‘Tis the season to be giving! Actually, every day should be a day to give back, don’t you think? At Raintees we are continuously in the positive spirit of helping others and we want to give you 5 simple ways to give back every day, no matter where you are.
1. Donate gently used clothes, books, shoes, scarves and other items! Think of all the things you haven’t worn for a while (maybe the entire year of 2013?) and what good they’re doing stacked up in your closet or under your bed. You might be saving them for a special occasion or you might just have plain forgotten about them. What if you could brighten someone’s day with a warm coat or a nice pair of shoes? There are probably at least a few places where you live that accept gently used items or have drop boxes. Do a quick search online of your area if you’re not sure and you’re bound to find one or two centers or shelters looking for items. Spring cleaning? Let’s try more year-round donating!
2. Volunteer at a shelter. Whether you decide to work with people or animals, there are always those out there in our communities who can use a friendly smile and someone who cares about how they’re doing. Giving an hour or two or three of your time a few times a week is surprisingly good for the soul and chances are it will make you feel a whole lot better too. Seek out community service opportunities through your city hall or local community centers.
3. Become a tutor or Big Brother or Big Sister. If you love teaching others or you just enjoy being around kids, consider becoming a subject tutor. Many organizations are happy to train volunteers who are new to the field of tutoring and it’s a great way to share your knowledge with young minds a few times a week who are otherwise struggling in school or are facing other life challenges. Big Brothers Big Sisters and Boys and Girls Clubs of America are also examples of non-profit organizations that help youth reach their full potential. Spending a couple hours mentoring a young mind is a wonderful opportunity to learn from them too!
4. Donate right from your computer. There are plenty of websites out there that donate to different causes with a click of a button by answering simple trivia questions or other easy steps. Check out some of these suggestions (and feel free to share your own in the comments!):
- FreeKibble – Asks a daily trivia question and whether or not you get it right with a click of a button you donate 10 pieces of kibble to animal shelters to feed hungry dogs (you can feed cats too!). Since 2008, they have donated 1,954,957,890 pieces of kibble!
- Pack for a Purpose – Love to travel? This site helps you choose a destination and lodging with a project that location supports. For as little as 5 lbs of space in your suitcase, choose from the items requested and bring them along with you to drop off
- Compassionpit.com – If you like listening to people and helping them with their problems, this site allows you to help others anonymously
- Oneclickatatime.org – Choose from women’s charities, children’s charities, environmental charities, etc. all in one spot and allows you to generate revenue for the charity without using your own money – all it takes it some time and clicks
- Care2 – This site has tons of causes and ways to take action, often through one simple click of your mouse
5. Pay for someone’s coffee, say hello to a total stranger, or send a note to someone telling them how much they mean to you. Sound simple? In our busy lives we often overlook the incredible value in simple gestures. Saying hello or smiling at someone you’ve never met before can have an enormous impact, much like reminding someone you love or haven’t spoken to in a while how much you appreciate who they are and the place they have in your life. Try buying a stranger’s coffee for them, buying an extra meal for a homeless person, or run an errand for a friend or neighbor. You never know what someone is going through and what small gestures can do to brighten their entire day.
In what ways did you give back this holiday season or are you continuing to give back every day? Have you donated supplies to an animal shelter? Spent time at a hospital or community center? Held the door open for someone lately? Share your good deeds and ideas with us! You never know what acts of kindness they may inspire in others!