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5 Fun Ways to Give Back in Fall

Happy fall! With summer fading into the background, fall takes center-stage, and with it, some of the greatest parts of the season. Whether it’s crunchy colored leaves falling from the trees, the smell of pumpkin spice floating through the air or the brisk chill in the wind which reminds us winter is just around the corner, fall is the perfect season to get outside.

And of course, as we go outside and have fun during the fall, there are also a plethora of ways to give back in the community. If you want to live a more altruistic lifestyle, take advantage of the season of fall to dive into getting involved. Here are five fun ways to give back this fall.

1. Help rake leaves.
This one seems simple, but it can actually be a big way to give back and help neighbors around your community. As the season shifts, the trees’ leaves begin to change colors and of course… fall. If you see someone near you who has a lot of leaves in their yard, is older or is unable to rake the leaves themselves, see how you can help out by raking up their leaves. Or, if leaves aren’t a big issue, see what other chores you can help with around the house, such as trimming branches before winter or weeding out the flower beds. The more you can do to support others this season, the better you will feel by giving back.

2. Have a fall cleaning day.
You’ve heard of spring cleaning, but why not try fall cleaning? Things tend to get a little dirty during the summertime, so use the season of fall to clean out your home, workplace or even popular areas in the community. Get rid of items you didn’t use over the last few months, and consider donating any new or gently used items to a local organization you care about. Or, have a fall cleaning day in your community by volunteering to clean out local trails, clubhouses or community gardens. By giving back and cleaning up areas around you, you can start the season of fall off on a great note.

3. Share your Halloween costumes.
One thing fall is most well-known for is, of course, Halloween. Although Halloween is still far-off, you can take advantage of the holiday to give back to your community. For example, consider sharing your Halloween costume with those who might not be able to get out during the holiday. Go to a local retirement home and show off yours and your families’ costumes to brighten the residents’ day. Or, visit a local children’s hospital and share your creative costume with the kids there who might not be able to go trick-or-treating. Showing off your Halloween costume might seem like a simple task, but it is a great way to show others you care about them this season.

4. Trick-or-treat for a cause.
Speaking of trick-or-treating, as we get closer to Halloween, consider trick-or-treating for a cause you care about. For instance, check with local children’s groups to see if they need any volunteers to take kids out on Halloween. Then, take a group of underprivileged children trick-or-treating around your neighborhood. Or, get involved with a larger organization like Trick-or-Treat for Unicef or the March of Dimes and trick-or-treat for donations instead of candy. However you decide to trick-or-treat this fall, consider how you can use the opportunity to give back and help others.

5. Stock up on food.
Finally, what comes after Halloween? You guessed it, Thanksgiving. And while Thanksgiving may still be a ways away, it’s never too early to start stocking up on food that you can donate to a cause in need. For instance, consider the food bank in your community. Are they well-stocked for the upcoming winter, which pushes people inside from the cold? Are they prepared to house and host people who have nowhere else to go for the holidays? If not, you can help by stocking up on food now in order to donate it later. Use the season of fall as an opportunity to stock up and give back to people who need it the most.

Fall is officially here, and with it comes plenty of opportunities for fun, food and—of course—giving back. Use this season as a chance to see how you can get involved in your community. Take advantage of these ideas for a fun fall packed full with giving back to others.

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Commemorating Constitution Day

Happy Constitution Day! In the words of former President James Madison, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” If these words sound familiar to you, then you might know a little bit about the United States Constitution.

Constitution Day is a U.S. national holiday which observes, recognizes and celebrates the United States Constitution, which was formally signed at the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787. Two hundred thirty-one years later, the Constitution is still an active document for our country. So, how can you celebrate and honor this historic day? Here are some ideas for commemorating Constitution Day.

1. Read the Constitution.
What’s one of the easiest ways to commemorate Constitution Day? Reading it, of course! Take time today to sit down by yourself or with friends and family to read through the U.S. Constitution. More often than not, Americans know very little about one of the founding documents for our country. Instead, be proactive about learning and researching this valuable, historic document. Read through the Constitution, take notes when you can and learn more about its cultural and social implications for the time period then and now.

2. Take a Constitution quiz.
Once you’ve read the Constitution, have some fun with it by taking an online Constitution quiz, or hosting a Constitution trivia contest. If you have kids, this is a great way to get them involved and active in learning history. Even without children, see who in your friends or family would be interested in learning more about the Constitution and having a friendly competition with trivia or a quiz. Search online for constitutional trivia questions and answers, or develop your own for an even better quiz experience.

3. Share the Constitution with others.
Speaking of getting others involved, why not use today as an opportunity to share the Constitution with others around you? Many U.S. citizens have never read the Constitution, and don’t know what its content entails. Instead, help make a difference in your community by inviting others to read the Constitution together. Print out copies or order small constitutional pamphlets to pass out and share with those around you. In fact, getting others to explore more and learn about their nation’s history is an incredible altruistic act to have in your life.

4. Learn about our Founding Fathers.
If you truly want to honor this Constitution Day, learn more about the Founding Fathers who contributed so much to our nation. While none of the Founding Fathers were perfect, we can all learn something from each and every one of them. Do a little research on the Founding Fathers to learn more about how the United States originally developed. While you may have learned a bit about the Founding Fathers while in school, it’s always a great option to explore and research our nation’s history on your own.

5. Check for events in your community.
Finally, celebrate Constitution Day with others near you by checking for events going on in your community. Plenty of towns, cities and counties across the country host programs and events to commemorate Constitution Day, so see which ones are available near you and how you can get involved. Who knows? Perhaps you could even volunteer with an event and really have an impact in your community. Our nation’s history matters, and it’s important we all play an active role in remembering it for the future.

Constitution Day is here, and it’s the perfect opportunity to learn, remember and honor our nation’s history. If you want to live an altruistic lifestyle, try out some of these tips to learn how you can celebrate Constitution Day, and build a better nation every day.

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7 Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness

Have you ever had a moment in life when someone you didn’t know did something kind for you? How did the time make you feel? How did you respond in the moment? The famous Greek fabulist and storyteller Aesop once said, “No act of kindness—however small—is ever wasted.”

When you strive to live an altruistic lifestyle, you can’t help but give kindness out to others around you, whether you know them or not. These random acts of kindness brighten other people’s days, give them joy and remind them they’re not alone in the world. However, random acts of kindness don’t just happen; we often have to be very intentional with them. If you strive to live an intentionally altruistic lifestyle, you’ve come to the right place to learn more. Here are seven ideas for random acts of kindness.

1. Pay for the next person in line.
One easy way to give a random act of kindness is to simply pay for the next person in line. Whether you’re at a gas station, a coffee shop or even a vending machine around the office, consider paying for the next person in line. Not only can this brighten someone else’s day, but it might also encourage them to pay for the following person, and go right down the line.

2. Give a compliment.
Use today as an opportunity to give someone else a compliment, whether you know them or not. Give out a compliment to a stranger about her hair, or his shoes or their car. Compliments naturally lift us up and encourage us, and are the perfect way to share kindness with others around you throughout your day.

3. Tell someone they matter.
For people who might be a little bit closer to you, like family or friends, share kindness with them by telling them they matter. We often forget to thank the people in our lives for everything they do for us. Instead, use this time as an opportunity to reach out to your loved ones and tell them how much they matter to you.

4. Share a book with another.
Books are a great way to communicate valuable information, powerful stories and yes—even kindness. If you read a great book, consider sharing it with another person. This could be something as simple as recommending a book to your friend or family member, or even leaving a book behind in a coffee shop for someone else to take advantage of.

5. Open up your home.
Show kindness in your community by opening up your home to people—or animals—in need. Invite friends, family and community members into your home for dinner, parties or games. Let someone who needs a place to stay crash on your couch for a weekend. Or, invite an animal in need into your home through a fostering program. When you open up your home for kindness, you naturally encourage others to do the same.

6. Have a meal with someone.
Speaking of dinner, share kindness with another by having a meal with someone—and then paying for it. Food can be used as a great bonding mechanism. It helps us lower our walls, relax and let the conversation flow. Show someone you care by inviting them out for coffee, lunch or even dinner to get to know them better and share a valuable meal together.

7. Donate what you can.
Finally, one of the easiest ways you can promote random acts of kindness is by donating what you can to your favorite nonprofit organization. Whether you give your time, talents, gently used goods or finances, you can make a valuable difference in your community through donating. See what you can donate and make someone’s day with a random act of kindness.

If you want to live a more altruistic lifestyle, try taking advantage of these random acts of kindness. Whether you give back to a stranger, someone you know or your entire community, you can brighten someone’s day and share kindness with them.

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How to Get Involved This Labor Day

Happy Labor Day! If you didn’t know, Labor Day is a United States holiday which celebrates the social and economic achievements of the labor movement. On this day, we take time to commemorate the valuable contributions which hardworking Americans have made to the nation’s prosperity, strength and overall well-being.

Not only is Labor Day a great chance to get away from work and spend a necessary day off with friends and family, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity to get involved with people in the community. When it comes to giving back, Labor Day is the perfect chance to do something valuable for others. Here are some ideas for how you can get involved this Labor Day.

1. Send a care package.
One simple way to get involved on Labor Day is by sending a care package to someone who really needs it—our service men and women. While these men and women are stationed overseas, holiday times can be challenging while away from family or friends. Help brighten their day by sending a care package full of goodies from home. Whether it’s a local or national organization, there are lots of programs you can work with to create and send a care package to a serviceman or woman this Labor Day.

2. Work with a center.
Of course, why not give back to those who are a little bit closer to your neighborhood? See what shelters, centers or organizations are near you who work with those struggling in the community. See how you can give back by volunteering this week to serve food, collect items or help fill the needs for the people around you. When you work with a center in your neighborhood, you help build up the neighbors in the community, which creates an even better environment for everyone to celebrate on Labor Day.

3. Help out at an animal shelter.
Over the holiday weekend, lots of animal shelters have various sales going on for pets, or might find themselves taking in more pets as the summer comes to a close. Either way, it can be a busy time! If you’re an animal-lover, use this time to give back and help out at an animal shelter. Whether it’s cleaning up, walking the animals or just spending time caring for them, you can make sure Labor Day is a great weekend for the whole family, including our four legged friends.

4. Give gently-used items.
With Labor Day comes the transition into a new season—fall. And then—winter. You can help out your community members by giving any gently-used items to shelters and centers near you. As we head into the colder months, now is a critical time to collect items. Have an end-of-the-summer cleaning party to clean out your house and see which gently-used items you can live without. Then, commemorate Labor Day by giving those items to the ones who need them the most.

5. Clean up the community.
Of course, you could always give back on Labor Day through… labor. Use today as an excuse to help clean up the community around you, whether it’s by cleaning up garbage on the street, working in a garden or painting over graffiti. Your community matters, so take pride in caring for it. Use this time—while the weather’s still warm—to clean up your community this Labor Day.

6. Donate to a cause you care about.
Finally, you can always get involved on Labor Day by donating to a cause you care about. Whether you know a client of an organization, have a past experience or simply love an organization’s mission, donating your financial support can make a real difference in the world around you. See what organizations are near you, national or even international which you can donate to and have an impact.

Labor Day isn’t just an excuse to have a day off from work. It’s a day dedicated to the hardworking Americans which have gone before us, are with us and will come after us. On this Labor Day, celebrate by getting involved and giving back. Use these ideas, or think of your own to really make a difference in the world you care about!