Giving something back, aka philanthropy, isn’t a new concept. Being generous has been a part of our everyday lives for decades, and is an integral part of our modern society. However, giving back doesn’t have to be hard. Yes, there are those that dedicate themselves to philanthropy, but you can also do something as simple as carrying groceries for a neighbor. Any act of kindness, big or small, can have a positive impact on social issues, wellness, and community spirit. Isn't that the world we want to live in in 2020?
Here are some small ways you can give back.
1. Volunteer Your Time
If you’ve got a lot of spare time on your hands, volunteering is a great way to give back and help others. This could be at places like non-profit organizations, animal shelters, or homeless shelters, a lot of which desperately need help especially this year. You can also find organizations in your area where you can volunteer your time remotely, perhaps by volunteering to call and chat to those isolating and without much human interaction.
Random Acts of Kindness
Doing something unexpectedly kind for someone in your life can make someone’s day! Volunteering your time and energy to someone who needs a hand can help to strengthen your bonds and community. Next time you see someone struggling with something, take the time out to do something to make their lives a little easier, a simple act that will leave a long-lasting impression.
If there is a cause or charity you feel strongly about, why not get involved in raising money for charitable activities to help them out. Feeling passionate about an issue can massively motivate you to help out and give back. Have a search around for local charities that aid issues you care about, and contact them to see if they need volunteers or any other assistance. They usually need help!
Volunteering with Children
Helping children in need is a great way to help others in your community who might not be able to help themselves, whether that’s through mentorship or donating resources. Children can be the most vulnerable in our society, and there are a wealth of organizations that can always use a helping hand to give back to children in need. If you have the time, mentoring a child who could benefit from good role models, can be transformative for both you and the child.
Volunteering with the Elderly
Our older generations can be some of the most lonely out there, especially this time of year. There are many organizations that revolve around providing companionship and someone to talk to for many isolated elderly people, or you can volunteer at your local senior center. Being alone can cause depression and feelings of isolation among older generations, so this is a great way to boost someone’s day and give back to the community.
A great way to give back and to make your community a better place to live is to join a tree planting initiative. Trees are essential to both the environment and to the community, as they help to clear the air of pollution. Trees provide oxygen and absorb harmful carbon dioxide, so you’re doing something for the whole planet when you plant one.
Clear Out & Donate Your Stuff
There are many organizations and charities that would benefit from unused household items and clothes. Whether it’s a local secondhand store or a shelter, you can find an organization that can breathe new life into your old stuff, and get use out of items that would previously be gathering dust. Why not contact local charities who accept donations, and find out what they’re in need of?
If you’ve not got much lying around the house, you can even organize a fundraiser to purchase goods in need, or rally your friends and neighbors to donate anything un-used too!
Healthcare providers are working non-stop in these times, and many countries are still in need of blood donors and are actively looking for blood donations. If you’re a viable candidate, you can help save someone’s life by donating blood. In fact, every time you donate blood you can save 3 people’s lives! Now there is technology to store blood for longer, so the effects our your donation can help people in the long term too.
While it might be easier to order items for Christmas with one click from one of the many many big-name online stores, local businesses need our support now than ever. With restrictions in 2020 putting strain onto smaller businesses, now we can give back by supporting local shops and smaller businesses during the holidays.
Volunteering with Animals
Volunteering at an animal shelter is a great way to give back to our furry friends, as well as boost your mood - spending time with animals is proven to relieve stress and alleviate depression. Check in with your local shelter if they need volunteers, or donate some blankets and food if you can’t donate your time. Have neighbors got pets that they might need a hand with? Offer your services as a dog walker, if they ever are sick or overwhelmed with other commitments.
However you choose to give back, be confident in the fact that by the simple act of being kind and helping others, you are helping to make the world a better and kinder place for all of us who live in it, with the added bonus of that warm and fuzzy feeling you get by helping someone in need!
By Amy Cavill
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