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Sep 07 2012

101 things: Charity #68

“Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

There are so many verses in the bible talking about helping each other out and loving your neighbor. I love helping others out that sometimes I wish I was a millionaire so that I could just give it away to people secretly. I love that Secret Millionaire show on tv-except for the lying. So when I did the 101 things post I had to add charity work to it. Here are a few of the thing I would like to do. Maybe you will be inspired to share a random act of kindness.

68. Complete 12 Random Acts Of Kindness.

Here are some acts of kindness that I would love to bestow on others. But there are many more ideas at randomactsofkindness.org. All ideas are copied from the website.

1. Pay for someone behind you.
Have you ever experienced kindness from someone you don’t know? Knowing that someone else noticed you can make your day a thousand times better, especially if you’re feeling down. Celebrate those around you by doing random acts of kindness for strangers, just for the sake of making someone else happy. Pay the tab for someone behind you in line at the grocery store, gas station or the drive-through. It doesn’t have to be costly, just friendly.
Sometimes it is the simplest act from a complete stranger that can have the greatest, lasting impact on a person. When someone realizes that a stranger noticed them and cared enough to do something special for them, it can brighten their day and maybe help them to understand their self-worth.
Step It Up
Offer to pay the tab for the person in line behind you at the grocery store or gas station. You could also pay for the drink of someone behind you at a coffee shop. If you notice someone who looks like they’re having a bad day, all the more reason to cheer them up with a random act of kindness!

2. Thank a fire fighter or policeman.
Stop and take a minute to think about all the work our police and fire departments do in your community. Every day, hundreds of men and women risk their lives to make sure that we are safe. How impressive is that? Why not tell these people how thankful you are for their services?
Not only do police officers and firefighters go out of their way keep communities and their members safe from crime and accidents, they also provide our communities with other services, such as safety education. By thanking the teams and individuals who work hard to keep us safe, you’ll be encouraging them to continue the work they do.
Step It Up
Send a card your local police or fire department, thanking them for the work they do. Go the extra mile by getting your entire community to sign it! Or, if you have recently been aided by a police officer or firefighter, send them a personalized card, thanking them specifically for what they did for you.

1 John 3:17-18
17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

3. Adopt a soldier.
Raise a soldier’s spirits and make a friend by adopting a soldier as a pen pal. Showing your encouragement and gratitude for the hard work they do will be appreciated.
Often soldiers don’t get enough sleep or food and are dealing with difficult weather and high pressure situations in a foreign country. They are far from the comforts of home and working 24 hours a day. Let them know you care about them and are thankful for all that they are doing.
Your encouraging note or package may be the only mail they receive for weeks or months. While some soldiers to have loved ones back home, others may not have any. They may have become a soldier for a fresh start and may not have a support network to help them through the tough times. You can be the person that makes their day!
Step It Up:
Don’t just send a letter or card, send a care package. Shop for items that would be hard for a soldier to find in a foreign country–favorite foods or snacks, even some hygiene products. Put together a package and send it on it’s way to a lucky soldier. Get your friends, family, co-workers or classmates involved. Have everyone in your family write a letter to include in the care package. Or encourage your entire class to adopt a soldier together. Each day have a different student write a letter, ensuring that your soldier will receive a different letter everyday for a month! If you really want to step it up, think about adopting an entire platoon of soldiers.

4. Send someone flowers any day not just special days.
Show someone–your mom, your wife, a friend–you love them by surprising them with flowers when they least expect it. So often flowers are sent on birthdays or anniversaries. Send flowers to your loved ones on any day!
Doing random acts kindness for those you love will make them feel appreciated.
Step It Up:
Commit to surprising the love of your life with flowers every month or so. You can mix it up, too–send flowers one month, chocolate another, perhaps a book or a magazine subscription another month. Recognize what your loved one appreciates most and send those things. Sometimes even a love note will do! The point is not to give a gift for a specific occasion, but rather just because you want them to know you love them. So mix it up and be creative! But commit to giving them something once a month.

James 2:14-16 (ESV)
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?

5. Cook a meal for someone.
Cook and deliver a meal to a friend who needs it. Perhaps you have a friend who is busy with a new baby or sick child. Or maybe you have neighbors across the street who just moved in–they might not have had time to go to the grocery store! Bring someone a meal and save them the time; it will be a huge stress reliever!
This is a great way to show a friend how much you care about them. Plus, it feels good to give!
Step It Up:
You can call ahead and see if there is anything else you could do to help. Perhaps you could pick up a few things at the grocery store for them, or stay and clean a little bit or do some yard work they haven’t had a chance to do. Take their car and fill it with gas, or offer to drive them to a doctor’s appointment if their child is sick. Try to be as helpful as possible! You could even bring them two meals and let them know they can freeze one for later.

6. Thank a mail carrier.
In most of our lives, there are at least a couple people who we see on a daily basis, but don’t necessarily acknowledge because they have become so much a part of our everyday routines.
It might be the person who drives your bus every day, or someone who serves you at the coffee shop you frequent. And what about your mail carrier who braves all kinds of weather to make sure you get your mail? We don’t always stop to think about how important these people actually are to us. So when you get the chance, give these people the recognition they deserve!
Those who serve us in our daily lives are often forgotten about or taken for granted. Being kind to a stranger you see every day could be the start of a wonderful friendship!
Step It Up
Celebrate “Thank a Mail Carrier Day” on February 4th and leave a homemade treat and a card for your mail carrier as a token of your appreciation. Another way to show your gratitude is by greeting them with a hot chocolate when it’s snowing, or offering them a water bottle on a hot day. And don’t forget to shovel your walk for your mail carrier when it snows!

Luke 3:10-11 (ESV)
10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

7. Share your fresh produce.
Anyone who’s every kept a garden has probably experienced having an abundance of a certain fruit or vegetable, like zuchinni. Oftentimes, we let this extra produce go to waste, when we could be sharing it with family, friends and neighbors.
Sharing fresh produce is a great way to do something both nice and helpful for others. Not only is fresh produce healthier and tastier than items purchased at the store, but you can save that person a trip to the market and provide them the opportunity to cook a healthy meal. Fresh produce from your garden also provides a great way for people to connect to the local community. Who knows, maybe you will inspire others to grow gardens in their yards too!
The great nutrients and extra vitamins found in locally-grown fruits and vegetables are good for your body, but eating locally is also for the environment and your community. For instance, it saves money and energy that is spend when importing produce from other places. Sharing produce with others helps them save time and money. Sharing produce with others also provides a good opportunity for you and your family to interact with people in your community.
Step It Up:
Cook a meal with your garden fresh produce and take it to someone for dinner. You can also find low-income families in your area and share your produce with them! Kids can help by delivering the produce to people in their neighborhood and community.

Luke 21:1-3 (ESV)
21 Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, 2 and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 3 And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them.

8. Start a piggy bank for a cause.
Keep your spare change in a piggy bank and when it is full, donate it to a cause or charity of your choice.
Throughout the day it is common to accrue spare change that usually ends up in the bottom of your pockets or handbag. At the end of every day gather your spare change and store it in a piggy bank or jar. A few coins here and there don’t seem to be much, but overtime, it can really add up. When your piggy bank is full take the money and donate it to a good cause or charity organization. Each time you fill up your piggy bank you can choose a different group to support or just continue donating to the same cause. By collecting the coins overtime, it allows you to make a monetary donation without having to budget your finances. The best part is that people of all ages can participate in this project!
Charity organizations are often reliant on outside donations to fund their operations. The small act of collecting coins in a jar makes a big difference in someone else’s life.
Step It Up:
Accumulate more money by putting single bills in your piggy bank as well. Kids can set up a piggy bank in their school or classroom and encourage other kids to donate spare change.

Proverbs 31:20 (ESV)
She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.

9. Leave a generous tip.
Next time you eat at a restaurant, leave a generous tip as a surprise for your waiter or waitress. Or next time you get coffee or ice cream somewhere, look for a tip jar and leave more than just the change from your transaction. Why not throw in an extra dollar or two? You are bound to make someone’s day when you tip more than expected.
Often waitstaff is paid minimally with the expectation that they will make the majority of their salary in tips. When you leave a generous tip you will make their day. And most likely you will leave the restaurant with a big smile on your face, too. It feels good to give! Be generous.
Step It Up:
Commit to leaving a generous tip before you even enter the restaurant. That way your tip will be truly be coming from the desire to be kind, rather than based on the quality of the service. Another idea–don’t limit tipping just to restaurant staff! Give generously the next time you get a haircut, a massage, or when you pay a babysitter.

10. Pick up groceries for a person.
Picking up groceries can be an especially kind act for an elderly neighbor who isn’t able to get out much. Simply knock on their door and see if you can pick something up for them while you are at the store. This is most helpful to do when you know bad weather is approaching. Pick them up a couple of things that will help tide them over until a storm has passed so they don’t have to venture out in the middle of terrible weather to get some dinner.
Some people have difficulty getting to the store, and then once there it can be very overwhelming to navigate all the aisles and check out counter. By offering to pick something up for someone, you are saving them a stressful trip.
Step It Up:
Instead of just picking something up, offer to bring your neighbor along! It may be that they would like to go to the store themselves but they are unable. Volunteer to pick them up on your way to the store and help them buy their groceries. To really show them that you care, offer to take them each week.

Luke 14:12-14 (ESV)
12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

11. Offer free babysitting to parents.
Many parents of young children can’t afford to go out as much as they like because they don’t have time, or can’t afford the added expense of a babysitter.
Give a family with small children a chance they might not have by donating a couple hours of your time to watch their children for free.
Being a parent can be a lot of work and tiring. Offering to babysit for someone who can’t afford a babysitter will give the parents a much-needed break.
Step It Up
Teenagers can put an ad in a neighborhood newsletter or church bulletin, offering free babysitting services to parents who need a break.

Mark 12:33 (ESV)
And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

12. Offer free photo session to a family.
Most people treasure photos of their families and friends. Many people send out holiday greetings with pictures of their loved ones each year. Some even create personalized calendars for their relatives with each month featuring different pictures of their family.
However, portrait photos and photo shoots can be quite expensive. If you enjoy photography or are good with a camera, why not offer to get some shots of your friends’ families for free? Make it fun! Meet up at a favorite park or coffee shop and just start taking pictures!
You have a chance to do something you enjoy while simultaneously saving your friends a lot of money!
Step It Up:
Offer to take some photos regularly, every couple of months or so. Those friends with young children will particularly appreciate this as young kids grow so fast. Once you have the photos, you could even offer to create an album for your friends, highlighting your favorite shots.

I hope that some of these will inspire you to be charitable to others. Just doing a little helps.

What have you been inspired to do? Have you doing some random acts of kindness?


2 pings

  1. betty

    thank you.

  2. betty

    charity is good.

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