"As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way." - Mary Ann Radmacher
Cultivating Kindness NOW
By Molly Yuska, PGK Founder
Yesterday brought another historic tragedy, contributing to a narrative of violence not seen in any other western society. Why?! As a mother of four and a believer in the innate goodness of all people, I can't wrap my head around it, nor can I explain it to my kids. The loss of innocent young life at the hands of yet another child is not something to be explained, I suppose. There is just simply no way to make sense of it.
I'm sure in the days to come, a picture will be painted by the media offering ideas as to how this came to pass, but the full truth will likely never be known. Regardless of the reasons, it should be a wake-up call for all of us - not to put more armed guards at the door of every school, but to arm ourselves and our children with love, to fight back not with more violence but with more tolerance and empathy, so the next youth who is crying out for help - of whatever kind - gets the support he or she needs before they go to such extremes.
Regardless of the storyline that may be developed around what led to this, the reality is every life is an accumulation of moments and experiences that shape us. As parents, every day we make choices about how we spend our time and how our kids spend theirs. Things like serving others and partaking in experiences that cultivate understanding and empathy too often fall in line behind math tutors, soccer tournaments and, sadly, even video game time. As we mourn this latest tragedy, let us remember we have the opportunity to be a force for good in the lives of our kids, their friends, and our communities. It is our job to help them, guide them, and teach them in all of the little moments that present themselves each and every day to be bearers of love, compassion and kindness. If we don't, we will be part of the reason why this inexplicable narrative continues.
Share a Little Love
By Jessica Barga, PGK Contributor
If you didn’t know it by the sudden proliferation of pink in the grocery store, you would by the onslaught of TV commercials: Valentine’s Day is near. Sure, dedicating a day a year to your sweetie (or yourself) is nice, but what’s even nicer is sharing the love all year long.
To many people, the term “giving back” conjures up images of donating canned goods or visiting nursing home residents. And while those are excellent examples of everyday service, showing care and compassion can be as simple as holding the door for a stranger or paying your coworker a sincere compliment. We present a few small, meaningful ways to show kindness this month — or any time of the year.
The great thing about kindness is it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to be meaningful. It can even become a fun challenge: What can I do to brighten someone’s day? Share your favorite ideas with us on our Facebook page, and check out our list of family-oriented service activities to see how you can get involved in your own community.
Celebrating MLK with Service
By Jessica Barga, PGK Contributor
In the midst of winter - especially this year, as most of the country has been experiencing frigid temperatures, ice, snow and all the usual trappings of January - there’s a day we can all spend making the world a little warmer.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, celebrated each year on the third Monday in January, has grown from its original purpose to honor the work of King into a day often dedicated to service and humanitarian work. It’s a gentle reminder that we, too, can continue the peaceful move toward change that King initiated in his own lifetime.
For Project Giving Kids on the West Coast, the weekend was spent in service work at the Kidspace Museum in Pasadena, Calif. Together, we accomplished three easy, hands-on service projects for young kids on Saturday, Sunday and Monday: cat toys for local animal shelters, Valentine’s cards for St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, and decorated bookmarks to benefit Reading Partners around LA. In all, through the efforts of generous volunteers of all ages, we crafted 120 cat toys, 143 valentines and 194 bookmarks for our chosen charities.
In King’s words, “We have come a long way, but we have a long, long way to go.” Not just this weekend, but every day, PGK is making an impact across the country. To see how you can become involved, whether it’s with your family, your school or through your own nonprofit group, visit our projects page or download our free app.