The holidays are an opportune time to slow down, reflect on the past year, enjoy quality time with loved ones and contribute meaningfully to our communities.
From using our purchase power to shop responsibly to exploring in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities, there are myriad ways for you and yours to get more civically engaged this holiday season. Points of Light’s Civic Circle is a framework that helps connect individuals to opportunities and show that doing good comes in many forms.
Here are some ways to get involved this holiday season.
- Use your purchase power to make more informed decisions when shopping. Whether it’s shopping local, buying BIPOC-owned brands, supporting small businesses, or seeking out sustainable goods, where you choose to spend your dollar matters. You can greatly impact the causes you care about by doing a little upfront research and selecting products and brands that reflect your values.
- Find in-person or virtual volunteer opportunities. Volunteering around the holidays can benefit everyone involved – the volunteer, the recipient, the nonprofit organization and the larger community. While some may opt to use their time and talents in person, like at a local food bank, others may feel more comfortable volunteering virtually. Fortunately, there are plenty of formal volunteer opportunities out there – and don’t forget about informal ones too, like shoveling snow on your neighborhood sidewalk or grocery shopping for an elderly neighbor.
- Contribute with monetary or in-kind donations. Donating is one way to support the welfare of others, and donations don’t have to be large to be meaningful. You can choose to give money, goods (like coats, toiletries or food items) or services (helping with childcare, cleaning, car care or cooking).
- Listening and learning about issues and cause areas is a year-round effort, but the holidays typically provide some extra opportunities. First, consider using some of your downtime to research the issues you care about. Listen to podcasts, read the news, watch conversations with experts. When you gather with friends or family, don’t avoid these topics. Dive in and discuss what you’re learning, listening to others’ perspectives respectfully as well. Often, it’s those times around the table that can help move us forward on an individual level, which then naturally extends outward.
At the back of each of our Civic Life Today magazines, we’ve included a personal action plan. These worksheets are tailored to each facet of the Civic Circle and they help readers discover which causes they care most about, research organizations helping to solve these issues and then plan and prioritize their involvement.
Whatever ways you choose to get involved this year, sharing your light inspires others to do the same, and that collectively light can transform the world.