In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Helping Hands Project-Part Two

Thistle of Thistle and Maple Leaves has started the Helping Hands Project to challenge readers in the blogospere to reach out and help others, whether it be globally or in our local communities.

The Rules:

1. Choose some way to give back.

2. Tell us all about it; post it on your blog. Then come back and pick up your award. Choose one badge or the other, or both if you're really in the spirit. And don't forget to link back to Thistles Helping Hands Project post, so we can follow what everyone is doing. If you're doing something already, pick up your badge right this minute!

3. Challenge all visitors to your site to do the same. Link back to the blog where you received the idea. And let's see where this can go!

These are some of the way's we, as a family, plan on reaching out to others.

1. I have been helping my little people go through their toys and they are going to donate some of them, to make room for the new toys they will be getting. They are going to help me clean them and then we will donate them to a women's shelter. We are doing the same thing with clothing.

2. We are going to play secret Santa to a family. My little people will help shop for a gift for each of the children. They will also help me shop for other non-food items such as toilet paper and laundry soap and then they are going to help me decorate a big box for these items to go into. We are going to get a gift card for them also, so that the parent's can buy their children presents from Santa. We will give this to them anonymously so will have to get creative in how we do this. We are each giving up Christmas gifts for ourselves, in order to do this. My little people are loving this idea of giving a family a "happy Christmas" and talk daily about the item's we can put in the "secret box".

3. We have given up ordering out for pizza and paying to rent a movie for our Friday night movie night. Instead we are watching movies we already have and making our own. The money we save from this will go into a "movie night" package for a family sometime in January.

4. Putting on a Christmas party for the parents at the school I work at. I have arranged for a church to provide gifts for all the children.

5. I am putting together a baking kit for a couple of young mom's so that they can do some holiday baking with their little ones.

6. Right now I am in the process of finding out if there are students at my school that won't have a Christmas tree and decorations. If there are(and there usually are)we will put the word out for people to donate unused tree's and decorations, and then set these families up with a tree.

7. I am volunteering to babysit for some mom's so that they can have a break. My husband and I will do something special with the little ones, but not sure what we will do yet. I am thinking of asking around for other's to help with this also. That someone might be willing to buy them movie passes or something in that order.

8. I care for 2 little boys at school and recently found out that they have very few pictures of them, so have been taking pictures of them. I will get prints made and put in a little album to give to them. I am also thinking that I could give them a disposable camera and a gift certificate to get them developed.

9. I am working on planning a late Christmas party(with friends) for late January or February and asking people to bring non-food items (such as soaps or toilet paper)to donate instead of everyone exchanging gifts.

10. Taking more time to slow down and really listen to people. To look them in the eye and genuinely smile at them.

Honestly, telling all of you about the things we are doing is kinda hard. I like to do things anonymously as much as I can and I don't want people to think I am bragging or think I am "so good" for doing these things. I share these things because it can give idea's to others and to show that there are so many things each of us can do. I am really excited to hear idea's from all of you so please share them with me.

My challenge to each of you is this. Take a look at yourself and make a list of things you are passionate about or things you're good at and abilities you have and out of these things, think of way's you can reach out to others. Giving is not just about money or gifts, it can come come in the form of giving you're time or talents or taking the time to slow down and pay attention to how you treat the people you come in contact with. Giving someone a genuine smile and looking them in the eyes while talking to them is a priceless gift.

It could be something as simple as the ability to make people smile, you're love for animals, children or the elderly, cooking and baking, photography, sewing and crafts, computer skills or ability to tutor someone in reading, writing or math skills so they can get their GED or diploma, mechanical skills or maybe you're really good at shoveling snow or mowing the lawn.

Giving of ourselves can be costly because it puts ourselves out on the line and we make ourselves vulnerable to others. I challenge you to step outside of you're comfort zone and reach out. I promise you, you will feel even more rewarded in the end, then the person you're giving to. Reach out and touch someone today!


thistle said...

i may need to cut and paste this post to the We Can All Help page on my site...these are all brilliant ideas...and a little bit 'green' are setting an amazing example for your everyone around you and especially you little people.

And you are not the first person to bring up the perspective on anonymity. In fact i believe i will tag that on in case that's what people prefer to do.

Thanks for giving and sharing!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love all your ideas, and you are doing a LOT this year. We are busy doing too, already shopped for a needy family of 6 and for my cuz in afghanistan...I will come up with more. you are a good-doer and it is inspiring.

Midlife Slices said...

You are one really great person, I hope you know! :)

Smart Mouth Broad said...

You are a one woman/family giving machine! Awesome. This is great! Together we can really make a difference!

Megan said...

You know, I have been reading your blog for a while and have never commented before, but feel compelled to do so now.

I got pregnant my junior year of high school. I went to a school similar (extremely similar) to the one you work at. I have never forgotten my experience with that program. I needed those teachers - I needed the ladies who cared for my son while I went to class. I finished high school because of their help. Hell, I graduated from college with a bachelor's degree because of the help and encouragement I received from them.

I tell you this not to brag, but to let you know you are affecting change in young peoples lives. It's an extremely important and noble job, and I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate what you do on a daily basis. Also, please keep reminding those kids that there is hope, that they are important and most importantly, they REALLY can make something of themselves.

Again, I just want to thank you for being so giving, for sacrificing some luxuries so other's can enjoy the holidays and for raising your "little people" to be kind and compassionate.


SSG said...

I don't think you are bragging, I think you are inspirational! and you have given me some great ideas to go and help with. thanks!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

You are amazing. SO many great inspirations, all in one post.

julie70 said...

I am all for your idea, giving our time, giving what we know is so much more then just money!

That is what I try, anyway, and did from my childhood already... even if what I offer changes, changed throught times.