In the spirit of the new year and doing better, I’m sure we’ve all committed to a few new things. I place mine on a vision board so I’ll have visual inspiration to fulfill my goals. You may have written them in a journal, stuck them on your fridge or simply committed them to memory. Either way there are just 363 days left to make them count. (This year is a leap year in case you forgot. 24 extra hours! #winning) And so because I know you need just one more item to add to your ‘ways to make 2012 better than 2011’ list, I’m going to share a few do gooder tasks you might enjoy.
We’re all smart, college- educated citizens, right? So why not help a kid pass his or her math test? Math not your strong suit, what about reading? #winning. Free tutors are always needed in after school programs, churches and education-based non-profits. Craigslist is an excellent resource for finding tutoring opportunities in your area. Alternatively, google your local board of education for sites that need tutors.
2. Tell A Young Person They Matter
I think you’re a good person. Don’t you? Of course you do. Mentoring is one of the best ways to challenge yourself by being a role model to someone else. Mentoring is where you are able to make a positive one-on-one influence. It does take a huge commitment but it’s worth it. I wrote post about mentoring last year and all of it’s still very relevant. Check out the list of organizations that still need you.
3. Train for and run a half marathon
When those who know me best read this they are not going to believe I’m saying this but….yes, I’m advocating for intense exercise. But ONLY because there is a element of fundraising and cause awareness that goes along with it! I’ve seen my girlfriends lace up their sneakers year after year for causes near and dear to them. So why not give it a whirl too? As physically demanding as training is for a marathon, so is raising the awareness for why you’re running. That said, find your cause and find a race that will allow you to raise money- and awareness for prevention and research! You get fit. The organization gets new donors. Everybody wins here! Check out Runners World for races near you.
4. Help Elect The Next President
In such a critical election year, it’s important to learn about your candidate of choice and their platform. What better way to do that than to volunteer for their campaign?! Get out and knock on a few doors. Make a few phone calls. Host a house party. Get engaged! Go to your candidates respective website and see what their local office is up to. There is no greater feeling than watching the candidate you shed blood, sweat and tears for become President- trust me, I know. Here’s one for size: barackobama.com
5. Donate a dollar
We’re all “broke”, I know. Me too. However, we’re never as broke as the people who benefit from our donations. When we think of donations we think large sums. The reality is lots of small donations make up the bulk of more donor lists than you think. I received donations as small as $5 for the Save The Pink Tea Cup campaign and it helped to keep the historic restaurant open. So believe you me, your money counts. In the end giving now will begin a habitual lifestyle that will make you a better giver once you get rich! Oh and they are tax deductible too!
6. Regift aka Donate
Got your 100th pair of socks for Christmas? Not quite into yet another glove and scarf set from Grandma? Good news is there are people in need that can really use those items. (I’m sure the person who gave them to you will understand your re-gifting heart.) There’s never a reason to trash new or gently-worn clothing- and even home good items. Look to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, shelter and church to make donations. Oh and ladies, organizations like Dress for Success take professional clothing items all year round.
I hope this helps to make your 2012 even greater than it has been. Cheers to you being your best you and making a difference in the lives of those around you!