Stirring kindness in your community

What does kindness mean to you? Or simply, what does it mean to be kind? A quick Google search will reveal that kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Those are adjectives that we would all likely want to be associated within our personal lives. Kindness is one of those words that you can almost feel when it’s said or when you see it written down. It’s reminiscent of a warm sip of tea on a chilly morning, or a hot, home-cooked meal after a long, hard day’s work. 

It’s easy to see how Lasagna Love and kindness go hand in hand. While this organization was started with the mission of creating and delivering meals to local families in need – the mission has blossomed into something remarkable. While at its core, Lasagna Love chefs, volunteers, and supporters are still feeding families, the community as a whole is doing something else: sharing kindness. 

Just as a group of Lasagna Chefs can grow within a neighborhood or city – stories and sentiments of everyday kindness are stirring, being shared, starting a ripple effect throughout the Lasagna Love organization.

In early March, Lasagna Love launched a Kindness Pledge, in celebration of the anniversary of the very first lasagna delivery. To continue to weave kindness into the fabric of our communities, we asked followers to sign the pledge and spread their moments of kindness with others.

I pledge to spread kindness, offer help when I see someone in need, and empower others through positive acts and words.

Kindness is very much like a pan of lasagna. When you break it down, it’s simple, made up of a few key ingredients. The ingredients on their own are delicious (it’s hard not to love pasta and cheese!). But, once combined, stirred together, and assembled with love…well, that’s where the magic happens.

The rich layers are warming, filling, and flavorful. Think about the feeling you experience when sitting down for dinner after a long day. Imagine your plate, full of hearty, hot lasagna. Now, think about how you feel when you’re on the receiving end of an act of kindness. The warmth is infectious and comforting. (We’d take a gamble and say that you also feel similarly when you’re on the giving end too!)

Sometimes, even the moments that you think are insignificant and small can make a world of difference in someone’s life. No matter the act, what matters is that the act is kind. Whether it’s holding the door open for someone on the way into the grocery store, or like feeding a family of four who is struggling for a week, the intention is the same – being friendly, generous, and considerate

Kindness stories from our volunteers

Through conversation-starters in our Lasagna Love Facebook Group, we’ve rounded up a selection of stories that demonstrate acts of kindness. These stories come from many different people from all walks of life – and they are united by something simple – kindness.

 

“When I was going through divorce 17 years ago, I had a 4-year-old daughter and I was awash with grief and depression. I had wonderful friends and family for support but I felt very alone in my house. One night as I went into my front yard to put my trash cans out for collection the next morning, I saw my neighbor’s husband wheeling my trash cans to the curb for me without a word. It was EVERYTHING.” -Karen D.

 

One that has stuck with me was when I was out with my daughter to eat, she was probably 2 at the time. It was a ROUGH day – one of those days where you feel like you cannot juggle it all with motherhood. Lunch was our way to escape for a little, but turned into a complete disaster with food throwing and tantrums. When I was trying to gather up all of our dirty dishes and the mess while my daughter was crying a lady came up to me and said “these days are so hard, I remember them well. You’re doing such a great job. Leave the mess, I’ll take care of it for you.” It was such a simple gesture, but I left in tears.” -Kristen S.

I had been married a year when my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I stayed with my dad a lot and one night we got home late from the hospital hungry. We opened the fridge to find a bowl of beautiful, fresh, cleaned and cut strawberries. A very dear neighbor had brought them over while we were gone. It was a bowl full of love.” -Lori J.

 

Recently I asked a mom if she’d prefer anything besides lasagna.. chicken and rice, baked ziti, shepherd’s pie? She responded and said shepherd’s pie is her favorite but lasagna will make the rest of the family happy. Standard mom right? Put yourself last. My immediate reaction was, oh girl, you’re getting a shepherd’s pie. So I made a small one to send with the lasagna and it made my heart so happy to do it! What an amazing opportunity to make people happy.” Karen M.

 

At Lasagna Love, we stir kindness by feeding families, but also by doing so much more. In what ways can you stir kindness this month?

Are you feeling inspired and want to make a difference in your community? 

Join a nationwide movement of kindness

-Amanda Gruber