Giving back to our community is very important to us and to our family. It’s the reason we are co-chairing United Way of Greater Atlanta’s 2014-2015 campaign – the first couple to have the honor. And we know giving back is important to you too. In fact, it’s the reason why Atlanta is one of the top five cities in the country for giving. So this Thanksgiving, we want to thank you for your generosity and share three ideas for how you can continue to give back to Greater Atlanta this holiday season.
- Give: A lot of people hear the word give and immediately think about money. While financial contributions are necessary, you can also give without opening your wallet. Give a warm coat or clothes. Give a few cans of food to a community pantry. You can also get your children involved by having them pick out some of their toys to give to kids who have less.
- Advocate: Earlier this month, a woman – “Jane” – reached out to United Way on Twitter. One of her friends – “John” – sent a tweet saying he was not looking forward to the holidays because he lost his job and was having trouble paying his bills. Determined to help, Jane connected United Way to the online conversation, suggesting it could be a resource. United Way responded, sending John information about its 2-1-1 Contact Center, which connects people to the assistance they need to address everyday challenges.
This story demonstrates the ease and impact of advocating, not only for organizations you support, but also on behalf of the people who can benefit from those agencies. You may not have the time to volunteer, or the resources to give, but you can be an advocate.
- Volunteer: One of the most precious gifts you can give is your time. When you give your time to volunteer, you develop a personal connection to the community you are serving. And you see first-hand the challenges our community faces.
No matter what you’re interested in, there are volunteer activities you, your family and friends can participate in. Paint art for formerly homeless veterans. Spend time with hospice patients. Walk dogs at animal rescue centers. Those are just a few of the hundreds of volunteer opportunities available across our region. The “take action” page on United Way’s website can help you connect with the opportunities that are right for you.
As we mentioned before, Atlanta is one of the most generous cities in America. But with more than 600,000 Greater Atlanta residents struggling, it’s up to all of us to do something – anything – to help them. So we have one final idea: Encourage others to give back this holiday season. The needs are too vast for any one person or organization to solve alone. Only together can we Create Change for a Stronger Community this holiday season – and beyond.
How will you give back during this season of giving? Let us know in the comment section below.