When you are part of the creative community, you have a unique opportunity to give back in ways no one else can. If you are at a loss, here is a good-sized list to get you thinking:
- Bring entertainment to a senior or community center
- Culinary, etc.
- Help an elderly person care for their pet
- Create holiday dinner baskets
- Organize a holiday sing-along for a community center, bringing together a group of carolers
- Offer to help seniors with their holiday shopping, whether it be in person or online
- Help a a disabled vet with errands and transportation
- Volunteer your artistic skills to decorate a local hospital or community center for the holidays
- Offer free workshops or classes in your creative field to inspire and mentor aspiring artists or young students
- Collaborate with other creatives to create a mural or public art installation in a disadvantaged neighborhood
- Share your creative knowledge and skills by offering pro bono services or mentoring to non-profit organizations in need
When coming up with ways to help your community, remember your gifts; this is where your actions will really make a difference if they truly come from the heart. For example, if you are a chef, prepare an exquisite meal for the homeless. If you are an artist, go draw family portraits at the local senior centers. If you are a musician, grab your friends and go caroling at the local children’s hospital. If you are a photographer, go take photographs of your musician friends at the hospital. If you work in marketing, organize a public relations event, and do a pro bono project to create awareness for your favorite charity. The list is quite endless.
The point is, to grow along spiritual lines, ever reminding us to utilize our gifts, to share them, and to give of ourselves as much as we are given. At least, that’s the philanthropic theory that has been shared and suggested to me to follow not only during the holidays but the whole year through.
What makes a successful community project?
Creating a successful community project requires careful planning, effective communication, collaboration, and a genuine understanding of the community’s needs.
Successful community projects have numerous benefits for individuals in their personal lives. Firstly, actively participating in a community project fosters a sense of belonging and connection. Additionally, it allows folks to forge new friendships, and build a support network, which can be particularly valuable for those who may be feeling isolated or lonely during the holiday season.
Community projects also provide an opportunity for personal growth and skill development. Engaging in a project allows individuals to learn new skills, acquire knowledge, and gain valuable experience. Whether it’s organizing events, fundraising, or working on a specific task, individuals can enhance their abilities in various areas, such as project management, communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership.
Participating in community projects can also have a positive impact on well-being and mental health. Research consistently shows that engaging in acts of kindness and helping others can enhance one’s psychological well-being. The act of giving and helping others also releases feel-good hormones and reduces stress levels, leading to improved mental and emotional well-being.
Engaging in community projects during the holiday season can also help individuals cope with difficult emotions and experiences. For those who have lost loved ones or are separated from their families, contributing to the well-being of others can provide a sense of purpose and fill the void created by the absence or change in family dynamics.
Engaging in community projects during the holiday season can help individuals cope with difficult emotions, foster a sense of purpose, and bring a feeling of hope and positivity. Therefore, actively participating in community projects can be a meaningful and rewarding way to navigate through the challenges and emotions often associated with the holiday season.
Why do people struggle during the holidays?
Lately, I have seen messaging around the thought that not everyone is in a celebratory mood during the winter holiday season. For many of us, the holiday sadness is challenging to cope with when, everywhere I look, people sing about how this is “the most wonderful time of the year.” Add a divorce into the mix with a child who struggles with emotional control, and wham – I begin to start rooting for the Grinch and Ebeneezer Scrooge!
So, how do I handle movies and ads broadcasting family and togetherness if we’ve lost a loved one or your kids are with your ex? What can we do with so many messages about everything being “merry and bright”? Well, if you’re like me, you’ll want to make it worse and do things like turn on Elvis’ “Blue Christmas,” The Eagles, “Please Come Home for Christmas,” or one of my all-time favorites to cry to, Prince’s “Another Lonely Christmas.”
For example, I lost my mom to cardiac arrest in the middle of the holiday season, so naturally, I get a bit emotional during this time of year. I miss her; I miss her cooking and her homemade Christmas gifts. I miss her being a Nana to my children. For me, the holiday season is not always “merry and bright.” In fact, in the most recent years, it has been accompanied by sadness and a tinge of darkness, too.
As we have read, if you are lonely, go help someone, volunteer at your local community center, or go assist those less fortunate and watch your gratitude grow. It’s almost like magic how well it works. And if you’re down right now, reading this, it’s probably the last thing you want to hear…gratitude!
Never underestimate the power of listening, caring, or bringing laughter into the room; sharing love through these actions can transform lives, including our own.
Creative ways to give back to the community
In conclusion, as we embrace the festive atmosphere of the holidays, it’s important to remember that not everyone experiences joy during this time. The increased awareness about mental health has taught us to be more compassionate and understanding towards those who may not be feeling “cheery.” Let us actively offer our time and support to those in need, extending our grace and empathy. By doing so, we can contribute to the wellbeing of our community and create positive ripples in the lives of those who may be struggling during the season.
May peace and everlasting love be with you always, especially during the holidays…