporate kindness into our day-to-day lives as a parent, friend, coworker or even as a stranger?
Be Kind to Humankind Week, celebrated each year from August 25-31, asks us to take a step back and think about the importance and impact of being kind to our fellow humankind. Research has shown kindness not only encourages empathy toward others but also brings about lasting well-being and an improved quality of life.
Here are some simple ways you can incorporate in your daily life that will make a big difference in yours and other people’s life.
- Offer a kind word or compliment to a stranger
- Hold the door for somebody
- Don’t participate in office/school gossip
- Give up your seat on the train or bus
- Help somebody carry something
- Send a thank you card or email to somebody that helped you
- Let somebody know how special they are to you
- Help an elderly neighbor with a yard or a housework
- Share homemade food with a friend
- Ask if your neighbors need anything when you run to the grocery store
- Celebrate someone’s successes
Additionally, there are other ways to celebrate the week of Be Kind To Humankind in San Fernando Valley, starting this weekend. Below are some events and organizations that need you to join forces and together help those in need.
Valley Food Bank: Donate nonperishable food, diapers, household cleaning supplies and hygiene products, 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. 12701 Van Nuys Blvd., Pacoima. 818-510-4140. www.valleyfoodbank.org
Volunteers of America: Check out ways to donate money to the group that provides services to children and families in need, the homeless, at-risk youth, veterans, those released from prison and those who are trying to overcome addictions. The organization was founded in 1896 in New York City and opened a home for orphans in the same year in Los Angeles. 213-389-1500. Email: email@example.com. voala.org
SOVA food pantry: Donate nonperishable food and personal care products, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 9 a.m.-noon Sunday (except holiday weekends). 16439 Vanowen St., Van Nuys. 818-988-7682. www.jfsla.org/sova
Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team fundraiser store: Variety of items for sale including accessories, clothes, home furnishings, gifts, jewelry, designer shoes and vintage collectibles. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 4521 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks. 818-849-5250. www.startrescue.org
Salvation Army: Check out ways to donate money and volunteer in the San Fernando Valley. 818-781-5739. sanfernandovalley.salvationarmy.org
San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission: Collecting cases of bottled water for the Rescue Survival Outreach Services. The mission’s Rescue SOS trucks, equipped with a mobile shower unit, clothing, food and hygiene items for distribution, currently needs bottled water to distribute. Donation hours: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. 8756 Canby Ave., Northridge. 818-785-4476. www.sfvrescuemission.org
American Cancer Society Discovery Shop: Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. 8738 Tampa Ave., Northridge. 818-772-0194. www.facebook.com/discoveryshopnorthridge
B’nai B’rith Bagel Brigade: Volunteers needed to pick up donated bread from bagel shops and supermarkets to be delivered to the needy. Volunteers needed for early morning and nights on the choice of the day. Frank, 818-376-0502. www.bagelbrigade.org
Catholic Charities Guadalupe Community Center: Donate nonperishable food and gently used clothes, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays. 21600 Hart St., Canoga Park. 213-251-3549.
Community Distribution Center Food Bank: Donations of food needed, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. 11350 Saticoy St., Sun Valley. 818-759-0616. communitydistribution.org
FISH of West Valley: Donate nonperishable food and hygiene products, 4-5 p.m. Saturdays. 20440 Lassen St., Chatsworth. 818-882-3474.
Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission: Check out ways to donate money and volunteer in the San Fernando Valley. For volunteering: firstname.lastname@example.org or 818-392-0020, Ext. 1002. The mission also has three thrift stores: 18167 Chatsworth St., Granada Hills (9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; 818-363-2050); 19379 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country (10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday; 661-673-5951); 2790 E. Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley (9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; 818-392-0020). www.hopeofthevalley.org
Lutheran Social Services: Call for current needs and volunteer opportunities. Valley Lutheran Church, 7400 Tujunga Ave., North Hollywood. 818-901-9480. www.lssccc.org
MEND food bank: Volunteers needed. Call for an appointment. 10641 San Fernando Road, Pacoima. 818-897-2443. www.mendpoverty.org
If you’re still looking for a volunteering opportunity in San Fernando Valley and wider in Los Angeles, you can find other volunteer opportunities through VolunteerMatch. Online resource list includes opportunities for all ages. Listings are specific to current need by various organizations www.volunteermatch.org
Please remember to remain kind throughout the year, not just this one week. After all, a little kindness goes a long way.
If you’d like more information on the San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles, or to have help looking for your next home, please feel free to reach out! I’m happy to help, no obligation.