It’s the season of giving, and while we might think of brightly wrapped presents for friends and loved ones when we think about giving, this is also a great time to think about giving back to your community. The idea of helping out an entire town or country or world can seem a little overwhelming; what can we possibly offer that will make a difference? But the truth is that even small gifts can make a big difference. Here are some ways to give back this holiday season!
Small Donations Add Up
When we think about philanthropy, we often think about big, wealthy donors giving thousands or even millions, but small donations make a bigger difference than you might think. Most charitable donations in the US come from individuals, not organizations. Micro-donations, defined as donations between $0.25 and $10.00, put charitable giving within reach of most households, and people tend to make more microdonations throughout the year than larger donations, so these small amounts really add up!
Donating Your Time Matters
Your time is valuable, to you and to your community! Offering some of your time as a volunteer to a cause that you believe in really helps. Manpower is often a big limiting factor for non-profit organizations, and giving your time helps them accomplish more. You can volunteer at a kitchen serving free meals, at a shelter, even at a local animal rescue! There’s a movement or cause for everyone, and helping out matters.
Help a Friend or Neighbor
You don’t have to go through a non-profit or other charitable organization to make a difference. Giving help to your friends and neighbors is a great way to spread cheer, and it makes your neighbors more likely to help out the next person in need. This creates a ripple through your community of people helping each other that makes a big impact! This help can be simple; helping out with some big chores, or helping them shop or do other errands can really help people who have disabilities or are elderly. Plus, giving is good for you, too!
Mission driven businesses are for-profit businesses that are dedicated to a cause. There are many ways that these businesses pursue their mission; maybe they have a give-back program, or maybe they make sure that their operations are socially and environmentally responsible. Whatever the cause, these businesses need to make money in order to support their efforts, and shopping with mission-driven businesses can help a lot!
For Giving Tuesday this November 30th, Bunnies by the Bay is working with No Kid Hungry! We’re donating a meal for a child in need with each order placed on November 30th and December 1st.
Give to a Toy or Gift Drive
Some kids (and adults!) won’t be getting much in the way of gifts this holiday season. Toy and gift drives are a way to make sure that a family in need has a happy holiday! You can even have your little one help shop for a gift for a kid in need; a great way to teach the lesson of generosity to your child. Many of these gift drives include opportunities to pick out gifts for adult members of the household too. Giving toys, clothes, and other gifts to families in need is a great way to give comfort and glad dreams!
Donate to a Holiday Food Drive
Big holiday meals are a hallmark of the season, but they’re also expensive. Food banks and other local organizations often have drives to provide food for festive meals for families in need. You can even sometimes contribute to these drives at your local grocery store! Giving food or money to these drives can help a family put a holiday meal on the table, making the season merrier.
Give the Gift of Giving
If you have someone on your gift list who has a cause that they care about, sometimes you can give the gift of giving! Issuing a donation in their name, or even “adopting” a wild animal for them, can give them a happier holiday than a physical gift. The World Wildlife Fund offers “symbolic adoptions” of wild animals as a means of donating toward their conservation, and their packages can include a little plush toy as well! What a great way to help a little one get involved in the conservation of their favorite animal!
This is only the beginning of ways to give back this holiday season! Giving benefits the giver, too, so when you give back, you’re getting a gift as well.