1. Celebrate National Grandparents Day, September 12, by taking an elderly neighbor with no relatives nearby to lunch.
2. One night a week, help refugees and immigrants learn English through the free English as a Second Language classes that local chapters of the Christian development agency World Relief offer (www.worldrelief.org).
3. Go to www.thebreastcancersite.com. When you click on the Fund Free Mammograms icon, the site's sponsors, in conjunction with the National Breast Cancer Foundation, will help fund mammograms to women in need.
4. After cleaning out your closets, attic, or basement, hold a garage sale to get rid of your "extras." Donate the money to your church's missions fund or to your favorite charity.
5. Help a child who's suffered from abuse or neglect by becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (www.nationalcasa.org), which involves reviewing a case and recommending to the court what you believe is best for the child (no legal expertise required).
6. Volunteer to rock babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at your local hospital, if it's one of many around the nation that offers such a program.
7. Read aloud to underprivileged kids in schools and community centers one hour a week through Rolling Readers USA (www.rollingreaders.org).
8. Start a women's prayer circle or Bible study in your workplace or neighborhood.
9. Through America's Second Harvest (www.secondharvest.org), help repackage surplus food donated by the nation's growers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers for use at food pantries and emergency shelters.
10. Go to www.givelife.org and click the Donate Blood Now icon at the top of the screen to find a place to donate blood in your neighborhood.
11. Send an anonymous donation to a neighbor or church member who's unemployed. Or check to see if your church has a benevolence fund for families in need.
12. Pray for our nation and its leaders using regular prayer requests provided when you sign up to be part of the Presidential Prayer Team (www.presidentialprayerteam.org).
13. Invite a single mom and her kids to join you for lunch after church one Sunday.
14. Donate past issues of Christian magazines to a local jail or senior center.
15. Befriend, mentor, or lead a Bible study for college students in an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (www.ivcf.org) chapter on a secular campus near you.
16. Go on a short-term mission project through your church.
17. Organize your family, church, or community to gather and pray that children worldwide would be drug-free and safe during Pray for the Children Weekend (www.prayforthechildren.net), October 22-24.
18. For Christmas this year, purchase a goat, cow, or chicken for a needy family overseas in the name of a friend or family member through Heifer International (www.heifer.org). These animals provide needed food and income for poor families around the world.
19. Sort and fold donated clothing at a local resale shop.
20. Post your appreciation or prayers for military members stationed around the world by going to www.AnyServiceMember.org.
21. Participate in an event for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, November 9 (www.persecutedchurch.org).
22. For $28 a month, sponsor a needy child overseas through Christian development agency Compassion International (www.compassion.com).
23. Send an encouraging note to a friend who's struggling with work or relationship woes.
24.Deliver meals to the homebound through the Meals on Wheels Association of America. Go to their website (www.mowaa.org), click the Search for a Program icon, and find an affiliate in your area.
25. Go to www.volunteermatch.org for even more ideas about how to make a difference in your community.
Copyright 2003 by the author or Christianity Today/Today's Christian Woman magazine.
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