Tuesday, November 28, is Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated to giving and charity observed around the world. Giving Tuesday, which was first celebrated in 2012, is observed on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. In the United States, the Thanksgiving holiday falls on the fourth Thursday in November. In Canada, the holiday falls on the second Monday in October. In contrast to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which encourage shopping, here are:
8 Great Ways to Celebrate Giving Tuesday Without Spending Money!
(1) Help your neighbors with chores.
Some of your neighbors, particularly those who are older or have a physical handicap, may need help with cleaning gutters, mowing lawns, painting yard furniture or fences, raking leaves, running errands, shoveling snow, or doing other chores. Your neighbors will be grateful; they will get to know you and you will get to know them, helping to make a stronger community. Discuss your plan with your parents or guardians before going out into the neighborhood and offering your time. Your parent or other grown-up in your family may want to come along to help on a job or errand.
(2) Volunteer at a local food pantry.
Food pantries provide food and nonfood products to those in need. These places always need help with checking expiration dates, packing bags or boxes with assorted food, sorting items, and stocking shelves.
(3) Clean-up your community.
Are there ball fields, public parks, schoolyards and playgrounds, or other public places in your community that need cleaning? You (and your friends!) can pick up trash, pull weeds, or do anything else needed to make the areas look nicer. Check first with the school superintendent or principal, parks department, or police department to make sure it’s O.K. to do what you hope to do. Stay safe by wearing protective gear, such as thick gloves, when picking up trash. Get permission from your parent or guardian before going out into the community to do clean-up.
(4) Donate items to a children’s hospital.
You can donate gently used items that you no longer need to a children’s hospital. Children’s hospitals, or parts of general hospitals where children are cared for, are often in need of books, DVDs, games, stuffed animals, toys, video games, and other items. Check with the hospital for their guidelines for donated items.
(5) Volunteer at an animal shelter.
If you love animals, this might be something you’d enjoy! Animal shelters are always looking for volunteers to help care for their cats and dogs, play with the animals, train them, and walk the dogs. These animals will enjoy interacting with you as they wait to be adopted. Animal shelters also accept donated pet food and pet supplies. If you happen to be allergic to cats or dogs, you may not be able to have contact with the animals but could help the shelter with maintaining its website or fund-raising events.
(6) Donate used clothes and household items.
Clothes and household goods—for example, cookware, glassware, toasters and toaster-ovens, vacuum cleaners, tools, luggage–can be donated to many charities, including the American Red Cross, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army. Some of these organizations have retail stores where they sell donated items at low prices. Not only do these places help people buy clothes and other items at prices they can afford, but they also employ people who might otherwise have trouble finding a job. In many communities, there are local organizations that collect and then sell or give away clothes and household items to support a particular cause. Check at your church, synagogue, or mosque; or ask at your public library or city, town, or village hall to find out about these local activities.
(7) Volunteer at a local nature center.
Some nature centers use student volunteers (usually teenagers) to help with animal care, gardening, maintaining trails and grounds, and working with younger kids. As an added benefit, the centers will help you discover many different ways you can help protect and improve the natural habitats around your home.
(8) Visit people who live in nursing homes; volunteer at shelters for people who are homeless.
People who live in nursing homes may feel lonely since they often cannot get out and about and may have no nearby family or friends to visit them. Many appreciate visitors who come to play board or card games with them or just to talk. You will benefit by making new friends who can share wisdom that comes from their life experiences. Shelters for people who are homeless often use volunteers to keep the shelters clean and to cook and serve meals. The people who come to the shelters often feel isolated from their communities and are glad to have someone to talk to. Many churches, synagogues, and mosques sponsor shelters for people who are homeless.
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