Friends and colleagues always tell us they’d love to give back during the holiday season. Or that giving back is one of their New Year’s resolutions.
They also tell us it’s not easy knowing where to start.
The good news is giving back, whether to your community, a charity, or someone in need, doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. Here are 8 ways you can make a difference this holiday season (or anytime of year, really)…
Volunteer at an animal shelter
Get a lifetime’s worth of good karma points by helping animals of cruelty, abuse, and neglect. Getting started is as easy as walking into your nearest shelter and asking how you can get involved.
Participate in a food drive
Can you cook? Do you have leftover food at home? If you answered ‘yes’ to either, you can make a difference for the millions of Canadians who face food insecurity every year.
Tutor a student
Every student learns differently, and for some it’s imperative that they get a little human help along the way. You’ll finally have a good answer for “when am I ever going to use what I learned in high school?”
Promote local businesses
Local businesses are the foundation of healthy communities, but everyone who’s ever owned or worked in one knows staying afloat in a competitive economy isn’t easy. Buy local and spread positive word-of-mouth for businesses that enrich your neighbourhood.
Build a house
No one in Canada should be without shelter, but that’s the unfortunate reality for over 200,000 Canadians. Habitat for Humanity has been building homes for people in need for four decades and is always looking for people to get their hands dirty.
Connect with seniors
Seniors initiatives are often in short supply or understaffed, which makes spending time with the elderly especially important. A simple conversation can be all it takes to lift the spirit of someone who’s otherwise lonely, and you never know what you can learn along the way.
Coach a local sports team
Think about how important sports coaches have been in your life. Now think about how gratifying it would be to be that person for someone else. Plus, sports are fun.
Yes, Mother Earth needs plenty of love too. Plant trees, cut back on consumption, reuse more, don’t waste water, turn off the lights – whatever it takes to ensure future generations, you know, have a future.