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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Thomas

50 Fun Things® to Lift Each Other Up

50 Fun Things workshop attendees at Auer Fox Hollow.
50 Fun Things workshop attendees at Auer Fox Hollow. Photo by Jim Nihart.

While we are connecting online and addressing challenges due to the pandemic, it's a good time to think about ways we can help each other out. I started offering special themed online 50 Fun Things sessions as a way to foster social connection, idea-sharing, joy and hope online. On April 14, I facilitated a special version of 50 Fun Things® to Lift Each Other Up.

This following list is compiled from participants in the Facebook Live. I kept the names of the people who contributed the ideas to give them credit. I also kept the wording how they shared it on the Facebook Live to provide a feel for what it was like to be in the Facebook Live session: Sheri Bennefeld Support local small business and share their offers with others. Lisa Metwaly I have a free PDF version of my book Kindness Travels Presents Penny Power at and the book is being read in different languages too. Enjoy! Paula Anderson Delesha My friend Kate has a website with inspirational curated content (podcasts). I listened to my first one yesterday, which was relevant during this time. It's related to feelings during the pandemic. If interested, the site is

Lisa Metwaly If you’d like to volunteer - check out Type in zip code and a whole list comes up. Nancy Pflug Puns...funny Nancy Pflug If anybody has small kids and grandkids I know a Santa that reads everday on FB at 2:00 and he'll mention your kid's names. They love it!

Susan Murphy My dad is not on the internet so I print out funny cartoons and send them in my letters to give him a smile. Jill Fonaas Second Harvest Heartland has someone matching donations right now.

Lisa Metwaly Make a video of you reading a children’s book and send it to the kids in your life. Lisa Metwaly Donate food or money to a homeless shelter. Recruit friends to help. Nancy Pflug Text healthcare workers you know to see how they are doing... Lisa Metwaly Volunteer to help someone with yard work. Sheri Bennefeld It's my mom's birthday tomorrow. She lives out of state and loves to go out to eat. I ordered dinner to be delivered for her and my dad tomorrow. It will be a surprise for her. I think we're all getting a little tired of cooking - especially on your birthday. Jill Fonaas Tip your delivery people REALLY well! Lee Ann Erie Interview your grandparents and save the audio. Jeannette Grace How wonderful Lee Ann. It may help those who feel isolated to feel less alone. Lisa Metwaly

Put change in the vending machine. Lisa Metwaly Plant flowers near your mailbox Paula Anderson Delesha How about taking virtual cookie breaks?! I'll be doing that now Cookies are OK. BRB

Jeannette Grace What about buying lotto scratch-offs and leaving them on people's windshields? Lisa Metwaly Go on a virtual museum tour with friends. Jeannette Grace Don't gossip (I stole this from the Internet).

Jeannette Grace What about prayer? With them or for them.

Lisa Metwaly Start a “pick up your old instrument” challenge with friends. Sheri Bennefeld Simple compliments. It's easy to get busy and just let the opportunity slip by.

Lisa Metwaly I want to have a “free” sale and layout all the stuff I plan to give to goodwill. If someone would like to take it - it’d make me happy. Susan Murphy I love how much we have all learned to appreciate the smaller, heartfelt gestures. Nancy Pflug Somebody is placing painted rocks in the local park with inspirations written on them Nancy Pflug Since I cant see my grandkids, we've become penpals. Jeannette Grace I made shark hats that we wear when we FaceTime with our grandson and sing Baby Shark! Lisa Metwaly I love the sidewalk chalk idea! Lisa Metwaly Holding space for others to feel what they feel without trying to fix them. Just be there.

Susan Murphy My father is in his late 80s and he is home alone 6 1/2 hours away. A friend of mine who does not even know him wrote a lovely letter to him and he was so touched. Jeannette Grace Last week we saw a parade of cars on the next block from from our house and everyone had one balloon floating out of their car window. Perhaps a birthday celebration? Nancy Pflug I've been sending handwritten cards and making actual phone calls Lisa Metwaly Thinking of doing a drive by drop off of sweet treats once it stops snowing.

Jeannette Grace GRANT G Factor - give people permission to make mistakes (yourself too)

Jeannette Grace What about challenging others to think and speak more positively when they are in a negative place? Jill Fonaas If you have young kids, I’m sure their older relatives would love to get drawings/artwork in the mail. (An aunt can dream...) Lisa Metwaly Whenever I can share something with others it helps lift me up too. Dana Perusse Nyholm A friend painted rocks and drops them off during her walks.

Susan Murphy Monopoly and Uno are just two games you can find for free online and play each other remotely. Lee Ann Erie Start a virtual book club! Lee Ann Erie Create a virtual bingo group! Lisa Metwaly Share a workout video for seniors with your parents. Dana Perusse Nyholm Take a virtual tour together Lee Ann Erie Consider starting a "Hobby Business" around something you truly enjoy! Susan Murphy [Support local movie theaters. Some are selling popcorn and if you buy a gift certificate for future movies, the popcorn is free!] Saturdays at Highland Theater and I believe Riverview as well! Dana Perusse Nyholm Find online games and play Susan Murphy Send someone a card for no reason which helps the post office as well when you buy stamps!

Jeannette Grace I've been getting pictures of my friend's Chorkie (Chihuahua and Yorkie) puppy almost daily - it lifts me up! Lee Ann Erie While it's not FUN, there has been a disastrous drop in blood donations. DONATE BLOOD!

Lee Ann Erie Check in on your senior neighbors and single friends. Call them and see if they need anything or ask how you can support them at this time.

Jeannette Grace We found a beautiful tin of flowers and card at our front door step on Saturday from my husband's ex-wife and his daughter and their family! So lovely!! Lee Ann Erie Send the 50 Fun Things Enjoy the Small Things book to friends and family members you haven't seen in a while. Very fun little book that brings smiles and a lot of positive ideas for joyful living!

Jeannette Grace Yes! Send Teresa's book (disclosure: she did NOT ask me to make this endorsement).

Beth Schupanitz I’m also giving out a free sample of purity coffee when people order supplements

Barbara Zuleger [Through my Performance Partners site, I host a] Virtual coffee break Tuesday / Thursdays 9:00 am

Jeannette Grace I’m giving my book away each week! [G Factor] Trying to spread joy and love. Terri Eick Mattson love that! great idea, i have a planner that would work as well, may copy your idea. thanks! Beth Schupanitz I’m sending out cards in the mail of encouragement to my clients Dana Perusse Nyholm virtual lunch dates Barbara Zuleger Text or message one thing we appreciate in someone. Simple without explanation Terri Eick Mattson Taking in person network meeting on line and offering additional zooms Dana Perusse Nyholm Reach out to several clients each day to check in Lee Ann Erie Increase your vulnerable sharing. It encourages others to feel as if they are not alone. Terri Eick Mattson Offering meal chain for a sick friend who is having a hard time keeping up with home responsibilities. Paula Anderson Delesha When you're at the grocery store for necessities, pick up some bright spring flowers too! Barbara Zuleger How about [sharing] favorite recipes so tired of my usual Dana Perusse Nyholm My daughter is in a group home which is on lockdown, every few days I bake something for the house and drop it off Annie Perdue-Olson Decorating my house differently every day -- this week it is balloons Paula Anderson Delesha How about positive affirmations each morning? Lee Ann Erie Simple question. ASK people what they need right now and how we can support them.

Susan Murphy My niece started a book exchange between the readers in the family. They are books we already have and want to share. You receive one by mail and there is always a nice note from who sent it tucked inside.

Jeannette Grace Start small with calling people and asking how they are doing - then really listen

And here are some of my ideas to add to the mix:

  • Write online reviews (Google, Facebook, Yelp...) for your favorite local businesses

  • Hire artists, performers, speakers, trainers, comedians for future gigs with date TBD

  • Write LinkedIn recommendations for great colleagues

  • Buy from small businesses

  • Send a giftcard to make someone's day

  • Write a blog post that highlights someone you have learned from

  • Post online book recommendations for your favorite authors

  • Pre-order haircuts and other appointments to support the service professionals in your life

  • Follow people whose work interests you on social media (e.g. Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook Twitter).

  • Offer words of encouragement

  • Recommend positive uplifting story ideas to news media.

  • Contribute your skills to someone who can use them.

  • Nominate for an award or opportunity

  • Social media shout outs

  • Contribute needed supplies (e.g. personal protection equipment for heathcare workers, grocery store clerks, essential workers, volunteers)

  • Pay it forward (or FUNward for someone I’ll reach out and keep it random)

  • Share colleague's interesting articles, social media pages and posts

Ways you can help support 50 Fun Things® for connecting people to joy and each other to help us through these trying times:

Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me to ask for support in this mission of fostering connection to joy and fulfillment.

If you would like to see the original Facebook Live for this session on ways to lift each other up, click here. The next special-themed session will be on Wednesday, April 29. The theme will be 50 Fun Things to Do For Your Business in collaboration with OffiCenters and WIN (Women in Networking). It's free and open to everyone regardless of gender. We'll be brainstorming ways we can support our careers or businesses we work for during this time where many of us are sheltering at home. This one will be on Zoom and you can RSVP here:

Thank you, take good care and enjoy the small things in life,

Teresa Thomas

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