It’s always great to give back during the holiday season, but why not continue throughout the year? And it turns out giving is good for you! Elizabeth Dunn, co-author of Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, tells us, “People [have] no problem spending…on themselves, but at the end of the day, it [doesn’t] make them happy the way spending on others [does].”
Here are five ways you can add giving to your daily life:
Give away your clothes
Open your closet and do a quick clothing inventory. What pieces have you stopped wearing? What doesn’t fit? You likely have good, usable clothing that falls into one of these categories (don’t worry—we all do). Gather them up and give them a second life by donating to a local clothing drive or second-hand store.
Give to your neighbors
Sometimes giving can take place right next door. Whether it’s mowing your neighbors’ lawn, shoveling their driveway or making them a home-cooked meal when they’re sick, a small gesture can go a long way toward improving your community. Need some more inspiration? Check out I Like Giving on Facebook to see how ordinary people have made a huge difference by giving to those around them.
Give away your money
You don’t have to look far to find a worthwhile cause or organization in need of funding. For more than a century, the United Way has supported a network of regional charities that do everything from improving education to promoting healthy lives. See how you can support their work or seek out another local organization that is making a difference in your community. Another great resource is Charity Navigator, where you can find a cause close to your heart—and close to where you live.
Give to your family and friends
We know balancing work and life is tough. A recent study in the American Sociological Review says that 70 percent of American workers struggle with finding the right work-life balance. That’s why it’s important to try to give time to the people who are closest to you. Whether it’s putting away your cell phone when you get home or banking any extra time you have for family and friends, it will likely go a long way in helping with the struggle nearly all of us face.
Give away your time
Time is a precious resource. And giving it away is as generous as it gets. Consider volunteering for worthwhile groups and causes, such as the Girl Scouts, Wounded Warrior Project, a local school or retirement home. You’ll be surprised at the difference you can make by simply making yourself available.
GEICO is always committing time and money to support community organizations across the country.
Looking to give back to our Armed Forces? Here are 6 Ways To Show Your Military Appreciation.