Today, Ash Wednesday, marks the arrival of Lent. For those who observe it, Lent is a time of reflection and sacrifice. While traditionally people abstain and give up things for Lent like alcohol, sweets, TV and much more. One group, the Christian Nightlife Initiatives Network is promoting the #Do1NiceThing challenge. They say it's a chance to make things better for others and our communities. I think it's a fantastic idea.

I've never really considered crawfish boils and seafood buffets very much of a sacrifice honestly. Oh, I'm down with the plan, but almost feel a tad bit guilty. But I mean hey, we have to eat something on Fridays, right? Sure, there's always the one thing I give up that counts as sacrifice, but still. I just came across this #Do1NiceThing challenge and it's just what I've been looking for.

Basically, for each day of Lent, the challenge is to do one nice thing for someone. They make it pretty easy too, because they have an act of kindness assigned for each day.

Below is the #Do1NiceThing list for Lent I found on

Wednesday 1st March - Sunday 5th March

1st March - Engage in conversation with the people who serve you (e.g. shop keepers)
2nd March - Say thank you to someone as they work and say how much you appreciate them
3rd March - Call in on an elderly neighbor - take some cake, have a cup of coffee and a chat
4th March - Shop locally and support local farmers, local veg growers and local shops
5th March - Show some love to your neighborhood and pick up litter (please wear gloves and use a strong bag) or see if there is anything more you can recycle at home

Monday 6th March - Sunday 12th March

6th March - Hold doors open for those behind you
7th March - Smile at people
8th March - Be a nice driver - spread road-calm!
9th March - Email / write  to a local charity you think does a great work and thank them and those who volunteer
10th March - Take time to pray for your neighbors
11th March - Spread the niceness on Facebook and Twitter - compliment some of your friends
12th March - Set up a Blessing Bag - a bag of items you keep in your car that can be used to bless other people

Monday 13th March - Sunday 19th March

13th March - Write a letter to a local emergency service and thank them for the work they do
14th March - Say hello to people
15th March - Look at joining or setting up a Neighborhood Watch
16th March - Spot ways of helping people and do it
17th March - Go on a thankful walk - see all the positive things you can be thankful for in your neighborhood
18th March - Buy Fairtrade where you can today
19th March - Take a single person (elderly person, single mom etc) out for Sunday lunch

Monday 20th March - Sunday 26th March (Mothering Sunday)

20th March - Consider investing some time volunteering - could you give 24 hours over the next year?
21st March - Commit to collect used stamps for The Leprosy Mission
22nd March - Catch a bus (#Do1NiceThing for the environment) and say thank you to the bus driver
23rd March - Give a drink to a homeless person or take part in 'Suspended Coffee'
24th March - Email / write to your MP and say thank you for representing you and that you are praying for them
25th March - Take a prayer walk round your neighborhood and pray for needs
Mothering Sunday 26th March - Take some flowers to mothers and grandmothers on your street

Monday 27th March - Sunday 2nd April

27th March - Buy seeds ready to create a wildlife garden (or tub or window box!)
28th March - Look for ways to volunteer one hour of your time for someone else (look at StreetBank for ideas)
29th March - E-Mail your local councilors and say thank you for what they do and offer to pray for them
30th March - Take time to discover some new tourist attraction in your area (wildlife park, play area, etc)
31st March - Give away a book you think is worth reading
1st April - Pay for the drink of the person behind you in a coffee shop
2nd April - Write some inspirational messages on Post-It notes and randomly leave for people to find

Monday 3rd April - Sunday 9th April

3rd April - Help someone down the stairs or hold open a door for someone with a pram
4th April - Sit in a coffee shop and chat to a stranger or buy a 'Suspended Coffee' or pay for a stranger's drink
5th April - Offer your skills to someone else for free
6th April - Write a letter to the boss of someone who has given excellent customer service to tell them so
7th April - Clear out unwanted items and give to a charity shop
8th April - Organize a free car wash for your community
Palm Sunday 9th April - Thank people for the virtues they have

Monday 10th April - Easter Sunday 16th April

10th April - Send flowers to a friend as a thank you for your friendship
11th April- Give a New Testament or inspirational book to someone you don't know
12th April - Take a box of chocolates to work and say thank you to your colleagues
13th April - Easter Weekend - Offer someone a service
Good Friday 14th April - Put spare change in a charity box
15th April - Visit a local shop you have not visited before or in a while (support locally!)
Easter Sunday 16th April - Get together with others to organize a community or church Easter Egg hunt

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