Tis’ the season to give. You can do this in a number of different ways. You can make donations of your time, your resources, and your finances. You can mentor students, serve meals at a soup kitchen, spend time with a shut-in or knit baby blankets for newborns in the hospital. You can cook a meal for a sick friend, make a monetary donation to a local charity, and even share your home with your extended family when they travel. The point is that no matter what your economic status may be, you can find ways to help others during Thanksgiving and Christmastime. Give t he gift of giving this year.
Helping Out in Even the Smallest of Ways
Developing an “Attitude of Gratitude” can help you be better equipped to serve others. Recognizing all the blessings you have in your own life makes it easier for you to give with a glad heart. There are plenty of suggestions on the Internet that will help lead the way. Choose a few this holiday season and make it a family affair. Teach children valuable lessons about helping others. Be their example. Encourage them to participate in fundraising events and to make charitable donations. Select a new toy together and have them use part of their allowance to make the purchase. Small steps like these lead to larger, monumental change.
Volunteers Feel Physically Healthier According to Survey Findings
According to Psychology Today, “The 2010 Do Good Live Well Survey, released by United Healthcare and VolunteerMatch (www.VolunteerMatch.org), surveyed 4,500 American adults. 41 percent of Americans volunteered an average of 100 hours a year. 68 percent of those who volunteered in the last year reported that volunteering made them feel physically healthier.”
In addition to these findings, the following data was recorded:
- 89% report that “volunteering has improved my sense of well-bring
- 73% agree that “volunteering lowered my stress levels”
- 92% agree that volunteering enriched their sense of purpose in life
- 72% characterize themselves as “optimistic” compared to 60% of non-volunteers
- 42% of volunteers report a “very good” sense of meaning in their lives, compared with 28% of non-volunteers
Here are some additional ways to help others in need this holiday season:
- Donate new or gently used coats, scarves, gloves, and hats to the Goodwill or Salvation Army.
- Organize a Food Drive through your church, school, club, business or organization.
- Clip coupons and send them to military families overseas.
- Become a blood donor.
- Contribute to your friends and family members’ favorite charities instead of buying gifts this year.
- Send a care package to a soldier.
- Foster a shelter dog or cat.
- Shovel snow for a neighbor.
Part of what makes the holidays special are the opportunities that we have to give. No matter how tight your finances may be, there are organizations and groups that you can get involved with. If you can’t make a monetary donation, give away some of your unwanted belongings. Contribute a few hours of your time each month. Together we can make a difference this holiday season. The question is, how do you plan to do just that?
Charissa is into frugal living and saving money.