Giving up something for Lent? How about doing something for others

Lent begins this week.  Some people will observe the beginning of this time with prayer, religious services, or the familiar ashes applied to the forehead.

Traditionally, people the observe Lent often form goals that revolve around giving up some treat such as  chocolate, fast food, or alcohol during the Lenten season.  Others use Lent as a time to renew New Year’s resolutions or healthy eating goals.

Over the years the concept of giving something up for Lent has broadened to include doing something positive for self or for others.  Drinking water instead of pop or going meatless two or three times a week are examples of Lenten resolutions that add a positive spin to doing without.

If you have not committed to a resolution yet, consider an activity to help others.  Here are a few suggestions.

  • Volunteer at a food pantry. There are food pantries and homeless shelters throughout most locals that could use an extra hand.
  • Give a gift of time to schools or church-sponsored charities.
  • Help elderly or other neighbors in need by preparing extra meals for them. Or, offer to drive the elderly to the grocery store for needed items.  Better yet, volunteer to pick up items the next time you shop.
  • Volunteer at a local hospital or clinic.

Lent can be a time to review past behaviors and begin new, positive habits. Hopefully these new habits will continue past Easter and change your life and the life of others for years to come.

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