A Great New Year’s Resolution? Generosity! 6 Simple Ways to Give

food-bank-donation

It’s nearly time for the New Year – a time when many make plans and wipe their slates clean.  I happen to believe that any day is a great time to begin anew, but there’s nothing quite like a brand-spanking-new year!  If one of your goals is to increase your charitably based efforts, de-clutter your home, or to get out and meet more people this list may help.  I’ve done all six things on this list, at one time or another, and recommend them wholeheartedly.  You’ll help yourself – and others!

1. Donate Food to Your Local Foodbank

If you have enough food in your kitchen, consider those who don’t the next time you go shopping.  Pick up a few (or several) non-perishable items and donate them to your local food bank when you’re able.  Spending a few dollars on some rice and canned veggies may not break your bank, but can make a big difference to those in need.  My family needed the assistance of a food bank a time or two when I was a child, and I’ve never forgotten the kindness of those strangers who provided for us.

2. Donate Some of Your Possessions to a Thrift Store

If you’re overwhelmed with a lot of extra “stuff”, consider doing a purge and donate the items you don’t need or want to a charity thrift store.  Assess your possessions with an impartial eye.  Do you really need them all?  I’m sure there are some things that you really and truly don’t need anymore, and by passing them along to someone who does it’s a win-win.

3. Donate Blood

This is an easy one, but it’s a very important public service.  Good karma points and free juice and cookies can be yours for a bit of your time and a pint of your blood!  If blood makes you squeamish and/or needles freak you out, simply choose another option from this list…

4. Brighten Someone’s Day with a Kind Gesture

Paying for a stranger’s coffee, smiling and saying hello, or giving someone a Random Acts of Kindness card are great ways to spread a bit of kindness without having to invest an inordinate amount of money or time.  That said, there’s always time for courtesy!

5. Volunteer Your Time

If you’re interested in working with people or animals, consider volunteering with a literacy program for adults, help out at the local animal shelter, mentor a child, or volunteer to help out in a public school classroom.  You’ll help change lives for the better – including your own!

 6. Be a Secret Santa For Someone In Need
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There are many opportunities to do this, whether it’s through a group set up at the mall or through a church.  I provided gifts for homeless families whose children attended a special school in Orange, CA, and had a great time playing Santa!  You can purchase gifts for one child or an entire family – whatever fits in your budget.
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Are You Ready?

I hope you’re inspired to make generosity a big part of your New Year.  I find it’s a pleasure to help others, and enjoy the warm glow that comes from lending a helping hand.  If you are interested in doing one or more of the things on my list (or doing something else to give), I suggest getting started, or putting it on your calendar NOW.  You may not do your Secret Santa shopping for another ten months, but you’ll be reminded of your intention and can follow through when the time is right.  Choose a specific month or day for your act of generosity – or when you’re going to start.  You’ll be much more likely to bring your plan to fruition.

I’m wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year…

Warm regards,
Melody

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