Ways To Give Back All Year Long

The holiday season is known for encouraging the spirit of giving. Having a specific time of year when everyone is reminded to give back to their community helps all of us experience the feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction that comes from helping others. Wouldn’t it be even better, though, to make this kind of giving a habit to exercise all year long?

Whether you give your time, your talents, or your treasure, you can help those around you every month of the year.

Financial Donations

Consider making donations a part of your monthly finances. You can plan your giving at the beginning of the year, or you can decide each month how much and to where you’ll give. Don’t forget to leave some room in your budget for unexpected requests, such as a fund-raising drive from a local school or relief for an unexpected disaster.

Other Donations

Don’t forget that there are many organizations that are happy to take all kinds of donations that aren’t just writing a check. Your local food bank has constantly changing needs. Feeding America can help you find food banks in your area. Get in touch to find out what their biggest needs are each month so that your donation can be as effective as possible.

Time for spring cleaning or a fall cleanup? Don’t just toss everything that you don’t need anymore. Make sure that there’s a donate pile that you can take to an organization such as Goodwill. Buying a new car or piece of furniture? Donate the old one, and many organizations will even come pick it up.

For the charities that you care about most, get on their email list so that you know when they have the biggest needs and how you can help to meet them.

Seasonal Needs

What charities need often varies according to the time of year. There’s usually a lot of donating at the end of the year, so be particularly aware of organizations in the winter months early in the year when people tend to forget about them. In spring and summer, seek out outdoor-focused work such as park cleanups or community gardens.

Volunteering

Giving your time on a regular basis is a great way to volunteer year round. If you aren’t sure where to start, go to VolunteerMatch or Idealist and you’ll be able to find opportunities in your area that can work with your schedule and your skills.

If you don’t have time for a regular position, talk to local charities about organizing a donation drive at your workplace, in your neighborhood, or at your school. Don’t forget about local hospitals or the American Red Cross, where you can give blood in such little time that you can even do it on your lunch break.

No matter how busy your schedule is or how full your bank account is, you can always find ways to contribute and give back all year long.

Image source: Flickr

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