The Power of Giving Back

Most college students need money and finding employment can teach a number of skills. Credit: Tianna Mañón

Rochester is steeped in poverty but it’s actually a very generous city. Efforts for Puerto Ricans have raised thousands of dollars, boxes of food and other resources. Every year, various community organizations collect and donate coats, preparing vulnerable people for the upcoming brutal winter.

This holiday season consider joining the thousands of Rochesterians who will donate their time, money or effort and give back.

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“Look at your community to see what’s important. Are the schools struggling? Does the animal shelter need donations?,” wrote Lindsey Levine for You live in the community and you are able to immediately identify what organizations, or groups of people need your help. You don’t have to work in a soup kitchen (in fact, this USA Today article suggests you don’t). Instead you can make it work for you and your schedule.

Always wanted to clean out those closets? Donate the clothing to local victims of Hurricane Maria, many of whom are facing their first winter ever. Clean out your cabinets and pantry and donate the food to local pantries or Foodlink. You can work with local children, helping with childcare (not everyone has the holiday off!) or pet sitting. Your impact can be individual or grand but you should take the time to give back this holiday time. A community doesn’t improve solely through the strength of it’s officials; a community is only as strong as its community members.

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According to the Huffington Post, only one in three Americans are “very happy.” Issues with debt, jobs, and even politics for some since the election of President Donald Trump has many bummed out. Seeing the humanity in their community can help; or contributing to that humanity can help you.

“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more,” Anthony Robbins once said. Get involved this winter; drive the elderly to church or doctors appointments. Take the time to be a listening ear for a friend. Overall, live with the giving spirit this holiday season. It’ll make us all better for it.

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