Is this not the fast I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness.
To undo the heavy burdens.
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him.
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Is there someone you know today who needs help? Stop a moment and look around this week to see who it is that needs your help. Sometimes it's not apparent when someone is in need. Most people are reluctant to share their needs with others. But if you ask God the Father to show you who He wants you to help and how He wants you to help, He will open your eyes.
You may think that you don't have the time or the money. You may not want to get involved, feel obligated, or make a commitment. But God is calling you to to stop and be still for a moment and consider what He has blessed you with that you could share with someone in need.
In every town and city across the nation there are single parents struggling to take care of their children. Many of which, are living well below the povery level. Four of the most important things that single parent families need help with are:
1. Child-care - In order to work, a single parent needs a safe place to leave their children. Could you help pay for child care? Could you offer to babysit - free of charge?
2. Groceries - After the utilities and rent is paid, there's little money left to buy food and personal care items. Could you pick up an extra bag of food items each time you go shopping? Or maybe non-food items like diapers, toilet paper, soap, deoderant, toothpaste, shampoo, or medicine. Children also need school supplies and lunch boxes, backpacks, clothes, and shoes.
Providing any of these items can make a difference as to whether a single parent will be able to make ends meet or not.
3. Community Resources - Can you help a single parent locate and access community resources they may not know exists? Maybe a church, a support group, a pantry or clothes closet ministry or free medical care or dental care?
4. Fellowship - Could you be a mentor to a single parent? One of the hardest things to deal with is loneliness; having no one to turn to for emotional and spiritual support. Single parents need someone who is reliable and sincere that they can lean on. A call or visit every week or a couple of times a month would make a difference in the emotional and spiritual stability of a single parent and their children. Could you be the one who reaches out with God's love and provides encouragement and fellowship to a single parent family?
Will you answer God's Call?
Here are a few suggestions that you may have not considered as ways you might could help:
- Give a garage sale and use the money to buy groceries or pay a utility bill for a single parent family
- Pick up one or two extra personal care items each time you shop. That's one or two less items the single parent has to worry about.
- Buy a book of gift certificates from a fast food establishment to give to the single parent. This is an inexpensive and fun way to provide a treat and relieve some stress.
- Go through your closet and see what you come up with you could give away that a single parent family could use or sell.
- Offer free service: do you cook, clean houses, cut lawns, repair appliances/cars, cut hair or do nails? Maybe you quilt or sew. Maybe you could provide transportation or babysit.
- Buy tokens to wash and dry clothes at a laundry mat or offer to do the single parent family's laundry for them.
- Fill their automobile up with gas.
- Invite a single parent family to have dinner with your family, go out to a movie or play putt putt. Your treat!
- Stop in to visit and drop off a care basket full of treats: fruit, homemade candy, cookies, popcorn, a cake, or even a cassarole can put a smile on lots of faces, and show someone cares.
- Send an ecouraging card in the mail to let the single parent family know you have them in your thoughts and prayers.
- Maybe you have several friends that might be interested in helping too. Look at how much more you could do.
If you stop and take some time to think about how to help someone in need - you will discover that there's lots of ways to help relieve stress and lift the spirits of a single parent family without spending a lot of time or money. A little bit here and there goes a long way.
There are spiritual blessings in store for those who answer God's call.
copyright 2007 - S.Hunt All rights reserved
Please feel free to share the ideas or suggestions you may have as to how to help someone in need. You never know- your idea might just be the answer someone else is looking for.
Have a great week!