Every day is a good day to share the feeling of joy with those who need it most. While making a donation or writing a check can definitely help other people, there are plenty of other creative ways you can make a positive impact in your community.
In a world filled with grim headlines and devastating statistics, we could all use some happy news. Take the time to spread the feeling of good every day, because you never know who could use a helping hand. Get into the spirit of giving and help the nonprofits and philanthropic causes you care about with these 8 fun ways to make an impact.
There are a ton of organizations that need help from the community to carry out their efforts. Giving your time is a great way to get involved with the causes you care about and connect with people who share your passion. It costs nothing to give your time, but you’ll get so much back in return.
If you need some help finding a volunteer opportunity, check out VolunteerMatch1. You can narrow down volunteer opportunities by location and cause to find something local that feeds your passion.
Support Social Enterprises
For every article of clothing they sell, York Project gives a Donation Kit filled with water, socks, and toiletries to a homeless person in Detroit. Bombas gives one pair of socks to a homeless individual for every pair sold. GivePet donates enough treats to feed 10 dogs in shelters for every bag of treats they sell.
There are thousands of social enterprise companies out there (you’d be surprised how many are based in Michigan) that have a one-for-one giving model or who are providing jobs to people in need. Not only can you find unique items to purchase from these companies, but you can also feel good about what you’re buying. Especially if you're purchasing from a local organization.
Feed the Need
Some of our best holiday memories are created around the dinner table with our families. But food insecurity is a huge problem in our country, so the idea of sitting down to a warm dinner is a very distant reality for many people. Toss a few extra items in your grocery shopping cart and donate them to your area food bank or homeless shelter. Healthy, perishable food is always a good idea: oats, cereal, canned fruit and veggies, rice, tuna, etc.
If you love to cook, ask your local homeless shelter if you can sponsor or provide a meal one night. Get the whole family involved, cook a healthy meal, and serve it together at the shelter.
Use Amazon Smile
Help out your favorite charities while you shop online through AmazonSmile. If you go to smile.amazon.com1, you’ll find the same products that are sold on Amazon and you can still use your Amazon Prime account. When you shop on AmazonSmile, 0.5% of your total purchase is donated to a charity of your choice. The donations are given by the AmazonSmile Foundation. When you sign in to your Amazon account, you can see the total of your donations for the year. Who knew making an impact could be as easy as shopping online?
Search for Amazon Wish Lists
While you’re on Amazon, check out what your favorite charity needs by searching for Amazon Wish Lists. Under your account, go to ‘Your Lists’ then ‘Find a List or Registry’. Type in the name of your favorite charity, non-profit, or shelter to browse a list of wish-list items. Add the items you want to donate to your Amazon cart to purchase them. You don’t even have to worry about delivering the items to the shelter. Amazon will ship your donations straight to the organization of your choice.
Adopt a Family
Share the feeling of good with a local family in need. You can find a local family to help through organizations like Volunteers of America. By sponsoring a family, you can provide clothing and basic essentials, as well as gifts for the kids. You can also give a special holiday meal to the family. If the cost of adopting a family by yourself is too much, don’t be dismayed. Talk to your friends and coworkers and adopt one family together!
Share the Feeling
We see and hear stories of good every day, whether it’s reading an inspiring story on social media, watching a touching video on the local news, or witnessing a kind act in person. Pass along the warm and fuzzy feeling you got and share these stories with others.
No matter what you decide to do to help others, just remember: There’s no wrong way to give back and make a difference.