7 Practical Ways to Give That Will Make an Impact
Written by Kiley Barnes | December 13, 2014
In the spirit of gratitude this Christmas season, the best and most humble way of saying thank you is to give back. In Proverbs 3:27, we are called on to do good for those who deserve it and need it.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the phrase “giving back,” the only things I can seem to think of are donations and food banquets. Don’t get me wrong—there are only right ways to give back to your community, and both of these are very noble and needed sources of help. But I’m here to let you know that there are so many ways to help—ways that you can be excited about, too! This is a time to get creative. Luckily for you, I’ve done a little research and put together some great ideas for how to help out in your community under any budget this Christmas.
1. Double your batch of baked goods. Bring a sweet treat to your local police department, library, fire station or shelter to thank them personally for the important work they do for the people in your community.
2. Host a drive. You can gather new toys for Toys for Tots or collect canned food for your local food pantry. These are both great organizations that help children and families in need.
3. Write a letter to a soldier. Many men and women will be spending Christmas apart from their loved ones overseas this year. You can send them some love and warmth by writing them a simple letter. Let them know you’re praying for them and their families, and maybe even mention one freedom that you’re particularly thankful for this year.
4. Pick up trash. If you know of a highway or a park that could use some TLC, grab a garbage bag and a pair of gloves, and get to beautifying!
5. Visit local seniors. This is a chance to hone in on your individual skill set. You can read a classic Christmas story, sing or play Christmas songs, or even conduct a simple arts and crafts project. Anything that gets their energy up or gets them involved is an awesome contribution. Just be sure to arrange it ahead of time.
6. Add a charity to your Christmas list. Do you love animals or music? Do you want to help children with disabilities? There are charitable organizations for just about every great cause you can think of. Find one that really means something to you, add it to your Christmas list in place of a gift and suggest that your loved ones place a donation in your name.
7. Volunteer. Donating your time and energy is a great way to give back and meet some awesome people while you’re at it. From food banquets to hospitals to animal shelters, there are lots of fun volunteer opportunities to get involved in. VolunteerMatch.org is a really cool website that helps pair you up with a volunteer activity in your area that you can be excited about. Don’t do it alone! Grab some friends or even make a family day out of it. It’ll be a fun bonding experience but, more importantly, you’ll multiply your amount of giving! DoingGoodTogether.org is another awesome website for finding group volunteer activities.
But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:3-4)
However you decide to give back, be sure to enjoy yourself and the people around you, and be humble.