When you simplify your life and focus less on what you own, you start to develop a deep sense of contentment and gratitude. For me, this has been one of the most surprising byproducts of the minimalist lifestyle. When I’m thinking less about how to make that next purchase, I tend to look around and give thanks for what I already have. My family. My friends. My purpose in life. My little home–a place to fill with memories. My needs met.
After you have that sense of gratitude, the next step becomes giving back to others. When I’m not thinking about what I want or what I deserve, I have more room to think about how I can help someone else. It’s a wonderful cycle!
There are so many ways to give back to our communities. Here are just a few.
1. Donate. When you have decluttered your house and designated some donation boxes, the next step is to give those things to someone who needs them. It might be a friend who mentioned needing a new set of maternity clothes, baby clothes, or a needed appliance. If you don’t know of any friends in need, then thrift stores and orphanages are great options.
2. Volunteer. Volunteer work is an opportunity to become part of something bigger than yourself. It’s an incredible thing. When we do something for others, knowing we’ll get nothing in return, it doesn’t just help them. It helps us, too. There are so many ways to serve in our communities. Here are a few to think about:
- Soup kitchens
- Habitat for Humanity
- Become a mentor at an orphanage or children’s home
- Be a camp counselor at a children’s summer camp
- Help out at a hospital
- Visit another country on a missions trip, or other humanitarian group
- Help out at your local YMCA
- Work at a veteran’s center
There are so many hurting people, and so much good we can accomplish with our own two hands.
3. Give to Charities. This is perhaps one of the easiest ways to help someone in need. One of my favorite charities is Metropolitan Ministries, a wonderful organization that feeds hungry children and adults in the Tampa Bay metro area. They partner with radio stations and other entities, during the holidays especially, to provide healthy meals for poverty-stricken families. They also help get families back on their feet and prepare them to re-enter the workforce. Being a part of that work is something that makes my heart swell. You can find out more here:
We have so much to be grateful for, and so much to give. When you understand how profoundly you’ve been blessed, it frees you up to help someone else. This is something that living simply allowed me to understand. What are your favorite ways to give back?
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