You’ve likely heard the phrase, “‘Tis better to give than to receive.” And this time of year is a wonderful opportunity to benefit your community (and Concern for Community is one of our guiding Cooperative Principles!). Here are a few ways you can have a meaningful impact this December:
Volunteer your skills or strengths. Everyone has a unique skill or talent. Why not share it with a nonprofit organization? Local organizations such as hospitals, churches and shelters often need volunteers to accomplish critical tasks to help those in need. And organizations such as Habitat for Humanity offer unique opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives. Also, websites such as Catchafire can let volunteers leverage their strengths on a variety of projects from nonprofits across the nation.
Donate money to a local organization. Nonprofits frequently have demand that exceeds their capacity to serve. Even for organizations that accept items such as clothing or food, monetary donations can help nonprofits buy the items most needed. Sometimes nonprofits can partner with local businesses to purchase goods or services at a discount, further leveraging their funds. Your local electric co-op may even offer a program such as Operation Round Up, which provides a unique way to support nonprofits in your community.
Holiday sponsor program. During the holiday season, organizations may offer a family sponsor program for gifts or clothes. Local nonprofits such as the Salvation Army may offer these or similar programs; they frequently accept monetary donations as well. Given that the weather is getting colder this time of year, some programs may accept winter weather clothing items such as coats, hats and gloves. Even gently used items donated to a thrift store can be incredibly useful to their next owner!
As we head into the holiday season, it is a great time to consider ways to impact your community. Contact local organizations and think about ways that you can use your skills, strengths or time to benefit an organization – and neighbors — where you are!