Happy Winter Solstice!  It’s the shortest day of the year, but it means every day from here on out will get a little more sunshine. The year 2016 is leaving us, or we are leaving it behind.  The year packed in joys and sorrow. People naturally tend to think of others in need during the holidays.  But when we are drawing closer to our families and friends, thinking of what we accomplished and what lies ahead, it is easy to get overwhelmed with the who do I help, the how, and the where.

quote by Audrey HepburnHard times are relative, but one person’s suffering is someone’s suffering. The holiday season seems to hold a magnifying glass to that. Mother Theresa famously said, “If you want to change the world go home and love your family.”  Where the borderlines of family stop for you is personal. But, being good to even one person creates more good in the world. Energetically raises our collective vibration, makes the entire world a better place, makes us better people.

We contemplate how can I make a greater impact? How can I truly help? There is no cookie-cutter answer. In all honesty, each of us has a finite amount of money and time that we can give away. Honoring your limitations is necessary. You have to care for yourself before you have the capacity to care for others. But within those limitations, ways to give and help do exist.

Maybe a charitable opportunity comes knocking on your door. Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe you are particularly compelled by a particular cause. Maybe you sit down and brainstorm ways that I can effect real change. Take those answers and pursue them. People involved in organizing volunteers or fundraising are always interested in your help, it is as simple as reaching out.

Start right at home. Is there an agency or cause in your town that is helping people or animals that you are especially drawn to. Maybe fostering animals is something that you could arrange to do. Maybe you are able to buy extra groceries once a month and give them away. Maybe you have a skill or profession that could help youth in your community. Maybe you are an artist, and you could donate a piece to an art auction. Maybe just maybe there is a niche that you fit into perfectly.

If logistically giving money is the best choice for you, that’s great. Financial resources are crucial for so much work happening around the globe. Make sure that you are giving wisely to organizations that will put your money to great use. There are a number of websites that help you fact check the organization before you contribute. The following third-party evaluation  sites are very user-friendly, the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving AllianceCharity Navigator and Charity Watch.

My hope that is in this season where human connection is on everyone’s mind that you feel empowered to connect on every level that feels right. We can do what we can do to spread love and light. Wishing you all a truly safe and rewarding week.

Links:

Wise Giving Alliance: http://www.give.org/

Charity Navigator: http://www.charitynavigator.org/

Charity Watch: https://www.charitywatch.org/home