We are joining our six DIY friends today to share 10 minute Christmas ideas with you all. Dean and I are sharing 10 minutes to pay it forward this Christmas. Just think if you did all 7 of our Christmas ideas, in just a little over an hour you will have a beautiful holiday tablescape, a cute Christmas ornament for your tree, a wreath on your front door, a present wrapped, a gift for a neighbor and you will have given back to someone in need. How productive will that make you feel?
Everyday we are getting plenty of mail from non-profit organizations asking for monetary donations. I open the white envelope, and by now I can spot the ones with the free address labels inside, then the rest gets thrown in the trash. Yep, in the trash. Do I feel a twinge of guilt for scoring the address labels and throwing the rest away? I do, a little. I think about the little girl in Africa who I could have fed for a year with a small donation or the dog at the humane society who may be euthanized because I didn’t write a check. I have learned that it is impossible to give to everyone who asks and we should not feel guilty about saying no. Setting clear boundaries to who you are going to support and how you can help shed those guilty feelings.
Over our lives, we have written monthly checks for children in the Philippines, given to The Children’s Miracle Network in the check out line at the grocery store and bought several fast food cards and handed them out to the homeless man or woman on the street corner. We still give of our time and finances but now we have select organizations that we have decided to give to or will consider giving to in the future. The charities we choose to give to are the ones that have touched our lives in some way or another and hold special meaning to us.
Photo source: Save The Children
Consider these three things when you decide where to give your resources:
- Decide what is meaningful and important to you and your family. Diabetes, Skin cancer, Breast cancer and the homeless are some of the organizations besides our church that are meaningful to us.
- Choose how you are going to give back. Is it your time, is it your money or is it both? Can you volunteer and serve dinner to the homeless or the children and their families at places like Give Kids The World?
- Decide how much your budget will allow financially and how much time you will be willing to give. Habitat for Humanity is great for those that have great carpentry skills if you want to give time. Don’t ever forget that whether you can give $10 or $10,000, it will always make a difference to someone when you are simply paying it forward.
If any of the above organizations resonate with you for giving your time or money, just click on their link and you will be brought to their page to volunteer your time or donate financially. Volunteer Match is a great website that will match you with volunteer opportunities near you if you want to get involved within your community. It is a great way to meet new people, too. It only takes 10 minutes to pay it forward with just a click of your mouse!
Here are a couple more organizations we support because we truly believe in their causes and feel our recipients will truly benefit by bringing some sort of joy in their lives.
- Love With Food– We try our best to eat healthy meals and snacks in our home and Love with Food offers junk-free snacks. You can choose from different size boxes of all natural and organic snacks to be delivered right at your front door every month. For every box sold they donate a meal to several food banks. I was very lucky to meet and speak with the founder at a conference in Chicago recently and she actually won the “Food Tank” contest at the conference where she had to present to a panel of distinguished judges. Do you have a college student that would love to receive this surprise once a month? What I love about this product, as well, is that you can cancel your subscription any time. Right now, they are offering 40% off the first tasting box and they even offer gluten-free snacks.
Photo source: Love with Food
- Canine Companions– We just received news that we will be receiving our 8 week old little girl Labrador Retriever in December. We have decided to be puppy raisers for this organization that provides veterans, children or adults in need of a service dog. We will have her for 18 months, plenty of time to fall completely in love, then we will have to let her go to be professionally trained. Puppy raisers need to attend classes and train the puppy at least 30 commands while also making sure the puppy is secure and safe. We are so excited to get her. They name the pup litters by letters in the alphabet. We have been told that she has been born in the “W” litter. We can’t wait to find out what her name is and I am sure she will make it a very magical Christmas for us this year. You can find out more information here about being a puppy raiser yourself, purchase a 2016 calendar or shop for gifts to support the organization.
Photo source: Canine Companions
It is so easy to get caught up in our own thoughts each day checking off our to do list one by one so that we feel like we accomplished something for ourselves. Sometimes we forget to think about others. Personally, when I am having a bad day I try to intentionally go out of my way to do something nice for someone else. Doing something kind for someone else can give you a euphoric feeling , even if it is just a smile, and now guess what? You are coming out of your bad mood or not feeling so down anymore. Can you imagine how the world would be if more people became more conscious of this everyday?
You may never know the impact you may have on someone else just by saying hello and smiling to a stranger. It doesn’t matter if it appears obvious that the person may be hurting or hungry, everyone could use a smile, a door opened for them or a surprise coffee from a stranger. One simple act of kindness can can change someone else’s day completely. We all walk by strangers every day at the gas station, the grocery store and in the malls. Someone could have just had a friend pass, a young teen was bullied at school or a mother and her small children just found out her husband wants a divorce.
Do you have 10 minutes to pay it forward? I’ve made a 10 ways to pay it forward chart that you can carry in your car, post on your mirror or stick in your calendar as a gentle reminder that every act of kindness makes the world a better place. And for all you Pinterest pinners, pin away to help make Pay it Forward go viral this Christmas. Now go spread good cheer and pay it forward today! Whoa! Before you go, don’t forget to get your other 10 minute Christmas ideas from my very talented DIY friends.
Tablescape | Kristy @ The Starfish Cottage
Recipe | Carol @ Bluesky Kitchen
Gift Wrap | Jennifer @ Life of Jennifer Dawn
Ornament | Christine @ Let’s Get Crafty
Wreath | Gloria @ Potentially Chic
Gift | Holly @ McCall Manor
Affiliate link for Love With Food was used above. This simply means at no additional cost to you, if you purchase, we may receive a small commission. This can help with the annual costs of running this blog to share our ideas and projects with our readers