Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Practical ways to serve others in the new year January 3, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Several years ago, family friends planted shamrocks in our yard on St. Patrick’s Day. What a joyful gift. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


WHAT CAN YOU DO that will bring joy to others? How can you help others? How can you make a difference in your family, your neighborhood, your community?

Those are all questions I expect many of you contemplate, especially at the beginning of a new year. I brainstormed the topic for a post that published earlier this week on the Warner Press blog. I work as the blog coordinator for this Indiana-based Christian publisher and lead a team of three other writers.

In crafting this piece, I created a month-by-month list of specific ways to serve others. I used examples from my own life. I have been blessed by so much kindness and by many opportunities to serve.

Just yesterday, for example, a small package arrived from a friend. Inside I found a lovely gratitude journal that encourages me to make note of daily gratitudes. I’m not surprised Beth Ann (also a blogger) gifted me with this. She is one of the most positive people I know and has always encouraged and supported me.

And last week a blogger from Pittsburgh sent me an Instant Pot after reading an earlier blog post that included my crossed-out Christmas wish list. I’ve never met Ruth. But I follow her blog and know her to be a kind and caring soul.

Days prior I received a cash gift from an equally kind and caring soul who remains anonymous to me.

For me, serving others on a daily basis comes primarily in listening and offering words of encouragement. I also give of my time to volunteer whenever such opportunities arise. It’s not only the right thing to do, but an honor.

As 2020 begins, we have 366 days to connect with others, to offer support and encouragement, bring joy, help in hands-on ways. I’d love to hear how you are making a positive difference in your world or beyond.

CLICK HERE to read my Warner Press post, “A Year of Serving Others.”

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


16 Responses to “Practical ways to serve others in the new year”

  1. Janet Hanf Says:

    I enjoy reading your blog but don’t know how to reply to posts.

  2. I have learned to be there for myself so I can give of myself to others (need to fill your tank first and then spread that out into the world). It is the small acts of kindness that make my day and brighten others (i.e. a hello!, a how are you doing, holding a door open, etc.). Lending a helping hand, offering support and caring, volunteering, becoming a part of the community, supporting the local businesses, etc. I still remember a few years back surprising my BFF on a milestone birthday with a whole flock of lawn flamingos on her front yard for her and everyone else to see. It was so much FUN! I am blessed in that I work for a great community-based organization and live in a great community 🙂 Happy Weekend – Enjoy

  3. In memory of a fallen combat buddy I have donated in his name over the years to food banks.

    One year, I purchased coffee for anyone who walked into the local cafe those mornings. The gals behind the counter were shocked the first time I did it but after they found how it made so many people happy they considered my strange request a blessing when I did it the other times.

    It was fun seeing people realizing they didn’t have to pay and not knowing who had provided the kindness. For me it was a way to connect back to a world I felt was broken after being in a war and seeing all the evil.

    We all can do things each day to make things better for each person on the planet.

    I am so glad your readers felt the way I did when I read your Christmas blog or the one earlier in the year about your insurance costs. It pulled at my heart. I really wished we could do something to make it better. I admire your courage to write about your struggles as maybe it will give others the courage to step forward and get law makers to change the situation for all Americans.

    • Paula, I appreciate your perspective and your generosity. It doesn’t have to be something “big” to make a difference in another person’s life although your acts of kindness are certainly generous. Thank you for honoring the memory of your combat buddy (I’m sorry for your loss) and for blessing all those coffee drinkers in that cafe.

      It’s obvious you care deeply about people not only on a personal level but on a broader level as a nation.

      Everyone struggles with something. I don’t know that sharing my health insurance cost struggles will make a difference. But I want people know this is a real financial issue not only for Randy and me but for many.

  4. Wonderful post, Audrey. Spread that kindness, spread that love. It’s the right thing to do. You’re amazing. ❤ ❤ ❤

  5. valeriebollinger Says:

    What a great list of ideas. Thank you Audrey.

  6. I enjoyed the post you wrote for Warner press. Great examples and Ideas for serving others. In my most recent post I had several things listed for working on in 2020. This one holds true to what you are talking about in your post…. *The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others”. Thanks for all the idea’s 🙂

  7. Great ideas, Audrey. It is always so easy to recognize our true gifts and blessings when we offer ourselves in service to others. I strive to look for opportunities every day and usually can find one thing to do for someone else. Thanks for some great ideas of how to share with others.

  8. Susan Ready Says:

    Yes you have much reason to be filled with gratitude with the unexpected kindness of others. Passing it along in small ways (pay it forward) great way to keep it going.
    Wishing you the best for the new year.

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