Neighboring

It’s Giving Tuesday! Smart Ways to Help Others

The fourth Thursday of each November is historically noted as a day to give thanks. However, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving is touted globally as a day for being generous:  Giving Tuesday, to be exact. This idea of encouraging people to do good formed in 2012 inside the mind of Henry Timms at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

Keep in mind, monetary giving will always wax and wane but there are plenty of other ways to give that costs nothing more than a moment of our time or talents and are just as tangible. Of course, if you do have extra cash to spare, why not lighten someone’s load?  For example, teachers could use a little help in obtaining necessary supplies and tools for students. DonorsChose.org is a great opportunity where a small donation can have a big impact in school support. Also, food banks across America are constantly in need as paying the cost of groceries is becoming near unattainable for too many families. Surprise a stranger by picking up their tab at the cash register or leave a large tip for that struggling waitress.

One of the most appreciated things to give is our time. Doing something as simple as lending an ear to someone with a lot to get off their chest can not only make their day but allow them to release stress. Know anyone who is overwhelmed by having a new baby or caregiver duties? Offer to pick up items from the store for them or help them out in some other way. Send a care package to troops, inmates, or missionaries.

Give an encouraging word. Pray for your friends. Give advice sourced from a heart aged with wisdom. Have a skill? Teach/mentor a young person. All that quilting, sewing, canning, etc., that our grandmothers did out of necessity are now DIY projects, which began as fun but are becoming almost a necessity again. Sharing skills in woodworking or car mechanics can turn into a trade for a young man.

Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Comprise a list of resources for someone who has a need but no access to the internet. Cook a little extra and share with an elderly neighbor or relative. Offer to rake your neighbor’s yard. Take a moment to uplift the spirits of hospitalized children battling serious illnesses. Cards for Hospitalized Kids delivers cards to kids in U.S. hospitals and the site even gives instructions and ideas for making homemade cards.

Giving should be a lifestyle, a lifestyle of being faithful stewards of our time, money, and talents. It not only helps others, but it nourishes our own spirit and feeds our soul. Give something even if it’s nothing but a smile. Who knows? Your smile may just be what a person needs to see at that moment.

-Sharon Oliver

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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