Tuesday, November 27, 2012

25 Days of Giving 2012

            Wow! Since last year at this time, we have more than doubled our Frike count (by the way, you’re a Frike if you follow us on Facebook- you’re a friend/like all smushed into one… a Frike!) and with more Frikes comes a greater chance of making a positive impact in the world. That’s an opportunity we refuse to miss!

            For the third year in a row, we are hosting our 25 Days of Giving, which is a celebration that counts down to Christmas and honors the idea that we can all change the world, one action at a time, by being helpful, loving, and considerate of one another. Making a positive difference is not hard to do and it’s not an all-or-nothing event, but most people just have no idea where to start! We are compiling the two suggestion lists from the previous two years into one, to give you a jump start. You could follow this list entirely, or come up with your own great ideas!
            Additionally, this is also the time of the year that we like to reach out to families and offer help during difficult times. Some people are concerned about anything from medical and household expenses to Christmas dinner to putting presents under the tree and we would like your help in finding them. We are asking for nominations of people in need during this time of the year- if you were helped last year, please do not nominate yourselves again this year. We would like to touch as many lives as possible and do not have the resources to accommodate everyone; please understand that at times, our list of those who are in need is overwhelmingly long, but that we constantly do our best to help everyone on it! Nominations, which should include contact information for the individual or family being nominated so we can pass along the help, can be sent to: cathy@cathyscreationsjewelry.com. All nominations are confidential!
            If you would like to help us help others, here is how you can! We always accept donations for our causes through our PayPal address, cathyscreationsjewelry@yahoo.com. When sending the money, please mark it as a gift- it is a gift, and a wonderful one, so let’s make sure the full amount goes toward its intended purpose! Please also specify in the notes section: “25 Days of Giving” so we can apply your donation appropriately!
            Also, we will be hosting Deal of the Day (DOTD) specials in the near future and the proceeds from these deals will go toward fundraising to help those who were nominated. We have some upcoming DOTDs lined up for other causes, too, so keep an eye out!
            Now, without further ado, here is our list of ways you can give back or lend a hand this holiday season! Feel free to add your own ideas or stories of giving to the comments section of the blog- we love a good, touching story!

Volunteer to help with projects in your local school district. The kids will love seeing a new face, and you might learn something new!

Compliment a stranger or someone you don’t normally talk to often. Kind words are a gift that we have all appreciated at one point or another.

Wash your partner’s car for them. If the weather is too cold, grab a garbage bag and clean out the inside!

Leave an extra large tip when you go out to eat. You could make the day of someone who is working hard!

Drop off your old towels at an animal shelter. Shelters are always looking for odds and ends to fill needs. If you don’t have towels, bring in toys, paper towels, or bleach.

Invite a local family over for dinner and make new friends.

Clean up your clutter and donate the usable items to a privately owned thrift shop. Not only do you straighten up your own space, but you keep a small business owner open this holiday season!

Ask your local soup kitchen if you can help out for a day.

Make handmade cards for the elderly in a nursing home.

Buy a cup of hot chocolate for a utility or construction worker standing outside in the cold. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere warm, treat them to lemonade!

Donate soap, shampoo, or toothbrushes to a homeless shelter. Even if they are from the dollar store, someone could use them!

Offer to clean the home of someone who is elderly, just had a baby, or could use a break.

Use your extra yarn and crafting skills to knit or crochet hats for babies at the hospital. Premature babies are often unexpected and parents are not always prepared for their arrival, so extra-small hats could make a big difference without using a lot of yarn!

Put your spare change at the checkout into the penny jar, or into the can of a worthwhile cause that someone is collecting for.

Sit down with your children and draw pictures for family members. It sounds simple, but it’s a gesture from the heart and loved ones appreciate knowing they are being thought of!

Shop local stores for presents or goods. Giving your money to your community benefits everyone!

Donate your gently used clothing to a family in need instead of a resale shop. Ask your local church if they have a drop box.

Bring someone else’s cart back to the corral at the store. You can help out a busy parent who has their hands full, as well as the employees who have to go out and try to catch them all. You also might be saving the paint on someone’s car!

Buy or make hats and mittens and donate them to a preschool or elementary school so there are no chilly kids on the playground this winter!

Donate used board games to schools for inside recess or class parties.

Offer to post signs promoting a local fundraiser around the town, or help tack up signs of someone’s missing pet.

Blog or post on Facebook or Twitter asking people to help one another. Inspiring others to help spreads the love and makes a difference!

Donate money in any increment to your local heating oil company and ask them to apply it to an account with a past due balance. Helping someone catch up so they can heat their homes this winter is invaluable!

Ask a nursing home if there is a special patient who could use some visitors and try to spend time with them. A mutual friendship is something that can give to you both!

Turn off your cell phone while driving, or at least put it in the back seat, the glove box, or in your purse. Doing this every day could make it a habit, and you could give someone the gift of their life- including yourself or your own family!
Pay for someone's coffee/tea.

Pay for someone's toll.

Make a food donation at the supermarket.

Bake a treat and bring it over to an elderly person/nursing home.

Call someone you have been putting off calling.

Bring a well behaved dog to a nursing home for a visit.

Hold the door for the person behind you.

Make soup for a sick friend.

Take a friend’s kid for the day. The parent could probably use the break.

Volunteer for a charity. Pick a cause that's near and dear to your heart and donate your time to them.

If you head out of town, drop off your monthly public transit pass at a youth or job center. They'll pass on the pass to someone who is in need of it to job hunt or attend school.

Take your neighbors trash to the curb while you're taking yours. Imagine their surprise when they see that the chore is already done.

Pay for the person behind you at the drive thru. It will make someone's day!

Donate blood. One single donation can help up to 4 people – that should be inspiring enough.

Donate your used clothes and housewares to charity. By doing so, you can help people meet basic human needs. Your old sweaters will keep someone warm during the winter and your old housewares can help someone furnish their new apartment.

Find a holiday angel program in your community. You can donate basic things like toothpaste, towels, sheets and PJs for a family in need to open on Christmas morning.

Take a CPR class. You never know when you might be in a position to put those life-saving skills into practice.

Offer to babysit a friend’s kids one night so she and her partner can enjoy a romantic evening out. You friend will certainly be grateful for the night off.

Write a letter or e-mail to a good friend or family member to let them know how much you value them.

They say that smiling is contagious. Pick a day to smile at everyone you pass on the street.

Pass on your books after you've read them for someone else to enjoy. Take them to a local shelter or give them to friends.

Being angry at someone requires a lot of energy from both people involved, so go ahead and let go of an old grudge. Forgiving someone who hurt you will open the door for a friendship to be rekindled.

When you come across a two for one deal (which are popular at book and movie stores), donate your free product to a local shelter or youth group.

Next time you're at your favorite restaurant, leave your server a very generous tip.

Next time you do your grocery shopping, pick up a large bag of cat or dog food to donate to a local animal shelter.

Host a movie night for 10 of your closet friends. Charge $10 admission, provide the popcorn, candy and drinks, and donate the $100 to a charity you all decide on. It's a perfect way to feel good about having fun.

Shovel a neighbor's driveway.

Make an extra batch of soup or chili that you can freeze and give it to someone you know who is pressed for time to cook healthy food during the holidays.

Offer to wrap presents for a friend who has a hectic work schedule.

Donate mittens, hats and scarves to the Warmth tree at your children's school. If they don't have one, start one.

Don't just give your child's teacher a Christmas gift, give a gift to the whole class too -- a book, a puzzle or other indoor game for indoor recess time.

Don't forget to get a little something for the little people you forget: School Secretary, School Librarian, Bus Driver, School Custodians, Principal/Vice-Principal -- they make your children's school life successful too!

Send in boxes of tissues to your child's classroom BEFORE your teacher is forced to ask for some. Trust me, they'll need them.

Make your husband's lunch for him, or move the car for him, or give him a massage after a hard day.

Stop cleaning and sit and watch a movie with your kids instead.

Take a friend for a pedicure.

Invite your In-Laws over for tea and cookies.

Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

Call a women’s shelter and see what items they need, then donate them.

1 comment:

  1. Cathy,
    I just want to tell you how your paying it forward has spread to my household. I tagged your page in my post on my new page leading to my blog Friday when I was doing a Pay it Forward Friday. With the Holidays coming I had helped Alyssa clean out her room and all the clothes and shoes that didn't fit her were donated to the local church that were asking for donations.
    Friday myself and Alyssa both did a pay it forward Friday.
    Friday at her school for a small donation you could wear a hat to school, all the proceeds were going to an elementary school in NY that was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, she used her own dollar bill and gave it to her teacher so she could wear a hat all day.
    I took the bus from Millbury into the city and then across the city to go help a widowed father get his house ready for Christmas because he didn't know how to do it. I got there and he had a tree that looked like a Charlie Brown tree, I fixed the tree so it looked better then we talked to family dollar and got items to decorate his tree and house for his daughter to be surprised when she got home from school. We went back to the house I put the lights and Garland on the tree and we also got something to hang on his front door so I hung that up. He didn't know about stockings so after I did the tree while he sat there just saying wow we walked to the dollar tree so we could get some stockings and a few more items for his tree. We got back to the house and I used Glitter glue and wrote his name on his stocking and his daughter's name on hers. Put the rest of the items on the tree just in time for his daughter to get home from school. He was in tears that someone would help him so much. The tree looked wonderful and he said this is the first time the tree has looked this nice since he lost his wife. He doesn't have to many decorations in his house and his walls are bare so I told him after the new year I would help him make his house look like a home. The funny part is we met this man a few weeks back accidentally and just started talking to him. You could tell he was sad and needed a friend so we text him everyday to see how he is doing.
    I could not believe how excited someone could be just by having a little help from someone. It made me feel so good, I may not have any money to do the extra buying for people or even gifts for my oldest this year but helping someone in need of help warmed my heart and to know how much it was appreciated puts a smile on my face!! Thank you for being such an inspiration!!!