Tuesday, May 14, 2024

A Helping Hand - Just Doing Something

 Happy Tuesday all.  Hope this finds you well.  It is a nice but cloudy morn here.  We are expecting rain today.  It is only going to be in the 60's today, but that will change come the weekend - it is supposed to get in mid 80's.

Today I want to talk about helping others.  I know we have had people on here talk about wanting to start support programs over time, and well, it is something we can all do.  We can volunteer or start something new in our communities.  

First you need to find a need.
Think about your abilities - your hours, talents, financial obligations.
Choose your project.
Develop a plan - what are you hoping to accomplish - is it practical - is it safe and legal.
Recruit volunteers if necessary.
I am sure there can be much more involved with more complicated projects.  Today let's just talk about SIMPLE things we can do and help someone.

Many things just take time and your talents.  
Maybe you can offer FREE music lessons to a child, like piano lessons.
Teach the basics in gardening or foraging.
Teach someone or many the basics behind canning.
Tutor kids or adults
If you have computer knowledge - maybe help someone get the basics - it could help with getting a job or with their education.
Perhaps get people to donate baby items and keep a supply on hand for new moms in need.
Maybe teach a class on living with basic food items, how to shop for simple foods and how to prepare them.  Recipes.
Teach a basic budgeting/financial class
Donate your extra garden produce - provide fresh goodies for neighbors (or donate to elderly neighbors)
Adopt a 'grand'friend from a nursing home - visit or write cards - brighten a day
Volunteer to help an elderly neighbor with yard, cleaning, transportation, or just being a friend

You can start a FREE mini pantry to help those in need.

These can be made from old cabinets, an old hutch, or just a covered table.  I love the idea of these - but I see some concerns as well.  In my neighborhood, I don't see it being a help to many - as I would think there would be someone that would take everything.  I worry about heat and cold.  I think they may work best in front of a small business (where there is lots of foot traffic) or in front of a community center.  People take and people give.  The premise is lovely - you just need to know your area.

Start a community garden.  If living in the city, there are many empty lots.  FIRST find & check with the property owner and the city to make sure this can be done without liability.  Neighbors help and eat.
Nice when all work together.  We have a youngster that started doing this is his needy neighborhood a few years back.  He got everyone involved and people had good fresh produce in a very dry food desert.  It was very inspirational.

Check with your local libraries or churches or community centers to see if you can teach a class or start a group.

Think about starting a blog and share it on neighborhood free groups online or post on your personal FB, so your friends can share.  It is one way to get your lessons and word out there.
Start a You Tube channel and give direction on whatever you want.  You Tube can be a valuable tool.  I know I have looked up all kinds of things, to learn how to do them.  Use key words that attract people in your titles!!!!  That is important.

Maybe make goody bags for the homeless in your area.  I used to make gallon bags up with all kinds of things to pass out.  Toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, soap, wet wipes, washcloth, cheese crackers, etc.  I passed out hundreds of these over a couple years.  It always brought a smile from those in need, and it made me feel good to help.  I worked with the local soup kitchen, and they let me pass them out there - a safe environment!!!!
(I bought all items at $ stores or discount groceries back then - most in multi-packs)

Have work clothes you no longer need? - maybe gift to a woman's shelter.  Any nice clothes for that matter.  Many women leave with what they have on and nothing more.

Help at a local pet shelter.  It isn't just people in need, animals as well need help.  Help clean pens, donate newspapers, food, just pet and visit the animals.
Or you can feed feral animals in your neighborhood.  Provide shelter and water.

There truly is NO LIMIT to ways to volunteer at something!!!!!
Volunteer, donate, teach, just give in some way.  Never think that there is nothing that you can do.  Even the smallest thing or amount helps.
The world would be so much nicer if we all did just a little!!!!!

Look forward to hearing your ideas or what you have done.  Please don't be disparaging - be encouraging!
Have a wonderful day to all.


  1. Most of all? Do NOT compare what you do/can do to anyone else. We all have different economies, skills and abilities.

    As for food donations consider this and research your area. I used to donate from my pantry. I then learned that our Foodbank has contracts with grocery vendors that stretch $1 into $5. So I can donate $10 of food into the community or I can give it to them and they get $50 of food to distribute and I went that route as they prevent 5x the hunger!

    Happy Tuesday everyone! I'm off to quilt a twin size for our local Sleep In Heavenly Peace chapter. If you haven't heard of them:


    1. YES do not compare!!!! Great point. We can all do something - just not always the same things.
      I like that - sometimes cash goes further when you know where to donate it. Thank you for that tip.
      Thank you for the quilting. One of our members makes blankets for babies as well. I love this.

  2. There are always things we can do to help others. Meijer has the gift cards that stretch the food dollars for donations.

    Gloomy day! Need to get outside to finish the last of the flower planting.

    1. Yes, if we just stop and think and listen - we can find all kinds of things we can do. Sometimes it is just time, sometimes money, and sometimes just donating things.
      Raining here - no working out there now.

  3. If you are a crafter, think about how you can declutter your stash (you know you have one !) I’ve made friendship bracelet kits for children in hospital (unused embroidery thread), teddy bears for children in crisis (leftover fleece and polyfil), crocheted squares for afghans for people in need (lots of leftover yarn from other projects), and quilts. There are many resources online to give you ideas how to use your skills and stash!

    1. Great ideas. I love this. Yes just our overstock can provide enjoyment and fun for someone. These are all neat things. Children get so much out of things - hospitals, crisis situations, homeless, these babies all need things to make them smile.

  4. For years, I've handed out goody bags to the homeless. It's such a small thing, but their gratitude is touching. Just a way to spread the love and grace I've been given. Lynn Ewing, Pecos, NM

    1. Lynn I love it. I need to get back into that - I stopped when G passed - I need to do it again.
      Don't forget to make some for gals w/feminine products in them (for others who might do this).
      A little caring goes a long way.

    2. Goody bags are a great idea. I was faced with homelessness yesterday: going to coffee with an old friend and was stopped at a red light. There was a homeless man begging. I usually do *not* give because I fear they are fakes or will misuse the gift, but this time the voice in my head was loud and clear: "Feed My Sheep", over and over. So I gave the man money.

      At coffee I told my friend what I had done and how I was conflicted about my reaction, but "Feed My Sheep" has been taught us since childhood. (Yesterday that really sounded like the voice of God in my head.) She said she keeps some little gift certificates to McDonalds in her car for just such a situation. Food, not dollars for drugs.

    3. I really like to goody bags too.
      I totally understand what you mean. We have the 'same' people everyday at certain stops and at the Interstate exits - same ones everyday! I do believe they work for someone else - this is their job. But sometimes I hear that voice too - and you just have to give with an open heart and not think about how it will be used.
      I love the idea of little GC's to hand out. Maybe buy a $5 one now and then - then you always have something to give.

  5. I have one son on his way to college in the fall, and another applying this year. As a result, I'm very familiar with the college application process. It's a very inequitable process (lots of people spend A LOT Of money) helping their kids with the applications. Some kids don't have parents who can or will help, or are in the foster system, etc. Starting this summer, I'll be a volunteer college counselor to those students who are high potential (nominated by their guidance counselor) for college, but don't have any help with the college application process. Helping them get started on their education can have long term rewards for their future, which gets me excited. (Hawaii Planner)

    1. That is WONDERFUL!!!!! What a great and noble thing to do. Your help may just find the funds necessary for them. Thank you! Great idea!

  6. What a wonderful post. I haven't done anything all that noble but I have started some women's programs in our community that have brought women together. Many have lived her 20+ years and have never connected with each other. We now have a monthly luncheon, card games and get-togethers. It has been a wonderful outreach.

    1. Oh that is so nice. Never discredit anything you do or judge yourself against other people. That is wonderful that the ladies in your community are now getting together and making new friends. The neat part is, I bet there are some who truly needed that relationship with others. It sounds so fun. Good job.

    2. Nana, starting a women's program is NOBLE!!!!!!! Don't sell yourself short. Women lifting up women. You rock!

  7. All wonderful ideas Cheryl. I don't start programs (other than the Prayer Shawl Ministry at the church) but I try my best to attend those my friends start.

    God bless.

    1. The Prayer Shawl Ministry is very neat. We don't have to start something - to make a difference. Attending or just donating is wonderful too. Every little thing can make a difference.

  8. Such an excellent post today Cheryl, and so many inspiring stories of how you all help others. It’s certainly uplifting to read how in everyday life we can make it better for others. So kind and caring.

    1. I knew we would have some great ideas from others. I love that about this place. It is uplifting to see what others are doing and learning ways to be a bit kinder.

    2. Sometimes it’s the small acts of kindness that can have big impact too. Just a compliment to a stranger, a smile to someone wearing a frown, praise to a young mother, all small acts that cost nothing.

    3. You are absolutely right! Small acts are huge to someone.

  9. I agree with Anonymous. A kind word, a compliment or even just an acknowledgment can do wonders for someone’s mental health.

    1. They sure can. I know we have all been on the receiving end when having a bad day - so we know it works. It could make all the difference in the world to someone.

  10. I love this post! Helping others is overlooked so much these days. Unfortunately, many people think they can only help others with monetary ways, but even if you're broke (like we were for a long period of time) there's many ways you can help your community. We try to help others as much as we can- whether that's teaching a language, taking care of relatives, or helping out others financially. One thing I absolutely loved doing was making recipe suggestions based on what was in the food bank parcel each week. We didn't have to go there, fortunately, but my friend did, and all the clients there got the same parcel each week. Sometimes, those parcels were really a bunch of ingredients that were seemingly hard to match and make something edible out of. So my friend just told me what was in there, and I used my creativity to come up with as much recipe suggestions as possible with as little additional ingredients as possible (as I didn't know what people had on hand, or how much spare money they had). From the feedback I got, it was very helpful, something was so grateful for.

    Also- this was and still is a bit difficult for me, but in some cases, helping people is also done by not helping them. There's this neighbour of ours who wants to borrow money like every single month. She always pays back her debts so that's not the issue, but the thing is that they have a very low income and don't spend it wisely. Of course, the next month she's already starting with a smaller amount of money as she's paying off what she borrowed the month previously. This is a vicious cycle for her which can only be broken by stopping to her borrowing money, and to start spending their salary wisely. I must say, I really find it the hardest thing to say no, but I do believe it's in her benefit. She's probably going to borrow it anyway from another neighbour... Oh well. Still, I think I really do the right thing by not allowing her to borrow from us every single month. We still do help them out, but I prefer to give food or school supplies for her daughter rather than money which is then being spent recklessly.

    1. Yes mam, there are so many ways to help and many cost ZERO! I love the idea of coming up with creative ideas for the food pantry foods. That is neat. That would be great to pass recipe cards on to the pantry as well, and maybe they could be added to the food parcels! Teaching is such an easy thing to do and costs nothing. Helping others learn new things is so beneficial for all.
      I agree with the never-ending saga of lending. My late husband used to do that a lot with one young man he worked with (well, with many people). This one guy we both knew how that money was being spent and it was not good in any form. I complained to hubs a lot about it, and then he finally got it. He was not helping out in any way - just adding to the problem. He did that with a lot of people - and he got burned more than once for his charity! He had such a giving manor and a caring heart - but he finally stopped doing it. I know it was hard for him.
      That becomes a way of life for some folks and it is a vicious circle. Some just take advantage.
      Know you have done the right thing! You have a good heart.