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Ten On Tuesday

Today’s Ten On Tuesday topic is in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Specifically, it’s in honor of his commitment to serving others and the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. As Dr. King said, “life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?” Here are my ideas for 10 Things You Can Do To Serve Others.

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  1. Donate to your local food pantry. This is the easiest thing to do – just buy some extras next time you grocery stop and drop them off. If you want to talk it a step further you could contact the food pantry and ask about specific items they might need. I try to buy things that can’t be purchased with SNAP benefits, things like toothpaste and soap and personal hygiene products.
  2. Join a service club. I haven’t been in Kiwanis for a super long time but I can’t imagine my life without it now. It feels good to work hard and have fun and know that others will benefit.
  3. Volunteer at a local shelter. You could serve meals (we have done this through Kiwanis) or perform other tasks as neeeded.
  4. Volunteer at your public library. We use volunteers a lot for shelving materials and it’s a big help as it frees us up to do other tasks.
  5. Contact your local senior center and ask about helping out. I get a lot of phone calls from seniors looking for rides to medical appointments in Boston (our transportation program doesn’t go beyond the local area), looking for someone to help them with yard work, snow removal and more. I don’t get a lot of phone calls from people offering to help with these things.
  6. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Or become a foster parent to animals looking for adoption. I’m a soft touch and wouldn’t be able to handle this one myself – I’d fall in love with every cat I saw – but it’s a good option for someone who can keep themselves in check.
  7. Help a military family. I know our local Veteran’s Agent would be a great resource for finding families to help. It could be something as simple as dropping off a home cooked meal, you never know what can make a big difference for someone.
  8. Donate money. Now, in some ways I feel like this is not the best way to serve others because you probably won’t have direct contact with anyone you are helping. However, it’s still a wonderful thing to do if you are in the position to do so. Doctors Without Borders is a great charity and they make it very easy to donate on a monthly basis.
  9. Knit for a charity. There are lots of programs that accept hand knitted items and, my friends, this is right in our wheel house!
  10. Identify a skill you have and find a volunteer opportunity to match. I mentioned knitting but there are also volunteer opportunities for people with computer skills, carpentry skills, and so much more. Do a quick google search and you’re in business.

I hope I’ve inspired you to get involved somewhere and do some volunteer work. If you still need more convincing, check out the statistics on this page.

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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. All wonderful ways to serve others! I knit chemo caps for our cancer center and I’m always amazed at how appreciative they are of hand-knitted items, and I know my 85-year-old neighbor greatly appreciates all the little things I help her with – even changing her smoke alarm batteries. Great list!

  2. What a wonderful list of volunteer ideas — and your comment about not getting enough calls from volunteers to keep up with the requests is especially poignant. It’s so easy to slip into our own lives and feel like we don’t have “enough” to reach out to help others. Dr. King had it right — service to others is key.

  3. I knit prayer shawls at the local hospice home and donate food to a food bank but I should be doing more. Thanks for the great ideas.

  4. Today is the monthly senior luncheon at my church. In various ways, I invest about 3 days per month to pull that off. And so worth it to see how happy they are visiting with friends they might not see elsewhere and eating a meal that is prepared with love. I use those skills in other volunteer projects. We do give money to our food bank because they have told us it is their most efficient method of providing food. But every thing helps.

  5. It’s so very easy to get into the habit of giving service. We can all do more. Thanks, Carole, for sharing the many ways we can and should give.

  6. THis is a great prompt. Love your list. I love the shelter though…even though I cant bring anymore home…it is so awesome when we see an old timer get adopted!

  7. Animal shelters are fun. My girl scouts earned their Silver Award that way. They made toys for the animals, held a food drive and got to play with them. I couldn’t foster – they would never make it to another family once I got them in my house.

  8. A couple of other suggestions – feminine hygiene products & underwear are on the “most wanted” list at most homeless programs. Think about it – most of them wear donated clothes, but people don’t donate used underwear, so people go without.

    Also put together quart sized zip lock bags filled with prepackaged food items, (crackers & peanut butter, applesauce & a spoon, etc) & keep a few in your car to give to people standing at the corner w/ a “please help” sign.

  9. We take a lot of road trips and though we carry our own shampoo etc we gather up the hotel smells daily and bring them home. When we have stocked up a bag or box full we take them to a homeless or women’s shelter.

  10. Great list. Helping seniors is a true calling-i’m still looking for that volunteer opportunity that doesn’t feel like an obligation.

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