Take a look at a recent LinkedIn article by one of our team members, a nice reminder about ways to give of yourself not only during the holidays, but everyday.
Today is #givingtuesday, the day that traditionally closes out Philanthropy month. If you don’t know what philanthropy is, no worries, I polled several individuals and only one had an answer. While most think that philanthropy is something practiced by older individuals with a lot of money, it can be so much more. Philanthropy can simply be defined as the sharing of time, talent or treasure.
As we approach the holiday season, there are many ways you can give of your time. We are all familiar with the sound of the bells ringing as we approach the local Walmart store. Instead of dropping your change in the bucket, consider being a Salvation Army volunteer bell ringer yourself. This is a simple act of giving in which even a young child can participate. As you pay for your groceries in the next few weeks, you will probably be asked to donate a meal. Think how much more rewarding it would be to actually serve the meal you donate by volunteering at a pantry or soup kitchen. The United Way Volunteer Center is a quick and easy way to find organizations that are looking for volunteers, not only over the holidays, but all year.
When you think about talent, many people think they do not have a talent worth sharing. Can you sew? Your area Quilter’s Guild makes blankets for the homeless or lap quilts for seniors in care facilitates. Sharing the Weight makes weighted blankets for children with autism. There are many programs that read to elementary students that are struggling with their reading skills or story time at the public library. How do I share my talent? I volunteer to play French horn in the Pella Opera House Christmas Concert fundraiser.
And finally, we have treasure. While many open their pocket books at the end of the year for tax reasons, giving treasure does not have to equate to cash money. You can donate gently used furniture to a shelter or family in need or a winter coat, hat, mittens and boots that no longer fit your child, and yes, money. Drop your change in that bell ringer’s bucket, attend a fundraiser for the local animal shelter, drop a new toy at a Sparky Claus or Toys for Tots participating location, donate blood, and the list goes on. I recently attended a town hall meeting to discuss ways to make a difference in our community. An 8 year old young man in my small group offered the idea that we could mow a neighbor’s yard, not for the money but because sometimes they just need a hand. That is the epitome of philanthropy! Give of yourself this holiday season; it is easy to be a philanthropist when you share your time, your talent or your treasure with someone else. -Amy Nossaman