Monday, November 22, 2010

List of 100 Ways to Give - Part III

21. Join and participate in coupon train.

Do you clip coupons religiously? Join a coupon train! I had never heard of one of these until I joined several "Mom" sites on the internet.

There is a list of people in the train. You get an envelope of coupons from the person before you on the list. You clip even more coupons. Keep the ones you use and mail off the others to the next person on the list. Giving and saving is great!

22. Shovel a neighbor's sidewalk.

As my mother got older, and my brother got busier (I had moved away with my family some years before), a neighbor took it upon himself to bring his snow-blower over and get the snow off my mother's driveway. This is quite a job because snows where Mom lives often put down a couple of feet at a time. What was his connection to my Mom? Both his wife and my mother were born in Switzerland.

23. Give a cold drink to your mailman during the summer.

I suppose in this day and age, it would be better to have a bottled water of juice or can of soda around. I've seen some mail trucks where the air-conditioning consisted of a little fan attached to the dashboard. Can you imagine riding around in one of those for 8 hours? Ugh!

Back in the summer, when I would go to work in the afternoon (and the car windows had been up until that point), I had to use a shirt to operate the steering wheel until my hands got used to the heat. I always had something to drink with me.

24. Give a warm drink to your mailman during the winter.

Now there's nothing wrong with giving a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate to your mail person. But in this day and age some might not feel comfortable accepting or drinking it if they don't know you well. You be the judge.

25. Make a special supper for each member of the family once a week.

Some people say charity begins at home. Where better, then, to start giving? And what a great example to set an example for your children! It doesn't mean you have to eat 'high on the hog' (sorry, I'm country, those are going to slip out now and again *lol*) every night, but cook a favorite dish, put their food on a special plate, have each family member tell a good quality of the family member du jour. Help your kids see that each person has something special about them. Do this less than once a week...just do it.

26. Read a book to a child.

Moms and Dads should be doing this anyway. Schools suggest at least 20 minutes per day of reading with your child. I know the idea of this is to get the child reading to help improve his or her skill. Every now and again, though, it's nice to be done for instead of to do oneself.

27. Read a book to an elderly acquaintance.

My husband's Mamaw is 89 years old. She used to get out and go, putter around her house and kitchen. A couple of years ago she broke a hip. She can get around on her own, move from chair to chair etc. But most of the time she just sits in her wheelchair. Now, she's hardly ever alone. She's in her home, and two of her three remaining children live within 5 minutes of her. We always visit when we stop by the in-laws'. Come to think of it, this would be a great chance for the kids to practice their reading!

28. Read a book to a visually impaired acquaintance.

I tutored a visually-impaired Greek exchange student for about a year, at a time when I was doing several plays. She enjoyed going to "see" the plays...I know, at first I didn't get it either.

We don't do this (give) because someone is someone has less than us. We give because every person is worthy of "being seen", being connected to others.

29. Drive someone to the grocery store who does not have other transportation.

One of our neighbors recently lost his apartment and his girlfriend in one fell swoop. He has no transportation. Well, our common landlord is letting him stay in one of the apartments that is being renovated in exchange for some work. And once in a while we drive him where he needs to go.

A twist on this one is to call up a neighbor when you are going to the store anyway and see if there is something you can pick up for them.

30. Join and be active in your local school's PTA/PTO organization.

The PTA meetings at my sons' primary school (when they were in public school) were always packed. But few people were around when it came to organizing programs or fundraisers. Take the next step. Do more than you have to. Just don't wear yourself out. They are our children too.

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