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Keeping Up with the Dundees: Live KINDLY

It’s giving season, and we know that the Dundees are not new to acts of kindness and service! For them, making a difference and serving communities across the globe is a year-round opportunity. However, this last month has been particularly special for their family-run 501(c)3 nonprofit, Small Acts Big Change™ (SABC), because they are focusing on spreading “kindness at every opportunity,” according to sophomore Gracie. “This month is such a fun month because it’s completely informal with the goal of just making people happy in little ways.”

Before we dive into this month’s campaign, Live KINDLY, let’s be kind and rewind to see how October and November rounded out with Share Your Warmth and Books, Bags & Blankets. With the help of partnering organization The Shower of Hope, SABC distributed 20 bags to people living on the streets in the Los Angeles area, each complete with blankets, toiletries, non-perishable food, a book, and a backpack. SABC also collected over 150 scarves in November to contribute to the over 1,000 scarves that were passed out to those in need during a Scarf Bombardiers event on December 13th in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Sharing truly is caring, and alumna Lauren recognizes that impact: “Every item, every donation makes a big difference to someone living outside in the cold weather.”

This month, Live KINDLY will expand SABC’s efforts to spread compassion and create community through four projects that aim to make the world a brighter and kinder place for all.

Four Parts for Countless Hearts

“31 Days of Kindness” kicks off December’s campaign with SABC posting a graphic on Facebook each day this month to share how someone can spread kindness through simple but powerful acts. Picking up litter in your neighborhood or sending cards to senior citizens does not require much time or energy but will leave a lasting effect on the people, places, and living things around us. These activities help us to form a bond with one another in a time when we are physically apart. SABC also brought its supporters together through a Facebook “Annual Kindness Party” on December 11th with fun giveaways and activities. Lauren explains that this is just one way “to say thank you to all of the volunteers who have supported [our organization] this year”—a year that has been so challenging but provided some rewarding opportunities to better ourselves and our planet.

Throughout the month, SABC is encouraging everyone to adopt change and positivity and pay it forward. By “Adopt”-ing a family or an angel, anyone can donate their time virtually or their resources remotely to aid families and children in need. The goal of “Adopt an Angel” and “Adopt a Family” is to send wish items, paper angels, and gifts to underprivileged groups and youth. SABC has provided gifts to two “adopted” families with the help of people around the U.S. and partnered with Foothill Unity Center to work with community members in the San Gabriel Valley to give holiday gifts to local children. The LSS family can also get involved by decorating an angel (template linked here) and sending it to Angel Project/Adopt an Angel, Small Acts Big Change, PO Box 1374, La Canada, CA 91012. Angels are accepted all year.

To further inspire random acts of kindness in our everyday lives, Gracie created “Pay it Forward, Pass It On” to give people the chance to help a stranger in tangible ways with “Pay It Forward” cards. She shared that “the cards are shared with the recipient of a random act of kindness [to then pass along to another recipient]. Currently, our cards are being used all over the world, and the farthest one of our kindness cards has traveled to date is New Zealand.” LSS students can request a free set of printed Pay-It-Forward cards by emailing SABC at smallactsbigchange@yahoo.com by Sunday, January 31st. These cards are more than just paper; they act as a reminder to open our hearts and minds to goodwill and cast it as far and wide as possible.

A World of Kindness Makes a World of Difference

Looking forward, a new year of opportunities and experiences awaits the Dundees and the rest of LSS. As we put an end to 2020, we can cherish the good we’ve found and honor what, and those, we’ve lost this year. We wish all a happy, healthy new year until we can meet again for the next edition of Keeping Up with the Dundees in January. In the meantime, please remember that spreading kindness creates a world of hope by making a world of difference. As Gracie puts it best: “let’s make this new year the year of kindness by paying kindness forward and passing it on. One random act of kindness may not seem like much, but what if we could get everyone to do something nice for someone else? Think of the change all those kindnesses would make in the world.”