Ten Simple Yet Unique and Fun Ways to be Generous

by Connie Jo Holmes

Being generous is a beautiful quality. It is a fantastic way to tell someone you love them, to brighten a stranger’s day, and make life just a little easier or nicer for the people you see regularly. You want to be generous from your heart, but what people don’t realize is that what you give you get.  This means that the more generous you are, the more generosity will come back to you. It seldom will be in the exact same way, but it will come back to you in some generous form. Give it a try. You will see the truth in this!

  1. Over tip an excellent server. Leaving a $50 bill for a $33 meal makes you feel like a million bucks and it gives that person something to smile about all day. Doing this around the holidays is extra rewarding!
  2. Buy fundraising tickets to give away. The next time you are asked to buy tickets for a spaghetti dinner (or something similar) that benefits a fundraiser, tell the organizer you will purchase a certain amount of tickets and ask that they provide them to a family in need. This is especially great to do when your family lives in another state from you and you want to support your niece or nephew or grandchildren but they wouldn’t think to ask you to buy tickets for a local event. You can do this with tickets to a play too, but there is something special about being able to provide a meal for a family in need.
  3. Anonymous gestures. If there is a family you know who is struggling, sending them a gift card in the mail is a very nice gesture. It is up to you if you want to make it anonymous or not. I like the idea of sending it in the mail rather than giving it to them in person because they may be more inclined to accept the help and may not be as embarrassed. It is always better to send a gift card rather than food directly, especially when you do it anonymously, because the receiver is more inclined to use it rather than eating food received from someone they do not know.
  4. Say it with food! On a hot summer’s day, bring in Frosty’s from Wendy’s $1 menu for your department. It is such a cool, refreshing treat that is much unexpected yet so great to receive.
  5. Give right on the spot. The next time someone compliments you on a piece of jewelry you are wearing, take it off and give it to them. Granted, this is much easier to do if it is a random piece of costume jewelry that does not hold sentimental value. I did this once with a ring and the person was literally flabbergasted, yet loved it!
  6. Back-to-school help. Most communities are very generous around the holidays, especially Christmas. However, consider organizing a back-to-school clothing drive where families in need can attend a sale to select gently used clothing for their children before they start up another year of school.  In my opinion, this spreads out a bit better the generosity when it may be needed the most.
  7. Adopt a classmate. Speaking of back-to-school, consider working with your local school to organize an “adopt a classmate” whereby families can pick a name of a child who needs his or her school supplies purchased for them. The supplies can either be provided directly to the child or kept at the school for the child for the first day of class.
  8. Buy lunch. Since everyone loves a surprise occasionally, randomly choose a day that you tell your department not to bring lunch the next day because you will be picking up a Crave Case from White Castle (or something similar).
  9. Send it in the mail. Randomly mail to your children or nieces and nephews or even an aunt and uncle a gift card to a restaurant telling hem to have a fun night out.
  10. Share the gift of learning and reading. When you read a book that you love and you know your friend would love it too, order one and have it mailed directly to them. Most places allow you to add a note to your shipment, so you could add, “I just read this book and loved it, and know you would too. Here is your own copy. Enjoy!” Everyone loves to receive gifts, but to receive one randomly…and in the mail…is such a pleasure!

In good living there is good giving. Give well to live well! ~Connie Jo Holmes

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