This week, I’m giving away a signed copy of my book 77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference : Ideas and Activities for Serving Others.
Simply telling our kids to love their neighbor isn’t enough. They need to see and experience love in action. This was the springboard for my book 77 Ways, which includes practical service ideas for a variety of budgets, Bible verses to help children connect God’s truth to their lives, and interactive discussion questions to help families understand the importance of each activity and correlate it to God’s Word.
In addition to families, these ideas and activities can be easily adapted to use with youth groups, Sunday School classes, home school curriculums, small-groups, and church-wide community projects.
Entering to win is super easy, and I’ll explain that in a few moments at the end of this post. In the meantime, here are some easy ways you and your family can bless others:
1. Clothing – experts say if you haven’t worn something in the past two years, pass it on.
- Check your community for places that take used clothing. Homeless shelters and the Salvation Army or Goodwill are just a few suggestions.
- Dress for Success accepts nice women’s clothing that can be given to disadvantaged women, those exiting the prison system in search of employment, or those in need of clothing for a job interview. God has used this organization to bless those seeking a second chance. For more information, see the website for Dress for Success.
2. Toys - why not bless a needy child with a gently loved toy?
- Know a foster parent? Might their foster child(ren) need toys or clothes?
- You can also check with your community Department of Social Services to see if there is someone in need.
- The Salvation Army/Goodwill are good choices as well.
3. Books -If you have extra Bibles or other books in your home, there are plenty of places to donate them:
- Love Packages accepts Bibles, Christian books and magazines, tracts, and hymnals. They distribute these items to numerous countries and into the hands of those who are hungry for the Word of God. Be sure to check their website for a detailed list on what Love Packages does and does not accept.
- Send your books to Hands for Christ. They found Lending Libraries in other countries and lend out Christian items to new believers. More information can be found here.
- Why not donate some of your items to your church library? Be sure to check (and double-check!) your items for content. The Bible warns us in 1 Corinthians 10:32 of causing others to stumble. Make sure your donated books, DVDs, and videos are clean and wholesome family-oriented material.
4. Other items -
- Have some clean plastic cottage cheese or butter containers? Check to see if your church needs these containers for leftover meals at funerals, etc. Also, if you have other clean “Glad” or “Tupperware” containers you aren’t using, these can be donated as well.
- What to do with all those Christmas cards (as well as other occasion cards) you receive this year? Donate cards to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children at their Card Recycling Program.
- Could your local Habit for Humanity use your gently used household items, such as ceiling fans or doors?
Feeling inspired to help others? Before you get started please check out these rules of thumb:
- Always ask someone in your family, immediate and extended, if they need the item first. First Timothy 5:8 tells us to first provide for our relatives.
- Do you know any widows or single moms who could use the items? James 1:27 instructs us to take care of the widows and orphans.
- Do NOT pass on anything you wouldn’t use or wear yourself (i.e., junk). Clothes with stains and holes, books with pages ripped out of them, scratched DVDs, or expired food that doesn’t have a place in your home certainly won’t be welcome (or appreciated) in someone else’s.
- Always call first to see if donations are being accepted. Some places are inundated with items and are therefore not accepting donations at this time. Please be respectful of their donation criteria.
- Most importantly, pray for God’s guidance as you seek to find who could use your gently used items.
And now, to win a copy of 77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference all you have to do is leave a comment about your favorite way to bless someone else. For example, how do you and your family encourage others?
A winner will be chosen at random. Sorry, this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. For an extra entry, please “like” my Facebook author page. Giveaway ends on November 8, 2012.
Stay tuned for the details on who won Deb Raney’s three-book Hanover Falls Series coming soon!