Jesus spent His entire mortal life serving those around Him, and He loved every person He served. We are to follow His perfect example and the commandment He gave us to love and serve everyone.
Serving others doesn’t have to be a big, organized ordeal. It doesn’t require that you spend multiple hours or lots of money doing something. You can serve those around you through small and simple actions during whatever spare time you have during the day or week. We’ve come up with six ways you can serve during your spare time.
1. Volunteer in Your Community
There are endless opportunities to serve in your community, such as volunteering at your local soup kitchen, nursing home, or animal shelter or donating blood when there’s a community blood drive. Communities are always in need of more volunteers, and it’s so easy to become more involved in your community. With a little effort and just a few minutes of your time, you can reach out to local programs, charities, groups, and establishments to find out what types of volunteers they need and when they need them. Visit www.justserve.org to learn more about local opportunities to serve.
2. Do Family History and Temple Work
We believe the family is a sacred institution, and it’s our responsibility to do family history research so we can find our ancestors who weren’t able to have the blessings of the gospel in this life. Once we have those names, we can take them to the temple and perform the needed temple ordinances to give them that opportunity. Make family history part of your life right now by going to FamilySearch.org. Technology makes it easier than ever for you to fulfill your responsibility to your deceased family members. Through this site, accessible from your home computer, tablet, a family history center, or anywhere with Internet access, easy steps allow you to find your ancestors, determine what temple work needs to be done, and get their names ready for the temple. In just 30 minutes of downtime, you can learn and do so much for your family tree.
3. Donate Items Your Family No Longer Needs
Instead of watching an hour-long TV show, spend that time decluttering your house. Go through your closets, garage, basement, and other rooms, looking for any unused clothing, shoes, toys, books, dishes, and other items, and then donate those items to local charities or stores. Deseret Industries, thrift shops, homeless shelters, and secondhand clothing stores are always in need of donations.
4. Write and Deliver Notes
Not too many things are more heartfelt or touching than a handwritten note. Whether it’s a family member, friend, neighbor, or the person you visit or home teach, there’s always someone who could use a written compliment or thank you to help brighten their day. Something that takes you only five minutes or less to do is going to have a lasting effect on the person you give it to.
5. Clean Your Neighborhood
You take pride in your neighborhood, and you should since it’s where you live. Unfortunately, some people tend to litter. Even if those in your neighborhood aren’t littering, trash tends to blow around and end up in your neighborhood. So when you have some spare time on a nice day, grab a trash bag and walk around your neighborhood, picking any trash you find. This small action provides a cleaner environment and will also be appreciated by your neighbors.
6. Assist Your Family around the House
Sometimes the people we forget to serve are those we love the most. If you notice there are dirty dishes in the sink, wash them. If there’s laundry to be done, do a load. If someone needs help with their homework, help them. Keep your eyes open for little acts of service you can do for your family. Don’t just tell them you love them—show them by serving them.
You can spend your spare time focusing on yourself and your happiness, or you can spend it focusing on others. Serving others is what brings real happiness into your life and the lives of those you serve.
What other ways have you found to serve during your spare time? We’d love to hear, so leave us a comment sharing your ideas!