One of the most valuable services you can offer your community is to volunteer your time. During the holidays, many local non-profits, church ministries and grassroots organizations – especially those that serve the poor and homeless – are stretched thin helping those in need.
If you have limited time, find out how you can help with a specific task or event. If you have more time available, ask how you can help meet their needs and put your talents to work. You may find the experience so meaningful that you continue to help even after the holidays or the event has passed.
Over the years, I’ve volunteered with and served on the board of several non-profits, as well as with local missions through my church, and I can tell you two things: they always need more help and they deeply appreciate the help when they receive it.
How can you make an immediate impact in your community? Do you have non-expired canned or boxed items in your pantry you aren’t using? Donate them to your local food bank. Grocery stores often run BOGO sales, particularly for in-demand items at food banks, including boxed pasta, canned vegetables or fruit and cereal. Buy one for yourself during your next shopping run and donate the free item to your food bank!
For those people in the Decatur GA/Dekalb County area, please donate food items to DEAM (Decatur Area Emergency Assistance Ministry), our local food bank. I’ve seen first-hand how they have helped families stay fed and in their homes during very challenging times, especially now that SNAP benefits are being cut to those who need it most.
Feel free to share your experience or your creative suggestions. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, share using the #24daysofgiving hashtag. Let’s spread some love and good cheer!
Did you miss a day?
Day 1: Give yourself 5 minutes
Day 2: Give someone your attention
#24daysofgiving is an Advent experiment in being called to come into being through the practices of love and compassion, while reflecting on the coming of Christ into the world.