Although Easter is considered a Christian holiday, that doesn’t mean those who don’t identify as Christians can’t use the opportunity to give back to their communities through service-related projects. You can pay a visit to your local nursing home or volunteer through programs such as Habitat for Humanity. Regardless of how you contribute, Easter is a wonderful time to illustrate the importance of giving back.
If religion is important to you and you want your donation to reflect that this Easter season, look for a Christian-based charity, such as Catholic Relief Services, who provide help to more than 100 countries, including health care, clean water, farming assistance, and more. You can also donate to nonreligious charities, such as the Autism Research Institute. Donations aren’t just limited to money; you can donate property, such as clothing, furniture, and even cars.
When you make a donation of any kind, be sure to do your homework on the charity to ensure your contributions are put to good use. Make sure the charity is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization and check out their finances. Also, ensure the charity is accountable and transparent.
Donating to charities is really about generosity and the goodness you feel in your heart, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of the tax benefits available to you. A donation to a qualified charitable organization, whether it’s monetary or property, may provide a deduction against your income tax if you itemize deductions. The donation is deductible in the year in which it’s paid, so you’re eligible for the deduction each year that you donate.
If you’re looking for more of a hands-on approach to giving back, consider volunteering somewhere, such as Habitat for Humanity. They offer volunteering opportunities to build safe, affordable housing throughout the United States and around the world. You can volunteer somewhere near you, or you can travel with Habitat to join their efforts. Habitat offers home repair services such as painting, landscaping, weatherization, and minor repair services to homeowners. They also construct entire homes and neighborhoods to those in need. If you’re more comfortable away from the job site, consider serving at a Habitat ReStore in your area.
Habitat also welcomes group volunteer efforts. You can get a group of people together from your work, church, or a community organization to form a partnership with Habitat to contribute to their vision. They have jobs and tasks for all skill levels and abilities, including construction, beautification, and touch-ups. If you’re more comfortable away from the jobsite, you can also serve at a local Habitat ReStore.
Your Own Time
Visiting your local nursing home or children’s hospital is another way to contribute to your community this Easter. Call before you go to discuss ways you can cheer up the people in these locations. Perhaps you can gather a group of friends to sing karaoke and get the residents at the nursing home or patients at the children’s hospital to join in on the fun. You can also make Easter-themed crafts or some creative easter eggs with your kids to distribute to residents and patients to bring a smile to their faces.
Many homeless shelters offer a large Easter lunch, and they welcome volunteers to assist in setting up, cooking, serving, and cleaning up for the event. Check a volunteer search engine to find an opportunity near you. For example, VolunteerMatch.org pairs you up with nonprofits based on your interests and location.
No matter how you donate, contributing to your community helps you connect with your city and feel a sense of pride as you give back. These organizations rely on volunteers and donations to continue thriving and providing for those in need. Easter is a great time to remember to think bigger than yourself and help those who need it most.
Author: Paul Denikin