Three Easy Ways To Give Back To Your Community

One of the most popular times to give back is during the November and December holiday season, which is absolutely wonderful. However, many non-profit organizations start to struggle once January arrives and the rate of donations slows down significantly. The Kamran Farid Foundation was inspired by Kamran Farid’s mother who always taught him that giving back, even in the smallest amounts could make a big difference. His family foundation is focused on helping local Connecticut organizations throughout the entire year.

Now that we’re past the holiday season, Kamran thought it would be a great time to share some tips to help others support their communities year round. Below are a few thought starters on how to give back, even if you have little to give.

Food pantries and soup kitchens: Nearly every town has one or more pantries that provide food to people in need. They are typically 100% volunteer run and they look for donations of food, money or time. Even the smallest donation of non-perishable items will make a big difference and you’ll also have the opportunity to give back to the people living right around you.

Keeping it easy:

If you’re in Connecticut, check out the list of 700+ locations that help people in need: http://www.ctfoodbank.org/store-locator. If you’re outside of Connecticut, visit Feeding America: http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/.

De-clutter and donate: At the end of each month, make it part of your routine to walk through your home and identify items that you can donate – whether its clothing, books, toys or other household items. Things your family has outgrown can be of huge benefit to others. This is a great activity for your kids to be involved in so they learn about giving back at a young age.

Keeping it easy:

There are organizations that will come right to your door to pick up donations, which makes giving back even easier. One such organization is the Vietnam Veteran’s Association where you can schedule a pick up online: http://www.scheduleapickup.com/. Typically these donations are tax deductible.

 Jar of change: Literally create a jar that can help change the world, one penny at a time. Throughout the month, drop loose change in the jar and at the end of the month, exchange it for dollar bills to donate to a local charity.

Keeping it easy:

Some venues even have Coinstar machines where you can opt to send your money direct to charity through their Coins That Count program. Your donation is 100% tax deductible. To find a location near you and which charities you can give back to, visit: https://www.coinstar.com/ and enter your zip code.

 We hope these tips are simple and encourage you to make giving back part of your family throughout the year. Each of them are wonderful activities that can involve your children. They will not only make you feel good, but are also a great way to create a family culture of supporting others in your community.

 Kamran Farid is the Co-Founder and Former Chief Operating Officer of Edible Arrangements International. The Kamran Farid Foundation, inspired by Kamran’s mother, helps identify and support unmet and often unrecognized needs in communities around the world.  The foundation is focused on creating a sustainable, brighter future for the people it supports. Follow Kamran on Twitter @kamranf or connect with Kamran Farid on LinkedIn.