While you’re making your list and checking it twice, this is your friendly reminder to include an organization (or two) that could greatly benefit from your charitable contribution. Even in the face of unexpected challenges, many of us have shown an amazing resiliency to stand back up. However, just as many of our friends and community members are struggling to gain their footing and could really use our support.
Here are 3 simple steps to start your giving:
Take stock of your resources —Are you able to give money, your time and expertise, or a mixture of both? No matter what resource you have, there’s an opportunity out there to share it.
Figure out your mission —Are you looking to support a global cause? Or would you rather keep your efforts closer to home? Make a list to review your values, interests, and passions.
Research charities — With so many non-profit organizations to choose from, this can definitely be a little overwhelming at first. Charity Navigator is a third-party evaluator that rates charities based on their financial health, accountability, and transparency. This is a good resource for potential donors to get unbiased information so that they can make an informed choice as to where their money goes.
No matter what resource you have to share, there are plenty of ways to help. In fact, simply giving your time is a huge benefit and charities really need this kind of help as well. By donating your time, you will witness firsthand how the organization makes a difference, and that can be very rewarding.
Here are just some suggestions for giving back that don’t involve writing a check:
Know your neighbors — If you have elderly neighbors who might need help with errands, yard work, walking their dog, or driving to appointments, offer them a hand.
Clean out your pantry & donate food — Currently, 40 million Americans are struggling with food insecurity and have limited access to resources. Check out this guide for information on the top six food banks, how to donate food items, and step-by-step tips for nonperishable foods.
Donate blood — Donating blood or plasma is literally giving the gift of life. All it will cost you is your time, and it can make an enormous difference.
Put your skills to use — Can you crochet or knit? Hospitals need hats for newborn babies. Are you athletic? Get involved with coaching a sport for a community league, or sign up for a charity walk or run.
Visit children’s hospitals — Did you know that snuggling babies is something you can volunteer for? Contact hospitals in your area to see if they need volunteers in their NICU.
Volunteer at your kids’ school — Teachers need all sorts of help — especially during this busy time of year. Just reach out and ask what you can do to support them.
Give your animal shelter some love — Organize a drive for used towels and blankets and pet supplies for your local animal shelter. You can also volunteer to walk and play with dogs or offer your lap for cats.
Support homeless shelters — Donate clothing and unopened toiletries to people experiencing homelessness. Call a local homeless shelter and see what they need.
Get social (media) — Like, follow, and share updates from your favorite non-profit organizations on your social media pages. Spreading the word is free and takes just a few seconds.
As many of you already know, Steelhead recently published it’s new website which hosts a page dedicated to it’s charitable work. The page features links to many of the charities that we’ve supported…making it easy for friends of Steelhead to some of our favorites. You can check it out here.
Something to keep in mind:
COVID-19 may affect how some organizations are working with volunteers, so be sure to call ahead of time and ask.
This post was originally published on November 4, 2020 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
November 11, 2022
October 3, 2023
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