Tuesday, March 2, 2010

TOTTV - Service

It's Tuesday and time to Turn Off the T.V. (TOTTV) and spend some quality time with our children and other loved ones.

Today's Topic: Service

In my opinion, there is almost no better way in which to spend your time than serving others! Serving not only helps others, but it helps you too! It gladdens your heart, helps you forget your worries, helps you feel good about yourself and realize how much you can do, and, if done with children, teaches them valuable lessons about compassion, charity and kindness!

Before you start making excuses such as "I don't have time" or "We just don't have the money" or "I don't know anyone who needs service", consider this: There are COUNTLESS ways to serve, at least one of which you can do, no matter what your current circumstances! And there are ALWAYS people nearby who could use a small, random act of kindness, whether it's the 'worst day of their life' or not! :)

~Smile. This seems simple, yet it can work wonders. Have a contest with your children; go to a public place (ie - shopping, to a park, the zoo, a restaurant, etc) and see who can smile at the most strangers...or who can be the first to elicit a smile from a stranger. This might force you out of your 'comfort zone' but you'll be surprised at how fun it can be!!

~Love notes. Make small, simple notes to place in inconspicuous places (in your home for loved ones to find, or in public places for strangers to find). (Examples include: "You are loved" "Have a great day!" "Someone's thinking of you!" "Someday cares!" etc)

~Bake goodies to take to a new neighbor, someone who has had a hard day, lost a loved one, is ill, etc. Nothing says "Cheer Up" or "We're thinking of you!" like a plate of chocolate chip cookies!!!

~Cook or serve a meal at a homeless shelter or non-profit organization, such as YWCA, Ronald McDonald House, Halfway House, etc.

~Especially in the winter, pass out hot cocoa (or other warm drinks), hot baked potatoes, or other warm treats to homeless people on the streets or at parks. (Be sure to exercise good safety measures - go in a large group during well-lit daytime hours in public places.)

~Knit or tie blankets for shelters or hospitals

~Donate extra clothing/books/stuffed animals/toys to local shelters

~Visit hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living centers - most of these people will love having a visit, even if it's someone they don't know; in many cases it will make their whole week!

Take some time today planning and/or performing service for someone - anyone! You and your kids will enjoy it, and it will be quality time together well spent!



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