In 2020, the Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce is joining the Leap of Kindness movement.

Leap of Kindness Day was created in 2016 by the Saratoga (N.Y.) Chamber of Commerce and several Chambers across the country joined the movement to spread kindness across their community. In short, Leap of Kindness is meant to inspire and facilitate everyone doing something for someone else.

On the first Leap of Kindness Day, 50 Chambers in 30 states had thousands of people take part by cooking a meal for our first responders, collecting essential items for non-profits, doing canned food drives for food pantries, or something as simple as having students write a thank you card to someone they love.

So, what will you do with an extra day on Feb. 29? We’re inviting you to jump on the train and bring some light into lives across our community.

Here are a few suggestions to get your thoughts started:

BEFORE FEB. 29:

  • Employers can host a staff meeting to drum up ideas on how to contribute on or around Leap of Kindness Day. Use it to build employee morale, with a focus on kindness and community. Share the information with employees and support their efforts to participate.
  • If you can think of an organization to support, call them and find out what they need. Make sure to focus on what they need to help maximize your efforts.
  • Don’t be worried about if your idea can be completed on leap day. For example, notes written to school employees should be delivered when school is in session, rather than a weekend when there is no school.
  • Rally the troops! There’s no reason to keep this to yourself. Grab a group of your friends, family, and/or co-workers and plan something to help out on this extra day.
  • Don’t think you’ll need a lot of money to do something. Doing something small that costs nothing but time is just as important as spending money. The phrase “It’s the thought that counts” truly applies here.
  • Make sure you let the Chamber know what you’ve done. It’s important that we inspire and honor each other by sharing our activities and ideas. Email them to us at mthrone@chillicotheohio.com

SUGGESTIONS OF THINGS TO DO

  • Collect and deliver food to food pantries, homeless shelters, or blessing boxes.
  • Send a note of gratitude to your child’s teacher, coach, or another school employee that has an impact.
  • Contact your favorite charity to see if they have something they need (room painted, furniture moved, drive for supplies, etc.).
  • Seniors in assisted living often need a boost. A small bouquet of flowers, or a note, or even a personal visit can make their day.
  • Money helps all non-profits. Organize a fund-raiser – as small as a penny drive or as much as a specific fundraiser for a specific project – to help your favorite organization.
  • Our furry friends need a boost too. Contact the Humane Society and see what they need, then do a drive to get the food or supplies they need to run their operations.

Or maybe you have an idea of your own … let’s talk and see if we can make it happen.

OK, WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

In the weeks leading up to Feb. 29, we’ll post on this page the suggestions offered to help encourage kindness in Chillicothe and Ross County. Come back to this page to see what we can achieve together!

How you can help local non-profits and other organizations?

Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence: The agency is in need of cleaning, paper, and hygiene supplies. These will be collected at the Chamber for pick up by RCCADV. Please call Mandy Sullivan-Dyke at 740-775-5396.

First Presbyterian Church of Chillicothe: The church has a few rooms that could use a fresh coat of paint and other work around the church. It’s located at 13 Mead Drive. Please call the church office at 740-774-4440.

The Child Protection Center: CPC is in need of a volunteers to help count and assemble 1,761 pinwheels for the pinwheel planting in April. To volunteer, call 740-779-7431 or email kgothard@adena.org.

Ross County Humane Society: RCHS is painting and sprucing up areas of the shelter, located on Lick Run Road. They have the supplies, but need volunteers who can paint, finish up trimming, painting the bathrooms and the office. Please call 740-775-6808 for more information.

Kingdom Hearts Fellowship Food Pantry: The Scentsy by Chris Powers team will be at the church, 375 S. Watt St., collecting non-perishable food for the food pantry. Two food pantries on the east side of Chillicothe have closed recently and the need is critical. For more information, call 740-703-0394.

If you have a project you’d like help with on Feb. 29, please let us know by calling 740-702-2722.