Some people find opportunities all year long to give back to their community. Others, and most people fit in their category, rely on traditions and appointed days of the year when they make an effort to give back. No matter which category you belong to, the holiday season is great time to be generous.
I believe that we need to broaden the definition of generosity and charity. These two words are often associated with monetary contributions but what we fail to realize is that people around us and around the world are in need of warmth and love just as much as they are of financial help. It may be hard to digest but the number of attempted suicides surge during the Christmas season. Those dealing with mental health issues and the pain of loneliness feel the pressures of life even more acutely during these few weeks to supposed festivity.
Here are five ways you can give in kind.
1. Start with your family.
You know why they say that charity begins at home? It’s because if everyone takes care of their own families, then one will be left in need and unloved. If you neglect the needs of those who depend on you and worry about giving to strangers, you need to rethink your priorities.
2. Accept people as they are.
Too many people face uninvited comments and judgement for what they believe in, how they express themselves, who they identify as and what their political beliefs are. Do them a favor: accept them as they are. Everyone is on a different place in their life with different challenges and experiences. We should not try to mould those around us but give people the love and respect they so need.
3. Give in the form of service.
If you’re crunched on cash, don’t fret! You can partake in one of the many soup kitchens in your city to give back to those in need. Remember to add an extra pinch of love in the soup you make!
4. Visit a senior’s home.
All you’ll need is a crossword puzzle or a board game like scrabble and you’re set! Seniors love nothing more than kind stranger (albeit young person) that visits with their favorite pastime toys and gives them company on cold winter evening.
5. Donate your blood.
You can save a life by doing this simple act of kindness. If you want to go one step further, pledge to donate your organs upon your death. Make sure you let your loved ones know about your decision so it’s not a surprise.
6. Smile often.
Oftentimes we don’t know the states people us are in and our attitude and treatment of them can make or break their day. Remember that even a smile is charity and you can warm the hearts of those around you with very little effort.