Four Ways to Express Kindness Locally and Globally
By Amanda DeWitt
Watch “On Behalf of All Who Need Hope” to see how acts of kindness from people like you make a big difference — opening doors for the hope of Jesus to be shared.
What Can I Do?
It is the first question we ask when someone we love is hurting. It is the first thing we wonder when disaster, injustice, or violence headlines the nightly news.
Right now it may feel like we can do so little — with so many people facing the effects of COVID-19, economic recessions, locust plagues, drought, famine, and more. But when we work together, with each of us doing our part, we can have a profound impact both locally and globally.
Here are four ways you can express the kindness of Jesus in tangible ways to people near and far.
1. Serve Your Neighbors
Start by serving the people living nearest to you. Get to know them. Find out their needs.
Do you take daily walks? Do you see your neighbors coming and going or sitting out on the lawn? Strike up a conversation and get to know them a little more.
Do they have family nearby? Are they trying to balance children’s schooling and working from home? Are they out of work? Are they elderly and unable to get to the grocery store?
Listen closely to the little things they tell you about their daily life. Then look for creative ways to serve them.
Write an encouraging message on their front sidewalk with chalk. Mow their lawn. Tape a notecard to their door letting them know you are thinking about or praying for them. Pick up a few extra non-perishable or household items next time you go to the store or have groceries delivered and drop them on their doorstep.
2. Serve Your Community
With so many people facing the financial implications of COVID-19, the needs around us abound. Partner with a local church or organization to meet the needs of people in your city.
Drop off canned goods at a food bank, help with meal packing, or assist with local deliveries (using appropriate safety measures). Donate new or gently used clothing. Give blood. Provide diapers and hygiene items to a local organization that will distribute them to families in need.
Look for ways to volunteer your time. Do you have a specific skill set that could help others? Look for safe ways to leverage your expertise to serve those in need.
3. Serve Your Country
We have watched doctors and nurses rush to hotspots to serve those in need of medical care. We have joined together to sew masks and provide other critically needed supplies.
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic might be slowing down, there are still plenty of people around the country who need our help. Non-profit organizations continue to provide relief such as medical supplies, food, shelter, hygiene items, and more.
Sit down as a family and talk about what causes you are passionate about and how you can get involved together. If you are able to give goods or donate funds, let everyone be a part. Kids can do extra chores and give their allowance to the cause you choose. Each family member can select an item they would like to donate or fund.
Parents can also use the opportunity to talk through generosity and meeting people’s tangible needs. These conversations open the door to discuss why we serve others — giving because God gave to us. And how when we express kindness to others, we build relationships that over time provide opportunities to share His hope.
4. Serve Your World
These have been difficult days for those of us living in America. But for people living in countries already wracked by war, displacement, food insecurity, and poverty, their struggles are now even greater.
While you cannot travel to these places right now, you can partner with organizations serving in the toughest places. Is there a place where you are especially interested in helping? Find an organization that provides assistance in that location. Do you want to partner with an organization that serves people not only physically but also spiritually? Look for ministries whose mission aligns with your faith and values. See how you can give 10 times the help to suffering people by partnering with Unto®.
We cannot fix all the pain and hurt in our world right now. But we can each do our part. And when we all work together — those parts come together to do something beautiful and significant. What can you do to express the kindness of Jesus to someone in need today?
Published June 20, 2020
Amanda is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Gift for Leadership, Kindred Spirit, and Christianity Today publications. She holds a M.A. in Media and Communication from Dallas Theological Seminary.