02 December 2014

5 Ways To Give On Giving Tuesday

Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, I'm thrilled to focus on one of my favorite things... giving. I'm excited to be celebrating Giving Tuesday today with Give Forward. I love what they do and the avenue they provide for people to help people. Often times in a medical adventure there are so many who want to help, but really don't know exactly where assistance is needed most. One of my favorite things about Give Forward is that it is so easy for one person to make a significant different in someone else's life simply by setting up a fundraiser for them. Taking that step and putting such good out into the world is unbelievably important.

Giving Tuesday is about making the effort to give, in any way that you can. It is about stepping up and paying it forward, instead of assuming someone else will. It is about making a difference and motivating others to do so as well. Leading by example has such a fantastic ripple effect.

An incredibly substantial concept for us to teach our daughter is that giving is always better than getting. I want her to realize her own power and use it for good. Helping others, spreading kindness, and stepping up when it is needed are all values I aim to instill in her little heart every single day. I don't want her to be a bystander. I want her to be a difference maker, because she is.

Last year to celebrate my 30th birthday, I set out to do 30 Random Acts of Kindness. To share ideas and motivate others to join me, I also shared my 50 Ideas For Random Acts Of Kindness list here on the blog. It is one of my all time most popular blog posts. I think this fact speaks volumes to the notion people want to do nice things for others, but sometimes crave concrete suggestions to push them along.  Having my daughter along for the ride added more emotions and importance to the whole journey as well. Watching her experience it added a completely other level to it all. Over a year later, she still talks about that day and how wonderful it is to see people smile because of your actions. It was a huge wakeup call that you can give wherever you happen to be in your own life, sometimes you simply have to be creative about it. Sometimes I think people hear give and erroneously assume it has to be of the monetary nature. I've learned over the years that your time is one of the most precious gifts that you can give.

Here are five easy and simple ways you can give today on Giving Tuesday!

1) Give attention: Is there someone in your life you know who is going through a particularly rough patch? Schedule a time with them and give them your undivided attention the entire time you are in their presence. Even if you can't fix their obstacle, showing them you care and that you are on their team will instantly brighten their spirits. Together we are stronger.

2) Give clothing: Clean out your closets and donate gently used clothing items to those in need. Utah has Big Brother/Big Sister bins at many convenient locations.

3) Give words: Give or mail a handwritten heartfelt letter to a friend who has been on your mind lately, perhaps someone you haven't been able to see in awhile. Take time to put genuine thought into this correspondence. Receiving real letters in the mail is such a refreshing surprise!

4) Give food: Sometimes the gesture of a home cooked meal or yummy treats is enough to completely turn someones day around. Take a friend some cookies. Make a little extra of whatever dinner dish you are preparing tonight and take it to someone who could really be blessed by it.

5) Give research funds to a rare disease: Obviously this one is close to my heart. Rare diseases have to fight so hard for research funds because most of the time they do not receive any government funding due to the rarity of the conditions. Fundraising is up to the family and friends to pave the way.

I would love to hear how you are paying it forward on this Giving Tuesday! Please share your ideas and plans in the comments!


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