Living for Giving

Stewardship is not always a popular topic in local churches.  Often it invokes negative images or experiences.  But stewardship is a gift from God, a spiritual discipline and a means of God’s grace.

The above message from Bishop Kenneth L. Cardner was prominent on the back of our church bulletin last weekend.  It is timely as we all prepare for the holiday season (and is timeless, really).

Giving is something that everyone can and should do.  Yes, everyone.  Rich, poor, talented, not-so-talented, young or old.  We all, in any of our broken circumstances, can give.

Based on the stewardship definition of time, talent and treasure, I’ve put together a list of things to get us all in the giving spirit.  This list is certainly not complete, and definitely not just for the holiday season (or for church!)… please help me compile more ideas in the comments!

The Gift of Time

  • Red Cross Bloodmobile (either giving much needed blood or as a volunteer… just the other night I got a phone call.  “We’re hosting the blood mobile on Friday.  Would you like to donate a pie, 5 pounds of cooked potatoes, or $5?”  It wasn’t would you like to donate, but what would you like to donate.  ;-)  That lady knows how to get her volunteers!  Love it.)
  • Visiting elderly neighbors.  Last week Kate wrote about their homeschool lesson in manners.  I know that all of us have neighbors who would love to be “used” for homework practice!
  • Helping a new mom with chores so she can sit and enjoy the baby.
  • Grab some sacks, take a walk, and pick up some trash.
  • Participate in local nursing home events.  (Is this just a Tiny Town thing?)  Our nursing home offers kid parties at Halloween, Easter, and a carnival in the summer.  Fun for the kids, and a great change of pace for the residents.
  • Update:  Check out Toni’s Coupons for Troups program.  (Thanks, Kate!)

The Gift of Talent

  • Help create costumes or the set for a school or community play.
  • Go Christmas caroling!
  • Heat up your oven and bake… for neighbors, for new parents, for shut-ins, for someone battling a chronic illness, for a family who’s recently experienced a death.  Here’s a list of meals I use to bless others.
  • Direct or perform in a community cantata.
  • Have your kids (or your homeschool group?) make decorations such as place mats for the local nursing home or hospital.  Deliver them together.

The Gift of Treasure (on a budget)

  • Operation Christmas Child boxes (if you’re a bargain hunter, you can fill these boxes cheap!)
  • Angel tree — I’ve seen many variations, but you pick an ornament from a tree and purchase the gift that’s on the ornament (a fun family outing).
  • If it’s not a regular practice in your household, eat an untypically frugal meal once a month (or week) and donate your savings to a favorite charity.
  • If you’re switching to a whole foods diet, give your processed pantry stockpile to a local food bank.
  • Donate gently used baby clothes and toys to a pregnancy crisis center.
  • Last Christmas we made a donation to The Lord’s Diner in honor of my parents, who said they didn’t want anything for Christmas.  ;-)  They loved that gift.

We should give something, because He gave everything.  And because it gives us an opportunity to serve.  And because it feels so good.

Living for giving… works for me!  Peruse Shannon’s blog for more WFMW!

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Comments

  1. Great reminders of how we should all be thinking, all the time! Thanks.

  2. These are wonderful ideas and an important reminder, Amy. I feel blessed that my children are so little and I have all the opportunity in the world to raise them with loving, giving spirits. I recently wrote on “giving back” and broke it down to time, talent, and treasure as well. Great minds… : )

  3. What a nice post : ). Thank you.

  4. Thanks for sharing these ideas!

  5. What a great reminder! Found you via Rocks In My Dryer. Glad I did!

  6. These are wonderful ideas, and thank you for a connection to great meals to make for others. It’s nice to receive a gentle reminder that we are not alone in this world, and there are many people who need our giving.

  7. Great list Amy! I’m not coming up with any other ideas right now, but if I do I’ll let you know.

    You are so right about spending time with elderly neighbors too. We are surrounded by elderly widows and they view as kids as adopted grandchildren. They love to have our kids stop by for a visit, and usually they bring some goodies home. One neighbor loves to have Isabelle come over and just sit and watch game shows with her. They are just glad for the company, and time is certainly the easiest thing to give.

  8. Great ideas! I love baking and giving to friends, neighbors and people at church. I would love to branch out with doing more though. :D

  9. Sorry, I guess I’ve fallen behind on labeling my posts. Here you go.

    http://frugalityexplored.blogspot.com/search/label/My%20Story

  10. jenuinejen says:

    Having a list like this really sparks some ideas. Thanks for your work!

    Also, if you’re interested, a friend of mine is giving away free bakeware on his blog. Comment or link to him to enter the contest and win 4 Handmade Pottery Apple Bakers valued at $36. http://laneypottery.com/2008/10/21/win-pottery-apple-bakers/ Thanks!

  11. We are on the same page here. I posted about a giving opportunity as well.

  12. It’s funny, this morning I woke up at 3:40 am and started thinking about meals that I could make to bless other people. Great post, thanks for sharing.

  13. Great post. One everyone should read. TFS

  14. this is great! Thanks so much and dinners are huge blessing to new moms. I loved the blessing and am actually doing that for a friend that just had a baby yesterday. Lauren

  15. Just letting you know that I tagged you for the 7 things meme.

  16. I have an Etsy shop. And when I make a sale…I try to give an item as a blessing to someone.

    I embroider alot…and try to give as many items as gifts or blessings as I can.

    We all have so much we can give.

    Thanks for more ideas on how to do that!

    Susan

  17. THanks for posting this! As someone who works in the nonprofit sector I can tell you that our volunteers mean SO much to us! We couldn’t do it without them. I think people either underestimate themselves (how could I contribute?) or just assume that volunteer work means licking stamps. It doesn’t! Just be creative! THe best thing you can do as a volunteer is offer your own project that is self-directed, so no one has to train you. For example, my sis and I volunteered at a program for at-risk kids. We brought in old magazines that we had collected from doc offices and then showed the kids how to make a collage. The theme of the collage was a “world without drugs.” It was very fulfilling, the kids created a masterpeice, and it only took a few hours.

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  1. [...] know what?  People helping people really works for me! I’ve written before about stewardship, and the fact that each one of us has something to give.  Right now you can help Share Our [...]

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