31. Take a cart from the parking lot to the store on your way in.
Next time you are on your way into the grocery store and pass one of those cart corrals clogged with buggies, take one with you into the store. You'll make someone's job a little easier, and you're going that way anyway.
32. Always return your shopping cart to a designated return location.
Ever had a cart run into your car? Well, neither have I. *whew* But I see carts left every which way in parking lots, even when the corral is not that far away and there isn't a cloud in the sky. At a grocery store on a hill, I once saw a cart roll downhill through the entire parking lot, across a fairly busy road and finally go off the blacktop on a side road. There was nothing I could have done to stop it. Thank goodness it didn't hit anything. You can give back by putting a cart where it is supposed to go.
33. Donate a handmade item to a raffle/sale/auction for charity.
Are you good at crafts, cooking and the like? Non-profit organizations are always looking for funds. Why not donate a good which you have made so that the group can sell it? You give to the cause and get the word out about your talent. There is nothing wrong with receiving sometimes ... it's a very important part of the cycle.
34. Get certified in CPR.
For my last job, I had to get certified in "Heartsaver First Aid". Every two years, you get re-certified. Thank goodness I never had to use it outside of the class. And thank God I would know what do to if an emergency occurred.
35. Pass on your knowledge of CPR on to another person.
Imagine if even 5% of the general public were certified in CPR and/or first aid, imagine how many people could be helped after an accident or natural disaster. Imagine if your loved one(s) were one/some of those helped.
36. Volunteer at your child's school.
How can one instructor teach 25 children? With help of the kids' parents! When my boys went to public school, I volunteered in the classroom once or twice a week. Their classmates called me "Mrs. B." Even years later. I still smile thinking about it. You can help a child understand a difficult concept, make copies, help put up or take down displays. I loved every minute of it.
Don't go running across freeways to pick up a cup someone thoughtlessly threw out the window. But anyone can pick up an empty bag that blew up to a yard. Get together with your neighbors and "adopt your street". Start to think (if you haven't already) about what you put in the garbage in the first place. Every little bit helps!
38. Walk/play with animals at the local shelter.
The reason most shelters are faced with having to euthanize animals is because they can't afford to keep them. Help reduce their costs. You can donate money or food or accessories. You can volunteer your time to care for the animals. You can get a youth group to get the word out about an adopt-a-thon. There are groups around the country who will transport a pet from one state to another if there is an animal that can be rescued.
39. Teach basic cooking skills to youngsters at a shelter.
My kids are fairly independent an like to do some things by/for themselves. Teaching them kitchen safety and basic cooking skills (dependent on their ages and abilities) was a win-win situation. It freed me up from going into the kitchen to get someone something every 15 minutes! And learning a new skill was great for their self-esteem.
Kids from struggling families have enough in life with which to be concerned. Having an adult who cares (and has time) to teach them a skill that makes their lives better is a God-send. It doesn't have to be in a shelter...you could show a scouting or youth group. Get your kids involved too...nothing helps cement your knowledge of a new subject as teaching it to someone else.
40. Put a dollar in the Salvation Army red bucket.
A couple of years ago we started a little tradition. When we went to WalMart on payday, each of the kids got a dollar to put in the bucket on the way out. It got to be where the kids would start asking for their dollars when we checked out. Two years ago, my daughter (then 5) even got to ring the bell herself when she put her dollar in. It brought a smile to every bell-ringer's face. The way I figure it is if I have a dollar for a soda (and that's cheap for a bottle of pop these days), I have a dollar to put into the bucket for an organization with the connections already in place to do a lot of people good.