The holiday season is behind us and 2011 has officially started. It’s time to hunker down for the winter months ahead. As a remedy for the winter blues, consider recognizing any of a number of cause-related observances in January. International Quality of Life Month, National Mentoring Month, National Poverty in America Awareness Month, National Volunteer Blood Donor Month and International Creativity Month are among those January observances.
Become a mentor.
Structured youth mentoring programs have proven to help young people succeed in life. There are several ways to get involved as a mentor and several organizations in our community that serve youth through mentoring. Because of the diversity of these programs your time commitment can be varied from a few hours to weekly, as well as short- and long-term arrangements. You’re certain to foster improved self esteem and social skills that will ultimately make a lasting difference in a child’s life.
There are always opportunities to give, but because of the generosity during the holiday months, January can be especially difficult on nonprofit organizations that need to provide ongoing services. Here are a few ideas. Celebrate national volunteer blood donor month by giving blood. It costs you about an hour of time and you can save three lives.
We also give special attention to poverty in America this month. In 2009 the U.S. Census Bureau reported 43.6 million people, or 14.3 percent of the American population, were living in poverty. You can donate time to an organization that serves the working poor. You can do some cleaning and donate unwanted items to the cause. Consider food or cash donations to ensure a next meal or a warm bed for someone in need.
The typical gray of January compounds the monotony of our everyday routine. If you’re tired of being a robot, consider something new to keep life exciting. Find a new hobby. You can even donate your new-found talents to a nonprofit organization. Take some time to think creatively on something that’s been puzzling you lately. Take a different route to work once a week. Before you know it, we’ll be celebrating spring.