Sunday, February 10, 2008

Random Acts of Kindness Week

This series was featured in the February 16th Edition of Terry Thornton's "Harvest from the Blog Garden" at Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi.

As a member of the National Education Association, I receive their monthly publication, neatoday. Each issue comes with a diversity calendar, highlighting holidays, celebrations, observances and month-long events. Did you know that February, in addition to American Heart Month and Black History Month, is also Library Lovers' Month? And yes, we all know about Groundhog Day (Feb. 2), Abraham Lincoln's Birthday (Feb. 12), St. Valentine's Day (Feb. 14) and George Washington's Birthday (Feb. 22). Few American school districts celebrate the presidents' birthdays as distinct; now they are combined into Presidents Day, honoring all presidents, on the third Monday of the month; this year it's on February 18th.

Even those who don't observe Lent celebrate Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday - February 5), the day before Ash Wednesday, and many Chinese, Koreans, and Vietnamese rang in the Lunar New Year on February 7. This year is the Year of the Rat!

Other days of note include February 15th, Susan B. Anthony's birthday, and February 21st, International Mother Language Day, which highlights mother tongues, many of which are in danger of disappearing. Also, National School Counseling Week was February 4 - 8.

Something new I learned was that February 11 - 17 (Monday through Sunday) is Random Acts of Kindness Week. What a great idea! I thought that for every day this coming week, I would share a way that we as family historians and genealogists can commit an act of kindness. As a group, we certainly are aware of passing a favor forward (rather than returning it), since most of us have been able to get where we are in our family tree research only with the help of others. I'll be writing about some traditional and, hopefully, new-to-you ways to pass on a good work to another individual or group. I'll be challenging myself, as well, to "up the ante" on paying it forward to the genealogical community.

Won't you join me?

1. Join a Lookup Service

2. Be a Sponsor

3. Volunteer for a Society

4. Share Your Data

5. Transcribe or Translate

6. Give a Hand

7. Be Grateful and Generous
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