The period of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and ends on 24th March (46 days but Sundays are not included. It symbolises the days which lead up to Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent resurrection when Christ spent 40 days and nights alone in the desert and therefore, Lent is usually associated with ‘giving something you enjoy up’, isn’t it? Chocolate, sugar, biscuits, alcohol tend to be amongst the most popular choices.

MOLLY MAID, the professional house cleaners, suggest that it might be different to take up a different approach and rather than give something up, why not take something up, or do a good deed every day? What could be more fulfilling? In fact, according to the Christian Charity, Stewardship, over 85,000 people will be following the charity’s campaign 40 Acts – Do Lent Generously (www.40acts.org.uk) this year. Whilst MOLLY MAID whole heartedly support this approach, the house cleaning experts too have their own simple suggestions for giving and adopting acts of kindness this Lent.

How about some of the following to get you started. There is no doubt that you will feel good about your deeds.

  1. Pick up the phone to an elderly relative whom you know is lonely and would appreciate hearing your news.
  2. Offer to do the weekly shop for an elderly neighbour, or someone who struggles with this task.
  3.  Drop-off, pick-up children from the school if you hear that a friend is in need of help.
  4. Prepare a meal for someone who is sick or in need of help in your village/ community.
  5. Organise a litter-picking treasure hunt involving children helping to look after their community.
  6. Encourage your children to donate what they might have spent on sweets during this time, to charity.
  7. Start a new hobby with, or without your family, such as knitting, and see how many items you can knit during this time. Then sell your wares to friends and family and donate the takings to your chosen charity.
  8. Encourage your children to sift through their toys and pass on their much-loved toys (in good condition) to those less fortunate.
  9. Offer to clean a neighbour’s home if they are incapacitated or need the help. Giving back the ‘gift of time’ by undertaking the cleaning yourself, or asking MOLLY MAID to assist, is a much valued gesture.
  10. Spend a couple of hours in the garden and plant some vegetables.
  11. Offer to visit a relative whose week would be transformed by your visit.
  12. ‘A smile is worth a thousand words’ – consciously try to smile and make someone’s day happy by smiling and saying a few kind words.
  13. Why not suggest that your children should offer to take the bins out for an elderly or suffering neighbour? Help around the home means so much to people in need.
  14. Remember to be generous with your compliments. Tell a friend that they look well and pretty. You may just make their day.
  15. Offer to help out with fundraising activity for a local cause in your area.
  16. Don’t be slow in coming forward to help out in the local village church – they will need help with cleaning, tidying and general rotas to ensure that the church is kept clean and safe.
  17. Pick some flowers (such as daffodils) and give them to someone in your village who needs cheering up.
  18. Encourage your children to spend some time with someone who isn’t very popular at school and ask them to join them in their playtime.
  19. Lent is a period of repentance, so remember that now is the perfect opportunity to apologise to someone for an act that you may not be proud of.
  20. Tell others that you love them. All too often, it is assumed that loved ones know that they are loved, but it never harms to use the three little words.

Hopefully the above ideas will encourage and persuade you to take up an act of kindness this Lent. MOLLY MAID wish you well with this challenge!