Better Person, Better Future

This time of year is when children start thinking about being good and helping other people. Follow their lead and start helping other people with these simple tips.

Many children are neglected by their parents and relatives. You can make a big difference in their lives as a mentor or a friend. Try the local Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate to start with. You can also help grateful pets at the SPCA, particularly if you have skills with uncommon animals like reptiles or large animals. You may also have a specific animal or breed rescue in your area. You do not need to adopt or foster to help; even volunteering for a couple hours a week can make an enormous difference.

You can also help the elderly or disabled in many ways. Volunteering to visit some for just a little time every month can cheer many of them up for the entire week, as many feel that no one cares about them. You can also bring them food or other necessities or help them lift things or tidy up; such actions become more difficult for them. Check with your local church or pay attention to your neighborhood to start; the social workers at your local hospital or department of social services might have some more names for you.

You might be surprised to see how many in your local community need help. If you see a tired mother loaded down with bags and struggling to control her children, ask her if there’s any way you can lighten her burden. If you see a homeless person, offer them a granola bar or sandwich and maybe familiarize yourself with the local shelters and food banks so you can help them get there.

You would be surprised at how many people are afraid to tell their family members they need help. Maybe your mother needs to move something heavy, but is too proud to ask for help. Maybe your niece could use help with her math homework but is too proud to ask mom and dad. Perhaps your uncle lost his job but your aunt is too proud to ask for food stamps. There are a million ways to help. It might be as simple as babysitting your cousins for a day so your aunt can go out to the movies but it will make a big difference to them and that is what counts.

Working in a community garden can help many people improve their access to quality food sources. If you have a green thumb this is a good way to help others.

Helping others is not just good for you but also for the people you help and the community you live in. You never know when you might need help yourself, too. It can help make you feel useful and appreciated in a time when many people are either overworked and underpaid or out of work entirely. If you are out of work. Volunteering someplace important to you might even lead to a job. Improve yourself and be a better person today; identify your best skills and put them to work helping other people.