There are so many ways to give back to your community and the world in general. I’ve listed a few ideas to get you started, but please consider what you can do to make a difference!
I personally volunteer with the Fort Collins Cat Rescue, currently as a weekly cattery cleaner for their off-site adoptions location at the local PetSmart. It takes only 2 hours out of my week, and I feel absolutely amazing afterwards. Volunteering doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and there are nonprofits in every sector looking for help – finding one that supports something you are passionate about is as easy as using Google to search for local opportunities!
Join a Nonprofit Board
There are so many amazing nonprofits, and all of them legally have to have a board of directors. This board is the nonprofit’s governing body, and most nonprofits struggle to make their boards as effective and diverse as possible. If you are passionate about a specific cause and/or have expertise in an area that can help a nonprofit (examples are law, accounting, insurance, human resources, etc), consider joining a board!
This is such an easy way to give back and feel great about it! When I was 17, I received a blood transfusion that helped save my life so I now give back by donating four times a year. I prefer to donate directly to the local hospitals so they don’t have to deal with the middle man like the Red Cross (they charge hospitals for your blood donation). Here in Northern Colorado, I donate to the Garth Englund Blood Center, which is part of the Poudre Valley Health Systems. Even if you have a fear of needles, give it a try – you could save several lives with that one pint of blood and it only takes an hour to do it!
Every two years, I cut a foot of hair off and donate it to a nonprofit that makes wigs for children suffering from hair loss (usually from cancer treatments). I used to joke that I needed to be careful when I cut my hair while in a relationship because I would like to have long hair for my wedding, but that doesn’t seem to be something I need to concern myself with anymore. (one of the few benefits of being single!). If you have longer hair and are looking for a new hairstyle that would involve at least 8 inches of hair being cut, donate it!
Places to donate your hair
Join the Bone Marrow Registry
I joined the registry a few years ago when my friend, Tia, was battling cancer and needed a bone marrow transplant. She asked all of us to register after she learned how difficult it can be to find a match. The odds of there being a match is pretty slim, but for the person who could be a match with you, it will save their life. It only takes a minute to do the test and drop it in the mail!
Info to join the registry
Attend a Charity Benefit
It could be a 5k, dinner at a specific restaurant, a sale at a bookstore, a fun and fancy gala … nonprofits are constantly putting on events in your community that help benefit their cause. Just this past week, I ran in a 5k benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County and shopped at the Eclectic Reader and had lunch at a local Mexican restaurant to support the Fort Collins Cat Rescue. It’s a fun way to support a cause while enjoying your community! I have never been to that bookstore or restaurant before and this was a great excuse to explore what Fort Collins has to offer while also knowing I was supporting a great cause. Many local community calendars will post these types of events, or your favorite local charity will post it on their website/facebook page.
There are many other ways to help than what I just listed here. Get out there and help however you can… if we all do a little, this world would be a much different (amazing) place!