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52 Ways to Give Simple, Bite-Sized Service

Service doesn't have to take hours of planning and a large group to carry it out. Sometimes it's making one small adjustment to the things we already do each day.

I had a friend who, whenever we were out walking, would never fail to find trash along the road and pick it up to throw away when we walked by a trash can. We never went out with the intention to pick up trash—it was just something she did whenever we were out.

Like my friend, we can all do service simply by being kind and thoughtful. People who are service-minded are naturally kind people because they are thinking of things they can do to help others. People who are kind are naturally service-minded because they are thinking of ways to be nice, such as serving. Instead of thinking of service as an overwhelming necessity to plan and prepare weeks in advance, try some of these simple service ideas—kind, helpful actions that will easily adopt themselves into your everyday life.

These ideas for stress-free, bite-sized service add up to one a week for a year if you wish to use them all!

  1. Pick up trash and throw it away. Don’t forget to throw away your own trash!
  2. Look for one person sitting alone at work, school, or a church activity. Genuinely ask how they are doing and talk with them. 
  3. Talk to someone you don’t normally talk to, whether in person or on the phone or via social media.
  4. Give an anonymous, encouraging note to a co-worker or neighbor.
  5. Focus on serving a roommate or family member this week. Make their bed for them, share the dinner you made, or lend them one of your possessions 
  6. Take some time to serve those on the other side of the veil. Visit the temple, maybe even with family names.
  7.  Find a place in the community to volunteer for a few hours, such as the soup kitchen, or a crossing guard for an elementary school.
  8. Do something extra for those that you home/visit teach. I.e. drop off a note or a plate of cookies, text them a scripture or a "thinking of you" message. 
  9. Try to hold the door open for someone else at least once a day. If someone holds the door open, make sure you smile at them and thank them.
  10. Give at least one sincere compliment a day to a different person.
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