Three Ways to Improve Your Life and Your Environment!

Shannon Keelan Intel Corporation

I was privileged to have a roof over our heads, heat in our home, and food on our table. These were basics and everything else was good fortune. I didn’t volunteer at soup kitchens. I didn’t build houses. As a child, I only donated clothes and toys to charity. Older, my good fortune afforded me college. Over time, I found I had more to give.

Here are 3 easy and great ways to give.

1. Donate your time. I started volunteering in college. At the local library, I taught basic computer skills to library patrons. I spent time with individuals and saw the light bulb click as they began to understand computer tasks. I helped many people in my community grow resume skills to help get them jobs. As an added bonus, I connected with community members and increased my own presentation skills. This is one example of how I improved many lives, including my own.

Helpful Tip: Don’t get burnt out trying to find the perfect impactful volunteer opportunity. There are plenty of opportunities out there, so just focus on finding what interests you. Big or small, your impact will surely get noticed.

2. Donate dollars. I grew up “spring cleaning”. My family didn’t have dollars to donate – and that’s ok. We had perfectly good clothes, shoes, and toys that we simply outgrew. It is a small effort to collect and drop off items to a local charity and many people can benefit from this.

Helpful Tip: If you are fortunate to have extra dollars, do some research and find a nonprofit that interests you. Dollars stretch far for nonprofits, so even a small amount can make a large impact!

3. Connect with your community. If you don’t have the time or the money to donate, keep in mind that being friendly at the grocery or local hardware store can make a big difference in someone’s day. A smile goes a long way.

Helpful Tip: Try to find something each day that makes you smile. It will become infectious.

Above all else, keep your eyes open for opportunities. They are everywhere. Check the local schools, coffee shop message boards, and even ask around at work. If you have a lot of extra time, consider running your own event or collaborate with people who do!

Shannon Keelan is a young professional passionate about improving the lives of others. She uses Intel and United Way Emerging Leaders as means to carry out her theory that it’s what you do that makes a difference.