It's COOL to Care for Others During Hot Summer Months! Here's How!
You can be an angel to others during the summer’s warm weather. Often, that is when the need is great. Distract yourself from the temperatures by engaging in volunteer service and random acts of kindness. You can:
Paint some rocks and hide them around town for others to find and be delighted.
Donate a fan. Aldi and other discount stores carry small fans for $5. Why not bring them to an elder day care or another center that serves those in need?
Leave cold drinks out for the mail carrier, trash collector, and others. So many people serve us every day but often go unnoticed. Bring a little chill and cheer to their daily routine by greeting them with a kind note, a popsicle, or a cooler full of water.
Put water and bird feed out for birds.
Check on a neighbor. Older people in particular are vulnerable during hot summer months. People on fixed incomes may be reluctant to use air conditioning. So stop by! Invite them to a movie for a few hours to cool down.
Volunteer to read at the library where it’s frosty cold inside! Kids will love to hear you bring their stories to life.
Sign up to serve at a cooling center in your community. Many cities set up places where folks can come and cool off when the heat soars. You can be of service, without working up a sweat.
Serve at your local animal shelter where you can play with the cats and dogs inside.
Work at a blood drive and serve juice and cookies to folks who give blood. It’s nice and cool for blood donors — and you, too!
Organize a small group to distribute bottled water to people in need. After all, homeless people are particularly vulnerable to dehydration and heat stroke. Alternatively, drop off water bottles at a pantry or shelter that serves them.
Set up a water station at a local park or hiking trail. Choose a hot day and ask folks to pay it forward by volunteering their time at some point this summer.
Help a group of kids set up a lemonade stand. Encourage them to donate their proceeds to a local charity.
Bury some little treasures in a sandbox at the park . . . just for fun! Joy and delight make us forget the temperatures.
Plant a tree. After all, trees provide much needed shade, beautifying our streets and improving the air we breathe. Look up tree planting opportunities in your community.
Join the volunteer team at a Vacation Bible School or other summer faith opportunity. Lead a camp song, craft, snack, or prayer. The pleasure you will experience in their midst will feel like a lovely breeze on hot summer day.
Make no-bake cookies and deliver them to a fire station or public works office.
Suggest that you drive a friend or neighbor around on errands. Enjoy the AC in the car, and offer companionship — the best gift of all.
Cut out grocery coupons for healthy nonperishables and then go use them to purchase these items. Take them to a local soup kitchen or food pantry.
Give a single parent or a military spouse whose partner is deployed, a break by providing an afternoon or evening of child care. You will bring much needed relief!
In the morning before the heat hits, weed a flower bed, mow, or do clipping for a neighbor who cannot keep up with their yard. What a gift this will be!
Become a referee or assistant coach. Often youth sports need program aides and volunteers. Promote healthy activities that keep kids active and cared for.
Water plants for friends and neighbors while they are on vacation.
Make cards for veterans to deliver to a local veterans’ hospital. Honoring the sacrifices of others will make you a little less focused on your own complaints.
Organize a car wash fundraiser for a favorite charity. Or just volunteer to wash a neighbor’s car. Get wet while doing good!
Leave a bottle of bubbles on a stranger’s porch steps with a note that says “Enjoy these bubbles this summer!”
Surprise someone by buying them ice cream at the ice cream truck or at your local parlor.
Create a game night at your house of worship or community center. Invite people to come and cool off and enjoy one another’s company.
Create a bucket of water balloons and give them to a family you know. Fun for everyone!
Shop for school supplies to donate to a homeless or domestic abuse shelter.
Sharpen all the pencils at a day care, church school, or the like.
Tutor a child. If there is someone you know whose son or daughter struggles in school, you may be able to “bridge” the schoolyear by offering reading or lessons that supplement their learning.
Give the gift of popicles. Make them yourself with juice and popsicle sticks in the freezer. Or buy them and distribute them at a local park or at the police or fire station.
Write letters to the troops. Nothing takes your mind off your own situation like caring for our soldiers and sailors who are in harm’s way. Thank them for their service!
Get involved at a wildlife rescue where summer is “baby season” when there is a high need for help with mammals and birds.
Join the volunteer ranks at a hospital. Deliver magazines and flowers. Smile and be a source of hope and kindness.
Gather a group to sing camp songs at a local nursing home.
Go on a “clean hike.” Collect trash while you enjoy nature.
Canvas for a local politician or inititiative you believe in. Go door to door and share information with your community.
No matter what you do to help others, remember to drink water. Staying hydrated is critical to regulating your temperature and giving you energy for the activities you have planned this summer!
Thanks for tending to your neighbors and your community when the weather grows warm. Learning to focus on the needs of others when we are uncomfortable is a great life lesson. As you turn your attention to service, your own concerns will diminish . . . and, we promise, your joy will substantially increase!