Spice up your Giving in 2012

Since we are only weeks removed from the joys of the holiday season (i.e. spending time with family, visiting friends and enjoying good food), the acting of giving should still be top of mind.

One of the beautiful outcomes from the holiday spirit is the way people choose to help those in need or less fortunate.  With the dire economic straits in much of the USA and Europe, along with the poverty around the world, giving is more important than ever.

Why not try something new in 2012?  Here’s what an anonymous woman did at a Kmart store in December:

Before she left the store Tuesday evening, the Indianapolis woman in her mid-40s had paid the layaway orders for as many as 50 people. On the way out, she handed out $50 bills and paid for two carts of toys for a woman in line at the cash register.

"She was doing it in the memory of her husband who had just died, and she said she wasn't going to be able to spend it and wanted to make people happy with it," Deppe said. The woman did not identify herself and only asked people to "remember Ben," an apparent reference to her husband.

Not only did she honor her late husband in a loving way but she touched and impacted at least 50 families!

If you want to spice up your giving, there are numerous ways to go about it. All it takes is a bit of creativity.

You could anonymously:

1)      Give a Food Store gift certificate to a family in need.
2)      Pay the bill for a family or families in a restaurant.
3)      Pay the tuition for or make a donation to the college education of a student who is struggling financially.

Or you could:

A)    Visit an elderly home or hospital with sick children while on vacation.
B)    Spend one hour at your local school talking to a class of children about your life/career and hearing about their dreams. I highly recommend this!
C)    Use your automobile to deliver goods for those in need or to help people who may need a ride to their weekly hospital visit.

The sky is the limit with the number of unique ways to give!

There are also more subtle ways to impact a life.  One thing I’ve done from time to time in the USA is to “pay the toll” of the person behind me on the highway – especially during the holidays.

This simple act of kindness doesn’t cost much and can’t help but put a smile on the face of person receiving it.  In addition, it will probably give them an incentive to be more giving.

When speeding off after paying a toll, I occasionally caught a glance of the surprised and happy face behind me and it felt great! We need more small moments of giving like this in our world.

Also, it’s important to note that giving need not be monetary in value. A warm smile or tender hug goes a long way in touching a soul. 

Let’s not forget that the traditional ways of giving (i.e.donating money to good organizations) are invaluable and serve a great purpose for the numerous companies/entrepreneurs who are doing good work around the globe.

Since “variety is the spice of life”, I find it exciting to change one’s path or consider doing things in a different way.  No matter what you decide to do, I implore you to give a little more in 2012 if you are in a position to do so.  If you are inclined, spice it up a bit in order to make a unique impact.

Have a joyous and fun time giving in 2012!

Happy Gswede Sunday!

The beauty of nature! (photo by Bret)


Anonymous said...

G, I've also paid toll for cars behind me. Not many times but great fun.

My ex, Helén, and I would often go to San Francisco. We got great joy from handing out money to homeless people we approached, and they were always surprised and grateful.

There's no doubt that giving pays handsome returns! Thx for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Good ideas for giving!

Anonymous said...

I truly loved this one!

Thank you for reminding us all of that the change for a better world always starts with ourselves and at this very moment.

Its only up to you...me, that is:)

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