Thursday, February 18, 2010

Give This New Year Away #24 - Volunteer for a non-profit or chairty event

On an almost weekly basis, we see different events to benefit non-profit or charity organizations. But do these events just happen after someone comes up with an idea? NO!
It takes lots of planning, execution and volunteers.
Without those dedicated men and women who offer time to work an event, they would not happen.
Consider helping an organization or a cause that you believe in and find a way to help them out. It can be as simple as spending a few hours on the day of an event helping register people or if you are so inclined, assist with the coordination and implementation of an event.
Volunteers are the key to making an event a success, take the time out to help out your favorite charity or organization.
And if thats not enough, knowing you are helping, you can benefit through the Disney "Give a Day Get a Day" promotion

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Give This New Year Away #23 - Make a Dinner For Another Family

Health problems, loss of a job, death in the family.
New baby, moving to a new home.
Many different scenarios can create changes in peoples lives, changes that can make it difficult for a family to find time to eat a decent dinner together.
If you know of a family going through any of these things or similar situations, offer to bring them dinner. It does not need to be anything elaborate. A pan of lasagna, all the fixings for tacos, a casserole.
I know personally after the birth of our last daughter, when friends from church brought us dinners, how great it was especially for my wife.
It was not a major endeavor, but an extremely appreciated act.
The simple act of offering a dinner for another family, who may not even realize they need it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Give This New Year Away #22-Become an accountability partner

This can be a follow-up to GTNYA 9 (Offer an encouraging word).
As we travel through our daily life, isn't it great to have someone to bounce ideas, concerns, dreams and more off of?
Have a friend, co-worker or colleague that is going through a difficult time in their life? Quitting smoking? Struggling in their marriage? Student having a hard time?
It doesn't matter the situation, be that supportive force in that person's life, but also be that "moral compass" that if they slip, you are there to get them back in the right direction.
This is a role that can be stressful, yet rewarding. It is not meant to be the person that is always nagging, but more that extra set of eyes and ears to help make sure the path is being followed.

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:10, NLT

Monday, February 8, 2010

Give This New Year Away #21-Give The Gift Of Life, Donate Blood

According to the Blood Center of Wisconsin website ( "Every three seconds, someone in our community needs blood. By giving blood, donors have the opportunity to save lives. Donating blood is a quick, easy, and safe way to provide patients with the gift of life."
I have been a donor since the age of 18, when the nursing home I was volunteering at through my high school was having a blood drive.
Many people do not realize the impact they can make by taking 1 hour out of their lives to donate blood. Yes it can be somewhat uncomfortable, but giving the gift of life is worth the discomfort.
Have you ever known someone that has needed to go to the hospital and has needed a blood transfusion? That could not have happened if someone had not donated blood.
Take the time, give the gift, help save a life.

Give This New Year Away #20- Stop and Help That Person In Need

We all see them...the guy standing on the street corner with the "Will Work For Food Sign" or the woman "Homeless, need help"
Over the last 2 years we have seen a huge increase in the number of people seeking help...because of lost jobs and more.
Many of you may be thinking "well how do I know these people are really not just homeless drunks" etc? We don't, but we need to love by faith, learn to trust.
Maybe that person will take the couple of dollars you give to go by a bottle of cheap wine or something else...but maybe, just maybe that sign of kindness could be the first one that person has seen in a long time and will help lift them up.
Last summer, as I was setting up chairs for my family at the Great Circus Parade in Milwaukee, I had a gentleman approach me. He was obviously down on his luck from his appearance. He stopped and told me his story of needing a State ID to get a job, showed me what looked like an "official" paper from an employer stating that he needed it to get the job. I have always been skeptical of this type of person asking for money, but something hit me to trust him. I asked how much he needed, and he told me $15. I had $10 to give him...I looked at him, told him I normally don't do this, but God is putting it on my heart to trust you and to help you. We talked for a few more minutes, he talk a little about how God is trying to help him...and we parted ways.
Did he really use the money to get his State ID? I will never know. What I do know is that God did place it on my heart to talk to this man, help him and trust him.
Will this be the case 100% of the time? Unfortunately NO, but we need to show trust in our fellow man. Next time you see that person on the street corner asking for help...offer them a couple of dollars. Maybe that simple act will be just enough to help them and get them on the right path once again!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Give This New Year Away #19- Grab That Shopping Cart

Mom in a parking lot with kids in the minivan and a load of groceries. Elderly man that is struggling to get from the store to car. The woman that seems to be in a hurry.
All examples of people that would benefit from you offering to grab their shopping cart and take it to the corral or back up to the store. Are you limited to who you can offer this simple gift to? Absolutely not.
It's the simplest things that pave the way to good deeds through others. While you are walking into a store, look for that person who is almost done unloading their cart. Walk up and offer to take it back for them...and don't say anything else.
Simple acts of random kindness, no matter the size, lead us to a better world

Posted via web from From the mind of Jon Kurozawa

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Give This New Year Away #18 - Put Down The Remote, Pick Up A Book

If you are like me...once you get home from a busy day of work, running kids from place to place and who knows what just want to plop down in your favorite chair and zone out to your favorite TV show. Maybe even share that TV time with you kids.


Put down the remote, grab a couple of books and spend some time reading with your kids. This can be an important bonding time between you and your children. Make a point of making funny faces, goofy noises and really going over board reading the story.

For those of you that don;t have kids...well you can still grab a book. Read up on a topic you are interested in, learn something new or even let your imagination run wild in a fictional title.

Better the Bible, the greatest book ever written. Take 20 minutes a day and you can knock out the whole bible in a year. There are great online tools to help you get through the bible in a year. There are even specialized  "One Year Bibles"

Posted via web from From the mind of Jon Kurozawa

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Give This New Year Away #17 - Offer a parent a night out

For those of you that do not have children, this one may not have a lot of value to it.

For those that have is priceless.

Parenting is a full time job, whether you are a stay at home parent (God bless them for the under appreciated job they do every single day) or a two income family, being a parent has no days off.

This is one of the most amazing gifts you can provide a parent (especially single parents). It can be as simple as watching kids for an hour or two so they can go grocery shopping in peace, for a weekend afternoon so they can see a "grown-up" movie, or a date night for the couple that only gets a few minutes once the kids go to bed.

As a husband and father of four children, I would love to have a date night with my wife once a month, but it is next to impossible. Imagine the mother who has an infant, that never gets a break. An hour of peace and quiet without the added stress of a fussy baby. Worth more than anything you can imagine.

Of course this only works if you are comfortable around children and the kids are OK with you being around. But give this gift, more than once (maybe once every other month). Those parents will LOVE you forever (if they don't already!

Posted via web from jonkurozawa's posterous

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Give This New Year Away #16-Invite a friend to church

This could be one of the more difficult ones of the year, because the topic of church, religion, faith can be a hard one to discuss with other people when you don't know "where they stand". If you are confortably involved in a church, why not invite that friend that is having difficulties to join you.

I have found that people that have been away from church, for whatever reason, have a difficult time returning to church if they do not feel comfortable. Each church family is different...what they offer for new comers. This is not the place for me to say one church is better than the other.

The process of inviting a friend to church is not one that can be done on the spur of the moment "Hey Jim, wanna come to church with me tomorrow". It is one that will take time to cultivate and lead up to the appropriate time to ask.

Do not be afraid though, reach out to that friend, embrace the opportunity to bring light to a friend's life.

Posted via web from jonkurozawa's posterous