“Be kind to one another” - Ellen Degeneres
I love that quote from Ellen. She says it at the end of each of her shows. Such a simple message, right? Being kind is something that we all have inside of us. How we put generous intentions to good use is what can make a difference.
Kindness can be in the form of giving back to those who need us the most. Maybe you donate some money to a charity? There are also many other opportunities to give back to your community and even internationally.
Giving back helps people and animals in need. But you know what? Your generosity can also be one of the most gratifying feelings in the world. Giving back just plain feels good. It’s a win-win situation for both parties involved.
Here are some ideas of ways that you can include giving back into your life.
List of Ways To Give Back
Volunteer at an Animal Shelter
Animal shelters are filled with abandoned and homeless animals that need your love and care. They usually are privately run and need donations and volunteers to keep all the animals well cared for.
Cat shelters need people to socialize the cats, clean and feed them, and also organize fundraisers for supplies.
Spending a few hours in a room full of cats is definitely my kind of happiness!
Set Up a Collection Jar
You can set up collection jars in various places if you have an organization or a cause that you are particularly fond of but don’t have much personal time to donate. This way, you are providing something that they need to run their activities.
Set up jars in your local stores or business places and clearly specify what the money will be used for.
Who can refuse to put a few coins in if there’s a cute kitten photo on the jar!
Volunteer at Your Local Senior Care Center
Senior citizens sometimes feel alone and isolated in senior care. Many volunteer opportunities exist in these centers. Offer to teach dance, exercise, or painting classes. Share whatever you’re good at with people who will appreciate your company.
Senior citizens can also share with you some pretty interesting life stories and anecdotes.
Share Your Family Pet
You know how cute and fun your pet is, so why not share him or her with the world? Animal companions are proven to have substantial health benefits on humans. Spending time with an animal can lower blood pressure and anxiety. Hospitals, hospice centers, and other similar places can benefit from your pet as much as you do. Ask around in your community about which organizations accept this type of volunteer work.
People will enjoy your pet’s company, and your furry family member will get lots of attention, cuddles, and kisses. Again, win-win for everyone!
Join a Community Clean-up
We all care about the environment, and we are all aware that climate change is a real thing. Many communities around the world have clean-up activities where people show up for the sake of cleaning up a specific area.
Why not organize one yourself if you don’t find any? Here are a bunch of resources to help you do this in your community.
Collect Food for Your Community Food Bank
Hunger knows no season, and your support can make a significant impact. Consider teaming up with others in your community to collect non-perishable food items and necessities to donate to your local food pantry or homeless shelter. Organize a food drive, encourage your friends and neighbors to participate, and witness the collective power of compassion as you help those in need during this holiday season.
Help to Protect Endangered Species
You can donate monthly amounts to organizations like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) who will let you symbolically adopt a sea turtle. Many people are on the front lines saving the diversity of this planet, and you can support them from afar if you don’t have the time or the energy to get out in the field with them.
Find a Cause
If you’re not sure where you are needed or where you want to give back precisely, find a cause that speaks to your heart and get informed on how you can help. Volunteer your time if you can’t afford to donate money. Donate money or items if you don’t have much time to offer.
For example, you can do things like setting up shelters and supplying food for homeless cats in your neighborhood.
There are no small actions. Every action counts.
Giving Back Feels Good
We give back because we want to make a difference. But did you know that there’s a huge part of giving back that can be beneficial to you? You know the feeling that comes with helping others in need if you have done it in the past. If you haven’t, it’s time to start!
Giving back, big or small, has numerous benefits on your health, your social life, and your emotional well-being.
Volunteer Match and Volunteer Forever are websites where you can get matched with volunteer opportunities globally. Use your unique skillsets to give back and maybe even learn a few things along the way.
The bottom line is that being kind is always possible and that many opportunities are out there where you can feel needed and know that you are making a difference.