As the air starts to chill this fall, nothing warms the heart like the act of giving.

It can be such a simple thing to pay it forward, and yet it can make such a tremendous impact on others, our communities, and our world. I love reading stories about where one random act of kindness sets off a chain of events that goes on for days and days. One person’s loving act could spark hundreds, even thousands, of meaningful moments shared by strangers.

It can be easy to get caught up in our own schedules and needs, rushing from here to there to get where we need to go. We get frustrated when we have to wait in the checkout line, or when something doesn’t quite go the way we had planned. I challenge all of us to take that frustration and turn it into something more useful. Although you might be in a hurry, pause on your way out to hold the door open for the person behind you. Even though you waited in line for ten minutes, think about paying for the person in line behind you, who may have been waiting just as long. Not only will you spare someone else the frustration, you’ll instantly feel better. There are few joys in life like those that come from helping others.

This month, we want to encourage you to help us spread some love around the Mid-Ohio Valley. We’ll share stories on ways that you can get involved locally and organizations that are doing great things in the valley. We’ll give you lots of ideas for how you can make a difference, right here, right now.

In fact, let’s start right now. A year ago from this Saturday, Bill Bauer lost his son Grant, a kind and passionate young man. In his honor, his father is asking us all to take part in 1,000 acts of kindness between now and Saturday. Let’s make our communities a better place to live and spread some kindness. Bill would love to know what you did, so go ahead and send him a message – he’s keeping tally to see if we can reach 1,000 by Saturday night.

It doesn’t have to be much. Maybe you could call someone who you haven’t talked to in a while who needs a friend. Or drop a grudge that you have been harboring, and make peace. Donate to your local food pantry, or share a meal with someone in need. Volunteer to help out with your favorite service organization. Whatever you do, you are certain to make someone else’s day that much brighter. What a wonderful thing to give.