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Saturday, October 31, 2009

The 30-Day Giving Challenge

My cousin-in-law Alyssa, at Keeping the Kingdom First, is hosting The 30-Day Giving Challenge.  I have accepted the challenge and encourage you to do the same.

With November here, we automatically begin thinking about Thanksgiving.  Why not make the whole month of November a month of thanks and giving?  While going through this 30-day challenge of giving something each day, you will be blessed in return.  With each gift or act of kindness, you will feel good to have helped someone else.  You will also begin to think more about the needs of others around you.

Alyssa's preacher explained the challenge as follows:

Spend 30 days with a journal in your hand. Try it for the next 30 days and see if I’m lying. Take a journal and just jot down everything you give. Every time you find yourself being generous, write it down. Every time you feel prompted by God to give something you never would, or why would I buy THAT many cookies… from the Girl Scouts. I don’t know why, God just gave you the prompting to do something special for somebody! Write it down.

And then write down on the other side every time something comes back to you. Every time the cycle gets completed. Do it for 30 days, and you’ll never be the same again. You’ll never look at giving the same way again.
There are all sorts of way to give during this challenge.  You can give money, of course, but you can also give supplies, food, and clothing.  Those are things we naturally think about as ways to help others.  But I want to suggest another way that you can give of yourself during this challenge:  Give of your time.

Time is a precious thing to all of us, but sometimes we become stingy and selfish with our time.  Think about the hours you spend watching TV or hours on the computer or maybe enjoying a hobby.  Could you give up some of that time to help someone else - to give of yourself to help others?

It's great to give money, food, supplies, and clothes - and in fact, it's needed.  But, we must also make sure we are giving of ourselves from the heart and not just giving to fulfill and obligation - as a sense of duty.

Because I live in a very, very small town (less than 900 people) my ways to volunteer will be different than yours, but here are some ways to give in the next 30 days:

  1.  Volunteer to read a book at school.
  2.  Volunteer to take an elderly person shopping or to the grocery store.
  3.  Volunteer to babysit (free of charge) for a family with young children.
  4.  Take a meal to a neighbor.
  5.  Take a care package to a hospital waiting room.
  6.  Go visit patients in the hospital.
  7.  Take a group of adults, teens, or children to the nursing home to visit and sing.
  8.  Send someone a card. (homemade or purchased)
  9.  Bake cookies or muffins and take them to work to share with your co-workers.
10.  Volunteer to rake leaves in an elderly person's yard (or other yard work).
11.  Volunteer to take elderly people to their doctor's appointment.
12.  In line at a fast food drive-thru, pay for the person's meal/order behind you.
13.  Take flowers to an office (ex. your bank, doctor's office, post office, etc.)
14.  Send a hand-written note to a teenager (they'll be shocked that it's not a text message)
15.  If your child is in school, volunteer to help with school events, parties and carnivals.  Even if you work, those in charge can use your help in some way.
16.  Make fall door decorations and take them to nursing home residents.
17.  Take a meal to a family with a newborn baby.
18.  Help organize food boxes to give away to families in need.
19.  Send a note of encouragement to men and women in the military.
20.  Volunteer your time at a women's shelter, a soup kitchen, or other service provider.
21.  Take the time to call or go visit widows and widowers.  This time of year can be especially lonely for those who have lost their spouses and whose children may not live close by.
22.  Invite someone to your home.  This could be for a meal, for coffee/tea, desserts, or maybe a game.
23.  Host a neighborhood ladies' brunch.  Hand-deliver invitations.  Play ice-breaker-type games that allow each person time to talk.
24.  Host a ladies salad supper with friends or Christian sisters from your congregation.  Have them bring an item from their past to tell about, as well as their favorite salad.
25.  Most people do not like to ask for help, even if they need it.  Offer to help others in a specific way, such as, "I have Monday morning free.  Why don't I come help you with whatever you need done?" 

I look forward to this challenge and know that it really will be a challenge.  It is something I will need to plan for daily.  It won't just happen.  I have to "plan" for it to happen.  On the other hand, I can expect to be blessed by God because of this challenge.

Look what Jesus told the disciples: 

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Luke 6:38

So, are you up for the challenge?  What other ways can you think of that you can give during this month?


Lori said...

My husband thought of a great way to give: Buy a roll or book of stamps and give to someone who has just lost a loved one or had a baby. Lots of Thank You notes to write and lots of stamps needed. Great idea!

Wa Wa Waughs said...

I saw this earlier and am terrible about writing things down, but maybe I'll try. I thought I could write it on my calendar, maybe. Today I gave my sister a bunch of hotel shampoos, conditioners and soaps to put in Red Cross stockings they are putting together at school.

elizabeth said...

Thank you for your great list! I'm doing the challenge as well and you have some things on your list that I never would've thought of. Here's to a great month!

Jennifer said...

You have some wonderful ideas here. I'm also getting started today, and I appreciate the inspiration!

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