Tuesday, May 22, 2012

30 Ideas to Jump Start Your Spring and Summer of Giving!

Our 25 Days of Giving last December really put us into a wonderful state of mind to be able to help our friends and even some deserving strangers during the holiday season. But it shouldn't take holidays and snowfall to inspire us to care and help- so we want to do more now, and we want to invite you to join us!

Here are some spring- and summer- inspired ideas for helping out in your community:

-Pick up trash along the roadside where you live. It will clean up your road and the environment and make you feel accomplished!

-Make a new mom or dad friend at the playground. Simply approach a new person with a smile and a hello and see what happens! Being pleasant and cheerful will brighten your day even if you don't get far with others.

-Help your child open a lemonade stand or run their own yard sale. Donate the proceeds to a cause dear to your heart, or to a community staple.

-Swap a few hours of babysitting with a friend to give you both a break.

-Bring a cold drink to someone working outside... especially if they're not working for you!

-Write a personalized and meaningful thank you letter to your child's teachers at the end of the school year.

-Go through your closet and donate the winter items you will no longer need next season to a family who could use them, or to a shelter.

-Volunteer at a summer camp.

-This is a good time to put together an emergency kit for the trunk of your vehicle, or to refresh an old kit! Band-aids, fresh water, antiseptic, bug bite/sting ointment or spray, sunscreen, umbrellas, a change of clothes, etc. can not only help out your own family but also someone else in a pinch.

-Have your children try on their bike helmets, and if they don't fit anymore, donate them.

-Help a friend install a clothesline. It saves money and the environment!

-Prevent summer vacation boredom and arrange a toy and book swap among friends in your area. Have your children gather together their own toys or books that they are willing to part with, and meet up with groups of other moms and children to exchange for new items.

-Donate to a food pantry whenever possible. Even one canned or boxed item goes a long way toward feeding those who are hungry. This is a year-round need in every area of the country!

-Ask a friend how they are doing, especially if you know they have been dealing with extra stress or problems. Caring is always free!

-Call someone just to say "I love you."

-Donate a day off and participate in something meaningful. There are several fundraiser walks this time of the year, and shelters, pantries, or community service agencies always need a helping hand.

-Call the local school and volunteer for field day help or field trips. Many schools organize outdoor play or trips this time of the year and could use an extra hand. You may even get to do something new and exciting!

-Work together with the local library to arrange fun summer reading programs for kids.

-Help start or support a community gardening project.

-Volunteer to help set up or take down booths at the farmer's market. Local agriculture is important to the community and helping in any way you can shows the hard working farmers that you appreciate their efforts!

-Make cards for residents in local hospitals or nursing homes. There is no right or wrong time of the year to show someone that you care about them!

-Volunteer to read to children in the hospital.

-Pick wildflowers and deliver them to an elderly neighbor.

-Help an elderly neighbor or someone without a car with their errands for a day.

-With extreme heat on the horizon, keep an eye out on those who could most easily suffer from heat stroke. Casually check cars in parking lots as you pass by for animals, children, or even sleeping adults that could suffer distress if left too long. Do not be afraid to report any situation that appears emergent! It is always better to be safe than sorry.

-Donate outdoor toys that your children have outgrown to a local family that could use the help. If you are able, buy some inexpensive outdoor toys and donate them or leave them where they can be used by all. For example, if there is a community pool, bring some flotation devices and pool toys and leave them for everyone to share. Even leaving an extra bottle of sunscreen for those who forget it or can't afford it is helpful!

-Offer to walk a friend's dog for them.

-If you know a friend is going on vacation, offer to check in on their home and help with pets like cats, who need fresh food and water. Do it for free so your friend has one less expense during their time away!

-Wash your partner or roommate's car or clean it out- or both! Getting into a clean car can make someone's trip to work or school feel much more pleasant and less stressful, and small acts of kindness show that you care.

-Leave no trace. When using the awesome outdoor trails, parks, and playgrounds that are at your disposal, make sure you are responsible. Don't leave any human or animal waste, pick up your trash, and leave it as you found it, or better! Remember that these places are meant to be enjoyed by all.

These are not the only ways to show people that you care. If you have a favorite way to help others, or if you have an idea of what you'd like help with, share below! Are you feeling inspired? In what ways do you plan to help? Respond below and perhaps you will find that we are in a giving mood as well... ;)


  1. Just an expansion of the first aid kit in the car idea. I got a small, cheap plastic tool box at Lowe's. In it I not only have the normal first aid stuff but a package of pads (the kind I use) and a few tampons (that I don't use) in case of emergency for me or a friend. Imagine my happiness when I started a day early & had supplies in the car!

  2. Every month I try to bring food to our church food pantry. We serve anyone who simply wslks in and asks for food. We donn't limit visits or adk for ID's. We feel it should be simple to get food help if your in need. Most resprct us for this and won't take advantage of us. Our church is the smsllest in my city. However sometimessmall peoplecan dobig things when you do it together!