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It is said that charity begins at home, and charity, in this instance, means showing love and kindness. Here are a few budget-friendly ways to show charity to your friends and family.
- Call or e-mail a friend. It's always nice to answer the phone or check your inbox and reconnect with a friend, perhaps someone with whom you have lost touch lately.
- Treat a friend to lunch. We will often treat people for birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasions, but why wait? Surprises are the best special occasions.
- Send a card. With today's technology it's easy to overlook the simple things. Send a fun card to someone to let them you you're thinking of them. It is a small act that can have big benefits. Choose a happy, uplifting card and write a short note. This is sure to bring a smile to the recipient's face.
- Make a gift basket. Small, thoughtful gifts don't have to break your budget. You can find small baskets, candles and holders, soaps, silk flowers, ribbon and other small items for a few dollars. For a work-at-home friend a gift for the home office can fill the bill. Put together some small note pads, pens, and paper clips in an inexpensive desk caddy. Hint: Visit the dollar stores, but keep it tasteful, not tacky, and customize it for the individual's personality.
- A gift from the heart. Nothing says love like a homemade gift, especially if you bake or garden. So, instead of shopping, use your talents instead. Bake muffins or cookies, make a soup mix with dried beans and seasonings, or harvest a basket of fresh tomatoes or squash from your garden. This is a chance to let your inner light shine.
- Make a charitable donation. Choose a charity close to their heart (or yours) and make a small donation in their name, or in honor or memory of someone in their family.
- Brighten a stranger's day. It is easy to do things for our friends, but not always so easy when it comes to strangers. How to approach them, what is appropriate and how will a random kindness be received? Here are some thoughts. Smile at someone first, pay them a compliment, buy a coffee or share a cab and pay the fare or pay their bus fare.
Don't do something just to get something in return...you will see the rewards in your own life.
Please share your ideas or experiences in the comment section.