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You are likely familiar with the phrase, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder,” right? We know that this saying is typically used to describe star-crossed lovers, but in today’s current environment, we think it also works to describe the way people are feeling about their beloved friends.

We don’t have to tell you that life has seemingly changed overnight due to COVID-19. Many people are choosing to eat in, postponing family gatherings and other significant events and avoiding contact with close friends. Although saying no to getting together may be a wise choice to stop the spread of the virus, there’s no denying that continually making these decisions have been difficult, particularly the last one. Friendship is one of life’s greatest blessings, so not being able to spend time with those we love is challenging, to say the least.  

One way to get through the foreseeable future is to start by celebrating International Friendship Day, which happens each July.  

The holiday was first created in 1958 (previously known as World Friendship Day) by the World Friendship Crusade to foster a culture of peace and friendship. Over 50 years later, in 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared July 30 as International Day of Friendship. The idea behind the celebration was the message that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can work to inspire world peace and build bridges between communities.

Now you might be wondering, how can we observe International Day of Friendship during a pandemic? Don’t worry! We have a few ideas to get you started:

  • Create a photo collage of special memories of you and your friend and then frame it to deliver an extra special gift. The happy memories will likely inspire you to plan your next adventure when life has settled down.
  • Send a small gift of flowers, chocolates, or cookies to let a friend know that you are thinking about him or her.
  • Put your creativity to work by crafting a handmade item such as a knitted scarf, homemade salsa or special care package. There’s never been a better time to try a new hobby!
  • Write a post on Facebook or your favorite social network to brag about your best friends. Your status update could include all of the reasons you enjoy being their friend or something as simple as saying, “I miss seeing you!”
  • Honor a friend with a donation to their favorite nonprofit organization. Consider donating to Lions Pride and designating your gift for the Wisconsin Lions Camp. It is, after all, the place where hundreds of friendships are made each year.
  • Try to call, text or email your friends to let you know that you’re thinking about them and feel so lucky to call them friends.

We know that we may not be able to see our friends as often as we like given the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn’t mean we can’t tell them how we feel. How will you celebrate your friends today?

Happy International Day of Friendship from Lions Pride!