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Today is February 15th – 90 days before my 30th Birthday on May 15th.  Hopefully, you’ve already heard about this little project and are looking forward to this list to see how you can use the next 90 days to create meaning for someone else, maybe even yourself.  Ok – here’s what you do:

  1. Read the list below. Pick one or more actions to do by May 15th. I felt a little overwhelmed by the ‘need’ reflected in this list. A need for financial help in a recession. A need for connection and community. A need for love.  Here’s the reality – the need exists whether we make a list or not and I hope you’ll help me make a small difference by doing what we can do to replace these needs with meaning.
  2. Let me know what you’ve decided to do. (Not only am I excited to see all that will be done, but it will also help me see what ideas still need someone to accomplish them.) You can contact me at 30withMeaning@gmail.com, on Twitter @HSchoegler or on Facebook if we’re friends.
  3. Once you’ve selected your action with meaning and you’re working on it or have completed it, send me a photo, video or note of you completing it.  The goal with this is to record all the meaning that has been created so definitely let me know how it made you feel and how it impacted any other people involved.

And finally…here’s the list of 30 in no particular order.  I’ll try to do an individual post on each idea for a little more detail, but here’s a short list.  As always, if you have any questions, please let me know!

  1. Choose a day where you will purposefully pick up the phone and call everyone back. All the clients, co-workers, etc. that you get an email from, a text from, a FB message— make an effort to contact them personally instead of relying so heavily on the technology that has both made life easier, but taken away the personal contact we love often in life. Make a commitment to do this once a week, every week and see your relationships grow stronger.
  2. Wiggle your toes in the sand
  3. Play dominos (or another game) with someone over the age of 70
  4. Attend an event in your downtown – a play, rally, fundraising event, festival, etc.
  5. Buy a book that you benefited from. Write a note about how it impacted you. Give it to someone else who might benefit from it and encourage them to read it and pass it on.
  6. Start a journal or a blog. (Not because you think someone will read it or you care what they will think. Do it for yourself.)
  7. Connect two people who would benefit from knowing each other – either personally or professionally. Be the connector.
  8. Get involved with Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (www.YLNI.org) – attend an event or even better, sign-up to help with one of the upcoming activities.
  9. Tell each of your Facebook friends why they are your friend. This could be a challenge if you can’t think of something for some people, but if you use the definition of a friend as someone that creates meaning in your life, why does a Facebook ‘friend’ differ?
  10. Spend time with someone you love – simply doing they love best – because you love them.
  11. Ride the Tram at the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, NM (www.sandiapeak.com). Take a hike while you’re at it.
  12. Send a hand-written thank you note
  13. Reconnect with a friend who blessed your life in the past. No – not the boyfriend or girlfriend you find on Facebook, but that friend (or friends) you thought you’d be life-long friends with but life got in the way.
  14. Make a monthly payment for someone (Pediatrician’s office, Utilities, etc.)
  15. Support AngelFood (www.angelfoodministries.com)- many area churches offer discounted boxes of food that will feed a family of 4 for a week. It’s around $30 for the main box but there are other options too. Or, simply buy a box-full of groceries and leave it on someone’s door anonymously.
  16. Pay for the drink or meal of the person behind you in the drive-thru. Simply have the worker at the window share a message of kindness with them instead of giving them a total amount due.
  17. Volunteer one Saturday morning at Wellspring Food Bank (www.wellspringinterfaith.org). It’s amazing, inspirational, humbling and eye-opening.
  18. Continue to remember Haiti with your prayers, donations and even time. There is an immediate need for donation for Haiti at The Chapel (www.thechapel.net) as they send a medical missions team to Haiti in a couple of weeks. They are collecting the following items: adult vitamins with iron, children’s chewable vitamins with iron, infant vitamin drops with iron, adult Tylenol tablets, children’s liquid Tylenol (4 oz.), Tums antacids, Liquid Tears eye drops (10–15 ml.). Generic brands are acceptable. Also, crutches that you are no longer using (either child or adult size), they are needed for those who cannot ambulate due to injury, amputation, etc. If you would like to help, please bring donations to The Chapel at 2505 West Hamilton Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46814.
  19. Volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House, which provides a home away from home for families with children in the hospital.  Those families often just need a smile and friendly face to make them feel at home.  If you’re not interested in longer commitment like volunteering, you could also prepare a meal for the families who stay there or at the Hope House on the campus of Lutheran Hospital. (Contact Lisa Pacula, director of the RMH at Parkview Hospital, 260.373.4000)
  20. Fill up the gas tank of someone who does a lot of driving or sneak them a gas card. (Do it anonymously!)
  21. Volunteer for Parkview Hospital’s “No One Dies Alone” program that helps ensure that a patient who is actively dying has someone with them to provide peace and comfort when they may not be able to have family or friends with them at that time. (Contact Ann Lantz, director of Chaplaincy Services, 260.373-4000.)
  22. Comfort those in need by taking a basket to an ICU waiting room with inspirational books, blankets, or snacks & beverages that would be comforting to families in crisis who have loved ones in critical care.
  23. Be a Real Man. Sign-up to volunteer with Learn United’s (www.learnunited.org) Real Men Read program or donate so that a child can have new books. You’ll never know the impact this has in their life!
  24. Brighten a battered woman’s day: At the YWCA Women’s Shelter (www.ywca.org/fortwayne), plant flowers in the spring or cleaning up the play area for the children that stay there with their moms. (Contact Angie Dane to coordinate your volunteering.)
  25. Team up with the Intentionals (http://theintentionals.tumblr.com/) to throw a birthday party for a child staying at the YWCA Women’s shelter.
  26. Register with NeighborLink (www.nlfw.org) as a coach and complete a project
  27. Dedicate a day to communicating on behalf of your favorite organization through blogging/Facebook-ing/Twitter-ing/etc…
  28. Meet a New Neighbor – Shovel snow, mow a yard, delivery some cookies, knit a blanket – whatever, but get out and meet someone new that you live close to
  29. Sign up to volunteer for Kate’s Cart (www.kateskart.org) which supplies free books to hospitalized children.
  30. Take tangible donations to A Hope Center (www.ahopecenter.com) or stock up on diapers & wipes, formula, or baby food for a family with children that you know personally.