The Social Insiders have been challenged this summer to post weekly about a specific topic. This is week #6 and the Challenge is to "Spread Some Joy!"
I got to thinking about ways to spread joy around and thought, "Well, that is easily done." And then I began thinking that spreading joy that is easy is probably spreading joy to those whose lives are already pretty much joy-filled. But spreading joy to the un-joyful might pose more of a challenge and be a bit harder to do. It might take folks out of their comfort zone or create a feeling of un-joyfulness in them as they approach the un-joyful, joyless individual.
The elderly in care facilities who have no family to care about them..... Even though some of these facilities may look nice, they can and often are home for elderly who have no funds to purchase even soap or lotions. They need a visit, a smile, a gentle caring touch. They need someone to bring some little hygienic items and perhaps a little treat or so. Try - if your pocket book will allow - to buy nice items. Good quality lotions, bar soaps, hand soaps. A fresh washcloth and towel.
The homeless..... This is an area that you'll have to exercise care about safety issues. But these souls need joy in their lives. Gather someone with you to reach out and touch their lives with joy. As summer winds down they still need bottles of water to stay hydrated. They still need a piece of fruit. They need a bite to eat. And as the colder months approach and their biggest challenge comes with the cold, reach out to homeless shelters with support - work a soup kitchen, donate food or funds to provide food for these folks. If you have medical skills, serve. Again, hygienic items are needed. Check the shelters for what you can provide. Organize your church groups or other service organizations to help.
And the abused women and children...... Sometimes this is a real challenge as knowing how, where, and when to help is real tricky. I discovered last winter that in our small town, the Social Services Department collects Teddy Bears year round to be able to give a loving bear to a child when his or her life is torn apart. Perhaps Social Services can point you to a group with which you can work.
Spread Some Joy! And don't forget to spread some Joy to the Joyless!
And remember, they need some joy year 'round - not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas.