In any area that’s known for its strong sense of community, there are local residents who get involved in making it a great place to live because they care about their town. Research shows that giving back to your community not only improves the lives of others and makes that area a better place to live, but it also enhances your mood. In fact, altruism is connected to positive physical and psychological effects that include increased feelings of happiness, increased self-esteem, lower blood pressure, reduced incidence of depression and lower stress levels.
Throughout Westchester County, there are countless ways that citizens better the area they live in through community engagement. Let’s explore four simple ideas for how you can give back, and take a look at the strong nonprofit culture that exists in the Westchester area.
Support a Great Cause While You Shop
There’s a variety of easy ways to give back while doing things you would normally do in your everyday life, and one of them is to support a cause while you shop. One way is to simply designate a local charity like Feeding Westchester via AmazonSmile, and the more you shop, the more money you raise for an awesome cause.
Host a Fundraiser
Another amazing way to give back to the community is to host a fundraiser that raises money for a local nonprofit. Platforms such as JustGiving make it easy to set up an online fundraiser. Ask loved ones to celebrate your next birthday by donating in your name, or to give money to a cause you’re passionate about in lieu of giving you holiday gifts.
Give Back by Using a Smartphone App
Another easy way to give back is to use an app that supports charitable causes. There are some great apps to choose from, and here are five options:
- Walk for a Dog — This charitable giving app allows dog owners/walkers to raise money, exercise their pups and inch toward their daily step goals all at once.
- Donate a Photo — Give back by sharing cherished photos via Donate a Photo. For every photo you upload (at a max of one photo per day), Johnson & Johnson donates $1 to a charity of your choice.
- Feedie — Calling all foodies! The Feedie app enables restaurants to exchange donations for social media love. For each photo shared on the Feedie app, participating restaurants make a donation to the Lunchbox Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides meals to children in South Africa.
- One Today — One Today provides users with an easy way to make a big impact by donating $1 or more per day to their charities of choice.
- Charity Miles — Make your workouts count with Charity Miles, which enables users to earn money for charity whenever they walk, run or bike.
Attend a Charity Event
Fundraising events are a great way to both give back and get the chance to network. Check out the event page on your favorite nonprofit’s website to see when they’re hosting their next fundraiser.
For instance, Feeding Westchester hosts a number of events, including its annual Spring Gala, its Community Scoop-a-Thon on GivingTuesday its Evening in Good Taste local restaurant event and its 5K run event to raise money for its mission of ending hunger in Westchester.
Westchester’s Strong Nonprofit Culture
Westchester County is home to many nonprofit organizations that are steadfast in their commitment to bettering the community. In fact, studies have shown that the nonprofit sector is the largest single driver of the local economy — employing more people than any other sector, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the county’s total payroll, and contributing nearly $15.8 billion to the community.
Westchester’s nonprofit organizations range from healthcare providers and educational institutions to cultural organizations and charitable foundations. From United Way of Westchester and Putnam — which focuses on financial stability for local residents — and the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s music school, to our commitment here at Feeding Westchester to reducing hunger throughout the county, nonprofits have led the way to Westchester’s thriving community.
Feeding Westchester’s Work
There are 200,000 food-insecure people in Westchester County, and Feeding Westchester works hard to help those who are hungry. We offer a number of programs to tackle hunger from all angles, including our Mobile Food Pantry, our food education initiatives and our BackPack Program, which provides meals to hungry children. Over the course of a year, Feeding Westchester provides county residents with more than 9 million pounds of food.
Every Bit Makes an Impact
Each of us has the power to make a difference in the community by giving back in whatever ways we’re able to. Donating just a few hours of your time or a couple of extra dollars helps a nonprofit to get closer to achieving its company mission. Local organizations rely on the help of members in the community, and there’s strength in numbers. In fact, at Feeding Westchester alone, 11,000 volunteers dedicate 40,000 hours annually.
Learn more about the ways that you can give back and get involved with Feeding Westchester today.