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The How-To Lounge: Giving Back

Everyday growing up my mom would ask me if I had done something kind for another person. And although I always thought answering that question was a real drag, over time I found that I looked for ways to help people so I’d have something to share with her. While I’d like to say I still do this, the truth is sometimes I get so caught up in the worries of my everyday life I forget that there’s a whole bevy of serious issues out there plaguing the world. If you’re like me and looking for an opportunity to give back and do some real good, then just


  • If you have some money to spend, but not a lot of time, donating to a charity is a great way to give back. There are so many wonderful charities always in need of donations. Check to see listings for various causes that might interest you.
  • Your local community is probably rife with non-profit organizations looking for support. I’ve spent time volunteering in elementary schools, and for an hour or two a week, it’s an absolutely gratifying experience. Check online or even on fliers in coffee shops for what’s going on in your own neck of the woods.
  • Consider using your particular skill set to help out a cause. If you’re into graphic design, offer to design a pamphlet for a group you care about. If you’re a fabulous writer, look into opportunities for writing grants. Not only does this let you do something good, it’s also great for your resume.
  • Start something on your own. If you want to do something on a smaller scale, come up with a small goal and get a group together to accomplish it. Start a giving tree at your office or ask all your friends to adopt-a-family at the holidays.
  • If you just don’t have the gusto to go big right now, even the smallest things in your life can make a world of difference in someone else’s. Consider donating your old shoes and your excess pantry goods, always recycle, and finally, don’t forget how far just a bit of compassion and kindness can go.


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