Giving without expecting anything in return is an incredible feeling. And to receive such a gift is just as nice. Along with feelings of appreciation and gratitude, we might also feel “the warm-fuzzies”, “happy tingling sensations”, or as the newly transformed Grinch simply described it…
With the holiday season soon approaching, many of us may be thinking that we don’t have enough resources to give to anyone outside of our own family and close social circles, but there are many ways you can give back.
1. Give a Donation as a Gift
There’s always that one family member who tells you that they want something “meaningful” for the holidays. Well, what’s more meaningful than a donation to a cause they care about?
Many nonprofits make it easy to “give a donation as a gift” through their company website. Even if you find a website that doesn’t provide this option, you can get creative by making your own gift card with the donation information on it. Because after all, who doesn’t like a handmade gift? It’s the thought that counts!
2. Use a Retailer that Donates a Percentage
You can use BuzzFeed’s list of companies that promise to donate a product to someone in need with every purchase. Or, if you’d prefer to donate to a specific cause, AmazonSmile automatically donates 5% of whatever you spend (on select items) to the charity of your choosing. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. More like gifting two people with one click! 😉
3. Give Your Time to a Cause You Love
If you haven’t had experience with volunteering already, the holiday season is a great time to start! We recommend giving your time to a nonprofit that best fits your skills and interests.
At GiveGab, we make it easy to discover nonprofits that support a cause you already love! If you’re still unsure about where to start, take a quick look at the available volunteer opportunities in your area.
4. Give by Promoting a Cause
You don’t have to donate money or volunteer your time to give something valuable. You can promote a cause you’re interested in on Facebook or Twitter – or even create a page or article about it on your blog if you have one. Consider promoting charitable causes in general by spreading the word about the benefits of supporting nonprofits.
You could even downsize your efforts while still having an impact just by telling people from your social circle about your favorite cause. Any way that you give positive attention and recognition is providing a charity with free exposure to more people, which increases their chances of getting more supporters. Anyone from the nonprofit sector will tell you that’s a great gift! 🙂
5. Give by Reaching Out
So many free ways of giving are underrated but desperately needed. Perhaps you know someone who may be lonely or depressed this time of year. It’s common to feel as though reaching out to someone like this could bring you down with them, but this is only true if you let it be! Reach out to those who need it with the intention to show you care, that you’re thinking of them, and that your life is better with them in it. See if this really brings you down or elevates your spirits. I would predict the latter!
It’s common to feel as though reaching out to someone in this way could bring you down with them, but this is only true if you make it true! Reach out to those who need it with the intention to show you care, that you’re thinking of them, and that your life is better with them in it. See if this really brings you down or elevates your spirits. I would predict the latter!
6. Give Random Acts of Kindness
Every aspect of our lives is dependent on other people at the most basic level, but there are so many things we take for granted because we don’t always see the immediate connection. For instance, all those “darned tractor trailers” causing extra traffic during your commute are actually delivering your food to the grocery store or the gifts you’re about to purchase for your family.
Truck drivers are just one example of the multitude of people we depend on that we likely never show appreciation or kindness to. You can find your own targets of kindness by selecting an area of your life that you’re particularly happy about right now and tracing it back to a person or group of people that made it possible.
The holiday season is often associated with family, food, and overall good times, but it can also be a time of heightened loneliness and hardship for many. Whether you give time, money, gifts, or appreciation, the care behind what you give is what will make the biggest impact. Not only for those you give to but for yourself as well.