We’ve all experienced it … that stir-crazy, anxious feeling we get when we’re bored or have been cooped up for too long. The weather’s bad, so we can’t go outside, and we’re all caught up on the past episodes of our favorite TV shows. Performing acts of charity during these times is the perfect prescription for getting all those feel-good vibes coursing through our veins once again.
Most homeless shelters have organizations that regularly support them with donations of clothes, personal care items and food. But at any given time they may be running short on one item or another. This week, as my father-in-law and I were feeling antsy from all the snow and cold temperatures, I called one of our local shelters. It turns out they were low on coffee and sugar. So we hopped in the car and made a beeline for the grocery store. We delivered the goods to the shelter personally, and for less than the cost of a movie and popcorn, we helped others in need, banished our boredom and gave our self-esteem a shot in the arm.
Much like homeless shelters, food pantries also suffer from temporary shortages on certain items. To check, all you need to do is give them a call and ask what they need most at that moment. A quick trip to the grocery store is all that’s needed to fill a very important need. Just make sure you find out when they are open to accept donations.
Domestic Violence Shelters
For safety and security reasons, domestic violence shelters aren’t as visible to the public as homeless shelters or food pantries. For the same reasons your donations may need to be dropped off at a location separate from the shelter itself. But because resident turnover is high, and the needs of each resident are different, domestic violence shelters are often in need of specific items. Be sure to call first to find out exactly what they need.
Goodwill, Salvation Army, Purple Heart, Etc.
Most of us always have some clothes that no longer fit, or perhaps some household goods we no longer want. Cleaning out our closet or sorting through the garage is a great way to breathe new life into our mood and break the boredom. You don’t need a whole car full of items – just a few is enough to reap the benefits you’ll receive both from de-cluttering and donating.
So the next time you’re bored or feeling blue, take an hour or two to offer up a little of yourself for those in need. It doesn’t require a long-term commitment and it delivers a lot of goodwill bang for your buck.