giving back

Walk Your Way into Service

giving backtips for giving back

As we get more into the summer season, service is most aptly performed outside. This is the time of year to help others on your feet. There are many ways to do so; you can always participate in a formal walk for a cause, for instance, like the Avon Walk for Cancer. They can be incredibly rewarding. But you can also walk on a smaller scale. The point is that you seek opportunities to serve in your real-life neighborhood, in real time.

10 Ways to Walk for Others

  1. Take your kids for a long walk, along with the children of any neighbor you might know who is overloaded or sick.
  2. Go on a walk with that neighbor, if she's up to it.
  3. Ask the principal of your kids' school(s) to try having lunch recess before lunch, instead of after, so that kids have more energy to walk, run, and play. Volunteer to be a recess lady for a day to facilitate the trial.
  4. Draw a line of numbers on your sidewalk with chalk, and have your kids solve simple addition or subtraction problems by walking them out (i.e., 2+3=5: start at 2, walk 3 steps, land on 5)
  5. Make a scavenger hunt for your kids that encourages them to solve math problems, do a spelling list, or answer a science question to get clues to places around your house or neighborhood that they can walk to, get a prize, and make learning fun along the way.
  6. Walk your kids to school one day, instead of having them take the bus. If you're ambitious, talk to other parents about perhaps forming a "walking school bus" next school year. A walking school bus, as defined by, is similar to a car pool, only parents take turns walking a group of kids to school rather than driving them.
  7. See if it's possible for you to visit a local assisted living center and walk with any of the mobile residents.
  8. Walk an entire circuit of the mall next time you go shopping, at a brisk pace.
  9. Consider having your next child's birthday party or family reunion at a botanical garden, and having a docent walk with your group to explain things.
  10. Start a walking group. Check out this guide from for tips.

How Will You Give to Others This Week?

  • Have you ever done any of these things? How did it go?
  • What other acts of service have inspired you?
  • 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?

  • 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.
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