Give Back to the Community

Strategy Six:  Give Back to the Community –

Almost any business supports their community? Why? Because it improves the bottom line. You do the same when you bring a casserole to a new mom or a friend who’s ill, or have friends over for dinner, or welcome a neighbor with a basket of items for dinner the night of the big move.

Those types of expenditures give back over and over by deepening and enriching our lives and our friendships. So often today, we’re caught up in crazy schedules and these kind of things fall by the wayside. Bring it back, and you’ll be rewarded many times over.

  • Remember, if you have overbought on food items, turn it over to someone who can use it, perhaps a friend or neighbor or a family in need.
  • Don’t forget to give to food banks or local churches (even if you don’t go to a particular church, most welcome donations of food that they distribute to the needy in the community or gather for foodbanks) and support others in the community as you are able.
  • I keep a bag in the corner of my kitchen and as I come across items I think I won’t use up, or items my family won’t eat *cringe!* I fill the bag up and donate it or give it to someone who I know needs help.
  • Keep an eye out for people you may know who may be struggling financially – if you start watching for it, you’ll see them around the neighborhood, at work, or social activities. They’ll probably never say anything but look for opportunities to be discretely kind and helpful. Can you offer an odd job, give them the uneaten food boxes from the conference to take home, give a bonus for Holidays, maybe offer them the furniture in your garage you were going to donate or clothing your kids have outgrown. There are dozens of ways to help. (By the way, I’m morally opposed to garage sales – I think they’re fine if you really need the money, but in general, once I’ve used something, I feel it’s given it’s all to me. I knew what it cost when I bought it and didn’t buy it with the thought that in 6 years I might be able to get a few dollars from it. I like to find homes for those items or donate if I can’t.)
  • Sometimes simple things help, too.  Check to see if you can save proof of purchases for your own or friend’s school.  Check out the U Promise program, even if you don’t have children.  You can put it towards a family member’s or friend’s education. 
  • When you don’t have money to give, volunteer your time. This doesn’t always have to be time volunteered at an organization, although there are many that are desperate for volunteers, but you can also reach out to a young family who’s struggling, or if you’re in the same boat, help each other. Maybe you could do a small chore for an elderly neighbor. Perhaps find a “random act of kindness” to do every day.
  • Believe me, it will pay off in ways you’ve never imagined.  We all need to be needed.

Links for The Twelve Strategies: 

2 thoughts on “Give Back to the Community”

  1. That’s so true about the cooking oil – and according to a food bank volunteer I’ve spoken in the past, cooking oil something that a lot of people don’t think to donate! They take any donations of cooking oil and divvy them up into smaller containers so people can actually cook what they get there.

    There are so many painless ways to help out food banks, especially if we stop and think that each and every one of us can make some small difference, but all those small donations, added up together make a significant difference!

  2. Two years ago, right after Xmas, I bought a 3 gallon jug of peanut oil for $10. Normally it’s $15/gal. I knew there was a decent chance I wouldn’t use it, as I had just opened a 1 gal jug of peanut oil. I also knew that peanut oil is good to use for three years and, as long as it was unopened, I could donate it: food banks and soup kitchens are *always* on the lookout for cooking oil.

    Last month I finished the 1 gal jug. So I gave away the 3 gal jug. I’m pretty happy with how that turned out. In fact I wish that great deal would come back every year … I’d love to be able to donate that much all the time.

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