4 Great Ways to "Give Back" this Holiday Season
Thanksgiving time is the season for gratitude. But for those in need, it can also be a time of loneliness and vulnerability. Below are four suggestions for enriching your life - by taking a little time to help a fellow who can use a little time and attention. Growing up, my “Big Brother” Larry from a Los Angeles Big Brothers program was my mentor - my male role model - and a much needed buddy who had my back and helped me beyond measure in countless ways. I still credit Larry for helping me to become the man I am today.
1. Follow your Heart
Find an organization that speaks to your HEART; the arts, elder care, homelessness, healthcare, human rights.
This is a picture of me with my buddy Alexander whom I met through Self Help. This handsome gentleman is 97 years young and in the short time I have known him has affected me tremendously with his wisdom and life perspective. I’ve been visiting him Monday afternoons with coffee cake in hand- and he has begun to share his incredible life story with me- a true blessing.
2. Keep it Simple
Volunteering A couple of hours a week - or even a month - can change someone’s life. Truly.
3. BRING A BUDDY
Volunteering together is a great way to bond with friends and family. It also eases the edge of anxiety that might bubble up when entering a new situation. My son Jack sets up a dinner once a month for homeless men at Rutger’s Church- something we do as a family.
4. Have Fun!
Maybe you’ll find it meaningful to serve the hungry in a city sponsored facility. Perhaps planting flowers or tidying up your local park of choice is more your speed. An appointment to read or play piano in a home for the aged might be more up your alley. Chose a way to be generous with your time that feels like a joy- and a pleasure. You will be inclined to stick with it- and the mutual rewards are boundless.
In the meantime, here are a few links to volunteer organizations around NYC that can help you get connected!