Loneliness kills. It also depresses, hurts, and really has nothing going for it at all. It’s perhaps with this in mind that National Cheer Up Someone Lonely Day sprang into being, a day to help grow awareness of the lonely and to brighten up their lives a little. As with all these things, though, a day isn’t enough, so let’s talk about this some more and look at some ideas for keeping the sentiment going year-round.
Cheer Up The Lonely Day, on July 11 every year, happened to be the birthday of Francis Pesek from Michigan, who started the whole thing. Word got out, and it became a movement. His idea was to do something nice for lonely people—those in nursing homes who never get visitors, or who lived alone with no friends; it doesn’t matter.
If you know someone is lonely, see if you can meet them. If it’s a neighbor, you can start with a simple hello, then stop to chat for a few, then keep coming back. Taking the time to get to know somebody like that can enrich both your lives.
You can also sometimes volunteer at senior centers and homes, or even hospitals. Contact them to see what kind of programs they run. You might be surprised.
Cheering up the lonely can take the form of gestures, such as delivering cookies (home-made or otherwise) or knocking on the door, meals-on-wheels style. If you are getting to know the person, offer to take them for a drive somewhere. It will be a treat.
You can also send flowers for Cheer Up Someone Lonely Day. Have them delivered to the door as a surprise, or send them anonymously to a nursing home addressed to “someone lonely.” Whatever you do, chances are it will brighten up somebody’s day. And then, once the day is over, don’t stop—carry on what you’ve started, and maybe that person won’t be lonely again.
And that can’t be a bad thing, can it?