This blog post is sponsored by Frost Bank.. All opinions are my own. Thank you to the brands who make Cup of Charisma possible.
Did you make the world a better place in 2019? I ask myself this question at the end of every year as I review all of my resolutions and the progress I’ve made. Each year, one of my main goals is to practice generosity toward others in my daily life. My vision board is filled with photos that evoke health, financial stability, and business growth but on top of all of those things, kindness is my ultimate goal. I believe optimism trickles down into every other area of our lives, helping us to unlock ambition and achieve our goals. This year, I’m thrilled to “Frost It Forward” with Frost Bank to help spread kindness in my community and inspire others to do the same.
Now that we’re in the new year, one of my big intentions of 2020 is spread kindness in a meaningful way. From donating items to a shelter to simply helping a friend in a time of need, acts of generosity can be found at every corner of life. In fact, generosity can actually lower your stress and improve your health by reducing blood pressure and cortisol levels!
For this project, Frost provided me with $100 to impact the lives of others and five $10 cards to give away to strangers to inspire them to spread kindness in their own way. I’ve worked with Frost for the last three years, and I’m always inspired by the company’s mission to spread optimism around the world through its Opt for Optimism campaign. I gave the $10 cards to strangers and friends who felt inspired by the cause. Knowing they can buy someone a cup of coffee or help fill up someone’s gas tank gave them a sense of happiness that felt contagious. I’ve always noticed that random acts of kindness can spread like wildfire, so I’m excited that my little gift to them can help them Frost It Forward.
For the $100 card, I knew I wanted to impact a community that meant a lot to me. As a survivor of intimate partner violence, there is a deeply special place in my heart for women and families displaced by domestic assault. While I had a loving family who helped support me in my time of need, not every woman has the resources to move forward after a rough patch in their life.
When thinking about what would brighten the days of women, I thought about self-care and the essentials every person needs to start the day off right. I created care packages that included shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, hair ties, and a loofa for twelve women to receive once they enter the shelter. In each care package, I wrote a personalized note reminding them they are brave, beautiful and prepared to take on the world. My hope is that these little messages of optimism will stick with them and help them come out of a dark place, so that they can share their light with others.
When I went to the store to buy gift bags and products, the cashier shared that she once stayed in a women’s shelter during a difficult time in her life. She thanked me for my project and told me that during the holiday season she and her aunt would be volunteering at a local homeless shelter to pay it forward, too. Our interaction nearly brought me to tears, and I felt so inspired by her strength to share her story with me and her positivity to contribute to the community through her own acts of kindness.
With 2020 under way, you have a chance to make generosity your goal in the new year and spread kindness. Here are a few actionable ideas to get you started:
- Clean out your closet! Instead of waiting until spring, do some winter cleaning and save gently used items for a local shelter. Places like Gracewood and Houston Area Women Center are always looking for clothing, toys, new beauty products, cosmetics, and donations to help create a sense of security for the families they shelter.
- Have too much makeup in your beauty cabinet? Don’t let it go to waste. Project Beauty Share is one of many places that take makeup donations.
- Flex your generosity and your muscles. Join a triathlon or 5K for a cause you believe in.
- Buy a coffee for the person behind you at your local coffee shop.
- Gather your friends for a day of service a local organization.
- Leave a positive affirmation on a stranger’s car.
- Become a local Book Fairy and hide free books for others to find around your community.
- Pay for a stranger’s gas.
- Donate your gently-worn purses and dresses to your local Dress for Success chapter to help women excel in their professional careers.
Want a way to get started on your next act of kindness? Visit the Opt For Optimism site to learn more about Frost It Forward and how you can positively impact your community. What will be your first act of kindness in 2020?