Did you ever notice how the spirit of giving flows abundantly during the holiday season, then seems to shut off when we flip the calendar to January? We notice it too, and are on a mission to change that. See how our 2014 Great American Gratitude Tour celebrated our commitment to giving back year round.
Many people have good intentions about giving back to their communities throughout the year, but just need a few ideas to inspire them. If this sounds like you, try one of these seven 7 easy ways to pay it forward:
- Bring a meal to an elderly neighbor or sick friend. A home-cooked meal and thoughtful visit can do wonders to lift the spirit of someone who’s homebound. It's fun and easy to make a comforting dish. And of course, we recommend one from the sea, such as our Change-of-Pace Tuna Casserole or Capri Tonno Bake.
- Donate belongings you no longer need to charity. Remember: One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Outgrown children's clothes, unneeded household items and used furniture will do far more good in someone’s home than in a landfill. Find the closest Salvation Army or Goodwill in your area.
- Donate time to the kids in your community. If possible, get involved in a way that aligns with your personal skills or talent. Become a big brother or sister through the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, get involved with local school mentoring and volunteer programs, coach a local soccer or baseball team—the options are endless. You’ll find that enriching the lives of children in your area will deepen your connection to your community.
- Help a friend reach their goal of becoming healthier. Offer to exercise together. Support each other on a “no dessert week.” Challenge each other to take the stairs. Eat healthy lunches together. For starters, you can find inspiring healthy lunch ideas in our “Less than 500 Calorie” recipe collection.
- Walk, run or ride for charity. Get in shape while you do good! Check out Run for Charity to find a cause to support in your area. You can also download the Charity Miles app and raise money for charity anytime you walk, run or bike.
- Put in some effort for your neighborhood. Pay it forward close to home by raising funds for a local school, participating in a group cleanup, or donating food (or volunteering time) to your local food bank.
- Practice random acts of kindness. Yes, we’ve heard this before, but a small gesture is often all it takes to brighten someone’s day. Put your shopping cart back in the cart return; let someone merge in front of you on the highway; pay someone an unexpected compliment. For a little inspiration see how David Hill of the One Spark Foundation touches people’s lives every day.