The holidays are quickly approaching, and you may find yourself with the desire to give back before the year ends. Not only does volunteering help those in need; it can also make you feel good. Below is a list of the five best ways to give back at any time of year:
Volunteer Your Time
The easiest way to give back is to volunteer your time -- and best of all, it’s free. Donating your time at your local homeless shelter, food bank, or at your favorite local non-profit organization is a great place to start.
If you don’t have transportation readily available, you can even volunteer from the comfort of your own home, called digital volunteering. For example, if you have your own computer with internet access and a little experience with Excel, you can easily donate your time for an organization that needs data entry volunteers.
Check out this list of ways to become a digital volunteer, which includes favorite organizations like the American Red Cross and the United Nations.
Related: What Gratitude Can Do For You >>
Start a Pay-It-Forward Chain
Have you ever ordered food at a drive-thru, and when you went to pay you were delighted to find out the person ahead of you paid for your meal just because? That feeling of joy can easily be recycled by beginning a pay-it-forward chain of your own. Some “pay it forward chains,” or times when customers pay for the people behind them, can go on for hours.
If you don’t go through the drive-thru very often, there are other ways you can pay it forward. You can make one of your specialty meals and deliver to a neighbor just because, or you can spend an afternoon cleaning up trash at your favorite park. These good deeds do not go unnoticed and are often infectious.
Give Back To First Responders
Your local police department, fire department and EMTs work hard all year keeping your community safe, so why not do something nice for them? If you have the financial means, you can donate to a charity drive benefiting your local departments. If you don’t have the means, or there aren’t any charity drives available in your community, you can organize a drive yourself.
If you live in a community like Sugar Hill, you can collect thank-you cards to first responders from your neighbors, which can instantly make first responders feel gratitude from the community they serve.
Donate To Your Favorite Charity
Of course, donating to your favorite charity is an obvious way to give back. Any amount is helpful, no matter how small.
If you don’t have a favorite charity, or you’re wary of donating to charities that aren’t responsible with donations, you can do some research here for a list of top-rated charities that generally spend 75% or more of their budgets on programs that support their mission.
Among these top-rated charities are ones you’ve likely heard of before, such as American Humane, The Alzheimer’s Association, and The Rotary Foundation.
Give The Gift of Life: Donate Your Blood
Giving blood is one of the most selfless acts you can take to help someone in need, and it’s free and (almost) painless. Blood donors help patients of all ages suffering from a multitude of ailments such as cancer, sickle cell disease, and trauma. Blood drives are plentiful throughout the United States, with an estimated 6.8 million people in the U.S. donating annually.
You can find local blood drives and donation centers quickly by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, where you can easily schedule and reschedule your donation appointments. Or, you can simply type in your zip code here to see if there are any upcoming blood drives in your area. Keep in mind that donors must wait at least eight weeks between whole blood donations and 16 weeks between double red cell donations, and you must be in good health and weigh at least 110 pounds to participate in a blood donation.
Endless Volunteer Opportunities in Wolfeboro
With organizations like Huggins Hospital and the Wolfeboro Public Library nestled within the community, there are endless volunteer opportunities in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
Wolfeboro is home to the area’s only cooperative retirement community, Sugar Hill, where many retirees find themselves donating their time to local organizations and within the retirement community itself. Download our complimentary guide to Wolfeboro’s unparalleled beauty and you’ll soon see why this community is meant for you.