Get Off Your Ass & Just Do It.

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Fadra’s prompt for yesterday was about people.About whether or not we feel drained around them, whether we’re energized or not, etc. And so I got to thinking. I kinda took it a little further. But the neat part about her prompts is that you don’t have to stick to them. Love you, Fadra!

I’m frustrated by people sometimes. We all probably get that way. I don’t claim to be perfect, no one is. But I don’t sit around on my ass. I do things. I like to help people– all kinds of people—in different ways. Some don’t even cost money, so stop complaining already.

I went to Tribefest in March and I signed up with the Gift of Life. All it took was a few quick swabs inside my cheeks and some paperwork. I got a phone call last week confirming all of my information, so I’m officially in. If someone needs bone marrow, I’m on the registry. Follow them on Twitter at @GiftofLife of click on the link above for more information.

Two weeks ago I went to a program sponsored by the Kansas City Jewish Federation where we helped prepare bags for this week’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive while listening to discouraging statistics from a Harvester’s representative about hunger and poverty levels just in our community. Sad. Scary. So this Saturday, May 12, when your mail carrier leaves a plastic bag in your mailbox? Fill it with good stuff. Fill it to the brim. And then some. Next time don’t wait for a bag in your box. Drop things off at your local food pantry. DON’T WAIT TO BE ASKED.

I donate blood. I haven’t lately due to the pregnancy and recovery, etc., but I need to go again soon. I DON’T WAIT TO BE ASKED.

I regularly bring our old clothes, shoes, household items to Goodwill or local organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters that are in need. I DON’T WAIT TO BE ASKED.

I help the homeless. I keep granola bars and snacks in my car to hand out. You’d be amazed at how many goodies you can snatch up at your local dollar store. And a pack of peanut butter crackers can mean the world to someone standing on a street corner. Be ready. DON’T WAIT TO BE ASKED. That fancy latte you’re drinking from Starbucks? Could’ve probably fed several people breakfast.

There are needs everywhere, all you have do to is open your eyes and look around. Wake up. Get up. JUST DO IT. There’s plenty you can do.

  • volunteer somewhere: an old folks’ home, a food pantry, a shelter, etc. Your church, synagogue, or place of worship.
  • bring your used baby items and women’s clothing to a women’s shelter
  • pay it forward
  • helping people makes you feel better about yourself
  • helping people can be free, or pretty damn close to it
  • spread awareness about what you’re doing because others might want to join in
  • if you’re not sure where to start, ask around
  • bring a new mom a meal, or take the baby so she can nap or shower
  • surprise your elderly neighbor by mowing his/her yard or dropping by for a visit
  • call friends and family. tell them you love them.
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  • ShellyKramer

    I love this post, Erin. And like you, giving makes me happy. It’s an integral part of who I am – and who you are. And teaching this to our children is so important to me. The other day on our way home from Target we saw a man on the corner who was cold, hungry and homeless. We went out of our way to drive to Culver’s, buy him two massive cheeseburgers (and fries, of course), and then circled back and gave him the food, our good wishes, and some cash. And it was one of the girls’ favorite moments of the day.

    Absolutely, positively, one MILLION percent spot on – DON’T WAIT TO BE ASKED!!!

    Love you!


    • Erin margolin

      Thank you, Sheila! Love that you brought him Culver’s. ANd now, I am craving a big butter burger with mushrooms and those crinkle fries. Oh, and a milkshake with candy in it.

  • Ash

    So spot on, my friend!

    In an election year where all of us will be hearing about the size of government, it is your attitude that will make the difference. Tired of too many people depending upon your taxes? Put your actions where your mouth is and lend a hand up. It’s a duty and a privilege.

    • Erin margolin


      AMEN! I wish more people looked at it that way….and Happy Mother’s Day (early)!

  • Crazyjeans 12000

    Many elderly can’t afford maintenance on their homes.  It doesn’t take a whole lot to grab a can of paint or two and give their home a make over. My boys and I used to do just this every Christmas. Area churches will help you find those most in need.  Visit the home, introduce yourself, replace the filters on indoor faucets, tighten loose door knobs, replace burned bulbs, check for leaks around doors and windows and then caulk or repair as needed.  And you can leave a small 2′ Christmas tree if you like (available very cheap at area thrift stores!).  

    During the holiday season, Target often has $1 bins. Amazing how many pairs of gloves, hats, scarves you can get there. Wonderful gifts to those in need. 

    Volunteer at soup kitchens or doing food drives for area food banks.  Ditto with the women and children shelters.  

    Great post, thanks so much for sharing.

    • Erin margolin


      Lovely ideas and I’m so happy to hear that you’re not sitting on the sidelines. The Target $1 bins are fantastic all year long! But yes, especially in winter for those kinds of things. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Julia

    I adore this. I especially love the solution of how to help homeless people. So often, I find myself in the situation of being at a stoplight on a corner where a homeless person is, probably drinking my Starbucks latte, with no cash, so I avoid eye contact and drive on. I think I am going to stock up on snacks to give. Thank you so much for this tip, truly. You have just changed a piece of my life. :) 

    • Erin margolin


      You are a doll. Thank you. You can make such a difference just by doing little things. Thanks for reading and leaving me a comment!

  • Jackie

    You’re right. So incredibly right… I think that if everyone in the world did just one of the things that you mentioned above the world would probably be a much better place! 

    • Erin margolin

      Thank you, Jackie. And I agree. It’s like that Pay It Forward movie. Why can’t people just do that?

      p.s. thank you for your awesome guest post today! It will be up over the weekend, feel free to post replies whenever you have time.


  • Michael LaRocca

    Excellent advice. I get off my ass and do stuff, and I bet my ass is bigger than yours.

    • Erin margolin


      We’ve never met, but I bet MY ass is bigger than yours. LOL! Thanks so much for visiting!

  • Galit Breen

    Love the straight forward kick in the ass, Erin! Love!

    • Erin margolin

      Thank you, Galit!
      I’ve been so MIA. I need to stop by your place soon. I miss you. I’ve been all over the place. PS are you going to BlogHer?

  • Ally

    I’ve always loved when you write about this. Just last night I drove past a freeway off ramp where there is often a homeless person standing. I was so irritated with myself that I’d forgotten my little lunch bag of crackers, bars and fruit that I often carry just for that purpose. I came home and ran it out to my car so it would be there next time. It’s something I started doing after reading one of you posts a while back! We always donate the clothes where they can go to good use, but this post was the kick I needed to get back in there to donate blood BEFORE they call me again…

  • Morgan Dragonwillow

    Thank you for this reminder. My daughter posted a while back about making gift bags for the homeless, keeping them in your car, and then handing them out when you see them. Things to put in your homeless gift bag (bag should be a cloth bag with handles if possible). I am going to put a few of these together and keep in my car as well as your idea of having bars and crackers on hand. Peace – Morgan

    Wash clothBars of soapShampoo (travel size)Conditioner (travel size)Moisture Lotion (travel size)Toothbrush & FlossToothpasteRazorComb/brushBandaidsChapstickDeodorant (something like plain Speed Stick) Individual wet wipe packetKleenex / tissue (travel pack) Gum • mints • nuts • power bars White socks

    • Erin margolin


      Love this goodie bag idea! I’m heading to the dollar store this weekend. Fantastic list of items to include. Thanks for stopping by w/ additional suggestions! ;-)

  • Kate Sluiter

    Go you!!  BOOM!

    • Erin margolin


      BOOM! Love it. And love YOU,

  • Lindsey

    Thanks for this.  I need it, and I know lots of people probably do.  Let’s stop with the excuses.  

    • Erin margolin


      Thanks so much for  stopping by and weighing in. You’re right—there are always soooo many excuses.

  • Vidya Sury

    Just the sort of post I would write. I live this life. And yes, i DO NOT sit around and wait. :D I just DO IT.

    Thank you. I  am proud to share this post, Erin. God bless you.

    • Erin margolin


      Thank you so much for believing in me, sharing this, and commenting. I appreciate it more than you know! Have a lovely weekend!

  • Missy | Literal Mom

    You are so right, Erin.  There are needs EVERYWHERE.  Sometimes when you open your eyes and look, you find that there are so many more needs than you can ever possibly fulfill, it can be a little overwhelming.  YOU are doing a great job making a difference though – and that’s such a wonderful thing for your children to see.  Kudos!

    • Erin margolin


      I do get overwhelmed. Especially when it comes to stay animals. I know I can’t pick up everyone I see, but it hurts my heart so much. There are needs everywhere. I have a few bags of food ready to put out for tomorrow’s national food drive, too. I just hope more people pay it forward…

  • Galen Pearl

    I love the idea of the granola bars or little snacks.  I’m going to do this right away!  When the weather is cold, I carry some inexpensive gloves to give out.  You listed some great ideas!

    • Erin margolin


      I do the gloves in the cold weather, too–the dollar store and Target always have some and they’re easy! Thanks for reading and leaving me a comment! ;-)

  • Liz

    I love you.  I needed some of your words tonight.

    • Erin margolin

      Dearest Liz,

      I love you, too. I don’t know how you could need MY words when yours are the ones that are always so moving, powerful, and gorgeous. But I’m so glad you came over to visit. You made my day! Sorry for the late response….


  • Lisa @ Two Bears Farm

    I love how motivated you always are to make small differences in as many places as possible, Erin.  You always inspire me :-)

    • Erin margolin


      Thank you so much. I try to do what I can. I’m not always motivated, but I try to make myself—especially now w/ the baby, it’s very easy to just NOT do stuff….time to get back in the saddle!

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