Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Acts of Kindness: Many Ways to Make Others Smile

A couple years ago our small group at church was able to help a family in need buy gifts for their children for Christmas. I talked over the phone with the parents and they told me the list of toys that their children had asked for and were hoping to receive. As I wrote the items down I realized that if we did not step in and help these children would not receive these gifts and possibly no gifts at all.

When I was finished writing I took the note and gave the list to someone in our group to buy the presents. We all chipped some money to make this a reality. It was an incredible feeling to be able to give to this family and know that we were able to make their Christmas special. It was a reminder to all of us that not everyone has everything that we many times take for granted.
Doing acts of kindness out of a desire to help others can be very rewarding. Witnessing a smile on someone’s face or just knowing that there will be a smile on someone’s face makes it all worth it. And the best part is that there are so many ways we can help others.

Below are seven ways we can make others smile and feel loved.

1. Serving: washing someone’s car, doing chores, helping someone move, etc..

2. Giving affection: offering hugs, kisses and pats on the back and piggy back rides.

3. Laughter: send a funny cartoon or story via email, tell a tasteful joke, make a funny face, etc.

4. Quality Time: spending time with someone and doing activities where you can get to know them better like hiking, golf, sharing coffee, bike riding, painting, etc.

5. Affirmation: sharing with someone something that they have done that you appreciate, giving an uplifting compliment, a hand written note or an email saying ‘thank you’ or ‘thinking of you’ can all make someone’s day.

6. Gifts: giving material things can sometimes be very touching for others. Flowers, chocolates, baking someone’s favorite desert and giving it to them, etc.

7. Presence: listening intently to someone without interrupting can be one of the greatest gifts we can give. Sometimes a word does not even need to be said, rather just simply being there with someone through a tough time can be the most encouraging and supporting thing we can do.

For more ideas on things you can do contribute to others click here.

PHOTO CAPTION: "Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army" Photo taken by Christine June on October 09, 2008. Olaf Klein-Chazkelewitz, a U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern, Germany, fire inspector, helps 4-year-old Sierra Otto-Roddan put on a firefighter's coat during "The Monster" skit of the "Sesame Street" puppet theater performed by the fire department.

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