Celebrate Be an Angel Day and make a special difference in someone’s life.
Virginia McCullough is preparing a gratitude list. One of her friends is planning to donate services to a local non-profit. They’re getting ready for Be an Angel Day, a nondenominational celebration observed each year on August 22nd . While the event spans just twenty-four hours, its goal is to remind us that we can be messengers of love and peace all year long.
“On my gratitude list are names of people who have been helpful to me,” says McCullough, a ghostwriter/editor in Green Bay, Wisconsin. “I think of these people I cherish the same way I think of angels, as messengers of God."
The first Be an Angel Day in 1993 generated reports from twenty-two countries about donations of money, kindness, and hard work. Lucky Sweeny, of Columbia, Maryland, organized a picnic to benefit the homeless. Michelle Selmach arranged for a bottling company in Dudley, Massachusetts to promote the day on one of their most visible billboards. The mayors of Baltimore, Maryland, and Santa Cruz, California issued citywide proclamations, while the governor of Maryland issued a statewide proclamation.
Today, that spirit continues each August as people respond to the day’s motto: “Do one small act of service for someone. Be a blessing in someone’s life.” Some donate blood, introduce children to art, or honor servicemen and women. Others choose to write letters to prison inmates, scrub graffiti off buildings, or plant gardens in abandoned lots.
The idea behind Be an Angel Day came to Jayne Howard Feldman while she was taking photographs of angel monuments at the National Shrine of Our Lady in Lourdes in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
“I noticed an incredible pair of angels that graced the entrance to the grotto,” she recalls. “They were identical; each depicted a guardian angel with a precious child by its side. This picture inspired me to establish Be an Angel Day.” Feldman, who serves as an interfaith minister and public speaker, emphasizes that there is no right or wrong way to celebrate the day. “The purpose is to raise consciousness that we, too, are here to serve God,” she adds.
Joan Wester Anderson, author of fifteen books, including seven about angels, met Feldman in 1994 on the talk show, A Closer Look. Ever since, she takes time on August 22nd to write someone from her past.
“I thank them for what they did for me. It’s that easy,” she says. “What you do on Be an Angel Day doesn’t have to be huge. Like throwing a stone in a pond, you don’t know what ripple effect it will have.”
For this year’s celebration, Feldman is planning a gathering of friends in her home in Upperco, Maryland, where she lives with her husband, Charles, and three Jack Russell terriers. Everyone will bring food donations for a local food kitchen and participate in a healing meditation. “And we’ll honor people who have been angels in our lives—those who, when our backs are against wall, show up as messengers from God,” she says. “We also enjoy great food together, and of course I serve angel food cake.”
By Lynda McDaniel, Seattle, Washington