The holidays are officially over! Where did the year go?
This time of year is also when charities and other non-profit causes need extra help. There are many ways to engage with your community. With all the choices available, how do you choose?
Look for opportunities that align with your values and have a clear purpose. Things that get my attention relate to animals and children. Another aspect for me is health advocacy. Doing something that has importance to you will provide a better experience also. What’s important to you?
You don’t have to be privileged, have special advantages, or have a lot of money to make an impact. It’s really in your mindset. Choose to be a role model.
Here are 5 simple ways on how to make a positive impact in your community:
- Reach out and check in. All of us have dealt with moments of loneliness, but seniors are more prone to social isolation due to less energy and not as active anymore. You, your family and friends can help those dealing with loneliness by reaching out and engaging with them. Making those social connections are powerful and add fulfilment to all lives. You can visit an elderly neighbor or your local senior living center. Bring a board game. Bring a meal.
- Donate your change. Consumers are unaware of the HUGE impact that their spare change actually makes, no matter how tiny it seems. Are you familiar with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC)? They are one example of how every penny counts. They give sick children a place to play after a long day at the hospital, and their parents a place to get a good night’s sleep without having hotel expenses – which is some relief from the burdens of traveling for their child’s medical care.
- Stand up for a cause by investing time and energy on “what can be.” When you see something that bothers you, do some research to understand the “why”, and help come up with new solutions. It’s okay to push the boundaries of what’s accepted. A great example of this is a new company called Tempus. Their focus is on data-driven cancer treatment. This is an important issue to me. People like myself can invest time to help spread the idea that the current cancer treatments are not as effective as they could be.
- Inspire a child. The opportunities are endless and the commitment time is very flexible. You can help a child build their self-confidence, avoid bad behaviors, and improve in school. Your local elementary and high schools can provide specific needs of the volunteer opportunities in the community. You can even get ideas through your social network or religious association. A small investment of your time can change one child’s life.
- Animals in our communities need help too. You can adopt, you can foster, or you can grab a leash and help walk the dogs in shelters. They are in cages and need regular exercise (bonus: you are getting exercise too). You can adopt through a local shelter. An example of a fostering organization is Dogs on Deployment. They coordinate housing for pets (not just dogs) while their owners are deployed in the military. This is a great way to support our military too while they are separated from a furry family member.
I could go on and on with other ideas. Consider yourself a philanthropist no matter how much you’re giving through time or money. Know that your community appreciates you. Make an impact where you can.
About the Author
Brigitte Cutshall is a Media Solutions Consultant, Speaker and a Certified Health Coach. She is a two-time breast cancer survivor and living with a benign brain tumor. Brigitte obtained her Health Coach Certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition based in New York. Brigitte is the author of “Real Things: 6 Ways to Embrace Life” published April 2015. For more information visit her websites here and here . Connect with her on Instagram