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United Way of 1000 Lakes is looking to Itasca area residence and businesses to help make the world a better place by spreading simple acts of kindness, generosity, and love.

Starting Monday, United Way of 1000 Lakes will unite with their statewide network of United Ways (United Ways of Minnesota) to encourage acts of kindness, Nov. 6-10.

United Way of 1000 Lakes’ hope is that residents and businesses will perform at least one act of kindness each day and keep the good going by motivating others to do the same through social media or in person.

Acts of kindness can range from taking out the trash for your neighbor, donating health and hygiene items, or leaving a note of appreciation to your mail carrier at your mailbox.

The options are limitless and the non-profit organization that serves Itasca County and the surrounding communities is encouraging creativity.

“It’s really about doing what you can,” says Hannah Chesness, Community Resource Coordinator at United Way of 1000 Lakes.  “If each of us do just a little, we can create a wave of kindness. For instance, help your neighbor shovel their walkway, volunteer in your child’s classroom, or call or text a loved one that you haven’t spoken to in a while.”

To help get you started, United Way offers printable kindness cards and other resources on their website at www.unitedwayof1000lakes.org/MN-Acts-of-Kindness.

If you are busy or can’t think of an Act of Kindness, United Way asks that you make a donation to the annual campaign. When you invest in United Way, you fuel those important moments that help us show people that their situation might be a launch pad for something better, and all they need is a helping hand, hard work, and focus. Visit www.unitedwayof1000lakes.org/give or call 218-999-7570 to make a one-time or recurring gift and learn about the impact your dollar makes.

Five ways to act with kindness today

1.      Connect your talents and passions with acts of kindness. Bloggers and writers might add a positive comment on your favorite blog, website, or a friend’s social media account.  Coffee lovers might ‘Pay it Backwards’ by buying coffee for the person behind you in line. Animal lovers might purchase extra dog or cat food and bring it to an animal shelter.

2.      Volunteer at a place that connects with your interests. The United Way can help link you to local volunteer opportunities.

3.      Create kindness cards! Impact a child or an adult with a personalized, handwritten note of encouragement. By reaching out with a personal card, you are helping them feel    connected to the community and brightening their day. Visit unitedwayof1000lakes.org/MN-Acts-of-Kindness for card instructions.

4.      Need further inspiration? Visit the Random Acts of Kindness website, randomactsofkindness.org.

5.      Celebrate Minnesota Acts of Kindness Week by performing, witnessing or receiving an act with kindness and share using hashtag #LIVEUNITEDMN on Facebook, Twitter, and  Instagram. 

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