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Resolve to Give Back: 7 Ways You Can Serve Your Community in the New Year

Now that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is behind us, many of us have thoughts of becoming a better person in 2014. Some may choose health and wellness, while others choose financial improvement, but there is also the select group of kind souls who resolve to give back to the community.

You might wonder which volunteer opportunity is right for you. Here’s a list of 7 ways you can serve your community.

1. Donate funds

Life can be hectic for many people and they simply do not have room in their schedules to donate their time. For those of us who can afford it, a donation of funds can go to a long way to a charity.

2. Donate time

For busy (and slim-budgeted) college students like myself, a donation of my time is all some are able to afford, but time can be just as valuable as money! Find a cause that touches your heart and contact an organization to discover what it is you can do to help out.

3. Seek out online opportunities

Again, I am quite the busy lady. I work during the day and have schoolwork on weekends. Like many people, most of my free time is in the evenings. For people in that situation, online volunteer opportunities are perfect. I can sit at my computer and help an organization when I can find the time. From blogging to tutoring, or bookkeeping to graphic designing, there are numerous ways a person can put their skills to use for charity from behind their computer desk.

4. Donate your craft

Every person has a unique range of skills. Find a way to use those skills to help someone else. For example, crafty people can donate handmade goods to organizations that distribute them to people in need. 

5. Travel for your cause

While much of volunteer focus is concerned with people near to us, it is important to remember that individuals in other countries desperately need our help. There are credible organizations (do your homework on this one!) that provide volunteer opportunities abroad. Also, it is possible to fundraise for your expenses, so this opportunity is more accessible than you might think.

6. Organize a food, clothing, book or toy drive

Leadership is essential for organizations to gather the materials they need. I know of a particular charity that keeps plastic toys out of landfills (hint, hint) that is collecting toys in April for Earth Week that would love your efforts!

7. Raise awareness

My final tip for helping others in this New Year is to spread the word about the joys of volunteering. As much as your efforts will help others, it will help you just as much through the satisfaction it brings. The more we let others know, the more good will be done.  Share this post, get to work and let’s make 2014 a wonderful year for every life we touch. 

Author: Emily Bloomquist, Early Childhood Education Student