Everyone is bombarded every day by commercials, panhandlers, charities and a plethora of very good, worthy causes where we can reach out to balance the inhumanities. All you need to do is give back a little. Giving, whether it’s of your time, money or ear – feels good and even a little bit can help tremendously. Guest author, Jason Harter, is a school counsellor who discusses the importance of giving back to the community with his students.
But sometimes thinking outside the box can bring about some new ways to give back to folks who might need it as much as the ones we see every day. People are asked every day to give to the less fortunate, those unemployed, homeless, victims of crisis and so forth. However, many folks are struggling that might have a job and show up faithfully at it every day and still just need a hand up or some inspiration.
Ann Curry started a wonderful drive with 26 Acts following the horrific shooting in Newtown. The purpose was simply to do something unexpected and out of the blue, randomly for anyone and try to right the evil in the world with good.
Simply following that idea can lead to giving back in so many wonderful, uplifting ways.
Buy a Gift Card for a Hard Worker
Try buying a gift card for a stressed out worker at your local discount store. They usually sell them right in the checkout line and when you see a cashier going the extra mile, pick one up, have the cashier put whatever amount on it you desire, then ask their name, write it on the card and hand it back to them. The look of surprise and amazement on their face will do as much good for your soul as it does for their self-esteem and pocketbook. And you never know what you might have caused to filter down to someone else. Perhaps it is their young son’s birthday and there is no extra cash for a gift. You may have just supplied that gift! You’ll probably never know, but that is the beauty of giving back in this way – you don’t need to know!!
Supply Your Local Animal Shelter with Items
People think many times to give monetary gifts to causes they believe in (like animal shelters etc.) as they can always use the money; that’s a given. But many times those places can use items you may never even think of. Most will be happy to take old blankets, sheets and newspapers to line cages with and give comfort to abandoned animals.
Just think how scared a little pup or kitten is when they are placed in a cold cage. But that cold wire cage can be a lot more comfortable with a clean blanket or sheet. And the shelters don’t mind if they are frayed or have holes in them, they just require they be clean. And newspapers, instead of just being dumped into the recycling bin, can be taken to the shelter and they can use them to line cages to aid in clean up, as well.
Always call your local facility to see what their needs and guidelines are, then see what you can give without even having to spend any money or take any time out of your day.
Ways to Help Kids in The System
Many times children that are taken from abusive homes, or situations, are facing a loss of home; surroundings that, even if detestable, are all they know – then placed in scary new places. Sometimes those places are foster homes or group homes, and their belongings are simply gathered in whatever is available to go with the child. Imagine how wonderful it would be if the child could be given some small something to make the transition easier and providing a bit of a smile and a bright spot for them.
Call your local social services department and tell them you are looking for creative ways to give back and might they have any needs you could provide. They may be very receptive to receiving generically decorated tote bags for the children, stuff animals, backpacks filled with toiletries or socks etc., and the list could go on.
Then you could get creative with your giving. Gather a group of friends for a girls night of decorating tote bags with paint pens and other art supplies. You can buy items at local craft stores for not too much money, or possibly tell them your ideas and ask for donations from them to help with the cause.
The ideas are really limitless and as you encourage your friends to participate they will have ideas to lend as well. Make a fun day out of delivering the bags to the DSS and then perhaps go for lunch afterwards. Post about your efforts in a local paper so others will want to participate another time. The sky is the limit!
Giving in any capacity is always such a rewarding experience for the young and old alike. And our young learn the most just by watching our example, so implement some of these ideas or come up with your own, but any way you choose to give will always be a wonderful bonus in your life.
Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of "Conscious Living by Design"™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.
Bob provides bespoke counselling services to individuals and couples in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).