How’s it works. We serve teachers (by taking a special display of kindness) and have hundreds of Valentine Packs available for the people of our church.
Every year we focus on teachers. So we make their day on Valentine’s Day by delivering special Dark Chocolate, and Hershey Kisses to the school staff rooms early on Valentine’s Day. One year we purchased special cup-cakes. Teachers need appreciation and the outreach helps us build bridges with the schools and also meets a need in a practical way.
Here’s how we set up Kindness-to-go and the outreach the Saturday before Valentine’s Day.
We pack hundreds of packs. A special connect card goes into each pack along with three Hershey Kisses and a red foil chocolate heart. We also have instruction sheets to help guide the outreach.
The tables are located at all exits, red or black table cloths and fun balloons create a fun vibe.
The two weekends just before Valentine’s day. Our teens and children’s areas pack thousands of Hershey Kisses into small zip lock bags with our special ‘You’ve just been kissed!’ or Hugs connect card. People grab several of the bags as they leave the weekend services and go about kissing and hugging the people of our community during the week.
If the kids help pack the kisses it spreads the DNA of kindness to all ages.
A couple of years ago I went to the gym on one of my usual gym days. (My wife tells me it’s a good thing.) When I arrived I asked the receptionist, ‘Have you been kissed today?’ She smiled and said, ‘Nope, not today.’ I then gave her a pack said, ‘Well you’ve just been kissed.’ She laughed and exclaimed, ‘You’re from (she named the church) right?’ I replied, ‘Yep. We are kissing people all over the city this week.’
On the Saturday before Valentine’s Day, we head out to a couple of strip malls near the church. We take the packs of kisses and several buckets of carnations. We pop into the businesses and head to the customer service desk and ask, ‘How many ladies are working today?’
We then count out the flowers and Hershey packs…and say, ‘We are from (the name of the church) and you’ve just been kissed.’
Usually, some of the other assistants are around and join in the exchange. Often, a male worker will ask for a carnation for his girlfriend or wife. Some guys say, ‘Thanks for the reminder.’
Most people are open, curious, laugh and catch the vibe.
One group went to a high-end Spa/Hair place, all of the working ladies gathered to receive their flower. ‘Who are you guys? Others exclaim, ‘This is so cool.’ Or sigh, ‘This will be my only present today. Flowers and kisses were also handed out to the ladies who were becoming beautiful-er.
One of the team noticed one of the ladies getting her hair cut didn’t receive a flower. So, being the sensitive, thinking person she is, made an extra special effort to find another team grab a flower and run back to the shop…when she gave the lady the flower, the surprised and delighted lady exclaimed, ‘You’ve just made my day! Thank you.’
Really? Made her day? It makes me wonder what one of her days looks like? It makes me wonder if she was ever loved, or had a caring boyfriend, or had a husband, or is now connected to an uncaring guy?
What’s in a gift of a small flower and a pack of kisses?
I think serving others in a fun, creative way sends an upbeat message to the people in our stressed-out world. Serving others often is a small action that sends a signal that says, ‘Hey, someone cares for you.’ The action performed with genuine love somehow touches the heart.
My friend Scott, says, ‘Agape love revealed… means my love is demonstrated as I serve others through the choices I make, and by the actions I take.’
Process for Valentine’s Outreach:
4 weeks out: have connect cards printed (www.marketplaceprinting)
4 weeks out: order Hershey Kisses (snacc foods Cincinnati)
4 weeks out: order 4”X4” zip bags.
4 weeks out: order boxes of Carnations for pick up
2 weeks out: have kids, teens or a team pack the bags
Weekend of outreach: have packs placed at all exits
Valentine Outreach Saturday before Valentine’s Day
3 days out: pick up flowers, cut stems and place in buckets of water so they will be open on the day
3 days out: design maps with instructions and contact phone numbers
3 days out: make name tags 3 days out: gather Kiss packs and place in larger bags or containers for transport.
Saturday the Outreach Day before Valentine’s Day…
Gather at 10am
Give Instructions then divide up into teams Load up and head out. Also, be open to God’s leading and offer pray with people.go to shops, go to check out or customer service, ask, How many ladies are working today, count out Kisses packs and flowers give to workers, Say, ‘We’re from the (name of Church) and you’ve just been kissed.’
After the project go to a coffee shop for download and great java.