Jerry Swon has a longstanding interest in volunteering and community involvement.

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How To Follow Through With Your Philanthropic Resolution Jerry Swon

How to Follow Through With Your Philanthropic Resolution

As the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, many people make resolutions to better themselves in the coming year. Whether it’s committing to a fitness routine or vowing to save more money, there are plenty of goals that people set for themselves during the first month of the year. But what about those who pledged to become more philanthropic? How can they follow through on their resolution and make a real difference in their community?

Here are a few tips for making your philanthropic resolutions a reality:

1. Define what “philanthropy” means to you.

The word “philanthropy” comes from the Greek words “Philos” (meaning “love”) and “Anthropos” (meaning “human”). So, philanthropy can be defined as the love of humans. But what does that mean for you?

Do you want to volunteer your time at a local homeless shelter? Or maybe donate to your favorite charity? It’s essential to define what philanthropy means to you to create specific goals and objectives for yourself.

2. Make a plan.

Once you know what you want to achieve, it’s time to make a plan of action. Figure out how much time you can commit to volunteering or how much money you want to donate each month. This will help you stay on track and achieve your goals.

3. Find a community of like-minded people.

It can be helpful to find a community of people who share the same philanthropic values. This can provide support and motivation as you work to make a difference in your community.

4. Be patient.

Don’t expect to change the world overnight. Remember that it takes time and effort to make a real difference in the lives of others. Have patience and be persistent in your efforts.

5. Celebrate your successes!

It’s important to celebrate your successes along the way. Not only does this help keep you motivated and cheerful, but it will also inspire others who want to make a difference as well.

6. Give back.

The best way to follow through on your philanthropic resolutions is to give back. Volunteer your time, money or skills to a cause that’s important to you. This is the best way to make a real impact in your community.

Resolving to become more philanthropic can be a rewarding experience. By following these tips, you can ensure that your resolution becomes a reality. And who knows? You might find that helping others is the best way to help yourself.

Volunteer Ideas This Holiday Season Jerry Swon

Volunteer Ideas This Holiday Season

The holiday season is a great time for a person to volunteer for the first time. Volunteering can make one feel good, and it can make a difference in one’s community. There are many opportunities for volunteering during the holiday season, and each person can find an opportunity that feels right for them.

 

Consider Making Cards to Pass Out:

Those who enjoy working with paper and creating crafts can work on putting together special holiday cards. The cards can then be given out to lonely neighbors, those in the hospital, or those who are making a difference in one’s community. Anyone who receives a homemade holiday card will feel special.

 

Spend Time with Residents in Assisted Living Facilities:

There are people who are living in homes that do not receive a lot of visitors and who can spend the holiday season longing for some company. Those who have the time should consider going to an assisted living facility to spend time with the residents there.

 

Give to Those Working at the Hospital:

Those who spend long hours working in the hospital during the holiday season will appreciate being remembered. One might put together a gift basket to present to the nurses at a local hospital.

 

Give to Those Working at the Fire and Police Departments:

Those who work at the fire and police department often have to give of their time during the holidays, missing out on family activities. Volunteers can present such people with baked goods and other gifts that help them know that they are remembered.

 

Shop for Children Who Won’t Otherwise Receive Gifts:

There are children who have parents in the prison system who will not receive gifts unless a volunteer buys them for them. There are also children living in poverty who would love to receive gifts. Volunteers can get involved with a variety of charities to shop for gifts for children who will not receive anything if strangers do not step in.

 

There are Many Holiday Volunteer Opportunities:

Each person can find a holiday volunteer opportunity that appeals to them and that fits with their strengths. When someone gives during the holiday season, they will feel good about what they are doing and the lives they are touching.            

Donate To A Food Bank Jerry Swon

The Best Foods You Can Donate to a Food Bank

Throughout the United States, one in seven people struggle with not getting enough food. Many people rely on food banks to get the food they need to feed their families. Anyone can donate to a local food bank, but what donations help the most? Below you will find the best foods to donate to food banks.

Protein is an important part of anyone’s diet. Protein helps build and repair tissue, as well as become an important building block for bones, muscles, and skin. Try finding canned protein items like fish or chicken. You will also want to donate vegetarian protein sources such as beans and peanut butter. For someone who can’t eat meat, these substitutions can create a filling meal.

Food Bank Donation Suggestions:

  • Canned fish like tuna or salmon
  • Canned chicken
  • Canned beans
  • Canned soups
  • Nuts
  • Trail Mix

Pantry Staples 

Look for shelf-stable foods that can be flavored a variety if ways and incorporated into multiple recipes. For example, canned cream of chicken soup can be used in all sorts of recipes like casseroles, chicken pot pie, chili, etc.

Food Bank Donation Suggestions:

  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Tomato sauce
  • Canned vegetables
  • Cooking oils
  • Flour
What You Should Avoid Donating

While any donations are helpful, there are a few things that you will want to avoid donating. Probably the most obvious thing you should avoid donating is perishable food. The majority of your food should have a longer shelf life, and not go bad after only a few days. Besides nonperishable foods, you should also avoid donating junk food and any canned food that is damaged, unlabeled, or home made.

Junk Food and Soda

Food that is both shelf-stable and nutritious, is something that people struggle with getting the most. You might think your donation of treats, candy, or chips is adding some variety to the food bank, but in reality, food banks receive a lot more junk food than what they actually need. While everyone likes junk food and snacks, this kind of food is difficult to cook healthy and filling meals with.

Canned Food That is Damaged, Unlabeled, or Homemade

Canned food that is dented or has a rusty can, can be dangerous to consume. Dented cans can cause leaks which will compromise canned food which in turn can cause food poisoning. You will also want to leave any unlabeled or homemade items at home.

If you have any questions of what you can’t donate, feel free to call your local food bank.

 

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Charities That Help Children at Christmas

For Christmas this year, start a tradition with your family and give back to children who are in need. Below you will find four charities the help children during the holidays.

Toys for Tots

One of the most recognizable charities on this list is Toys for Tots. Between October and December you can purchase anew toy and drop it off at a U.S. Marines’ Toys for Tots location. One of the members of the U.S. Marine Corps will then collect the toys and give them out to children in the community. When donatating a toy make sure that it is unwrapped!

Operation Christmas Child

Leading up to the holidays, don’t throw out your shoeboxes! Operation Christmas Child is a charity that collects shoeboxes that are filled with all sorts of little gifts from toys to school supplies to candy to hygiene products. As a volunteer of this project, you can select a specific age group and fill a shoebox with items of that age group.

On top of the little gifts you pick out, there is a small donation required to cover any shipping costs. If you decide to donate online, you will be able to track your shoebox until it reaches its new home.

 

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Make-A-Wish Foundation is a charity that is pretty active year-round, but during the holiday season they are busier than  ever. The foundation works to making the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions come true. During the holidays many companies will partner up with Make-A-Wish to make the most impact as possible.

To help out Make-A-Wish this season, consider dropping off a letter to Santa at any Macy’s location. Every letter you drop off Macy’s will donate a dollar to Make-A-Wish.

Another way to help is buy gifts through the Make-a-Wish store. You have to get your Christmas shopping done anyway, you might as well give back while you are doing it. Not only will your friends and family receive a wonderful gift, but every item you buy, a portion of the proceeds will go back Make-A-Wish Foundation.

My Two Front Teeth and the Family Giving Tree

During the holiday season, My Two Front Teeth and the Family Giving Tree, join together to help children. To help a child start by visiting either of the charities’ websites. Each website have a list of children’s names, their ages, as well as what they would like for Christmas. From there you can pick which child you would like to support.

 

Top Charities Family & Kids Love Giving To At The Holidays Jerry Swon (1)

Top Charities Family & Kids Love Giving to at the Holidays

There is no better time than during the holidays to give back as a family. Whether you already give back throughout the year or wish to start a holiday-giving tradition in your family, giving back is a wonderful way to teach your children about the value of kindness. Expressing kindness through giving to those in need will lay the groundwork for your children to become more kind and generous adults, which we all know the world needs more of.

Here’s a list of top charities family and kids love giving towards during the holiday season:

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots provides the opportunity for your family to shop for children who are less fortunate. You can purchase a new, unwrapped toy and take it to a Toys for Tots drop-off location near you. The toys will then be distributed to children in your very own community.

World Wildlife Fund

The World Wildlife Fund was established to protect wild animals and their habitats on a global scale. Your family can choose an animal adoption kit of your choice or shop the website with a portion of the proceeds going directly towards the WWF’s global conservation efforts.

Better World Books

Does your family love to read? This wonderful program allows your children to set aside their gently used books and donating them. The books will then be redistributed to children around the world. You can go to their website to find a donation box in your area or mail your books to their headquarters. This is a charity that’s great for any time of the year.

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child takes a collection of shoeboxes filled with school supplies, toys, hygiene items, apparel, candy and more to children in need. If you donate online, you will receive a special label so that you can track your box’s journey to its final destination.

Make-a-Wish Foundation

The Make-a-Wish Foundation helps make the wishes of children with life-threatening medical needs come true. There are numerous ways to give back to this charity. You can shop at specific stores where a portion of the proceeds will go towards the Make-a-Wish Foundation. You can also raise funds by purchasing gifts through the charity’s online store.

Angel Tree

Angel Tree helps children who have a parent in prison. Statistics show that one in three prisoners is a parent with 75% of female prisoners being mothers. Through this charity, your family will pick a child to sponsor in your city or you can make a monetary donation online.

5 Companies That Give Back In Big Ways Jerry Swon

5 Companies That Give Back in Big Ways

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming an important concern across all industries because it impacts a company’s bottom line and the community. The growing importance of CSR reports is now a factor for investment decisions among those who value sustainability. The following are 5 companies that place a major emphasis on CSR and giving back to society.

1. The Coca-Cola Company

The soft drink maker has donated over $800 million through the Coca-Cola Foundation since 1984 in its quest toward sustainability. Each year the company allocates one percent of the prior year’s operating income to the foundation and other causes. Some of the recipients receiving the largest donations have included American National Red Cross ($1.2 million) and the National Recreation and Park Association ($1 million).

2. The Walt Disney Company

The media company donated over $333 million to nonprofit organizations in 2015. Another way the giant has given back to the community is through its Disney VoluntEARS program, which promotes employee volunteer activity. This service has led to millions of hours of volunteer help. As an example of using its brand for fundraising, the Stars Wars: Force for Change initiation took in over $4.2 million for UNICEF Innovation Labs.

3. Amway

The company’s slogan is “Helping People Live Better Lives.” A primary focus is helping children in need, as the company has raised $225 million from donations since 2003. Through its partnership with the U.S. Dream Academy, Amway helps improve lives of young people by building skills and character. Another one of the company’s contributions to social responsibility is developing a health packet called Nutrilite Little Bits.

4. Starbucks

The Starbucks Foundation gives millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations. Starbucks also invests millions of dollars in its Opportunity for Youth program. The company supports sustainable ideals through its supply chain. Some of the sustainable activities Starbucks supports include biodiversity conservation, water sanitation and agricultural training.

5. Whole Foods Market

This grocery store chain focuses on healthier choices than what is found in conventional supermarkets. The company works with several foundations, such as the Whole Planet Foundation, which aims to reduce poverty in 69 countries involved with company products. The company works with programs that raise awareness for kids and teachers about nutrition.

More and more often you will find that the list of companies who give back is growing. The companies listed above are only a few, that give back to the community. Are there any other companies you believe should be added to this list?
Festive Ways To volunteer in The Fall Jerry Swon

Festive Ways to Volunteer In The Fall

There are so many opportunities for volunteering in the community during the fall. With seasonal events held regularly and community celebrations happening, volunteers can really make a difference this time of year. Best of all the cooler weather seems to bring more smiles of the face of volunteers!

Although we are only in September, October is right around the corner. A festive and fun opportunity to volunteer this fall is by organizing a trick-or-treating expedition for any underprivileged children in the area. Children’s groups are a good place to start. They may be in need of volunteers for Halloween day/night.

Another place where people can really make a difference is at nursing/retirement homes. Those who have children dressing up for Halloween are encouraged to take their kids there, in costume. This is also an activity that can be organized for the children in the neighborhood, as a group. The residents of nursing/retirement homes often enjoy seeing the children in their costumes and briefly interacting with them.

Other ways to help out in any community include starting a collection for a local charity. March of Dimes and Trick-Or-Treat UNICEF are both non-profit organizations that will likely appreciate the help. Getting people in the community to donate what they can is enough to make a difference in the holiday season.

Food banks always need donations, but this is especially true in the fall when the holiday season is about to begin. They are often happy to work with the public to run a food drive. People are generally more open to donating to this type of cause. Getting friends and neighbors together is an effective way to ensure local food banks have all the supplies they need for the season.

Charities aren’t just looking for food donations. Fall also brings with it cooler weather that requires warner clothes. The Warm Coats Warm Hearts Drive collects coats to give to those in need in communities all over the country. Another non-profit that needs help during the fall is The Pajama Program. This program ensures that local children have warm pajamas. It is always in need of volunteers to help organize and run events related to its cause.

These are just a few of the ways that people can volunteer during the fall season. Doing so can create a sense of appreciation and gratitude that only serves to enhance the meaning of the season.

Tips For Volunteering In A Soup Kitchen Jerry Swon

Tips for Volunteering in a Soup Kitchen

Volunteering your time is one of the most selfless things you can do, especially when it involves feeding those who are less fortunate. People may have a slew of reasons as to why they want to volunteer, but one thing is for certain; they want to help others. Volunteering at soup kitchen is an easy way to start your volunteer journey but, before you jump right in, here are a few tips you might want to take into consideration.

Tip #1: Be Okay With Taking Directions

When someone signs up to volunteer, they need to be okay with not being the boss. Volunteers are there to help others, not be the star of the show. If they’re not good at taking orders from others, it’s probably better to find another form of volunteering.

When volunteering to work in a soup kitchen, volunteers need to be open to doing whatever needs to be done. From cooking and serving to cleaning up afterward, having an open mind is a must. Since volunteers wear multiple hats, they also have to be flexible.

Tip #2: Proceed with Caution

When someone feels volunteering at a soup kitchen is right for them, they still need to proceed with caution. Whenever you decide to volunteer, you must make sure that you are in optimal health. Being around food when you are sick is a health risk for others.

In addition to not being ill, your attire should also be a consideration. Play it safe and wear sneakers as opposed to open-toed shoes. Also, it’s better to wear clothes that won’t be ruined by stains. Volunteers with long hair need to tie it back and wear a hairnet. Finally, if someone is allergic to latex, they also should bring their own gloves.

Tip #3: Think About The Many Ways Help

Even if the soup kitchen already has met its quota of volunteers, there are other ways to help out. People wanting to feed the needy can rally for local businesses and even their neighbors to donate any extra food they have. It’s nothing short of shocking how much food grocery stores and restaurants throw out every day.

Tip #4: Things to Consider

Helping others who are down on their luck is a noble cause. But even people with the biggest hearts might not understand the process of volunteering in a soup kitchen. Before offering to help do, ask questions and make sure it’s the right fit.

Top Countries To Volunteer In That Need Your Help Jerry Swon

Top Countries To Volunteer in That Need Your Help

Want to make a difference, but not sure where to start? Volunteering abroad can be a life-changing experience and make a positive impact on the world. You don’t have to confine yourself to United States boarders. There are many countries all over the world who need a lending hand from others. The following are the top countries that need the most support from committed volunteers.

Morocco
Morocco needs volunteers in healthcare and education. A high percentage of the country’s rural population still lives in poverty, despite a massive year-on-year commitment the government made in 2005. Volunteers seeking to make a difference in public health and women’s rights will also find ample opportunities here. Morocco follows strict Islamic customs, so volunteers should keep that in mind in their dress and behavior.

Mexico
Many immigrants come through Mexico seeking a better life in the United States. Mexico needs volunteers in healthcare and community development. People interested in biology may also be interested in joining a marine conservation project. Mexico has a sharp divide between what tourists see and experience and the daily life of its people. Pay attention to the latest warnings from the United States State Department to know which places to avoid.

Fiji
Fiji has over 300 islands. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer in ecotourism or marine conservation. Would-be teachers might look for a chance to teach English or coach local sports. English is spoken fairly widely here, so communication isn’t difficult. However, Fiji is fairly remote and expensive to get to when compared with other volunteering opportunities abroad.

Peru
Peru’s economic inequalities lead volunteers from all over to this beautiful, mountainous country. Volunteers can contribute in community development, construction, and teaching English. Be aware of the lack of modern hygiene, but don’t let that be a barrier to making a difference.

Haiti
Haiti has been pummeled by political strife and natural disasters for years. The country is still rebuilding from an earthquake in 2010. Hurricane Matthew in 2016 has set redevelopment back even further. There are plenty of ways to volunteer in disaster relief and reconstruction. Volunteers should take the time to fully educate themselves about the requirements of their chosen program before embarking on a volunteer trip to Haiti.

Thailand
Thailand is a popular destination for backpackers, foodies, and adventurers. It’s also a great place to volunteer. One of the biggest ways to give back is in elephant protection. However, volunteers should seriously educate themselves about Thailand’s complicated sociopolitical situation before hopping on a plane.

How You Can Bring Change To Your Community Jerry Swon

How You Can Bring Change to Your Community

There is nothing as good as living in a place and bringing about some form of positive change. Creating an impact within your community can help to improve the lives of the locals while also creating a name for yourself. The opportunities are limitless as far as the options you have to bring some change in your community.

Donating for charity

Every community should have an opportunity for residents to contribute to charity. Even if no charity organization exists in your area, you may opt to rally the locals towards donating and raising money for other charitable causes. You may also champion the idea of establishing regular visits to nearby children homes as a way of upholding philanthropy.

Be a responsible resident

Another way you can help bring about change within your area is if you get yourself actively involved in local politics and issues of social, economic, and political concern. Active involvement in such issues helps ensure that the local government is brought to task and supervised accordingly to ensure responsible leadership. Such a contribution helps alleviate some of the most common leadership challenges that poorly governed communities face.

Being a recycling ambassador

One of the greatest challenges we have in our time is the need to live environmentally-responsible lives. Being cautious of how resourcefully to use the environment by recycling and practicing proper disposal of waste can help bring an impact.  As we all know, trash has a very negative impact on our environment. Recycling helps us conserve energy and keep our environment looking healthy and clean. Recycling waste yourself can also impact other people who may have you as a role model as far as maintaining the integrity of the environment is concerned.

Buying local

Buying local has a ton of great benefits! It reduces environmental impact, keeps the community unique, and creates more local ownership and jobs. It is always said that buying locally produced items helps build the local economy. You should, therefore, target frequenting the local stores and grocery outlets for your common shopping needs. Besides, buying locally produced items gives you access to fresh produce directly from the farm. Buying locally also help sustain the locals’ businesses, thereby creating economic sustainability.

Become socially conscious

Social consciousness in a community is crucial in helping maintain peace and stability within the area. Social responsibility can be practiced by endeavoring to check on the welfare of your neighbors and empathetically solving common social problems.

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