Did you know? This year over 30,000 partners in 68 countries joined a global movement called #GivingTuesday and raised over $116 million dollars for charities, small businesses, non-profits and government agencies globally. Held the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving (and after Black Friday and Cyber Monday) #GivingTuesday aims to kick off the holiday giving season and bring people together around the values of service and giving back. How can you get in the giving spirit this holiday season? Here are a few ways you and your child can help in your community:
- The Pennsylvania SPCA is always looking for volunteers to help care for animals and even has a program in place just for kids called PSPCA Kids Care. With three main locations (Philadelphia, Fishtown and Danville), the shelters also offer programs where students can earn and complete community service hours as part of service learning projects. If you cannot give your time to a shelter, one of their biggest needs is supplies. Typically local shelters will accept gently used linens and blankets, toys and food.
- Get moving! You may not want to spend too much time outside in the winter months, but there are several holiday-themed 5K races around the state that will get you moving and give back to a local charities or nonprofits in your area.
- Check out more at Running in the USA to find dozens of races all over Pennsylvania!
- If you are part of a specific nonprofit or community organization, local Barnes & Nobel stores allow nonprofit groups to stand in as gift wrappers during the holiday season. Here students can spend a few hours in the bookstore, wrapping gifts for shoppers. Programs are set up by each store and group leaders should contact store managers regarding this opportunity. Spots fill up quickly!
- Jump on the #RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) train! Research proves that that being kind can make a real difference to the well-being and health of individuals who practice it and receive it. Sounds simple right? So often we don’t hold the door for someone behind us, but these little things can make a huge difference to someone who is having a bad day. No matter how big or small your act of kindness is, you can still make a difference. Volunteer to help the homeless or pick up the coffee for the person behind you – pay it forward this holiday season!