A Challenge for the Weekend: Five Ways to Give Without Money

October 25, 2013

Being generous is about so much more than giving away money. In fact, sometimes sharing your time and talents can be the most rewarding. There are some simple things you can do to be generous that don’t cost a thing – here are a handful of my faves. Consider this a challenge to be generous without giving money this weekend!

1. Play a board game or work a puzzle. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, make time to play a game with someone else – your kids, parents, grandkids, grandparents. Invite some friends over to play a hand of cards. Visit the elderly and work a jigsaw puzzle. My seven-year-old son Andrew is a new card shark thanks to several rounds of cards with his great uncle “Big Bill” and close family friend (and 84-year-old) Ben!

2. Clean out your closet! If you’re like me, there are plenty of things hanging in there that you no longer wear. Get them out and give them away! Share them with a friend or donate them to a charitable organization (my personal favorite is The Salvation Army). You’ll feel great helping someone else and your closet will be cleaner, too!

3. Phone a friend. We’ve all got friends we need to catch up with – college roommates, cousins, someone from church – pick someone and call them (don’t just text them!) to say hello. Jessica – if you’re reading this, you can look forward to hearing from me!

4. Mail someone a note. Ok, this one might require a little pocket change for a stamp, but it’ll be worth it. You don’t have to write an essay or say anything fancy. Just say hello, thank you, or share a compliment or a word of encouragement. Mail is fun for all ages – kids love it and, if you’re like me, you welcome anything in the mailbox that isn’t a bill. 

5. Smile. This is my favorite. Share a smile – smile at people you know and those you don’t. Put your phone down, look someone in the eye and share a grin. It doesn’t get much easier than that. You never know what kind of day someone is having – a smile from you may be just what they need.

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