Because Nice Matters

I can’t say that I am much of a thrill-seeker anymore – at least not like I was, ‘way back when’.  When I was younger, there wasn’t much I wouldn’t try, at least once.  Not so today – I have a whole new respect for pain and how slowly my body heals.  I have, however, discovered a new way to get that rush of adrenalin back – a little thrill - and there’s no pain.  In fact, I think it helps to heal my soul and it’s called Daily Day of Caring.  If you’re following @myunitedway on Twitter, it looks something like this:  Daily Day of Caring #80: Wash your hands. Your mother was right. #uw365 #yeg 

Every day of the week a new Daily Day of Caring is issued from our Twitter account.  And, every day, we have hundreds of followers (and their followers) helping to spread these suggestions out into the community.  The retweets and endorsements that occur are acts that could also be considered a Daily Day of Caring.  

So it’s not actually washing my hands, as today’s DDC suggests, that gives me the thrill – although, my mother was right and I do follow this healthy practice.  It’s the simple and kind-hearted suggestions that we twitter every day that make me really smile.  Daily Day of Caring Tips is what some people would call, ‘Random Acts of Kindness’.  We’re committing to bring you a new one each day, and I am personally committing to execute one each day. 

Here’s where the thrill part comes in for me; the first time I paid for someone behind me in a line-up was at a United Way event held in Downtown Edmonton a couple of weeks ago.  It was at the Four Corners Barbecue, an annual event held at lunch hour by a number of organizations that support United Way in their workplace.  And my Daily Day of Caring really was quite random.  I was standing in line, waiting to pay for my barbecue ticket and it struck me to pay for the man standing in line behind me.  I was so excited by this thought and tried to be very sneaky and undercover – so excited, in fact, that I could hardly put my change back in my wallet – I was so busy trying to scurry away, wanting to go unnoticed by the recipient.  Off I scampered, followed closely by the person who sold me the ticket, calling, “You forgot to take YOUR ticket!”  Ok, I never said I was good at this, but I did it – I achieved my first goal – to start acting on a Daily Day of Caring.  I haven’t stopped since then.  It was truly a thrill and it makes me feel good about being part of this community - each and every day.

United Way’s Daily Day of Caring tips, are, for the most part, free of any financial obligation.  You’ve all heard the adage, “Smiles are free, give someone one of yours.” That’s what this is all about.  Caring about and for one another – small but sincere acts of kindness – anonymous or revealing – you choose.

There is a sign that hangs in one of my co-worker’s office and it says, “Because Nice Matters.”  Nice does matter.  And nice is how you will feel if you try even one of our Daily Day of Caring Tips.  Please take the time to offer your Daily Day of Caring in the comment section of my blog – then watch for it on Twitter @myunitedway. 

Nancy Critchley is Director, Communications of United Way.  She is also a wife, mother of three and grandmother of one – and now, most excited to announce that two more grandbabies are on the way.