10 Ways To Give Back
One of the things that has always struck me is how focused we all are on giving and charity during the holiday season as opposed to the other 11 months of the year. There are food drives, toy drives, commercials about donating, etc. And then come January 1st? Nothing. There are actual statistics to back this up: Charities have stated that they receive anywhere from 30-80% of the yearly donations during the holiday season. And after the first of the year there is a considerable drop in overall donations to local charities. This is so sad to me. Poor people are poor year round and homeless people are homeless year round. Lots of children who receive free lunches from school dread the summer months when those meals are no longer available to them.
Getting involved with charity can sometimes be a bit intimidating. We often don’t know where to start and we often think that we simply don’t have enough to give that would make difference. This simply isn’t true. Every little bit counts. Whether that be money, items or your time. The point is to simply get involved. I’ve complied a list of 10 ways to get involved and give back. I hope this inspires you or sparks some of your own ides of ways to give back.
1. Donate to local food banks
2. Donate to nationwide food banks like Feeding America
3. Set up a small monthly auto-donation for your favorite charity
4. Start a food drive at your church, mosque, or synagogue
5. Hand out sandwiches and care packs to the homeless
6. Keep dollar bills in your purse to give to the homeless
7. Donate unused makeup and old clothes to a local women’s shelter
8. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
9. Start a coat and shoe drive at your office
10. Donate toiletries to a local homeless shelter
I am firm believer that kindness and giving starts with small gestures that are contagious and grow to bigger movements. I also know the joy giving back brings. Often times when we are searching for things to make us feel whole we do it with superficial means: shopping, eating, etc. And the truth is sometimes that road to fulfillment is merely to stop making it about ourselves all the time. I feel more human when I am doing something for someone else and not expecting anything in return. As hokey as it sounds- we are all connected. Happy giving!