Practice Kindness: Join the Holiday Joy Squad

By Eileen Doherty, MS ~

DENVER CO.  Kindness has many definitions.  Kindness can be defined as the
quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate; whereas being kind is
doing intentional, voluntary acts of kindness. Doing acts of kindness can be
done when it is easy, but also when it is hard.

The Colorado Gerontological Society is, again, inviting you
to join the Holiday Joy Squad.  The holidays are a time to get together with
family and friends.  We come together to celebrate, to share a drink and
favorite foods, to attend holiday parties and exchange gifts, and just to
connect.  In 2020, many of us looked for creative ways to connect. 

While 2021 may find many of us more willing to connect with
family and friends, some individuals are continuing to be cautious with the current rise in COVID-19 cases.  We invite you to share kindness with those
who mean the most to you, either in group settings, through social
distancing, or virtually.

But many of us have another group of people in our lives
with whom we should share kindness – those individuals represent our “lost”
connections.  Many of us keep thinking “I should call them” or “Drop them a
line”, but we don’t take the time to re-engage with those whom we haven’t
had contact with for a long time.  Sometimes those family and friends are
just waiting for someone to reach out and be kind.  

Since COVID-19 started, The Society has been operating the
Telephone Buddy program – a program that supports year around kindness.
Volunteers from the community give 10-15 minutes a week to call an older
adult just to check in with them, to make sure they have enough food and
medicine, and to engage with them about what is happening in their lives.
More than 100 volunteers continue to participate in this program.  The
friendships that have developed are deep and very meaningful to both the
volunteers and the older adults. 

We are accepting new Telephone Buddies to engage in ongoing
acts of kindness, but we are inviting everyone to join the Holiday Joy Squad
to share random acts of kindness with family, friends and those you don’t
know quite as well.  These acts of kindness can be a smile in the grocery
store line, baking a cake or cookies and delivering them to a cousin who
lives in town, contacting a colleague who has left the workplace or is
teleworking, calling your siblings who could use an extra lift today from
the sound of your voice, or dropping off a wreath or a box of chocolates for
a neighbor.  Any act of kindness is important and counts toward the project.
The Society is offering a gift card to anyone who does 15
random acts of kindness and reports them on our website at
www.senioranswers.org <http://www.senioranswers.org>  prior to January 15.
Your random acts of kindness for the Holiday Joy Squad will make the world a
better place. We all have feelings of love, caring, and security.  Kindness
is one path to sharing those feelings.

For more information, call 303-333-3482 or 1-855-294-3971 (toll-free) or
1-855-880-4777 (Spanish).

Eileen Doherty, MS is the Executive Director of the Colorado Gerontological
Society.  Her areas of expertise include management and administration of
nonprofit organizations, education and training on issues related to older
adults, advocacy and policy development on senior issues, and clinical
practice in working with seniors and families to manage their lives in the
later years. She has been the Director of the Society since 1982.  She
teaches Nonprofit Management for Fort Hays State University.

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