Be a Do-Gooder this Holiday Season!


Be a Do-Gooder this Holiday Season!

Sick of focusing on your selfie as the temperature drops and the holiday lights are hung? Try volunteering in December to give a gift that affects the world! We all want to do more and feel a deeper connection to the less fortunate, but many of us just do not know where to begin. Below you will find a few ideas that can connect you to caring in your community, from your couch or for a Christmas cause! (Hallelujah, alliteration!)

If you have no tie to a certain cause or foundation in your area, consider using a website like volunteermatch.org. From this website you can enter your zip code in and find events around you that meet your interests. This is a great website to register with for year-round opportunities. You can search by interest groups like advocacy and human rights, animals and board development or search by in person vs. virtual events.

 

Soup for the homeless

 

 

 

 

 

Another great way to get active in your community is by joining a local group. You may belong to a church that cares about volunteering and giving back or you may want to check out Meetup.com to find groups if you are unaware of who is volunteering near you. Since I move around a lot, meet-up has been a great way for me to meet other people in the area that care about the same things I do. I recently joined a charitable group that got together to clip coupons for soldiers! Consider joining organizations in your area to find events and meet new people who care about giving back.

T Volunteer Shirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to donate in a meaningful manner but have no time (or energy after 10 hours of gaming) you might want to consider giving a charitable gift. There are gazillions of charities out there, but one I thought was a bit more personalized was Donorchoose.org. On this site you choose a school, and even further defined, choose a teacher with a project you want to donate to. Last year I chose the school I went to (Go Germantown Warhawks!) and this year I chose a friend’s daughter’s teacher, who had a special project to help her kids with reading. You can donate what you wish and the amount helps the teacher meet a goal he/she specifies on the website. I like sites like this that make you feel a bit more connected to your donation- almost like you got up off the couch and handed that teacher some bills!

 

Blue is the color for helping

 

 

 

 

 

Recently something quite altruistic has emerged in holiday gift giving. Websites like justgive.org allow you to give a gift in someone else’s name- thereby giving them a gift as well. You can purchase “gift cards” for later charitable giving of their choice or you can donate in their names. This website supports issues that range from helping the typhoon survivors to scholarships for local schools. You can also browse by topics or zip code!

At the end of the day, there are so many groups that can use your assistance from the local hospital needing people to read to children in the cancer unit to walking pups at the animal shelter. Point is, the time you spend focusing on others is worth its weight in gold. There is a group out there that supports something aligned with your heart strings- take the time to find them and you will never regret it.

Friends of all ages come together for Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other volunteer opportunities to consider: Salvation Army, United Way, St. Vincent de Paul, Habitat for Humanity, women’s shelters, Toys for Tots, homeless shelters, food pantries, local hospitals, nursing homes, humane societies, and military/veteran efforts. There are also international volunteer opportunities if you want to stretch your arms out a bit further! (example: journeys4good.com)

 

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