From November 13-20, during YMCA Peace Week, we are celebrating the presence of peace in our communities, and reflecting on the peace building work that happens all year both inside and outside the YMCA.
As we navigate through 2021 and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, YMCA Peace Week illuminates how the work of building peace needs to continue now more than ever. COVID-19 and the urgent calls for action for diversity, equity, and inclusion are challenging us, as individuals, as communities, and as a country, to reconsider where we’ve been and where we want to go. During YMCA Peace Week, we honour those at the forefront of these peace-building efforts and encourage Canadians to ask themselves how they can bring change to their communities.
“It’s important that we work together to create peaceful communities where everyone feels that they belong,” says Sarah Cowley, Chief Executive Officer, at the YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce. “By celebrating YMCA Peace Week together, we are taking a stand and creating the future we want for our community, country, and world.”
When people act for peace, they build community by promoting a sense of belonging, fostering empathy, and embracing diversity.
“We all have opportunities each day to choose to act for peace. They may be small actions, but they make a big difference and create a ripple effect through our community. By sharing our message of peace, we are able to inspire others to become engaged in peaceful actions,” says Sarah Cowley.
Find small but impactful ways to spread peace in your community today, and every day:
- Give a stranger a compliment
- Make or buy dinner for a family in need
- Insert coins into someone’s parking meter
- Write letters to frontline workers
- Shovel a neighbour’s driveway when it snows
- Help an elder or person in need with their groceries or crossing the street
- Send a letter to a good friend instead of a text
- Leave your waiter or waitress a generous tip
- Make a family member breakfast in bed
- Only say positive things for an entire day
- Spread some encouragement online with an inspirational quote or motivational message
- Write a list of things that you adore about a friend
- Choose to be positive when listening to the news
- Buy a drink or snack for the person behind you
- Donate your hair after a haircut
- Help sick and homeless animals find homes
- Write a list of things that you adore about your partner
- Give someone a gift card that you don’t intend to use
- Let someone go in front of you in line
- Drive with a positive attitude and let someone go ahead of you
- Bring toys and winter gear to a homeless shelter
- Make a music playlist for someone
- Leave a nice note on someone’s car
- Pick up litter at the park
- Tell a boss about a good employee
- Offer to take a photo of a couple
- Buy some school supplies for a teacher
- Put your phone away when you’re with friends or family
- Plant a tree
- Return a stray grocery cart
- Donate blood
- Donate to a favourite charity
- Write a positive online review
- Write a thank-you note to your mail carrier
- Be kind to yourself!