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Giving

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Is your home overloaded with candy? Are your kids on a sugar high? Is the excitement of picking a costume and trick-or-treating starting to fizzle? If you answered yes to these questions, you are not alone.

I can't help you on the fizzle, but I can help you with creative ways to get candy out of your home and teach your children about giving.

For children to give their candy away, you'll need to:

  1. Get Creative
  2. Give them options.
  3. Let them make the decision

Get Creative.

You may be reading this, and you know your kids will be 100% on board or your reading this and think...this is going to be so hard. My kid is going to throw a fit! Well, let them throw a fit. Giving at the beginning is hard, but it's a life lesson your kids need to learn. If you don't teach them, do you think they'll grow up to be a giver? Maybe so, but likely not. You know your child best so make this fun and allow them to be creative.

Give Children Options.

You can't just walk in and tell your children you are giving away their candy and expect them to be happy about it. Research ways to give that best fit your family. To help you out, here are a couple of options to give your children:

  1. Operation Gratitude's Halloween Candy Donations Program: This program donates treats to our troops and first responders. Candy donations need to be received no later than November 15th. Click here for additional information. {Conversation starter} Chat with your kids about the important role the men and women in uniform play in our community. Why we should have respect for them and the sacrifices they make for our freedom and safety.
  2. Call your dentist to see if they have a buy-back program. Mine does! {Conversation starter} Do you know how cavities develop? CANDY!!!
  3. Ronald McDonald Houses: In my book, The Giving Challenge, I share a story about the Ronald McDonald Houses. If you are near a house, drop off your leftover candy. For an RMH near you, check here! {Conversation starter} Talk about gratitude. How we should be thankful for our health. Many children in our country are battling life-threatening diseases, such as cancer. Places like the Ronald McDonald House provide comfort, care and allows families to be close to their loved ones in the hospital.
  4. Create Gifts: Purchase mugs or mason jars and fill them with leftover candy. Decorate the mug or jar, tie a ribbon around it, or paint it. Have your child make a card and write a sweet note. Maybe drop off the gifts to a local nursing home or assisted living facility. Ask the staff to provide the gift to someone that doesn't receive visitors or needs a pick me up! {Conversation starter} Gifts don't always have to cost a lot. Sometimes the gifts we create ourselves can be just as unique. Also, the gifts we give don't have to go to people we know. We can bless strangers in need.

Let your children decide.

The list above is only suggestions. Have your child read the list and see if there is a place they want to donate. Or better yet, see what ideas they have and where they would like to donate their candy. Let the decision be theirs to make.

How is Giving Gal getting involved?

I'm also getting my leftover candy out of the house. I don't need it! I'm sending a box of full-sized candy bars to work with my husband for his office and giving three more boxes to my mom for blessing bags that her church passes out to those in need. My gift for the day!

Where will you donate your candy?

Giving Challenge: Get creative, give your child options and let them decide how to give away leftover candy.

Blessings,

Stephanie

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

Halloween is almost here! If you were thinking about sitting in your house with the lights off, hoping kids don’t stop at your home, you still have time to change your mind. I’m not a fan of all things Halloween, but I do believe it’s an opportunity to connect with our neighbors and those that live in our community.

Will you take the Halloween Giving Challenge?

  • Turn your porch light on and pass out treats.
  • Compliment the children on their costumes.
  • Dress up and have fun.
  • Set out a teal pumpkin (or sign) and have non-food treats available.
  • Chat with parents… get to know your neighbors and those in your community.

 

Have a happy Halloween!

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven’t read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

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Do you ever have one of those days where you run from appointment to appointment and the entire day you feel like you’re forgetting something but can't quite remember what?

That was me yesterday.

I rolled out of bed at 6:15 for a 7:00 appointment with my trainer. Hence the reason I'm looking mighty fine in the picture. Those training days come early and girl got no time to do hair and makeup. It's come as you are. Workout hard and move along.

From there, God bless my client Harold, he met me for breakfast after my workout. Isn't it great when people love you as you are?

Harold is my longest client. I originally showed up at his office eight years ago to help him get organized. Then he hired me as his coach. Every week we meet for 30 minutes to work on his goals. Did I mention Harold is 70 something?

Can I be like him when I'm older?

Still working full-time and always working to improve himself, setting and accomplishing goals.

For years he talked about starting a foundation in memory of his daughter. It was a big goal for him.

And guess what?

He did it! With help of friends and family, he started the Cheryl Lyn Welter Family Charitable Foundation. They raise funds to help local schools pay for much-needed items.

Yesterday we not only met for breakfast but he also bought a stack of copies of The Giving Challenge to give to donors of the foundation.

I'm ecstatic for the message of simple ways to give continues to spread and the book is being used in a variety of ways.

As I was checking out I noticed fun strawberry lemonade cupcakes decorated in pinks and yellows with lots of sprinkles. I picked up two. A gift for my neighbor girls.

I sped home, hopped in the shower and attended back to back calls until late afternoon.

Back in the car and a 30-minute drive I arrived at the chiropractor. While I was getting therapy I remembered I was within ten minutes of our favorite rib place. I finished therapy and drove over and picked up two slabs of ribs. A great surprise for the hubby.

On the way home I called to chat with my mom. I think we'd go the whole week without talking. When I arrived home I said my goodbyes and bounced down the stairs to cuddle with the hubby for a little while. I fell asleep.

When I awoke the ribs were cooking and we enjoyed a nice meal. At 8:00 I walked upstairs to snuggle under the covers and get a little reading in. By 9:00 it was lights out. I really didn't have a choice. I think I read the same page eight times.

I woke up this morning and you know my first thought? I forgot to post a Giving challenge yesterday! I'd given in various ways throughout the day but totally forgot to post.

So here I am on a Saturday reliving my Friday for you all to explain that sometimes I'm so involved in living and giving (and sleeping) that things on my list just don't get done. I could beat myself up over missing a day, and as a recovering perfectionist, I'm tempted to do so but I'm not going to.

So today I've decided I'm wrapping up The Giving Challenge. The last three days wrapped into one. Why? I don't want to spend Easter Sunday on social media.

So here is the final challenge. Love on people. Everyone you encounter today and tomorrow. Greet them with and show them, love. That includes yourself. Sounds simple but there are many people that cross our path that are hard to love. Love those people more!

It's my sincere hope the last 40-Days you've given a little more. That you found ways to make a difference that maybe you would have past up prior to the challenge. Did you become more aware of those surrounding you? Maybe you became a little less judgmental and more patient.

It's my desire that you continue on this Giving journey, looking for ways to give each and every day. If you haven't already, feel free to join my Giving Challenge group.

Thank you for your love, support and engagement over the past 40 days. It's been a joy.

Happy Easter. John 3:16

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

Have you ever been in line at the grocery store with one item and the person in front of you has a full cart?

That happened to me at Walmart and this sweet lady turned around and said, "Go ahead of me, you look to be in a hurry."

What a simple gift she gave me but totally made my day. I love when I receive these types of gifts because I get to feel how good something so small, especially from a stranger, makes the receiver feel.

Even though I was in a hurry, I asked if I could snap a picture to share with all of you. She was so humble and I had to give her a little nudge as I love documenting these moments. It's a reminder there are good people in the world.

Next time you are in line, let someone go in front of you.

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

When I coached high school track I was amazed at how many children had no support from friends or family. No one came to their meets to cheer them on, bring them a snack and encourage them after their event.

If you are a parent who attends your children's events, kudos to you. Is there a child you can bring under you wing that isn't getting support?

If you are like me with no children in the home, support a neighborhood kid, niece or nephew in their hobby.

Tonight as you're watching tv or surfing the web, make a plan for who and how you are going to support a child's hobby. It can be showing up at a game, paying for supplies, helping them practice or sending them encouragement before a big event.

Make a difference in a child's life today!

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

Who are your grateful for in your life?

The gardener at the farmers market who provides your fresh produce.

The banker who approved a loan for your first home.

The local artist who decorates the walls of the coffee shop with beautiful paintings.

The construction worker who fills potholes.

You are surrounded by hundreds of people who make your life better. Take a couple minutes to let them know how grateful you are for what they've done in your life.

Who will you thank today?

P.S. Love the cards below? They are from a fabulous company called Say It With Gratitude. Their cards are designed by children and a portion of their proceeds are give to nonprofits. I love companies that give back!

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

It's Monday and we all could use a little motivation and see positivity in our newsfeed.

Let's fill Facebook with motivational quotes and remind people it's a good day to be alive!

Post your favorite quote that picks you up when you are feeling down.

Don't have one? Share the one below!

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

Strolling the aisles of Menards this basketball hoop wastebasket caught my attention and I immediately thought of my nephew. I knew he'd love it.

I picked the cool hoops wastebasket up and bought it. I really wanted one for myself but my husband reminded me I didn't need it. Boo!

If you are out and about and an item catches your eye, that's in your budget, and you think, "X would love this," buy it and give a gift for no occasion.

Go Duke

Blessings,

Stephanie

 

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

This morning I finished reading a great book, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do.

I posted a review on Amazon and Goodreads. I was reminded of how simple actions, that take just a couple of minutes, make an author happy.

Think about the last book you read and choose one (or more) of the gifts below to help an author.

P.S. In the comments I posted a link to my Goodreads page. Check it out for all my book reviews and recommendations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessings,

Stephanie

 

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

As we go into the weekend if you are out and about, please park between the lines.

I know this seems like common sense but I was at the bank earlier this week and over 50% of cars were not parked between the lines, leaving a bunch of empty spaces that were unusable.

I get it. I can't park to save my life but I always hop back in and correct my mistake. It takes a couple of seconds to fix my mistake.

We are all in a hurry but a little common courtesy goes a long way.

If you are a perfect parker, leave a kind note for someone who isn't. Maybe say, "You are amazing! Have a great day."

Blessings,

Stephanie

 

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com