It’s been a tough year for everyone. So much about life has changed, so many things may not go back to what we know and remember as normal. Despite it all, it’s important to keep going and to recognize all the good that we have. It’s not easy, but one way to recognize how good you have it is to give back.
Give back to those who have less than you, who have a need, and who are struggling more than you are.
What are some ways you can give back?
Giving back is not difficult, nor does it need to be complicated. My advice is to stick to what you know or have an interest in. That will make it much more meaningful for you and make it easier for you to commit to spending time in this way.
Some ideas for giving back include:
Donate to a charity of choice
Animal charities, cancer foundations, research foundations, the American Red Cross, etc. There are tons of options out there. Find one that has some meaning for you and do some research. See what they do with their money.
Some of these foundations may have other ways to donate or give back that are non-monetary. Doing some research can help you figure that out.
Volunteer Your Time
Visit a homeless shelter or an animal shelter, a soup kitchen, or help out at a donation drive (for instance, canned goods, coats, shoes, etc). These are just some examples of giving back to the community that can allow you to get involved and help out.
You can also get involved with volunteer opportunities abroad, for instance with Habitat for Humanity.
Look through your closets, your shoe boxes, your kitchen cabinets and gather up those things that you don’t use or no longer need. I know everyone has stuff that they’ve forgotten about. Instead of collecting dust, take that stuff out, cleanse your home, and donate it, for instance to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, for someone else who really could use it.
Alternatively, if you live somewhere with a Veteran’s Affairs administration, then be sure to check out charitable donation options through them. They’ll come to your home and pick up whatever it is you’d like to donate. Super convenient!
No matter your budget and frugal living goals, consider shopping local for at least one item or gift this holiday season. Alternatively, consider dining at and supporting local restaurants.
Supporting local and small businesses is a great way to give back to your community.
Join a Charitable Foundation
One way to know what’s happening in your community and to find ways to give back is to join charitable groups or a non profit organization in your area. Find out what they are up to and give back in the ways you see fit.
Foster A Pet
Tons of animals are awaiting placement in their forever homes. There are services available where you could give them a temporary home. Consider fostering one and giving them the benefit of a little home love!
If there’s a particular niche or area of interest you have then consider a fundraiser to raise money for donation. This not only allows you to give back, but helps you to get the word out to others about what you’re trying to do, allows you to meet people with the same or similar interest.
Big Brother, Big Sister Programs
There are a lot of kids out there that need guidance, need mentors and a solid example in their lives to show them that they can do anything they set their mind to. Big Brother Big Sister programs are a longer time commitment, however, the impact is also greater. You can really affect social change by influencing young minds!
Consider Working Pro Bono
If it’s difficult to get involved in community activities, and you are in an industry or line of work that gets paid per service, or has clients, then consider taking on pro bono cases or clients. Doing so could help someone get out of a jam, get enough help to get promoted, improve their lifestyle, or simply provide a need.
It’s a simple and straightforward way to give back and help others in a meaningful way.
Benefits of Giving Back
Giving back is a sure-fire way to put things in perspective and give yourself a sense of accomplishment during a time when things are so uncertain. In addition to having a positive impact on others, giving back may even have a positive impact on you. It has been shown to increase happiness, decrease stress and blood pressure, and reduce anxiety.
By taking the time to volunteer and give back to your community, you also gain the chance to meet different types of people from all walks of life. There is much to learn from others, and the more we do, the more empathy we can show.
The world around us is filled with amazing people. Sometimes they need a little bit of support and a helping hand. Even if you don’t have the money, donating your time can go a long way towards making a real difference in someone’s life.
Consider giving back this season and see how you can help!
Images courtesy of unsplash
Sanjana is a physician anesthesiologist, avid traveler, and entrepreneur. She founded The Female Professional in order to give women a voice and a platform to express themselves. With her experiences as a physician, as a CEO of a startup, and as a writer, she understands the struggles and frustrations that women face. She also understands what it takes to move past those things and come out on top. Through this platform, Sanjana aims to empower women to be their best, authentic, selves, achieve work/life balance, and live life to the fullest.