Hope. It’s a short four-letter word and an idea clung to by millions over the past year. When times are hard, hope is what continues to drive us forward. It’s hope that things will get better. It’s hoped that we might again experience “normal.” And most of all, it’s hope that we’ll all come out of this pandemic stronger than ever before.
We’ve all used the word ‘hope’ countless times in the past year, but it’s still more relevant than ever. April is known as National Month of Hope. Use this as an opportunity to breathe new life into the word by checking out some of our suggestions below.
WHAT IS “NATIONAL MONTH OF HOPE?”
National Month of Hope was initially founded by an organization committed to health and wellness and food security for families, among other significant initiatives. The group called “Mothers in Crisis”adopted the acronym HOPEE which stands for Helping Others Practice Enduring Empowerment. They started using the month of April to provide hope to the people they serve and encouraged others to do the same. Now, you can take part, too!
HOW CAN YOU SPREAD HOPE THIS MONTH?
Spring has sprung, or at least it says so on the calendar. You may be slowly returning to work or simply stopping to smell the roses on a walk outside. Wherever you look, there are signs of hope and renewal associated with spring. Take this time to practice giving hope to yourself and others around you with these four pillars outlined for the National Month of Hope:
- Hope for Self
Practicing hope for yourself may not be the first thing that comes to mind with the National Month of Hope. Isn’t this about serving others? To do good in the world, you need to be your best self. It’s hard to provide hope for others if you aren’t feeling it yourself.
Think of something that might provide you with hope and make a point to practice it regularly. For example, chatting with friends you haven’t caught up with in a while is the perfect way to provide a newfound sense of hope. Remember that soon you’ll be able to catch up in person. Writing down the things you’ll be able to do once the world goes back to normal may also help provide hope. Everybody is different, so think about personal ways to provide a sense of hope for yourself.
- Hope for the Family
Take some time out of your day to check in with your family members. Although you probably haven’t been able to gather with them as much this year (if at all) you can still pick up the phone or use technology to video chat. There is hope that you’ll be able to hug again in the near future. Remind your family about how much they mean to you and offer words of encouragement during this difficult time that we’re collectively experiencing.
- Hope for/within the Community
Consider what’s happening in your community and those who may need hope. Volunteer at your favorite local organization or organize a fundraiser for a community member in need. Spend the afternoon picking up trash in the community. There are ample ways to provide hope to others in the community, both big and small. Think about what your community might need most, and then take small steps to help achieve the larger goal. If you aren’t sure, call local organizations and ask! They’re always willing to share.
- Hope for the Nation and World
Consider larger initiatives you can become involved in that help provide hope for people in our nation or even the world. Find an organization that supports a global cause, like world hunger or our environment. Consider donating to those organizations. Or, you can take steps to provide hope by doing something at the local level that will help the larger planet, like taking up recycling efforts.
While times are undoubtedly hard, there is hope on the horizon. Use April’s National Month of Hope as a reminder to be a light in somebody’s life this month, including your own! Look for opportunities to deliver hope for yourself, your family, your community and the world. Don’t hesitate to discuss the month with your friends and family to come up with a plan of action to provide hope together.