Tuesday, March 3, 2009

50 Ways to Make a Difference without Spending a penny!

So many people have been laid off of their jobs or have had significant cut backs as to the amount of hours worked (which is the case in my family - my husband is not getting a full 40 hour week and boy does that hurt.) The head says "you can't afford to give and make a difference" while your heart screams "you can't afford NOT to give and make a difference!" So, what is a person that has a desire to give BIG (and I'm talking give "Oprah big") supposed to do when the money isn't there? Forget about the "BIG" portion of giving and simply do what you can with what you have.

I truly do love to buy things for the sole purpose of giving them away. When my children see things are obviously not for them, they will immediately ask "Who is that for?" because they know that I normally don't keep things - I give them away. With my husbands hours being cut back, I'm still going to give or do something daily to make a difference. Here are some of the ways I'll be Spreading Joy while the finances are extremely tight!

1. Pass on a book that you've enjoyed. Write a note in the front saying what you enjoyed and instruct the next "owner" to pass it on after they have read it.
2. Instead of "googling" when searching - use Good Search and these guys will make a donation to Spreading Joy. (there is a button on the right that will take you there)
3. Donate gently used dvd's, vhs tapes and video games - I'm sure Spreading Joy can find those that will love to use them.
4. Be Positive today - with the depressing economy, bills falling behind - this can really be tough, but it will encourage those around you and in the process bring joy to yourself.
5. Donate expired coupons to the troops overseas.
6. Thank a Police Officer today (hopefully NOT while you are getting a ticket!)
7. Give time to your spouse - do something together, visit a park, bookstore etc.
8. Donate household items to Spreading Joy to pass along to others in need.
9. Hold a yard sale and donate half of the proceeds.
10. Taking the 30 day challenge? Tell me about it here.
11. Baby sit for a friend/neighbor for free.
12. Serve a meal at a homeless shelter or women's shelter
13. Encourage our soldiers. Send a free letter here.
14. Mentor someone - have you started your own business? Are you an expert in a certain field? Share that talent!
15. Donate unused craft items to a daycare or elementary school.
16. Turn in those Box Tops for Education - found on Pillsbury items.
17. Smile at everyone you come in contact with today.
18. Offer to let someone ahead of you in line.
19. Volunteer in a Nursing home.
20. Donate blood.
21. Donate Plasma - and get paid for it.
22. Organize a book drive - get your neighborhood to donate gently used books. Pass out a flier asking for books - giving instructions to leave them in a bag on the porch letting them know you will pick them up the next week.
23. Turn in your Campbell's Soup Labels
24. Have a family meal at the table - talk about current events in the family.
25. Give a handwritten note of encouragement.
26. Start a Gratitude Journal - leave it out for others to see as they visit you.
27. Donate gently used magazines to a nursing home
29. Call someone who is not feeling well and talk until you make them laugh
30. Volunteer at an animal shelter - play with the animals.
31. Visit with the elderly or someone who can no longer get out as much as they'd like.
32. Pick flowers from your garden and give away.
33. Volunteer for your local church.
34. Give a thank you card to someone who has made a difference in your life.
35. Run errands for a new Mom (or someone that is sick)
36. Pick up trash you see as you are walking on your route.
37. Volunteer to read to a class at your local Elementary school
38. Write a thank you note to your child's teacher.
39. Seek out a store manager and let them know what an excellent employee your grocery bagger was (or cashier).
40. Donate gently used clothing.
41. Volunteer at a hospital.
42. Donate your "free items" from the buy one get one free - to a local food pantry.
43. Leave a note hanging in or on your mailbox thanking your mail carrier for always being so dependable!
44. Speak to the elderly you pass - look them in the eye and smile. We tend to forget about the great individuals who paved the way for us.
45. Say Please and Thank you - show sincere appreciation.
46. Go to Church. There are so many churches. When people get discouraged, that is one of the first places they'll go. You can encourage so many people this way!
47. Make extra chili and cornbread muffins - and take to a neighbor.
48. Bake homemade cookies with items you have in your pantry and share with neighborhood children.
49. Donate extra blankets to a homeless shelter.
50. Give a basket of home grown veggies.
51. (a bonus!) Host a game night with your family - eat dessert first! Turn off cell phones (ok - kids, you can leave yours on....) but spend time laughing together playing games!

There you have it - 50 ways to make a difference without spending a single penny.

Everyone can make a difference! The real question is - will you? How are you Spreading Joy? Do you have any other ideas of making a difference without spending any money? If so, please share them in the comments! (that would count a too - because we all need as many ideas as we can get!)


Jolie B Studios said...

A most beautiful list, thank you for scattering this piece of joy!

mike said...

Very nice article and these activities are what life is suppose to be about. In these times we need to draw together, help each other and give what we can when we can. More people need to read and act upon the thoughts in this article, I know I will. Thank you... Peace!!

Marie said...

@Jolie B Studios - thank you for stopping by! I'm glad you found joy in this list! Spreading Joy -It is such an easy and wonderful thing.

@Mike - You are correct dear sir - imagine if everyone we knew would spend some time doing a few things for others every day...the world would be such a different place.
Thank you for stopping by!

I hope you'll both check back often!

Anonymous said...

Thank the trash people for picking up the trash each week.

Give the Post man or trash guys some thing hot to drink in the winter and some thing cold in the summer time.

do science projects with the Halloween candy.

hold a door open for some one
at the store.

when a person or family moves into the area send over a welcome gift. like a home cooked meal.

mypowerpink.com said...

I am so Thankful to have food for my family,a place to live,that we are not homeless on the street(Run Tellman Run.com)..I am so Grateful to have my home back after our house caught on fire by our Christmas tree..Please don't buy a real Christmas tree,you could save your home,your life or someones life..Take Care and Be Thankful..Powerpink

Tara Burner said...

Excellent and point on!
So many people think that they have to "give money" to make a difference.

Iowawriter said...

thank 4 all the great ideas! You are a blessing from God! Thanks for letting your lite shine for HIM. May He richly bless you & your family!

Marie said...

@Bonnie67 yes - I love those ideas, back to holding doors and smiling, making eye contact. Food for new neighbors. Thank you for how you bring great joy to me!

@mypowerpink - so thankful you are restoring your home, family and dreams. Keep counting your blessings and looking up!

@taraburner - thank you! While giving money is necessary - there is sooo much more to give! I'm always looking for opportunities every day to give something! Once we start looking for ways, our minds will start seeing ways of spreading joy easily and quickly. Thank you for all you do!

@iowawriter thank you for how you are ablessing to me. You give to others and that touches me. Keep looking for ways of spreading joy and you'll be splashed with great joy!!

mypowerpink.com said...

Thank You,so much for all the nice comments!I just want to use my life as a testimony to help other,I feel my life has been an open book.Just maybe, I can use my life to help others,make some kind of since of what I have been through.I have been homeless at a young age,so my heart goes out to the homeless,I wish I could help,so I spread the word,it is not how much you give.What you can give,God will bless it because it came from the heart.My friend Tellman is running barefoot for the homeless teens across the U.S.A. Run Tellman Run.com. My home caught on fire by our Christmas tree,I don't want this to happen to others,your home,your family,your children,your pets.It hurts! yes! If you can help spread the word,we can make awareness.I am here for a reason,God spared my life,I was in front of the tree when it was on fire.My son ran back into the house to get me,I went into shock! So God wants me here for a reason,you think so?...Thank You,Lorraine C.Van Ryckeghem
Powerpink Blessings To All Of You!!

sstacinator said...

Thank you for all the Joy,Love & Hope you spread through out the world. You are loved.

Marie said...

@Lorraine (mypowerpink)
Yes, you are still here for a reason, and happily so. You also have joy, love and happiness to share and I'm glad you've been given a voice in which to share it!

@Stacey (sstaciantor) Thank you sweetie - you always brighten my day with your wonderful words of encouragement. I hope the same, that I can be spreading joy to all that I come across. (and maybe full time one day.)

mypowerpink.com said...

Powerpink Blessings!! This Little Boy Said It All...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cco_IlYuqN0&feature=player_embedded

mypowerpink.com said...

A Christmas Prayer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJkq-U7_8ZA&NR=1

Andy said...

This is great, Marie! (Now I know your name. It's OK readers...I'm a twitter buddy.)

I visited a neighbor who is a shut-in...and it was so great. I want and will do it more. It was uncharacteristic for me...but there you go. Take a chance...

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