Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Giving Back

Recently my friend and my son's aunt started a fundraiser to raise money and awareness for the over abundance of homeless in Downtown Saint Paul, MN. Now if you've ever been to Minnesota in winter you know how cold it can get (we only shut down schools when the temperature reaches -25, last year they shut down for a total of roughly 2 weeks). Minnesotans are a pretty hearty bunch, but when our shelters are overflowing and the homeless have no where to go hearty has nothing to do with it. Many times you will see these men, women and children huddling together for warmth with only one of them having a coat. This to me is unacceptable. Now I personally don't have money to donate to her cause (I truly wish I did) so I decided to write a post about it to get the word out and add a few other tips on how we can really help others not just at the Holidays, but all year long. I also plan on helping her with the care packages she puts together and gathering items from my home to donate. If you would like to donate or just see more information on her fundraiser head on over to her site here.

Tips to be more generous all year long:

Make your own care packages. Take a gallon, or larger, Ziploc bag and fill it with snacks, some change, mittens, soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, whatever you think could be most needed in your area.

Volunteer. Volunteer Match is a great place to look for opportunities to start with. You can also contact your local police or fire station, churches in your area and shelters to see if they are in need of volunteers. 

Donate. Go through old clothes, toys, household items, etc. There are a TON of places you can donate items! Some of them will even offer to come pick up the items. Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, DAV, and LUPUS Foundation of America are just a few of the places that will come to pick up your donations.

Give to your favorite charity. I personally have given to March for Dimes and Susan G. Kolmen for Breast Cancer in the past since these are important to me. You can search for just about anything that is important to you these days. A lot of places make it very easy to donate as well, for instance I just got my bank statement and on the bottom they say that they will match up to so much for what you donate. I always look for these opportunities since it's basically doubling the money your charity gets.

Look at your own community. Where could they use help? Contact local schools to see if they are looking for volunteers, contact the library to see if they need help or readers, check into your local community centers. You could volunteer to be a tutor or have a craft time, read to others, the list goes on and on.

Don't forget about the elderly. A lot of nursing homes have many people without family, just stopping in (call first since they do have regulations) to visit with someone can make their day. You could also offer to host a craft night, call out bingo, bring in a movie for a movie night, help them write letters, teach them about computers and how to write email. We all have hidden talents that should be shared with others, put your to good use.

This is a very small list compared to some others I've seen. If you've got more please share or just share your experience. It's always heartwarming to hear about good things being done by others for others. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tips! I'll use some soon.