McKegan Morgan, 11, paints a rock for a friend's mom on Monday at The Vault in Clinton.
CLINTON — Kindness is free, the saying goes, so sprinkle that stuff everywhere.
Attendees at The Vault, the Clinton youth center that opened in October 2018, launched their "Kindness Campaign" on Monday. The center described the effort on social media as one to promote "a more uplifting and respectful culture in DeWitt County," bringing people together for a stronger community.
Sierra Barnes, 13, holds a rock on Monday at The Vault in Clinton. Sierra decorated the rock, which says "I love you."
As part of the effort, young people at the center began panting "kindness rocks" with encouraging messages to give to others. They also will be given the opportunity to write encouraging notes to others.
Follow the campaign online at
facebook.com/thevaultclinton. Ways to make the world a kinder place
Ring the Salvation Army bell.
Locally, this year’s Tree of Lights Christmas Campaign
, which provides about a quarter of the organization’s budget for the year. Services include a shelter for homeless men, food pantry, rent and utility assistance, case management, gas vouchers, bus tickets, emergency disaster services, programs for youth and for seniors, veterans services and more. Sign up has set a goal of $470,000 . here
Be a courteous, conscientious driver.
Many times, we might cause someone else frustration because we aren’t paying attention. Let people merge. Pull over for ambulances. Smile at other drivers when you are stopped.
Help kids with their homework.
The Boys & Girls Club of Decatur offers an after-school program for kids between the ages of 7 and 18, including some who might not have a lot of support at home. You can offer to help with their studies or just be a positive adult figure. Volunteer applications are available on the club’s website:
Compliment a stranger.
Kindness costs nothing. If you think someone has a cute purse or a nice truck, say so. You never know when people need to hear it.
Brighten Christmas for a family in need.
Every year, Dove Inc. and the Northeast Community Fund partner to make Christmas baskets with food and toys for hundreds of needy families. Here’s
. You can also donate to the annual Toys for Tots drive, or adopt a child from the angel tree in Hickory Point Mall, both efforts of the Salvation Army. a list of needed items
Keep your social media posts positive.
The chances of you changing someone’s mind with an abrasive Facebook post are minuscule. The chances of you making someone smile with a picture of your dog, or a cute anecdote about your kid, are much greater. Debates about contentious issues are much better conducted in person.
Meet your neighbors.
The world is a better and safer place when neighbors have each other’s backs, whether it’s keeping an eye on each other’s houses, spreading the word about a suspicious vehicle or being able to borrow a cup of sugar. A great place to start is the
, the umbrella for all of the city’s neighborhood groups. Decatur Coalition of Neighborhood Organizations
Buy coffee or a meal for the person behind you in line.
Sometimes, it's the little things. You never know how far the pay-it-forward chain could go.
Become a child advocate.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a national association that recruits and trains people to represent abused and neglected children, to make sure that they have safe and healthy permanent homes. You don’t need a legal or social background; it takes about 10 to 15 hours per month. Find out more here:
Open the door for someone.
Look them in the eyes. Smile. Wish them a nice day. It's free.
Deliver Meals on Wheels.
Seniors depend on this service, not only for hot and healthy meals, but also to keep from becoming isolated. Yours could be the only friendly face they see that day. Find out how to get involved
Don't forget about yourself.
You’ll do the most good for the rest of the world if you are also treating yourself with kindness. That means getting plenty of sleep, not inhaling junk food for every meal, and making time for activities you enjoy.
Contact Allison Petty at (217) 421-6986. Follow her on Twitter: @allison0512