• Ana Gascon Ivey

5 ways freelancers can give back this holiday season

Last week I helped serve a Thanksgiving meal to undernourished residents in my community, thanks to my friend Karhma Novak and I-58 Mission, a non-profit she started a few years ago. I say, “thanks to my friend Karhma,” because I truly am grateful for the opportunity to give back.

I remember what it was like growing up in Miami with free lunches and food stamps. Life was hard, money was scarce, and people judged. For me, giving back hits home. It’s also a reminder that life’s not all about me.

I care about community and so should you. Let your humanity shine through this holiday season by giving back. It’s good for your business. More importantly, it’s good for your soul. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Partner with a charity. Sponsor a charity fundraising event or support a children’s sports team.

2. Dedicate time to a cause. Carve out a percentage of your freelance time to help an organization that aligns with your values.

3. Organize a freelance group. Get your fellow freelancers together to perform acts of service. Build a Habitat house or volunteer at a homeless shelter.

4. Start a drive. Learn the needs of a local community resource and start a drive to meet their needs. Maybe it’s a shoe drive for kids in foster care or school supplies for a Title I school.

5. Be kind. People stress this time of year. Family, travel, money (or lack of it) can put a strain on people. Don’t let it get to you. And don’t let someone else’s mood get to you either. Take a deep breath and be kind to others. Wrap your arms around the brokenhearted. Be patient and share love. You’ll be a better human for it.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!