For many people, 2020 and 2021 were very difficult. As we start 2022, take a moment to not only use this month but for the ongoing year as an opportunity to do something special for someone in your own community, whether you perform these acts as an organized group or as one individual reaching out to a neighbor, the sentiment is what matters.
Sponsor a Coffee Break. With so many people taking advantage of the ability to remote work, a coffee break is a welcome time for neighbors to get together. Usually, coffee is a morning event, but really, coffee can be anytime. Make it 3 pm or 4 pm for folks working at home and need an afternoon pick me up. Another option is making it milk and cookies at 1 pm so neighbors can have a quick snack with a little sugar break too. Neighbors can also have the option of taking it to go.
Put Together Treat Bags. Whether you are young or old, getting a goody bag is always a welcome surprise. Depending on your audience, you can fill them with candy, office supplies like cute pens, pencils or notepads, or coffee cups with tea, coffee, or hot chocolate.
Leave a special gift for your neighbor. This is a great way to introduce yourself or just let your neighbors know that you are there for them if they need anything. Some great gifts are small houseplants or a variety of herb potted plants.
Offer "Free" Assistance. For older residents or those who may need a little extra help, maybe they just need someone to walk their dog once in a while when the weather is bad or pick up an item or two for them while others are already at the store. Create a phone tree that elderly neighbors can access to help all year long.
Write a Positive Note. Provide a space in the common area where you can post or display notes of encouragement, positive attitudes, and other happy notes. Encourage neighbors to stop by and read the uplifting sentiments to help them have a great day.
Make Meals for Drop Off. Many of us have made meals for others, but creating an active list of neighbors who are homebound either due to illness or other reasons, can be helpful for both the donor and the recipient. It's a great feeling to know that you are helping out someone in their time of need and you never know when you may be on the receiving end one day.
Organize a Community Donation. Collect monetary donations for a cause that your HOA can agree upon. February is Heart Health Awareness month. The American Heart Association is a very worthy cause. Use this as an opportunity to create an educational evening too.
Set up a Donation Box. While many people associate the holidays with giving new and unwrapped toys, coats, or hygiene products, these are items that are needed all year long. Take the time to set up a donation box in the common areas for residents to drop off their items.
Random Acts of Kindness can make anyone feel better. Whether you are the one performing an act of kindness or on the receiving end, these small things help us all feel less isolated, more appreciated, and in some cases, provide a greater sense of self-worth. They remind us that the small things matter in helping make this world a little better place. What better place to start than by making our own community a little more connected and caring about each other?