10 Ways To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Change Someone's Life

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I want to share some ways you can help a family in need which are a little out of the norm. Remember, our goal is to help families who may choose to end an unexpected pregnancy. Some of these suggestions are geared specifically towards supporting a woman during pregnancy.

TEN WAYS YOU CAN STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE (and make  someone's life easier)

1) Volunteer.

Call your local pregnancy resource center and find out how to volunteer. Make a commitment to serve regularly. When clients consistently see you there, they know you care. Caring for them on a personal level will go much farther than donating a few dollars. 

2) Host a baby shower.

Organize a baby shower for expectant clients at your local food pantry. You may be able to do this in a local church {hopefully you're attending}, in conjunction with your local food pantry. Other organizations which may be able to help could be local clubs like The Knights of Columbus, the VFW, and the Rotary Club.

"Advertise" in your local library, the grocery store, and if possible in your local social service department. 

When you advertise, look for sponsors to drop off items which a new mom would need, at the food pantry.

Ask for volunteer families who would like to decorate the party space so expectant moms feel welcomed. 

Make sure you know how many moms are going to be in attendance, and prepare a diaper bag full of goodies for each one. Also sure you include a personal gift for mom. 

Ask them for a list of friends and family to invite, and invite the community to the party, on terms which fit the occasion. 

(A church may invite congregants, a club may sell dinner tickets to pay for the space, etc. - an RSVP is vital for this type of event, as you don't want more guests than you have food, or more moms than you have gifts for.)

3) Babysit.

Offer to babysit -- and pay for a movie date -- for a family whose children are small, and who may not get out that much. (Obviously, this is more appropriate if the family is someone you are close to.)

4)Donate your talents.

If you have a skill, donate it to someone who may not be able to afford your talents. 

Are you a hairdresser? Offer a haircut. Nothing makes someone feel better than a great haircut. It's also important to look well-groomed for work advancements and other professional appointments.

Are you a carpenter? Repairs are always welcome, even if someone lives in a rented living space. Help putting together furniture safely and attaching heavy items to the wall properly would assure the safety of both children and adults in the household.

Can you sew? Offer to alter an item of clothing so it fits properly for a job interview or other professional appointment.

Whatever your talents are, using them to help someone is a beautiful thing. I once had a young friend crochet me a brightly colored afghan because I lived in a dark, dank apartment and she wanted me to have some color in my life. I still treasure that blanket.

5) Prepare a meal for them.

If you know someone is struggling due to illness, cook a few meals which can be frozen and reheated. Even if they're not ill, a meal would be a nice respite - especially if both mom and dad have to work, and don't have a lot of time.

(Be sure to ask about food allergies before bringing food into someone's home.)

6) Purchase a gift card for something frivolous.

A Starbucks or Dunkin card or a manicure. Many times struggling parents can't afford simple pleasures, and giving them the ability to indulge themselves reminds them of their importance. We don't just want to help them parent their children, we want to help them reach their full potential as well. Remembering their own unique humanity goes a long way towards establishing the self-confidence needed to succeed.

7) Bring them to church.

This should be obvious. The best way to emotionally support a family is to bring them to the table of the God who created them. Reminding them of the love God has for them, of the care he took in creating their child(ren), and of His vocation for their lives will help them to remain a cohesive family unit.

(This invitation should be extended with the understanding that an unmarried couple should not be shamed or chastised, but invited as honored guests. God, along with your pastor or priest, will work on helping them enrich their family life together in a constructive way when the time is right.)

8) Host a family dinner.

Invite them over to share a weekly family dinner with you. I had a friend who did this for me and my son, and it was one of the most beautiful gifts anyone had ever given me. Because of this friend's generosity in inviting me into her family's home each week, my son was given the "cousins" he never had. These friends became our extended family and confidants. There's really few people I trust more than I trust them. 

9) Invest in their children.

Sponsor their school-aged child's after school activity. There are a whole range of after school activities which are out-of-reach for the struggling parent. For younger children, it may be Scouting or a summer team sport. For older children it may be joining the school band (instrument rentals and uniforms can be costly), or playing a school sport. In helping out a child in this way, you also show them you are invested in their future. You care enough to make sure they have the training and connections to fill out the job applications and the life experience to write those college essays.

10) Pray for them.

Pray for them the way you want people to pray for you. Pray for self-control during times of success and pray for comfort during times of disappointment. Pray for their children. 

(And ask them to pray for you in kind. Let them know you find their esteem of your family valuable. Let them know you need their help in this way, too.)

If you have ever served someone in a novel way which caused you to step out of your comfort zone and make a deep connection with an individual, please let me know. 

I'd love to compile more lists of ways to help families in need.

1 comment:

  1. This is SO beautiful. I love your creative ideas for being generous, and I'm sure everyone who reads this will be able to do at least one.