Giving Back Beyond The Holidays

Charitable giving is something many of us do around the holidays, but as the holidays get further and further in the rearview mirror, we often get caught up in our everyday lives and the giving slows to a trickle for the remainder of the year until the next holiday season. While it is admirable that many people in this current economic climate share what little they have during that time, the fact remains that many people and organizations alike still have needs for the rest of the year. This week our blog is written in the hopes that it can serve as a reminder to each of us to try to keep that giving spirit alive just a little longer.  Perhaps it may be an inspiration to some to leave their pennies at the register for someone who may be without needed change.  Maybe it will serve as a gentle nudge to those who run charitable organizations to bend the rules one more time beyond the holiday season.  There are many ways to give back.

You could send an extra check to your favorite charity, or maybe go down to your local heating fuel provider and put some money towards a stranger’s past due bill. It would be a great relief to them to not have to worry about getting their heat shut off or wondering how they will manage to pay for that next barrel of oil  to keep their family warm. This has been a cold winter for most of the country, and the cold didn’t stop with the holidays.

Charitable giving doesn’t have to be large sums of money, or even be financial in nature at all. Sending a little extra donation to an organized charitable foundation of your choice is great and your money surely could be put to good use but there are other, smaller ways to give as well. For instance, you could surprise the person behind you in line at the coffee shop and pay for their morning coffee. A two dollar coffee may not mean much to your bottom line, but you more than likely just made the recipient’s day. It goes beyond the moment. They will surely tell their co-workers about your generosity and post about that gesture on their Facebook page. Your two dollars just brought someone a little extra joy in what has been a very dreary winter, a tough day or even a negative moment that could have taken their day in other directions. That small gesture may even spark their giving spirit and they may pay it forward.

If you have no extra money at the moment, which has become much more commonplace nowadays, there are still ways you can give back. You could donate old clothing, or volunteer at a local food pantry or soup kitchen. This costs nothing but a little bit of your time and would go a long way towards assisting those who are in need. There are many of these facilities across the country that are understaffed and would greatly benefit from a couple of hours of your time.  Someday it may be you who is in need of that cup of coffee, bag of groceries from a food pantry or even the pennies at the register.  Paying it forward is something you’ll never be sorry for

The holidays are not the reason we all feel good and charitable, it is the amount of giving we do during the holidays that brings on that feeling. Doing a little extra giving beyond the holidays may just bring a touch of that good feeling back into our hearts for a little longer.