15 Jan 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Good
At the start of every new year, millions of Canadians think about ways to make the coming twelve months better than the last. We plan ways that we can grow personally, professionally and in our relationships. What people often forget about is to make a resolution to do some more good.
Wherever you look, it seems like tragedies and disasters dominate conversations, social media and the news. It can be easy to get caught up in all the negative going on and doing some good might appear overwhelming. Luckily, we have five easy resolutions for you to choose from to put some good out into the world.
There is no shortage of opportunities to volunteer and make an impact in your community. Whatever your interest or unique skill set is, there is likely a volunteer role out there that you can fill and help some of the most vulnerable in Simcoe Muskoka.
In addition to the social good you will be doing, volunteering has some very positive effects on you as well; being a volunteer has correlated with better mental and physical health, opens up new experiences and opportunities, looks great on your resume and is a ton of fun! For more information on the benefits of volunteering for you and others, read our blog.
If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, United Way Simcoe Muskoka’s Youth United Youth Council and GenNext programs are great places to start. There are also UWSM committees, like the Community Impact Standing Committee and the External Relations Committee that are always looking for experienced members. If you’re looking for other opportunities, you can browse volunteer opportunities by region in Muskoka, Simcoe County and South Georgian Bay.
2. Donate Clothes
Clothes are one of the most popular gifts to give during the holiday season, which means that your wardrobe or closet might be bursting at the seams right now. The new year is a perfect time to go through your clothes and donate those that you no longer wear.
Organizations like Dress for Success Orillia & Barrie or Value Village will usually take used clothing, depending on the condition of the clothing and how much they currently have. Homeless shelters are other organizations that are usually looking for clothes. No matter which organization you choose to donate to, be sure to call ahead first and see what they are accepting.
If you have some old clothes that aren’t suitable for donation (i.e. stained or torn) or other unused textiles, stores like H&M have textile recycling programs. Considering about 85% of unwanted textiles in North America end up in landfills, programs like these will either resell, reuse or recycle fabric where appropriate, with 0% of textiles donated to H&M going to a landfill.
We all have those clothes that we are unsure about and can’t part with yet. If you can’t make the New Year’s resolution to let go of some of those clothes, try hanging your clothes with the hangers all in one direction. Once you wear a piece once and hang it up again, turn the hanger the other way. When the season or year is over, donate any clothes that haven’t been turned around yet.
One of the best ways to spread some good with clothing donations is to get your whole workplace involved. If you want to organize an office event like a clothing drive, click here to get some support from United Way Simcoe Muskoka.
3. Spread More Positivity
It only takes a quick glance at comments on social media or perhaps a holiday dinner with extended family to realize that people are becoming slightly more negative.
Make one of your New Year’s Resolutions to spread some more positivity in your daily life. It might be as simple as smiling and opening the door for someone, complimenting someone’s work, or going the extra mile at home or in the office, but spreading good will isn’t difficult.
These random acts of kindness have been shown to have positive increases in your physical and mental health, are contagious and an easily be used to teach kindness. In fact, there are a whole host of benefits from doing simple, positive acts during your regular day.
Get your coworkers involved in spreading positivity too! Let United Way Simcoe Muskoka help you organize a Day of Caring to help with a big act of kindness in your community. Click here to get started.
4. Stay Up to Date on Current Events
If your New Year’s Resolution is to stay current on events, make sure you keep up with all types of stories—the good and the bad. However, approach these events with a mindset that you might not have had last year.
For the positive stories that come across your news feed, share them and see how you can spread some of that same positive energy in your own life.
For the negative stories you read, try and find ways to make the situation better. Don’t just share the issue but take action. If you read about the tragedies of homelessness in Simcoe Muskoka, educate yourself and others on what needs to be done. Attend town halls and public meetings to advocate for change. Use negative current events to drive change.
5. Give to Charity
There are hundreds of people working at dozens of charities across Simcoe Muskoka to make our communities stronger, more accessible and more inclusive. When you give to charity, you become the driver behind the most positive change possible, backed by passionate experts in community services.
When you make a resolution to give to charity, you will also benefit from a charitable tax credit that can be put against your income. This means that doing good actually costs less than you think. To see the full benefits of the charitable tax credit, check out this blog.
United Way Simcoe Muskoka is working to make local issues like poverty #UNIGNORABLE and help the more than 60,000 residents of Simcoe Muskoka who are experiencing the effects of poverty every day. If your New Year’s resolution to do good involves giving to those experiencing poverty, click here to donate to United Way Simcoe Muskoka.
What is your New Year’s resolution to do good? Leave a comment down below or share with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! Tag your post with #LocalLove so we can share your impact and be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on how United Way Simcoe Muskoka is bringing some good to those who need it most in our communities.