“Help me help others!”
Great news: Doing good for others is also good for you! Multiple studies prove that generosity is the key to happiness. And our pros can help you find the feel-good volunteer gig that’s exactly right for you!
1 Use your hobbies to help others!
Bake for the troops! “When you consider how to support a good cause, think about what activities bring you joy, and how you could share that joy with others,” advises volunteering expert Steven Ketchpel. “For example, if you love to bake, you can send cookies to troops serving overseas.” As part of the Angel Bakers Team at Soldiersangels.org, you can sign up to send home-baked goodies to service members! Share your bounty! If your green thumb has your garden overflowing with vegetables, just go to Ample Harvest. org to find a local food pantry for your surplus! Gardenfresh fruits and veggies are a real treat for folks eating at food pantries.
Stitch up some love!
Enjoy knitting or crocheting? Your talents can warm someone in need. Find sweet patterns (like a super-cute Halloween pumpkin hat!) to make for babies in intensive care at The preemieproject. com. Or send hats, scarves and blankets to Warmupamerica.org for donation to homeless shelters, veterans groups and others.
2 Have fun helping our furry friends! Comfort shelter pets!
A soft blanket can help a shelter animal feel safe while waiting for her forever home! You can donate blankets and other necessities like towels, pet food and treats, to Operation blankets Oflove.org. “This kind of project is a good one for families,” explains community volunteer expert Wendy Rhein, “who can really make a difference by doing simple things like collecting blankets and towels from their neighbors. There’s always a need for pet supplies!” Raise funds with a click! Want an effective way to raise money for your local animal shelter? Set up an online fundraiser and share it on Facebook. “It’s especially good for small, local organizations that don’t have the budget for a big publicity campaign,” says fundraising expert Elizabeth Ragland. Just a few clicks is all it takes to set up a page at the free site Crowdrise.org.
Save animals with your spare change!
Wondering how you can help endangered animals that live halfway around the globe? Just take your spare change to a local Coinstar Center, pour your coins in the machine and select code # 8888. The money will be donated to Worldwildlife.org, which helps protect polar bears, gorillas, tigers and others!
3 Be a Halloween helper! Share your Halloween loot!
Stocking up on candy for trick-or-treaters? You can pick up some extra bags to brighten Halloween for troops overseas— and military families, veterans and first responders here at home! Operation Gratitude’s “Halloween Candy for Heroes” is collecting unopened candy until November 15th. And if you have individually packaged toothbrushes, dental floss and/or toothpaste, you can send them along with the candy! Cards and letters are welcome, too! Visit Operation Gratitude. com for details.
Dress ’em up!
Help kids in need have a frightfully fun Halloween by donating costumes to Weendream.org, which provides new or gently used costumes to kids from toddlers to teens in 25 states. Set up a donation bin and ask friends and coworkers for costumes!