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How To Start Giving Back this Holiday Season

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How to give back and do good for society. Image of canned goods and donated goods.

Do Good

How To Start Giving Back this Holiday Season

November 27, 2023

by: The Dimple Life

Life can be complicated but some things just aren’t. If someone is in need, you help.

With so many organizations, causes, and those that need assistance – how do you navigate which causes to be a part of or give back to? Here are some tips on how to identify where and how you can start to  give back. It can be very overwhelming on knowing how to select which organizations to commit your time, energy, and resources to. Outlined below are also some organizations that I have had some personal experience with over the years.

Start from your own experiences or interests

If you have experienced any hardship or a difficult time in your life, those are often the areas where you can pull from, and have that help guide you toward identifying how and who you want to help.

Some have experienced childhood trauma and unfortunately children around the world suffer from various issues at a very early age; whether that is economic, physical, or other, below are some charities that are doing good work throughout local communities and the world.

LA’s Best: Their mission is to provide safe and supervised afterschool education, enrichment and recreation program for children ages 5 to 12 in Los Angeles. Their programming strives to teach children through social, emotional, intellectual and physical engagement with caring adults and dynamic experiences.

Make-A-Wish Foundation is an organization that grants the wish of every child diagnosed with a critical illness. On average, a wish is granted every 34 minutes! There are local chapters where you can volunteer your time and funds or you can donate to the greater organization. And if you want to learn more about the children’s wishes, and are looking for perspective, read through some of the Wish stories of young children who wish to have a puppy, who want to makeover the children’s ward in a hospital, or be princess for a day.

Children International has a mission to end poverty. They focus on making long lasting impact by helping children who live in poverty. It all starts with children at least having enough resources and funding to take care of their basic needs of food, medical attention, and an education. Through their programs they empower and employ young adults.

UNICEF works globally to save children’s lives, defend their rights, and help them fulfill their potential from childhood through adolescence. They have helped reduce child mortality by reaching the most vulnerable children in 190 countries.

The Foundation for Living Beauty: This is an organization that empowers women to increase their physical wellness and emotional stability while coping with the taxing effects of cancer and chemotherapy.

Peace Over Violence is an incredible organization that is dedicated to building healthy relationships, families, and communities free from sexual, domestic, and interpersonal violence. Their agency manages five services classified as Emergency, Intervention, Prevention, Education, and Advocacy. They have local chapters and provide (free) one-on-one counseling to help guide you through the many emotions you have when you have gone through a traumatic experience. There is a 24/7 hotline they can connect you with as well. The emotional support that these counselors provide is invaluable to someone who at the time can’t see themselves as a survivor yet, and is still feeling like a victim of their experience.

Give back what you have in abundance

Abundance doesn’t necessarily mean just finances. Of course, if you have extra money to spend on others – there are so many organizations that can really use it! Charity Navigator is an incredible resource to reference. They give transparency to where your money is going. If you’ve ever wondered how much of your dollar is going to administrative needs and payroll vs actual funding for medical attention or programming, this is the site for you.

Abundance can also be defined as what your talents are. If you excel at project management, data entry, or have a schedule or lifestyle that affords you a lot of free time – consider using all of this in a way to give back to organizations that need your skillset. If you have computer skills, there are many free medical clinics that could use help in recording or data entry.

Giving is right at your fingertips

Giving back these days doesn’t mean you have to physically go to a specific location or you have to open up your bank account. Giving now can literally be text messaging on your phone. So if transportation is a barrier for you, all you have to do is be on your phone – something I’m sure we are all very good at it 🙂 There is an awesome organization called Crisis Text Line.

Crisis Text Line is a 24/7 support line for those in crisis. You or anyone you know can literally text 741741 anywhere in the US and be connected with a trained Crisis Counselor. From their website, they say “Our first priority is helping people move from a hot moment to a cool calm, guiding you to create a plan to stay safe and healthy. YOU = our priority.” When you’re in a panicked moment, in the middle of a trauma or depressive feeling, getting from the “hot moment” to a feeling more manageable is the first step to mental and physical safety.

You work remotely, so you can be at home in bed and be helping someone! They specified they are looking for Crisis Counselors at night when they do get a substantially larger amount of crisis situations. If you are a night owl or are awake during later hours in the night, consider volunteering some of your time to this incredible organization.

Donate your own belongings

Use this opportunity to not only help someone else who may not have as many resources as you but also clean and minimize your home.

The Salvation Army – This is a faith-based organization that help vulnerable members of our communities. Any donation that you make to your local Salvation Army store helps fund rehabilitation programs that heal addictions, change lives, and restore families.

Downtown Women’s Center – It is the only organization in Los Angeles that is focused solely on serving and empowering women that are homeless or are formerly homeless. Living in Downtown LA myself, I see exactly how severe the homelessness is in my community. The wealth gap is very apparent in downtown – on one block there is a Whole Foods, SoulCycle, and fancy macaroon bakery, and on the next block there are women and men pushing around shopping carts filled with what belongings they’ve been able to find on the street. I’ve donated a ton of clothing and household items. They also have an Amazon wishlist where you can purchase exactly what they are looking for.

Create what does not exist

While there are thousands of nonprofits that exist, you may have a unique angle or story that you’d like to share and create a foundation for yourself – but starting one can seem overwhelming! If you don’t know how to start a nonprofit don’t let that stop you, dive into resources that are out there, seek mentorship for others who have created one in the past, and dive in. Your impact and vision can change someone’s tomorrow for the better.

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