With the holidays upon us, many people take this time to reflect on what they are grateful for -- cherished memories with the family become the most important activity to us (if not year round) for a few short months. In this time, many families have come to take up new traditions -- like volunteering! Tis better to give than receive and with an abundant amount of causes to support right here in Dallas, there is no reason not to spread a little holiday cheer. Fostering the spirit of a safe and supportive community starts with each of us, here are a few ideas to ignite your inner philanthropist!
Volunteering can sound defeating, can one person really make a difference? YES! We have broken down for you exactly what sector of our community your actions could impact and detailed ideas on where to start:
Nonprofits Benefit Infrastructure:
Some charities in Dallas contribute to our labor force by teaching skills to disadvantaged individuals and helping them get back to work. The old, teach a man to fish saying right? North Texas Food Bank has an initiative called the Community Kitchen, which trains people who have an interest in a culinary career, while supplying nutritious meals to the community. A more educated and skilled workforce benefits Dallas by bringing spending power and tax dollars to the city, which in turn supports infrastructure. It's not a handout, it's a hand up.
Dallas also benefits from nonprofit events such as the annual Big Design Conference which attracts attendees from afar afield as Europe. These events bring tourism to Dallas, helping maintain the success of businesses in our city.
How You Can Help
Volunteering your time or skills at a charity is an excellent way to offer support. Most nonprofits rely heavily on volunteers to continue providing their services to the communities of Dallas. At Jonathan's Place, which looks after neglected, abandoned and abused children, you could help out by sitting with the kids while they do their homework. Alternatively, offer up a skill such as gardening the grounds to keep it looking fresh and cheerful.
Monetary donations are obviously the backbone of nonprofits. Without money, they can't be sustained. You could set up a regular payment to a Dallas charity which has goals and ideals that resonate with you, or your donations could be in the form of toys and non-perishable food.
Support businesses who give back to nonprofits. Tree Classics is one retailer who runs philanthropic campaigns to raise money for charity. Support their latest campaign by buying your Christmas tree from them, and they will donate a portion of the price to a charity of your choosing. Nonprofits local to Dallas they are teaming up with this year include the North Texas Food Bank, Dare to Dream Children's Foundation, Jonathan's Place, and Big Design.
The first step to leadership is showing up! Don't sit on the sidelines, become an active member in your community and "be the change you wish to see in this world". Be present at local charity events to show your support and raise funds. How can we expect to witness continued growth if we are not invested our community? Take a stand, together, this is our Dallas!
To learn more about volunteer opportunities look to the Volunteer Center of North Texas.