Home / Faith / 19 ways to be generous this summer

19 ways to be generous this summer

Although summer is a great time for vacation, generosity is always in season. The National Christian Foundation shared 19 ways to be generous this summer.

  • Talk to strangers: Look for an opportunity to encourage at least two people whom God puts in your path today. Slow down and take a moment to really listen and connect. You never know how a small word of kindness could make a big impact.
  • Take a vacation day from digital: Put down your phone, close the laptop and give the gift of uninterrupted time to your family and friends. Make it a priority to savor the time together, and encourage everyone to look at life through each other’s eyes rather than through the lens of the phone camera.
  • Go on a family giving adventure: For the first time in months, charities and churches are opening back up and welcoming in-person volunteers. Set up a time with an organization and surprise your kids or grandkids with a service opportunity.
  • Help a teen (or someone else) get a job: Many teens are applying for jobs, and others are trying to bounce back from lockdown unemployment. Help them create a resume, practice interviewing or find an outfit – or give them a ride to their interview. Boosting their confidence could be life-changing.
  • Research your family giving story: Where do your beliefs about money and giving come from? And where are they going with the next generation? As you gather with family members you may not see that often, take advantage of the time together to ask questions and uncover defining moments.
  • Explore your giving passions: Do you know whom your family supports and why? Now is the perfect season before the year-end appeals come flooding in to explore what causes and charities God is calling you to support.
  • Empower someone to make their first grant: Share the joy of generosity by opening a giving fund for a family member, friend or employee. Tell them how you use your fund, choose charities and budget for giving. Then plan a celebration for when they make their first grant. Consider the educational non-profit VisionIsrael, which was started by Metro Voice publisher Anita Widaman. It works to educate young people on campuses about the Holocaust and bigotry.
  • Babysit for friends: Many couples and single parents with small children desperately need some downtime. With most people living away from extended family these days, free babysitting can feel like an extravagant gift to a weary parent.
  • Share your bounty: If your garden is overflowing or it’s time to empty your fridge before vacation, donate to a community fridge near you. Find one near you at www.org, or learn how to start one in your neighborhood.
  • Take time out to tutor: Remote learning has left many children far behind. To catch up this summer, they need individual instruction, but often their family can’t afford it. Contact your local school or children’s charity to see if you can lend your skills to tutor a student near you.
  • Call instead of text: Look at your texts or emails and make it a point to call someone whom you haven’t actually spoken to in a while. If you have to leave a voicemail, share your favorite verse or a silly song. It’s a simple way to spread joy and a nice alternative to digital connection.
  • Spread good news: Notice someone in your neighborhood doing something generous or uplifting? Does your church or favorite charity have some good news to report? Take a minute to send a story tip about them to a local reporter. We all could use more good news these days.
  • Encourage your encourages: Tell your spouse, parent, grandparent or someone else who has influenced you how they have blessed you. Start with: “The greatest gift you ever gave me was _____” or “I want you to know how much it meant to me when you _____.”
  • Support the arts: Tell a worship leader, a Christian writer or speaker, a painter or another artist you admire how much their work has encouraged you. It’s been a hard year for many who work in the arts, and their importance is often overlooked in the body of Christ.
  • Celebrate Christmas in July: If you vacation this summer, dream big about how God wants you to give in the future. Now is a great time to start planning your year-end giving, before the rush of autumn kicks in.
  • Make someone’s day with a playlist: Support a friend with a Spotify playlist of worship songs or music that speaks to their situation. Send it along with a note such as, “Listen to this when you’re lonely on the long drive home” or “Play this to pump you up before your next surgery.”
  • Start a generosity book club: Call some friends or ask your small group if they’d like to join you in discussing a generosity classic or a new book that’s inspired you.
  • Keep a generosity journal: Take some time out on vacation to reflect on your giving journey.
  • Cultivate joy with a thankfulness jar: Take time to savor the blessings that come your way each day by jotting them down on a scrap of paper and placing them in a special jar. Make sure the whole family participates. Then open the jar on Labor Day to look back on the highlights of your generous summer.

–Metro Voice