5 Ways to Bless Others and a Giveaway!

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

This week, I’m giving away a signed copy of my book 77 Ways Your Family Can Make a DifferenceIdeas and Activities for Serving Others

Resolve every day to make a difference in the life of someone else…

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!

 

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42 thoughts on “5 Ways to Bless Others and a Giveaway!

  1. These are great ideas and ones we implemented when our children were quite young. It’s never too early to start teaching them about ways to bless others. One Christmas we bought six baskets and filled them with baby items for our local pregnancy care center. Our children still talk about that as being one of the best Christmases. (? spelling)

    • Hello Anne! I agree, it never is too early to start teaching our children to bless others. What a wonderful idea for the local pregnancy center! Isn’t that awesome that your children still speak of that being one of the their best Christmases? What a great way to make an impact that lasts a lifetime in more ways than one! Thank you, Anne! 🙂

  2. Great tips, Penny. I gave a sigh of relief to read that we’ve been doing many of these things with our family. This past summer our son and I volunteered for a nearby non-profit in their recycling program, one half day weekly. During the beginning he didn’t make a connection to how recycling made an impact but I’m happy to say the lightbulb went on for him by summer’s end. I’d want to skip going one day so I could put in a full-day at office thinking he wouldn’t mind. Oh my, did he have much to say…and we did end up honoring our volunteer time. It was rewarding to see him mature so much during this short span of time and come to discover the value and satisfaction that comes with serving others. I’d be thrilled to win a copy of 77 Ways as I’m sure it’s filled with both interesting and diverse ideas to continue connecting and serving.

    • Thank you so much for sharing, Ruth! How wonderful to see your son mature in such a short time and discover the importance and value of serving others and making a difference. I loved your story! And thank you for your kind compliment about “77 Ways.” Have a blessed weekend!

  3. Great ideas! We are forming a new Women’s Ministry Group at church and this book would be a welcome addition for us to use!

    • Hello Beth! That is awesome to hear that you’re forming a new Women’s Ministry Group at your church! I heard from a reader recently that she implemented many ideas from “77 Ways” into her Mom’s Group at church. It’s awesome to see how many lives are changed when we step out and help someone in need.

  4. I have been donating my used Christian books and Bibles to Christian Library International which sends collected donations to prison chaplains for the prison library or to give to individual prisoners. Our church is doing the Operation Christmas Child boxes again this year along with packing backpacks and gathering coats for people in Appalachia. I enjoy all of these serving activities.

    Blessings, Janice jsmith(at)hotmail(dot)com

    • Hello Janice! Wow! I love the idea of sending donations of books to prison chaplains for prison libraries. I’m not yet familiar with Christian Library International, but this sounds like a fantastic outreach program and such a way to help those who are hurting. Thank you for sharing that with us! The Operation Christmas Child is such a worthwhile ministry as well and I love the idea of packing backpacks for those in Appalachia. Great ways to serve those in our own country and beyond!

  5. Our family bless others by praying for others, we get many calls from individuals and families that call us for encouragement and prayer. We like to bless others by giving away gently used clothes, toys and books. We also like to invite others over to have a meal and fellowship.

    • What an awesome example you are setting for those around you! I love the intercessory prayer and blessing others with items. You definitely have the gift of hospitality – what a blessing to invite others over for a meal and fellowship. Thank you so much for sharing, Jessica!

  6. These are awesome ideas, that can really show our children how important it is to “give back to the community”. We were put here to be “Christ like” and by that we should be servants to the people. Our kids need to learn that young… I love how all of your ideas are ideas they can be involved in!!! Thanks!!

    • I’m honored that you enjoyed the suggestions. I agree, we are here to be the hands and feet of Christ and show the love of our Savior to a hurting world. Have a blessed weekend! 🙂

  7. I work in my church library. 4 times a year we have a book giveaway where we pass along the “book blessings” to anyone who wants a free book or books.
    Thanks for entering me in the contest.

    • Janet! What a fabulous idea! I love the thought of a “book blessings” giveaway – very neat. Thank you also for being such an encouragement and for letting me know my books are in your church library – that really blessed me.

  8. Our family cooks meals for families who have recently added a new member, we make cookies for our neighbors, we’ve served at our pregnancy care center, and we pick up litter in our neighborhood. I would love some more ideas for our family. Thanks for the change.

    • You have a busy family, Elizabeth! How awesome that you are teaching your children to serve others. I love the idea of serving at a pregnancy care center. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  9. My family and I volunteer in our community… through the scouting program and through various community charities and our church…. hospice, literacy program, hospital auxiliary… and we also allow those in need of housing to stay in one of our rentals for free until they’ve had a chance to get on their feet again. I also love sending cards to those who could use a little pick me up…. 🙂 It’s also fun to do a RAK here and there… like paying for the person behind me in the drive through……

    • Hello Dana ~ Wow! Great ideas! What a blessing to provide those in need of housing to stay in one of your rentals for free until they are back on their feet again. That is awesome! God Bless!

  10. Our family does what we can find to do. Last week, with the help of some other neighbors, we filled two trucks up with dumped trash from an undeveloped cul de sac by the school. If we know a child not getting gifts for birthday or christmas we make sure to find them somethings. There’s always ways to help the community…see a need, fill a need!

  11. Great Article! I am pinning this one as well as commenting! As the mother of a 9 year old, I am always looking to instil great values in her about generosity. You have some awesome tips here! Would really love this book!

  12. Oh, by the way, the way we bless others is by looking for little ways to make someone’s day better, even within our family. I think my little girl has the biggest heart! I have taken her with me when I volunteer at my church as well. I really need to find more ways to get involved in service to others and make it a priority!

    • Hi again, Christine! I forgot to mention that I loved what you said about your daughter having the biggest heart. That is so neat that she helps you volunteer at church. I love, as a parent, to be able to watch and see the plans God has for our children and how He shines through them, even at a young age.

    • I agree, Jessica. We as parents can’t only instruct our children to do kind things for others, but we have to model it as well! Thank you so much for stopping by – I hope you have a great rest of your week.

  13. I would love to win a copy of Penny Zeller’s new book ’77 Ways Your Family Can Make A Difference’….I have shared on facebook and twitter……

  14. Our family has done several things. Some you have mentioned. Many times we don’t have money to give or a whole lot of food, etc. but God has blessed us with enough to go around. We participate in food drives. We give food to those who knock on our door asking for something to eat. This has happened many times in the past 10 years in our neighborhood. I guess they associate us with “church” because of my long hair and dresses. We also provide food for many of our sons’ friends that are poor and have opened up our doors to people who have needed a place to stay. Currently, our youngest son has a friend who comes over and even though he doesn’t complain, we know he doesn’t have much to eat. His dad is on meth and sells all their things to supply his habit. They are living without electricity and it is cold where I live. We do what we can to help this boy and he is most appreciative and even says Thank You.

    I would love to win your book!

    • Hello Deamundy ~ Wow! What a difference you are making! I loved the story of your son’s friend and how you are reaching out to him. That is also very awesome how you are a light for Christ to those in your neighborhood. You are truly an inspiration!

  15. Great article! Thanks for including links to some of the places you highlighted :). Great idea to donate Christmas cards to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children at their Card Recycling Program – I hadn’t heard of them before. Our church does a similar thing to Love Packages and Hands for Christ, each year collecting and sending boxes of Christian books as well as textbooks to teachers/missionaries our church supports to be shared among those they minister to overseas.

    • Hello Jes ~ Thank you for stopping by! I’m honored that you found my article to be helpful. I, too, love the idea of the Christmas card donation. Awesome that your church participates in sending Christian books to teachers and missionaries. What a way to show God’s love across the miles!

  16. “Like” your Facebook author page. I really like the pictures you post 🙂 They are either laugh out loud funny or encouraging! 🙂

    • Thanks, Jes, for liking my Facebook author page. I really appreciate that! I’m glad you enjoy the pictures. It is a blast finding fun ones to post. Humor is such a wonderful gift God has given us! 🙂

  17. Wow! Thank you everyone for stopping by! I’m hoping to head on over to Random.org at some point in the next couple of days to choose a winner. I really do appreciate you all! God Bless 🙂

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