In the midst of gifts and giveaways I found myself eager and yearning to write a post about how to give back this season. I am blessed every year during this time to have so many opportunities to volunteer my time through my full time job that provides these opportunities for their employees. It humbles me every year and provides so much perspective for all that I have to be thankful for and it is the inspiration behind today’s post on 12 easy ways you can incorporate giving back within your community this season.
- Donate Unused Jeans to Blue Jeans Go Green: This non-profit organization helps by keeping unused denim out of landfills and turning it into insulation in homes across America. To date they provided over 4 million square feet of insulation to over 600 homes across the United States! As a bonus if you take your unused denim into Madewell or Jcrew they provide a $20 gift certificate towards a new pair of denim!
- Volunteer at a local Animal Shelter. You can either volunteer at your local shelter or become a dog foster parent! If you live in the Seattle area I’ve linked more information here. Note to self: try not to come home with another cute dog. 😉
- Donate canned goods, water bottles, and non-perishable foods to a local foodbank. These goods will go a long way to people in need.
- Donate your clothing to Dress for Success: If you’re not familiar with Dress for Success it is an incredible non-profit organization that works on empowering women who are transitioning back into the workforce by providing support and professional attire to help them thrive in work and in life. They will take donations for gently used professional attire. You can also donate your time by volunteering! Follow this link for more information.
- Volunteer to provide lunches for children in need. We’ve done this in the past through our church who provides the food that we pack and then a team of volunteers deliver weekly to the schools in our neighborhood. Another option is to work with Feeding America. Their backpack program provides food for the children not only throughout the week, but on the weekends as well! Their website hosts a lot of great information on how to participate.
- Pick up trash, in your neighborhood or park. Incorporate in your morning walk with your dogs or organize with a group of friends!
- Volunteer for Salvation Army. Salvation Army asses the needs of each community and then provides programs and volunteer opportunities based on these needs. They run some pretty incredible programs such as Salvation Christmas Tree, meals for those in need, drive awareness and support for domestic violence and much much more. Contact your local Salvation Army to find out what volunteer opportunities are available to you.
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen- and take the time get to know those who you are serving! It’s such a humbling opportunity to get to know those who are in your community and in need! I’ve often found that I’ve left serving others feeling like I’ve been blessed me by their company more than they have with my time.
- Start a fundraiser: Companies such as Facebook have made it super easy to start a fundraiser and share it with your friends! It costs nothing, takes less than 5 minutes and goes towards a good cause (of your choice!).
- Collect Toys for Tots. My parents did this almost every year since I can remember growing up. They teamed together with their small business to collect toys for children in need. It has always stuck with me and makes a big difference to children who would otherwise not receive any gifts for Christmas.
- Send a care package for the troops overseas. Support Our Troops has a lot of handy information on what items they are looking for and how to send.
- Visit a senior center. Time is off the essence and no one appreciates it more or has better life advice than the senior citizens of our community. You can volunteer in several ways: sit and visit over a cup of tea or a card game, offer to help run errands or chores around their place or cook a warm meal to enjoy with them.
- *Bonus- I know I wrote 12 ways but I couldn’t help and create a bakers dozen! Help out a neighbor. Spread some holiday cheer by cooking a meal or help decorate for Christmas! Small gestures can make a big impact on the holiday spirit this season!
I hope you find time this season in your life to give back to your community!