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Simple Ways to Give Back to Your Community
Today, charitable organizations are experiencing their biggest decline in donor participation ever. Many of us have had to reduce our monetary giving in these tough economic times. There are numerous ways to give back and make a great impact right in your own community. Here are 4 simple ways to give back starting today:
Local Food Banks
The USDA reports that 49 million Americans are food insecure. Food banks are in trouble around the country. With loss of jobs and income, more and more people are finding they need to turn to food banks to feed their families. Supplies are at an all time low in most food banks. No matter what city you live in, and no matter what newspaper you read, you have probably seen a headline that says something like “Local Food Bank Donations Down,” or “Shelves Empty at the Food Bank.”
One way is to host a Virtual Food Drive on your blog. Become a Hunger Hero by starting an online Virtual Food Drive and Feeding America will show you how. Just click the VFD link to find all the details.
Volunteer at your local food bank. Its simple – get involved today – and get your family and friends involved. To find opportunities in your area, please contact your local food bank.
Local Soup Kitchens
Volunteer at a local soup kitchen. Give your time one night a month, bake a meal, donate supplies or donate perishables from your own pantry to Feed America (enter your zip code to find the nearest food bank).
Volunteer as a family. It is a great way to teach your children about giving back. It is so rewarding, that many families do this as part of their Thanksgiving and/or Christmas holiday traditions. Consider doing this in your town this holiday season.
Local Women’s Shelters
Every year I try to donate time and talent to brightening up a Battered Women’s Shelter. Often these places have old worn and stained sheets and towels for battered women and children to sleep on. Many times the women fled home with just the clothes on their backs. Their children have none of their toys, books or even pajamas. The shelters have to be very circumspect and often you cannot find them. But someone in your town knows how to reach them. Be proactive. Donate gently work business clothing to help the women gain employment. Donate cans of paint for the walls. Donate gently used toys or books for the children.
Donate to Pet Food Banks
People having a difficult time feeding themselves may have an even harder time feeding the family pet. Pets are being surrendered because the families can no longer feed them at an alarming rate. Start a tradition in your family of giving to a pet food bank.
Meals on Wheels programs often deliver pet food to their clients. Find out what group(s) in your community have a food bank for people and partner with them for setting up a pet food bank if one isn’t already established.
Your local animal shelter always needs food, kitty litter, old towels and sheets.
Don’t forget to help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do. #WalgreensGives #spon
some images from Feeding America