Practice kindness: Join the Holiday Joy Squad

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    By Eileen Doherty
    Colorado Gerontological Society

    Kindness has many definitions. Kindness can be defined as the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate, whereas being kind is doing intentional, voluntary acts of kindness. Acts of kindness can be done when it is easy, but also when it is hard.

    The Colorado Gerontological Society is, again, inviting you to join the Holiday Joy Squad. The holidays are a time to get together with family and friends. We come together to celebrate, to share a drink and favorite foods, to attend holiday parties and exchange gifts, and just to connect. In 2020, many of us looked for creative ways to connect. 

    While 2021 may find many of us more willing to connect with family and friends, some individuals are continuing to be cautious with the current rise in COVID-19 cases. We invite you to share kindness with those who mean the most to you, either in group settings, through social distancing or virtually.

    But many of us have another group of people in our lives with whom we should share kindness — those individuals represent our “lost” connections. Many of us keep thinking, “I should call them” or “Drop them a line,” but we don’t take the time to re-engage with those whom we haven’t had contact with for a long time. Sometimes those family and friends are just waiting for someone to reach out and be kind. 

    Since COVID-19 started, the society has been operating the Telephone Buddy program — a program that supports year-round kindness. Volunteers from the community give 10-15 minutes a week to call an older adult just to check in with them, to make sure they have enough food and medicine, and to engage with them about what is happening in their lives. More than 100 volunteers continue to participate in this program. The friendships that have developed are deep and very meaningful to both the volunteers and the older adults. 

    We are accepting new telephone buddies to engage in ongoing acts of kindness, but we are inviting everyone to join the Holiday Joy Squad to share random acts of kindness with family, friends and those you don’t know quite as well. These acts of kindness can be a smile in the grocery store line, baking a cake or cookies and delivering them to a cousin who lives in town, contacting a colleague who has left the workplace or is tele-working, calling your siblings who could use an extra lift today from the sound of your voice, or dropping off a wreath or a box of chocolates for a neighbor. Any act of kindness is important and counts toward the project.

    The society is offering a gift card to anyone who does 15 random acts of kindness and reports them on our website at www.senioranswers.org prior to Jan. 15, 2022. Your random acts of kindness for the Holiday Joy Squad will make the world a better place. We all have feelings of love, caring and security. Kindness is one path to sharing those feelings. 

    For more information, call (303) 333-3482 or (855) 294-3971 (toll free), or (855) 880-4777 (Spanish).