Give Generously, Give Better
December is the month for generosity. It’s the time not only for giving gifts to loved ones, but for giving to the causes you care about. The giving spirit may also encourage you to think of those less fortunate in our community who need a little help.
Indeed sharing compassion and empathy with those struggling is what elevates– and betters– our entire community.
In fact, our state is known for its generosity, securing the second spot in the nation in a recent study.
With that in mind, Salt Lake City, the Lieutenant Governor, and community service providers recently held a press conference to encourage residents to give smarter– and to give generously– this holiday season and year-round.
Donating Clothing, Food, and Household Goods
Saying hello, giving a smile, having a conversation.
These are simple and powerful ways to interact with all of our fellow humans, but especially those who are struggling; some of whom may feel invisible.
However, while it may seem efficient and impactful to give your unwanted clothing and other household items directly to those experiencing homelessness, oftentimes those individuals do not want or have the capacity to handle the large quantities of items given to them.
This method of giving can sometimes cause more harm than good.
That’s because, many of these items quickly end up in the landfill, which is not the ideal outcome from a sustainability or community perspective– or for the individual these items were generously given to.
Instead, let’s work to reduce our overall consumption and to pay it forward in other ways.
Salt Lake City encourages you to donate clothing, food, household products, and money directly to our community service providers. These organizations have the ability to match donations with those who need them, ensuring waste is minimized, donations are maximized, and — importantly– people are getting what they need and not an extra burden.
Another overlooked reason for donating to organizations is that when we support our local charities, it gives organizations opportunities to connect with families and individuals who need help and get them registered for other services like:
- Job placement
Additionally, working with local charities helps your aid circulate year-round, especially during the other 11 months of the year. Holiday help is important, but our worst weather months like February and March are also times of need.
Most of our local charities keep updated need information on their websites if you’d like to make a material donation. Examples may include toiletries, new underwear, socks, warm weather clothes, or other necessities.
Check out this short video with Sandra Hollins, Salt Lake City’s Homeless Strategist and Outreach Coordinator, and Cory Young, Program Manager of Salt Lake City’s Waste and Recycling Division, as they talk about holiday generosity and a better way to give.
How to Help
There are many amazing non-profit organizations in the Salt Lake City community who are at the forefront of assisting those in need.
- To find a service provider to support this season, call 2-1-1 or visit their website to find local agencies in need of assistance.
- Also check out Salt Lake City’s website for homeless outreach information with links to various partner organizations.
- Volunteering makes a difference too. If you have the time or interest, volunteering is a great way to support our community. Here is Utah’s website to find volunteer opportunities.
Let’s keep working to make Salt Lake City welcoming, secure, safe, and sustainable for all of our residents.
Read more about Salt Lake City’s Homeless Resource Centers.
Happy holidays from all of us at SLCgreen.
#GiveSmarter #GiveGenerously #GiveOften