Giving Back to Your Community: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Checking your gift list this holiday season? Maybe this is the year to add a new recipient: Your community!
Why now? At a time when COVID-19 has left many of us feeling isolated and our municipal and community organizations stretched thin, giving back is a great way to foster connection, boost your spirits and ensure your community’s well-being. Helping out is also good for you; as Psychology Today puts it, when we give, we also receive. Community care is self-care.
How can I help?
- Check out these 70 community service project ideas. Take a look at Discover LA’s volunteer opportunity guide or volunteermatch.org. Explore options for the whole family at Youth Service America. Sign up at Volunteer LA.
- Have academic or life experience that might benefit others? Consider tutoring or mentoring with Minds Matter LA. If public health is your thing, look into L.A.’s Medical Reserve Corps. See something in your neighborhood that needs fixing? Start a petition at moveon.org or change.org. Good at raising money? Food on Foot will help you set up a fundraiser.
- Organize a virtual food drive.
- Make a donation — no amount is ever too small — to worthy local charities like these: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, Project Angel Food, Reading to Kids, Midnight Mission, A Sense of Home, Homeboy Industries, Downtown Women’s Center, APLA Health.
Can my kids get involved too? Yes! Even very young children can help with clean ups at the beach or park, do something kind for a neighbor, draw pictures for first responders, or help make and/or deliver food to others — friends, neighbors, food banks or a homeless shelter. Look into L.A. Works’s family volunteer program, too. And don’t forget to talk to your little ones about the 5 ways giving benefits everybody. (And try some of First 5 LA’s 5 Holiday Activities for Families in this newsletter!)