This past Tuesday was Giving Tuesday. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. But I'll be honest - IMO, you shouldn't need a nationally recognized day to do good. You don't even always need to spend money to make a difference, sometimes your time is the best way to give.
Bring Warm Items to the Homeless
It's winter here in Chicago. That means temps are often well below freezing and we have an ever-growing homeless population. Rather than posting some of your giveaway items on Poshmark, consider taking them to the homeless. There are large homeless camps under the Kennedy underpasses where you can bring gloves, hats, sweaters - even old comforters.
Volunteer at a Shelter
Serve food, take blankets to a homeless shelter… there are a lot of ways to volunteer at a shelter. This page is a great resource of volunteer opportunities. It’s just a few hours of your time but makes such a big impact in your community!
Random Acts of Kindness
It can be as simple as holding the door open for someone or spending a few dollars to buy a cup of coffee for the person in line behind you at Starbucks. Leave a bigger tip on your next meal out. Random acts of kindness are contagious so let’s help spread the positivity!
Show Your Appreciation
If you love to bake and want to put a smile on a few faces, take some fresh baked goods to your local fire fighters, police, EMT’s, etc.
Buy a Few Extra Cans of Soup
Nonperishable drives are happening everywhere you look this time of year. Add a few cans of soup or tuna or jars of peanut butter to your shopping cart. You may even be able to donate them at the grocery store cash register, via neighborhood can drives.
Don't Forget the Pets!
Shelters are at capacity over the holidays. Purchase some extra dog/cat food or pet toys and drop them off at your local animal shelter. Take some time to go read to dogs in the shelters, or take them on a walk, or even better - ADOPT one! Just remember - pets are a HUGE commitment and NOT cute Christmas presents.
Whether you know your neighbors or not, it's always a nice surprise to have your neighbors come home to a freshly shoveled walkway or driveway!
Write a Letter to a Soldier
There are many organizations where you can write to and send soldiers letters of encouragement and hope. It will be sure to put a smile on their faces. :)
What are some ways YOU like to give back? Share your ideas with me and I'll add them!