Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Tag: Charity

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Pick a Cause

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What are you passionate about? If you could take an action to help solve a world or community problem, what would it be? Every now and then we like to focus on a charitable endeavor that is near and dear to our hearts and there are so many that we care about.  Our father and uncle have Parkinson’s Disease and we will be blogging more about that in April which is Parkinson’s awareness month (this year we are hoping to find a local walk that we can participate in).

In supporting a cause, it is important to know if you are helping to raise money for research and/or a cure for an illness or disease, how much is going toward that effort.  Helping the poor is high on our list of volunteering priorities and there are big and small ways you can make a difference.  Our local churches collect money specifically for helping with heating bills, food and medicine.  You could donate clothes, cook or serve in a soup kitchen, or buy baby food and diapers for needy families with babies.

Even if you do one thing, once a year, you are making a difference in someone else’s life – and enriching your own.  What speaks to you?

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Holly and Heather’s Helpful Hint: Summer Giving

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We try to contribute our time, talent and treasure to charitable endeavors throughout the year but summer time giving can be challenging. Vacations, work and lazy days bring us out of our usual routines and can make us lose focus on giving back. Here are a few things that might spark you to donate this August:

* School supplies – Pick up an extra spiral notebook, pack of pencils or box of crayons to donate to those in need.

* Vacation Bible School – Always a fun week (we used to go as kids!) to donate your time handing out snacks, making crafts or reading Bible stories.

*Food – A quick and easy way to help those in need is to pick up a few extra items at the supermarket while you are already shopping.  Those who are hungry can use the assistance year round.

* Smiles – Don’t forget something as simple as a smile and a kind word is free to give to those around you and goes a long way toward making this world a better place!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Make Summertime Volunteer Time!

Summer is here and there are lots of ways to spend the days:  going to the beach, relaxing with a book, vacationing – all great, fun stuff. Many people are still working over the summer but if you get a chance to take a block of time off and are looking for something rewarding to do, try volunteering with your kids.

While it is personally fulfilling for adults, summer time is a great time to get your children involved in a charitable endeavor. Lots of volunteer activities take place outside and they can spend time with like-minded kids their own age, helping and having fun in the fresh air!  Most kids in their teen years not only need community service hours to comply with graduation requirements but also to guide their morals and values while growing. Learning that there are others outside of their “bubble”, or usual environment, it is also very important toward giving them empathy and knowledge of the world around them.

There are so many different causes and needs that can enlighten teenagers.  Have them help you choose what cause they would like to donate their time to.  Our kids have been picking a week each summer for years, volunteering at a camp helping younger children with crafts, handing out snacks and assisting with cleanup.  Whether it is reading to the young or elderly, cleaning up a park, donating old clothes or making cupcakes for a nursing home, doing something to help others is an important part of making this world a better place.  Kids are biologically wired to think “me, me, me” until their early 20’s, lets help them think of others too!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Sacrifices

We all give up something from time to time, whether we want to or have to.  That’s just part of life.  In an effort to do good in this world, sometimes it’s our time, sometimes our talent and sometimes our treasure that we give from.  This is a sacrificial time of year from a religious perspective. Many people are giving up something for the purpose of renewal and positive change in their lives.  If you are a parent, you sacrifice year round for your children.  We spend many a day watching the clock so we are not late picking them up or taking them somewhere. We give up going out on weekends and spend time watching their favorite show with them or helping them study for a test.  A positive perspective for looking at ways in which you sacrifice is knowing that you are doing good for someone else.  We thought we’d share ways we sacrifice, not just this time of year, but on a regular basis in the hopes of inspiring our readers to write about their experiences as well.

Our time:  We like to volunteer at our local churches.  Many houses of worship have so many charitable endeavors to choose from.  We have both taught religious education on a weekly basis (that is a big time commitment and a lot of work but very needed!)  We help out at the food pantry bagging groceries.  We also volunteer at the homeless shelter making food and setting up beds.  When the kids were younger we helped out with their boy and girl scout troops regularly and at school for the parent teacher organizations.  We also take time each year to clean out our closets and donate clothes.

Our talent: We are crafters at heart and love to crotchet blankets and scarves to donate to the needy.  As young kids our mom took us with our dancing school classes to nursing homes to perform for the residents, and with our own children we have brought them there to sing during the holidays and make cheery cards in the summertime.  We have also cooked and made various goodies for fundraisers.

Our Treasure:  Donations run the gamut from Heifer International to cancer fighting organizations, asthma research to veterans and animal shelters.  Please be sure to research your charity so you know your donation is going to a reputable organization and doing the most good.

We have done many of these things over time and we know that everyone makes sacrifices big and small each day.  We hope that you see yours as a way of giving and doing something positive for someone else and that you may be inspired by our choices as well to help spread goodness in this world!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Charitable Endeavors

Over the next few months we will be looking forward to all of the upcoming holidays and the celebrations that go along with them. It is one of the busiest times of the year as we get caught up in the joys of baking, shopping, wrapping and decorating. Along with all of the festivities, we need to remember that there is still a great need in our world, often right in our own backyards.  While we finds ways to donate and help those less fortunate year round, it is especially important this time of year.  The weather is colder; there is a need for shelter and warm clothes, along with toys for children in need who see the abundance others have while they go without during gift giving season. To that end, here are some great ways to help right in your own community:

* Donate a coat – Our communities do a coat drive every November.  Look for flyers or drop off boxes in your area.  It’s a great way to clean out your closet and keep someone warm!

* Buy a can of veggies – Soup, pb & j, anything non-perishable is great for a food pantry.  This time of year the Thanksgiving baskets are being prepared with corn, boxed stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc.

* Donate a gift – Toys for Tots places drop off boxes throughout many communities for donations.

* Give your time – Many elderly are lonely during the holiday season.  A visit and some conversation would mean the world to them.

Please consider picking at least one thing to do for someone else over the next few months.  We will try to do them all!

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