Easy and Effective Ways to Give Back

Getting involved in charitable endeavors and paying it forward can help enact positive change in the lives of others and facilitate immense personal fulfillment. Unfortunately, as a result of hectic work schedules, assorted personal obligations and various other commitments, many of us think we lack sufficient time to give back. However, being a force of positive change doesn’t have to entail sacrificing sizable chunks of time or throwing your schedule into disarray. Anyone looking for easy and effective ways to give back would do well to consider the following options.

Assist Local Seniors 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a community with a shortage of senior-focused volunteer opportunities. For one thing, countless rest homes, retirement communities and senior centers are always recruiting volunteers for a wide variety of positions. Depending on your level of experience and how much responsibility you’re comfortable taking on, your volunteer duties could range from simply keeping residents company to planning and monitoring day trips. Additionally, if you have a background in any type of entertainment, chances are any of the establishments mentioned above would be happy to have you put on a show for residents. 

Of course, this isn’t to say that formal volunteer opportunities are the only vehicle through which to help seniors in your community. Providing care and assistance to the seniors in your immediate orbit can effectively make their lives easier and prevent them from feeling overlooked. Running errands, preparing meals and spending time with elderly relatives, friends and neighbors are just a few of the ways you can help the special seniors in your life.  

Volunteer at Animal Shelters 

Animal lovers who are interested in helping unwanted and abandoned pets find good homes should consider pursuing volunteer opportunities at local shelters. Just keep in mind that your duties are likely to extend far beyond playing with puppies and kittens. In addition to cleaning up assorted messes, you may find yourself responsible for administering food, water and medication, as well as processing adoption applications and interviewing prospective pet parents. 

If you don’t have time to formally volunteer at an animal shelter, you may want to think about opening your home to foster pets. Fostering animals can be a great way to ease the burden on local shelters and prepare pets for adoption. Furthermore, should you become particularly attached to any of your new friends, considering turning your residence into their forever home.    

Take Part in Food Drives 

Even though the U.S. is among the wealthiest nations on Earth, food insecurity is a prevalent problem. So, if you’re looking for effective ways to prevent your fellow citizens from not getting enough to eat or going hungry, why not take part in a local food drive? Although food drives and other donation events are particularly common throughout the holiday season, many communities see a shortage of them after the new year has been rung in. As such, if you’ve encountered a dearth of food drives in your community, consider organizing one in partnership with local small businesses, schools and houses of worship. 

Furthermore, in the interest of building awareness, request that assorted local businesses post fliers and mention your food drive on social media. The more people become aware of your efforts, the more food you’re liable to collect, so when organizing or taking part in local food drives, generating word of mouth should be among your top priorities.  

Donate to Your Favorite Causes 

Provided you have sufficient financial resources, you should consider making monetary donations to your favorite causes. Additionally, if you’re unable to find any local charities that are dedicated to causes about which you’re passionate, simply fire up your web browser and access your favorite search engine. For example, if you’re looking to donate to organizations that support human rights, the are an extensive range of options from which to choose. 


Although many of us strive to be difference-makers, few of us have the bandwidth and inclination to truly follow through. However, even if you’re absolutely strapped for time, there are a wide variety of ways you can make a difference in your community – and beyond. While there’s nothing wrong with dedicating yourself to the creation of positive change, giving back doesn’t have to be an all-consuming commitment. If simple – yet impactful – charitable endeavors are what you seek, simply consider the options outlined above.