FORT HOOD, Texas -- A smile, a note, a phone call or just doing something a little extra special. That’s what Giving Tuesday Military is all about, as volunteers here and around the world made a goal of filling as many acts of kindness as they could fit into a day, Dec. 1.
It is not just one day for Fort Hood spouse Maria Reed, wife of Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Reed, 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, who believes a better name would be “Giving Always.”
“It’s Giving Tuesday, it’s on a Tuesday, and it’s once a year,” Reed explained. “Why not Giving Always? Why not be a better, kinder people, always?”
Inspired by the Giving Tuesday movement, Reed teamed up with military spouses Jessica Manfre Samantha Gomolka and Stacy Bilodeau in 2019 for Giving Tuesday Military, with a goal of one million acts of kindness within the military community. In its inaugural year, they ended up spreading kindness with more than 2.5 million acts of kindness.
“It was beautiful witnessing everything that was happening,” Reed said.
While 2020 is a different kind of year, under different types of circumstances, people were still going out of their way to make a difference in someone else’s life Tuesday. She said some of the small random acts of kindness being spread included people delivering treats to first responders, hosting blood drives, paying for someone’s coffee and writing encouraging letters, small things that make a big difference in brightening someone’s day.
“One of the easiest things is to write someone a note or card,” she said. “Words of encouragement, especially in this digital age, are so important.”
Spreading kindness is why Reed believes Giving Tuesday Military is so special. Anyone can be kind because it does not take money to make a difference.
“This is something anyone can participate in, regardless of how old they are, regardless of their financial situation, because anybody can be nice,” she said.
Julie Moser, chapter ambassador for the Fort Hood Chapter of Giving Tuesday Military, delivered dozens of blessing bags to breast cancer patients at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple Tuesday morning.
Moser, spouse of Staff Sgt. Robert Moser, 2nd Battalion., 227th Aviation Regt., 1st Air Cav. Brigade, is the founder of Pink Warrior Angels of Texas, a non-profit cancer support organization determined to help cancer patients as they cope with the fears, challenges and side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She received thousands of dollars’ worth of donations from local businesses to help fill the bags.
“As many people give back to us as an organization, we wanted to pay it forward,” she said. “Whether the acts of kindness are big or small, they’re just as important.”
Giving Tuesday Military can be found on the major social media platforms. To help keep track of how many acts of kindness there were this year, people posted about it on social media with #GivingTuesdayMilitary. This year’s totals are still rolling in, so follow Giving Tuesday Military on Facebook for updates.
“All the do-gooders all over the world working together with one common goal, kindness,” Reed concluded. “Regardless of the number, we know we changed lives yesterday, and we will continue to do it every day.”