Friday, March 6, 2009

30 Minute Service Project

30 Minute Service Challenge

I’d like to tell you about an idea - then I’d like your help passing it along.

The idea is this - on the second Saturday of every month, block out just 30 minutes (minimum) of your busy schedule to serve someone else.

I think many of us have the idea that in order to serve others in meaningful ways, we have to find a complicated, time consuming service project to work on. We think of all the problems we and others face in the world - poverty, hunger, war, etc., and the task seems daunting. We feel that as individuals, anything we do would be ineffective at best.

In reality, like a pebble tossed into the calm waters of a pond, our actions for good can spread out the breadth and length of the world. Our good deeds can radiate from one person to the next in our individual towns, cities and villages and keep radiating outward until many people have been touched.

Truly, service to others can be accomplished in small and simple ways, yet be unbelievably meaningful to the people we serve, as well as to their family and friends.

So, here’s the challenge.

Beginning Saturday, March 14th, block out at least 30 minutes of your day. Put it on your calendar. Set a reminder for yourself for the day before. Tell your friends and family and invite them to join you.

Then, find someone to serve.

Pretty simple, isn’t it?

But, you may be asking, how can I serve others for 30 minutes? What can I do to help?

Here are some ideas:

• Get a trash bag from your kitchen and take a walk. As you walk, pick up trash along the way. You can even drive out to your local park or cemetery and clean up there if you’d like.
• Find someone who needs to talk and listen to them. Really focus and hear what they have to say. You don’t have to offer feedback (unless they ask you to). Just be there for them.
• Share your skills. Do you have a talent or a skill that could help others? Share it for free. Do you write resumes or fix cars? Are you good at landscaping? Masonry? Use your skills for at least 30 minutes to help someone who can use your particular skill or talent.
• Do you know of someone in the hospital or who has experienced a recent loss of a loved one? Go spend some time with them. Visit them with no agenda in mind other than to see how they’re doing and let them know through your actions and words that you care. See if there’s anything they’d like you to do. Offer to run to the store for them. Ask if they need meals or a car wash. Then do it.

I think you get the idea. The ideas are endless and in almost every case, will cost you nothing but a little of your time and attention. And remember that the 30 minute time frame is a minimum, not an absolute. If you can devote more time to serving, by all means, please do.

Other than the challenge itself, the only thing I would ask of you is this:

If you have service ideas, I'd like to hear about them. Also, if once your service is complete, I'd love to hear about those, too. Your experience could really help others serve. And finally, pass it on.

You have my permission to cut and paste this document into a new note or email, print it and hand it out… whatever. This isn’t about acclaim or fame. It’s all about serving others.

Let’s do it!


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