How To Help Your Community This Weekend If The News Cycle Is Getting To You

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To put it bluntly, the world does not lack for things that suck right now. So if the news cycle has got you particularly overwhelmed, know that you are far from alone in that feeling. You can take time this weekend to recuperate while still staying proactive by finding ways to help your community.

Doing good is, well, good. In addition to directly benefiting others, studies have shown that altruism improves overall well being. It can reduce feelings of isolation while promoting psychological health. Basically, you can decrease stress while decreasing world suck.

Psychologists say there are health benefits to things as simple as baking for other people. When done as a form of mindfulness, baking can increase happiness and reduce feelings of stress. If you’re looking for a simple way to do good while feeling good this weekend, bake something for someone else. You can work out your frustration in the form of delicious cookies.

We have a responsibility to stay informed about what’s going on in the world, perhaps now more than ever. We also have a responsibility to take care of ourselves. It’s scientifically proven that news takes a toll our mental health. If you’re looking for a way destress while still staying active, look no further than your own neighborhood. Here are 7 ways you can help in your community and do good while feeling good this weekend.

1Find Local Organizations that Support Causes You Care About

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Want to support charities already doing great work? You can start by finding organizations to donate to that are working directly with your community. Donate to your local Planned Parenthood clinic or your local affiliate of the ACLU. Check out this search engine through the United Way that lets you search for volunteer opportunities by zip code. Do a quick search of nonprofits in your area to see who could use your support.

2Spend an Afternoon Volunteering

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At the very least, start by finding a place to volunteer. If your schedule isn’t free this weekend, figure out day that is and commit to helping out in our community. The Corporation for National and Community Service is a great resource for finding a place to volunteer. You could also do something as offering help to a neighbor who could use a hand.

3Donate To Organizations Supporting Refugee Resettlement In Your Neighborhood

You can welcome refugees in your neighborhood by donating to a resettlement organization near you. This interactive map helps you find organizations providing resources for refugees in each state. In addition to supporting them financially, you can also see if your local refugee resettlement organization also donations of goods.

4Do Your Weekend Shopping Locally

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Put money back into your community by shopping at locally owned business. Check out this crowd sourced list of women-owned businesses put together in honor of “A Day Without A Woman.” I found places in my city by Googling “local businesses near me”.

5Donate To A Local Food Bank

The organization Feeding America has a search engine to help you find a local food bank. Drop off some non-perishables (but also make sure that they're the kinds of non-perishables you can actually make meals out of) — or donate money, which is often even more useful for food banks.

6Do Some Spring Cleaning and Donate Items You No Longer Need

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Do a little life-changing magic and tidy your space up. Then, take anything cluttering up your space and drop it off at Goodwill or any other organization that accepts donated goods.

7Support Students In Your Neighborhood

Start by making sure no kids are going to school hungry by paying off students’ lunch debt. Give the schools in your neighborhood a call and see how you can help. Then, check out DonorsChoose.org and what’s on the wishlists of teachers in your community.