Simple Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

I call myself a gift-giving extraordinaire. I enjoy searching high and low for the perfect present. I scavenge websites months before the holiday season. I comb through all of the shopping racks. I leave no stone unturned on my quest to show my appreciation. I take my mission so seriously because I believe we should love as much as we can in our lifetime. However, this notion made me realize that I don’t only want to recognize my friends and family; I also want to acknowledge causes I support and people in need. The smallest actions can make a huge difference.

Here are some of the ways I’m giving back this holiday season. Just keep in mind that there are so many other organizations and causes in addition to the ones I’m highlighting, that you can choose to help. It does not have to be expensive either. As a college kid, I know it is hard not to be strapped for cash this time of year!

1. Donate

Donate could mean your money, your time, your clothing or your food (and the list goes on). The smallest offering can make waves.

Feeding America

As a waitress, I see so much food goes to waste. It's almost shocking that anyone in America goes without a meal! Everyone needs a proper meal to thrive, so donate food to a pantry or even make a monetary donation this holiday season. Just $1 equal 10 meals!

Make a donation here!

American Red Cross 

Unfortunately, the world endured a lot of natural disasters this year. The Red Cross provides shelter, food, clothing and support to those affected.

Make a donation here!

2. Sign a petition

The Trump administration is trying to make access to contraceptives increasingly difficult, so I signed Planned Parenthood’s petition because I believe all women should have access to birth control. There is power in numbers.

 

3. Stay informed and raise awareness

Keep updated with the news and use your social media to spread a message! One person can make a significant impact. Your voice matters! By informing others, you can set off a chain reaction. Knowledge is power. 

REI, an American retailer and outdoor recreation services corporation, posted this photo on December 4th. Their account broke the news to me about Trump’s decision to set in motion a plan that will reduce the size of Bears Ears and Great Staircase-Escalante, two national monuments in Utah. Seeing this led me to read more articles from CNN, Time magazine and The New York Times. I also dived into the blog posts issued by REI, Patagonia and other members of the outdoor community. My ears and eyes are open to further developments with this and new ways to fight it. A good first step would be to sign this petition.  It will let policymakers know people want public land to stay in public hands.

In addition to the petition, you could share REI’s “We Love Our Public Lands” photo to help show unity across the community and the commitment to protect our public lands.

Model and activist Naomi Campbell shared this post from the National Anti-Slavery March that took place in London on December 9th. She broadcasted her stance to 4.6 million followers. A picture is worth a thousand words.

I hope I have given you some food for thought this holiday season! While it is fun shopping for friends and family, consider giving to those in need because it is a gift that will keep on giving. The smallest task or donation can make a landslide of a difference, whether it be fighting for a cause you believe in or providing a meal to a family in need.