This week, after the gluttony of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the global community celebrated #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving – a virtual cleanse of sorts – a way to return to the basics and show the world a little love. Perhaps we can make this giving a habit and change #GivingTuesday to #EverydayGiving. As Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” It’s widely accepted he knew a thing or two about this.
Wake up the Happiness
Giving to others provides an instant social connection and has been found to increase happiness and physical well being, lower depression and reduce stress in a multitude of studies. As Anne Frank pointed out, “No one has ever become poor by giving.”
If you have a favorite non-profit, send them a donation today-or pick several and send them each a little something. Nearly the entire global community is set up to receive your donations online.
If you need a suggestion: Bay Area teen philanthropy group ChAngels is raising funds to build a school in a third world country next year with buildOn. Support these “Girls Making Change” and give the gift of education to some of the 57 million children who don’t have access to a classroom.
Find your people
If you want to volunteer your time and don’t know where to start or are looking to connect with people in your new city, give Volunteer Match a try. Based upon your location and interests, this online service connects you with nonprofits that need you! It’s fast, easy and gets you volunteering as soon as tomorrow!
Keep a permanent bin or bag marked “To Give” and encourage your household to drop in things as they notice they no longer need. Don’t wait for the spring to clean, get in the habit of editing constantly. A few suggestions to do with your gently loved items:
- When you refresh your bathroom towels or bedding a local animal shelter, such as Pets in Need, is a wonderful place to drop off your linens. Just beware you may come home with a new best friend.
- When you realize you amassed a collection of hotel bathroom amenities, package in a ziploc bag with a new toothbrush, toothpaste and a $5 bill and pass this “Blessing Bag” along to someone in need. Shelters also have toiletries on their list of needed items.
- When your children’s books need new home donate them to a children’s hospital for their waiting rooms-well siblings need some entertainment too.
Whatever you do to make the world a better place, know that no effort is ever wasted, no gesture too small and as a bonus, you’ll be healthier and happier in the process.