Giving is Good – Volunteering is Great
Be Thankful and Grateful
The end of the year is a good time to be grateful and thankful for the past year and all the good things and people it brought into your life. It also is a good time to reflect on how fortunate you are and how you can reach out to those in need. Giving is good and volunteering is great.
Making a monetary donation, volunteering or donating items you no longer use not only make you feel good for contributing to society but also benefit those less fortunate than you.
Volunteering is Great
Volunteering is good for the soul and gives you a sense of purpose. It has been proven that volunteers are happier and healthier than non-volunteers. And working alongside other people who feel as strongly as you do about supporting a particular cause creates a path to developing strong relationships with others. So sign up, get involved.
There are many websites where you can find volunteering opportunities. I’ve listed a few for your convenience:
- Volunteermatch.org: VolunteerMatch is the largest network in the nonprofit world, with the most volunteers, nonprofits, and opportunities to make a difference.
- Idealist.org: Idealist is all about connecting idealists – people who want to do good – with opportunities for action and collaboration. With more than 120,000 organizations and 1.4 million monthly visitors, Idealist helps people move from intention to action all over the world.
- Points of Light: Points of Light’s network of volunteer action centers inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. They put people at the center of change and connect them to their power to make a difference.
- JustServe: JustServe believes that nothing should get in the way of organizations and volunteers coming together to do good things for the community, so they help make this happen for free.
- Habitat For Humanity: Families partner with Habitat for Humanity in the U.S. and around the world to build better lives for themselves and their children.
Huffington Post article: 13 Websites That Will Match You With The Perfect Opportunity To Make A Difference that will connect you to more volunteer opportunities.
How to Choose A Worthwhile Charity
According to Charity Navigator, the average annual American charitable donation is $2,520. Charities receive most of their donations between Giving Tuesday, which is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and the end of the year.
Before selecting a charity, visit Charity Navigator.org. They use objective ratings to find charities you can trust by providing star ratings for each charity with a breakdown of how they use their donations. Stay away from charities whose administrative costs exceed their program expenses.
Giving is Good
When choosing a charity, keep these four things in mind before you give away your hard-earned money:
- Does the charity match your passion?
- Is the charity fiscally responsible, ethical and effective?
- Does the charity have strong leadership?
- Do you trust it enough to give without strings attached?
To receive a tax deduction for 2017, you must make your donation by December 31st.
DeClutter and Donate
In her book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up‘, Marie Kondo states that the goal of tidying up is to transform your home into “a sacred space, a power spot filled with pure energy.” Kondo encourages us to discard everything that doesn’t “spark joy.”
Your home is a living space, not a storage space. Therefore, you should be surrounded by things you absolutely love. As we transition into the new year, make some time to declutter your drawers, closets and garage. Then, move these things along to people who can use them. Who knows, you may even clear up enough space to get your car back in the garage!
Choose a Charity
There are close to two million charities in the world today. Choose one that feels good to you and that clearly benefits others. For instance, The Salvation Army, Habitat For Humanity ReStore or a local charity would be a better choice than Goodwill. Unfortunately, Goodwill is just a thrift store working for their own profit.
At Kelly’s Collectibles, we have donated hundreds of items that haven’t sold to a variety of charities. Many of our clients do not want their consignment items returned if they haven’t sold. After making the donation, we provide our clients with the donation receipt to be used as a tax write-off.
All the best this holiday season. May 2018 be an exceptional year! In summary, giving is good, volunteering is great!
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