We all know the feeling of giving a gift so special and perfect that it’s better than any gift you could ever receive. There is something inherently powerful about giving, and, while right now might be prime time for gift-giving, there are a lot of other ways to give back this time of year.
When it comes to giving back, your mind might jump to making monetary donations—but that’s not all there is. Using your unique talents and interests to give back is one of the best ways to make a difference, and the ideas below prove it.
FAN OF THE ARTS
Is creativity your middle name? Does a passion for arts and music course through your veins? There are so many ways to use your artistic talents for the greater good.
- If you’re crafty, be it painting, crocheting blankets, sewing sweaters, and so on, consider contacting a local shelter or nursing home to see if you can donate pieces to those in need.
- See if your community has an artists’ group or alliance you can join. It might already have programs in place for artists to donate their time and expertise.
- Many towns and cities have their own community theater programs. Consider donating your time to building sets or sewing costumes.
- Art programs in schools are among the most in need of assistance. Volunteering time to teach classes or donating supplies can make a huge impact.
FAN OF ATHLETICS
If you love being physical and engaging in sports, the ideas below can help you give back and stay fit at the same time.
- Almost all races give the proceeds from entrees to charity. Find a race that resonates with you, and start running!
- Local athletic clubs can use all the help they can get. If there is a particular sport you’re good at, budding athletes can surely benefit from your coaching.
- Believe it or not, there are now a handful of apps that pay you every time you track a workout. Charity Miles is one that allows you to choose a charity and give back every time you get moving.
- Check with your local school’s athletic department to see if there are any particular pieces of equipment it needs.
FAN OF ANIMALS
Giving a voice to the voiceless is a noble cause, and if you’re looking to make a difference in the lives of animals in need, check out the list below.
- There are approximately 3,500 animal shelters across the United States. Check with the one closest to you to see if it’s looking for volunteers.
- Apps like Wag! and Rover are great for dog lovers with a little extra time on their hands. After answering a few questions and creating an account, you can help people in your community keep their pets active by walking them when their owners aren’t able.
- Fostering animals has become increasingly popular, as it allows you to be a vital part of rehabilitating an animal who has suffered abuse or neglect. Best Friends and the ASPCA are just two organizations that can match you with a foster animal.
- Most shelters are in need of pet food and toy donations, so if you don’t have a lot of free time, you can still ask what items your local shelter needs and work with members of your community to round up donations.
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