You may have heard of Giving Tuesday. This year, Giving Tuesday is on November 29, 2022, and is an incredible opportunity for charitable organizations (such as VANTAGE Aging) to raise valuable resources to continue to provide basic needs to those who depend on them. Allowing aging adults to live independently with dignity is the vision of VANTAGE Aging, alongside the other organizations who benefit from Giving Tuesday. Any amount of support goes a long way in the communities we serve, and support can go to any nonprofit or other service organization. There are many ways to benefit organizations you are passionate about, from the Humane Society to your local church to those who serve aging adults, like VANTAGE.
However, for many, money is not a resource that they have to give freely. Maybe that’s you. Maybe you want to give something, but you have more time or talent than treasure. The good news is that time and talent are as important and necessary today as money. Thanks to the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic, organizations are relying on volunteers for anything from check-in calls to delivering meals and organizing donations on-site. Luckily for many people, giving time and talent doesn’t have to look the same to everyone. And, when it comes to Giving Tuesday, there are many ways to give what you can, where you are, with what you have to the aging adults in your area. That is the beauty of service – it’s always needed!
Twenty ways you can participate in Giving Tuesday this year locally without donating money are:
- Organize a food drive to help local families
- Go to a local ASPCA or Humane Society to help out local animals in need
- Gather local children to make cards for those in nursing or long-term care facilities
- Find a way to mentor or tutor students
- Start a sign-up list for those who can help shovel driveways and sidewalks once the snow comes
- Manage a collection drive for gently used clothing and goods for a local shelter or Goodwill
- Call your local Meals on Wheels organization and volunteer to deliver meals
- Bake cookies for your neighbors
- Organize an Angel Tree for underprivileged kids
- Check in with your local library to find out how you can lend your time and talent
- Contact your local AmeriCorps Seniors program to become a registered volunteer
- Hold a virtual read-along for children online through a platform such as Zoom
- Donate textbooks back to colleges and universities
- Lead a Bible study or other religious studies group in your place of worship
- If you have school-aged children or grandchildren, join their school’s PTO
- Volunteer with local parks organizations for trail cleanup or other assistance
- Advocate for a political cause you believe in
- Find a crafting club to use your skills to make items for others, like blankets, hats, or scarves
- Use your voice or social media to bring awareness to a cause important to you
- From guides to baby rockers, hospitals rely on volunteers to help them work smoothly
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but you can see how many ways you can make a difference in the lives and well-beings of others. The good news is that not all giving has to happen from your wallet, and more often than not, your impact on a personal level will make more of a difference to others. Your local library may not remember the $100 you gave last year during their campaign, but they will remember that you come every Wednesday morning to their mommy and me classes to read stories and share your love of literacy.
These moments make the most impact on the community, and it doesn’t need to cost you a dime. Giving of your time also helps enhance your own quality of life. Donating $30 a month to your local Synagogue may feel great in the moment, but when you lay your head down at night after a day of organizing a coat and hat drive for the families in need who attend with you, you will feel greater satisfaction and sense of purpose.
Your talent is also a renewable resource. Money can always run out, but your ability to mentor local high school students in choosing a career path will not. For many, the best way to continue to give back is to find something you are really passionate about and able to do, and then do it as often as you can! David Viscott famously said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” This Giving Tuesday, find a way to give the gifts of your time and talent to those in need, in any way you choose. From delivering meals to making cards for homebound seniors, VANTAGE Aging offers countless opportunities for time and talent giving. Make this year the year your donation goes a bit further by leaving your personal touch on the communities that mean the most to you.