Creative Ways to Give Back During the ‘Giving Season’ Part 2

By Anna Nelson, buildOn’s Curriculum Coordinator

This is the second in a three-part series of ways you can give back not only during the holiday season. You can do many of these activities any time during the year, especially when you forgot to sign up early for that food bank shift!

1. If your holiday season is packed with parties, shopping, and hosting and you just don’t have much time to give back this year, try Micro-Volunteering! Visit the Help From Home website and you can either choose from a list of topics that interest you (under “actions” on the toolbar) or scroll down and look for the yellow box on the right that says “Quickies!”. You can pick the amount of time you have and squeeze in some good actions before you head out to a party, or even from your smartphone while waiting in those long lines at the mall.

2. Get the kids or your friends together, get crafty and make some holiday cards for the elderly and home-bound and give them to Meals on Wheels to be distributed. Go to the organization’s website or call 612-623-3363 with any questions or to find out where to deliver the completed projects.

3. Be good to the earth and good to your community and donate your old used eyeglasses and cell phones. Many local Lions Clubs, LensCrafters, and optometrists’ offices will accept your eyeglasses. Because of your donation, you can help a child read the chalkboard in school, help an adult perform better at his job, or help an elderly person function independently in their own home. Donate your gently used cell phone to PaceButler and you can pick a charity online that will benefit.

4. Raise awareness about important issues affecting women in developing nations by hosting a viewing of “Half the Sky” (available on iTunes and streamed on Netflix). Or, suggest that your book club read the book it’s based on at your next meeting and hold a discussion about ways your group can support the activists in the film that are working to resolve some of the world’s most pressing problems facing women.

5. Clean up your neighborhood! Take the family out for a walk, pick up trash and pull some weeds while you’re at it! Get your neighbors involved and you’ll cover more ground! Is it too snowy to do a proper neighborhood cleanup this year? Take the family out with some shovels and shovel your neighbors’ walkways as a random act of kindness and to boost community spirit!

Want more ideas? Read part one and part three!