BY SUSAN B. B. SCHABACKER
Technology has come a long way, and there are lots of ways to give back to your community and help the world with the click of a mouse or the touch of a screen. You can make a difference right from your computer, tablet, or phone! Here are some ways you can help others.
You don’t have to be a huge organization or big business to help out with a donations drive. You can organize and coordinate it yourself. Gather food, toiletries, coats, or toys. Post some flyers online, on social media, in your neighborhood, and around your community. Encourage neighbors to pitch in and donate a few items, then deliver them to a local non-profit and know you’re making a positive difference.
HUNGRY MOUTHS TO FEED
FOOD. It’s something we all need, often crave, and can take for granted. Donating food, drinks, and volunteering to cook for the hungry and homeless can offer a huge life-sustaining gift. Go shopping or just gather goodies from your own pantry, including water bottles and juices, dried fruit and nuts and drop them off at local food banks. Help out by preparing and serving food at soup kitchens. By volunteering an hour of your time – just a short lunch break – you can make a big difference and help feed others.
MONEY. We all need it to get by in life and buy the things we need to survive and thrive. Charitable non-profit organizations require funding just as much as for-profit businesses do to stay sustained. How can you help? Fundraising can help a non-profit cover the many costs needed to help people. From the overhead of supplies and materials to the very building they operate in and website fees, financial backing is needed to stay afloat.
WRITE IT + MAIL IT
SNAIL MAIL. Though our world has turned online for most communication these days, the old fashioned, hand-written letter warms hearts and puts smiles on faces. It’s always a joy to open an envelope and read someone’s writing, no matter how messy their penmanship. Thank you notes, though not quite as common these days, are a beautiful and memorable way to express your gratitude. Create your own cards, make them colorful, and write positive and uplifting messages that inspire. Enclose a bookmark, confetti, origami, and/or stickers to make someone’s day brighter! Send them to kids with cancer, seniors who need support and military veterans.
VIRTUAL KNOWLEDGE SHARING + SKILL & TALENT DEVELOPMENT
TEACH, TUTOR, COACH. Mentor others online. Virtual learning is the way to go these days and you can help out by offering your skills and experience. Connect with others in your community or eager learners all the way across the globe. Make a list of what you’re good at and the knowledge and skills you can most easily pass on. Stick with your areas of expertise and what you have background experience in. Do your research. What is currently being offered and by whom? How much time should you designate? Be generous with your time, but also keep track of your time and set time limits. You can share languages, academic subjects, creative arts and crafts and/or business tips and tidbits. Focus on what you love most and are good at. Have a passion for helping, and don’t forget to learn yourself. Adopt a positive outlook and make continual learning a lifetime goal.
LEGACY OF LITERACY WITH ONLINE STORY SHARING
STORYTIME. Certainly, a fav time for kids and kids-at-heart – perhaps just as much as snack time, and certainly more than nap time! Thanks to online tools and resources, you can just as easily read to kids in the UK as you can to your kids at home. They don’t have to be in the same room with you. Make a list of children’s books to read to them and also consider writing your own. There are lots of kids worldwide who would love and benefit by your book sharing. From kids with cancer to orphans without homes, share a story with them in an online video chat and put smiles on their faces and in their hearts.