If everyone took it upon themselves to show kokua on a daily basis, this would be a very different place to live. It is easy to feel the need to help your community during the holidays when there are seemingly endless opportunities. However, there are people in your community who need help all year long!
FEED HUNGRY KIDS
There are many low income families who get free lunch at their school during the week. On the weekends, however, they don’t have access to healthy food to eat. Food Banks across the US pack lunches for these kids to bring home on the weekends to eat. You can find more information about how you can help these people through the BackPack Program.
Some families also have a hard time paying for school lunch during the week, but do not qualify for free or reduced lunch programs. These kids often go hungry, as the balances continue to climb through the school’s cafeteria. You can call your local schools and ask if you can pay the balance for one of these kids. The school will not be able to give you a name of the person, but you can send money on their behalf, and it should get to the right place.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
Randomly pay for someone’s groceries, leave a dollar taped to a vending machine, leave notes of kindness or inspiration on someone’s car, the possibilities are seriously endless with small things you can do to make someone else’s day a little brighter.
Homes for the elderly are often overlooked. These individuals might not be close enough to family to get regular visits. Just sitting and talking with them can be an amazing experience. Kids can learn so much from the stories they can tell. Soon you may cherish the time you got to spend with your new friends.
You may also just want to visit a neighbor that might be having a hard time. Bring them some treats or a nice meal, especially if they are recovering from having a baby or a hospital visit.
BRING TREATS TO FIRST RESPONDERS
The police and fire stations in your city work around the clock to help keep the city safe. It can be a pretty thankless job at times, and they are risking their lives daily to do it. Bringing them a case of soda, some cookies, or even a homemade meal can really give them a boost to help them keep up the good work.
TALK TO CITY OFFICES
Most cities know about the needs they have within their borders. Sometimes making an appointment with the city offices, or just calling and asking if there are any service projects that can be done inside the city can offer a huge list of things that could impact your city. Whether it is planting flowers at the library, or pulling weeds outside the courthouse, there are always things that need to be done.
The main idea is to think outside the box and focus on the needs right inside your neighborhood. Bring kokua to your community, and the idea will catch on!