2020 will forever be known as the year of the pandemic.

The year of quarantine and isolation, sourdough bread and YouTube workouts, Zoom staff meetings and 24/7 family time.

We walked into 2020 with high hopes, big dreams, grand plans. We didn’t really expect COVID-19, and we’ve spent months reacting, adjusting, pivoting and just trying to get by.  With a vaccine in sight, and hope at the end of this tunnel, it’s time to set our intentions for 2021. Will we continue as we’ve been living, or will we seize the day to spread kindness like wildfire and make 2021 the year of the #KINDemic?

I vote kindness, and here are some simple ways we can get 2021 off on the right foot.

Consider this your challenge to complete 31 acts of kindness in the first 31 days of the year.

  1. When you’re pulling your trash cans or recycle bins back from the curb, consider grabbing your neighbors too. You’re only saving them a few steps, but you don’t know how much they might need that act of kindness.
  2. Shovel your neighbors driveway or sidewalk.
  3. Scrape the ice off someone else’s car.
  4. Fill yours spouse’s gas tank without being asked.
  5. Mail a handwritten note to someone you haven’t talked to in a while.
  6. Volunteer to pack or delivery groceries with the Gaithersburg CARES Hub.
  7. Make cards for families that are quarantined. (We can sneak them into our groceries delivered through the HUB)
  8. Pay for the coffee of the person behind you.
  9. Surprise a friend by dropping a treat at their doorstep.
  10. Write a sweet note to your family members on their bathroom mirror. You can use dry erase markers or post-it notes to surprise them with a happy message when they wake up.
  11. Do a chore you don’t normally do.
  12. Leave a treat or nice note in your mailbox for your mail carrier.
  13. Say thank you to everyone you see today.
  14. Hold the door open for someone.
  15. Return the shopping carts around you to the cart corral.
  16. Send a text of encouragement to your best friend.
  17. Take a bone to donate to the animal shelter.
  18. Donate your old towels and blankets to the animal shelter.
  19. Offer to shop for groceries for an older neighbor.
You can fill in the rest of the list with acts of kindness you find that need doing.

Whatever it is, whenever you can, just spread kindness and make 2021 the year of the #KINDemic.