giving back

Service Ideas: 10 Ways to Help Others Avoid Bad Situations

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This week's Season of Service challenge is to fulfill actions that help other people or organizations avoid bad things or situations. This is different than preventing, which we talked about here. This is about escaping from bad things or situations that already exist, or helping others do so.

10 Ideas for Helping Through Avoiding

  1. Go to, a Swedish-based website in English, and click on the "click for the forest" button.  Each click on the button generates a small of money from sponsors of the site to help avoid the chopping down of old-growth forests in Sweden. According to, the amount of forest saved per click varies between 2-30 square decimetres depending on how many sponsors they have at the time of your click and how much the sponsors are paying per click.
  2. Help young latinos avoid unproductive or criminal lives by brainstorming and scheduling tweets for the LasFotos Project, a community-based program that teaches creativity through photography. This challenge is available through for four more days.
  3. Buy only propylene-glycol-based antifreeze, to avoid accidental antifreeze poisoning in house pets and young kids.
  4. Switch out a sugary treat you would normally consume for something not as bad but still very tasty, like (my favorite) Post Selects Banana Nut Cereal, for one week, so as to avoid weight gain, low energy, and possible health problems.
  5. Help re-write the "About" page of, a blog trying to help homeless people avoid the feeling of invisibility by telling their stories. This challenge is available through for seven more days.
  6. Make a simple "hello" card similar to this one I made or these really simple ones from SplitCoastStampers, and deliver it to a neighbor you've never met before today, helping both of you to avoid possible loneliness.
  7. Avoid negativity by replacing one complaint you would have made today with a positive comment about something else.
  8. Go to your local laundromat or other place you wouldn't normally go to and fill five machines with quarters, or give them directly to people already there, to help them avoid having to deplete their possibly scant resources.
  9. Read this post on how to avoid fear of volunteering.
  10. Watch this video with your kids about ways to avoid internet predators.

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.

What things do you do to avoid bad things and situations in your life? What can you do to turn a negative into a positive?

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