giving back

Service: Make Differences in Unique Ways

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Service—This week's Season of Service challenge is to "make" service opportunities. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about this is doing things like making cookies for a neighbor or dinner for a friend, but I've suggested those things before. These ideas feature the word "make" in ways you might not have thought of before. This is inspired by this week's #gno sponsor WhoNu? Cookies.

10 Bite-Size "Make" Service Ideas

  1. Place one of Make-a-Wish Foundation's banners or badges on your blog or site.
  2. Donate your wedding gown to MakingMemories.org, a wish-granting nonprofit for women with metastatic breast cancer. Check out this link for information on where or how to donate it.
  3. Gear up for Make-a-Difference Day 2011 in October by reading these inspiring articles about Bill and Melinda Gates philosophy on giving and everyday people making big differences in their communities.
  4. Make a point of calling the "how's my driving?" number of a courteous semi-truck driver you see
    or the customer service number of a utility or other company that has done something right by you or someone you know recently, and give them a positive report.
  5. Make a recording of each of your children reading their favorite book or singing their favorite song, for their scrapbooks. It's one thing to have a picture of how they looked at a certain age; it's another to know how they actually sounded.
  6. Research with your kids how kindness is shown in other countries, by Googling it, Tweeting about it, or scanning the headlines of some blogs or on-line newspapers. Then adapt the ideas presented in this "Making Headlines" lesson plan to their ages, locating the countries they found on a world map, and discussing kindness.
  7. Make sure that your local library has resources for new or expecting parents by donating parenting books you no longer use, or give the books directly to new parents you know.
  8. Make a family time lesson teaching about money and personal finances. According to this article, it's important to start teaching them young, and according to this one, very few teenagers actually graduate with adequate instruction in personal finance.
  9. Make a personal resolution to stop being a carrier of any unfair prejudices and stereotypes, by refraining from telling stereotypical jokes, particularly in front of children.
  10. Make time just for you, even if it's less than an hour and at home. It's important to not neglect your needs while meeting the needs of others.

How Will You Give to Others This Week?

  • What other ideas do you have for giving to others by making something or giving to an organization with "make" in its name?
  • How has "making" 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 WhoNu? Cookies by clicking here.
  • Join #gno this Tuesday on Twitter to connect with other Mom It Forward moms about the challenge.
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