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7 Creative Ways to Give Back in 2022

With the holiday season upon us, the spirit of generosity is in the air, and the desire to spread joy is stronger than ever. But as people around the world grapple with a wide range of dire issues, it can be hard to know where and how to channel your resources. While there are countless charities out there for you to donate directly to, gifting funds is not the only way for you to give back to your community. Whether you are volunteering at your local soup kitchen or community garden, there are endless ways for you to have a positive impact on our planet.

Here are some out-of-the-box, creative ways to help make the world a better place in 2022.

1. Organize a Community Clean-Up

Supporting your community comes in many shapes and forms. While some acts of service are geared towards members of the community in need, helping the environment is another great way to give back. Community clean-ups are common events that occur in towns far more frequently than you might think. But why not go the extra mile, and organize a clean-up yourself?

Pick a part of your town that needs a little extra love, like a neglected park or beach, as a meeting point for the event. With a community of people rallying around you, you can pick up litter, pull weeds, paint park benches, and more to make the area more welcoming. Not only will you be helping out your community, but you’ll also be taking care of the planet.

2. Pay a Visit to the Elderly

Companionship and company is sometimes the most wonderful gift you could ever give.

Living in a senior living community can be lonely, and since elderly people have been particularly at-risk over the last couple of years, many are feeling more lonely than ever before.

One way you can provide emotional support to the elderly is by paying a living community a visit and playing cards, reading books, or sharing inspirational quotes and stories. If living communities are not allowing in-person visitors, consider offering to video chat with any elderly neighbors in these homes.

Additionally, if you have any elderly neighbors, consider helping them out with a task around the house such as heavy lifting or shoveling snow. Adding some festive cheer, like a vase of flowers or some twinkling lights, to someone’s home would also go a long way in helping boost spirits and morale.

3. Adopt or Foster a Pet

Everyone who owns a pet knows that furry friends make the best companions. If you are interested in adding a four-legged friend to the family, and preparing your child for a pet, instead of buying one, strongly consider adopting or fostering a pet from an animal shelter. Every year, approximately 6.5 million pets are taken into animal shelters around the United States. By adopting a pet, you are not only saving the life of your loving companion, but you’re also helping make space for other animals in need and allowing them to become beloved pets, too.

4. Start a Scholarship Fund

Giving the gift of a scholarship is one of the most rewarding forms of giving back. By starting a scholarship fund, you are setting aside tax-free money to give deserving students a chance to go to college, an opportunity that certain students might not have had otherwise. Helping a student in need achieve their dreams often leaves a lasting impact, and can often help create a domino effect of goodness. Many scholarship students feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude, which can lead to them starting their own scholarship funds in the future.

The first step? Deciding who you want to help. You can choose a cause close to your heart, and create a scholarship memorial fund in memory of a loved one who has passed away or, devote your cause to individuals from a similar demographic as you. There are numerous possibilities when it comes to student scholarship funds, and it will feel just as rewarding for you to see the legacy you have created for years to come. Here are some tips and tricks for students looking to apply for scholarships in the future.

5. Donate Old Items

Do you have a stack of books that are currently gathering dust? What about a gently worn pair of jeans that you no longer wear? Instead of throwing away old, unwanted items, giving them a new home is a great way to support those in need. What might seem like old junk to you, might be a treasure for someone else. Walk around your house and gather any items that can be recycled or donated and deposit them at your local GoodWill, Salvation Army, or local thrift store.

If you are looking to rid your closet of any work clothes, Dress for Success helps give women in need of a fresh start the career appropriate attire to do so. During the winter months, One Warm Coat collects gently-used coats for people of all ages in need of extra warmth.

6. Tutor a Student

Are you a natural-born mathematician? Do you love reading classic fiction novels in your spare time? If the answer is yes, volunteering to tutor a student in a specific subject might be the perfect way for you to give back. Look into opportunities at public schools in your town to see if they are searching for volunteers.

Many students in need do not have the funds to seek outside support to help them succeed academically. That means, helping a low-income student prepare for an upcoming exam or SAT math tutoring, will make all the difference.

7. Donate Blood

According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. Blood donations are essential for helping patients with chronic illnesses, traumatic injuries, and are particularly crucial for helping patients in need of cancer treatment.

By giving up an hour of your time, you can help provide a valuable resource that saves lives during medical procedures. If you can’t donate blood or the idea of donating blood makes you queasy, don’t stress. As you can see from the list, there are many other ways to help give back in 2022!

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