The holidays are one of the best times to find new ideas for helping someone in need, starting with those you know. Many of us tend to think about helping other people such as the homeless, food pantries, and perhaps mission groups from church, but what about certain people we might see or know everyday that need our help? While external groups are great to give your help to, people you know and interact with daily could also use your help. The lady at the office who is single and has 3 kids, or the single guy or gal who’s working at your local coffee shop and in their first year of college? Or, perhaps even a distant relative, person at your church, or even your neighbor that might need your hand? I know it’s easy to forget about helping people when you’re busy and don’t have much time to think about outside of bills, family, relationships, career goals/issues and of course, your health. Still, I hope you’ll join me this year in finding new ideas for helping someone in need, no matter what it takes. We’re all here to help one another, and here are my favorite 7 ideas for starting that today!
1. Send a Card
Never underestimate the power of your words when searching for ideas for helping someone in need. Just the slightest bit of encouragement can help someone in ways you wouldn’t imagine. Offer a helping hand in your note too, and if you feel comfortable, leave your phone number so they can contact you. I also like to include an inspirational quote in all my cards, even if I can’t give monetary help.
2. Give Them Time
Sometimes people just need someone to talk to. Your lonely neighbor, or even your waitress at the local diner might could use to talk to someone. If you know a troubled teen, try just being there to listen to them, not dictate to them like their parents. Listening and giving people time is one of the best ways to help another person, and is completely free.
3. Cook Them a Meal
I love to cook and bake for people and it has always been one of my favorite things to do. Sure, most people can cook for themselves, but nothing says you care like preparing a meal for someone. Even better, it might save someone money, time, and even help them in a time of illness.
4. Take Them Somewhere
If you know of anyone who can’t drive for whatever reason, consider giving them a ride here and there. I can’t tell you how this has helped me out in the past and it’s something I’ll always appreciate.
5. Send a Care Package
If you know someone sick, going through a rough patch, or even just in need of a friendly gift, send them a special care package. It doesn’t have to cost much, but try to include relevant items like cheerful notes, perhaps an inspiring quote, their favorite snacks ( or yours to share with them), and even maybe a $5 giftcard to Starbucks if they’re into that kind of thing, or even a $5 gas card. I once got a care package of a tea bag, a tea mug and nothing more than a card, and you would have thought someone sent me gold. Packages are personal and are some of the best things you can give.
If you know someone who has a need, you can donate money, clothes, or even food, if it relates. Donating to others and giving however you can is one of the most selfless things a person can do, especially when you don’t believe you deserve anything in return.
7. Get Physical
Know someone moving that’s single and in need of some help? Or, what about a family that can’t afford a mover? Maybe you know someone who needs some lawncare done? Get physical and donate your labor! Helping people this way is one of the most honorable ways to show someone you care, because you’re not only donating time, but also your energy to helping someone, all for free.
Obviously flowers are fabulous too, but I tried to list things here that might be more useful, and not cost so much. I’m always looking for inspirational ideas that people enjoy giving their time to. Do you know of a great way to help someone in need? I’d love to hear it!