If your top New Year’s Resolution is to give more to charity, our #2013resolution series is here to help. All week, we’ll be posting interviews with a few cool people who want to help you navigate the charity world. Whether you’ve got spare time, spare clothes, or spare money, there are many ways for you to lend a hand to your local and global communities.
+ Lend Your Time
More than one in four Americans volunteered last year, with the 7.9 billion hours of work they put in valued at over $171 billion. Give back to your community by volunteering at a local charity, or by hosting charity events of your own. Look for problems in your area and brainstorm ways to solve them. For example, if your neighborhood park is always dirty, round up a few friends and hold a park cleanup. If you notice that many of the homeless people in your town don’t have winter clothes, collect old coats and blankets from your home and donate them to a local shelter. Even busy celebrities find time to volunteer! Last Thanksgiving, 50 Cent personally served holiday meals to more than 1,000 New Yorkers impacted by Hurricane Sandy. “The majority of people that I see resonate the strongest are people who help people,” he said at the event. So if you’re lookin’ to get picked up by a rapper like Fiddy, you better step yo’ volunteer game up!
+ Lend Your Voice
Use your physical and digital voices to speak out for your favorite causes, and to keep your friends, family, and classmates up-to-date with current events. When Ke$ha learned that the African lion population has gone down by 50% in the last 30 years, she took to Twitter to tell her followers all about it. We all have a voice, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are making our voices even louder. Take a break from retweeting Justin Bieber or quoting Taylor Swift to tell the world about your favorite cause.
+ Lend Your Money
When it comes to donating, 75% of young people donated money to causes last year, with the vast majority donating under $100. Times are tough, but if you have a little money to spare, a lot of great organizations could use your help. Rihanna recently gave $100,000 to the Food Bank for New York City to aide in hurricane relief. Alicia Keys’ Keep A Child Alive foundation asks fans to text "BUYLIFE" to 90999 to donate $10 to bring care and medicine to the millions of children in Africa affected by AIDS. Browse the net (or our site!) to find a charity you’re passionate about, make sure it’s legit, then donate what you can. Every little bit helps!