#SowSomeLove                                                           

           February 2017 Campaign

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February 1st    CHARITY     Give your change to charity

“We learned about dignity and decency - that how hard you work matters more than how much you make... that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself.”
-Michelle Obama, First Lady, United States of American, Lawyer


Using a jar, can or any hollowed knick-knack, collect loose and found change for the entire month. At the end of each day, drop in your pennies and extra change. At the end of the month, give it away.


Abandoned change others leave behind is more change for your charity. Every penny and every dollar makes a difference to the charities who turn them into useful resources.


It all adds up. Whether you collect ninety cents or nine dollars, the money is a meaningful contribution to the charity of your choice. At the end of the month, roll your coins or use a coin-to-currency machine in your local grocery or bank lobby. According to Coinstar, “If half of Americans living within two miles of a Coinstar® machine donated just $1 in spare change to the American Red Cross, it would raise more than $65 million.”


Need ideas? United Negro College Fund, National Urban League, Soldiers Against Violence Everywhere (Oakland), National Action Network, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, NAACP, Charter for Compassion and us, the Every Day Compassion Project.
February 2nd      WARMTH     Smile at 5 new people

“When I look out at the people and they look at me and they’re smiling, then I know I’m loved.” – Etta James, Singer, Songwriter


One bright smile ripples across humanity. Start a wave. Just as compassion is a habit so is fear and resignation. Afraid of the unknown, we let concern over how our smile will be received prevent us from lighting up someone’s day.


We smile at people we know. We smile at people who are “safe”. We smile in pleasant public situations. We smile when we think it will get us better service. And, certainly, when it might yield a discount or benefit. Drop the considerations and smile away.
February 4th   KINDNESS   Commit an Act of Kindness
“In a sane, civil, intelligent and moral society, you don't blame poor people for being poor.” - Andrew Young, Mayor, Congressman, Ambassador



Sponsors money:

  • Visit thenonprofits.com. You click, sponsors donate. Great site to learn about a wide variety of charitable organizations and causes.
  • Use EcoSearch.org  every time you search this month. You get Google results in a basic webpage. Sponsors donate money to charity each time you search. It's less than a penny per search, but if you are searching anyway...
  • Our favorite, Freerice.com. Fight hunger with knowledge. Each right answer to questions on lots of subject is also a donation of rice to the World Food Program.

Your money:

  • Add the $1 to your tab at stores that you give you the option to donate as you checkout.
  • Set up a recurring donation for a cause or charity you give to periodically. There are lots of ways to be generous. Some right in your own neighborhood.
How were you generous today? Remember to share your day's act of compassion with us.  
February 5th     PRAYER     Pray for a world at peace.

"Let us banish fear."- Carter G. Woodson, Historian, Author


Spend ten minutes praying, meditating or visualizing world peace.

Examples of prayer for peace can be found at the World Peace Prayer Society or Fellowship of Reconciliation or 2HeartsNetwork.org. 


If you don’t believe in prayer, imagine the world surrounded by love or light. If neither prayer nor imagining work for you, find one new way to support peace or harmony and do it. That may mean writing a letter to a world leader or signing an online petition.

February 6th    HUMOR    Share Laughter

“Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.” – Langston Hughes, Poet


Laughter releases pent up, stale energy. Laughter heals.


Know a good joke? Know a bad one? Ever notice that the silliest jokes sometimes get the biggest laughs.If jokes aren’t your thing, try a funny face. Kids love them. Young kids love them. Those going through the teenage years are more likely to scowl at a funny face than laugh, but their hearts are touched just the same. Costumes, funny hats or a YouTube comedy scene shared, all work.

February 7th   APPRECIATION   Express your appreciation.

“Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.”
–Alice Walker, Author


I’ve never read a thank-you note I didn’t like. Appreciation warms our hearts.

There are so many people we could thank. Parents, spouses, siblings and friends love us in untold ways. Let them know you noticed. Have a colleague who makes the day more enjoyable. Tell them. Say it in person or in a note. A surprise text, post or email works, too.

 

Thank you for being a person committed to spreading love in the world.

February 8th     SELF-COMPASSION     Do Something For You


“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”
–Oprah Winfrey, Media Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

 

Watch a sunset. Listen to your favorite music. Take a stroll. Write in your journal.  There’s something special about you. There’s a reason you exist. A difference you make being the unique combination of traits that you are. Take responsibility for your own daily joy. That act affirms to yourself and the universe that you know your unique value.

It's difficult to be compassionate with others when we neglect ourselves. If you never feel worthy of a break, how can you cut one for someone else?

February 9th    MINDFULNESS     Mind your words.

“If the word has the potency to revive and make us free, it has also the power to blind, imprison, and destroy.” –Ralph Ellison, Scholar, Novelist, Literary Critic


Our words can create love in an instant. They can also create upset and dis-ease. When you recognize the power of your speaking, moment-by-moment, you begin to recognize how much your words create your experience and your world.


How often do you talk about problems, worries or other people as problems? How often do you repeat meaningless phrases or clichés in place of an authentic conversation?

Minding your words today is an act of compassion toward everyone you are around today. Using your words intentionally carries with it the power to heal others.

February 10th    ACKNOWLEDGEMENT     Acknowledge someone

“There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.”
- Booker T. Washington, Educator, Author, Orator

 

"Nice shoes!” is a compliment.  An acknowledgment presences love. “I’ve never met anyone who can pull together a beautiful ensemble as seemingly effortless as you. There is a talented artist inside you that shows up in the way you dress.” Now, that’s creating the experience of love with words."
February 11th     ENCOURAGEMENT     Encourage a child.

“There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.” - Booker T. Washington, Educator, Author, Orator


“It is easier to build strong children, than repair broken men.” -- Frederick Douglass, Abolitionist, Author


Each child is a unique gift, unwrapped a little more each day. Every time we affirm or pronounce what is unique and blessed about them, children grow a little stronger. All children need that extra strength, that extra assurance.


Not seeing a young person today? Reach out to a younger sibling, cousin, nephew, niece, or other loved one. You might spark a conversation that changes the future.

What's the most encouraging thing you remember hearing as a child? Share it with us on Facebook or Twitter.


February 12th    DONATION     Give something away.

“I always wanted to be somebody. If I made it, it's half because I was game enough to take a lot of punishment along the way and half because there were a lot of people who cared enough to help me.”
--Althea Gibson, Professional Athlete


There’s something you have and don’t want that someone else doesn’t have and does want. Even if it’s a want they don’t yet know they have.


If it is too awkward for you to give it away today or impossible because you won’t see the people who come to mind, then, by all means, drop something off at a local thrift store, shelter or other appropriate location. Donation day is a couple days away on the 28th.

February 13th     SHARING     Be of service.  Share a talent.

“A good deed here, a good deed there, a good thought here, a good comment there, all added up to my career in one way or another.”
Sidney Poitier, Actor, Author, Director, Diplomat


This can look about seven and half billion different ways. If you’re a musician, surprise someone with a song. Do you cook? Make a special meal for a friend,  shut-in, neighbor, or a whole group of folks. Mr. Fixit, fix something. Ms. Organized, organize something for someone.


All of us have multiple gifts. Share the one that your day’s schedule allows you to share comfortably, keeping the spirit of fun and ease in the game. Don’t hold back.

If you’re at a complete loss, scroll back through numbers 1 through 12 and do the one you enjoyed the most.


February 14     LOVE     To as many as you can, say "I love you."

“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.” - Zora Neale Hurston, Author


Spouses, siblings, parents, friends, children, aunts, uncles and all our different kinds of cousins. Let “I love you” flow off your lips like a river to the sea.


In addition to saying “I love you,” include the details of what it is about them that inspires in you the awareness of valuing their unique contribution to your life and the world. Reach out to at least three people who don’t hear “I love you” often enough.

February 15th      FORGIVENESS      Forgive someone.

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”
--George Washington Carver, Scientist, Inventor, Educator


Religions, twelve step programs and healing arts all acknowledge the power of forgiveness to transform our lives.


Think of an action someone took that still bothers you to do this day—a remark, an omission, an inconsideration. Now, here’s the shortcut to accessing the spirit of forgiveness. Think of a time when you did something similar to someone else, intentionally or not. Take a moment to look carefully until you find a situation that allows you to relate to them. Why did you do it? How did it affect the other person? What would life be like if everyone who met you was told that story about you and nothing else?


If you haven’t apologized for a grievance someone holds against you, do that today also. If there is no way to reach this person because they are no longer living or relocated to someplace unknown to you, apologize aloud as if they can hear you or write it out in a letter. If you write the letter, I recommend destroying it afterward as an act of accepting your own forgiveness by letting it go.

February 3rd      RECOGNITION     Compliment a stranger

“Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough.”
–Mary McLeod Bethune, Educator, Activist


Saying hello and acknowledging strangers is a recognition of our common humanity. The person living with those other circumstances could be you if different life choices or events were in your past. As human beings, we have the power to lift up others with our words.

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