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Thursday, August 30, 2012

40 Practical ways to serve

40 ways to serve In the practical ways

1. Art from kids school- instead of throwing them away, take them to nursing homes
2. If you have a BOGO (buy one get one) coupon for lunch and don't need the additional lunch- use it to take lunch to a teacher, pastor, or friend.
3. Leave change on a vending machine for the next person that may need it
4. Take a meal to the fire station, hospital, construction workers
down the street from you.
5. If you get a deal at the grocery store, stock up and take extra to
your local food pantry
6. Take someone else's grocery cart into the store for them, or better yet, if you see someone (especially a mom balancing multiple kids) -help unload the groceries into their car!
7.  Go to the bookstore (or any store) - buy a gift card and tell the
cashier to apply it to the next person's purchase.
8. Know a friend that needs an extra hand, get her grocery list and go for them.
9.  Have friends or family out of town? Go to their house and leave a hot meal or groceries.
10. Is your friend or neighbor struggling?  Show up and clean their
house for them while they are gone!
This works well if you already
have a key to their house, so you can surprise them!
11.  Everyone loves doughnuts, pick up a fresh box and drop them at someone's doorstep.
12. Leave a gift in your mailbox for the mailman
13. Have diapers or wipes? Leave extra in the changing area of the
next public bathroom you are in! The next mom that comes in and her diaper bag is empty will so appreciate you!
14. If you are going to the store already, call a friend or neighbor
and ask them if they need anything. I can't tell you how nice it is to
have someone pick up that ONE item that you need but don't have time (or energy) to make the trip to the store.
15. Spend a day picking up the trash on your street or at the park- not only will this clean up your community but will teach your kids to take care of their surroundings.
16. Let EVERYONE that needs out in front you as you drive today- the whole day, with a smile!
17. Bring extra toys or crayons in your bag/purse, give them to the next parents you see struggling at a restaurant!
18.  Pay for someone's dinner out at a restaurant- just randomly!
19.  Keep goody bags of water bottles and snacks in your car to give the next homeless person you see.
20.  Know a single mom, a neighbor, or friend that could use an extra hand (or hour in their day), mow their lawn for them (unannounced, unexpected)
21. Donate your unused books to the library or the local jail!
22. Support the Boys and Girls Club!

23. If your child plays an instrument, let them practice at a nursing
home so others can enjoy the gift of music. Music is such an uplifting encouragement, it is meant to be shared.
24. Thank everyone today, (even the people hard to thank) make an extra effort to let others know the difference they made in your day- big or small, every little bit can make a difference.
25. Recycle! Even if it is just one day, you have to start somewhere
taking care of the next generation. Make a commitment to collect at
least one item- plastics, paper, cans, etc.
It might just become a habit!
26. Know any military? Write a letter, send a care package! Don't know any? Adopt one!
27.  Put gas in someone else's car. Gas is expensive, pull up to the
station and wait for someone after you fill up. *have discount points? Great time to share them!
28. If you have coupons and aren't going to use them, leave them with the item at the store. What a great delight for the next person that does need that item!
29. Keep an index file of encouraging scripture verses (jot them down while you do devotions, in church, or Sunday school) - give them out to sick friends or family (especially as they are in the hospital, or just in need of support)
30. Babysit for a neighbor or friend so they can go run errands or
even better, so they can go on a date. An extra hour or two can make a huge difference!
31. Do something unexpected for your spouse (clean the garage, mow the lawn, take one of his/her tasks off the list!)
32. Send a college student a care package
33. Buy the person's lunch behind you in the drive thru
34. Go off the grid, technology free for 24 hours and devote your
undivided attention completely to your family.
35. Donate to the local animal shelter (blankets, pet food, etc)
36. Be a mentor to someone!
37. Leave a 100% tip to a waitress.
38. Go to Karm and find a place to plug in:
(if you don't live in Knoxville, find your local homeless shelter and plug in)

39.Next time you are at an amusement park and see a child begging to play one of the carnival games and the parents say 'no, we don't have $ for that', step up and pay for their game.

40. Next time you are in an area with parking meters, check and see if any have run out, put more change in for them. If you have gotten a parking ticket before, you know what a blessing this can be!

If this has inspired you to do more, and I hope it has, go to to see how you can serve in your city!
40 seems to be the hot number for me these days. 
Let's face it, it is just a little piece of reality that this number is just around the corner for me!
But I wont let 40 set limits on me!!
So, if you would like to help me
make my 40th birthday more meaningful-
pass this along, share a link to it, but more than anything- it would be such a gift to hear your story of how you did one of these ways to serve!
I would LOVE nothing more to have
40 + stories on my birthday!
(You have isn't till January)!
Help me pass it forward!
Come up with your own ways to serve, and share!!

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