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10 Ways to Give Back in the New Year

1. Volunteer at an animal shelter.

If you love animals, volunteering at a local animal shelter is a great option for you. Most shelters are constantly looking for volunteers, and really, how can you resist helping those cute little faces?

2. Donate your clothes.

How many of us have a closet full of clothes we hardly wear? I’d bet on the majority. How about organizing a clothing sale or tag sale? Go out into the community and put up posters asking for clothes or donations that you can use. Then, sell them at great prices and donate the proceeds to the charity of your choice. If there are any clothes left, you know what to do. Donate!

3. Help out some neighbors.

If you live in a place where snow is a regular occurrence in the winter, you know how hard it is to get yourself outside to shovel. Think of how much harder it is for senior citizens to get out there and dig themselves out of the wintry mix. But maybe they won’t need to this winter – instead, you could go help them out! If you don’t live in an area that gets snow, I am sure there is always yard work that could be done, taking out the trash, or helping out with groceries. It’s the little things that matter!

4. Put your green thumb to good use.

Is there a community garden in your town? If so, consider volunteering to help maintain it. Nothing is better than to give back to the earth – you know, that little thing that provides us with life. If you don’t have a community garden, consider starting one of your own!

5. Offer your time.

There are tons of programs centered around children care that constantly need people to dedicate their time and assistance. Check out local schools, after school care, day care centers, church youth groups, YMCA, etc. and give back to the community by spending a little of your time taking care of the kids. I can almost guarantee the parents will thank you!

6. Share your sweet skills.

If you are anything like me, you love to bake. I normally do all of the baking for parties, holidays, or little get-togethers. But what if the next time we bake, we make an extra batch (or even an extra 3 batches) to bring to a local shelter, soup kitchen, police station, or senior home. The treats that make you so happy could mean the world to someone else too!

7. Got brains? Use ’em.

Whether you excel in a specific subject, or you happen to know another language – it’s time to use your knowledge for good. Call around to local schools and see if they could use some help with tutoring; chances are they will not refuse.

8. Visit senior centers.

In my opinion, this is honestly the easiest and most rewarding way to volunteer. Often times, the people at these homes are very lonely and just want someone to talk to. Keep in mind that these people have lived a pretty long life – chances are you’ll hear some pretty cool stories! Maybe you can practice your reading skills, play some cards, or even have a pamper day with the ladies.

See Also

9. Build a home.

I’m referring to Habitat for Humanity. This is something I have personally been wanting to get into for a while. Search their site for a program that best suits what you want to get involved in. Maybe it’s building homes for veterans and their families, or maybe traveling abroad to assist with constructing houses in another country is more of your style. Either way, there are so many opportunities.

10. Help out at a soup kitchen.

This is one way to give back that I love the most. I started doing this through girl scouts when I was younger and I always think back to those days. It is truly an eye opening experience – you learn to stop taking the food you have for granted. Peruse the internet to find a soup kitchen near you.

Of course there are many more ways to get involved in your community. Also remember that you do not need to do it alone. Bring your boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, or whoever you want. It’ll make for a memory you both will never forget. Get out and help change the world!

Featured image source:
Meghann Dunn

Meghann is a student at the University of Connecticut where she is currently pursuing a degree in Journalism. Go Huskies! She spends her free time writing on her personal blog NewBeautyGuru, drinking tea, and loving life! As a lover of music, fashion, and traveling, she is very excited to be a Campus Coordinator for SRtrends to share all of her tips and tricks.

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