After all the shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it feels good to be able to give something back on #GivingTuesday.
There are so many ways you can hold on to that Thanksgiving spirit and show that you’re thankful. Here are seven ways that you can make a real difference this holiday.
1. Show your BFF that you appreciate them.
Sure, they get on your nerves and still have that sweatshirt they promised to give back, but your BFF is always there for you, through thick and thin. So do something to show them you care! Give a book to your BFF on Tuesday, November, 28th, just because! Whether it’s a book based on a personal joke or just a good read that you know they will enjoy, they will definitely appreciate it. You can even surprise them by leaving the gift by their door or in their locker. Don’t forget to include a note to tell them why you’re thankful that they’re your BFF.
2. Go through your shelves.
We all know you don’t read all the books on that shelf anymore. Sure, some books are forever, but maybe you're ready to pass along those Junie B. Jones books you couldn’t put down ten years ago. For this Giving Tuesday, clean out your shelves and donate your old books to a school, thrift store, or library. You can even hand those childhood books you've been hoarding in the basement to your little cousin or a neighbor. It will feel good to do some fall cleaning—and you can make room for more books!
3. Plan a date with Grandma.
Call up Grandma to plan a date! It doesn’t even have to be a grandparent; it can be any older relative or an elderly neighbor. They would love to hear your voice, and offering to come chat or to go out for lunch will mean the world to them. Don’t forget to tell them about your most recent read. Talking about books can be a great way to connect. It only takes an hour or two of your time, but will make all the difference for them.
4. Offer to read to your younger sibling.
Ask your little brother or sister to put down the iPad and read with you! If you don’t have a younger sibling, ask the child you babysit, your little cousin, or any youngster in your life. It’s super important for children to be exposed to books early on, and you will get to share quality time with people you love. Plus, it’s guaranteed to bring you closer together!
4. Run a book drive.
Run a book drive in your school for a nearby hospital, clinic, or homeless shelter! Okay, this venture is on the bigger side, and you may need to get your school administration, community center, or parents involved. But sharing your love of reading with those in need and giving back to your community is beneficial for everyone. It doesn’t look bad on a résumé, either.
5. Educate yourself on a cause.
Find a cause that you care about but haven’t had the time to look into. This could be climate change, education, food insecurity, or any other issue that interests you. Find a book or two on the subject and read up on it! Sure, you’re not giving back in that instant, but learning about a new cause will help you to make more informed decisions in the future, see beyond your own circumstances, and maybe even spark an idea of how you can help.
6. Surprise your family.
Instead of going out next Friday night, ask your family to stay in and spend time together. Cook dinner, play games, and have some quiet reading time. You can even share a piece of writing that caught your eye this week and discuss it. Family time is often lost in the busyness of school and work, but organizing a night together will show your family that you’re thankful for them.
7. Give the gift of reading.
The holiday season is coming up! And, yes, gifts are exciting, but you might not need every present that comes your way. Ask a friend or family member to donate to a cause you love instead of giving you a gift this year. There are many great organizations that help spread books to those in need, and doing your part to help will feel great. Instead of your usual BFF gift swap, you could both buy a book for a stranger. You can practice this random act of kindness by leaving the book on a subway or bus with a note wishing the stranger a happy holiday.