Thursday, February 27, 2020

Five Service Ideas to Make the Most of This Leap Day

Time: there never seems to be enough of it to do all the things we want to do—to reach for every dream, help every person in need, or even get all the Zs we need each night. The good news? This year, on February 29, we get a precious extra 24 hours of time! And though that might not feel like a lot, as Girl Scouts we know that success isn’t always about how much you have but what you do with what you have!

This Leap Day (remember, this opportunity only comes around once every four years), let’s get creative and use this gift of time to do what Girl Scouts do best—make a difference!

Here are five service ideas to make the most of this Leap Day and change the world!
  1. Donate your day. What better way to be of service than to donate your time? This Leap Day (it’s a Saturday!), sign up for a day of service in your community. Ask around and search online—there’s bound to be an organization with a great mission that needs your help. The experience might even spark a longer-term service project if you end up finding that you really enjoy giving your time to that particular cause. What a great way to set yourself up for a year full of service! 
  2. Do something special for a friend or neighbor. People don’t always know how to ask for help when they need it. Have you noticed a family member, friend, or neighbor struggling to complete a task that you could help with? Perhaps it’s a homework subject you happen to be good at or mowing the lawn, cleaning up the kitchen, or tidying the yard—the possibilities are endless. And just a few hours of a helping hand could mean the world to someone who might never ask for help but desperately needs it. If you haven’t noticed anything specific, take the time to reach out and ask, “Is there something I can help you with today?”
  3. Make a service goal for the year. Think about how much time you want to dedicate to making a difference in your community and the world. Commit to spending a certain number of hours on service projects throughout the year. Maybe that means dedicating one or two Saturdays a month to picking up litter at your local park or beach, helping out at a food bank or homeless shelter, or reading to kids at your local library. Or you could set aside one hour every day to do something special for someone in your life who needs the extra hand. Making a specific goal keeps you more committed and is a great way to decide how you want to spend your time. Remember: every small act of service adds up to a huge difference, so it’s OK to focus on small, attainable goals instead of big projects. 
  4. Learn something new. Knowledge is power. This Leap Day, spend your extra 24 hours learning something new. Find a lecture on a topic that interests you and take the whole family to listen. Read a book on a new topic. Talk to a veteran in your community and ask them about their experiences. Or maybe there’s a profession that intrigues you. Reach out to a nurse, a teacher, a police officer, a mechanic, or a politician (whatever interests you most!), and ask them to tell you about their typical day, the challenges they face, and what they wish others would understand about their jobs. The more we know, the better we can work together to make positive change every day. 
  5. Do something good for the environment.  Plant a tree or a garden. Skip the car and bike or walk somewhere instead. Educate your neighbors about the importance of keeping the ocean clean. Nix the plastic water bottle and fill up a reusable one instead. Research easy ways to protect the environment through your daily choices, and then share what you find with your family and friends so they can learn to make better choices too.

There are so many ways to make a difference! This Leap Day, unleash that unstoppable Girl Scout imagination to connect with your community and make positive change. And always remember that every single act of kindness and service, no matter how big or small, adds up to a big difference.

Can you think of other fun ways to go out and put this Leap Day to good use in the name of service? Share them with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #BecauseofGirlScouts to inspire someone else to take on a meaningful act of service this year!