Though I generally focus our family’s acts of kindness on a more personal or local level, I also want my children to understand that they can do things to help people outside our community and even beyond our country’s borders. It feels a bit daunting to “serve the world” but the truth is that we all have the power to do little things every day to show kindness, even to people and communities who live very far from us. Many of our choices every day can actually reflect our consideration for others and effect their lives – from choosing what products to buy to deciding to give of our voice, resources and time.
As part of my Sharing the Love Series, in which I am sharing 100 ways for families to make a difference, I have brainstormed 10 ideas for how our family can show love to those who live outside of our country.
Here are 10 acts of love for the world:
1. Sponsor a child for basic needs or for school.
2. Collect books for a school abroad. (Our family likes to support Books 4 PNG Kids.)
3. Participate in a letter exchange program with students in another country. Knowing that there are real people living around the world that are affected by our choices is a great first step towards empathy and future acts of kindness.
4. Host a foreign exchange student. (Before you think that this is too difficult, consider that sometimes the local university/high school will have short programs where they need hosts – we once did it for 2 weeks. This was a great way to show hospitality to someone who normally lives in another country, without even leaving your home! That person will bring many stories to their home community from their experience with you, and it may even begin a long-term relationship of correspondence.)
5. Create a jar that says Emergency Relief Fund and collect change to donate after the next natural disaster abroad. When the situation arises on the news, you can immediately send the money you have saved. Donations can often be made through the Red Cross Emergency Relief Fund in your specific country (here is the website for the one in Australia).
6. Purchase gifts from shops that give a percentage back to a school or other helpful organization in the country where the items were made.
7. Participate in an international fundraiser/awareness campaign. (Purple Cake Day is a fun one!)
8. Only buy fair trade chocolate, coffee, and tea, and explain to your children the importance of making sure the things we buy are made by people who were treated and compensated fairly.
9. Decide as a family not to go out to eat for a month, and donate the money you saved to feed children in another country.
10. Befriend a family who just moved from another country. It can be very lonely to be immersed in a new culture without familiar faces or a network of support… and becoming friends with a diverse group of people is a wonderful way for children to realize that we are all part of one big human family. Often getting to know another family results in learning about their home country as well, which can naturally lead to more international awareness and ervice and opportunities.
If you would like more ideas for offering kindness, you may like to check out the awesome 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge hosted by Toddler Approved and Coffee Cups & Crayons. The theme for this week was spreading kindness in the world. You can browse through the other posts here:
- Library Book Kindness Notes by Coffee Cups & Crayons
- Sending Love Across the World by The Good Long Road
- Remembering Those Who Serve by JDaniel4’s Mom
Thanks for reading and feel free to leave your own suggestions/experiences about acts of love for the world below. See the past entries in my “Sharing the Love” series here.
I invite you to follow along by joining me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, where I share more about character building, service, and connecting with your family. You can also sign up for my monthly newsletters where I review the past month’s posts and share other favorite resources.