February is the season of candied hearts, boxes of chocolate and candle-lit dinners, but imagine if we extended these gestures beyond significant others. All people, especially if they are lonely, homeless, sick or simply overworked could use some attention and care. After all, Valentine’s Day is about more than romance. It’s about love.
So, why not celebrate the Valentine’s Day season by including the people who may need it the most? For inspiration, here are four simple ways to spread the love this February and beyond.
1. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
There’s no faster way into a person’s heart than with food. Our volunteers across Southern California run food pantries and soup kitchens for those who might need a free meal. From these programs, they have created impactful moments as well as lasting friendships.
2. Spend quality time with family
Take your parents out to the movies or take your little brother or sister out to buy a new toy. If you don’t want to spend too much on gifts, our thrift stores in Los Angeles and Long Beach have inexpensive toys and trinkets, so you can focus on family fun without worrying about breaking the bank.
Bonus tip! Crafting is a fun and creative way to spend quality time with your family. Stop by St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores for inexpensive picture frames perfect for decorating. Once you’re done, place a photo of you and your family and hang it up at home for all to see!
3. Offer a smile
“Sometimes they just want to talk. You get so little social interaction as a homeless person. Not only can we help with food and hygiene kits – we can be good listeners,” explained Hayden, a member of St. Vincent de Paul’s volunteer group in San Dimas, CA. Even if we can’t spare a few dollars or the time for a conversation, we can at least offer eye-contact and a smile to acknowledge innate human dignity.
4. Say “thank you”
Saying “thank you” is a simple yet powerful way to not only show appreciation for others, but it also increases your sense of well-being. Take a moment to thank your parents, friends, co-workers, the delivery woman or man, your waiter, cashiers, and God. It will allow us to be aware of our abundance of blessings as we share this love and appreciation with others who make these blessings possible.
Want to help us continue spreading love to those in need this Valentine’s Day? Click here to donate.