(Family Features) Each year, the true spirit of the holidays can seem to get buried further beneath mountains of wrapping paper and drowned out by commercialism.
However, when it comes to the holidays, gifts don’t have to come in glossy paper with crisp edges and hidden tape (though those are nice, too). For example, author Carol Lavin Bernick recommends focusing on gifts that make an impact, such as giving back within your community.
The former chairman of beauty conglomerate Alberto Culver, Bernick published “Gather As You Go,”a book sharing insights she’s learned through her many roles: corporate leader, working mother, philanthropist and founder of the nonprofit organization Enchanted Backpack.
Consider these tips from Bernick for making a difference without breaking the bank.
- It’s About More Than Just Dollars
Instead of measuring your support by how much money you give, focus on the many ways you can support organizations near and dear to you by spreading the word online and in-person while recruiting new supporters. Alternatively, you can find an organization that puts your knowledge and skills to work. For example, if you’re an artist or IT specialist, find a charity that needs your skill set.
- Think Long-Term
When you’re working with an organization, consider how you can help it find a long-term solution to problems. For example, if you’re interested in helping young girls excel in science and math, work with your local elementary or junior high school to establish or support an after-school STEM program.
- Start at Home
Teach your children the importance of giving back by donating gifts to those in need through charitable programs, volunteering at a food pantry or fundraising through a bake sale.
- Shop with Purpose
This year, you can make an impact with your holiday shopping by buying gifts that give back. For instance, all proceeds from “Gather As You Go”directly benefit Enchanted Backpack.
- Focus on Your Passions
Define your focus and make a difference by dedicating yourself to one or two causes that excite you the most. Find your passion and pursue it.
Find more inspiration to give back at gatherasyougo.com.
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