Holiday Blues? Do Something About It

Between Hurricane Sandy and the recent shootings in Connecticut, there just seems to be a cloud hanging over the holidays this year. Its hard to get into the holiday spirit while thinking of all those families in turmoil.  Action is often what fuels hope and peace of mind. So here are 6 ideas guaranteed to make a positive impact on you and your community this season:

1)  Offer free services based on your expertise or calling. If you own a business (counseling, technical, electrical, plumbing…etc.) offer free assistance to individuals that cannot afford it. Help someone with a community initiative, lend your muscle, or start a project you think would help others in your area.

2) Donate coats, blankets, or clothes to local homeless shelters, women’s shelters, and transition houses that give your items directly to those that need it.  You can also donate professional attire to help women that can’t afford to dress for the job through Dress for Success.

3)   Be a mentor.  There are thousands of young boys and girls looking for a role model in an organization called Big Brothers Big Sisters.  You can impact their lives at a young age and leave a lasting impression. There are also 1st generation college students on LinkedIn or part of your alumni network that could use you as their professional mentor and need your advice.

4)   Donate your time in a local food pantry or soup kitchen. You have to call the one in your area to find out what their specific need is, and the time you can visit to bring supplies or offer manpower. Organizations like the Red Cross and the United Way are always looking for volunteers to help as well.

5)   People are not the only ones in need this winter. If you are an animal lover, find a local animal shelter that needs supplies or spend time with these abandoned pets.   You can also provide temporary foster homes to animals that were rescued through agencies like Pet Foster Network.

6)   ‘Adopt a family’ programs match families in need with volunteers that can purchase items from their wish list. Your local Salvation Army, PTO, church, or a small non profit like Astor Services may have a list of families you can adopt this winter.

You can Google any volunteer program you are interested in to find the one closest to you. Doing something for others will help you, your family, and your community to remember the importance of being thankful this holiday season when so many lost so much.  I know it’s helped me.  President Barack Obama said, “We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals.”

Wishing all of you a wonderful Holiday Season, full of hope, peace, and compassion. 

Thanks for the Share!!

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