Time certainly flies, it’s the last week of 2016, Christmas is behind us, and the New Year is rapidly approaching. I’m sure most of us have already set out a list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2017. Our resolutions tend to revolve around bettering ourselves – eat healthier, exercise more, travel more; the list goes on. Have you thought about the people who don’t have the luxury of making such resolutions each year though? Instead of just focusing on ourselves, we should break free from tradition and include giving back to society as part of our New Year’s resolutions. You might think that giving back to society requires monetary effort on your part, but that’s not always the case. You can also resolve to give back through the gift of your time, and here’s how you can do so.
Teach Kids to Give Back
Good values are usually instilled in us at a young age, and giving back to society is one such value that can be incorporated from an early age. You can start by letting children know that there are people who may be less privileged than themselves. If you open up their world view to include others, children will grow up caring as well. If you have any plans to give back to society, it would be good to involve kids in age appropriate activities. You can let them donate their toys that tend to remain on the shelf instead of being played with, or the clothes they don’t wear as often. In doing so, you also have to let them understand that their items are going to someone in need, instead of being tossed in the trash.
You can also teach your children the value of volunteering their time for someone in need, by taking them to help out at donation drives or charity carnivals. For kids who love animals, you can even bring them to an animal shelter to help with the cleaning of cages and feeding of animals, so that your children will also understand what it truly means to take care of a pet and not make the mistake of abandoning any in future.
Spread More Awareness About Your Cause
If there is a cause that you are dedicated to, whether it be the sheltering of homeless animals or homeless people, it is a good idea to spread awareness for your cause. If you want to go with the tried-and-tested way of spreading awareness, you can volunteer to give talks or hand out flyers for your charity. Or, if you’re more hands on, you can sign up as a volunteer or helper for programs and activities hosted by your charity of choice – the more people there are to help, the more smoothly the event will tend to go, which helps to spread awareness.
If you’re someone with less time on your hands, spreading awareness does not necessarily have to take more than a click. It would be good to take time out of your schedule to spread the word, but if you can’t, a digital share would do the trick. We are living in an age of computers and mobile phones, where everything we see and do goes on social media, so your simple like, share, or tweet on social media is actually a huge boost for your cause of choice.
Volunteer Your Time and Care
There are various ways to volunteer, but one of the simplest ways to give back is to show that you care. Leading privileged lives, we don’t realise that there are many people out there who are just looking for company. Take for instance old folks’ homes, many of these elderly folk just want someone new to talk to. So take some time out of your day, and drop by an elderly care centre with a smile on your face and a keen interest to make a new friend.
Another way to volunteer your time is through reading programs. There are many underprivileged children who are unable to go to school, or have no books at home, so some libraries and organisations host reading programs for these children. Depending on where you volunteer your time at, you will either be paired up with a kid over a period of time, where you get to know them through reading and learning; or you could just read to a group of children. It doesn’t take much of your time, but it means a lot to the children you meet.
These are just some of the ways you can include giving in your New Year’s resolutions, and I’m sure you can think of more. No matter what your resolutions for 2017 are, it would be good to include some form of giving as part of your list and stick to your resolution. Over time, giving will become an integral part of your life, and your efforts will make your community and society a better place!