Stories of Kindness from Around the World

15 Ways to Love Your Neighbor

--by OZ, posted Aug 10, 2009

I recently came across 15 Ways to Love Your Neighbor, by Joanne Brokaw.  Wonderful ideas!

Loving your neighbor doesn't require a huge bank account or selling your possessions and moving to the desert (unless, of course, God is calling you to do that). Here are practical ways you can love your neighbors:

1. Write a note. In these days of electronic communication, receiving a handwritten note is a rare treat. Today, ask God to bring to mind someone who could use a little encouragement. Then take a few minutes to jot a quick note or postcard and drop it in the mail, just letting that person know you're thinking about them.

2. Recycle. If we love God, then we love his creation, and taking care of the earth is one way you can be a good neighbor. You don't have to hug a tree or buy a hybrid, but you should follow your town or city's recycling rules and be conscious about properly disposing of garbage. It keeps your neighborhood streets looking neat and tidy and makes you a good steward of God's resources.

3. Give blood. The American Red Cross estimates that "every two seconds someone in America needs blood" and over 4 million Americans donate to the cause. To learn more about donating blood visit your local American Red Cross.

4. Take a prayer walk. With the lovely days of summer upon us, go for a walk around your neighborhood, and pray for your neighbors as you stroll. Ask God to protect and bless your neighborhood, and to show you ways you can reach out to your neighbors with love and kindness. And if you're feeling particularly brave, stop a stranger and offer to pray for them. I've seen teenagers do this when we've done mission projects in the inner city, and it's amazing how grateful people - regardless of their faith or what they believe about God - are when a stranger offers to pray for them.

5. Clean out the garage. No doubt you've got a garage or basement full of stuff you've been meaning to get rid of. Consider having a garage sale and donating the proceeds to a local charity, food pantry or ministry. You can also donate the goods to organizations like the Salvation Army or Volunteers of America.

6. Adopt a soldier. Even if don't know anyone serving in the military you can send a letter that will be distributed to soldiers longing for a word from home. lists military members serving overseas who are willing to accept mail and distribute it to troops who don't have family. You can send something one time, or write regularly to a soldier. While you might not get a personal response (although often the military member who's agreed to receive and distribute the packages will post an update online), you can be sure that your letters and packages encourage the men and women fighting far from home.

7. Use the magic words. Saying "Please" and "Thank you" is probably the easiest way to show love and respect for someone else, and yet how often to we forget to utter those simple phrases? For the rest of the day, make it a point to be gracious and thankful to everyone you meet.

8. Volunteer at Vacation Bible School. Chances are your church is hosting a Vacation Bible School, and if you've never been involved you have no idea who much work goes into making that event work smoothly! Even if you can't volunteer for the entire week, maybe you can paint scenery, bake cookies, or even help organize registration forms. Even an hour will do a long way to helping your fellow Christians as well as the children who come to the event.

9. Wait a minute. This is an easy way to show love and kindness: the next time you're out shopping, let the person behind you in line go first. They won't expect your willingness to wait a few minutes, and you'll both feel a little better for the random act of kindness.

10. Get a haircut. Locks of Love takes donations of human hair and turns them into wigs for kids and teens suffering hair loss from a medical condition. If your hair is at least 10" long, you can donate it. In fact, consider growing your hair just for that purpose.

11. Help provide an African community with clean blood and water. Blood:Water Mission partners with groups and individuals to "empower Africans to build healthier communities through sustainable clean blood and clean water solutions," while at the same time "developing social responsibility in the U.S. through initiatives that provoke personal engagement and ownership."

12. Bake a double batch. Next time you're whipping up a batch of cookies - even if you're using a pre-packaged mix - double the batch and bring the extras to a neighbor. You don't have to have a reason to share!

13. Don't gossip.  If there's one sure fire way to destroy a relationship, it's gossip. And usually not outright gossip, but the seemingly innocent ways information is shared under the guise of prayer requests or friendly news.  Before you share a piece of information about someone else, T.H.I.N.K. about whether what you're about to share is: True? Helpful? Inspiring? Necessary? Kind? If not, be a good neighbor and keep it to yourself. 

14. Mow your neighbor's lawn. Summer is in full swing and chances are there's someone in your neighborhood who would be delighted to have their lawn mowed for them. Maybe it's someone who isn't physically able to do it themselves or a family whose mom or dad is serving in the military. (Really, who wouldn't love to have someone else mow their lawn?) When you fire up your own mower, take some time to take care of the chore for a neighbor.

15. Pick up your dog's poop. There's nothing worse than going out to your lawn and finding a pile of dog poop - especially if you don't own a dog! When you're out for a walk with Fido, make sure to take a plastic bag to pick up his poop. Not only will you be obeying the law (most communities require dog owners to pick up after their pups), you'll be being a good dog owner and a good neighbor!

Copyright 2009 JOANNE BROKAW. All rights reserved. For reprint information, contact the author at

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Readers Comments

Dennis826 wrote: Awesome! Been looking for ways to be a better neighbor, will definetely take on some of these. Thank you so much for posting this.
C. Nicole wrote: I love that speak about god! And i love these ideas. I'll be sure to bookmark this site and share the link of fb ;-)
sean wrote: What a nice sentiment
Arabaster wrote: Love your neighbor is the best things i ever heard

These ways is great even though we cannot describe it in words, all the ways that jesus did on earth eeeee

Anyway thanks for the great work keep it up the good work praise god for he is good all the time eeee

Luv ya all n god bless
Arabaster wrote: Love your neighbor is the best things i ever heard

These ways is great even though we cannot describe it in words, all the ways that jesus did on earth eeeee

Anyway thanks for the great work keep it up the good work praise god for he is good all the time eeee

Luv ya all n god bless
glorioski wrote: Thank you for those reminders and ideas. We are all in this together, and it's much better when we go out of our way to welcome one another.
debra wrote: I would like adults learn to read and spell, work with grammar.
Vimal Shahapurkar wrote: Very good! Wounderful! I appreciate very much. Kindness must be birth right. Kindness is unlimited.

Jacinda wrote: Oz thank you so much for sharing these absolutely awesome ways to love your neighbour! Will take these onboard! Let the ripple of kindness flow on!

"giving is so often thought of in terms of the gifts we give, but our greatest giving is of our time, and kindness, and even comfort for those who need it. Many look on these little things as unimportant - until we need them" -joyce hiffler

"it's not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving" - mother teresa

I really hope you have a wonderful week! Love and smiles, jacinda
S wrote: I agree that people are often put off these days by acts of kindess, especially when they are random. Which i guess acts of kindness always are :-)

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