From the smallest gesture
which can bring a smile to the biggest actions which can
raise money and awareness, the ways for you to help in your
community are endless. Here we list just a few ideas but we
know that there are more out there. If you would like to
share your ideas, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org*.
You may notice that some items on this list are in green.
These suggestions came to us as part of our birthday tribute
to John on what would have been his 49th birthday. You
can see the full “49 List” here.
Big thanks to the members of the PIF
Community who have helped us build this list!
homeless & those in financial hardship
~ Check to see if your
local craft store allow you to knit or crochet squares to be
put together to make blankets. In some locations, the
stores collect them and piece them together then take the
completed quilts to shelters and nursing homes.
~ Donate to your local food pantry or homeless
~ Create care packages by filling shoeboxes with
toiletries for the homeless.
~ Collect sample size toiletries which can be donated to
women's and children's shelters.
~ Donate jackets, coats, scarves and mittens to homeless
~ Before you leave your home, make a couple of sandwiches,
bring them with you, and give them to the homeless.
~ As you do your Christmas shopping, buy an extra toy or gift
and donate it to a children's home, women & children's
shelter, the homeless
~ Serve a meal (or several!) at your local homeless shelter or
~ Find a grocer who delivers food items to local shelters and
donate though them.
~ Find a community service organisation that helps people in
financial need and donate accordingly.
~ Seek out charity shops that sell food vouchers which can be
handed out to the homeless and they can exchange for a hot
~ Encourage your children to do their bit, find projects
whereby they can collect loose change, save it in a house made
out a box and then they can donate it to homeless
charities and organisations. Look up "Homes for Change".
~ Does your grocer have a food box where you can donate extra
food items which are then sent to homeless shelters? If not,
why not encourage them to take this up and make a difference
in your community.
~ Offer to babysit at the shelter during the times when the
adults are in class.
~ National Coalition for the Homeless suggests checking with
your shelter to see if they would like donated books and board
games so that they have something to occupy their time.
~ Check to see if your utility company allows you to add a
pound/dollar to your bill which can then used to help pay for
the bills of those people who struggle financially.
~ Donate teaching services for those who need help with
reading, writing, filling out applications for assistance or
~Support your local thrift shop who in turn take care of those
who are suffering financial hardship.
~ Making greeting cards and sell them for $2.00/£2.00 and then
donate the proceeds to a local homeless shelter or sell
through your local thrift shop.
~ Look for organisations which recruit volunteers to go out
onto the streets and let the homeless know about their local
~ Seek out organisations which require volunteer medical staff
to help with the homeless.
~ Organise a walk to raise awareness and money for your local
~ Ask local small business owners if they might
consider having a food drive. Not only will it help get
food to those who need it but it may also encourage shoppers
to buy locally.
~ Donate your old work clothes and accessories to
organizations that specialize in offering affordable wardrobe
options to people trying to regain entry into the work
force. Other organizations also re-purpose wedding
dresses and formal wear.
~ Host or attend a clothing swap with your friends!
Everyone can bring clothes they no longer wear and then swap
to get pieces they want and will use. It can be a great
way to help out friends experiencing financial
difficulty. You can also donate all leftover clothing to
shelters and other organizations. You might also
consider making a donation per item you gain to a cause.
For example, if you end with 5 "new" items for free, you might
consider donating $5 per item. It's fun, useful, and a
great way to help others.
~ Buy the Big Issue
(UK) to support the homeless.
~ Most of us are very blessed and we all know someone at
work that is struggling just to get to work. As a RAOK for
John's Birthday Tribute, do something for them, buy a strip
of bus tickets for them, give then a meal coupon from a near
by restaurant, put a coffee on their desk, treat them to a
snack and leave it on their desk, put a hand lotion in their
in box. There are any number of blessings that this person
~ If you know of a person needing a job and has limited or
no computer access, offer to help them go on line and apply
or offer to help them place a resume on line.
~ Take $5.00 or £5.00 out of your pay check and turn it into
singles. Carry it with you to help if someone needs
~ Clip coupons from your local newspaper and donate them to
a charity or a family that you know is in need.
our veterans and service people
~ Candy has a way of reminding us all of home and happiness
so collect candy to be sent to the troops. (Non-meltable
~ Send Christmas and holiday cards to service
people. When serving, you can feel quite
lonely especially on Christmas day, so knowing that somebody
somewhere is thinking of you makes a huge difference.
~ Along the same lines, you can send Christmas cards to your
local VA hospital or veterans' club.
~ Volunteer your time at the local VA hospital. Disabled
veterans especially deserve our time and attention.
~ Check to see if there is a local organization that will
accept donated furniture, cars, clothing, etc. to be resold to
aid disabled veterans.
~ Look into local resources for homeless veterans and ask how
you can help.
~ Support veteran-owned businesses and/or let businesses that
offer discounts to the military or otherwise support service
people and their families know that you appreciate their
~ Make fleece tie blankets and donate them to your local VA
hospital. There are also organizations that will help
you get handmade blankets to those currently serving.
~ Call your local school district and see if they know of any
military families who may be struggling. Ask if it would
be possible to cover the kids' school lunches.
~ Put together and send care packages for the troops.
Contact your local military office for ideas on what to
~ Assemble fleece blankets to be given to members of
~ Our troops overseas
really get a lot of encouragement from the internet.
Try to find a group site or an individual (check with local
churches or military affiliates) that you can communicate
with through the internet. They love Facebook and e-mail, as
well as care packages and snail mail.
~ I was thinking about "Campus Man" and this popped into my
head... If you have a family member in the military or away
from the rest of the family for any reason for an extended
period of time, make them a photo calendar with family
photos. It's something they would see every day and it would
remind them that they were loved. Maybe even pose your
family members with signs reading "We love you, Name!" or
Volunteer for Forces and Veteran flag days.
our Elderly, Sick, and Homebound
~When helping a
family out during a death or sickness, or even the birth
of a baby or a family reunion, consider other than food,
bringing zip plastic bags, small plastic storage
containers, plastic wrap and aluminum foil to safely save
and store food for a few days. Also consider supplying
paper eating products such as plates and cups, plastic
utensils, and kitchen trash bags. Bottled water, cans/bags
of coffee, tea bags, milk, cereal, sugar, salt, pepper,
and condiments, nose tissue, and toilet paper are often
items that get used up before someone thinks to go to the
store for more. Another good idea is coolers filled with
ice to store drinks and even some food, as the
refrigerator and freezer often get full.
~I have (in the past) contacted the local elementary
schools and talk with teachers and principals to see if we
could get some of the students to make Christmas cards out of
construction paper for the elderly and homebound. I offered to
bring in the construction paper(my budget was a little better
than the teacher) and any craft item that they would need. I
picked up the cards when they were ready and passed them out
to my residents along with the mail on Christmas Eve day. for
the home bound, I got in touch with a couple of agencies that
catered to this type of work and I took a batch of card to
their office to be distributed by the visiting aids or nurses.
I was a big hit and the children were just amazing. They did a
terrific job with crafts, art and crayolas. I later sent a
certificate of appreciation to the school and to the class of
students for their hard work and for bringing so many smiles
to so many people.
Offer to pick up someone and take them shopping with you, or
offer to pick up needed items for them while you are out
Check to see if your community has a service that delivers
meals. See if it would be possible to volunteer or
make a donation.
Many individuals in nursing homes may not have family who
can or are willing to come visit them especially at the
holidays. Pay them a visit.
~ Those in hospitals and hospices may also appreciate
visits. It can mean so much to people to have someone
come visit when there is no one else to be there with them.
Volunteers may also be needed at those
"Adopt" someone and become family to them. Include them
during holidays, special occaisons, and everyday life.
Find out what is liked and allowed for an individual and
create a care package it could include books, snacks, cross
word puzzles, and trinkets to brighten their day.
Help them scrapbook or maybe just organize their
photographs. Or make a scrapbook of photographs and
memorabilia for them.
Talk with them, record their stories...either on a tape or
digital recorder/video camera or write it down in a journal.
They have fascinating stories and wise words to pay it
Donate books to the waiting rooms at hospitals...especially
ICU waiting rooms where families camp out.
Knit little hats to keep those precious little babies heads
warm in Special Care baby units.
~ Call local VA hospitals
or retirement homes and see if you might be able to send
birthday cards to folks there.
~ Leave your phone number
with a housebound neighbour and volunteer to pick up their
prescriptions or any provisions they need from the grocery
~ Offer to walk an
elderly or sick neighbour's pet.
~ Many, many people are
full-time caregivers to sick or disabled family members.
If you know someone in that position, ask if you can help
their loved one for a few hours so the caregiver can have
some time to themselves to recharge or meet up with
~ Offer to clean a house
for free for somebody in need.
~ Donate DVDs to
your local hospice.
~ Offer to give
fans or window air conditioners especially to the
elderly or anyone who has no air conditioning.
Helping out during the
holidays can be especially hard for those who have suffered
losses. Make an effort to check up on them.
Include those who may not have family nearby in your own
While visiting the elderly and homebound is always a good
idea, visiting during the holidays may be especially
caroling to the homebounds or to neighbors. Get in
touch with them to let them know you are coming, then bring
your family, or a few friends and sing!
Supply a group of children with items to make Christmas
cards for the elderly, sick and/or homebound. Collect the
cards and distribute them to the people or to the facility
to be distributed among its roomies.
you're expecting a delivery person or the mail carrier or
someone, you could try to have cocoa or cider or such ready
and offer it to them.
could leave a candy cane or something with "for the mail
delivery person" on it in/near your mail box.
Send a Christmas card as a means of getting back in touch
with someone or simply sharing why you're so grateful
they've been a part of your life.
an extra Christmas gift and send it out to one of the many
charities that sends out gifts to our servicemen and women
who will be overseas at Christmas or just drop
it off to a elderly neighbour who doesn't have visitors or
~ Remember that need doesn't know just a season. Adopt
a family at Christmas and continue to help them through out
you need to buy Christmas cards this year, try to buy ones
from which a portion of the proceeds go to a good cause.
friendly and courteous to retail people. We all know
the holidays can be hectic and exasperating.
Unfortunately, sometimes people who work at stores bear the
brunt of that. So be sure they know you appreciate
them and their patience!
Consider giving to a charity in lieu of purchasing
gifts. Tell the people who you gave in honor of what
the gift is supporting whether it be surgery for a child
with a cleft palate, sponsorship of a child, etc.
Another idea for good family time is to gather seeds
berries, popcorn and such and decorate a tree outside... in
your yard, the forest or a park (if permissible) with these
edible items. Then the little critters can enjoy them. Deer,
lieu of gifts on your birthday, Christmas, etc.; request
that people make donations to charities.
~ In lieu of gifts on
special occasions, purchase livestock for a family who
needs it or sponsor an animal at a preserve and present
information about this gift to the recipient. If you
still want them to have something physical as their gift,
you could always purchase a plush version of the animal
for them to remember the gift by.
~ Donate unwanted
Christmas gifts to your local charity shop.
~Promote tolerance and understanding
by sharing your traditions with others and inviting them
to do the same.
~What about getting some of those
bright plastic eggs and hiding those around town with
uplifting messages inside (and maybe some candy, too!)
for people to find.
~I used to love getting a palm cross
from church on Palm Sunday. Would love to be able to get
a few handfuls of them and give them out with a card.
~Stand out on the street and handout
~To me, Easter's kinda like
Christmas in that it's such a happy time and the message
is so joyful but it can also be really, really hard when
you've lost someone. So maybe, if you think they'd
appreciate it, buy a potted Easter lily or something for
someone who is grieving.
holiday season 2012, we're challenging all of us to
participate in the 12 Days of Christmas... RAOK
Style! Learn more about it on our News
page and check out the ideas below for some ideas on
how to join our challenge!
~Give 12 compliments! It could be very meaningful
to those hearing your kind words. :-)
~Send 12 Christmas/holiday cards to those in the armed
services, people in assisted living or hospitals, or
even people in your own life who you've lost touch
with. Just 12 people beyond what you may have
planned to send. It could be a real day brightener
for the recipients. To save postage, you could
hand-deliver them in your community (i.e. drop a stack
off at a hospital, veterans' center, etc.)
~Hand out little prayer cards with a Christmas blessing
on it. Various stationery and printing companies
offer these along with religious bookstores and the
like. Alternately, you could design and print your
~Perform 12 of any of the ideas you see listed on this
Pet shelters need old linens and towels! Also pet
toys, cat litter and small animal supplies (bedding and food
for guinea pigs, rats etc.) They would be "fur ever
Donate animal food to your local pet shelter. There
are always many animals to feed and most shelters are non
profit, so they rely on the donations of caring individuals.
~ Volunteer at your local
animal shelter and give some time, love and
tenderness to those animals who have been unwanted and
~ Support your local parrot and bird sanctuaries.
conserve and improve our environment
about Paying It Forward to Mother Earth and planting a tree.
This can be to commemorate a birth, anniversary or other
special dates, remember a loved one and plant a tree in
their memory or just sponsor a tree planting project. Search
for woodland initiatives in your area by searching on the
internet or email email@example.com
and we will help you find a local project.
~ How about a community
rubbish ...er sorry trash collection. A guy from our local
village walks around everyday and picks up rubbish around
the high street and shops. Does a great job of keeping his
~ Become a supporter of
a local or national organization to promote nature
itself...cleanup, preservation, and development of green
space is very important now with our ever growing
~ Taking an empty bag when going
for a walk and pick up trash along the way.
~ One idea that a family or group
can do is volunteer to help someone ready their yard for
spring and summer...burn/collect leaves, plant flowers,
trim and prune as necessary, or maybe several neighbors
get together and help each other out. This would be
extremely helpful for elderly or sickly people who are
not able to tend their yards as easily as they used
to...also single adults can often use help if they have
a huge yard.
~ Make sure you recycle where
possible and keep the plastic shopping bags to a
minimum. In the UK we have bags for life, which are eco
Helping to promote
education and literacy
Check with your local school district to see if you can pay
for lunches for a student whose family may be mere dollars
above the amount eligible for the free lunch program.
~ To honor John this year
or for his birthday, offer to help someone learn to
read. Check with the Literary Alliance of your
county that offers free training for tutoring.
A priceless gift with immeasurable benefits.
~ Donate books to the
~ Many local charities
and schools have wish lists. They might even be available
online. Obtain the wish list of a charity/school of your
choice and always take it with you when you go shopping.
Pick up an item from the wish list or several as you do
your own shopping.
~ Consider volunteering
time at an elementary school as a student tutor for the
~ Offer to teach computer
classes for free. Now a days there is need for basic
Excel, Word, email, etc. I want to ask my church and see
if we can get a class together.
~ Help those in our communities, churches,
schools by giving motivation to the younger generation
which helps greatly.
~ I know we already
have donating books to libraries on the list. But to
build on that: I can remember being in grade school
and not only having access to what seemed to be an
amazing school library but also classroom libraries.
It was so great when we had free reading time and
could just go choose a book from the dozens and dozens
on our teacher's shelf. I've since learned that
oftentimes the classroom libraries are stocked by the
teachers themselves... NOT financed by the school. So
checking with teachers you know to see if they need
books for their kids would be a great thing to do.
~ If you have small
children and they have friends over, make a point of
offering to read a story (or two or three...) Kids
love to be read to and your kids' friends may not have
parents who read aloud. You could instill a love for
reading just by taking a few minutes that might
otherwise be spent on video games or watching a movie.
And a love of reading goes a long way at school!
~ Do what you can
to support adult education classes in your area.
They can be vulnerable to budget cuts so your support
and willingness to fight for them can be vital.
Other ideas for
helping out in your community
~ Give presentations at high schools, churches and businesses
to encourage people to PAY IT FORWARD and get the word out
about our website and mission.
~ Perform Random Acts of Kindness anywhere and everywhere and
encourage others to pass it on.
~ Talk about Pay It Forward in Memory of John Dye with your
co-workers, family, and friends
~ Start a "card ministry" to reach out to people in need of
encouragement and a kind word.
~ In autumn, clear driveways and pavements of leaves in your
neighbourhood. Shovel the snow in winter.
~ How about just a smile or a hello? Doesn't cost a
penny but is infectious!
~ Volunteer to stuff envelopes at a community service
organization or church or even a school.
~ Shop at stores that are affiliated with charities and/or
donate a percentage of their profits to worthwhile
~ Some stores also make a point of giving employment
opportunities to those living in shelters and/or the
differently-abled. They should be rewarded with loyal
~ We all have people we drifted away from without meaning to
or maybe that we wish we had treated differently. Now may be
the perfect time to drop them a card or even pick up the phone
and just let em know you still care.
~ To commemorate a
birthday, complete random acts of kindness to equal the
number of years celebrated-example: 49 for John's 49th.
~ For people on Facebook or who send out e-mails; why not
send out a quote, or encouragement of some kind, daily,
weekly or monthly to encourage and inspire others?
~ Check with organizations that aid abused children to see
if they need no-sew fleece blankets for those they are
~ If you know someone who is grieving, offer to scan
photographs for them. They may want to ensure these
mementos of their loved ones are preserved but not be able
to do it themselves.
~ Another way to support those experiencing loss is to offer
your help in going through personal effects at their
~ You might also offer to accompany them to the cemetery if
they want to go but just don't want to go alone.
~ Give blood.
~ Loan somebody something and then forget about doing so.
~ Tell someone you love
them. You probably show it and they probably know it
but it's always nice to hear.
~ Do you have a jar where you
collect loose change? For John's birthday, take that
money and make a donation to a charity. Use this idea
throughout the year. With the economy like it is and
resources in short supply different charities could really
use the donations.
~ Knit or crochet clothes for use in maternity units or
funeral homes to clothe stillborn or mis-carried babies. The
internet provides plenty of pattern ideas and guidelines for
creating these items for those precious little ones who were
too special to be born.
~ Anytime you hear a first responder siren or see a first
responder (police, Fire, EMT) heading out to a call, lift up
a prayer for the people it is responding too. You could even
life up a prayer for the next call coming in if you see one
at lunch or returning to their station.
~ I read this today and wanted to share it with you; Giving
and receiving are yin/yang related activities. The act of
giving to others whether in terms of time, space, ideas,
love or material possessions - creates the space for you to
receive something in return. When we are completely focused
on ourselves and forget to "discharge" some of our energy
into the world, we just get stuck. There is no room for
inspiration or creativity and stubborn illnesses or
debilitating fatigue can often result. The act of giving
simply creates the space for new opportunities and new
possibilities to enter your life" Jon Sandifer Feng Shui For
Life. So if you did need a reason for a random act of
kindness, I think you have just been given one.
~ How about placing a box or something in your office (with
permission, of course) to collect coats, toiletries, etc.
for a local charity and then taking it in when your
co-workers fill it? I know sometimes people have things
hanging around their house that they'd like to donate but
just never quite manage to get themselves to the homeless
shelter, animal shelter, children's services, etc. You'd be
enabling others to pay it forward and getting the needed
goods to where they need to be.
~ Cake sale at work, donate the money to a community
~ If you see someone getting taunted because of their race,
sexual orientation, religion, economic status or anything,
stand up for them. Or at the very least let them know that
not everyone feels as the bully does. They are loved and
~ I was able to get tours at a couple of the places that I
did my RAOKs for. I didn't ask because I didn't want to take
up their time. They just offered. I think they like having
the opportunity to share what they do because then people
feel more strongly about supporting them. And, hopefully,
you then go out and tell friends "I had this great tour of
---- and it's so amazing what they do!" I know I did. So if
you are helping a place, be open to maybe doing a bit more
than just dropping items off. The interest may be more
appreciated than you realize.
~ Start or join a Facebook Bible Study or Prayer Group you
will be helping yourself and others.
~ Inspire others to Pay It Forward. By talking about paying
it forward, you may light the spark for somebody else who is
maybe looking for meaning or purpose in their life. With
your words you may encourage a lonely person to get out and
make a difference to somebody else's life. The possibilities
are endless just by practising what we preach.
~ Treat a friend who is going through troubling times to a
evening out at the movies or a game of miniature golf to
help relieve the stress.
~ Make personalised prayer beads for a stressed friend or
present them with a "friendship rock" on which you wrote a
message to encourage them. Make sure that you pray over it
to create a spiritual connection with them.
~ Create business size inspirational cards. These can be
easily carried and handed to someone who needs encouragement
~ Create a coupon book of RAOK's. Give a coupon to someone
you know and let them redeem it when they need it the most.
Better yet. Create a coupon book and ask a friend to join
you in completing the RAOK's created. Then ask them to pass
~ As our young are our futures, it is really important to
invest time and energy to helping them become their "best
self". In a world that seems to have become very self
centered, how about encouraging our youngsters to Pay It
Forward and make a difference in their community? Why not
set up a youth task force in your area, gather some willing
young people and wash cars, weed gardens, help pack shopping
at the supermarket anything to inspire them to think of
others before self. I think maybe John would have approved
of us teaching our people how to change the world a bit at a
~ If you receive a "gift card" that you do not need, either
donate it to a charity or use it to buy necessities for a
charity and donate them.
~ Offer to start a Victory Garden for someone who would not
otherwise be able to grow their own food, and help to
maintain the garden through the seasons.
~ If you know someone who makes things for charitable
causes, consider donating needed materials for them to
use. I've been on the receiving end of this sort of
generosity and really appreciated being helped to bring
comfort to others.
~ A friend of
mine started a "Re-Gifting" page for our community. People
go on and post items that they no longer need or use for
others to have. No money exchanges hands, simply one
person giving to another in need. You never know what you
may have that will bless someone else. Just an example:
Today, we met a very nice lady who was giving away
brand-new men's pants that she had acquired from a factory
closing. We now have 3 weeks worth of work pants and dress
pants for my husband. An answered prayer!
~ There may be some folks unfamiliar with the
currency. During a recent trip I took, a lil girl
was in front of my family in line at the theme park's main
restaurant and a bit short on her drink order so we paid
the lil bit (less than a dollar). Hopefully that
made her feel better and it also kept folks in line from
getting grumpy over waiting for her to go find her mom.
~ If you see people angling their cameras awkwardly trying
to photograph themselves by some attraction, offer to take
the photo for them.
~ This sounds really basic but I got the impression it
doesn't happen all the time: when someone working at the
attraction asks how you are, ask them back and not in some
distracted way. I'm sure it can be really stressful
and a sincere query about their well-being might counter a
previous negative interaction with a guest.
by Touched by an
at Pay It Forward in Memory of John Dye were very excited to
learn about the July 24th, 2012 DVD release of Touched by an
Angel's 5th season. As we anticipate that happy day, we
decided to come up with ways to pay it forward that could be
linked to Season 5 episodes. We're looking forward to tying RAOK ideas to
episodes from future seasons as those hopefully get released
on DVD, too. Our Season 5 ideas are in yellow, Season 6 ideas are in turquoise, Season 7 ideas are in pink, and Season 8 ideas are in peach. We'll assign a
different color to the other seasons as those become
~ Do something to benefit autism research/support ("Only
~ Babysit for free ("Jagged Edges").
~ For those using US currency: Collect pennies (and other
spare change) and at the end donate it to a local charity. Or
use $5 bills to take a few bucks off the order of the folks
behind you in line at a drive through. "Beautiful Dreamer"
Think about it. ;-)
~ "Family Business"- make it a point to shop at locally owned
~ "Made in the USA" DEFINITELY lends itself to Vietnam Vet
support or even English as a second language tutoring.
~ Since Facebook is doing a big campaign to promote organ
donation... there's another RAOK and it matches up with
~ "Vengeance is mine" ...donate to alcohol abuse help
~ There may be walkathons and marathons with it being spring
and early summer...I'm sure there will be all kinds of charity
events that people could participate in or come out and
support in some manner...a couple of the eps had sports
themes..."My Brother's Keeper", "Only Connect", "Fighting the
~ Episodes with history themes ("Beautiful Dreamer", "Wind Beneath My
Wings", even the Space Program in "Godspeed") could be linked to 4th of
July charity events...
~ "Lady of the Lake" is
definitely a nature, rec area cause.
~ "Wind Beneath My
Wings" especially makes me think of family history what with
them learning about the grandma's amazing service during
WWII. So... if your family doesn't have a
historian/archivist... consider taking some of that on
yourself. Make a family tree.
~ "Miles to Go Before I
Sleep"- Nurses might appreciate a relaxation basket. Bubble
bath, a nice candle, those fuzzy spa socks, tea, a
relaxation CD, etc. and/or a gift certificate for a
massage. For nurses of either gender, you could put
together a basket of home-baked cookies or muffins.
You might also include gift certificates to a movie theater,
music vouchers/iTunes gift cards, a journal and a nice pen,
and a thoughtful hand-written note or letter.
~ Make a donation
towards scholarships to send kids to Space Camp.
~ Look into working
with an organization that assists those in the community to
obtain valid identification. Many people who have been
indigent, incarcerated, marginalized in some way, have no
way to obtain a driver's license or picture ID if they do
not have their birth certificates or other identifications.
It's almost impossible in this culture now to do anything,
such as be employed, rent or open a bank account without
ID. ("Only Connect"... Ferdie was homeless for a
~ For "The Peacemaker,"
how about digitizing important family photos and
documents? Converting old family movies to DVD and
such, too. Kinda goes along with documenting family
history as was mentioned with "Wind Beneath My Wings."
~ Also, for "The
Peacemaker," if you know a couple is struggling with a
difficult child as that couple did, maybe treat them to
dinner or just something to give them time for themselves.
~ For "I Do": weddings
are stressful for all the families involved, so treating the
couple or their family members to a meal or just some time
out would be nice.
~ Concerning the issue
of suicide (in "I Do") ...if you know someone who is having
to deal with that...just be there for them and allow them to
grieve. So many times, people shy away and that just makes
the guilt that much worse.
~ If someone you know
is in the hospital or is staying at the hospital, sit with
them as you can. It is SO helpful to have someone to go get
coffee/food, answer the phone, and even help listen to what
the doctor/nurse says...as often the family is in a state of
shock. ("I Do")
facilities... like Michael in "I Do" probably spent some
time at eventually... also might be a good place to look
into donating to. The facilities themselves might have wish
lists but I was also thinking along the lines of books and
gifts for the patients. It would work with "My Brother's
~ As for "What are
Friends For?"... think of poor Tom. He never asked for
anything, he never grasped for attention. He was just a good
friend. So if you have a Tom who always seems to be dealing
with everyone else's drama and maybe doesn't ever have
anyone really focusing on him/her... make him or her feel
valued. Plan a day around them.
~ Volunteer at a
homework help line. ("What are Friends For?")
~ Donate to Cystic Fibrosis fundraisers. ("Psalm 151")
~ Help someone with their Bucket List, either help them
create it or work through it. ("Psalm 151")
~ Help a family with a newborn baby. ("An Angel on My Roof")
~ Definitely keep an eye out in the local community for
people who are suffering a terminal illness, see what you
can do to support the person and their family. They may have
some last wishes that you can maybe help them fulfill.
~ Donate to the local hospital or the ward on which an ill
person you know is being treated or you can donate to a
charity that supports or researches their illness.
~ Hold a fundraising event in their name to raise awareness.
~ Help families who are new in your town or village so they
feel welcome and can participate in the town's life.
~ Check with children's hospitals or care centers to see
about a card shower for children who are away from home on
their birthdays. ("Psalm 151")
~ Give grandparents who are raising their kids' kids a break
now and then. Or just do something to brighten their
day as the circumstances can sometimes be
overwhelming. ("Full Circle")
~ Take the time to sit and watch their favorite show with
your sibling or a friend or parent, etc. It may not be your
cup of tea but if it's something they're really into,
they'll appreciate that you made the effort. I can remember
how much I loved it when a family member would watch an
episode of TBAA with me cause usually I watched alone. I
loved having someone there to actually talk about it
with. ("The Medium and the Message")
~ "Fool for Love"- Find a way to be involved with foster
care or women's /children's shelters. And, if you know
someone who is in a similar situation as the teenage
character Sara...be supportive and loving to her or
him...never give up on them, but at the same time be firm
and try to help them get out of the abusive situation.
~ A couple weeks ago I took to handing out packages of
M&Ms to people. Maybe that can count for "The Medium and
the Message" since its initials roughly come out to M&M.
;-) I was surprised by how happy people were just over a lil
bag of candy. One guy thanked me again the following week.
~ "The Man Upstairs" - Lots of issues: gambling,suicide,
alcohol... medical care. You could support your local
gambling addiction support group, call a clinic that deals
with those people who maybe don't have medical insurance and
see what they need. Wear a yellow ribbon on international
suicide prevention day (September 10) or do a presentation
to raise awareness supporting depression. Maybe
volunteer an hour at a crisis centre ...
~ "The Anatomy Lesson" - donate old toys, dvds etc. to a
child cancer ward. Check with hospitals first to see
what they accept. Maybe provide blank books with
inspirational quotes the kids can fill in? Donate to
organizations that help find missing children.
Families who are religious have groups through pastoral
support that might like a prayer partner. Contact your local
~ "Into the Fire"- Donate to your national cult support
groups who help people and families heal after leaving a
cult and rebuilding their lives.
~ "Black Like Monica"- I would probably think about someone
I know who has shown remarkable courage in facing a civil
issue and maybe send that person a card. I would make it
about courage, bravery and fighting to overcome adversity.
And how I admire them for it :)
~ For "Black Like Monica" you could also look into lending
support to museums (local or national) that honor and
educate about those who worked to ensure the civil rights of
others. You could make a donation or, if you're
nearby, possibly even volunteer there.
~ "Into the Fire": What set Melina on that unfortunate path
was largely frustration with her current life, especially
employment. So often unemployment and underemployment can
lead to depression and anxiety. Even isolation. I was
underemployed for a couple years after graduating and one
thing that really helped me was going out for dinner or on
an outing with a friend. They were always conscientious
about choosing activities that weren’t going to be
expensive. But it just gave me a chance to either get away
from the worries or else talk about them and get it off my
chest. So I think just spending quality time with folks
looking for a job means so much.
~ For all these episodes...just learn to listen to family,
friends, and even acquaintances. That little support
could be just enough to get them through a rough spot.
~ "Monica's Bad Day"- Remember when
you have encounters with people in your day to day
business to treat them kindly, even if you are having a
bad day...because you never know what kind of day they are
having or when that may change. You may be the last or the
only bright spot of their day.
~ Also, it is important that you have someone (or more
than one someone) that you can talk to when you are
feeling really down. There is nothing that makes a bad day
worse, than feeling like you can't even talk out your
frustrations. And, if you know of someone who needs to do
that, lend them your ear. And remember, people don't
always need advice, sometimes they just need to voice
their frustrations to get it all straight in their own
heads...so...just be supportive for them and help them to
understand what they are saying. Sometimes, just saying
something out loud makes it easier to deal with.
~ "Buy Me a Rose"- Hand out real roses or if you don't
want to do that, make roses from Hershey's Kisses and hand
them out. Directions to follow!
~ "For Such a Time as This"- Step out and
participate in something that is out of your comfort zone
or isn't 'politically correct' or the popular view.
~ "For Such a
Time as This"- Human trafficking is still a huge problem
as there are many organizations that fight to combat it
and/or offer support to victims. See if you can become
involved with or support those organizations. As
always, be contentious in researching what charities
you support. ~ "Here
- Support your local art museums.
- Look into opportunities to volunteer at museums.
- Shop at local craft shows and farmers markets to support
artists and artisans.
Bay Day"- Sometimes the best RAOK is doing nothing. If you
know you're in a bad mood and there's a strong possibility
you might snap at someone... withdraw until you've calmed
down. That way you don't hurt anyone or possibly pass your
bad mood off to someone else.
Time"- Try not to fill the day, week, month with so many
activities and schedules that it is impossible to have
unstructured time with your family or even alone. Make
sure there is a balance of activity, down time, and talk
time for yourself and members of your family.
~"The Compass": Help someone (especially Veterans) pen a
letter to a loved one or to someone who was there for them
at an important time of their life. Also, help Vets record
the stories they are willing to share-especially the WWII
and Korea vets as they are the oldest living vets.
~"Living the Rest of My Life": Allow older and elderly
people as much independence as is possible and safe. Don't
force them to become sedentary.
~For "The Letter"... and since arts education is part of
what brought John into our living rooms... support arts
programs and scholarships at your alma mater or local
schools/universities. Donation of supplies may also be
welcome. Or simply make a point of attending their
concerts, plays, exhibits, etc.
"Such a Time as This"
~Learn more about human trafficking. Knowledge is
the first line of defense in combating a problem as
massive and damaging as this.
~Take the time to listen to the stories of "the greatest
generation." You'll learn a lot and your attention
will mean much to them.
"The Last Day of the Rest of Your Life"
~Help someone you know accomplish one of their dreams.
"Til Death Do Us Part"
~Be aware of the signs of suicidal thinking. If you
fear someone you love may be suicidal, do what you can to
get them help immediately.
~Do what you can to help erase the stigma that's
unfortunately still attached to mental illness.
~If you hear that an old friend is struggling, do what you
can safely do to help them find their way back to a good
place emotionally and physically.
"Voice of an Angel"
~ If you know someone who is down, never underestimate the
power of a good cup of coffee or tea brought to them by a
"The Whole Truth And Nothing But..."
~ Try really hard to avoid spreading gossip.
"Then Sings My Soul"
~ Do what you can to promote feelings of goodwill and
harmony in your workplace.
~ Treat your co-workers to taffy. It's pretty and
"The Christmas Gift"
~ During these tough economic times, many more people are
moving in with family. This can make for some tense
times. If that's happening to someone close to you,
maybe you could alternate treating the various parties to
some time away from the home so they can get a break from
~ Pay it forward to the future generations of your family:
start a time capsule.
"With God As My Witness"
~When you find yourself in a morally tough situation,
listen to that still, small voice and let it guide you to
the most loving action/decision.
"A House Divided"
~ Be a mentor to a child going through a divorce.
Let them know they have someone they can talk to about
~ If you have a child, whether you're with the other
parent or not, take care to never put the child in the
middle or unload your grievances about the other parent on
"Life Before Death"
~ Look into organizations like the one depicted in the
episode that help children who live amid conflict and
~ Support/volunteer with programs that teach kids
leadership and conflict resolution skills. They will
be the ones to determine whether the future is peaceful or
"A Perfect Game"
~ If you have a broken friendship that you now realize may
have fractured only because of a misunderstanding, do what
you can to clear the air and make peace with your buddy.
~ Learn about your own culture and religion. One day
it'll fall to you to teach the future generation what both
mean to your family.
~ Support prison ministries.
~ Support theatres. As "True Confessions" shows,
plays can be a portal to greater understanding of
ourselves and our world.
~ If you know a child who struggles with an illness like
diabetes, do what you can to assure them that they can
still lead a rich and full life.
~ If you're the hospitable type and like to have treats
and candy dishes around for guests, try to keep
diabetic-friendly choices on hand.
"Living the Rest of My Life"
~ I love the message of this episode: everyone has a
talent that should be put to good use. So do what
you can to encourage others to grow and use their talents!
~ If you know a child or teen who is carrying very adult
responsibilities, do what you can to lighten their load so
they can find themselves and develop their passions and
"Monica's Bay Day"
~If you know someone who is just having one of those awful
days... do any little thing you can to help pull them out
of it. Share a memory you have of them that you
treasure. Treat them to dessert or a snack.
Listen to them. Tell them something you really
admire about them that you've never shared with them
"Send in the Clowns"
~Stand up for those who are bullied.
~Teach the children in your life about the importance of
~Make someone laugh!
~ Continue to check in on bereaved parents periodically.
~ Be mindful of what the kids in your life are doing
online. Install software, pay attention, block
dangerous web sites, etc. to keep them safe.
~ If you have young friends who are engaging in behavior
online that might lead them to harm... speak up!
~ February 9 is Internet Safety Day. Over 60 countries
take part each year. A wonderful idea and one that a lot
of organisations do is presentations to kids on internet
safety. Alternatively anyone can look up the kids
activities designed for this particular day and either
talk to their teens or do the activities for younger kids.
Or even get some of your friends and kids together and do
these fun activities, highlighting internet safety. There
are lots of age appropriate activities on the internet and
many organisations who take part throughout the world.
"The Sign of the Dove"
~Treat a loved one to a meal/drink and, most
importantly, a talk at your own Sign of the Dove spot.
It’s especially good if it’s locally/family owned. ~Find out and write down family
stories…your own family…and others…
~"The Face on the Barroom Floor"- Maybe crafty folk can
make some sort of little buttons/pins to give to people
to brighten their day.
~"Legacy"- College can be a kinda rough transition so
maybe meet up with a new student for coffee or even just
give em a call to ensure they’re settling in all right.
And when people go to parties, watch over those you came
with. It doesn’t mean being a busybody. But if it’s
blatantly obvious someone has drunk too much, something
needs to be done.
~"The Invitation"- Help someone overcome a phobia.
~"Restoration"- A friend and I have been swapping
inspirational movies and then discussing them. It’s been
really great. People could do that. Or if you know
someone needs a little cheer, take them out to an
uplifting movie or buy them a DVD and offer to watch
"Finger of God"
~Support relief efforts for those impacted by natural
you know the fire department of West, Texas is
a volunteer fire department? Many first
responders get paid very little if at all, for
their services and for their commitment to
risk their lives and to buy the equipment they
need to help the community. Finger of God is
an episode about a small community banding
together to help each other. Those of us who
live in small communities rely on the help of
volunteers for our fire department and EMT’s,
disaster relief, and donations to the sheriff,
and police departments of our communities. We
also rely heavily on the state troopers and
larger cities nearby. A RAOK for this episode
and also in light of the plant explosion in
Texas, would be to donate either to West,
Texas, or to a local community of your own,
money toward a volunteer first responder unit
or to a first responder fund. Or, if
physically possible, volunteer to help with
one of these organizations either on a force
itself, or as disaster relief aide, organizer
or behind the scenes work. We never know how
much we rely on these services until we need
"The Empty Chair"
~Work with a local unplanned pregnancy program in your
area or with unwed teens, or with a support group for
women who have had abortions or miscarriages or lost a
child after it was born or given a child up for
~Be open to listening if you do have a friend who had an
abortion or a friend who helped a loved one get an
abortion. It can be really, really hard to listen,
especially if you're against abortion, but they might
need to talk and judgment will accomplish nothing but
ill will and hurt feelings. So… just listen and be a
~ I think a key one with “The Empty Chair” is just being
open to listening if you do have a friend who had an
abortion or, as happened to me, a friend who helped a
family member get an abortion. It was really, really
hard for me to listen to them because of my views on
abortion (and, admittedly, being childless and sometimes
struggling with that) but they needed to talk and me
spouting off would have accomplished nothing but ill
will and hurt feelings. So… just listen.
"God Bless the Child"
~People still don’t know a lot about their own history.
Volunteer in a history museum or speak at a school or
class or social group.
~ Give a Bible to someone in need of one. I don’t mean
push one off on someone just because you may feel they
need a Bible. I’m talking about folks who want one and
don’t have one. There are charities that fund giving
Bibles to folks but it’s likely you can find someone
yourself, too. Ditto with some other inspirational book.
"Reasonable Doubt"- If you know someone who is called
for jury duty, see if you can help out in some way. It
can really be disruptive so offering to cook a meal,
pick-up kids, etc. can really help.
"The Grudge"- Contact someone you had a petty falling
out with and try to heal the relationship. Or even just
reach out to someone you drifted away from without any
sort of fight.
"An Angel on My Tree"
~Support prison ministries and/or those for the families
of inmates. If you know someone with a relative in jail,
hold the judgment and do what you can for the family.
~Be understanding of those who are different. Never
tease or bully someone with Tourette’s or another
disorder. Stand up for them if you witness teasing.
"Mi Familia"- If you know someone who is looking for a
job but hindered by the need for childcare, offer to
watch the lil one(s) long enough for the parent to make
~When I was a child, it was my responsibility to help
look for road signs when we traveled. Especially at
night and I had to help keep the driver awake. To this
day, if I am not the one driving, I do not sleep.
I still help the driver by talking and watching for road
signs, deer, and other drivers on the road.
~Always keep lines of communication open with family and
friends even if you need a cooling off period and are
not speaking. Allow people to step out and try their
dreams and support and encourage them for trying.
~If a tragedy such as a bombing occurs, find out how you
can help if you are not already afiliated with a
disaster relief organization or church sponsored support
group. Collect stuffed animals to give to organizations
for the children who are victims of a disaster.
~Another need is to organize and provide for childcare
for victims as they fill out paperwork for FEMA and
insurance claims and such. Often people spend hours at
these offices and they have their children with them.
See if you can work with a group to provide books, toys,
games to have at these centers for the children.
"Band of Angels"- Help kids find some hobby or common
bond that they can use to express their creativity so
that they are less likely to get mixed up in bad
"I am an Angel"- You never know who may be looking up to
you -be kind to strangers. Look for ways to do things
for others or be helpful to them.
"Winners, Losers and Leftovers"- Be a team player at
work. Try to be helpful when allowed to do so. And, by
that, I mean, I know some work places do not allow
employees to ‘help’ others, but, if you are allowed to
do so, then, do so. And, mentor employees if you can.
oh, and, be accepting of ‘constructive criticism’
yourself if it occurs.
"Visions of Thy Father"
~There are many organizations that raise money for
research into blindness and eye disease. There are also
ways to donate old eye glasses. Still other places offer
occupational therapy to those with minimal eye sight.
They teach them how to utilize what sight they do have
and how to cope with what they don’t. While I’m sure
monetary donations are always appreciated, they may also
have other needs. I know ours here has a sort of mock
house. It’s set up like a real home so clients can
experiment with various tools to see how they’d function
in their own homes. So they might need housewares and
such. Or large print books or audio books.
~Support arts classes like photography in schools. Often
these are the programs that face the most budget cuts.
~Also, there are places that you can recycle old but
still functioning cameras and cell phones (once they’ve
been cleared of all data, of course). Look into them
when you’re preparing to part with a camera.
"The Lord Moves in Mysterious Ways"- For this one, I
would think, to just realize there is an opportunity in
every situation to be a catalyst in someone’s life. We
may not ever know how we have affected that person and
they may never know it either for that matter. But,
where ever we find ourselves try to leave that place,
scene or situation in as good or better shape than it
was when we arrived. We might think no one is paying
attention, but you never know.
"The Penalty Box"- I watched this ep just the other day.
How about volunteering with a sports program or
arena/venue or sponsoring/mentoring a young athlete or
sport? My niece really wants to do figure skating and
compete. But our local ice rink does not have a figure
skating team. She had to join an out of town team to be
able to enter a competition last week, and that meant
some out of town practices when we have a rink right in
town. So, a group is now working on doing what they can
to get the city to allow/provide for this.
"Bringer of Light"- Look for different ways to connect
with people. Often times, we give pat answers or or use
terms which may be familiar in our settings, but totally
foreign to the person we are trying to help. Find out
what that person is interested in, and use it as a basis
for your discussions. For example, it does me no good to
tell my students' parents that their child is a ‘tactile
kinetic learner’…they have no idea what I mean…but, if I
say, ‘he/she understands and can remember better if he
is allowed to move around or play with something while
practicing his spelling words, so let him/her bounce a
ball while spelling their words’. The main character in
this episode was not scientifically inclined. Andrew was
able to help her when he explained the Intelligent
Design theory by using his pocket watch. And she was
able to better ‘explain’ God to her dad simply because
it was a scientific theory and he related to that more.
Likely to Succeed"
~ A RAOK or PIF idea for this is to help
someone who may want to attend a reunion,
whether it be a school/class, work, or
family reunion. Or help plan or implement
a reunion. This could be anything from
financial or emotional support,
babysitting children, or helping someone
pick out a dress for the event.
~Also, mentor young students in being kind
and helpful to others teaching them that
their actions now will be remembered in
~Another way to help might be to assist
someone in creating on-line reunions thru
Facebook or some other internet site or to
work on their class, family, or work
related history using the internet.
~Don’t bully! Know the signs of bullying
so you can intervene if necessary.
"Holy of Holies"- Show respect for others’
cultures and religions and their
artifacts. Learn about them. And be
understanding and compassionate when
people ask questions about your own
beliefs. Dialogue is a good thing!
"The Perfect Game"
~Take care to check in on the older
members of one’s family. See if they need
anything, talk to them, make sure they
don’t feel isolated even if it is
difficult for them to get around.
~Take care to teach the children around
you that God created us all. We’re all
beautiful and loved and the barriers we’ve
put up are human made… not God made.
"The Birthday Present"- Be attentive to
your neighbors… without being nosy! In
this episode, two children were being very
mistreated and the results were tragic. If
a neighbor had just spoken up sooner,
things may have ended more happily.
"Manhunt"- Speaking from personal
experience here… Don’t rib the single
people in your life. Those of us who are
single by choice aren’t going to be swayed
by idle, teasing chatter. For those who
are single but wish they weren’t, “When
are you gonna get married???” and “Just
find someone already!” types of remarks
are just plain painful. I think some folks
think they’re being cute or funny when
they say that sorta stuff but it can get
really old, really fast.
"Chutzpah"- Respect your culture. Yes, you
may have issues with aspects of it and
that’s fine. When something is genuinely
wrong… like inequality… it’s good to speak
out and try to remedy the situation. But
resorting to hate speech and insensitive
caricatures is not okay.
~Pray for those who are imprisoned and their
~You might consider supporting a charity that
helps families cope when a member is in
~ Do what you can for survivors of domestic
abuse. Emotional scars may last much longer
than physical ones. And if you suspect a
friend is being abused, let him or her know
you’re there for them. There are several
places that can advise you on what to say and
what not to say to domestic abuse victims.
"Heaven’s Portal"- Be a friend to children
going through a divorce. It can be very
difficult even for older children and adult
children. Help them know that they’re not
alone and that even though their life might be
unstable for a time, love is always there.
"When Sunny Gets Blue"- Monitor your language.
Words related to mental illness have,
unfortunately, snuck into our day-to-day
banter. Most people in no way mean to cause
offense but casual references to “schizo” and
the like can be painful for those living with
~Phone, write, or email a former teacher and
let them know how much you appreciate them.
~Many schools will have retirement parties for
outgoing teachers and let that be known in
alumni newsletters. Consider attending or
sending a card.
"A Winter Carol"
~My school used to have a support group for
students who lost loved ones. Actually, both
my schools did. I know there are also
community groups unattached to schools that do
the same. You could look into supporting those
~And just reach out to people. As awful as
9-11 was, I think it made us reach out to each
other more. I wish that camaraderie was
still there today as much as it was on Sept.
"The Last Chapter"- If you know a family who
has a loved on at the hospital and is spending
a lot of time there, ask how you can help
out. It could be as simple as collecting
their mail so it doesn’t pile up and advertise
that the house is empty. Or maybe it
means helping get kids to and from school and
activities while the parent is at the
~Learn about sickle cell anemia and other
the costs attached to care and treatment for
childhood illnesses are astronomical. Sometimes
local banks have funds for families facing
these huge medical bills. Donate what
"The Blue Angel"- Support your public
broadcasting stations. You may even get
a free bag or CD or whatever out of it.
;-) Seems like they’re always giving
stuff out for various donation levels.
"Secrets and Lies"
~Recognize that a serious illness in the
family impacts all members of that family, not
only the person diagnosed and being
treated. Do what you can to give
caregivers a reprieve.
~Also, especially when children are ill, do
what you can to still keep them feeling
involved since it can be so isolating.
Send cards, games, and just lil bits of
normalcy as appropriate. Be sure to
check with the parents to see what’s
acceptable. Remember how Andrew had to
wipe down the CD player before Erica could
have it. There may be concerns like that
which need to be noted when deciding what to
"The Princeless Bride"- If you’re getting
married or involved with planning a wedding,
look into using the opportunity to give
back. Since so many people are getting
married after buying a home and filling it,
they might consider suggesting donations to
charity instead of having a large gift
registry. Or they might have a registry
but make it for things a local school,
shelter, etc. need.
"Hello, I Love You"- Stand up for kids who are
being bullied and teach the kids in your own
life that no one chooses how they come into
this world. Bullying a child for having
an “alternative family” is NOT okay.
"Minute by Minute"
~Support anti-bullying programs in your area.
~Also, teach your kids to be kind even to
those who are unpopular.
"The Bells of St. Peters"- While we may not be
able to send our families to Rome, I think we
all have folks who we can spend some more
quality time with. Put away the cell
phones and computers and whatnot and just
enjoy some good, quality time with friends and
family. Work will always be there.
"The Impossible Dream"
~Help someone take steps to realize a dream
they’ve been carrying.
~If you know someone who is retiring, do
something special to celebrate their career
and all the adventures ahead.
"For All The Tea in China"
~One doesn’t have to look as far as China to
find kids in need. While many of us may
not be able to take children into our homes,
we can check to see if a local children’s
shelter has a wish list.
~Volunteering with foster kids may also be an
~Teach the young people in your life the signs
of an abusive relationship.
~Avoid all talk that blames the victim.
It’s easy to let something like “Who would
stay with someone like that!?” slip out but
such talk can make it harder for those
experiencing partner violence to seek help
because they’re afraid of looking stupid or
~And as stated several times before: sign up
to be an organ donor.
~ Send e-cards to
online friends who need a morale boost.
~ Organize an online surprise birthday party! One
thing that happened to me online that really touched me
was my (17th maybe?) birthday was approaching so one
friend contacted a bunch of our mutual friends and some
of them wrote goofy poems and such, put them on a web
page, and then sent it to me. I had no idea they'd been
working at it and it was hilarious and really made that
~ If an online friend suffers a loss in their life,
offer to tell mutual online friends of the loss so your
grieving friend doesn't need to take time away from
their family or their own healing to inform
others. They may feel people deserve to know why
they aren't responding as quickly about things and may
worry they'll seem to be slacking off if they're
involved with any online groups. Knowing you are
passing the sad news along may ease that worry.
NOTE: Be careful about posting such news in a public
manner. Private email/messaging may be the best
~ Don't post about a sickness or death until the family
gives permission. Most families try to contact close
family and friends first, before they want the news
added to internet sites. And some don't want it posted
until final arrangements have been made. The family will
usually designate a person to be the one to make the
~ Many cities have online volunteerism resources.
Check around and see if you can find a site that shares
information about how you can give back in your
community. Local news station web sites will often
have community pages for this purpose.
~ See if you can help any local organizations by getting
news out for them online. For example, you might
work with your local humane society to post photos of
animals waiting to be adopted. Or you might offer
to run a Facebook page for a local service
organization. If you know how to design web pages
and have available web space, you could offer your
skills there. Sometimes a web site just isn't in
the budget for small non-profits but can be a great tool
for getting word out about their mission. The
possibilities are endless!
use web-based email providers like Yahoo, Gmail, etc.
may not be able to click on our
firstname.lastname@example.org email address
link. If that is the case, please copy and paste
email@example.com into the To line
of your email. Thank you!
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