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28 Ways to Give Back in November

28 Ways to Give Back in November
by Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS

I love the month of November. It truly is a month of “Thanksgiving.” Family. Football. Feasting. Fitness. Ahhh—this is an extraordinary time.

As we prepare for November 28th we are reminded that living with an “attitude of gratitude” puts us in the right mindset for success and for significance. “Gratitude” is a powerful word and an ethos to live by.

I have themed this month of November one of GIVING BACK. It always feels so good to give to others. Good for the mind and good the soul. When you can put a smile on someone’s face and know that your attention, your kindness, your love or your resources made a massive difference… That is true IMPACT!

Because Thanksgiving in the U.S. lands on November 28th this year, I’ve made a list of 28 ways you can make a difference this month in someone else’s life:

1. Create a care package and send it to an active duty military unit.

2. Host a Thanksgiving dinner at your home this year and invite another family less able to host their own dinner.

3. Clean out the clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn in a year and donate them to Goodwill.

4. Surprise your mail carrier/ UPS Driver/ salon stylist/ gardener/ housekeeper with a $5 Starbucks gift card in a thank you note.

5.  Select one of your favorite books you read this year and gift it to someone who would enjoy it.

6. Invite a friend over for a home cooked meal.

7. Stop by a local nursing home and ask if there is someone without family or friends who might enjoy an unexpected visitor for 15 or 20 minutes.

8. Volunteer to help out or cook for the homeless on Thanksgiving morning.

9. Run in a charity race on Thanksgiving Day where all of the proceeds go to a charitable cause.

10. Write a positive Yelp review about a local business you appreciate.

11. Donate blood this month. Remember: a pint of blood can save up to three lives. Locate your nearest blood drive.

12. Get involved with a philanthropic activity your church is sponsoring in the community.

13. Donate cat or dog food to an animal shelter. Call and ask what is needed.

14. Clear off your bookshelves and donate a box of books to a local charity (Friends of the Library, homeless shelters, etc.).

15. Perform at least one random act of kindness everyday.

16. Make arrangements to donate your gently read magazines to the local hospital. Stop by quarterly with a small box of magazines you have finished reading.

17. Contact the Big Brother/Big Sister program and see if there are any volunteer opportunities this month.

18. Write an inspirational note to 10 people in your life and thank them for what they do on a regular basis – choose randomly from your family and friends.

19. Sponsor or “scholarship” a friend, family member, or co-worker for a conference, event, class, certification or workshop this person really wants to participate in but can’t afford.

20. Host a free class at your fitness business for people who can’t afford your services.

21. Or, host a special class or workshop at your business and donate 100% of the proceeds to a charity of your choice.

22. At least once a day compliment someone you know.

23.  Gift the annual or monthly membership fee for a program you enjoy to someone who really needs or wants to participate but can’t afford it (This does not have to be a gym!). Go together.

24. Smile at every stranger you see. A smile can make someone’s day.

25. Hugging is great medicine! Give someone a hug at least once a day.

26. Dedicate a Saturday morning to car washing. Do it yourself or take your loved ones’ cars to be cleaned and detailed.

27. Compliment a stranger at least once a day.

28. Leave gratitude notes for your family / co-workers / friends to find when they would least expect it – inside a lunch box, taped to their computer screen, on the bathroom mirror, inside their luggage, in the pocket of a jacket, etc.

There you have it. Twenty-eight ideas for you to choose from and make a difference this month. And by all means, carry this into December, to the end of the year, or even into 2014! Heck, imagine if each of us committed to doing one NEW thing from this list every month. Twelve months a year. That is massive IMPACT.

Here’s my commitment: I am choosing to do #2, #5, #17, #19, #21, #23, and #28 from the list this month. OK, I’m an over-achiever. But I know I can do it.

How about you? What one, two, three (or more) of these do you COMMIT to doing this month to make a difference in someone’s life?

Post your answers below.

Much love… and much IMPACT!


P.S. I want to thank Coach Frank Pucher for inspiring me to write this article today. He started this thread in my Mastermind and offered a few of the suggestions I included among my 28. Sometimes it only takes one great idea to ignite a movement – surround yourself with people who empower you! #MakeADifference

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