Traditionally, the holidays are the season of giving. It’s the reason our mailboxes are filled with requests for donations, bellringers greet us going and coming from retail stores, etc. Sharing with others reflects the spirit of the season. But does it have to begin and end in December? Needs continue throughout the year. So, why not consider making giving a year-round habit?
How about instead of making New Year’s resolutions to shed 20 or so pounds before the next holiday rolls around (again) and start exercising (the annual new year goal of many!), how about setting up a giving plan for the year? By spreading out giving options, you can share in a number of ways.
Spring cleaning translates into an excellent donation opportunity. Donate those outfits you annually plan to fit back into and let them go to folks who need them. They can become some nice work clothes to donate to organizations that help women enter the workforce (such as Dress for Success). Pass on gently used baby clothes (they grow so fast that some are hardly worn at all), outgrown kids’ clothes, and gifted clothes that aren’t your style. Someone else will appreciate and make good use of them.
Downsizing a household is an opportunity to contribute to non-profits focused on helping rehome veterans, the homeless, or domestic violence survivors by providing basics to set-up housekeeping (from pots and pans to linens, furniture, and more).
Sponsor a Camper
Was summer camp the highlight of your childhood? As an adult, you now realize how pricy those camp experiences were, but they’re so worth the cost! Providing the funds for a child to attend camp can be a life-changing experience for you and the child. Check with local camps about sponsoring or perhaps a funded scholarship program for future campers.
Volunteer Your Time
Tired of just sending a check? Jump in and volunteer your time for a cause that is dear to you. Local soup kitchens, sorting donated foods at local food banks, delivering meals, filling backpacks for kids on weekends when school meal programs aren’t available, and covering phones on weekends/evenings for domestic or sexual assault hotlines are some of many options.
You could also consider coaching, helping at shelters or youth clubs, making a wish come true, etc. Find where your interests are and look for ways to volunteer throughout the year. Enriching others can enrich your own life just as much.
Buying gifts for a specific family or child via an Angel Tree ensures a child has something special under the tree. Preparing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child allows you to be as creative as you like in filling a box for a child who has never had a gift in their life. Take advantage of seasonal sales to stockpile and plan a pack day with family and friends.
Find a way to donate your time, funds, and support throughout the year. Share the joy all year long!