9 Ways To Give Back On Giving Tuesday 2018

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While Thanksgiving is certainly a time for giving thanks, it's also a time for offering a helping hand to those in need. And while charity work can sometimes seem like a luxury for those who are in a financial position to donate, your time alone can be an invaluable gift. No matter what kind of position you find yourself in this holiday season, there are so many ways to give back on Giving Tuesday 2018.

Starting on Nov. 27, Giving Tuesday will kick off the official charity season, prompting us to connect with an organization or cause that needs our help. Once we pick a place to donate our time or money to, we can share the news with #GivingTuesday to spread awareness and inspire others to partake in the spirit. It should be noted that charities can sometimes be overwhelmed with volunteers during this season — so if places nearby you don't need any extra physical hands, ask if there are supplies you can buy for them, or if they'd prefer donations to help with their operating costs.

With so many dire causes and amazing organizations, it can be overwhelming to wade through it all and find your perfect match, so to make things a bit more accessible, I've put together a highlighted list of ways to volunteer and places to donate so you can get right into the action. When in doubt, you can always check the efficiency and rating of a charity you're interested on CharityNavigatory.org. Whatever you choose, don't forget to share it on social media on #GivingTuesday. By showing your friends and followers how easy it is to give back, you can be a catalyst for change in your community. This holiday season especially, spread love, give what you can, and share your goodness.

1. Help People Affected By The California Wildfires

If you have the means, donate to the Wildfire Relief Fund to help California put out the fires and rebuild what's been lost. The minimum donation is $15, but any amount helps. This program offers grants to people who have lots their homes and offers mental and physical aide to those who have been affected by the fire. If you're not in position to donate money, you can donate non-perishable goods to The Ventura Corps Salvation Army.

2. Help People Affected By Mass Shootings

If you want to donate money directly to a recent cause, you can apply a donation to The Rotary Club of Westlake Village's GoFundMe page, which will distribute money to the victims of the Thousand Oaks shooting and their families. If you want to donate money to organizations that are working towards gun control, you can donate to Everytown for Gun Safety.

Apart from donating money, you can also donate blood, which is deeply needed in the wake of mass shootings. Register with the American Red Cross and find out where your local blood bank is.

3. Help Protect The Environment

Supporting an organization that promotes the growth of clean energy and environmental solutions is supporting your future. Friends of the Earth accepts donations starting at just $15. You can also head to their "Take Action" tab and submit a direct letter to your representatives for the cause of your choosing.

4. Support The Homeless LGBTQ Community

For many LGBTQ youths, going home for the holidays is not an option, but you can help — by offering money, supplies or volunteer services to organizations that support the LGBTQ community. Offer money or volunteer time to the Ali Forney Homeless for the Holidays program, which will provide emergency housing, hot meals, protection and support for the LGBTQ homeless community. You can also support the Trevor Project, which offers crisis intervention and support to the LGBTQ community suffering from mental illness and distress.

5. Help To Free Protestors

You don't have to be Jay-Z or Beyonce to bail out protestors who were arrested for fighting for our rights. Check out the National Bail Out website and see how you can help bail out people in your community who are stuck in the system due to lack of funds.

6. Support Religious Tolerance

In the wake of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, support an organization that is working to encourage religious tolerance. Donate or volunteer with the United Religions Initiative and your efforts will go towards community programs, health and social services, and policy advocacy.

7. Support Immigration Rights

Donate to the Human Rights Initiative to help keep families together and reunite families that have been separated. This organization supports immigration rights and is always taking applications for volunteers.

8. Support Refugees

The American Refugee Committee offers resources and opportunities to refugees. By donating or volunteering, you're directly helping families and displaced individuals to rebuild their lives in peace, an invaluable second chance.

9. Help Those Experiencing Famine & Drought

As we sit down to our Thanksgiving spreads, it's easy to forget how blessed we are to have a promised warm meal at our disposal. There's no better time of year to put things into perspective and donate to programs that support people who do not have regular access to nutritional food or clean water. Support Action Against Hunger to provide safe and healthy resources for those in need.