Smiles are free, and kind words, too. Those we can give to anyone – even to people we don’t know. Mother Theresa said, “Every time you smile at someone it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” Often, I get involved in my errands and agenda that I fail to look people in the eye and smile. But most times, when I do, I’m gifted with a smile back. If you are mother who has littles at home, smile often at them. Being a philanthropist at home will help multiply your child’s joy.
Kind words should be a daily ritual, too. Bless the clerk — “Thank you for wrapping that glass so carefully.” Bless the mailperson – “Thank you for bringing the package to my door.” Bless your child – “You are Momma’s big helper.” Bless a teen – “You have a beautiful heart.” Bless a friend – “You are a good listener.”
Can you squeeze $5.00 out of your weekly or monthly budget? Most of us can. A $5.00 coffee shop or bakery gift card will buy a fun drink or delicious treat (and some much-needed alone time). Sometimes that’s all someone needs to turn a week around. Tuck it in a card to a busy mom. Give one to your pastor’s wife, a nurse at the doctor’s office, or a school teacher. If you are in the drive-through line, pay for the person’s coffee behind you. Fold a $5.00 bill into an origami heart and tuck it in someone’s handbag (without anyone seeing you,) or give it to a random stranger who looks like they need a perk.
You can also create a cookie ritual. I love cookies, and while I can say “no” to most desserts, cookies are the hardest. I don’t know many people who don’t like cookies. Every time you make a batch of cookies, share a dozen. Include your children in the ritual. Let them take them to your neighbor or their teacher, decorate a lunch sack to hold them, or color a card to put with them. One evening Janene made a batch of cookies, intending to send some to Vincent’s kindergarten teacher. However, before Janene got to the kitchen the next morning Vincent had placed three on a big paper plate and was covering it with plastic wrap. It wasn’t the amount Janene would have given, but she praised his efforts, and he proudly carried his cookies to his teacher.God’s people are giving people and will find ways to give even with they don’t have much extra. Let’s be philanthropists this year! Click To Tweet
Another daily ritual – empty your pockets and purse of the change you receive each day into a jar. When the jar is full, let the whole family vote on where you will gift the money. Gift diapers to a Prolife center, peanut butter to food pantries, dog food to the animal shelter, craft kits to a children’s hospital or coloring books/crayons to foster care centers (or adult coloring books to nursing homes or women’s prisons).
- My cousin, Juliette, crocheted 70 hats and 25 pair of slippers last year and donated them to where she went to grief counselling. She also donated clothes and make up sixty gift bags with tooth brushes, toothpaste, brushes, combs, candy, coloring books, etc. This is all done anonymously (her way of respecting them those who are needy).
- Martha sews fun pillowcases, and gifts them to sick and needy children.
- Melanie doubles a recipe she’s making for her family, and gifts one to a new or working mother.
- Sheryl donates Gideon Bibles in memory of lost loved ones.
- Two elderly ladies took bananas to a hospital waiting room each day my friend’s mother was in the hospital. They passed them out, adding words of encouragement.
- When a child was sitting still on a store’s mechanical animal, my mother would stop and put one or more quarters in the toy so the child could have a “real” ride.
- Ann tucks flavored tea bags into the encouragement cards she mails.
- Esther makes beautiful cards to mail.
- A missionary, Kayla, plans tea parties for those in their ministering circle.
- Phebe hands out red roses to people at bus stops, hospitals, or other care facilities.
I could go on and on with ideas of the daily or weekly rituals of philanthropy. It’s a subject I’m passionate about. We’ll be revisiting the subject every Thursday right here this year. Recipes, unique ideas, places to donate, and much more. God’s people are giving people and will find ways to give even with they don’t have much extra. Let’s be philanthropists this year!
Leave your own ideas in the comments. I’d love to share them with my readers.