Helping someone else, doing a good deed, giving to someone in need is rewarding and can certainly make you feel happy and fortunate. When many people think about helping, they think of giving money, but some of the best things you can give don’t involve money at all.
Recently, my older daughter volunteered at Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen. I was really proud of her giving her time, but only after she returned did I realize how truly amazing a place it is. You see, it is designed as a community restaurant where people can pay what they can afford and payment can come in a variety of ways. Sometimes people pay and sometimes they volunteer (shovel snow off the sidewalk, wash dishes, etc.). People do what they can and enjoy a dining out experience, with quality food prepared by the full-time chef, and without breaking their budget.
Of course, most of us cannot afford to create a wonderful place like Soul Kitchen, but it does remind us that there are very creative ways to give back and help others, instead of just spending money. Here are some:
Volunteer at a local hospital. Most hospitals have websites with sections on how to volunteer, age requirements, applications, etc.
Donate Blood. There are many ways to get involved with blood donations, including holding blood drives and giving blood. To learn more about getting involved, contact your local blood donation center or visit the America’s Blood Centers webpage if you are in the US.
Offer your skills. No matter your skill, there is always a place you can contribute or teach. Places like Habitat for Humanity (painting, carpentry), local community centers (music lessons, cooking), libraries (resume writing), etc. are great places to volunteer.
Donate Your Hair – There are many places to donate hair for wigs for people who have lost their hair because of cancer treatments or conditions life alopecia areata. Here are two sites where you can learn more: Locks of Love and Wigs for Kids
Share Your Talent – Can you sing? Dance? Perform in a charity show or at a nursing home.
Donate Books – Donate your books to a library, hospital, or thrift shop.
Hold a Coat Drive – Collect and donate warm coats for people in need. Schools, community centers, retail stores will often offer space for these collections. Contact the agency where donations will be made ahead of time as they may assist by pickup up the items for free.
This is just a handful of ideas. Do you have others? Add them in the comments box below!
(Photo Credits: GREGOR / Pixabay)