2020 Virtual National Mitzvah Day

March 29, 2020, 12:01 am - 11:59 pm

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Even if you are seeing this after March 29, 2020 we encourage you to still do this as the world can always use kindness and this can positively impact you and many others. You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.  

We were busy planning our 16th Annual National Mitzvah Day and unfortunately due to COVID-19 all in person events and program throughout the country- which would have likely been 20 that engaged thousands- are canceled or postponed. We have always partnered with Good Deeds Day and this year is no exception.  The show must go on.  We will not let Coronavirus get in the way of actively doing good and invite you to join us in a Virtual National Chesed Day and with your help we can make it International. We express gratitude to Ezra Tuchman for the vision behind our first National Mitzvah Day and Shira Hammerman for her vision for this.

Here is how it works:

  • Select an idea, two, three or 17 from the extensive list below.
  • The list has ideas that we are all able to do now safely while maintaining social distancing, our health and that of those around us while still meaningfully helping and impacting others.
  • Consider joining the Kindness Challenge – similar to the Ice Bucket Challenge- where you video you and your family doing an act of kindness and tag or mention 3 other people or families that you nominate to follow your lead.
  • While we are launching this effort on our National Mitzvah Day, we hope this campaign will continue to actively add good to the world for the next few weeks and beyond.
  • We suggest completing the Kindness Challenge within 3 days of being nominated.
  • Post your video on social media and be sure to tag @Areyvut and use #KindnessChallenge #GoodDeedsDay or #CoronaKindness in your posts.
  • You can send any pictures or video clips to us at info@areyvut.org.
  • The day is dedicated in honor of the medical staff and first responders and their herculean efforts and in the merit of a speedy and complete recovery for all those currently suffering from COVID-19.
  • We encourage you to use these resources well beyond today.

Virtual National Chesed Day Ideas

At this time each community has different rules, regulations and restrictions. You must follow any local mandates and only select items that meet your communities guidelines. Please bear in mind that the suggestions below are just that, merely suggestions and you can come up with your own ideas as well.

  1. Accept Help: Accept help from someone offering a lending hand. Receiving kindness is just as important as giving it forward.
  2. Actively Listen: Listen. Fight your urge to preemptively interrupt someone who comes to you for advice. Sometimes offering a person a platform to speak is the greatest form of advice you can give them.
  3. Advice: Provide advice or guidance to someone who reaches out for help. Time should never be an excuse.
  4. Anonymous: Send an anonymous donation to someone you know who is struggling financially.
  5. Ask for Forgiveness: Make a list of ways in which you have wronged others over the past week. Resolve to spend the next week asking forgiveness for your actions.
  6. Be Yourself: Seems obvious but so often we are in constant pursuit of being someone else that we forget that who we are is absolutely AWESOME!
  7. Birthday Call: Pick up the phone and call someone who is celebrating a birthday today. A Facebook post is great, but the personal touch makes all the difference.
  8. Bless Your Child: Give your child a blessing. Mention something he or she did this week that made you proud.
  9. Board Games: Bring gently used board games and decks of cards to a local homeless shelter.
  10. Bone Marrow: If you aren’t already in a Bone Marrow Registry find out how you can join a bone marrow registry. If you joined a Bone Marrow Registry in the past, confirm that your information is up-to-date and ask what else you can do to help.
  11. Books: Go through your book shelves and collect books to donate to a local school, library, juvenile detention center or children’s hospital.
  12. Calm: Don’t raise your voice today.
  13. Canned Food: Buy one extra non-perishable food item and bring it to a homeless shelter, food pantry,
  14. Card Trick: Head to YouTube to learn a fun card trick and spread some joy and amusement to others. Perhaps try it out on a grandparent.
  15. Cart: Return a cart for someone at the grocery store. A seemingly small act may make a big difference in someone’s day.
  16. Cashier: Sincerely say thank you to the cashier at a store. Even though it’s their job, this simple gesture can replace a negative interaction they may have had and give them reason to keep smiling.
  17. Change: Think of one thing in your life that you would like to change and take steps today to make it happen!
  18. Choose Wisely: Before making a choice, ask yourself if honesty and integrity are at the bedrock. Your name should never be for sale.
  19. Closets: Go through your closets and fill two bags with clothing that you no longer wear. In one bag put clothing that is perfectly fine—too small for you, the wrong color, just-not-you, etc. In
    the other put stained, torn, or ripped clothing. Give the first bag to a local organization that gives clothing directly to those in need. Give the second bag to an organization that work
    with members of the textile industry to recycle everything possible.
  20. Comfort Mourners: Make a special effort to console and assist those who have recently lost their loved ones.
  21. Compliment: Give a genuine compliment to someone today and look them in the eye when you say it.
  22. Courageous: Be courageous. Stand up for what’s right, in business, in school and in your day to day comings and goings.
  23. Dishes: Do the dishes without being asked.
  24. Donate Blood: As the number of individuals with Coronavirus increases, fewer eligible donors will be able to give making it extremely difficult for inventory to recover if we get to shortage levels. Healthy, eligible individuals are encouraged to schedule a blood or platelet donation appointment at RedCrossBlood.org today to help maintain a sufficient blood supply and avoid any potential shortages.
  25. Door: Hold the door open for those who enter or leave after you.
  26. Each Person: Give a compliment to each person you encounter through your day. It can be as simple as telling someone that you appreciate them or that they are beautiful. Your words are a powerful gift to others.
  27. Eat Well: One of the simplest ways to be kind to yourself is to eat well. Be conscious of what you consume and your body will thank you for it.
  28. Empathy: Practice empathy by being mindful of someone who’s having a hard day. Take time to check on them. Everyone needs a helping hand at times.
  29. Empower; Empower someone you know to keep going despite the hardships that seem to follow them. If you never give up, you never fail.
  30. Engage: Step out of your comfort zone and engage in conversation with one person today you would normally overlook.
  31. Eye Glasses: Donate old eyeglasses to an organization that recycles them for the needy.
  32. Facts: Spread facts and promote the behaviors individuals should be doing to stop the spread of the virus.
  33. Family Time: Time for real connection! Keep your cell phone out of site when you’re out with friends or family. Let’s focus on being present.
  34. First Responders: Deliver flowers or pizza to your local police or fire station as a thank-you for a job well done.
  35. Flowers: Send someone a bouquet of flowers to brighten up their weekend.
  36. Foster Animals: Foster or adopt shelter animals. Many shelters have already had to close to the public or cancel events, and many others may need to do so in the coming days – meaning fewer pets are being adopted out, even as animals continue to come in. Shelters want to move as many animals as possible off the premises and into foster homes, in case they’re hit with staffing shortages as employees and volunteers get sick or need to self-quarantine. Find a shelter or rescue organization near you.
  37. Furniture: Donate furniture you no longer use to charity.
  38. Gift: Gift your favorite book to a friend who can gain from it as you have.
  39. Handwritten Letter; Write a handwritten letter (because it’s more personal than a typed letter) to a grandparent, elderly relative or friend. Share what is going on in your life and ask about their life experiences.
  40. Happy: Choose to be happy. That’s right, happiness is a choice we make each and every day and when truly achieved is never based on circumstance.
  41. Happy Present: Surprise a friend with a small token of appreciation. It’s not the value of the gift, it’s the knowledge that someone is thinking of you.
  42. Help Isolated Seniors: Check in with them to see what they need; then run errands, deliver food and medication, pick up library materials (if your libraries are still open), etc. To combat isolation make regular phone or video call visits. Make cards or write letters, send e-mails, or social media messages to seniors in nursing homes or assisted living facilities who can’t have visitors.
  43. Humility: Practice humility. Remember, the skills we have are the tools we’ve been given to make the world a better place.
  44. Impact: Write a thank you letter to someone in your life who has impacted you for good. Don’t let the amount of time that has passed discourage you from sending the letter along.
  45. Instruction: Make an introduction. Whether it be introducing two people you think can hit it off, be great friends or work together. What a great way to show someone you have their interest at heart.
  46. Joke: Learn a great joke and share it with others you meet throughout the day. We can all use a bit more laughter in our lives.
  47. Joy: Take some time to think about what brings you joy. Is it taking a walk in nature, listening to the birds sing, spending time with friends and family, or volunteering?
  48. Knitting: Good at sewing or knitting? Donate homemade blankets to people in need.
  49. Learn: Commit to learning something new this year and take the first step in doing so.
  50. Listen: Take the time to listen to the thoughts and opinions of someone who believes differently than you do. Listening doesn’t mean you have to agree, but simply to respect that others see things through their own lens.
  51. Loan: Loan someone money, free of interest.
  52. Local: Support a local business.
  53. Lookout: Be on the lookout for opportunities to perform good deeds and act upon them.
  54. Make a Meal: Make a meal for someone in the community so that they can spend the day doing what they want.
  55. Make that Call: The one you’ve been putting off. Whether it’s work related or personal, take the time to be honest and connect with that someone in your life you’ve been avoiding.
  56. Make-up: Collect unused make-up, perfume and other cosmetics for a center for abused women.
  57. Medicine: Offer to pick up medication for someone.
  58. Mental Health: Protect the mental health of your family, friends, and neighbors. Rather than telling someone not to worry, consider asking what they are doing for self-care. And stay in touch if you can, “because when we sit with our thoughts all by ourselves, they can spiral.”
  59. Merge: Allow another driver to merge into your lane.
  60. Neighbor: Perform a surprise act of kindness for a neighbor. Drop off a bouquet of flowers, bake some cookies, shovel their walkway, or simply roll out their garbage can on garbage day.
  61. Neighborhood Clean Up: Take a large garbage bag and a pair of plastic gloves. Go for a walk in your neighborhood and collect garbage as you go.
  62. New: Take a leap and do one thing today that is new, exciting and scares you just a bit (in the positive sense, of course!).
  63. No You First: Let someone who has fewer items than you do go ahead of you at the supermarket.
  64. Old Friends: Reach out to an old friend and reminisce about a time you both shared together. Memories can recreate special moments and set the path for new ones.
  65. Outlook: Turn one negative situation into a positive one. Being stuck in traffic gives you an opportunity to work on your patience. Remember that anything can be positive depending on the way you look at it.
  66. Pets: Care for a neighbor’s pet and/or offer to take your friend’s dog for a walk.
  67. Pet Food: Collect pet food for an animal shelter.
  68. Philanthropist: Become a philanthropist by making a gift to an organization that is underfunded and take an active role in their work.
  69. Plant: To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. Plant a garden or grow your own herbs. No matter if you live in a house or an apartment, by planting some greens you will reduce your carbon footprint, enhance your diet and make our world a healthier place to live.
  70. Positivity: Share something positive that has happened in your life over the past week with a friend or family member. Here’s the fun part, ask the person you share with to share as well. Celebrate the happy moments.
  71. Postcards: Send 5 postcards of gratitude to friends; thanking them for their compassion and support.
  72. Pray: Take a minute to pray for those suffering from COVID-19 or in need of healinh.
  73. Presents: Give a baby, birthday or wedding gift you owe.
  74. Publicly: Publicly share an act of kindness someone has done for you. It just may inspire others to seek out opportunities for kindness.
  75. Quiet: Quiet the mind. Take some time with yourself. In the silences we tend to find resolution.
  76. Resist the Urge: When you have the urge to gossip about someone, say something positive about him or her instead.
  77. Sandwiches: Make sandwiches to give to a local shelter, soup kitchen or agency.
  78. See People: Make an effort to see people for who they are not just what they can do for you.
  79. Share: Focus on sharing. Whether it be sharing a talent, a skill, your snack, your time or a life experience. You only truly have what you give to others.
  80. Shopping: Do someone’s shopping. A little goes a long way for people unable to leave the house.
  81. Shower: Shower those you love with appreciation. Don’t miss the opportunity to express a thank you to people who love and support you.
  82. Sidewalk Art: Spread cheer and positive messages in your neighborhood by creating sidewalk chalk art.
  83. Speak Kindness. Be mindful of the words you share and the tone in which you share them. Ask yourself, how can my words speak life into the heart of another.
  84. Spirit: Do something today that will help strengthen your spirit.
  85. Stand Up: Fight xenophobia and racism around the origin/spread of the virus. Call out any and all such racism.
  86. Stranger: Do something kind for a stranger. Offer your kindness with no strings attached and no need to be recognized.
  87. Storytelling: Read a book – virtually- as nothing for kids is more comforting than story time.
  88. Take a Minute: Take a minute to appreciate all that is around you. Nothing is promised and appreciating each moment is a great way to ensure you don’t miss a thing life has to offer.
  89. Thank You Notes: Doctors, nurses and first responders are working tirelessly now on the front lines fighting COVID-19. Take a minute to say thank you. Send them thank you notes, cards and pictures. You can send them via regular mail to your local hospital.
  90. Think: Remember to think before you speak. Your words have the ability to change the world and make a profound impact.
  91. Tonight: Plan a fun filled family night; board games, movie or karaoke.
  92. Top 10 List: Create a list of the top ten things you are grateful for in your life right now. Leave it somewhere you will see it each day.
  93. Toys: Encourage your children to donate used toys and games to a local charity and ask them to help deliver the items.
  94. Trait: Choose one positive trait you want to be known for and focus on living it today.
  95. Troops: Send a care package to deployed troops, veterans, or wounded soldiers. Write a thank-you letter and include some food (no homemade or canned food allowed).
  96. Tzedakah Box: Make a tzedakah box – a charity box – and place it in at a convenient place near the door. Whenever you come home, put the coins left in your pocket or purse in the tzedakah box. When the box is full, bring it to the specified charity. If you have one that isn’t yet decorated, decorate it.
  97. Volunteer: Volunteer virtually for an hour at an organization of your choice.
  98. Welcome Basket; Make a welcome basket for a new child or new family in town. This can include useful telephone numbers, a neighborhood guide and food.
  99. You: Carve out time for yourself. Find something that brings you joy, whether it’s painting, reading or just sitting quietly for 10 minutes.
  100. Your Family: Write a thank you note to your parents, spouse, sibling, child, mentor or anyone who has helped you.

For media inquiries or more information, please contact Daniel Rothner at daniel@areyvut.org.

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