If you'd had a chance to see the video I posted a few days ago, you may be looking for ways to make a difference in your community. My husband got a whole list of ideas started for our church, so I'm sharing them with you now too. Some of them are local places, but I'm sure you can find a similar organization in the local areas you live in.
Here's what he came up with:
~Start saving all your aluminum and steel cans for Cans for Hope, a local non-profit that raises money through recycling efforts for girls rescued from sex-trafficking. (www.cansforhope.org)
~Volunteer one time to serve a meal to the poor or volunteer to help at one event at Denver Rescue Mission (www.denverrescuemission.org)
~Give up one family dinner out per month and sponsor a child with World Vision. (if you can’t afford it, give up two meals! Or go in with another person or family)
~Organize a food drive at your church or your workplace and collect non-perishables for a local food pantry
~Volunteer one time to serve a meal at the Delores Project (safe house for homeless women in Denver) www.thedeloresproject.org
~Volunteer to help at one event for SafeHouse Denver (shelter for victims of domestic violence) www.safehouse-denver.org
~Give up 2 Mochas a month and donate that money ($7) to the Mocha Club, a charity that looks for effective ways to help the poor in Africa. Bring at least one other person in on this idea with you and start spreading the word!
Q: How far does $7 go in Africa?
A: Great question! Wrap your mind around this…$7 in Africa can:
SUSTAIN life for 1 person living with AIDS.
PROVIDE clean water to 7 Africans for 1 year.
SAVE 1 person's life from malaria.
~Build a Lemon:Aid stand in your community to quench the thirst of someone in your neighborhood, then donate the funds to Blood:Water Mission to quench the thirst of someone half way around the world in Africa with clean, safe water. Over 320 million Africans lack access to clean, safe water - people like you and me - smart, talented, hopeful people - and we can partner with them to make a difference in their lives as well as ours. (www.bloodwatermission.com)
~2 Weeks Can Change a Life.
By giving up what you'd normally drink in exchange for the water from your tap you can save that money to help build clean water projects for African communities in need. Make water your only beverage for 2 weeks. Save the money you would usually spend on beverages. After 2 weeks, donate the money you saved by making such a simple choice and give someone clean water for a lifetime. (www.bloodwatermission.com)
~Organize a 30 Hour Famine with a group from Encounter, work, or your home Bible Study group. Raise money for each hour you go without food to be donated to World Vision in order to make an impact on world hunger. (www.30hourfamine.org)
~Choose a country in the world where hunger is a real issue (check out www.30hourfamine.org/hunger/where-were-fighting-hunger). Spend two weeks praying about how you can get involved in bringing solutions to this solvable crisis in your chosen country. Start spreading the word about what you discover! Optional: present your findings to your church family in a 3-5 minute presentation at the beginning of a service.
~Organize a Diaper Drive at your local church or your workplace to help homeless families with this basic necessity. Donate your stash to Denver Rescue Mission (www.denverrescuemission.org)
~Free the Girls!! Collect used bras from all your girlfriends and/or organize a Free the Girls event to help victims of sex trafficking. “We will ship the bras to our partners in Mozambique, Africa. These safe houses provide shelter and rehabilitation for girls and women who have been rescued from slavery. The bras will be washed and mended, and sold by the safehouse as a means of supporting their rehabilitation programs—and more importantly, as a job opportunity for the former slaves. Of course, each woman in the safehouse will be able to choose several bras to keep.” --www.freethegirls.com
Another one he didn't mention but is an awesome opportunity especially this time of year has to do with gardening! We will participate this year and are looking forward to being a blessing to the hungry in our community. So what is it? If you have a vegetable/fruit garden already all you do is designate all your produce from some of your plants to be donated. So you can plant an extra plant or two or you can just donate from what you already have growing. Local food pantries rarely get fresh produce, so through this gardening ministry you're able to provide some fresh produce to the hungry. It doesn't cost you anything (unless you buy extra plants) and all it takes is your time, and since you're already growing the plants, it's just a matter of dropping your food off. What a simple idea, right? If you are a local reader and are interested in finding our more information you can check out this website.