Friday, December 5, 2008

Go ahead. Make their day.

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
- Winston Churchill

Were truer words ever uttered? At this time of year, I am reminded of those wise words more than usual. I have been so Blessed in many ways. I have known more love, heartache, despair, and joy than many. And I am so glad that I have learned that it truly is better to give than receive. Waaaaaay better.

So this Holiday season, consider filling your heart with joy by doing something kind for someone else. Pay it forward. It's amazingly simple and the rewards are immense.

When I recently returned from a magnificent 5-week trip to South Africa, my husband and I were waiting for our luggage at the airport. We saw some soldiers trying to pool their money together to get the $4.00 for a luggage trolley. When I handed them the money for the trolley, you would have thought I had given them a million dollars. They were so grateful it was incredible. Let's see? They have volunteered to risk their lives to keep me and my family safe and to protect our freedom. $4 to help them out? It was one of the highlights of my trip.

Here are some ideas from Steve Vogel (and a few of my own) to consider this Season.

• Tape money to a vending machine
• Pay the electric bill of someone standing in line to pay it at City Hall
• Buy stuffed animals and pass them out to sick kids in pediatrics or cancer wing of a local hospital
• Buy a cup of coffee or breakfast for a family or person
• Pay for someone's lunch in the drive-thru.
• Leave a $20 tip for an $8 dollar meal
• Buy a movie pass for two and give it to friends who could use a night out
• Find articles in the paper about people that are making a difference in your community - and do something nice for them
• Send someone a ticket to a lecture or course that he/she will enjoy
• Send someone a tape or CD of music they will enjoy
• Pay a highway toll for the person behind you
• Send money to someone who is experiencing financial difficulties
• Give a poor single Mom a Toys R Us giftcard
• Rake your elderly neighbor's yard
• Change oil, wash windows, babysit
• Leave some homemade soup on your neighbor's doorstep
• Leave the change you receive from the vending machine
• Call home

Remember, as Helen Keller so profoundly put it: "No one ever became poor by giving."

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