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#GivingTuesday: 10 Ways To Give Back To Your Community

Exhausted from Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Well here’s a new day in the Holiday Season – a day to give back! Here are 10 ideas for giving back to your community this #GivingTuesday.

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1. Create Greeting Cards

Make greeting cards to deliver to ill children in need of some cheering up. Two websites, Make a Child Smile and Hugs and Hope, provide photos and information about sick children who are hoping for some happy mail. Families can make a card together for one of the children. You can also enclose something lightweight with the card, such as stickers, coloring sheets, a postcard or a bookmark.

2. Make A Blanket

Families can make a blanket for a child in need of comfort. Create a simple, no-sew fleece blanket (anyone can do it!) and then donate through Binky Patrol or your local chapter of Project Linus. Watch a video about Project Linus with your children so they will understand the impact these blankets can have in kids’ lives.

3. Assemble Birthday Bags

Create birthday gift bags for children living in poverty. Invite families over and ask each guest to bring small, new toys for children ages 3-12. Then enjoy assembling the gift bags, placing several items in each. Deliver them to a nearby shelter or food shelf. For more information, visit Cheerful Givers.

4. Pick Up Litter

Clean up a park, shoreline, mountain, river, beach or wilderness area. Then take digital photos of what you’ve picked up. (If you can’t access a camera, this requirement can be waived.) Together have your family write an essay about your experience and send with your digital photo, your names, age(s) and address to Your essay will be published on the website, your children’s names will appear in the Registry of Apprentice Ecologists, and you will be awarded an official certificate. For tips on conducting the cleanup and writing the story, and to see the efforts of other “apprentice ecologists,” visit the Wilderness Project.

5. Take a Volunteer Vacation

Ready for a deeper commitment? Global Citizens Network sends short-term teams of volunteers to communities in other cultures where participants immerse themselves in the daily life of the community. Each volunteer team is partnered with a local grassroots organization active in meeting local needs.

8. Give a Loan To a Kiva Borrower

Kiva lenders combat poverty daily by making small loans to borrowers around the world. Often only a relatively small amount of money stands in the way of Kiva borrowers and their dreams. Whether it’s a Kenyan farmer who needs $500 in order to double her grain production, or a young Bolivian woman who lacks the $1,500 tuition for nursing school, Kiva lenders provide a hand up to these and countless other borrowers.

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