Tis the season for GIVING.
I am so blessed. You are so blessed.
Even when we are down on our luck, there are still others out there who are in worse shape than me.
Even when I feel I hit rock bottom, I will praise and thank the Lord.
In our family, we try to instill the value of unconditional giving in our children.
Giving, not because we want or expect something in return, but giving because we are called to give.
The kids grasp this concept fairly well. If they see someone on the side of the road, they will ask if they can help them- whether in money or food. They like to be the ones that hand it to them.
If you feel in your heart that you have been wanting to give to someone, anyone, but just needed a nudge-well, here it is! Nudge*
The truth is, now more than ever, there are so many people out there that need a helping hand. Just look around you and you will see an area that might need your attention.
You can give BIG or you can give small; but when you give it affects someone, somewhere.
- Adopt a Highway. Pick up trash with your family and teach them how to give back to the Earth. Start smaller and pick up trash at a local park.
- Ring the bell for the Salvation Army. Those people that ring the bell outside of stores, those are volunteers. All the money goes towards the Salvation Army, which is used in so many ways. Noe and I rang the bell for a Date Night one year, and had so much fun!
- Collect coats and drop them off at a local homeless shelter. Ask friends and family or church members. Gather your kids up and head out to drop them off. We have also collected children's coats and donated them to a children's center.
- Volunteer handing out Thanksgiving dinners. We live in a small town and a few years ago lived in another small town 10 minutes away from here. In both towns, the local restaurants cook and serve Thanksgiving dinners to the community, those who are in need. If these tiny towns do this, I'm sure they do this in almost any place. If your family cannot make it on Thanksgiving day to help, the day before they usually need help prepping or they usually need donations.
- Sell hot chocolate and cookies in front of your house. Maybe advertise before hand? When families are driving by looking at Christmas lights they can stop and enjoy. Donate the proceeds to your favorite charity.
- Give cookies or bake bread to take to the police or fire station. All my kids usually argue who carries the plate, so they've been getting four plates lately. Make a note that says "Thank you!"
- Around Christmas time, foster homes are in need of people to buy gifts for the kids. You can choose a male or female and age groups even. Talking to the kids about why we are giving to these children, is what makes this special and makes them excited to help.
- During the year, life gets too busy to connect with the neighbors. I look forward every year to passing out a special treat and Christmas card to our neighbors. It gives us a few minutes to chat and catch up.
- Go around the neighborhood and ask for canned goods. Simple. Just knock on doors and see if they have anything they can donate. Drop the canned goods off at a shelter. While you are there, ask if they need help serving dinners. They usually always need any donations, even tolietries and Bibles.
- Operation Christmas Child is one of my favorite ways to give. Fill a shoe box up with presents, take it to a drop off point or mail it, and they send it to a child in need around the world. I take the kids to the Dollar Store and we fill up a tupperware full of gifts (tupperware so it doesn't crush in the mail).
- If you don't have time, donate money.
I bought a book that is entitled 101 Ways To Reach Your Community. Here are some ideas from that book that I thought would be neat to do- alone or with a group. I love talking to people about the Lord and helping. Sometimes, it takes me outside my comfort zone. It takes my husband WAY outside his comfort zone. It's alright though. It's what we are called to do.
- Umbrella escort. Stand in front of a store, ask ahead of time, and simply walk people to their cars when it is raining with an umbrella over their heads. If they ask why, just say that you wanted to be kind.
- Christmas Gift Wrapping. Ask a mall if you can set up a gift wrap station. Buy some paper and supplies in bulk and put up a sign that says Kindness in Progess.
- Raking or mowing lawns. The Lord knows, when I am pregnant and Noe is gone all summer how I long for someone to come and mow my lawn. What a wonderful gift or token of affection this would be for a neighbor or the older couple down the street?!
- Make Winter Survival Kits and pass them out. Complete with tissues, lip balm and cough drops.
- Christmas Tree giveaway. Buy a few extra Christmas trees this year, put them in the back of your truck. Head out to a needy area, and knock on their doors asking if they would like a tree. Do you know how many people can't afford trees?
Some of these ideas require time, some require money. All require putting your heart into it.
If you are really wanting to give of your finances, a good way is reserving a portion of your money each month to be used for some type of ministry. You can also ask friends and family to help purchase things.
Chances are most people just don't know how to get started. Chances are changing a persons life, will require getting outside your comfort zone. Chances are, you will love giving.
Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you. Deuteronomy 16: 17
What are some ways you give or want to give? I love when you inspire me!