It's the most wonderful time of year. But for many souls around the world it's actually the hardest. Between the Syrian refugee crisis, homelessness at an all-time high and child hunger and malnutrition rising to staggering rates so many are focused less on cyber week sales and more on survival. So, in the spirit of giving and being the light, let's think about how we can spread more love.
As we start to scribble away our New Years resolutions, perhaps consider regularly donating your time or money to some worthy causes that could use your support now more than ever. Here are just a few ways you can make a difference:
Support the hungry: In the US alone, 12.5% of families are food insecure. Drift on over to countries like Yemen and you'll find child hunger at an all time high with over two million children needing urgent care. And according to a Johns Hopkins study, it doesn't take big bucks to make a difference. "Less than $5 a year per person can save four million lives a year," according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. How can you help? Donating your time at a local soup kitchen is a great start. You can also send monetary donations to charities like Ample Table for Everyone who supports food insecurity to NYC's staggering 22% of children in need of help.
Help the refugees: If you watch the news, read the paper, or browse the interwebs for a few seconds you'll encounter something about the global refugee crisis. After 5 years of bombing, rape and lack of aid, Syria is on its knees. Aleppo, considered the hardest hit, has only 50k remaining civilians and reportedly only a few doctors left to provide much needed care to these souls. Continual bombing has prevented aid and help from making its way into Aleppo. You can support via signing petitions, supporting Doctors Without Borders and other worthy causes like The White Helmets.
Support the homeless: homelessness is at an all-time high in NYC and many other places around the world too. Perhaps the most hard hit are children. Reportedly, one out of every 13 children in NYC schools are homeless. In a city where the average home sale has soared to a staggering 2.2 million, it seems like the income divide is a really big issue. There are local charities in every city and Stand up for kids makes it easy to find them. Our friends at Time Out also curated this great list of ways to support.
Charity begins at home: If giving to organizations that you don't have too much insight feels inappropriate to you, start with you family. My wise and benevolent grandmother always said "charity begins at home" and she's right. If members of your family are suffering from food insecurity, unemployment or just need moral support; spend your time and energy there. My point is, this holiday season let's think a little bit less about ourselves and what's under the tree and more about how we can make small contributions that can really better our world.
Peace and a bottle of green juice,