5 Ways to Be More Charitable

The holiday season may be over, but it's never too late to extend a little cheer to your fellow man. Whether you're interested in becoming more charitable as a one-time or lifetime habit, here are just a few tips to get you started.

1. Donate

Charities could always use an extra dollar or two, so if you have some Christmas money left over, consider giving it to a good cause. It doesn't necessarily have to be a soup kitchen if poverty isn't the cause that you're most passionate about; you can also donate to soccer leagues, your local opera house or an elephant rehabilitation clinic thousands of miles away.

2. Support the Troops

Put together care packages to send to soldiers overseas. Donate time, money or supplies to a veterans' hospital. Organize the kids in your class for a letter-writing campaign. There are dozens of ways to show your support for the troops, so don't be shy about expressing your appreciation.

3. Buy from Charitable Brands

The next time you need a new jacket, don't go to your local department store. Browse breast cancer or rice relief websites instead. Not only will you be able to purchase items branded with charity logos, but a portion of your proceeds will go to helping the charity fund its events or maintain its administrative costs. Everybody wins!

4. Support a Charity You Believe In

Are there any organizations devoted to a cause that you're passionate about? For example, if you love music, you might check out a group like Sing for Hope that puts street pianos in new york. If you love reading, you might donate money to your local library's literacy program. The what doesn't matter as long as you find something that inspires you.

5. Raise Awareness

Social media is an excellent tool for spreading the word about your favorite charity. Not only can you inform others about the cause through statistics, events and questions, but you can also promote things like cancer walks or home-building fundraisers so everyone can get involved.

These are just a few ways to give back to your community. As you can see, they range from simple to time-consuming, so don't feel pressured to complete all or even most of them. Pick and choose which ones best represent your interests and go from there.

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