Valentine’s Day is known as a holiday for lovers and children. For everyone else, Valentine’s Day is often ignored or even dreaded. However, this Valentine’s Day can be different – it’s a great opportunity to help others, work for a common cause or give back to the community. There are plenty of ways to show kindness and love to those who need it and will appreciate the gesture.
Gifts that Give Back
When choosing gifts, look for companies that give a portion of the proceeds to charity. Many have special Valentines promotions.
There are other ways to give gifts that give back. Choose gifts that are environmentally friendly. Give donations to a favorite charity in a loved one’s name. Choose plants or seeds instead of a bouquet of flowers, or have a tree planted.
Family and Friends
Reach out to family members and friends who are alone on Valentine’s Day, especially those with a recent loss. Take time to visit with them or take them out for shopping or a meal if possible. If time or distance doesn’t permit this, just send a thoughtful letter or card or take time for a phone call.
Many organizations seek volunteer help both on Valentine’s Day and every day. February 14 is a great time to provide service for the day or just evaluate a current schedule to find ways to fit volunteering in. A donation to a favorite charity is another way to recognize the day.
Volunteer opportunities include local animal shelters, homeless organizations, nursing homes and orphanages as well as other social service organizations. VolunteerMatch is one place to find opportunities.
Be on the lookout for local food drives and other Valentines Day events. Take time to go through books that can be donated to a library, or sign up to volunteer there. Donate old clothing and toys to go to a homelss shelter or charity organization. Donate blood at a local Red Cross blood drive.
Another way to help locally is spending time with someone who is alone on Valentines Day. Call a local hospital, nursing home or orphanage to find out about visiting opportunities.
Be Environmentally Friendly
February 14th is a good day to start analyzing environmental habits and thinking about ways to conserve. Find ways to use less water or electricity. Reorganize recycling efforts for more efficiency. Research environmentally friendly alternatives to products that contain a lot of packaging.
Look for local and national groups that work on conservation efforts to get more information or join the common cause.
Feel like there’s not enough time or energy to do any of these things? Maybe it’s time for a little revitalization! While pampering oneself may seem selfish, it’s actually a great way to recharge and have more energy to give back later.
Those who are caretakers or commit a lot of time to volunteering could especially use some down time and time to recharge. Spend the day relaxing, or have some pampering done – a new haircut, a massage, exploring a new fitness center.
Diet and exercise are other aspects of self help and revitalization. Make a commitment to eat healthy food, cut out junk food and start a new exercise regime – both individually and as a family.
It’s easy to find ways to give back and start a new Valentines Day tradition of helping others and spreading cheer.