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May 18, 2023

Ways To Make a Difference in the World

By Kevin Donaldson

When it comes to making a difference in the world, there are countless ways to get involved. From volunteering your time to donating money or land, your actions can have a lasting impact. In this article, we’ll explore several ways to make a difference by focusing on volunteering, making donations, helping people access affordable housing, reusing and recycling, and more.

Volunteering: Your Time Matters

One of the most powerful ways to make a difference is by volunteering. Not only does it benefit those in need, but it also fosters a sense of community and personal growth. Consider volunteering with local organizations that align with your interests and passions such as food banks, homeless shelters, animal shelters, youth mentoring programs, or housing organizations like ours. You can also get involved on a national or even global level with organizations such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Doctors Without Borders, or United Nations Volunteers.


Making Donations: Giving Back in Various Ways

Monetary and Land Donations

When it comes to making a difference in the world, donating money or land can have a significant impact. Monetary donations help organizations further their missions, while land donations can provide space for affordable housing, community gardens, or conservation efforts. 

Planned Giving

Planned giving is a charitable strategy allowing donors to leave a lasting impact by incorporating philanthropic intentions into their estate plans. Through methods such as bequests, charitable gift annuities, or life insurance policy donations, individuals can support their chosen causes and ensure their generosity continues to make a difference beyond their lifetime. Planned giving is an excellent option for those who want to create a lasting legacy, even after they are gone.

Supporting Affordable Housing Initiatives

Affordable housing is crucial for families and individuals striving for stability and economic independence. Access to affordable and reliable housing can transform lives and communities. To make a difference in the world of affordable housing, you can:

  • Donate to or volunteer with organizations like Habitat for Humanity
  • Advocate for policies that promote affordable housing
  • Support local affordable housing developers and projects

Reusing and Recycling: Giving New Life to Old Items

Reusing and recycling play a significant role in making a difference by giving new life to old items. These sustainable practices reduce waste, conserve resources, and decrease the strain on landfills. By embracing reuse and recycling, individuals can contribute to environmental preservation, promote sustainable living, and support local communities. Here are some different ways to reuse, recycle, and make a positive impact:

  • Repurposing glass jars as storage containers or decorative vases
  • Upcycling worn-out clothing into reusable grocery bags, cleaning rags, or quilts
  • Donating gently used items such as furniture, appliances, and electronics to secondhand stores or charities
  • Recycling paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and metal materials in designated recycling bins
  • Turning wooden pallets into outdoor furniture or garden planters.
  • Repairing and maintaining items such as shoes and appliances, rather than replacing them

Now, let’s look at some specific options that can help you recycle, repurpose, upcycle, and reuse items instead of throwing them away.

Julia’s Café and Books

Making a difference in the world can be as simple as donating your gently used books to places like Julia’s Café and Books. Julia’s sells donated books at a great price and book sales help to fund Habitat Charlotte Region’s work and mission. Any books that can’t be sold are recycled! In 2022, Julia’s recycled 191,380 pounds of books, and so far in 2023, they’ve recycled 33,460 pounds! By reselling and recycling books, Julia’s Café and Books helps promote sustainability and supports the local community.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores

Donating furniture and household items to Habitat for Humanity ReStores—like our six locations in throughout the region—can also help you make a difference by extending the life of your belongings and keeping them out of landfills. Our ReStores even offer a pickup service for larger items!

By using the deconstruction services offered by ReStores, you can also remove and donate your old kitchen cabinets, countertops, and appliances for resale when you are remodeling or making updates. This keeps thousands of pounds of materials out of landfills and supports the local community.

Taking Action: Small Steps, Big Impact

Making a difference in the world doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start with small, manageable steps and build from there. Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Reduce your carbon footprint by using energy-efficient appliances, walking or biking instead of driving, and conserving water
  • Support local businesses and purchase products made from sustainable materials
  • Advocate for social justice and participate in community events or campaigns
  • Educate yourself and others about global issues and sustainable living practices

There are numerous ways to make a difference and create a lasting impact on the world around you. Whether it’s through volunteering your time, making donations, supporting affordable housing initiatives, or embracing sustainable practices like reusing and recycling, every action counts. By getting involved in these efforts, you can contribute to a brighter future for individuals, families, and communities. Start making a difference today by exploring the resources and opportunities shared in this article, and remember that even the smallest acts of kindness can have a profound impact on the world.

At Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region, we work to make the world a better place by providing affordable homeownership opportunities in our communities and promoting reuse and recycling through our ReStores and other programs. We rely on our donors and volunteers to make our work possible. They help provide the benefits of homeownership to the individuals we serve by contributing to our programs, and there are many different ways to contribute to the crucial work that we do. 

Through faith, innovation, and passion—and thanks to the support of countless community partners, volunteers, donors, and advocates—Habitat Charlotte Region has made a significant impact in Charlotte and the surrounding area since its founding.

We envision a world where everyone has a decent place to live, and have served over 4,000 families as we work to make that goal a reality. We seek to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope. We are committed to serving the community while recognizing that change and adaptability are key to intensifying our impact.

Habitat Charlotte Region welcomes volunteers, supporters, and potential homeowners from all backgrounds. You can help us make a difference in the lives of others in the community by signing up to volunteer with us today! You can also get involved by supporting our work with a donation or even exploring our Homebuyer Program!

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