Each holiday season, we often find ourselves giving to the Salvation Army, donating to a local homeless shelter or buying toys for impoverished children. But after the holiday season is finished, do you still continue to give? "Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World" by Bill Clinton is an excellent guide for those who want to give more. And the book not only addresses all the means of giving but also WHY we should give with examples of many people who have changed and improved the lives of others through their efforts.
"Giving" shows the reader the many facets of contribution. For example, you may not have a lot of money to donate but you have extra time on your hands. Donating your time to help at a homeless shelter is a perfect example of how you can give back to your community. Four chapters are dedicated to the following methods of giving: Money, Time, Things and Skills. By teaching children to read at your local school, donating to Goodwill or other nonprofit organizations or gifting money to a charity, you are helping your community as well as well feeding your spirit. Some of my favorite examples in the book are tennis great Andre Agassi's college preparatory school for at-risk students, which requires promises of good faith from teachers, students and parents; Kiva.org, an online charity (and a personal favorite of mine) that donates money to people in third world countries in order to start or maintain business or improve their personal lives; and Heifer International which gives animals that sustain a family with meat and milk as well as provides income and requires the person receiving the animal to then pass on one offspring in order to continue impacting others. Recycling is another gift to your community and the world. Taking time to organize a recycling center at your job or home is essentially giving back to EVERYONE!
This book is a great gift, full of inspiring stories that are bound to have you opening your wallet, clearing time in your schedule or rummaging through your closet or garage to find things that you no longer use for donation. From the richest person to the low income individual who wants to give back, there are plenty of ideas and resources in "Giving". The back of the book has a listing of charities, organtizations, books, websites and more, broken down into the categories of money, time, skills and things. Many charites, such as Kiva.org, make contribution easy and require little time.
So, regardless of your political affiliation, your income or age you can find a method of giving from this insightful book. You may give for a variety of reasons; your faith, because it makes you happy, the belief that it is a moral duty. Whatever your reason, giving will make a difference in the lives of others, as well as your own.