Summer Mitzvahs

It’s June and the kids will be out of school in a few days. Time to suggest simple summer mitzvahs that you can do with or without kids. Here are my top ideas for summer mitzvahs to do with kids.

  1. Collect cans and bottles from around your neighborhood and donate them through your supermarket to a local school.
  2. Have a lemonade stand or bake sale and give the proceeds to a non-profit that your kids might know, for example, a Humane Society or a local food bank or to a charity collecting after a natural disaster. If donating locally, arrange to have your kids deliver the money in person and maybe even get a tour of the place where you have donated.
  3. Start a recycling project. Compost bins or worm bin are something kids love.
  4. Bring lemonade or cans of water or juice to the folks at a construction site.
  5. Volunteer to collect children’s books. We have an organization called The Children’s Book Bank in Portland, maybe there is one in your town that collects children’s books and gives them to needy children.
  6. Visit a senior center/retirement home. Contact the activities director and see if you can bring the kids in to visit during a meal or a game time.
  7. Bake something and give it to someone, perhaps an elderly neighbor who would probably enjoy the visit as well.
  8. Offer to mow a neighbor’s yard or water their flowers while they are away on a summer vacation.
  9. Arrange a carpool with another family for any summer camps you might attend, alternately watch another child for a working parent.
  10. Visit someone in the hospital. Do you know of anyone who is in need of a visit? Children can often cheer up someone sick in the hospital.
  11. Pull weeds. We helped at our school garden. My kids loved getting dirty and muddy more than I did. There is probably somewhere in your city that would love your gardening help.
  12. Still not sure where to volunteer, check out: Hands On Network. If you have a Hands On in your community, it is a great place to start. This organization keeps a calendar of volunteer opportunities and what specific ages can volunteer in hundreds of cities across the US.

ATM Bank Receipts

A few weeks ago, my daughter mentioned that she had heard on one of our favorite podcasts, More Hip than Hippie, that the amount of waste we make just from our ATM bank receipts is absolutely mind-boggling. It has always bugged me that when I go for a quick weekly withdrawal that I automatically get a paper receipt. I stopped at the teller window after a recent withdrawal to inquire about it and lo and behold the teller was able to change my settings on my ATM account. Yesterday, when I drove through the window and did a withdrawal, there was no receipt. My daughter and I discussed that one person doing this might not make a big difference, but if we can possibly begin to move in this direction,  it could definitely make a HUGE difference. So since I have shifted my mindset to only use my recyclable bag when shopping, it is now my goal to begin seeing what I can do about all those extra receipts. Any good suggestions? Perhaps you have a trick or idea for any kind of unneeded receipts. Please share it.

“No matter where you bought it, we’ll recycle it” – Best Buy

Last week, I went to see a movie. During the previews there was advertisement that made me so happy. The first scene of the ad had someone holding a computer, I can’t remember now if it was a man, a women or a child but each scene had someone desperately trying to hand off their computer to someone else.  Turns out that in May 2009, Best Buy rolled out their Green Together program.  Their slogan, ” Regardless of where you bought it, what brand it is, or how old it is: bring it to us. We’ll make sure it’s properly and safely recycled.” The best part, it’s FREE! There are a few items that folks have to pay $10 for but in exchange they receive a $10 Best Buy gift card. Also there is a two item per day maximum and there are some items they don’t take like console televisions or televisions larger than 32 inches, so it is best to check you local store before bringing in your items. Even though the program has been running for a year, I hadn’t heard about it and wanted to share.

Way to go, Best Buy!

Spring has sprung

Cherry Trees in the neighborhood
Cherry Trees in the neighborhood

It’s spring in Portland. It’s beautiful here with amazing cherry trees blossoming. I have been thinking of several things with the spring season. The first is the visit my husband and  I took to Portland when we were considering relocating here. We fell in love and have always loved the “earlier” spring here than we were both used to.

I also think about the spring after my father died. It wasn’t until April that I began to feel more like myself. It took those several month before the fog began to settle down after losing my father. I know spring is about rebirth and renewal and I surely felt it that first spring season.

962)  I have counted this in the past so I will count it again. Taking my recycling to the recycling station near our home. I always feel good about doing my share to recycle, reduce and reuse.

963) Told a friend who had several tubes of toothpaste to donate that I knew exactly where  we could donate them. I dropped them off  for a toiletry drive at our local community center.

964) Helped a woman in the locker room who had just had ankle surgery.