Make the World a Better Place: Your ‘Giving Back’ Guide

Fall is finally here! (If you just drink your PSL and ignore the unseasonably warm weather. Thanks, climate change). Autumn is a season of caramel apples, corn mazes, and trying to settle into your post-summer routine. One key element to make sure you weave into your schedule is giving back to the world around you. Here’s the best of our articles on volunteering your time, money, or heart to your community.

Ways to Give Thanks and Give Back This Fall

“Fall presents us with a unique opportunity to give thanks. But what if instead of stopping at simply giving thanks, we use that gratitude as a springboard for giving back? Below, I share some of the things for which I’m grateful — and ways I hope to use that gratitude to serve others. I challenge you, too, to pause in your day to recognize the good that you have and then to challenge yourself to share that good with others.” Read more.

How to Become a Better Advocate for Causes You Believe In

“I’d never planned on visiting an orphanage in India, but once I had the exposure, I felt a new sense of awareness rising in me. Seeing those kids lit a spark within me to want to make a difference. I realized that my existence was purely an accident of birth—I happened to be born in the United States. I realized that I’d benefited from so much privilege—an education and rights and the freedom to live on my own and earn a living. So, I made the decision that I needed to use my gifts to help others.” Read more.

Small Sacrifices to Help Make the World a Better Place

“I feel like I’m overwhelmed with negative news and stories of suffering in our society and powerless to make any of it better. I get stuck thinking that the only way that I can make a difference is if I quit my job and devote my life to something heroic like recycling all of the plastic in the ocean or finding a way to negotiate peace between all nations. But this year, I decided to approach giving back in the way that I approach the rest of my life – by taking baby steps. I know that I can’t fix the whole world, but I can try to improve the lives of people around me by making these small sacrifices.” Read more.

How to Give Back When You’re Broke

“Despite stereotypes of being selfish and shallow, millennials are a generous generation. Unfortunately, after rent, student loan payments and other essentials, there’s often not much left over to give. But anyone can be a philanthropist; it’s not a distinction limited to millionaires. With a little time and creativity, you can make a difference in someone’s life. Here are eight ways you can better your community without spending a dime.” Read more.

5 Practical Ways to Help Your Homeless Neighbors

“I had the privilege of working on the marketing team for an organization that offered emergency services to the homeless. Each night, approximately 800 men, women, and children sought shelter in our buildings. It was within those four walls that I met the most compassionate, hardworking, and selfless individuals I’ve ever known. They educated me on some of the most effective ways to help those in need. Here are five of those simple, yet powerful actions.” Read more.

3 Ways You Can Make a Difference for Refugees

“I think we can all agree that most of us here in the United States have never experienced the type of suffering that comes with being a refugee and that the right thing to do is to help if we are able. Knowing how to help and where your resources will be best used isn’t so clear. If you want to do what you can to aid refugees, but aren’t sure which charities are trustworthy or how you can best serve with your time, consider one of these practical ways you can make a difference.” Read more.

Originally published on October 8, 2018.

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