Learning how to give back to the community around us is more important than ever, but can feel hard, especially after this strange year. Here are the easiest and most effective ways you can help this winter.By Edvin Brobeck
It is no surprise that Covid-19 has made many of us feel lonely and isolated, but this is what unhoused individuals have experienced for years. Did you know that 67% of those living on the streets are single individuals? This means that a smile, a greeting or engaging in some conversation can bring so much joy and comfort, however small. If possible, offering some money for a meal or grabbing something extra while heading to lunch is always a bonus! But most importantly, avoid stereotyping anyone without a home. Each person has a different story, so take the time to hear it.
Distributing your own emergency relief packages to give back to the community has been really encouraged by charity organizations this year and the idea is fairly simple.
Fill a tote, backpack or box with essentials that unhoused individuals can’t readily access. Some suggested items include – Toiletries; soap, moisturizer for the winter, sanitary pads for women, toothbrush, hand wipes, tissue and face masks. Clothes; socks, gloves, beanies and heat packs are always very appreciated during the winter. Finally, something to eat; peanut butter, granola bars, canned soups, canned fruits and vegetables and a reusable water bottle.
These relief packages can be extremely meaningful for any community member who is struggling with finances, so if you can, helping out could make someone’s day brighter!
Spend a day sorting out your wardrobe and find things you are no longer using or in need of. Let’s be honest, if you haven’t used that jumper for the last year or two, you probably never will.
Rather than letting that old blanket or sweater collect even more dust, pack a little bag and give it away to someone who desperately needs it. This is not only a simple and thoughtful act, but also a very effective way to reuse and recycle our clothes, showing love to both our communities and mother earth!
Pro Tip: Remember that, anything that makes a concrete floor feel a bit softer, can be life changing to someone spending their nights on the street.
Did you make too much food for dinner again? Does it usually end up standing around in the fridge for days? This time around, don’t let it go to waste. Before heading to work or on your daily walk, put the leftovers in a container, heat it up and give it away to someone on an empty stomach. It literally only takes an extra 3 minutes!