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Many people think the only way to help their community or donate to their favourite charitable cause is with a financial donation – think again! While financial donations are integral to non-profits, there are many other ways that you and your family can give back, and make a difference in your community.
Here are five ways that you can make a difference, and support your favourite causes:
Give Your Time
The success of many charities depends on the work of volunteers. Donating your time is a great way to be more engaged with your charity of choice, and get first-hand experience helping others. To find out how you can contribute, visit the website of your favourite charity or search the Volunteer Centre. Numerous nonprofits are in need of office help, board members, volunteer drivers, special event volunteers, youth mentors, and more. There’s something for everyone!
If you are interested in volunteering at the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka please visit us at www.ymcasm.ca/volunteer.
Put Your Special Talents to Use
Consider your talents, interests, and hobbies before contacting a charity that can benefit from your assistance. What special skill can you offer? You could use your culinary abilities by participating in a community breakfast program, or help a local literacy program for children or immigrants by using your love of reading. Do you have a talent you can teach to others? People with artistic, writing, or computing abilities are frequently sought after by shelters, neighborhood initiatives, and several other charities to help better the lives of others. No skill is too small – a charity is undoubtedly looking for someone with the abilities you can provide.
Use Your Social Voice
Your voice is a powerful tool for social good. Help spread the word and talk about your favourite charity on social media. Inform your friends about their events and other ways they can get involved by sharing videos and stories about the fantastic work they are doing. You can also stick with the tried-and-true method of just telling others in-person about your favourite cause, and how they can support it.
Follow us on social media, and help us share the Y’s impact on the communities we serve!
Get Crafty for a Cause
Turn your passion for crafts into a labour of love. Knit or crochet toys, mittens, hats, blankets, and other items for a worthy cause. Donations of this kind can be made to clinics, shelters, long-term care homes, or other charities serving the underprivileged. Ask your neighborhood hospital or social services organization about giving the gift of warmth and comfort to the people they support. Your neighborhood craft store may be able to recommend a specific local charity as well.
Give Old Clothes or Toys a Second Life
Have your kids outgrown any of the items they used to love? Consider giving gently worn clothing or used toys a second life by donating them to a local nonprofit. Many shelters that support struggling families, refugees, immigrants, or homeless individuals rely on clothing and toy donations. These simple items that many of us take for granted can make a huge difference in a person’s life. For recommendations on where to donate, get in touch with a local faith-based organization, a social assistance agency, or shelter.
No matter how you decide to give back to your community, you can feel good knowing you’re making a positive difference in the lives of others.
Last year, the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka served over 20,000 individuals in our communities across Simcoe, Muskoka, and the District of Parry Sound. If you’d like to learn more about the ways you can give back to the YMCA, visit the ‘Options for Giving’ page on our website by clicking here. Your giving changes lives!