There are little and big things a person/family can do to have a value added life. For me a value added life is one where you’re giving beyond yourself and adding value to your life by learning to value others. Local projects are good. Impacting your place in the world is as important as going to the ends of the earth.

1. Giving money and time to charitable causes. For the coming year, I will volunteer with my church to help the Fredericton Community Kitchen. This is long overdue in coming to be a regular part of life. And I recommend finding something that suits your personality and interests.

2. Give up your birthday for charity. There are organizations that help facilitate this, like One Day’s Wages. Or you can DIY through church, or other charities.

3. Plan to take a trip to see and learn how others live. Global Exchange creates learning experiences. Think about using your vacation time to do something different, either locally or globally. Let your budget decide.

4. Christmas planning and giving. Gifts of Compassion and other organizations offer alternative giving. Don’t wait for the Christmas rush to plan. Be crafty with your gift giving. By crafty I mean make crafts, like beeswax candles. and this coming from the guy that’s not very crafty. But I am willing to try.

Creating a value added life is hard, but worth the effort. I say hard, because it will mean sacrifice. Maybe a little less TV, a little less time on the internet, more relational time with family and friends.

What are some ways you are creating a value added life?