Tuesday, November 9, 2010

List of 100 Ways to Give - Part I

The entire list of 100 Ways to Give was compiled in a single session lasting roughly an hour. Since I like to elaborate on...oh, pretty much everything, I decided to break the posting up into ten ideas a day...so people wouldn't get bored.

Also, not all the ideas are gems. Some may even be repeats or forms of one another. But the important thing and the design of the exercise was to brainstorm many ways to give and get me thinking outside my box.

So, here we go...

1. Take a meal to your next-door neighbor.

I have a hard time getting to know people. Some places we have lived, bigger cities for example, make not knowing people well easier. I think we talked to one of our four breezeway neighbors once or twice during the year or two that we lived in that apartment.

If you are a subscriber to the "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child" theory, getting to know one's neighbors would fit right in. And food bribes are usually much appreciated.

Even if you know your neighbors well, they would probably appreciate the thought and gesture. Give it a try sometimes and let me know how it goes.

2. Take a meal to a shut in.

My husband had a headache today. He wanted to check on his father, as FIL will be going in for an operation on Thursday of this week, and we have not heard from him for several days. FIL is one tough old (j/k) bird and I am confident he will come through just fine, but DH is worried. A wife knows.

The point is, after the operation, he will be basically bedfast for at least a couple of weeks. Both he and his mother (aka Mamaw) have those little motorized scooters, so can get around fairly well. But he is in his 60s and Mamaw is 89.

Tell me any one of the in-laws would not love to get an already-cooked meal over the next couple of months! I think this is going on our family calendar as a regular event...once a week or every other week.

3. Send pizza to the local fire department.

Most FD's around here are volunteer. I've known and worked with several volunteer firefighters at different times and these men and women are committed to keeping the people and properties in their areas safe.

I'm sure there would be some logistics to work out. The pizzas would probably have to be delivery, or maybe a family or group could make the 'za' right in the fire house with ingredients that the staff had bought. It's hard to be too careful these days. (Don't you miss the days when this type of terrorist activity did not even occur to folks?)

4. Send pizza to the local police station.

I worked midnights at a police department in Texas, taking reports over the phone that did not require officer dispatch and transcribing reports officers had phoned in. We loved just about any excuse for a party.

Ditto the logistics issues as with the fire department.

5. Let someone pull out in front of you coming out of a parking lot.

The road that comes out in front of the gas station at the local Walmart is always crowded. I avoid it wherever possible. I shudder to think what that lot will be like just before Christmas. If I have to go, I hope it is about 4-5am, because it should be just shy of impossible to find a spot. People are likely to be grouchy. They've had to fight to get the most-wanted giftable items in the store. Drivers zoom around the parking lot, less observant than usual, all in attempts to get that close parking spot.

Imagine their surprise when you stop and motion them in front of you in the line of cars exiting the parking lot? I'm smiling about it even now. I think I'll make a point of this every time I am in that lot.

6. Give your spouse a back rub.

When I was pregnant with my oldest child, I was in a massage therapy program. I got halfway through and then had to drop out, because I developed sciatica and could not stand up long enough to give a massage. But one thing I found out during the program...the person giving the massage gets almost as much satisfaction as the receiver. There's just something about giving of yourself to another that feeds your soul. And a back rub does not have to be a prelude to...anything else, but then there's no law saying it can't be either! *wink*

7. Give your spouse some scented massage oil (so he can give you a back rub)!

There are many wonderful lotions and potions available in stores and online. You may even know someone who makes and markets their own customized blends and you can send a little business their way. Or, of course, you could make your own. There are scads of recipes and instructional videos online.

8. Buy an extra non-perishable food item at the grocery store and take them once a month (etc) to the local food bank.

Don't buy the most expensive thing there unless you can afford it. Speaking as someone who has been on the receiving end of food bank provisions, I would rather have generic spaghetti for five meals than gourmet pasta for one. (But I would eat it if it were there, of course.)

The point I'm trying to make is that giving this way does not have to put your budget at risk. Something that may seem minuscule to you may mean loads to someone else.

9. Talk to five friends and neighbors about joining with you and multiply your food bank donations!

There is definitely strength in numbers. If one less gas station coffee for me means one child has a full belly tonight...how can I refuse? If you and just one friend do the same, maybe two children from your city or town will not go to bed hungry. The benefits multiply with each additional giver.

10. Give flowers to someone in the hospital.

When I was in the hospital with my daughter, my boss from the PD came in one day with some flowers. Not only was I stunned that he visited at all, but the man brought flowers! Ok, I looked terrible at the time, but my insides were blooming with happiness!

It doesn't even have to be someone you know. Just take some in and have a nurse or CNA take them to someone who does not get many visitors. Or even drop an arrangement off at a nurses' station. Tell me THAT wouldn't raise a smile or two. Having worked in a health care environment for about 4.5 years, I know how under-appreciated the staff sometimes feel.


So, that's the first ten ideas. Have they brought up any ideas for you? I'd LOVE to hear them!


  1. Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog.
    Have a nice day!

  2. Your newest follower from MBC...If you get a chance come by and follow back at www.beachbabys.blogspot.com

  3. Love all your ideas on giving meals and food to those in need!

  4. Hi - stopping by from Our Marriage Adventure, and this list is great! Do you have any new ideas to add?

  5. Beautiful ideas. Sometimes Is important to make a stop and think what can we do for others when we have everything. Is so amazing when we can help, even with small simple things.

    Following you and saying hello!
    The Sun and the Turtle