It’s been a tumultuous year, full of surprises and uncertainty. So much has happened, but one thing we can all do to help move us forward into 2021 is spending some time giving back to the communities around us. It’s no secret that money has been tighter this year, but even so, there are plenty of free or cost-effective, simple ways to give back to the community in this time of need.
I’ve accumulated a list ranging from simple deeds to more in-depth volunteer opportunities that anyone can participate in this holiday season.
Donate to your local food bank:
One of the easiest ways to help out those in need is to donate dry or canned goods to your local food bank. You quite possibly don’t even need to go to the store or spend any money in doing so. Raid your pantry for items you haven’t used and collect a small basket for donation. You can also swing by the dried goods aisle at your next grocery visit and purchase a few items that you feel would be beneficial to donate. It’s simple, easy and won’t take much time or money on your part.
Donate to Goodwill or other clothing donation centers in your area:
A tradition in my family every year was to empty out your closets and drawers and set aside articles of clothing that you haven’t worn. It’s alarming how many pieces of disregarded clothing you might have hiding. If everyone in the family manages to do this, the pile you expected to end up with might be much larger than you imagined. This is a wonderful way to not only get a head start on Spring Cleaning, but a fantastic way to give back to those who need affordable clothing.
Word of Mouth Advertising:
See a Facebook event for a charity drive? A post about a donation center in need of a helping hand or more donations? Share it. Post it. Talk about it. Word of mouth advertising is a powerful tool and a lot of nonprofits heavily rely on the community to spread the word. This is a free, quick thing that you can do everyday to help many areas in the community.
Volunteer your time:
A more in depth volunteer opportunity is getting involved in a local nonprofit and volunteering your time and energy. Organizations such as Feeding America are still searching for volunteers to work at food banks, mobile and drive-thru food pantries, food delivery, and meal programs throughout the country. This of course is not your only option, with a little research the opportunities to volunteer in your city will grow.
It’s a year that has tested everyone, but a small act of kindness and generosity can make a world of difference. So if helping your community has been something you’ve considered doing this year, I hope this has been a push in the right direction.