Volunteer? There’s no shortage of ways you can help. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, animal shelter, or favorite nonprofit, or offer to tutor a child in reading or math. You can find loads of opportunities on http://www.volunteermatch.org/ for opportunities in whatever city you’re in. Just type in the city and search. If you’re a young person who wants to really do something about the causes you care about, check out DoSomething, for some great ideas!
Fundraising can be FUN. If you’re group or business wants to contribute to the community, come up with a fun event and donate the proceeds to charity. I can be beneficial for all concerned and you can have lots of fun in the process. For instance, my group, The Blue Ridge Women’s Council of REALTORS is holding an event in Charlottesville called Bras For A Cause to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness. Click here for more information and an opportunity to RSVP to the event.
Give a Little Bit. Sometimes a little helps a lot. Looking to put your money where your mouth is? Donate a dollar a day to a cause that calls to you through Philanthroper. Or support students and classrooms in need in your hometown through DonorsChoose.
Reach Out to Those in Need. Call a local children’s hospital, nursing home, domestic violence or homeless shelter and ask how you can donate an hour or two of your time. You could also volunteer to walk the dogs or play with the cats at your local SPCA. These are small ways to bring a little light into an otherwise dark and depressing life.
Clean Your Closets. Get a head start on spring-cleaning and donate clothes, toys, furniture, household items, and old computers to nonprofits accepting them. Check your local Big Brothers Big Sisters, Salvation Army, or Goodwill Industries.
Show Mother Earth a little Love. Think of what you can reduce your waste and re-use items instead of throwing them out. There are trash pickup services in the Charlottesville and surrounding areas that utilize Single Stream Recycling on their trash, making it really easy to recycle. Put everything in the one can and those companies can recycle most of it without sorting or separating. One of my favorites is Dixon Disposal – visit their website or call your county or city waste management to find out about local recycling or compost programs.
Continue to Support Disaster Relief. We don’t hear much about Haiti or the Gulf Coast on the news anymore, but these disasters are still in need of support. Here are a few ideas: Adopt a Brown Pelican through the International Bird Rescue Research Center, which picks up oiled birds, cleans and rehabilitates them. For Haiti and other world disasters, consider supporting an organization like Doctors Without Borders, which sends medical and non-medical aid workers to countries whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe.
Celebrate with Small Acts of Kindness. Valentine’s Day isn’t the only holiday this week: February 14-20th is Random Acts of Kindness Week. What can you do? Pay for a coffee, lunch, or a toll for the person behind you in line. Be friendly and smile at anyone you see. Tape the exact change for a soda to a vending machine. Collect canned goods for a food bank. Shovel a neighbor’s driveway, or babysit a friend’s child, for free. Visit Acts of Kindness for hundreds of other ideas.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY to all. It’s been said that Love is a beautiful thing. Spread some around!!