giving back

Service Ideas: 10 Ways to Help Others Find Happiness

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Service—This week's Season of Service challenge is to "find" opportunities to serve. There is a quote commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin which states that "The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to find it yourself." We encourage you to take at least one proactive step this week towards your own happiness by helping someone else find theirs.

10 Bite-Size Service Ideas Involving Finding  

  1. Get together an impromptu "bookless book club" with four or five other friends. Have each person contribute the  $15 or $20 they might have spent on a new book to a fund to give to a single mother in your neighborhood to help her find an educational class for her child she might not otherwise be able to afford.
  2. Help your kids find stories of kindness or happiness online or in newspapers or magazines, then cut and paste them into a "happy book" that they can decorate to their hearts' content, and refer to whenever they're feeling discouraged.
  3. Try to find a bag of Deep River Snacks Potato Chips next time you go to the grocery store, then find the name of the nonprofit they'll help support with your purchase, on that bag of chips.
  4. Take a small trash bag (and maybe some plastic gloves) with you next time you go on a walk, hiking, or to a park. You can almost always find litter to pick up, leaving the place better than you found it.
  5. Put a couple of extra quarters in a vending machine at your work or school for someone else to find and use.
  6. Find out how to recognize the symptoms of a stroke, so you can potentially help save a life.
  7. Tell anyone you know who may be going through a difficult divorce about Child Find of America's Parent Help, which offers solutions to co-parents arguing over custody so as to prevent child abductions by family members.
  8. Make a "job search survival kit" for anyone you know trying to find a job, with things like a notebook to jot down leads and a Starbucks gift card to use in networking. Read this article if you want more ideas on how to help.
  9. Help someone find affordable housing by referring them to, a state-by-state database of specific affordable housing listings.
  10. Try to find information about your ancestors by asking your parents, grandparents, or other relatives if they have any written information, stories, pictures, etc. about them. You might be surprised what you find, especially if you pursue the search online.

 How Will You Give to Others This Week?

  • What other ideas do you have for giving to others by finding something or helping them find something?
  • How has "finding" 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 Splenda by clicking here.
  • Join #gno this Tuesday on Twitter to connect with other Mom It Forward moms about the challenge.
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