10 Ways to Give Back to the Community this Year!
It is the festive season! A time of year to celebrate, relax, and share. But it is also a time to reflect on your year, look forward to the new one, and to give back to the people around you. There are a number of ways that you can give back this year, and it is important to consider the community you live in when you are giving back. We have created a list of 10 ways you can give back to the people around you, not just your family and friends, but your wider community.
1. Assist with local initiatives
It only takes a short google of your local area to find projects in your community that are changing lives, helping the misfortunate, or just making the place you live a better one! Get involved in these initiatives, be it through financial means, or by donating your time to help amazing members of your community help others.
2. Donate pet food
A pet isn’t just for Christmas. This phrase can’t be reiterated enough, yet it still seems to be lost on people. Dogs, cats, hamsters, and other small animals end up in shelters in outstandingly disproportionate numbers around the holidays, which is why it is vital that they are at the very least fed. Pick up some pet food and donate to your local animal shelter, RSPCA, or other projects aimed to help animals. Why not buy a bed for a small animal and hand it in with your donation? It could make the difference to a defenseless animal through the harsh winter months.
3. Attend school fates/fundraisers
Arguably the most valuable members of your community are the children and young adults growing up in an area that you are able to influence. School fundraisers and Christmas fates are a great opportunity for you to see the work your local schools are doing, and to spend some money that could fund things like school trips and educational experiences.
4. Visit retirement homes
Winter promises long, dark days, and freezing cold. It is tough, but it is even more difficult for those in homes for the elderly. When you have some time, why not visit homes near you? For someone who is less able to get out of their home in the winter months, it could make their day to have a cup of tea and a chat, for an hour or two.
5. Help the homeless
Probably the most at-risk community during winter is the homeless. It can seem like a far-removed issue, but disenfranchised people are sleeping rough all over the world, and winter only amplifies the risks and dangers homeless people already deal with. You can volunteer at kitchens, donate to organisations helping the homeless, or buy some supplies like blankets and food to hand out.
6. Check in with your friends and family
Seasonal depression is a very real phenomenon, but regardless of the time of year, it is important to speak candidly with your loved ones to make sure they are okay. Being checked on by a friend or family member can help everyone feel less alone, and Christmas is the perfect time of year to let the people in your life know they are loved and appreciated.
7. Donate to a charity
Researching local charities doesn’t take long, and can introduce you to work that you may be benefiting from, and not even know it. Christmas is a an important and busy time of year for lots of charity, and donations are vital for supporting these initiatives. Even small donation contributes to the positive impact a charity can have on your community.
If money is tight, but you have an abundance of time, consider volunteering! There will always be local charities that are seeking people to donate their time towards the cause. Be it working for the day in a kitchen, handing out supplies, or some DIY, your work will inadvertently have a positive impact on less fortunate members of the community.
9. Collect toys
Do you have old toys lying around the house? If they are in good condition, consider donating them to charities for children. You can also buy some new toys to donate, either way, you will be providing a less fortunate family with the ability to treat their child over the holiday season. Christmas is the season for giving, and this gift will bring real joy to a child who may be struggling otherwise.
10. Be kind
Kindness is one of the most underappreciated actions. It is amazing how much impact a small act of kindness can have on someone’s day. Be kind to everyone you encounter, its free, its relatively easy, and it could be a difference maker for the person who receives your kindness.