Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pay It Forward Day – Gaining through Giving.

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. 
–Scott Adams

There is tremendous power and positive energy in giving. Pay It Forward Day is about all people, from all walks of life giving to someone else and making a positive difference. At last count there were more than 500,000 people in 60 countries around the world participating.

Gaining through giving.

Pay it forward is the term for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor. True generosity is giving without expectation to be repaid in any form. This is the most powerful act of generosity, as it is unconditional and free to land wherever it will.

Whether we give to our family, friends, or to strangers, it is the same. It is the action of giving that matters. And, we all have something to give. 

Together we can change the world – one good deed at a time!

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.” Mother Teresa

You may be just one person in this world, but to one person, at one time, you are the world. Imagine if each individual looked for the opportunity to help others each day. Imagine the difference that would make.

Here are some ways that you can make a difference today and every day.

Offer help to an elderly or handicapped person struggling with something at the grocery store.

So many people treat the elderly or handicapped as if they are invisible. Acknowledge them, get an item off a high shelf, smile, and offer some small talk.

Start a neighborhood garden.

This is a wholesome, caring project with multiple facets of kindness. It will bring your neighbors closer, provide healthy food, and helps the environment.

Adopt a soldier.

Send letters and packages to provide support to the brave men and women who protect your country. It’s a difficult job and they need to know that we are appreciative and we care.

Leave small gifts for strangers in random places.

On a rainy day leave an umbrella at a bus stop, or leave coupons scattered around the grocery store for others to find. Or donate your loose change.

Shop for someone who is homebound or ill.

Even if your neighbor isn’t homebound, when you’re running to the store, ask if they need anything, especially if the weather is bad. If they are ill or homebound, make it a mission to check on them.

Donate blood.

Blood can’t be made; it has to be donated. Your one donation of blood can help as many as three people. You’ll get a free mini-physical before your donation, plus the satisfaction of knowing that you helped save some lives.

Give the gift of books.
Have some well-loved books that you’re no longer reading? Donate them to a school or library, or sell them to a used bookstore and donate the cash to an organization that sponsors reading programs.

Send a kind note.

Write cards of appreciation to friends, family members, coworkers or neighbors, telling them why they are important to you. Leave notes in children’s lunch bags and where they’ll see them at home.

Give flowers.

Buy a small bouquet of flowers for someone you know, just because you feel like it. Or give one flower each to people you meet on the street.

Call or visit someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.

Let them know that you have been thinking about them and that you’re sorry you haven’t been in touch. Make their day by letting them know you care.

Leave a treat for your mail carrier in your mailbox.

On a hot day, freeze a bottle of water and leave it in your box with a note. By the time your mail is delivered, the ice will have melted into a cold, refreshing drink.

Pitch in at home

Look around your home and do an extra chore or two without being asked. When you see how much joy that brings, you may be encouraged to make it a habit.

Give a sweet treat.
Buy a box of cookies at your favorite bakery and ask the clerk to leave them out for other customers to enjoy. Or buy a box for your office and leave them in the break room.

Feed someone.

If you eat at a fast food restaurant, buy an extra meal for a homeless person. This is not only kind; it’s also healthier and more productive than just giving them money.

Share your love of reading.

Leave your newspaper or magazine behind at the coffee shop or train and think positive thoughts that the next person will enjoy it as much as you did.

Pick up the tab.

In line to pay for food, gas or a toll? Pay for the person behind you, too. Your generosity will make someone’s day a little better and you’ll feel; better too.

Donate used clothes and household items.

Clean out your closet and donate your usable clothing and household items to Goodwill, the Salvation Army or a local charity. Someone else will really appreciate the items you can’t use, and your donation will support vital community programs.

Help animals in several ways.

Contact your local animal shelter or wildlife rescue organization to find out which supplies they need most, and then donate them. Consider adopting a rescue animal as well.

Share the abundance.

Buy two of something and give one away. If you love it, chances are someone else will, too.

Volunteer your time.

Contact your local hospital to see how you can volunteer your services. Most hospitals have volunteer programs, and patients really appreciate the extra attention. Or volunteer in your community.

Clean a car.

Buy a car wash ticket and leave it on someone’s windshield with a note that wishes them a clean car and happy driving.

Hold the door.

When going through a doorway, stop and hold the door for the person behind you. Look for people who are carrying things and may need extra help.

Let someone go first.

When you’re in line at the grocery store with a full cart, allow someone with just a few items to go ahead of you. Assist an elderly or disabled person with their shopping needs.

Drive courteously.

Make the highway safer, and reduce your stress level, by letting other drivers merge in front of you. You’ll set an example and hopefully encourage the others drives to think twice.

Care for the sick.

Bring a sick friend or neighbor some hot, delicious soup and an interesting book, magazine or DVD movie to enjoy while they recuperate. Sit with them for a few minutes and show you care.

Care for your neighborhood.

As you walk down the sidewalk, pick up the stray plastic bag, scrap of paper or aluminum can and put it in a trash receptacle or carry it home for recycling. This small act of kindness makes the neighborhood nicer for everyone.

If you have much, give your wealth; if you have little, give your heart.

Here’s a month’s worth of other ideas:

1. Give blankets and coats to the homeless.

2. Say hello and give a smile to a passersby, even if you don’t know them.

3. Give an inspirational book to someone who needs uplifting.

4. If you walk by an expired parking meter, put a quarter in it.

5. Invite someone new to your house for dinner.

6. Give a child a balloon or small toy.

7. When you’re on a crowded train or bus, offer your seat to an elderly person or pregnant woman.

8. Bring a treat for everyone in your office.

9. Tell someone you love that you love them.

10. After you shovel snow off your driveway, shovel your neighbor’s driveway.

11. Enter someone in a competition who you think deserves the recognition, such as “Teacher of the Year”.

12. Volunteer at a senior center.

13. Mentor an at-risk child or teenager by becoming a big brother or big sister.

14. Help someone you know who is looking for a job.

15. Donate stuffed animals to police and fire departments.

16. Donate items to emergency pet hospitals, such as blankets and towels.

17. Help a friend or neighbor who is caring for an aging parent.

18. Stick up for someone who is being wrongly treated or bullied.

19. Grow your hair long and donate it to Locks of Love.

20. Adopt a pet that needs rescuing.

21. Take a moment to help someone who is lost, even if you’re in a rush.

22. Help a mother with a baby stroller.

23. Send a card or flowers to someone going through a tough time.

24. Talk to a shy person who is sitting alone at a party.

25. Plant trees or flowers in a neglected area of your neighborhood.

26. Greet people with a smile and an enthusiastic hello.

27. Help someone who is broken down on the side of the road.

28. Call or write a teacher who changed your life.

29. Help a friend move.

30. When you receive good service, tell the person’s manager or boss.

The possibilities are endless. Try paying it forward and share your ideas with others.

“A life lived for others, is the only life worth living.” Albert Einstein

Thank you &  you'll be gaining through giving.

Nancy Burban 2014

Funeral fund

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