July 15 marks National Give Something Away Day. It’s a great reason to give back to one’s community and make a difference. Your donation doesn’t have to be monetary or physical; giving your time to a worthy cause makes just as much—if not more—of an impact. If you have something or some time to give, consider doing so today. Here’s a list of easy ways you can give something away today.
Pay for someone’s coffee.
Mondays are hard. Consider brightening someone else’s by buying their coffee in the drive-thru. The person behind you will definitely appreciate it, and maybe they’ll be inspired to start a chain reaction. Your small act of kindness will have made the days of potentially dozens of people, and that has to feel good.
Make a donation to a food bank.
Have cans of food in the pantry you know you’ll never eat? Deliver them to your town’s food bank, and feed someone in need. Not only will you be helping those less fortunate, but you also won’t feel guilty letting food go to waste.
Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
If you don’t have extra food or money to give, think about spending an evening serving dinner at a soup kitchen. You’ll be able to speak directly with those you’re helping and hear their stories. Volunteering is also a great way to gain some perspective and appreciate all that you have.
Donate clothes or shoes to your local homeless shelter.
If you’re like most people, you have items in your closet that never get worn. Giving them to a homeless shelter or a halfway house ensures those in need have access to clean clothes and shoes. Just make sure they’re in decent condition and have been washed before donating them. Clearing out more space in your closet is also an added bonus.
Give unused toiletries to those in need.
Many people often forget how essential items like toothpaste, shampoo and deodorant are until they no longer have access to them. Do you have extra soap, toothbrushes or feminine hygiene products in your bathroom? Think about taking them to a local shelter or donation site. Someone out there will be affected by your act of kindness, and you can feel good knowing you helped a person or two in need.
Volunteer at your local library.
Libraries are valuable resources to communities, and volunteering helps them better serve their patrons. Spending an afternoon sorting materials, reading at children’s story times or providing computer and printing support adds to the value of libraries and prolongs their existence in an increasingly digital world.
Donate lightly used school supplies.
Now that school is out for summer, do you or your children have leftover school supplies? Slightly worn binders, notebooks, crayons, etc. are of great use to students in low-income areas and overseas. If you were planning on buying new supplies in August, consider giving away your old ones to a student who needs them.
National Give Something Away Day is a great opportunity to reevaluate your blessings and help those in need. You can make a difference in your community or even across the ocean. Think about ways you can give back today.