A time for giving and giving back

The holidays are here, although, as soon as Halloween was over, I started seeing Christmas cards and gift lists. I'm deep into creating holiday lists for myself and others; I know that sounds bad but my birthday is this coming Saturday and it's a big one. How big? Well, I'll have to change my about me because I'll no longer be in my 20s! But we'll get to that in an upcoming post. I'm also on the hunt for how I can give back this year, and hopefully on a more permanent basis. So, in the spirit of Giving Tuesday, here is a list I have compiled of ways to give back this holiday season, and throughout the year. [Note: This is by no means an exhaustive list.]

 Simple as that. [ Source ]

Simple as that. [Source]

If you like animals:

  • Adopt a pet (ONLY do this if you truly can care for and keep the animal)
  • Volunteer at a shelter
  • Help an elderly neighbor (or any neighbor) walk/care for her pet

If you like working with kids:

  • Volunteer as a tutor
  • Sign up to be a mentor
  • Share a talent/skill by teaching free or heavily discounted classes for youth at a community center or other space in your area (dance, basketball, sewing, acting, etc.), or maybe there is already a class that you can assist with

If you want to work with your hands:

  • Make cards for hospital patients
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen or doing meal prep and/or meal delivery for groups that bring meals to the sick or homebound
  • Reach out to your local parks organization about opportunities (many have programs where you can help plant, weed, paint benches, etc.)

Everyday small gestures:

  • Hold the door open
  • Help someone who's lost find her way
  • Leave notes around that offer words of encouragement or kindness to whoever finds them (i.e. "There is no one like you," "You're beautiful," "Have a great day!")

Above all, get creative and find something that will be meaningful to you. If you enjoy what you're doing, you'll be more likely to stick with it and you'll have a greater impact on those you're helping. 

How do you give back?