Winston Churchill once stated, “we make a living by what we get, but make a life by what we give.” Each day, we have the ability and opportunity to give back to our community. This may take many forms, changing with the seasons of our lives or even the seasons of the calendar. Now may be the perfect time to discover a new way to contribute or find your true passion helping others.
Share your talents
There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer your time, but to truly give back to a local organization find one that needs your talents. Do you love to plan and pull together intricate logistics? See what local event or festival could use support in that area. Are you skilled in working with children? Seek out a group whose programming connects volunteers with local youths. Join a committee; become a board member; jump start something new. Time is valuable. Use it to make the greatest difference for both you and the organization
Invest your money
When you make a donation, you are doing more than adding to an organization’s bottom line. You are investing in the mission of the organization and saying, “I know you will take this money and multiply it to do good.” When your time may be tight, consider how a monetary or even in-kind donation to a local charity may fit into your budget. Donations of any amount are appreciated by nonprofits. If you can, consider making a recurring donation to provide continuous and dependable support to your favorite organizations.
Act with compassion
Not all opportunities to give back need to be structured through a non-profit or public organization. Disaster strikes. Loss occurs. The unthinkable happens. When a community member is in need, be thoughtful and compassionate; act and respond. Be a friendly neighbor who brings over a hot meal after the passing of a loved one, or the birth of a child. Help fill a truck heading to an area of the country that was just hit by a natural disaster. These acts are critical ways to give back in someone’s greatest time of need.
Make giving back your own. Celebrate your birthday by doing random acts of kindness or using that ever-so-in-your-face fundraiser option Facebook recently implemented. Multiply your impact by encouraging friends to join the world of giving back. Help them find the best way to give back for their lifestyle. Find a way to combine one of your passions with giving back. Help to build a community of givers.
Through these efforts, and many others, a community can grow together, work to solve the greatest areas of need, and foster feelings of thoughtfulness, empathy, and kindness. Throughout this season of giving, be sure to count your blessings and take time to evaluate how best you can serve and give back to your community. Aim to, “do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all of the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can,” a belief from the 1700’s accredited to John Wesley that remains applicable today.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the importance of following through. While giving back is a natural way of life for some, for others it takes proactive intention. If you commit to giving back in a structured way, I urge you to follow through with that commitment. The organization and our community is counting on you!
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2017-18 of Sass Magazine.