The holiday season is quickly approaching. There’s something magical about this time of year that reminds us to think beyond ourselves.
It ignites a desire to give to the ones we love - both friend and stranger alike.
While sharing with loved ones is wonderful, I’d like to share some advice on how you can contribute to the community around you. These 5 ways of giving back will not only enhance the holiday feeling, but you may discover something you can do year-round to improve the lives of others.
1. Volunteer – And Get Creative About It
Volunteering in any capacity is a wonderful thing. If you have a homeless shelter, humane society or other form of public service that can use any spare hands – try to put in some time with them.
If you have a particular skill that would be useful, look for ways to volunteer with it.
For example, a carpenter can help with household repairs for those who can’t afford them. Look at your skill set and see how it can help others.
2. Walk Around and Pick up Litter
There’s litter almost everywhere. All you need is your feet, a trash bag and some gloves to help out with this persistent problem. Throw on some music and walk around picking up trash.
There may be a group of people doing this in your area. If there isn’t, make your own group! A group of like-minded people walking around cleaning up the city is an excellent way to give back.
3. Make a Monetary Donation
Every charity and non-profit organization are in desperate need of funding. Since they aren’t focused on generating revenue, they spend everything they receive to help their cause.
Look for a charity in your community that you believe is making a positive improvement. Give them whatever you can – it will be appreciated and put to good use.
4. Join the Disaster Relief Team
If there’s an area devoid of natural disasters, we would all living there!
Unfortunately, natural disasters are a part of life. Investigate what types of organizations are involved in disaster relief efforts in your area.
Look for volunteer forms on their website, or call and ask if you can help out.
Let’s say there isn’t a disaster relief team in your area, take it upon yourself to create one. Look at what disasters occur regularly in your region and create a plan to help others locally.
5. Join a Fundraising Effort
Since all non-profits need help with financing, there are seemingly endless fundraising efforts available that could use your help. Whether you hang up signs, canvass a neighborhood or make cold calls – most charities can use volunteers.
If you have experience in fundraising or marketing, even better. Offer your expertise as a consultant for their marketing campaign. If you can illustrate your skills, it’s unlikely that they’ll say no.
As with most ways to give back to your community, you can also go about creating your own fundraising initiative. Talk to an existing non-profit about their needs and ask if they’d be interested in you starting a program for them. There may be more legalities than other forms of volunteering, but you stand to create a large impact for the organization.
What Goes Around Comes Around
That saying usually has a bad meaning, but it works for good things too!
While you should give back with the intent of receiving nothing in return, helping others is ultimately helping yourself. You’ll directly enrich your soul and feel more fulfilled in life. You never know when you may be the one in need, so give back now while you have the means and opportunity!