Month: October 2014

The Dollar Challenge

A few days ago I was talking to my children about service projects. I mentioned to them that it’s my job to choose a new service challenge to share every Thursday on this website, and I asked them to think of their favorite way to serve.

The answer was instant.

“THE DOLLAR TREE SERVICE ACTIVITY!”

So here it is, this week’s service challenge, lovingly chosen by my 6-year-old …

Dollar challenge

This challenge is much like The Quarter Challenge. It’s very simple: take a dollar bill and hide it for someone else to find. Leave a little note with it so that the person who finds it knows it’s meant for them.

That’s it!

Here are a few different ideas for you:

* My family likes going to the Dollar Tree to hide dollar bills. (My kids love going up and down the aisles, being VERY SNEAKY, and finding hiding places.) Sometimes our notes just say something like “Surprise!” or “Have a nice day!” But sometimes they get more specific. We always hide at least one dollar in the medicine aisle with a note saying “I hope you get well soon!” It’s really fun to hide dollar bills in the toy aisle saying “Have fun!”.

* Many stores (like Target and Michaels) have a dollar section. This is a great place to go! You can also think of other items that cost $1 or less (like candy bars or toy cars) and leave a dollar tucked/taped in there.

* If you have a little more money to spend on this challenge, perhaps you could think a little bigger. Think of someone who might be in need of some money and hide a larger bill. Tape a $10 bill on a package of diapers for a new parent to find. Stick some cash near an expensive medication. Think of what someone on a tight budget would be buying and leave a little bit of money there with an encouraging note.

* If you’d like to participate in this challenge but you on a very tight budget yourself, you can still help! You can do the Quarter Challenge instead. If you get the Sunday paper (or are friends with someone who does), you can clip out extra coupons and be a “coupon fairy”, leaving them at the store for someone else to use. Or you can just write little notes of encouragement! “Get well” on a box of medicine, “You’re an awesome parent” on a car seat, “Looking good today” on makeup, and so on.

You know why I love this challenge? Because $1 doesn’t seem like much in the grand scheme of things. It’s not enough to end world hunger or to cure cancer or to pay off someone’s student loans for them.

But you know what?

It might be enough to make someone’s day.

I’m in!

Let’s Get Upset Together

This week, my family had the opportunity to visit a “Compassion: Change the Story” presentation. If you’ve never heard of it (I hadn’t either), here’s a little summary for you: Compassion International has a traveling exhibit. As you walk through the guided tour, you see replicas of the homes of children living in poverty. And even more significantly, you listen to the words and stories of children who have been sponsored through Compassion. You see and hear the heartbreak and despair. And then you feel the hope and the change that sponsorship brought them.

It was remarkable.

(I’ll share more details of the experience with you at another time. But one story at a time.)

As we drove to the exhibit, I wanted to prepare my children for what they’d be seeing. We talked about our sponsored boys and about the poverty they live in. We talked about our home and about how it compares to the homes of so many others in the world.

And then, from the mouth of my children, came heart-stopping questions.

“Mom … why did Heavenly Father and Jesus give some people such little houses and not enough food?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Why, Mom?”

“Mom?”

” … Mom?”

My heart was in my throat. My brain was in overdrive. For a moment, I had no idea how to answer. Because honestly, I have struggled with these same thoughts. I have looked at the injustices in the world and have wept at the unfair hand that some people seem to have been dealt. As I fought tears, my mind flew through many possible answers. Finally, I opened my mouth and began to speak from my heart. Haltingly at first, but with increasing confidence as I spoke, the words came.

“Guys, everyone is born and … Well, everyone has things in their life that are sad and hard. For some people, they have a hard time because they don’t have enough for money to buy things. They don’t have a nice house, or very much food. Some people don’t have a job. Some people’s bodies have lots of ouchies, and that’s very hard. And it’s very sad.

“But you know what, guys? Some people, like us, are so lucky. We have enough food to eat. We have a house we can live in. And we are SO lucky that we even have some extra money. So here’s what I think. I think that we can all help each other. And if we have more than what we need, we should choose to share. Because we can change people’s lives. We can help fix their problems.”

We continued to have a wonderful talk about the work that Compassion is doing for our sponsored children. I pulled up a scripture on my phone and we had a wonderful discussion. By the end of the conversation, my children no longer seemed upset.

But I still am.

I am upset.

I am upset that there are women who believe they only have two options: sell their body, or starve.

I am upset that there are children who do not go to school because they are so hungry that they choose to spend their day in the dump, hoping to find something edible.

I am upset that there are young adults who have no vision of a future that do not involve gangs and violence.

Many things make me upset.

And do you know what?

I hope they make you upset, too.

I don’t want to be upset all of the time, and I don’t want you to be upset all of the time. I don’t even want us to be upset most of the time. I believe that life is largely what we make of it, and I try to seek things that are good and lovely and uplifting. I am trying to teach my children to count their blessings and to look at the positive side of life. I believe the world is full of wonderful people who are trying hard to live good lives. I hope you feel the same way.

But sometimes, we need our lives to be shaken up a little bit. As we sit in our comfortable homes, near our kitchens full of food, we need to realize that there are many, many, many people who desperately need help. Right at this moment.

Sometimes, we should be so upset that we just can’t sit still any longer. We should feel so passionate that we decide that even if it means we have to skip lunch, we will donate a dollar to feed someone who is hungry. This passion should fuel us to find our local abused women’s shelter and ask what they need right now.

This unsettled feeling in our heart should push us to seek out organizations that serve refugees, fight against sex slavery, or educate those in poverty. We should be calling our city’s soup kitchen and finding out what their empty shelves need right this minute. We should quietly search our hearts, find a cause that speaks to us, and do something – even something tiny – to help. And then we should open our mouth to advocate for that cause.

Because if you have a computer or a phone with internet access, and you’re reading this right now, I’m guessing you are like me. You have enough to keep you alive … and you probably have a little bit to share.

Let’s get upset together.

And then let’s do something.

Let's get upset together

Backwards Trick-or-Treating Challenge

It’s service Thursday – time for a new weekly service challenge! Are you ready? I am – this is such a fun one!

Last month, I stumbled across this article and fell in love with a few of the ideas. So a few weeks ago, we did the Service Ghost Challenge. And this week …

Backwards Trick-or-Treat challenge

So what is backwards Trick-or-Treating?

You go out. You knock on doors/stop by work desks/visit a nursing home/etc. And you leave behind a treat.

It’s so easy!

I love this challenge because you can customize it to your situation. Do you have young kids? Have them put their costumes on – they’ll love getting to wear them for an extra night! Do you know someone who could use cheering up? This is the perfect opportunity to stop by. Do you know someone homebound/in the hospital/in a nursing home? Go make their day! Want to be anonymous? Doorbell ditch a treat. And keep in mind, it certainly doesn’t have to be candy. If food allergies/medical conditions are present, you can drop off mini pumpkins, stickers and small toys (for kids), or even a handmade Halloween card.

And if you’d like, you can even print off little tags to attach to these, especially if you’ll be doorbell ditching them! Here they are: Backwards Trick-or-Treat Challenge printable. (If you’d like this image larger/smaller, please let me know and I can easily make that for you. This printable has nine per page.)

So that’s it! Are you planning on participating? I would love to hear!

Our Thank a Soldier Experience

I am so glad we decided to do the Thank a Soldier Challenge last week. It has been an amazing opportunity for my family. We started by gathering up some scrapbooking supplies, pulling out the Cricut, and assembling a kit of Halloween-ey things to send with my son to preschool. He came home with this pile of awesomeness:

Thanking our soldiers

What’s next? Well, I talked with my son’s wonderful teacher, and she and I both love the idea of adopting a soldier. So I’m making fliers to send home with the other parents to let them know about our special new project, and over the next two weeks, we’re going to start working on a Christmas package! Remember, if you’re sending something overseas, it takes a LONG time to get there. And since there are a lot more packages going out during the holidays, if you want something to be there before Christmas, you really need to have it mailed off by the first week of November.

(Um, Kimber, aren’t your Halloween cards going to be a little late?)

(Why yes, they are. I’m learning as I go.)

(But really, I think a little care package from preschoolers is going to make his day. Even if it arrives in the wrong season. I hope.)

I hope this week’s challenge has given you the opportunity to think a little more about the brave men and women who defend our freedom, of the sacrifices they make, and of a way you might be able to better show your support for them. Thanks for joining in!

Thank a Soldier Challenge

Thank A Soldier Challenge

“Support our troops!”

Have you seen this phrase?

Perhaps on a bumper sticker. Maybe on a billboard. Perhaps you’ve see a video clip on Facebook of a soldier coming home and it made you cry. Or maybe … you read a story of a soldier who did not make it home. And it made you cry.

I do that a lot – I cry.

But what are we actually doing to support our troops?

If you’re like me, not nearly enough.

So this week’s challenge is not just for you, but most especially for me. Because if I feel gratitude in my heart for the soldiers who are willing to fight and even die to defend my freedom, I need to take a moment to say thank you.

Thank a Soldier Challenge

(Most of my readers are, like me, from the United States of America. My post today will primarily be geared toward American soldiers, simply because this is what I am most familiar with. But I’d like to encourage you, if you live in another country, to think about what you might be able to do to support your country’s brave men and women who serve.)

So HOW do we do it? How can we support our troops? I have a few suggestions for you. I hope you find a way to serve that touches your heart. And if you have any suggestions for me, please share!

  1. Write a letter to a soldier who is currently deployed. I know it’s much easier sometimes to send a quick e-mail … but there’s just something about getting a letter in the mail! Grab a piece of paper and an envelope – you’ll be glad you did. Do you have any friends, family members, or community members who are deployed? Show your support! If you don’t, I’d encourage you to visit AnySoldier.com. (Update: one of my readers pointed out to me that AnySoldier.com has updated their policy, and now you are required to make a financial donation in order to request an address. It looks like you can make the donation any amount – even $1 – but I am still disappointed in this change. Sorry about that!) This website is basically a compilation of troops stationed overseas who would love a little bit of support from home. You can find a troop based on what branch of the service they’re in, where they’re from, how long they’ve been gone … look around and find a group that touches your heart, then grab a pen! They will make sure your letter gets to someone who could really use some encouragement.
  2. Send a care package. Okay, this one is might be little bit more intimidating. But it really doesn’t have to be! Did you know that it’s not any more expensive to ship a package to a soldier stationed overseas than it is to send a package in the US? As long as the address is an APO or FPO address, it ships for regular US postage. (In fact, many post offices carry special flat rate shipping boxes especially for the military, and they’re a little bit cheaper!) As far as what to send, just think of what you’d want to be if you were away from home! Snacks, toiletries, entertainment … If you’re sending a box to someone local, you can include a current newspaper. To someone who is stationed somewhere without great access to a shower, baby wipes are always a popular request. To someone with a microwave but no stove, microwaveable meals and treats are awesome. You can ask your soldier for ideas, or if you’re looking at AnySoldier.com, they will list the things they would be especially grateful to receive (and AnySoldier has a lot of helpful tips). But be assured that what you send doesn’t matter nearly as much as the thoughtfulness behind your package. Just showing that you care is priceless.
  3. Be kind anonymously. One of my dear friends has a husband who recently returned from deployment. I asked her what kind of support has been helpful for her husband, and I love what she shared: “I know we’re always touched by anonymous service! He always feels uncomfortable being directly thanked for his service, but behind-the-scenes kindness is our favorite. For example, someone picks up his tab when out to eat.”
  4. Support veterans. If you’re not sure where to start, just google “(Closest major city) veterans” and see what pops up. See if there are fundraisers you can support or places that you can volunteer at. If you know someone who has served, thank them for their sacrifice. Remember our last tip … you can make someone’s day by sending an anonymous thank-you card to a veteran.
  5. Help families stationed overseas by sending your expired coupons. Did you know that they can use coupons up to six months past their expiration date at the Commisary? They can – and for many families, that can be a huge blessing! If you’re a couponer, consider sending the coupons you don’t use to military families. You can really help them stretch their budgets, and all it takes is a few minutes, an envelope, and a stamp. And even if you’re not a coupon user, if you get the Sunday paper, consider sharing! If you’d like to “adopt” a family overseas to share coupons with, check this out. Or you can look into the Overseas Coupon Program – they provide addresses of participating military bases, and you send your coupons directly there. Remember, you can use regular US postage!

Those are a few ideas I was able to come up with. I hope you find something that works for you!

As I thought about how I’d be implementing this week’s challenge, I decided I wanted to get my kids involved. So a few days ago, I spoke to my 4-year-old son’s preschool teacher and asked if we might be able to get his class involved in this project. She kindly agreed, and we began discussion how we might do that. As we talked, the music teacher dropped by and heard us.

“Excuse me,” she asked. “Do you have a soldier in mind?”

I explained that I had planned on finding a soldier from our area on AnySoldier.com, but asked if she knew of anyone who could use the support.

Then she broke my heart.

“My son just got home – he was stationed at Fort Hood. But he has a buddy who has been there for a while, and he’s going to be there for a long time. He’s stationed there for 18 months. And he hasn’t gotten any mail from home. Not one letter.”

I AM NOT OKAY WITH THAT.

This young man is going to find out very soon that he has been adopted by a preschool class. He’s going to get letters and cards from them. And for the holidays, he’s going to get at least one care package. Because … Well, there is no because, really. Except for … Because there just really isn’t an option. When I have access to a paper, a pen, and a stamp, why should there be someone who never receives mail?

There shouldn’t be.

And I’m pretty sure you agree with me.

So let’s get to work.

Save a little, earn a little, give a little

As I’ve mentioned previously, I have been writing a series of guest posts at TodaysTheBestDay.com. This isn’t a couponing website, and I’m not planning on sharing tons of money saving/money making posts over here. But I am a HUGE believer in being a good steward over your money. There might be a few things you can do to save a little bit of money here and there, or perhaps to earn a bit of extra cash. And if you can save (or earn) an extra $10 this week, I’d invite you to consider giving some of it away. Scatter quarters around, donate a few dollars to a good cause – whatever “your thing” is, do it! Here are a few links for you to check out, if you’re interested:

Save a little, earn a little, give a little

 

If you’d like to learn how to save money at Walmart, check out this post. If Target is your store, check here.

 

If you’d like to learn how to make a little bit of money with your smartphone, this post might be interesting for you to read.

 

If you want to check out a new generation of “mail-in” rebates (minus the “mail” part), here is an article for you. (It’s actually really easy. No stamp required.)

 

And finally, if you’d like to check out my favorite website that offers ways to earn a little bit of cash from home, you can check out this article.

 

There are lots of ideas – hopefully you can learn something new. I have personally used every one of these sites/apps/tips, and they have allowed me to give more generously. I have made blessing bags with the money I’ve earned from Shopkick, I’ve packed shoeboxes and taken my kids out on lunch dates with Swagbucks money, and I’ve used my couponing skills to allow me to purchase items to donate to my local women’s shelter for almost no money out of pocket.

 

If you have any couponing questions, please know you can ALWAYS ask me. I’m happy to help!

Being a (little) Gentleman

Earlier this week, my son and I attended an activity at our local Chick Fil A. As we were leaving, a kind man saw us coming and held the door open. We thanked him, and as we started walking away, I tried to turn the moment into a teaching opportunity.

 

“Son, do you know what that man is?”

 

“Nope …”

 

“A gentleman!”

 

“A GENTLEMAN? LIKE ME?”

 

“Yup, he’s a gentleman! Like you and Daddy! How do we know that he is a gentleman?”

 

“Because he holded the door and …” His sentence was never finished. He suddenly stumbled and, with his hands full, was unable to steady himself. WHAP! He landed on the pavement and instantly began to sob.

 

I had a cup, a purse, and a bag in my arms. I hurried to put my things down, but before I could get my hands free, someone rushed over and picked him off of the ground. Grateful, I looked up and noticed that it was a police officer. He helped my sobbing little man get back onto his feet and comforted him. Noticing his crushed water cup on the ground, he asked what he had been drinking, dashed inside, and quickly came out with a new glass of water – and a badge-shaped sticker. He handed both to my son.

 

“This,” he solemnly explained, “Is because you are VERY brave. And also because you’re a gentleman.” He gave me a knowing smile and left.

 

As my (no longer crying) son and I walked away, I was overwhelmed by gratitude for the good people who we come across every day. The kind who open doors, and the kind who take a moment to comfort a crying child. The kind who dedicate their life to defending the public and would lay down their life for me, a stranger. Everyday heroes whose eyes are always open for opportunities to serve and bless others.

 

Being a (little) Gentleman

I will likely never see either of those men again, but they have left an impact on me – and on my son. Those men each reinforced the lessons on kindness and service that we’ve been teaching at home. And although I felt bad that my son was hurt, I’m still grateful for the experiences of that day. His skinned knee has already healed – no real damage was done. But the lessons he learned that day will stay with him. They are helping me raise a little gentleman.

 

Let’s be like those men. Let’s keep our eyes open for people who need us to pick them up – literally or figuratively. Let’s make the world just a tiny bit brighter today.

 

The Shelter Challenge

It’s Thursday, and here at Let’s Do Some Good Today, Thursdays are challenge days! This week’s challenge is a pretty simple one. Are you ready?

Are you familiar with the shelters in your local area? If someone needed to know where the homeless shelter was, could you tell them? What about a women’s shelter? A shelter for teens? An animal shelter?

Most of us have shelters in our community. We’re grateful that they’re there, but we can easily forget about them because we don’t need them.

But what if you did?

You might never end up there. I sincerely hope and pray that you and I don’t. I hope that you are sitting in a home in which you feel safe and that you have money in the bank. I hope you have a safety net of family, friends, and community support. I hope that if hard times ever fall on you, you’d have people to lean on until you got back on your feet.

But what if you didn’t?

If you were absolutely desperate, you would hope that there would be somewhere to turn. You would hope that there would be a safe place for you to stay, and you would hope that somehow, there were strangers who cared enough about you – a stranger – to take you in.

Today, you and I don’t need one of these shelters. And for most of us, we don’t spend a whole lot time thinking about them. But to the brave men and women who have made this their life’s work, they spend almost all of their time thinking about these safe places … and they are hoping that others will think about them, too. Because without the support of a community, most shelters don’t have a hope of continuing.

Let’s think about them.

This week, we’re going to look at our local shelters. We’re going to learn where they are, and we’re going to learn what they need. That’s it. That’s all I’m asking.

The shelter challenge

First of all, if you don’t know what shelters are in your local area, a quick internet search will pull them up. Just type in “shelter” and your zipcode, and see what comes up. For me, the top results are homeless shelters, women’s shelters, family shelters, and animal shelters. Another minute of effort will also connect me to men’s shelters and a shelter for teenagers. There are so, so many in my area.

The need is SO great.

I wish with all my heart it wasn’t, but it was.

So pause now. Do an online search, and find a shelter nearby that touches your heart.

(Did you do it?)

Great. Now that you’ve found it, there’s just one more thing I’d like you to do: Find out what they need. Many times, shelters will have a website with a wish list page. If not, find the phone number and take a moment to call. Ask them what their greatest needs are. I can almost guarantee that there will be someone who will be very happy to answer your questions.

And that’s it, friends. Find a shelter, and find out what they need.

Because once you know what the needs are in your community … well, you won’t need me to tell you what to do after that.

You might realize you have an extra $5 you can donate.

You might pass by a clearance rack at Target and notice an item that’s on your shelter’s “urgent needs” list.

You might realize that you have a few hours you can use to volunteer.

You might grab an extra box of granola bars the next time you’re at the store. Or maybe an extra pack of socks, or a bottle of laundry detergent.

You might decide to take some donations to a shelter for homeless teens, and while you’re there, you might realize for the first time that right in your city, there are teenage girls who are selling their body for food. You might realize that you had absolutely no idea that there were people in your very city who are so absolutely desperate. You might get angry – FURIOUS – that this is the reality for so many. And when your fury subsides a bit, you might realize that you might not be able to fix all of the problems in your community, but you might be able to donate a bit of food. And with that bit of food, someone will be able to eat tonight without resorting to desperate measures.

A broken, defeated woman might be able to take a shower tomorrow morning and start to feel a little bit more feminine because you donated a bottle of nice shampoo to the shelter she has fled to.

A man might be able to button up his new-to-him dress shirt (that, as of yesterday, was hanging in your closet) and go off to a job interview, confident that he looks professional and competent.

Tomorrow someone might read your Facebook post … “Hey, local friends – did you realize that we have a women’s shelter that’s of closing because they need more donations? Come on – let’s help!” Or “Did you know that our local animal shelter is going to have to put down three dogs this weekend unless they find homes? Anyone need a new pet?” And your friend might realize, thanks to you, that there is a need that he or she can meet.

You can give. You can advocate. You can learn and share. And you can make a HUGE difference in the lives of the most vulnerable in your community.

I don’t know what you’re going to do with this week’s challenge.

But I can’t wait to hear.

The Day I Learned I was Rich!

A few weeks ago, my husband had the opportunity to visit Colombia and to meet the children we sponsor through Compassion International. (If you haven’t had the opportunity to read his words yet, I invite you to do so here.) I had a wonderful time preparing for his visit – the kids and I shopped and tried to pick out gifts for our sponsored boys that would be meaningful, needed, and fun. For weeks we talked about “our boys” and speculated what kind of presents they would like.

Meeting the boys

When the day arrived for Matt to meet them, I was thrilled. As I drove the kids to school, we began talking about the boys. “Do you think they’re going to be shy?” “What do you think will be their favorite present?” “Do you fink he will wike his new car?” And suddenly I realized something. My kids knew that we had bought presents for the boys that we sponsor. But … did they know what sponsorship really means?

“Hey guys,” I asked, “Do you know why we pay money to Compassion for John and Jhonatan?”

Long pause. “Um … so they can buy some new toys?”

Not quite.

I began explaining. “John and Jhonatan’s families are very, very poor. They might not have enough money to even buy food every day, did you know what?”

I glanced in the rear-view mirror and saw two pairs of eyes wide open.

“And it’s not just food. You know how we have a nice, comfortable house? And clothes? And a car and a truck?”

“And toys?” “And a dog?”

“Yup. We have all of those things. And we are so, so blessed. Did you know that some kids don’t have a bed? They sleep on the floor. And when they fall asleep, they’re hungry. You know, if our Daddy didn’t have a job any more, we have some food in our fridge. And if that ran out, we have lots and lots and LOTS of people who could help us. We have our family and our friends. We have our church, and there are people in our neighborhood who give away food to those who need it. We don’t have to worry about having enough food to stay alive. But lots of kids do. And that doesn’t make me happy. That actually makes me very, very sad.”

“Me too.” “Yeah, me too.”

“But you know what, guys? Instead of just being very sad about it … we decided to DO something about it! As a family, we decided to sponsor these boys. So Mommy and Daddy send money to the people who work at Compassion International, and then they work with John and Jhonatan’s families to make sure that those boys have the things they need. If they need food, or medicine, or school supplies, or clothes – whatever they need the very most, our money goes to buy that.”

My six-year-old spoke up. “Mom, how much money does it cost to do that?”

“Well, it’s $38 dollars a month.” I did some quick mental math, since around here, our currency is quarters. “So that means we pay 152 quarters every month.”

She loudly gasped. “MOM! You’re RICH!”

I started to laugh, and opened my mouth to argue. But she opened her mouth faster – and rocked my world. “Mom – you and Dad can pay 152 quarters EVERY MONTH. For BOTH boys. And you STILL have some left over?? YOU. ARE. RICH!”

My laughter died away quickly, and tears began to fill my eyes as I realized how right my daughter was.

I have a very comfortable home, and it’s full of machines that wash my dishes and cook my food and scrub my clothes for me.

I have taps that I can turn, and clean water will instantly be flowing. And within seconds, I can make that water hot or cold.

In the morning, I wake up in my cozy bed. I walk around my perfectly air-conditioned (or heated) home and get my kids ready for school. I pack their lunchboxes with healthy food, I load their backpacks with school supplies, and I drive them in my safe, reliable car.

When I don’t feel well, I drive to my doctor. The office is clean, the tools are sterile, and I have access to medication within hours.

I have food in my fridge and my pantry. And sometimes – heaven forbid – I have so much food, I get grumpy when I get home from the store because there isn’t enough room to hold it all.

I can spare 152 quarters a month.

I. Am. Rich.

Are you?

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

The Service Ghost Challenge

You know those people who just love fall? The ones who are on Facebook rejoicing because YAY, it’s sweater-football-cider-scarf-hot-chocolate-not-a-million-degrees-outside-season?

Yeah, that’s not me.

Because fall means winter is coming, and winter and I … we don’t get along so well.

But whether I like it or not, fall is here, and I decided I’d make the best of it by embracing it! So in the spirit of all things fall, here is our first Halloween service project – the service ghost!

Service ghost

I came across this post on I Can Teach My Child (an excellent resource if you have young children), and I loved the idea of a service ghost. It’s a simple way to let someone know you care about them – and hopefully, by leaving a note behind, your friend will decide to pay it forward!

So here’s how to do this challenge. It’s pretty simple. Do something nice, and leave behind a note.

That’s it!

There are tons of different ways you can go about this challenge. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Create a “service ghost” for your household. When you find the ghost, it means someone has done something kind for you! (Done your chore, cleaned your room, made you a treat, etc.) Come up with some kind of “rule” for the ghost (such as, you have 24 hours to pay it forward to someone in your family).
  • Drop off a treat or a small fall-themed gift (candle, pumpkin, etc.) on someone’s desk at work or school, or leave it on someone’s doorstep.
  • Find an act of service you enjoy doing (like the quarter challenge) and leave the note behind – this way you are serving people you don’t even know!

Find something that works for you and go for it! You can make a card, your kids can draw a ghost, or to keep it simple, I made this little note. I’m going to print it off and use it – you’re welcome to do the same! (Service ghost printable)

Just think – if everyone who reads this challenge decides to do an act of service (or two), and every person who receives it decides to pay it forward … by Halloween, our cute little service ghosts will have done a LOT of good!

I look forward to seeing what you come up with! Happy Fall, y’all!