MONTROSE – A group of Montrose residents has come up with a 28-day plan for giving, dubbed 28 Days of Generosity, that begins on Friday, Feb. 1 (“Day to Share and Prepare for a Generous Month”).
Participants are encouraged to do anything from helping a neighbor to donating unused items to charity, helping the elderly or taking the time to tell a child a story, said Montrose Community Foundation Executive Director Melanie Hall.
"It's based on the premise that whether you’re 5 years old or 85 years old, man or woman, rich or poor, there is something generous that each of us can do," Hall said.
Hall said the idea was created years ago, but began to take shape a few months ago, with the coming on-board of Adam Miller, a certified financial planner with ElderAdo Financial of Montrose, as a new and different way to promote community activism.
If participation is high, Hall said, 28 Days could be an annual addition to local calendars. So far, she reports receiving a lot of positive feedback.
Each of this February’s 28 days has a different theme, from offering to do a simple chore for a neighbor to making a donation to offering time, money or expertise to a cause or charity.
Hall, who visits area fourth-grade classrooms regularly to educate youth about philanthropy and using the "pay-it-forward" model as a life tool, said activities can be organized for all age groups, but that there will be an emphasis on including children.
"I teach these kids that giving is simply sharing your time, talent and treasure,” she said, “and the kids just overflow with ideas” from there.
“And somehow we lose that when we get a little bit older, we lose that sense of belonging in our community, to just give in an excited way,” she said. Of the 28 Days plan: “This is just making it simple from the suggestions I've gotten from the kids," Hall said.
Kellie Hartman of the Great Harvest Bread Company, at 347 East Main Street in downtown Montrose, said the store is working with 28 Days of Generosity to help local food organizations. To that end, on “Food Friday” (Friday Feb. 22), for every $1 donation, Great Harvest will donate a loaf of bread to charities including the House of Promise, Sharing Ministries and Christ Kitchen.
"We thought it was a great way to show our generosity. Our mission statement is to give generously," Hartman said.
Hall said she looks forward to participants’ feedback, after next month’s 28 Days of Generosity, to make the follow-up next year even better.
"You get to interpret what that generous act is," Hall said.
Throughout the month, ideas and prompts will be shared with the community in a variety of formats, including emails and a blog, to encourage both generosity and a spirit of giving.
Participants in 28 Days of Generosity will be able to post comments and suggestions, as the month progresses, on the Montrose Community Foundation Facebook page.
28 Days of Generosity
Additional information can be found at www.montrosecf.com, or at the Montrose Community Foundation Facebook page.
Information provided by Montrose Community Foundation
Feb. 1) Day to Share and Prepare for a Generous Month.
Invite a friend, co-worker, family member or someone you don’t know very well to join you in 28 days of generous living. Brainstorm ideas on how you can generously live and give in the coming month. Perhaps start a kindness journal for the month.
Feb. 2) Give Something Away Day.
Clean out your closets, bookcases, toy boxes, attics, garages—find something you forgot you have and give it away.
Feb. 3) Phone a Friend.
Pick up the phone and reconnect with someone or visit with someone you want to know better. Sorry, texting doesn’t count.
Feb. 4) Manners Monday or Chivalry Day.
Chivalry is not dead—today it is alive and well! Open a door, shake a hand, pull out a chair, hang up someone’s coat, let someone in front of you in line (you get the idea).
Feb. 5) Give 5 to your favorite cause.
Give 5 bucks or even $500. Just pick your favorite cause and share of your financial resources. A listing of charitable organizations is found at www.montrosecf.com.
Feb. 6) Warm Wednesday.
It’s cold outside—share a warm and generous good deed today. Start someone’s car, pay someone’s utility bill, donate hats and gloves to an elementary school or a blanket to a shelter. Lots more ideas for Warm Wednesday on Facebook.
Feb. 7) Neighbor Day.
It’s National Wave All Your Fingers At Your Neighbor Day, celebrate the holiday by doing something kind for a neighbor.
Feb. 8) Furry Friend Day.
Take your pet for a walk. Have a child “Read to Rover”. Don’t have a furry friend? Donate pet food or volunteer at the animal shelter.
Feb. 9) Senior Citizen Saturday.
Today is for our special senior citizens. Visit a nursing home, offer to do errands, stop by and see a shut in, or offer respite care.
Feb. 10) Take a 10 Minute Break.
Be generous to you today. Take a 10 minute break to rest and reflect on the many people who have been generous to you.
Feb. 11) Muscle Monday.
It’s Muscle Monday, put yourself to work carrying someone’s groceries, carrying a friend’s backpack to school or even doing a home repair for someone who could use your help. Breaking a sweat is bonus.
Feb. 12) Talent Tuesday.
You know you’ve got talent (singing, telling jokes, baking, listening, playing an instrument). Share it with someone today.
Feb. 13) Baker’s Dozen Day.
Today means “one more”. Buy an extra canned good at the store today and donate to the food pantry. Invite another child to spend time with your family. Whatever you are doing, do “one more”—it really is more fun!
Feb. 14) Healthy Living Day.
Give blood, sign up to be an organ donor, leave greeting cards at the hospital for patients, deliver soup to someone who is sick. Need more info on how to and where to do this, visit montrosecf.com. Great soup recipe there too.
Feb. 15) Family Friday.
Be generous with your time and attention in your family. Eat together. Play together. Talk together. Laugh together.
Feb. 16) Small Person Saturday (youth)
Get outside. Shovel a sidewalk. Build someone a snowman. Play at Cerro Summit at the Rotary Winter Carnival.
Feb. 17) Reach Out Beyond Our Community.
Let your generosity reach beyond our community. Think of the possibilities and share your story on-line at montrosecf.com.
Feb. 18) Recognize a Leader
It’s President’s Day, let a leader (in the community, at church, at school, an elected official) who has inspired you know that they are appreciated.
Feb. 19) Sweetness Day.
Anything sweet works today—candy, flowers, hugs, compliments
Feb. 20) Give 20 Minutes.
Give 20 minutes or 1200 seconds of your time. Not sure where to start? Check out the on-line listings.
Feb. 21) Handwritten Note or Card Day.
Experience the lost art of writing a hand-written note or making a card for someone. Guaranteed to brighten their day.
Feb. 22) Food Friday.
Buy someone’s lunch, volunteer at one of the meal sites in town, deliver meals to seniors, clear a friend’s lunch tray at school.
Feb. 23) Snow Day Saturday.
Team up with your neighbors, friends, schools, churches, service clubs, sports teams, others, and be generous together.
Feb. 24) Team Up with Others Day.
It’s the 25th. Do something good anonymously as a Secret Santa. Maybe tonight under the full moon?
Feb. 25) Secret Santa Day.
It’s National No-Brainer Day. No big plans today—just keep your eyes open and be spontaneous in your generosity.
Feb. 26) Book Day.
Celebrate a generous month by eating out today. Participating local restaurants are giving a portion of proceeds to charity. See the list on-line and invite someone to join you.
Feb. 27) Simple Kindness.
Read to someone. Listen to a child read. Donate a book. Volunteer at a school. Volunteer at the local library.
Feb. 28) Eat Out for Charity.
Cheer for our local youth at a sporting event. Start a conversation with a young person you don’t know. Keep a conversation going with a child you do know.