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Lauren Firth has always been the type of person to give back when the opportunity presented itself. This year is no exception. She’s dedicated herself to 25 Days of Kindness, and she’s giving back every day of her initiative through charitable donations and acts of gratitude.
Lauren is a technical consultant in our IBM practice, and she finds her professional work on eCommerce websites rewarding. This holiday season, she also wanted to satisfy her personal ambitions to do more for her community. She’s sharing her experiences on her Facebook page to spread more positivity, she said.
“I wanted to inject some kindness back into people’s feeds and hopefully inspire others to help contribute to all of these causes that I believe in.”
Her 25-day effort is inspiring, indeed. Here’s what she’s done so far, and what she still plans to do:
December 1 – Donation to Sixth Street Shelter
Sixth Street Shelter in Allentown, PA, provides temporary housing to homeless families with children. I previously volunteered here, babysitting the children while the parents attended parenting and life skills classes.
December 2 – Donation to Second Harvest
Second Harvest is a local food bank. The local Wegmans grocery store lets you add a donation to Second Harvest as part of your bill.
December 3 – Showing my boyfriend how much he’s cared for
This was kind of cheating, but we were out later than I thought we would be. In celebration of my boyfriend’s birthday, I planned a day out, which he was aware of, and invited all of our friends, which he was unaware of. He told me he couldn’t believe how many people cared about him and his birthday.
December 4 – Donation to the shipping fund for Santa’s Little Helpers
The subreddit Santa’s Little Helpers is a place where people from all over the world can purchase items off a wish list for a family in need. I didn’t find the right family this year (mostly because there were too many generous Santas buying someone’s full wish list before I saw the post), but I donated to the shipping fund GoFundMe organized by the admins, so they could send out any presents that they had accumulated through the year.
December 5 – Purchasing presents through Amazon Smile
Smile.amazon.com works the exact same as Amazon.com, but they give a (tiny) percent of your order total (at no extra cost to you) to the charity of your choice. My charity choice was Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, which is the parent organization of a lot of other local charities.
December 6 – Donations to Peaceable Kingdom
Last year, I set out a box for Peaceable Kingdom in our Allentown office to accept donations, and I did it again this year. Peaceable Kingdom is the local animal shelter. The box will remain out until after Christmas, at which point I’ll drop it off.
December 7 – KidsPeace Angel Tree
KidsPeace is a private charity committed to the behavioral and mental health needs of children. Among other things, they have some kids who live at KidsPeace and stay there through the holidays. For the past three years, the Allentown, PA, team at Perficient has been getting the wish list for 20 kids and providing them all with a gift. On this specific day, I did the majority of the shopping. To make it easier, I let coworkers give me the money in exchange for me doing their shopping.
December 8 – Tip my hairdresser 100%
I got a haircut (at Great Clips) and gave my hairdresser a 100% tip. It was more of a gesture, but she was happy.
December 9 – Presents for Toys for Tots
There was a Toys for Tots bin at the local Wegmans, so I bought a few games to place in the bin.
December 10 – Donations to Salvation Army
I came across a Salvation Army volunteer with their characteristic ringing bell and put a donation in the red bucket.
December 11 – Singing at Kirkland Village
Every year my local community choir, Concord Chamber Singers, sings for the elderly at the Kirkland Village retirement home in Bethlehem, PA.
December 12 – Donations to Sports Matter and the local Allentown school district
While shopping for KidsPeace presents (part 2), I went to DICK’S Sporting Goods, and added a donation to my order total to Sports Matter, which funds youth sports, and then went to Barnes & Noble and was asked to purchase one extra book to give to the local school district as part of Barnes & Noble’s book drive.
December 13 – Feeding the birds
I like to keep a suet feeder outside my office window filled during the winter months, when it’s harder for the birds to find food.
December 14 – Purchasing some “Gifts that Give More” from GreaterGood.org
GreaterGood’s site allows you to “Click to Donate” every day for various causes, including the Animal Rescue Site. You can also buy a variety of gifts, of which part of the proceeds go to the related cause. Or, you can just buy a “Gift that Gives More.” Today, I “bought” some items for shelter cats: 100 bowls of food, one bed, one vaccination, and five scratchers for their cages to alleviate boredom and make their space smell more like home.
December 15 – Donation to the Ridley Education Foundation
In memory of my grandfather, Kenneth Firth Sr. This is the high school he taught at for years and years, and also the school I attended.
December 16 – Donation to the American Cancer Society
In memory of my grandmother, Elizabeth McDonaugh
December 17 – Basket of goods for Safe Harbor Easton
I got a basket of stuff to take over to Safe Harbor Easton, a transitional shelter for homeless men and women with a drop-in food program for low income families. I volunteered here as a student at Lafayette College.
December 18 – Be kind to the environment
Saving the environment, one step at a time, by recycling an appalling amount of plastic bags at Wegmans. I also will try to remember to use reusable bags MUCH more often. I also plan to go on a “trash walk,” inspired by http://takingoutthetrashineasternpa.blogspot.com after the snow clears.
Other ideas I have for the remaining days:
Volunteer at Phoebe nursing home
I’ve volunteered at Phoebe throughout the year but haven’t had time yet this December. Hoping to help out at one of their Christmas parties.
I have the rarest blood type. I donate through Miller-Keystone Blood Center.
Give out extra Christmas cards
Once I get my Christmas cards together, I plan to send probably five out to people from https://www.reddit.com/r/RandomActsofCards/, which is a subreddit where people ask for cards just to brighten their or someone else’s spirits.
Donate unwanted clothes to Goodwill
I have a bag of old clothes to go through and drop off at the Goodwill across the street from our office.
Donate to a woman’s charity
Donation to The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention in youth.
Donation to She Should Run
She Should Run encourages women to run for office.