Feb. 14 is known for Valentine’s Day, but it’s actually so much more than that. Not only is it a day to shower your sweetie with candy hearts and chocolates, but it’s also a great time to raise awareness for Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day and National Donor Day. Plus, Valentine’s Day falls right in the middle of Random Acts of Kindness Week (RAK Week). This Valentine’s Day, have a heart and combine all four of these great events into one day, or share the love all week long!
Valentine’s Day And RAK Week
We all know what Valentine’s Day is, but it’s easy for many people to feel left out if they don’t have a significant other. That’s where RAK Week comes in. RAK Week goes from Feb. 14 through Feb. 20, with RAK Day falling on Feb. 17. Whether you’re single, in a relationship, or just want to make a stranger’s day, RAK Week is the perfect opportunity for you.
This Valentine’s Day, spread the love by participating in RAK Week, which encourages people to share an act of kindness with someone you know, don’t know, or by simply being kind to yourself. Many people don’t like to share their good deeds with the public, but sharing your good deed will inspire others to do the same. Plus, people love hearing feel-good stories, and sharing your story might actually be a way of improving someone else’s day. Thanks to social media, it’s easier than it’s ever been to make a difference in other people’s lives.
If you choose to participate in RAK Week, share your good deed on social media with #RAKWeek2016. Check out these kind stories for inspiration, or choose an idea from the list below!
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has plenty of great ideas for celebrating RAK Week. The best part is that none of these ideas are limited to RAK Week and they can be shared all year long.
Create care packs and give them to the homeless
Donate used books to a local library
Help a neighbor or older relative with yard work
Make blankets for the homeless
Pay the tab for the person behind you in line
Visit an animal shelter
Pick up trash at the beach or a local park
Be kind to someone you don’t like, or someone who doesn’t like you
Send flowers to a loved one
Donate canned goods to a food bank
Donate blood or sign up to be an organ donor (in honor of National Donor Day)
Donate used clothing
Take a homeless person out to eat
Donate a car, or go car-free for a day
Knit items for other people
Tell a joke to make someone laugh
Write a thank you letter, or send someone a card
Leave a used book on public transportation
Smile at strangers
For more ideas, check out this great list!
Give The Gift Of Health
For those of us who are fortunate to be in good health, it’s so beneficial to donate blood, platelets, marrow, tissues, or organs. On Feb. 14, National Donor Day focuses on donating organs, tissues, marrow, platelets, and blood, and many nonprofit health organizations will allow you to sign up on National Donor Day.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 121,722 people are currently waiting for an organ, and 22 people will die each day waiting for an organ donation. One organ donor can save up to eight lives! Learn more about becoming an organ donor here.
Not only does National Donor Day encourage people to become donors, but it also celebrates all of the people who have so selflessly helped to save lives through donations of blood, marrow, tissue, platelets, and organs.
Getting involved on National Donor Day is simple. You can start by donating blood, which is easy to do and takes little time on your part. Learn more about donating blood here.
Little Hearts Need Help, Too
Meant to honor and remember those born with a heart defect, and to promote awareness of congenital heart defects, National Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Day aims to help the many children around the world who are born with a congenital heart defect.
According to Dr. Mani Children Heart Foundation, eight out of every 1,000 children born alive will have some form of congenital heart defect. Congenital heart defects kill thousands of children every year, which is why it’s so important to share the message of “A Day For Hearts.” In the United States alone, about 1 million people are born with a heart defect. More children are born with heart defects than cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, sickle cell disease, and oral or facial clefts.
Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Day goes hand-in-hand with National Donor Day and RAK Week. According to Consumer Health Digest, only about 30 percent of the children in need of heart transplants receive them on time. Approximately 40,000 units of blood are used each day, but only about 5 percent of adults are eligible to donate blood. If you are eligible, your donation is highly valued.
In the United States, a person needs blood every three seconds, and often times it is a child in need of blood. Check out this infographic about congenital heart defects for more information. In the meantime, schedule your blood donation today! Learn more about donating blood by reading our recent blog post on National Blood Donor Day.
Help Children’s Charities
There are so many ways to give back during the week of Valentine’s Day, and each and every act of kindness will make a difference in someone’s life. It could even save a life!
When you donate a vehicle to Wheels For Wishes, your donation will support children’s charities in your area. See which charity your donation will benefit by checking out our Chapter Locator. When you donate a car, truck, boat, or motorcycle to Wheels For Wishes, you will receive free pick up or towing of your vehicle. To make a car donation, simply call 1-877-431-9474 or make your donation online.