Have you ever been having a bad day and a complete stranger does something nice for you? Or just have had someone do something really nice for you in general like hold the door for you when they see you carrying a lot of bags, give up their seat for you when they see you standing with your baby on the bus, left your wallet at home and were bought a cup of coffee, a phone call or text from a friend that’s just checking to make sure you’re okay, a neighbor that took to your doctor’s appointment because you were so afraid, etc. I don’t know about you, but kind gestures go a long way. It can sometimes be the turning point in someone’s day going from bad to good. Whether it’s big or small, one person can always do something to help another. I am so big on helping people because I feel like what’s the point of being helped, if you can’t help others? I think people forget that giving back doesn’t always have to be monetary either. I love doing community service and making others smile by doing the simplest things, which mainly require my time, patience, and heart. So today, I just wanted to share a few ways I give back to others that is free of charge and if you’re interested, ways you can give back as well. 🙂
- Volunteering Time
As I previously mentioned, I love doing community service. It just warms my heart helping people. For those of you who may not know, #funfact I am a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, where we do a lot of service. Not only do I enjoy volunteering my time to help others, but it also humbles me. One time I volunteered at a homeless shelter and passed out food and I felt so fortunate and blessed that at the end of the day I didn’t have to worry about where my next meal was coming from or where I was going to sleep. It made me feel good that I could help those in need and talk with them. Sometimes as people we just don’t know how severe the struggle of someone’s situation is unless we witness it for ourselves. And, even if you don’t volunteer your time by doing community service, you can still volunteer your time to cut your elderly neighbor’s grass, bring your sick friend soup and watch their kid for a few hours, riding a church member to church, tutoring a child, doing chores for someone, babysitting the stressed out married couple with twins, cooking for someone who lost a loved one, or offering to take your kid’s friend home whose mother works late. These are all things that involve someone’s time. With so much going on in people’s busy lives and hectic schedules, when you take the time out to do something for someone else it truly means a lot.
2. Sharing Knowledge and Resources
I think many people don’t even realize that you’re helping others by sharing your knowledge and resources because you’re so used to doing it. We help people all the time at work. We often share our knowledge and expertise with our peers, team, and bosses teaching them something new. You may even help others by sharing your knowledge in a particular subject. For example, maybe you have a friend that’s not that great at accounting but, you have an accounting degree and offer to help or share some of your books, which is also sharing your resources. You may have helped someone
get a job by helping them prepare for an interview or rewriting their resume. These are all ways that you can help others. Sharing your knowledge and resources doesn’t mean you need to be a teacher, doctor, accountant, or a subject matter expert on a particular field. You can also share your wisdom and advice with others to help them when their indecisive about something, going in the wrong direction, are feeling lost in life, or need a shoulder to cry on. Inviting someone in your home and offering them a meal, somewhere to stay instead of a hotel, bus tickets that you’re not using, clothes you’re not wearing, lending tools, etc. These are all ways to help out by sharing knowledge and resources.
Helping others can also be helping them find and presenting them with opportunities. For instance, maybe someone lost a job and you know your job is hiring or of a company that’s hiring. Maybe they’re starting a business and you can help point them in the right direction of someone who has a similar business or a potential business partner, taking them to networking events, or introducing them to people who can help them get ahead in their careers or business ventures. These are ways you can help people by presenting them with new opportunities. Because instead of withholding information, you decided to share and present them with an opportunity for growth.
If you have an excess or overflow of clothing, shoes, food, household items, or toys that you’re not using you can donate those items to those that are less fortunate or are a in need. You can take these items to the Salvation Army, homeless shelters, or give them to families that may have lost their homes due to fires or donate food to food banks.
Often times, people just need someone to listen to them, to be an ear that’s open to hearing them out without passing judgement or going to overshadow the conversation talking about themselves and their own problems. Be their to give them advice and guidance if needed, but listening and hearing someone out can go so far. You may even realize that you can relate to one another and may find ways to help each other out. You can also listen and give advice through mentoring. For example, sometimes people say there are bad kids, which may be true, but maybe stop to think about why that child is bad or acting out and offer to listen to them and mentor them in a better direction instead of judging their actions. Maybe their acting out because they have no food at home, are homeless, have a drug addicted parent, a parent lost a job, or they just lost a loved one. Instead of judging them, sometimes all people need is someone to listen to, encourage them, and help guide them in the right direction.
At the end of the day, everyone needs someone to help them no matter how big or small. And, at some point we all receive some type of help. Maybe the help isn’t as big as we want or need, but sometimes a little can go a long way. It upsets me when people have the mentality of “why should I help them, when no one helped me?”, because if you’ve never received help from someone before or when you feel like you needed it most and didn’t receive any, you know what that feeling feels like, to need help and be helpless so, why want the same for someone else? And, if there’s honestly nothing else you feel like you can do for a person, you can always Pray. When I think about it, I think about how many people have prayed for me and where I would be if they didn’t. God hears your prayers but, it’s always nice to have prayer warriors that will pray on your behalf. So, this year I encourage you to help someone if you haven’t or help someone in a new and different way that you’re used to. Try volunteering for a non-profit, at a homeless shelter, mentoring a child, tutoring, or visiting a nursing home. Remember, all help doesn’t need to be monetary and even kind gestures can go a long way.
I hope you can relate to this post, found something interesting, or learned something new. Please share with someone in need, which may in turn help them, help someone else. I’d love to hear how you help others or a way that you recently helped someone out that went a long way. Until next time….