giving back

Education: Learn for Service

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Service—This week's Season of Service challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to Learn. Learning fits in well with service, since it is difficult to do service without learning more about the people you serve and yourself. Learning itself can in fact be considered a service, or a facilitator of service, when you are learning about the world around you and opening your mind to other people's realities. Here are 10 bite-size ideas for learning:

10 Bite-Size Ideas for Serving By Learning:

  1. Learn which cosmetics are made without animal testing by going to, an information source provided by the Coalition for Consumer Information. You can also go to sites like to order non-animal-tested, organic, "fresh" cosmetics.
  2. Learn about the mission of F.F.A.W.N., the Foundation For the Advancement of Women Now, started by Mary J. Blige.
  3. Learn about apparel maker Patagonia's Common Threads Initiative, which is one of their efforts to help customers get the most out of their clothing and keep most of their clothing out of landfills.
  4. Learn how you can donate light to a family in a developing nation by going to
  5. Donate $10 to the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center, or a similar organization, that generates service opportunities particularly for college students to learn about the needs of their communities as part of their educational process.
  6. Learn more about Harriet Tubman, either through this Wikipedia page or through books at your local library, and be inspired by her courage.
  7. Teach your kids about a few of the people featured in Heroes For My Son (see my book review here), so that they can learn by example about characteristics or values that are important to you and your family, like patience, bravery, and compassion.
  8. Re-commit yourself to reading to your children every night, if they're very young, or reading with them a couple of nights a week, if they're older, to facilitate their learning process and your bonding process.
  9. Create a Snap Stories scrapbook to help your child learn about his or her past.
  10. Commit 5 minutes a day for a week to learn what you can about Alzheimer's, or another physical or mental ailment that someone you know may be suffering, to increase your understand of what they're going through.

How Will You Give to Others This Week?

  • What other ideas do you have for helping others by learning?
  • How has learning made a meaningful difference for you this week?
  • How have others given to you this week and what difference has that made in your life?

How Else Can You Make a Difference This Season?

Make a meaningful difference this season by taking the Season of Service (SOS) Challenge. Here's how you can participate:

  • Commit to do one act of kindness/service based on the week's challenge.
  • Leave a comment with ideas relating to the week's challenge as well as your experience(s) performing it.
  • Enter to win each week's giveaway. Check out this week's prizes from Hormel Compleats and Olympic.
  • Join #gno tonight or tomorrow night on Twitter to connect with other Mom It Forward moms about the challenge.
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