With the holidays quickly approaching, I think many of us are reflecting on how lucky we are. Having a roof over our heads, food on our table, and family and friends surrounding us with love is a blessing that we should never take for granted. With so much to be thankful for, I sat down to think and to take a moment to focus on a few small things I can do to give back to the community and to create some good in the world.
These last few months, I’ve had the idea in my head to create care packages for the homeless to carry around in my car. Back when I was in middle school, my sister and I volunteered at a mother-daughter program called Ek Kardia (From the Heart). One of the big projects involved creating Christmas packages to kids coming from families facing some financial hardships. I remember the feeling of excitement as I carefully crafted my gift box and made a homemade card, smiling at the idea of making a difference in someone’s holiday, small or large.
I wanted to extend the same idea of putting together a bag for the homeless that contained useful and meaningful items. One thing that personally hits my heart hard is when I’m driving and see those in less fortunate situations on the side the road. I wanted to be able to hand them something other than a few dollar bills. I hoped to make something that stood as more than just a handout, but as a small gift from me to them as they go through a rougher patch in their lives. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone is fighting their own personal battle and it is not for us to judge, belittle, or scoff at the life situation someone might find themselves in.
To make each care package, I found plain white canvas totes at a local craft store and filled them with a warm blanket, deodorant, tooth brush and toothpaste, a pair of socks, chapstick, individual kleenex packs, granola bars, and a small gift card to Subway.
I’m partnering up with Create the Good to help inspire those around me to do at least one positive action a day to help support someone else and brighten up their day. Create the Good is a fantastic medium to connect you with volunteer opportunities that help you share your life experiences, personal skills, and passion in a way that gives back to your community. Create the Good is currently hosting a 25 Days, 25 Ways to Give campaign to help give you small ideas on how to make a difference in your daily life. These 25 ways include things as simple as taking a moment to compliment a street performer on their talent, sending a letter to one of our troops, or responding “yes” when the cashier at the grocery store asks if you’d like to donate a dollar to a charity.
If the warm fuzzies aren’t enough, participating in the 25 Days, 25 Ways challenge enters you to be one of 25 winners of a $100 gift card or the grand prize of a trip to Smuggler’s Notch Resort in Vermont!
Getting started is as simple as visiting 25 Days, 25 Ways to Give and signing up with your name and email address. From there, be prepared to get tons of inspiration on how your small actions can make a big difference!