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30-day Challenge: Help someone other than yourself

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Today, I recorded a special edition podcast inviting all of you to do a challenge called “30-day Challenge: Help Someone other than Yourself”. While we are waiting for this pandemic to end, I believe that we can do something more than sitting at home and watching Neflix. I’ll share to you five ways that I believe can make a difference today. It’s best if you share your own thoughts and ideas too. Let us know!

1 Volunteer 

Help two people other than yourself. Simple things like making coffee or sending donuts and pizza. Give away your extra Christmas cards. What good are they to you right now, anyway? Give it to our police, firefighters, or nurses. Let them order take-outs for their teams. One beautiful example is our church, Miami Vineyard, sent Little Caesar’s pizza over to a nurses station. We all have the ability to wipe down stuff. Can you wipe down baskets at Walmart or your neighborhood grocery store or maybe even the gas station pumps. I know it may seem a little bit weird, but you’d be surprised when others see people helping out.

It shapes their minds and may just rub off. Can you help clean at a local elderly facility? Maybe they won’t let you in. Could you clean outside? What about offloading boxes or supplies anywhere? The more hands the better and right now I believe it is the best time to be all hands on deck. Yes, I can cut down this tree by myself, but it will go much faster with helping hands. 

Just think, what can I do to take the pressure off of others? Why do we not have a “COVID-19: How can you Help” website with the list of activities that people can come to do in and around their communities? Why has someone not built that yet? Maybe you should be the one to build it. It’s so easy to focus on the news, blaming others, pointing fingers rather than all these media outlets come together and build solutions. Pump gas for someone who’s 60 and up, help them offload their groceries, packages, et cetera. I have four more ideas below. 

2 Find solutions

Work on putting out little fires, not just big ones. What are things in and around your community that need solving? There’s more to serving the first responders. What can you do for the

mailman, delivery drivers, truckers, maybe your programmer. Could you help a local business build a delivery service or help them connect with DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates so that they can keep their doors open. With everything closed, now is the perfect time to integrate offline with online high-tech with low tech. 

People still want to eat at their local eateries. Maybe your state has closed everything cause you can’t figure out how to do it effectively. Is now the time for drone deliveries? I’m not saying it is, but I’m just asking the question. I know people who do geospatial mapping, can they help? People are doing all sorts of things out there. Giving back like sewing masks, threading masks, printing swabs for test kits. 

Once you start looking for inventive ways to serve, the more they will come to your head. Be an idea machine. Like my brother James Altucher says, write down 10 things that you’re good

at, maybe even profession and write down 10 things that are desperately needed and see if there’s any intersection. For example, let’s take your carpenter. Maybe you can build planter boxes for people who want to now start growing their own gardens. More and more people are now wanting to plant their own crops. Maybe you’re doing something for your immediate family. 

Here’s an idea and one of the things that came to my mind while I was out walking today. How about capturing the stories of your grandparents? How about you grab a recording device, call grandma, grandpa and just start asking questions. “Grandma, what was it like when you were six years old? 10 years old, 15 years old. Were boys mean to you?” “Grandpa. Did you go to school with other races of people? Grandpa. What age did you meet grandma? Did you have someone special in your life before you met her?” Same thing for grandma. “Grandma, do you remember when you first laid eyes on grandpa and by the way, what were your parents like? When did your parents pass away?” I think that grabbing these stories and sending them on a computer for history will do wonders for your family and generations to come.

3 Be a sounding board

Mental illness plagues millions of people each year. Let’s start using our phones for their original intent, their design of talking to others. With all this extra time on our hands, let’s ask people how they are feeling and mean it.

We all have those friends that are difficult to talk to, but maybe what we should build is a call exchange service where you can talk to a stranger in need. No therapists, no specialists, just a conversation. How about something like this? Remember those old phone sex lines? Yeah, I know.  We never tried it, but we always saw advertisements before the internet, similar in nature, but instead helping people in need.

How about we have a switchboard that connects colors based on their needs like weight gain, suicide, depression, death, divorce, terminal illness, and separation anxiety. Now you can choose which calls to answer so you can handle only the calls that you’re comfortable hearing. We can take it even a step further and separate it by English, Spanish, male, female, and again, if someone builds it out, now we have a platform to solve large problems, easy to build, and cheap to maintain. 

The network effect grows itself to infinite scale. No reason to rush off the call. It’s not like you have any appointments to go to anyways. 

4 Donate

Donate to others. I know people who are couponers, hoarders that have piles of extra stuff. Talk to them about giving away some of this stuff to a nonprofit or others in need. Don’t force our elderly into the stores to get goods. We need our seniors. Before this happened, I knew a lady that converted a bedroom to a storage facility for all for couponing stuff, pre-COVID. I called my coupon-hoarder friends and said, “Hey, some of the people out there need that stuff. They need help. Let’s do it together.” What sense is it and looking at all this stuff in your house while people are going without. Find a couponer on IG, social media and ask them to help. Sometimes people just need the idea planted in their minds.

5 Entertain others

I’m sure we can all use a break from the 24-hour news cycle. My parents loved Tyler Perry movies. In fact, it’s the only thing that we could collectively watch as a family today. I was on Instagram with a person who’s a chef and he’s out of work. I told him, why not start a YouTube channel cooking show from your home? I even offered to feature him on my channel as a way to build some tracks in the very beginning. Bartenders can make videos of your favorite cocktails and share it with the world. We all need a smile in the community, a release from the horrors of what is happening around us. 

What about hosting virtual karaoke parties at your house on  Instagram, thinking won’t pick up steam? Ha! During the last hurricane here we had in Florida, we were all stuck at a shelter in the middle school. Everyone was hot, frustrated, no decent meals, we’re eating cafeteria food, nowhere to go, stuck waiting out the next mega storm. Amidst it all, I decided that maybe a little bit of entertainment would just help out. So during the midst of all this chaos, I spoke with someone who was a DJ and had a karaoke machine, and I asked him if he would kindly go out to his home and bring it to the gymnasium where we were at. 60 minutes later, we were setting up a karaoke machine and an hour from there, the whole crowd was joining in. Everybody from different races and ethnic groups were singing all types of music, mariachi, crown. I mean, it was just WOW. The crowd loved it and we had so much fun. During the midst of all this chaos. It was my first shot at entertaining people during the middle of a disaster, and it worked. 

Do not let this downtime turn into wasted time. Use it as a way to showcase your gifts, talents, skills. Most of us complained about never being able to do our dreams, follow our paths, our journeys because we’re stuck at work and having to pay bills. Well, now is your time. What are you going to do with it? Thanks for reading! Stay safe, praying for the wellbeing of your families. May God bless you all.

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