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Even The Small Things Matter

We’re about half way through 2020 and boy, what a year it has been thus far.

I recently asked my social media contacts for help with a charity that provides food packs for children. It was a simple ask of making cards with fun sayings, inspirational messages, jokes etc…  The kids appreciate the food and they LOVE the cards! It’s that personal touch that really resonates with the kids. Such a simple thing creates a nice impact.

I was so inspired by the number and variety of friends, neighbors and past acquaintances that responded. My god-daughter, new friends, old friends, a mother of a child I taught in preschool many moons ago all responded! One of my mother’s friends who lives in a retirement community has formed a little group to make the cards together. It’s been a bonus for me to see this outpouring of help.

I think people want to help others but don’t always know how.

Instinctively, we want to “give back” and be helpful. But it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what to do. My friend Susan always suggests to start small and reminds me that acts of compassion can have a ripple effect.

I show my love by cooking for others. Food has a way of connecting us that is elemental. Reach out and let someone know you are thinking of them, such as a neighbor who is a shut-in or a co-worker who has little children home. Wouldn’t they feel good receiving a casserole ready for dinner, or a plate of homemade cookies? Think how meaningful it would be for a teacher who has struggled to provide online classes if you dropped off dinner as a thank you for all their hard work.

I’m a big fan of doubling recipes and sharing. One for you, one for me!

Check out these ideas:

  • Dinners: Casseroles are a great gift. Usually they can be frozen and reheated when needed. I love to cook but if someone showed up at my house and left me a casserole for dinner I would bless them to the stars! One of my favorite casseroles to give is Bruschetta Chicken Bake. Super easy!
  • Soups: Easy to make and gift. They are nutritious and delicious. Might as well slice, dice and sauté double the recipe. Soup would be perfect to share with my friend who has been taking care of her mom.
  • Breakfast breads: My best friend wanted to thank me for helping her out with her garden. Such a nice thought. I wanted to give something nice to my neighbor whose son had been in the hospital. I’d been working a lot and didn’t have time to get the ingredients I needed to make Lemon Loaf bread. As a thank you for the gardening, my friend made a loaf of lemon bread for me to give to my neighbor! I confessed I wasn’t the one who baked the bread, but they didn’t care about that. They appreciated the thought.  Look how much love was put into that bread!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Mix in a Jar

  • Cookies, brownies etc: Any baked goodie is so nice. When I bake cookies I don’t want to make the whole batch just for my family… I’m likely to eat too many of them myself.  So I usually make a plate with half the batch for someone else.
  • Ingredients: Drop off the ingredients and the recipe for a nice meal. Or make a cookie-in-a-jar mix. Little kids and big kids love that gift!
  • Food bags: A group of us make food bags with things like granola bars, applesauce, water bottles etc… and keep them in the car to hand out to those asking for help on the side of the road. Lately, we have added in fresh cookies or brownies. Everyone appreciates a sweet now and then.

If you are interested in helping your local food bank here is a link to find one in your area.

One for you and one for me!

Find more delightful recipes in your DinnerTime Recipe Box.
You can search for an ingredient (e.g. eggplant, etc) the name or part of the name of a recipe (lasagna), a cuisine (Italian), type of dish (e.g. soup), an occasion (Thanksgiving, breakfast, tailgating, gift, etc)  in your DinnerTime Recipe Box.

Simple and elegant.

Make extra of this favorite healthy soup to share.

 This tasty casserole freezes beautifully!