Chocolate hearts, corny cards, and home-cooked meals are all incredible ways to show friends, family and significant others how much we love them, but what about sharing some selfless love with people we don’t know? I’m sure you’ve noticed, but this world is in pain, and suffocating from a lack of love. We are not placed on this earth to love only those we personally know, but love outside of our friends and family roster.
This year, I wanted to take Valentine’s Day love one step further to encourage you, with simple ideas, ways to give back this Feb. 14th. Real change does not come from making other people love us, but when we start to truly love others. And love is contagious. Once you feel the power of it, then you pass it forward; infecting the world with selfless love, one tiny step at a time….
I LOVE the power of fashion. It can transform a person from the outside inward. (I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve witnessed it!). And everyone deserves the chance to look and feel their best, especially when they need it most. I have already cleaned out my closet, and donated clothes (some even with the price tags still on!) to certain organizations who I know will bless others with them.
Some I would recommend are:
- Offer women quality clothing (among other resources) to get back into the job force: www.dressforsuccess.org , or www.workingwardrobes.org
- Offer victims of Human Trafficking quality clothing to get back into life as a normal civilian: www.gratefulgarment.org , or check out local churches that have their own programs to help victims of Human Trafficking, like https://saddleback.com
- My favorite second-hand store to donate to is: Salvation Army- they give back typically 82% for aid, which is substantially higher than other companies such as Goodwill. Visit www.salvationarmyusa.org for locations + more information
Adopt-a-Pet (or just play with some)
Besides Jesus, I fully believe that dogs + puppies are the next best thing. If you are in search of some extra love and adventure this Valentine’s Day, I would highly suggest not purchasing a dog from a breeder, but rescuing one from your local shelter, or trusted organizations online.
If dogs are not allowed in your budget or living situation currently (like me! I’ve literally debated sneaking in a dog too many times), then filling your Valentine’s Day with quality time playing with animals at a local animal shelter sounds pretty epic to me! There is nothing more loving, genuine or sweet than an animal that is just dying for your affection. And I’m sure the shelter employees would love a break from their daily routines too! (If you want to amp up the love, show up to the shelter with donuts, treats or snacks for the shelter workers; they will feel so loved!). I absolutely love people, but sometimes I need a break from humans, and a few hours loving on animals can be so rejuvenating.
Serve Dinner at a Homeless Shelter
If you are feeling alone on Valentine’s Day, I can bet you $100 that someone at the homeless shelter is further down in the dumps than you. We all deserve love, to feel noticed, and to feel like someone cares. The quickest way I found to heal my own pain, was to help someone with theirs. Sometimes we just need perspective, or to hear someone else’s story, to shift our gaze from inward to upward. This small act reminds us how truly, truly loved we are.
Depending on what city you are located in, there are so many shelters, so I encourage you to look up your local listings, and even grab your girlfriends or family to go with you! Nothing is better than sharing an incredible experience giving back with the ones you love most.