It was sweet to see all the random acts of kindness popping up around Facebook on “Random Acts of Kindness Day” a few weeks back. We shared cheer, fostered a sense of community and showed our children the importance of being kind to others.
We need to remember to continue these acts of kindness throughout our community. Often, the person who most desperately needs your help won’t be in line behind you at the Starbucks. It’s too easy to fall into an “us and them” mindset–buying toys for “those kids in need,” or donating food for “the hungry.” The help is good intentioned and absolutely appreciated, but I urge and I challenge you to remember and teach others that the people who need help are part of the “us.” There is no “them.”
The people who are hungry are part of our community.
The people who are cold are part of our community.
The children who wouldn’t otherwise have toys to unwrap are part of our community.
We are all Pittsburgh together. And it is our responsibility to help our friends, our family, our community out.
Our community is cold— the Gay and Lesbian Community Center has been providing blankets and coats to keep people warm, but there haven’t been enough donations to keep up with the need. Stop by Burlington or TJ Maxx or what have you and pick up a coat or a blanket. You can get an absolutely warm and luxurious blanket for under $15. Heck, if you can’t make your way downtown to drop it off, their office is right across the street from mine. I’m happy to pick up blankets from you and drop them off.
Our community is hungry— Pittsburgh area food pantries have reached emergency levels. When you stop at the grocery store next time, pick up some extra items to contribute. Get good food, healthy food, the kind of foods we stock in our own pantries and serve to our friends. Because we are all friends.
There are opportunities for giving all around. Care for your neighbors. If you can only give a little, give a little. If you can give more, give more. And if you need help, it is our responsibility as Pittsburghers to step up to the plate and help you out.
Don’t settle with your acts of kindness being random.