Have you ever felt left out?
I was in 5th grade and more than likely I was day dreaming while doodling on the cover of my Pee-Chee folder.
I remember this little girl coming into our class and sitting in the wooden desk next to me. She was only there for two days. Her class had gone on an overnight field trip and because of the cost, she had to stay back and miss the trip.
There are better ways this scenario should have played out, but it didn’t. I know she felt embarrassed sitting in our class because she knew that we knew, her family didn’t have the money for her to go on that field trip.
Caring can be simple
A lot of incredible people are taking on big challenges and needs in the world, and I am in awe of what they are accomplishing. One side effect of seeing this kind of bigness is that we can be left feeling small.
It’s easy to think we don’t have much vision, commitment or time to change the world. The truth is, we have the ability to do something very special. It’s OK to start small. Giving a person hope, joy, a smile or feeling included is world–changing all on its own.
Many things are free. It doesn’t cost a penny to hug someone that needs it, say I love you to the people in our lives that matter most or drive our neighbor to church because she can’t do it herself. Not everything takes money, not by a long shot.
A local ripple effect
Want to hear a crazy idea? What if we took $100 and did something local that would impact the lives of our neighbors. I’m aware that $100 is a lot of money and can be a substantial percentage of our personal budget.
Pick a number you can afford and feel comfortable with and let’s go do something great together. Not every idea will change the world, but it can change the world for one person, and that’s not a bad place to start.
Will you add one idea to this list?
Obviously there is no obligation to go out and give away money, but I do need your help. Our ideas are better together, I need your help to get this list to 100 ideas.
You will have ideas that I could never think of, ideas that will make this better. Ideas to make sure no one is left out.
Let’s do this together. Ideas can be overwhelming, so I jump started the list up to 27. With your help, we can get to the magic number of 100.
Just post your idea in the comment section. There are no bad ideas. Nothing is too small, just say what’s on your mind and heart.
There are no rules, you can have more than one idea and we don’t have to stop at 100.
- Let your local schools know that If a child needs money to go on a field trip, they can call you.
- Give small stuffed animals to your local hospital so when kids have to stay, they have something to hold.
- Buy 3 warm jackets at Target and give them to people that need them most.
- Donate to your local Boy’s and Girl’s Club.
- Pay a local musician to play music at a nursing home for one hour.
- Give the hardest working single mom you know a spa day.
- Give the hardest working single dad you know tickets to a baseball or basketball game.
- Have Uber take someone to a place they really need to go, but don’t have a car.
- Give out $20 gas cards when you see someone at the gas pump only putting $5 in their tank.
- Keep Safeway (grocery) gift cards on hand and give away when you see the need.
- Give a simple flower to every person in a local nursing home on valentines day.
- Make a few small heart shaped pillows and give them to a local breast cancer center.(when my wife Megan was diagnosed with cancer, this simple item helped a lot)
- Donate to your local Goodwill.
- Give an Office Depot gift card to a teacher.
- Every kid needs a bike, buy a bike and a lock for someone.
- When you read a powerful book, buy ten copies and give them away.
- Give a simple gift card to dinner and pay the babysitter for a couple to spend important time together.
- Give gift certificates to kids for your local bookstore, so they will hopefully fall in love with reading.
- Pay for the coffee for the person behind you in line and get away before they realize it.
- Buy Amazon Prime for someone who has a hard time leaving their house.(free two-day shipping can be a big deal)
- Buy pet supplies for an elderly person’s pet. It may be hard for them to afford an important companion in their life.
- Buy dozens of Halloween costumes the day after Halloween and give them out the following year to kids that don’t have one.
- Bring Starbucks to your local firehouse and thank the firefighters for risking their lives every day.
- Stop a cop and hand them a gift card from Starbucks/Peet’s to thank them for doing an impossible job.
- Give an umbrella to the school crossing guard that stands in the rain at times to get our kids across the street safely.
- Send a mystery box of treats and goodies to someone that is going through a hard time, just to make them smile.
- Have a stash of Starbucks gift cards so anytime you see a soldier, you can walk up, say thank you for serving and give them a little token of appreciation.
- Anne Thompson – When dining out, leave an extra $20 tip on top of the norm … Spread the love 5x over!
- Jon Curry – Help an elder person purchase new or upgraded prescription glasses that they can’t afford.
- Jon Curry – Help someone who needs corrective dental surgery/work… Changing someone’s self image and self-esteem can change their whole life.
- Jon Curry – Give someone a job even if it’s part time or just for the day.
- Jon Curry – Help elderly person fix/repair parts of their home that are broken or in disrepair.
- Aaron Walker – We enjoy going to restaurants taking our grandchildren and letting them pick out someone to buy their dinner anonymously. It is been the highlight of the winner. We do this on a regular basis. We also always buy coffee for the person ahead of us at Starbucks. Random acts of kindness pays huges dividends for the giver and the recipient.
- Gary Umholtz – Be a Mentor! It only takes an hour per week during the school year to change a child’s life for the better.
- Gary Umholtz – Volunteer time/money at Pets Lifeline.
- Gary Umholtz – Join a community service organization such as Rotary.
- Rachael – When you see the mother in the store with her crying toddler/child, lean over and remind her she’s doing a great job.
- Rachael – Bring a fun/fancy meal to a homeless shelter.
- Rachael – When donating food to the food bank, think of your favorite luxury foods and add that to your delivery.
- Rachael – When it’s high traffic, slow down and let someone in.
- Rachael – Set aside ‘x’ amount of dollars each month (I put $50 on a visa card from the store) and when friends post on FB asking for donations, donate. Even if you do just a dollar. Sometimes, I do the whole $50, other times just a couple dollars to spread the love. It just let’s the person know you support them, and that means a lot.
- Tom Eckert – Donate your time and money to your local youth sports teams.
- Leona – Knock on your elderly neighbors door ask if she is ready for her morning walk. By walking with her she is interacting with someone and can walk safely. (I did this with my neighbor before she moved). Take an elderly neighbor who doesn’t drive to the grocery store help her shop & carry in her groceries help put them away.
- Julie Kidson – Use that $100 to make a micro loan to someone in a developing country. It just may be what they need to become financially independent.
- Julie Kidson – Buy gift cards for teachers, who often have to spend their own money to buy supplies for their classrooms.
- Julie Kidson – Donate clothing to an organization that helps women dress for success when going on job interviews.
- Mike – “Adopt a Family” at Christmas. Buy gifts for needy families.
- Andrea – Random acts of kindness are joyful. Pay the toll fee for the car behind you. Our daughter likes to look back to see if they pay it forward.
- Andrea – Start a blog like Journeyman or a ‘meet up’ group and spread loving kindness.
- Bennett Martin – Drive someone to church that needs a ride.
- Bennett Martin – Share this link with your fiends – Lets make the small things count.
- Matt Sevenau – Do what feels good and follow your heart. We as a family feel strongly about education and the Boys & Girls club so that is where we put our time and money.
- Matt Sevenau – Our family puts together about 100 “blessing bags” every year and everyone keeps a dozen or so in the trunks of our cars to hand out to the homeless. A blessing bag is full of both necessities and luxuries that not everyone can afford such as tooth brush, tooth paste, razors, deodorant, mirror, advil…
- Gina – Go to Jostens web-site and purchase a yearbook for someone at SVHS who can’t afford one…they are $100!! Ouch!
- Gina – Buy a cap and gown for a graduate.
- Jack Powers – Not all varsity level student athletes can afford all that goes into their sport of choice. Donate time or money to the Boosters Club at SVHS.
- Hannah Kidson – You can buy a hat at loveyourmelon.com and when you buy one, they give one to a child with cancer. You can keep the hat you bought for yourself, or give it to someone in need.
- Joyce Homenko – Become a tutor in your local library for their Adult Literacy Program. I’m teaching English to a Spanish speaking woman. We’re both benefiting with enhanced language skills.
- Jan Erickson – Mentor! Donate to worthy organizations- I support education and social services here in the Valley!
- Andrea – Our family adopts a family each holiday, although I find myself thinking we should adopt in the ‘off’ season as well. Not only our local churches but also family centers offer connections to those in need.
- Andrea – Part of our family ‘plan’ was to take humanitarian trips with our child(ren). We got involved in 2013 with ProjectHope.me when our daughter turned 8. We help build homes and school houses for the field workers in northern Baja, Mexico. $100 goes a long way with humanitarian non-profits, especially those working outside the US.
- Anne Thompson – Changing the day for 13 yr old Philip may just make all the difference. Phil had emergency brain surgery in Jan 2015. Son of a single Mom and 3 brothers, his hope for treatment is in Germany. Please consider helping this sweet family…. http://www.gofundme.com/philsfriends
- Catherine Sevenau – Make Magic Mineral Broth for others who aren’t feeling well.
- Catherine Sevenau – Care for and sit with friends, family, and animals who are are dying.
- Catherine Sevenau – Give your time and energy to boards, commissions, and committees that call to you.
- Catherine Sevenau – Pick up litter on the street.
- Catherine Sevenau – Volunteer to be a judge for your local high school Senior Projects.
- Catherine Sevenau – Give your time to read to young children at the library and schools.
- Catherine Sevenau – Teach a child to cook. And clean. And garden.
- Catherine Sevenau – Write a small check to a worthy cause, or Join Impact 100 Sonoma and write a larger check.
- Catherine Sevenau – Listen to your friend’s woes, and when they are done, help them laugh.
- Catherine Sevenau – Give your bank and post office a bottle of Windex. Apparently it’s a new product to them.
- Gary Claeys – Volunteer with your local Scout Troop.
- Gary Claeys – Put and take in an elders garbage cans on garbage day.
- Daidri|Thee Getaway Gal – Simply smile and acknowledge those around you. Whether on a walk, at the grocery store, in a coffee shop, etc. We never know what others are going through or how lonely they may feel. A simple smile and hello can say “someone noticed me today”. It doesn’t cost anything, can have a huge impact and just may save a life.
- ?? Here we go, leave your idea in the comments below!
This Week’s Podcast
I can’t explain why Charity Water pulls me into action over other causes that are just as worthy, they just do.
I guess that’s the beauty, we’re are pulled in different directions and together we change the world. Listen to Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity Water tell his story. From sex, drugs and rock “n” roll to helping millions of people live a better tomorrow.
For more info on the LinkedIn Speaker Series visit their iTunes page. Be sure to check out their other episodes and subscribe to the Podcast if you find that you connect. Also, make sure to leave a rating and a comment in iTunes so they feel the love.