#GivingTuesday is a fantastic trend. It rides the coattails of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and it makes the week that starts with Thanksgiving end with something really special.
Nonprofits around the country (and the world) are hoping to get some of your dollars today. Why not give back? The power of giving is strong. It makes you realize how well-off you are, among other reasons (read those here).
Here are 10 Easy Ways to Give Back Today. I’ve already done some of these today, and plan to do the rest before the month is out.
10 Easy Ways to Give Back on #GivingTuesday (Or Any Day!) 1 of 11
1. Give small amounts to people on the street. 2 of 11
Especially if you live somewhere cold. You know it's hard to be outside, exposed to the elements, when it's really yucky outside. If your heat is on, roll down your window and exchange a dollar or two for a blessing from someone on the street. Also? Do not worry if the money is going to buy the person alcohol. You don't live a virtuous, pious life, why should we hold the homeless to a different standard?
Image by mconnors
2. Give to causes you care about. 3 of 11
I can't tell you to care about the things I care about that would be crazy! But pick something close to your heart. Education? Nutrition? Empowerment of the poor? Do your research (I'm lucky enough to have the Give!Guide in my hometown, which thoroughly vets nonprofits and makes it easy to donate in $10 increments. Use Google. You might find something similar in your town!)
Image by clarita
3. Give to causes your friends care about. 4 of 11
If you're having a hard time thinking about causes (and whether an organization is worthy of your donation!) ask your friends. Listen to their requests. One of my friends is trying to raise enough money to get a 14-year-old boy who has Cerebral Palsy a wheelchair van. Those things are expensive! Poke around that site -- it's like Kickstarter for people in need.
Image by chilombiano
4. Donate food gift cards. 5 of 11
I just got a $5 McDonalds gift card in the mail from Klout. I haven't been inside a McDonalds since Clinton was president, but I do know the power of a warm meal when you're hungry. It's going in my car, and I'll give it away when I see someone in need.
Image by cohdra
5. Give your grace. 6 of 11
Say hello to people on the street. Averting eye contact will not make them go away. Say good morning, smile, treat people like people. If you have time, get farther than hello. But always say hello.
Image by aigarius
6. Donate unwanted things. 7 of 11
This time of year, look beyond Goodwill. See if there are places that want your kids' gently used toys or books. How about big kid books? Declutter, get a tax donation, and give gifts. What more could you want?
Image by EmmiP
7. Adopt a family. 8 of 11
Get your whole family involved. Adopt a family at church or through a giving tree at the mall. You'll be surprised at how much this means to your kids. How much this will mean to you. You'll show everyone the true meaning behind the season.
Image by cohdra
8. Give your love. 9 of 11
That person you lost touch with? You know, the one you see on Facebook, and feel like you're up to speed on their lives? Pick up the phone and call them. They'll be happy to hear from you. Trust me. They always are.
Image by puravida
9. Give a true compliment. 10 of 11
Try this: go up to the very next person you see, and compliment them honestly. If you don't actually like their shoes, pick something else. If the next person you see is someone you know, tell them one thing you really love about them. If it's someone you don't know, find something you admire on them, and tell them. Then keep moving. Don't make it awkward.
Image by jdurham
10. Send love through the mail. 11 of 11
My loves get homemade gifts every year. I also send a Christmas letter. It's the non-technical way to keep up with the people you care about. And it doesn't have to cost much. Everyone loves personalized mail. If you send a card, write a little more than your names next to the adorable picture. Write one line. They'll love that you went the extra mile.
Image by dieraecherin