After the bustle of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, I love immersing myself in Giving Tuesday. Seeing the charities supported by my friends and family always inspires me to learn more about the philanthropic options in my community — and the global community. My heart is always with Wine to Water, and I'm proud of the collection currently contributing 50% of each sale to the organization helping bring clean water to underserved communities.
Jomsom Necklace, part of the Wine to Water Collection
A priceless aspect of holiday giving
With Giving Tuesday fading into the background, I'm turning my focus to the other type of giving that matters so much during the holidays. Though financial giving is always appreciated and always necessary, particularly for non-profit organizations, other types of giving matter, too.
During the holiday season, reflection makes up a large part of the conversations I have with my friends. This year, we're talking a lot about how to contribute time to the organizations we admire, in addition to donating financially through purchases and direct contributions.
Where to give your time during the holidays
Unless you're planning to travel during the holidays, giving time makes the most sense in your immediate community or somewhere nearby. No matter how much you prioritize philanthropy, the truth is, December is busy for everyone. If you can find volunteer opportunities close to home, you're more likely to keep up with the commitment you make.
Finding a good fit for volunteer opportunities doesn't always happen right away. When looking for a place to share my time, I try to consider several things, including who is being served by my efforts, if the opportunity is a one-time event or possibly has continued chances to volunteer, and if I'll be working directly with the community served by the philanthropy or behind the scenes.
Evaluate the type of volunteer work you want to do
Personally, I find working directly with underserved communities to be the most rewarding, because of the chance it offers to connect with people and hear their stories. I have other friends who pour their time and money into animal rescue groups. Taking some time to reflect on where you'll feel most useful can help you discover the right fit for you. If you're unsure where to start, I always suggest researching organizations in your area, including:
Keep up this holiday giving throughout the new year
The best part about giving your time is that it constantly renews. Each day offers twenty-four hours, each week has seven days. If you can find the time during the holiday season to work with others, just think of what you can do in the upcoming new year when your schedule clears a little.
This upcoming year, challenge yourself to give a little more than you did the past year. Maybe you want to try a new charity organization each month or increase the amount of time you spend with a cause you already champion. Either way. volunteering helps your own life as well as the people benefiting from your shared time.
How do you volunteer your time during the holidays — and the rest of the year?