Monday, January 19, 2009

National Day of Giving

Today, in addition to being Martin Luther King, Jr Day, is also National Day of Service.

I think that is fabulous and really great. Despite that, I am not doing anything special or out of the ordinary today. Mostly because I had my head in a cave and was unaware of this day until, well, a few hours ago.

My contribution today is going to list a few ways that we can all help out - year round and not just on one day. I think if today you start thinking about ways you can help out that is a good step for National Day of Service. So here are ways you and I can give back:

  • Give food to local food pantry
  • Volunteer a few hours at food pantry
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  • Bring a few dinners to a family you know is struggling
  • Bring food to an elderly neighbor (or shovel their driveway, mow their lawn, help them plant flowers, etc)
  • Call the local school and see where they need help.
  • Call your town - can you help fix up a bad lot, help clean up parks/playgrounds, pick up trash at the local forest preserve, etc.
  • Call a local animal shelter and see if they need any supplies or if you can help out for a few hours taking care of animals.
  • Call your local library and see if they take book donations or need help reshelving or if they need help with story hour or anything like that
  • See if Habitat for Humanities is doing any projects in your area and help out there.
  • Do you have a hobby that you can use to give back. If you are a photography, offer to take pictures of kids with Santa at a community Christmas party. If you are a knitter, make hats and scarves to be passed out to those who need them.
  • Most place run school supply drives in the fall - watch for school supplies to go on sale and bulk up then with the intent to give them.
  • Do you own a business? Run a food drive - give customers a discount on services if they bring in food (or coats or shoes or toys or whatever the need is in your community)
  • Start a Dining For Women Group
  • Start a book club and every time you meet, members bring a book that you donate to a place in need in your area
  • Offer to babysit for the single mom who never gets a break for free.
  • Play Bunco with the girls? Next time ask people to bring canned goods with them.
  • Visit Volunteer Match and see what they recommend for you
  • Knitters can find ways to give back with their knitting here and here
  • Here is a great page with ideas for crafters who want to give back.
  • Make some items or donate supples to The Preemie Project
  • Here is a page with patterns for chemohats
  • If you are a photographer, sign up with Flashes of Hope
  • See if you can help out Project Linus
  • Help Soldier Wishes out
  • Soldier Angel has many ways you can help out
  • Mark Eat So They Can on your calendar now so when October rolls around, you can be ready!
  • Host a Bead Party
  • Go check out Random Acts of Kindness foundation and get some great ideas!

There are a TON of ways you can give back to with your time and talent. This list is not complete in any way, shape, or form. But hopefully it is a list that will get you thinking about ways you can help out.

And please, leave comments on other ways to help out (I'll add any ideas to this list)- and if you are doing something today or what you plan to do this year in order to give back.

1 comment:

  1. Good list.

    Donate blood, send gift cards anonymously to a family in need, look for sales on items like sanitary napkins and diapers for women's shelters.


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