Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas/Hanukkah gift ideas-1

This gift idea is especially for young people (hi gang!) Do gooders and couch potatoes should also take note! :-)

We all know the importance of smoke/fire detectors. One obstacle to having the coverage every residence really needs is affording one (and keeping it in batteries, of course). But I have noticed that like all "should do's" money is not the only obstacle, but the ability and effort to actually take it out of the box and install it is the problem too. So here is my idea.

Young people, you've got inquiring minds and technology orientation. Get a smoke/fire detector and learn how it works and how to install it. Study it and become a smoke/fire detector wonk, ha. You can even find out if you can get free ones through fire departments and so forth or other similar programs. Once you are handy and nimble with knowing how it works, where it should be placed and how to install it, collect your tools and get a smoke/fire detector to install and find someone who needs one.

You can start in your own family, of course, checking on elderly, poorer or lazy relatives, ha. Even if they have one already you'll know after studying it if that's enough (probably not) and if it's in the right placement (maybe, maybe not). So one of your Christmas gifts could be the obtaining of the smoke/fire detector and its actual installation!

One of the biggest problems with safety gear is not only the obtaining of it (like infant car seats) but installing it.... getting the job done. A huge part of your gift is the installation and knowing how it works. So here's the second part of the idea. What if everyone who could afford a smoke/fire detector and had the ability to install it paired up with someone who needed one and gave and installed it for them? It's a good deed for those who need, including people you do not know.

Be safe in finding who needs such help, of course, by working through your church, local community groups, or other contacts who can pair you up with someone who needs it and where your help is welcome. Suppose you drive past a kind of rundown and poor looking house and wonder if they need one. That's a great community minded outreach, but check it out first by getting a referral and finding out, again through church, fire department, agency, boys and girls clubs, etc if anyone knows the person there and can give you a referral if it would be appropriate. I wish that times were not so weird as these where I have to give you this caution, but you know they are.

However, for every dodgy situation you must avoid, remember that there are many widows, single mothers, poor families, elderly who are unable to afford/get around/pay attention to this need, and there will be no shortage of places where good people need your help.

So that's my first idea this holiday season. And another reason I like it is, of course, that it is an active thing to do that builds a skill and is not just staring at the computer or vid screen.

Be cool and safe and have fun with this idea.