Give to others by using any number of ways to find others who need a helping hand in less-than-ideal circumstances.
Step 1: Comfort others Comfort someone in grief, after learning of their loss. Often a hug, a helpful hand, a kind word, and a listening ear will mean a lot to someone who feels they have nothing.
Step 2: Donate to those in need Donate items you don't use. Ask loved ones to divert money intended for your gifts at Christmas to benefit those who need something more than you do.
TIP: Search websites like CharityNavigator.org for a list of charities and how to contact them. Money, clothes, cars, and toys are great donation options.
Step 3: Encourage self-reliance Encourage someone paralyzed by grief or depression to take action, whether doing funeral arrangements, setting a doctor's appointment, conducting a job search, or making a simple phone call. Making them help themselves may start the healing process.
TIP: Sometimes the best thing you can give others is themselves.
Step 4: Speak out and lobby Speak out or lobby for the powerless, the homeless, and the neglected. Even signing a petition or writing letters is a gift to more people than you can imagine.
Step 5: Do small things Offer to babysit, pick up around someone's house, shovel the walk, cut the lawn, pick up groceries, and any of a hundred other small gestures that lighten someone's load.
Step 6: Mentor others Mentor people to plan and discipline themselves in improving their attitude, finding their path, or achieving a dream. We all need someone to believe in us.
Step 7: Volunteer to help others Volunteer with international aid organizations that work to fight disease and to build developing nations or labor in disaster zones.
FACT: Nearly 23 percent of the unemployed volunteered to help others in 2009, during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.