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We are encouraging everyone in the nation to get involved in a renewed effort to help others and show kindness. We are referring to this as the "Hands of Love" challenge. The recommendation is for persons to take a least one day in every month to make a special effort to help others.

In last week's article we encouraged groups of persons to bind together to reignite love and togetherness in our nation through acts of kindness. We also laid out some principles to guide us as we reach out to those who need help.

What exactly can be done to help others? Following are some suggestions.

Consider cooking for a neighbour who may need a break or who can do with the extra-time saved to accomplish others important tasks. It may also be a way of helping with their nutrition if you are aware that they are in need, or it may be that someone is sick and may need that kind of support. You can also help those in need with other household chores such as doing laundry, house or yard cleaning. This may be particularly helpful to the elderly and expecting mothers.

How about paying from you own pocket a utility bill for someone whom you know is struggling to make ends meet; or you may offer to run errands such as paying bills for those who are challenged due to age, illness or other circumstances. In these modern times, consider helping someone with navigating bill payments online, and/or offer to have them use your computer or phone to do so.

Try going to garden with someone who could do with a little help.

Volunteer to help with home repairs especially where you realize that someone does not have the resources to hire workers.

You may offer to babysit for someone who needs a break. Caring for young children can be very tiring and mothers would welcome a break so that they can recharge.

Visit a nursing home and spend time talking or listening to those residents who want to socialize. Sing or play an instrument for them if you can. But we may want to put this one on hold for now given the need to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Find someone in the community to celebrate. It may be a hard-working father or mother, a caring teacher or a nurse, or anyone who makes a contribution to the community that is deeply appreciated. If it is ok with them, drop by with a group of your friends and tell them how much they are appreciated. Bring along a gift if you can – maybe something fun or something that you know they could do with.

Donate some clothes to a family that you realize is in need. It may be new or used clothing in good conditions.

Get involved in volunteer community work. Community efforts enrich the life of several community residents at the same time, be it, among others, working on improving road access that would make life easier for residents; improving community recreational facilities; or cleaning or tidying the community to make it a more pleasant place to live. Let us not wait until Community Day of Service to get into action and by so doing let us revive community spirit.

Invite someone in need of a holiday to a celebration with your family. It may be a less fortune family that needs that extra touch. The Christmas celebrations is already upon us, this is a favorite time of year for many and a good season to show love and concern for others.

Consider mentoring a younger person who shows potential or who needs to be guided away from the wrong path, or offer lessons to struggling students. You can offer to exercise with a neighbour, friend acquaintance or coworker who may need to be motivated to improve their health.

Why not take up a cause on someone's behalf such as helping to raise funds to meet medical expenses or to do critical home repairs?

Don't forget to do the little things – saying thank you and good morning, complementing others even strangers, making eye contact and so on. Bring a small gift (a chocolate, a fruit, a book) to someone who is totally not expecting it – and do so for no special reason at all. That will just let them know that they are appreciated. You may never know how much you encourage people by doing these little things.

Seek out those who appear to be lonely and make it your duty to strike up a conversation with them every now and then.

There are many other ways to help others, but we can indeed make Dominica the happiest land on earth. That is a worthy goal to pursue. We do have a long way to go, but let use start by showing kindness to others and helping those in need. You will be surprised how much that will do for your own health and happiness!

Kent Vital Political Leader Dominica Freedom Party.


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