We’re getting towards the end of 2020, which has been an incredibly difficult year for so many of us. We’ve spent upwards of nine months mostly in quarantine, not sure when things might be safe enough to go back to our normal lives. Plus, we witnessed and participated in an important civil rights movement to show the Black lives do matter. On top of all of that, we lived through an incredibly stressful Presidential election; one that still isn’t officially complete, as the President has refused to concede his loss.
Needless to say, we could all use a little bit of hope and positivity right about now! If you have remained financially unscathed during all of this, you might be wondering what you can do to give back and help others. And the truth is, you can use your money to create hope in your life and in the lives of others. Here are just a few ways you can do that:
Find A Cause That You Care About And Donate To It
There will never be a shortage of causes and organizations that need financial support. It’s important to remember that you can’t contribute to every single issue that exists in the world, but you can make difference in one or two. Choose the top one or two causes that you care about the most and find organizations that are working on that issue. Set up a recurring monthly or annual donation (though monthly donations make a much bigger impact) for the organizations that you have chosen.
Support Local Small Businesses
We should be supporting small businesses all the time, but in 2020, it has been especially important. Countless businesses have had to shut down for good due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For those that are still in operation, continued support would make a world of difference. Look around at the small businesses in your city (or even the businesses that you see online) and choose a few that you can support. If you don’t know what you want to buy from them at the moment, find out if they sell gift cards and buy a gift card for the amount that you can afford. That way, you can either give the gift card to someone else or use it yourself later. Either way, the small business owner will receive that income.
Send Cheer To Your Family Or Friends
Spreading hope and positivity doesn’t have to look like donating to causes or supporting small businesses. It can be simple and close to home. Send a handwritten card or small gift to one of your loved ones. If you have even more money to spare, and your loved ones have been struggling, consider sending along a check or a gift card for something that will really help them get by. One of the most meaningful gifts I received when I was a brand new college graduate in the workforce was a $100 gift card from my mom to my local grocery store. It made a big difference in my life, as I was able to buy myself groceries for weeks with that amount of money.
Contribute To Politicians You Believe In
Just because the 2020 Presidential election is (mostly) over doesn’t mean that there aren’t political candidates that you can continue to support. In fact, there is a run-0ff Senate election in Georgia taking place on January 5, 2021. If you are interested in helping Democrats take control of the Senate, Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff would be two great candidates to support right now. Plus, there are more Congressional elections happening in 2022 and there are local elections happening all the time. Stay informed about the politicians you support and chip in for their campaigns.
Happy spending and thanks for spreading hope and care!
This piece was originally published on my ForbesWomen column.
Certified Financial Education Instructor. Feminist and financial coach for women. Founder of Money Circle.