The Greco family of Bel Air received a certificate of recognition from town commissioners Monday in honor of their second annual “25 Days of Christmas Kindness” campaign to perform daily acts of kindness throughout December.
The family, which lives in the Majors Choice neighborhood, documented their efforts on social media and encouraged others to perform their own acts of kindness — and put them on social media, too, to inspire others.
“Every town could use a few Greco families,” Bel Air Mayor Susan Burdette said before presenting the certificate to Megan and Michael Greco and their children, Michael Jr., or “Mikey,” and Victoria.
The certificate recognizing the family’s “philanthropy within our community,” was presented during the commissioners’ regular meeting Monday evening at Bel Air Town Hall.
Burdette lives in the same neighborhood as the Grecos, and she talked about the many things the family has done to support her and other Majors Choice residents.
She recalled one instance about a year ago, meeting Megan and Michael at a funeral, and her hand had been bandaged after surgery the day before.
The Grecos asked Burdette about her hand and, about an hour after she arrived home, Michael and his daughter “showed up at my door with a full-course, absolutely delicious dinner to [fill] my whole family.”
Burdette said Michael and his son will often shovel snowy sidewalks and driveways for neighbors in need, Megan gives out gift bags of “beautiful, hand-crafted cards,” to fellow residents on holidays and the whole family delivers “homemade treats and goodies.”
“They don’t say, ‘Call me if you need anything,’ ” Burdette said. “This family stays aware of their friends and their neighbors, and they consider all of our circumstances, and they just show up with their help.”
Burdette invited each family member to the podium to talk about “25 Days of Christmas Kindness” and their favorite part of the campaign.
Mikey, who is in sixth grade at Southampton Middle School, said his favorite activity involved spending about 90 minutes at the Aldi supermarket, putting quarters in carts so other customers do not have to pay to use them.
“I love when we do Christmas Kindness, because we love when people have smiles on their faces and when people are kind,” Victoria, a second-grader at Bel Air Elementary School, said as her father held her.
Michael Greco said the goal of the campaign is to teach the children “the value of kindness in life, maybe the most valuable attribute one can have.”
He said the campaign has grown as friends and neighbors join in, and word spreads through social media and coverage in the local news media.
Michael Greco noted how people have so little spare time during the Christmas season, “which makes it all the more important to stop and extend the kindness anywhere you can, from little things to bigger things.”
“We’ll do it even bigger next year, so we’ll see all you guys out there,” he told audience members.
The family’s acts of kindness for 2018, conducted with neighbors and other members of the community, included providing homemade holiday treats to town police officers and members of the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, collecting winter clothing for the homeless and items such as toys, toiletries and bandages featuring animated characters for pediatric cancer patients at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
Megan Greco encouraged people to perform acts of kindness, even small things such as holding the door for someone or giving them a pat on the shoulder, and they do not have to do it every day for 25 days.
“You don’t have to spend money and do 25 days of Christmas [Kindness] in a row, which is kind of insane, but you do have to do something,” Greco said.
She suggested people do one act of kindness on the first Friday of every month.
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“I just hope that this inspires you to do one small thing — give a smile to someone who is not smiling, spread the love,” Greco said.