You’ve probably found yourself in this predicament: You want to do more to give back in your community, but the holidays can swallow up your time and savings.
Luckily, you can take advantage of the upcoming Giving Tuesday on November 27 to shake off some of that holiday guilt. What, exactly, is Giving Tuesday? It’s a global movement, now in its seventh year, that encourages individuals and companies to donate their time and money to worthy causes and organizations.
The #GivingTuesday movement raised $274 million online with more than 150 countries participating in 2017. While this day may only come around once a year, the positive effects last a lot longer. Chime, for example, is participating in the Pledge 1% movement whereby businesses pledge to give back 1% of equity, profit, product, and/or employee time for their communities. Case in point: Chime volunteers assembled 1,300 boxes of non-perishables for the senior community in San Francisco.
Will you join us in making a difference? Take a look at 7 ways you can give back in honor of Giving Tuesday.
1. Shop Smarter
Torn between using your bank account to help humanity and buy gifts for your family? Good news! You don’t have to choose. You can purchase gifts that kick a portion of the price back to charities. For example, Uncommon Goods sells unique gifts from local artisans and gives one dollar of each purchase back to charity. For affordable options, just search the “under $25” gift section for gifts ranging from coffee blends to herb gardens to unusual toys.
2. Donate Money
Interested in giving money to local charities but not sure where to give? To start, think about how you’d best like to make a difference. For example, if you love books and want to spread literacy, a contribution to Worldreader helps fund digital book distribution. Or, if you want your hard-earned dough to help Hurricane Florence victims, The American Red Cross makes donating effortless.
Try forgoing a daily latte or fast food runs and instead donate the money. Your waistline will thank you too.
If you don’t have extra money to donate at this time, no worries. You can still make an impact by giving your time. Check your city’s website, the local library or community center to find out about upcoming volunteer opportunities.
Another pro tip: Search VolunteerMatch to find volunteer opportunities that fit your interests and talents. For example, computer pros can discover ways to put their tech skills to use, while animal lovers can volunteer to care for Fido while he waits for adoption.
4. Give Blood
While needles may make you squeamish, donating blood is an easy and impactful way to give back. The whole process takes less than an hour.
The American Red Cross reports that the U.S. needs blood every two seconds. One donation can potentially save three lives.
5. Be a Good Neighbor
Look around. Sometimes the greatest needs are right in front of you. For example, perhaps you can bring in trash cans for busy families or elderly neighbors. Or, ask a new mom in your apartment building if you can bring her a meal or babysit.
Don’t know your neighbors? Now might be a good time to become acquainted. Make a goal to bring a plate or package of cookies to one neighbor’s home and introduce yourself.
6. Small Acts of Kindness
This is an easy and inexpensive way to give back.
If your day starts with a morning coffee run, pay for the coffee for the person behind you in line. Here are a couple of other ideas: Leave a simple note saying, “You are amazing. Have a good day!” on someone’s car, or buy lunch for your co-worker who is too busy to eat.
While you’re at it, remember to look up from your routine to notice life around you and think about how you can make a small difference in someone’s day.
7. Be the Motivator
Helping out is contagious. When you motivate others to participate, you stay encouraged too. By getting together with friends or colleagues, you also get to catch up during the busy season and connect on a deeper level.
Why not chat about what’s new in your life while assembling necessities for those in need? Or get to know a co-worker better while wrapping presents for underprivileged children.
We get it: You are busy and stressed about the upcoming the holidays. How in the world are you supposed to find the extra time or funds to participate in #GivingTuesday? It’s not easy, but it will be worth it. Think of this globally-celebrated day as a way to take a breather from your to-do list.
And remember: Helping someone else is not only good for the community. It’s good for you. It allows you to take a pause in your daily life and experience the joy of a more connected world.