Well, if there was even the slightest notion in 2020 that things couldn’t possibly get any worse, 2021 stepped in to try. None of us could ever have guessed that the pandemic would still be trudging along over 18 months later, but here we are. So many people are still faced with so many hardships that it can be difficult to see light at the end of the tunnel. The amazing news though is that it doesn’t take much to make a huge difference in someone else’s life – especially in times like this where it can be so desperately needed.
Here are a few simple ways to help. It’s easier than you think!
Donate to a local shelter
At the start of hurricane season, I stocked up on non-perishable food in case my family would be impacted by a storm. Now that hurricane season is coming to an end, rather than try to use up the additional food, I donated it to a local shelter. I’m blessed to be in a position to repurchase whatever we need whenever I need to, but not everyone else is in the same position. Donating the additional food was a simple way to give to other families in need. Donating toiletries and baby essentials are usually high on a shelter’s list of needs as well. Check the shelter’s website. They will usually let you know which items are most in need there. Consider donating these items or money so that the shelter can buy them if you have the ability to.
Start a Fundraiser
Social media platforms like Facebook has made this easier than ever. With just a few clicks, you can create a fundraiser that will benefit your favorite nonprofit organization. I’ve done this recently to benefit one of my favorite charities, The Children’s Hunger Project. You can set a fundraising goal and encourage your friends and/or followers to donate securely. Facebook is paying for all of the processing fees, so 100% of what’s donated will go to the nonprofit.
Create Blessing Bags
I first heard of this idea a few years ago, and immediately fell in love with it. The concept is to take a gallon-sized ziploc bag (or any sized bag of your choice), fill it with essentials, and distribute them to family members to keep in their cars. Then, whenever anyone is out and about and sees someone in need, they give them the bag. You can get creative and fill them with any sort of universal essential and give them out at anytime of the year. Fill them with things like travel-sized toothbrushes, toothpaste, lotion, bandaids, hand and face or body wipes, deodorant, small non-perishable foods like crackers, granola bars, and small bottles of water. Depending on the season, you could add socks or mittens or beanies. You could also add $5 or $10 gift cards to local stores or fast food restaurants in your bag(s). Because of the times we’re in, including individually wrapped disposable masks and hand sanitizer would be nice additions as well.
Another way to give is to simply give your time and volunteer at a local nonprofit or shelter. Help assemble or distribute packages of food. Volunteer to tutor a struggling student. Offer to babysit for that friend that needs to work but can’t afford daycare at the moment. The gift of your time costs you nothing but could mean more than gold to someone who needs your help.
It doesn’t take much to make a BIG difference. Get creative, have fun, and give!