Friday, March 25, 2011

40 days of giving.

 {artwork by Chrissie Grace; available for purchase here}

Part of Lent, for me, includes giving back, being a blessing to those around me. I tried this same experiment last year for 29 days, and these 40 days should look pretty similar. A blog friend asked for some ideas on what and how to give, so I thought I'd leave you this Friday with a list of ways you can start giving back: to your neighbors, to your friends, to someone random on the street.

1. Mail off surprises to a friend who's far away.
2. Do some spring cleaning and make your trash someone else's treasure.
3. Introduce a friend to a favorite movie or song.
4. Pay for someone's dinner.
5. Go to your favorite store and instead of buying something for yourself (like you know you would), pick out a "just because" gift for a friend or loved one.
6. Hang out with someone who could use the company.
7. Sacrifice time out of your day to call a long-distance friend.
8. Buy $5 McDonald's gift cards to keep in your glove compartment. Next time you're at a stoplight, use one to help someone in need.
9. Share a recent read with someone you know would enjoy it too (I just did this with One Thousand Gifts).
10. Purchase the meal or drink of the person behind you in the drive-thru line.
11. Make a care package for someone who is sick or shut in.
12. Create a playlist for someone you know would appreciate it.
13. Bring home a small surprise for your spouse or roommate.
14. Send flowers to a friend on a random day.
15. Bake a sweet treat or pot a pretty plant and leave it on your neighbor's doorstep.
16.Buy flowers for your mom.
17. Cook dinner for a few friends, maybe invite someone you might not normally.
18. Offer to help babysit for couple friends in need of a date.
19. Plan a date for your significant other.
20. Say "thank you" to a teacher, coworker, or volunteer who normally gets ignored.

These don't have to be grand, over-the-top gestures, just moments of grace to the people you come in contact with on a daily basis. So these are my ideas. Now I'm curious. What do you wish others would give to you. Time? Coffee visits? Surprise flowers on your doorstep? A phone call? Let me know in the comments!


Melissa said...

Thanks for the reminder, Annie -- we don't have to wait until "special" events/days come about. This reminds me so much of my sweet mom who got up every morning, and searched for ways to perform "random acts of kindess" for others...have a blessed day!

Marli and Memory said...

I love all of these, but especially the ones that have to do with mailing someone something special. I think that everyone loves to recive 'good' mail because it's a nice break from bills and junk mail. :) Great way to brighten someone's day!

Anonymous said...

This is such a great list, and I love that most of these wouldn't take much effort to incorporate into the day.

Staley Mc said...

This is such a great idea Annie, I think this is a great thing to do during the Lenten season!

Four Flights said...

I just shared #9 with someone and you know what, it was the same exact book you recommended too!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the ideas! I'm excited to try some of these. You're an inspiration :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the ideas! I'm excited to try some of these. You're an inspiration :)

Leslie said...

Time and phone calls to distant siblings.

Anne said...

What a cool post! It is early Saturday morning. Sunny outside. The day is full of anticipation and the first thing I see is "Who can I bless today". That is just perfect!

I am printing out your list and getting to work!

Lori said...

This is an incredible idea. I am new to your blog and I just read your first 3 posts and I have to say we need more Christians like you in the world. No joke. You inspire me to become a better Christian ..

Definitely a new follower. Please stop by..

Online florists said...

Send flowers.. Good ideas...