Monday, June 1, 2009

Caring Coupons

Welcome to Service – The Action Form of Love

Most of us know someone who has been negatively affected by the recent downturn in the economy.

My neighbors, Dan and Barbara accepted his company’s offer to relocate him to Utah – several hundred miles away from where they call home. Once they got here, signed a yearlong lease and unpacked, his company laid him off. Now he’s stuck.

There are other stories. You know them. Your friends and family or even you may be living one of them.

What can we do to help?

The aim of this blog has always been to focus on small and simple acts of service. I don’t have the money to help Dan and Barbara move back to Alabama. But there are little things you and I can do to help folks survive and make their days go by just a little more smoothly.

As a child, my parents were always teaching us about serving others. One of the best examples I experienced was around Christmastime as a young boy. I am one of 8 siblings, so sometimes Christmas could get pretty pricey unless you got really creative.

At a Family Home Evening, our parents suggested we all make coupon books to give to one another. The booklets, designed by us, were meant to give little acts of service to each other rather than material gifts. The idea was to make Christmas last longer than a few cold December days.

One coupon in a book for my older brother might say that I would wash his car on any Saturday he chose. Another would tell mama that I would wash the dinner dishes without arguing whenever she wanted to redeem the coupon.

You get the idea.

Would this work to help someone you know who has fallen on hard times?


So, here’s your challenge for today:

Decide on someone you know who is having a rough time. Design a simple coupon book specifically for things you know they need. Once you’ve made the book, take it to them with a freshly baked loaf of bread or maybe some cookies. Tell them how the book works. Let them know that they can call on you to help them.

Could you give them a coupon book to use when they really need help? Maybe it would help them reach out and ask for help when they would otherwise try to “get by” in silent pride.

Maybe you could offer to wash their car.

Maybe you could offer to mow their lawn?

How about a coupon to drive their kids somewhere? Or to drop off and pick up their dry cleaning? What about a coupon for a picnic lunch on a weekend they choose?

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Small and simple is the way to go.

You can be creative. You know your friends and family and neighbors and what their needs are.

Can you do this?

I believe you can.

I’m grateful for your generosity in wanting to help others. You, my friend, make a difference.

If you’ve read this far, I’m offering you a coupon, too. Here’s how it works. Simply go to the comments section of my blog and enter a comment. Tell me your first name and city and state or country, and tell me about your favorite service deed or act, whether you were the server or the served.

Make sure I have a way to contact you. I’d like to get in touch with you and ask you some questions. Then, with your permission, I’d like to blog about your experience.

Thanks for reading and taking today’s challenge! Thanks for being willing to help others. You matter by making others matter, too.

Truly, Service is the Action form of Love


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