When February 14 is mentioned, shades of pink and heart-shaped candies immediately come to mind. Valentine’s Day is a time when love is celebrated all over the world. While Valentine’s Day is devoted to showing the people around you that you love them, we often get caught up in the commercial side of the holiday. So, in addition to the mass amount of sweets consumed throughout the day, try challenging yourself to share love with others in simple but impactful ways. Here are a few ways to share the love around campus and the community:
1. The small things: Sharing love doesn’t always have to be a large, romantic gesture. Everyone has those days where nothing seems to be going right. Small
acts of kindness can turn a person’s day around and lift their spirits. You can hold
a door or elevator open for someone, compliment a friend, offer to help someone with their homework or give someone a hug.
2. Write a note: Back in elementary school when it came time to open valentines, the small card with a simple ‘to’ and ‘from’ written on it was quickly torn away to reveal a sweet treat. If you plan on sharing valentines with your friends, try taking the time to write them a note telling them how much they are loved. Kind words can let people know how much they are appreciated.
3. Donate: A big part of sharing love with others is giving. There are people
in every community who struggle daily with providing for themselves and their families. If you have old clothes or coats, donate them to Goodwill or a homeless shelter. Instead of buying that third tub of ice cream, buy a few cans of food to donate to a local food pantry such as The Source at UMHB.
4. Pay it forward: More often than not, people have things they need or want to pay for, but they are not able to because of limited funds. Offering to pay for someone’s meal or coffee can be more beneficial to them than you know. Whether you’re helping a friend or a complete stranger, you could help make someone’s bad day great.
5. Take a meal: Nothing eases the soul quite like the smell of a homemade meal or a fresh-baked dessert. While at college, students tend to eat out often because it is convenient or because they do not have the time or the means to cook a homemade meal. Make a friend’s day by offering to bake them some fresh cookies or by inviting them over for a homemade meal. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to make an elaborate, five- course meal. A warm bowl of spaghetti or oven-baked chicken can please the heart (and stomach) of almost anyone.
6. Sponsoring: If public gestures are not your cup
of tea, an alternative option could be to sponsor someone who has a financial goal they are trying to reach, including support for hospital bills, schools, new church buildings or mission trips. In addition, sponsoring a person who is in need or someone who is trying to reach the needy can be a blessing to those who give and receive. Whether you are giving to a friend or to someone you have never met, every little bit truly does count.