Give Back to Your Community This Holiday Season
3 minutes read
- Written by Yubo Team
Around holiday time, everyone everywhere gets totally crazed and wrapped up gift-giving (no pun intended). And most often, people are focused on what they want to receive, rather than what they want to give. While of course, it’s fun picking up some gifts for family and friends if you have the ability to, but what about your community? Another place that gives to you every day. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can give back to your community and make a positive impact this year and every other holiday season.
Have you ever been having a mediocre day that was turned around by sharing a quick, but warm, interaction with someone else? Maybe someone held the door open for you? Or maybe you ran into an old friend? Perhaps the barista giving you your coffee was just extra bubbly and chatty that day? Or you happened to share a funny moment with a friendly stranger? Chances are that you cracked a smile and that small interaction made your day at least a little bit better. Sharing good news is always a great thing. Good news does not mean bragging, it just means sharing good energy with the people you interact with. After all, smiles are contagious too.
What better way to give back to your community than to volunteer your time towards it! Every community has its own needs and initiatives. For example, if you live in a beach town or near a huge lake, you likely have beach clean-ups. If you live in a city, there are often soup kitchens or food banks. It can actually be quite interesting to look into your local volunteer initiatives. And in every community there are shelters for those in need that you can volunteer at or kids you can help to tutor or mentor for example. These places can always use an extra hand.
Regardless of the belief that vampires do indeed exist and run blood donation organizations worldwide (kidding), most of the blood that is donated at blood drives actually makes it to the people in need. Blood drives are extremely important, because, as you can imagine, clean and healthy blood is always in demand and by donating blood you can save another person’s life. It does not hurt and is actually healthy for you to donate blood (if you are able to) because it allows your body to replenish itself by creating fresh blood! Donating blood helps keep you and your community healthy! Plus, there are always free cookies and juice – what more could you ask for.
This may seem like a given, but it is one of the most accessible ways to improve our planet’s health and is also one of the world's greatest shortcomings. For example, only 5% to 6% of all recyclables in the United States actually get recycled. The rest gets mixed in with the trash, which helps nobody. Most people do what is actually called “wishcycling.” Wishcycling is when we just throw all the plastics, cans, cupboards, papers, anything that seems recyclable in one recycling bin. Each state (and country) has its own recycling laws, procedures, and facilities that allow them to properly sort and recycle our materials. By properly recycling, not only are you helping the planet, but you are also helping out your local garbage.
Attend Community Events
We grew up being told not to talk to strangers, but they didn’t mean forever. Actually meeting and hanging out with other members of your community can be a really positive experience for everyone involved. We as humans are social beings and we value the relationships we create. In fact, it brings us and others joy and is an essential part of creating a healthy community. It is easy to talk to your internet friends all day long, but making the effort to talk to the people you’re surrounded by everyday is important too!
Keep Your Community Clean
One of the easiest ways to do this is to help pick up litter from your neighborhood or surrounding areas. Having a litter-free community is good for your local wildlife, even if they are city rats and pigeons. Trash ends up causing a lot of harm to nature and if it's not picked up, it usually finds its way to a sewer (which leads to an ocean) or to the land. While those are all physical downsides of litter, it also tends to affect people's perceptions of the community. By putting in a little bit of effort to keep your community as clean and healthy as possible, it raises everyone's pride in the area and can help keep morale high. It is always recommended to wear gloves or use those fun stick arms if you really want to get fancy.
If you have the capabilities, donating money can be very helpful to keep certain foundations and organizations functioning. It always feels best to donate to a cause you care about, so just follow your heart. Of course you can donate things other than money! For one, you can donate your time (volunteering) which is priceless. Oftentimes, you can donate food, clothes, books, anything really! The best way to go about this is to simply Google it or to check your local Facebook page.
Of course, only do what you are capable of doing and what is safe for you. Anything is appreciated. The holidays are all about giving and spreading kindness. So please, get involved however is best for you!