Sunday, January 18, 2009

What Gifts Can YOU Give?

My former roommate Nicole wrote a piece for Women Doing More this last week (I almost said "my old roommate" but she's only 6months older than I am, so I guess I shouldn't call her old!) She talked about non-monetary ways that she and her husband have found to give--through donating blood, hair, and even a kidney. You should go read her article right now--go on, it's not very long.

Did you read it yet?

Get over there now! I'll wait.

It's not that long...

So did you read it now?


When I read that article it got me thinking about the ways that I am able to give... as you may know, my Hubby is a school teacher. It means that he has a great schedule (summers off!), but it's not a huge paycheck, so I rarely have money that I'm able to give. However there are many things that I can give:
  • I make things for people (cloth diapers, baby blankets, hats). This isn't free, but supplies are cheaper than finished products, and since these creative skills are able to bring me an income, I feel that it's appropriate that I should use the same skills to help as well. "Unto whom much is given, much is required"
  • I teach skills--I've taught friends how to make bread, sew diapers, and sew their own pads. I've posted a few tutorials on my shop blog, and am always willing to show somebody how to do something.
  • I share knowledge--I hope this blog is educational! I also share recipes and cooking tips on my cooking blog, and I hope they are helpful (and yummy) for some of you too! I tend to offer lots of information when someone asks me a question--it doesn't matter if it took me a long time to acquire all that knowledge for myself, I figure that knowledge is a good thing, and should be shared freely. Who am I to hoard it?
  • Throughout college I gave blood regularly. I'm no longer able to do this (because Hubby lived in England for 3 years so now we're both on the 'no' list for blood donation because of fear over mad cow disease), but I definitely encourage others to do this simple service--it really does save lives! Actually, if you donate before Feb 28, you can join in the virtual blood drive and be entered to win some pretty cool stuff...but that's not why you're doing it, right?
  • I do my part to save the world by living a pretty green lifestyle, being a good steward of what I have, and teaching my children (and hopefully others) how to do the same. Never doubt the power of a good example!
  • And the last one I want to tell about is sharing my breastmilk.
I wrote once about my friend who was not able to lactate. It's a very rare thing, but occasionally it does happen. Her baby was born in November, and mine was born the following January. In the early weeks, as she was struggling to try to get her milk to come in, many friends donated breastmilk to her, but by the time my milk came in she had only one person still sharing milk. I was blessed with an abundant supply of milk, so I started pumping and freezing it. Over the next 7 months I probably gave her a couple of gallons of my milk...not as much as I wish I could have given, but that is a lot of milk that she was able to give her baby which she would not have been able to otherwise. (She used formula to make up the difference, but I've commented before that formula makers are always discovering some new thing to add that breastmilk has had all along, so I'll always maintain my stance that breastmilk is the ideal.) Sharing my milk didn't cost me a thing, and it meant the world to her. (If you don't personally know someone in need, there are milkshare programs that help connect mothers with milk to mothers in need--just search "share breastmilk" or "donate breastmilk".)

So what about you? What non-monetary ways can you give?


TopHat said...

Well, there's always things like visiting teaching! And since tomorrow is a holiday (and National Service Day), I think tomorrow I will go do that.

And starting this week, I'm going to someone in our ward's home to teach her how to knit. Teaching skills is great and I look forward to teaching my own children the skills I know.

Cynthia said...

You are so right that there are many ways to give other than financial. Time is more valuable to most organizations.

I have had the opportunity to manage many volunteers in both a staff and a free capacity. The best volunteers are always those who are passionate and dedicated. They find the most satisfaction in their work too. I know I'm best when I volunteer doing something I'm interested in rather than asked to do.

Mallory said...

I like to think that my blog is full of information that I give to other people. Or at least a good laugh! I used to donate blood every year on my birthday and "half" birthday. But, now that I'm in the child bearing age, I won't be doing that as often, if at all. I miss it though.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Thank you soooo much for linking about the Manic Mommy's Virtual Blog for Blood contest! I really appreciate whenever anyone can help spread the word!!!

And the grand prize winner will get a trip to Florida!

Thanks for any shout outs anyone can offer! And for anyone who can offer a pint of blood as well! THANK YOU!

nicole said...

Wow, that's a great list! I might try a few of those myself... thanks for the ideas. :)

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