Happy New Year! Since this is my first Giving Back Column of 2016, I want to wish you all the best for a fun-filled, healthy, safe, and fulfilling year. A new year brings new opportunities to grow personally and professionally, to realize our dreams, and make a difference. With hectic schedules, though, the key to success lies in our ability to weave purpose into our everyday actions. Below are five ways to incorporate service into our normal routine, so we can progress personally while giving back to help others at the same time.
1) Purchase goods and services based on social impact. With a little research, you’ll find many cause-based businesses that use their products and services to give back. From clothes, jewelry, cleaning supplies, shampoo, food, and even wine, all of your purchases can benefit others. Shopping at philanthropically focused or locally owned stores is another way to magnify your efforts.
2) Set aside time to volunteer as an individual and family. Fulfillment starts with service and just 30 minutes a week or month can make a difference. You’ll be surprised at how much litter you can pick up or how many meals you can serve and lives you can bless in 30 minutes of dedicated time.
3) Focus on your health. You need to be mentally and physically sharp to give your best effort. Small things like taking the stairs instead of an elevator or choosing water over soda are easy ways to start feeling your best. Then, enjoy a walk around the block with your family.
4) Become a champion on social media. We all have an audience of family, friends, and others who follow us online. Become a champion for our city and for nonprofits by promoting their efforts, positive stories, and opportunities for people to get involved. Positive energy is contagious; share something good each day and see what happens.
5) Add purpose to your events. Every corporate event, family gathering, or cookout or watch party with friends has the ability to raise money and awareness for a nonprofit. You can ask for donations or simply share the nonprofit’s efforts with attendees, but once you add purpose, your event takes on a new meaning and becomes unforgettable.