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If you’ve always wanted to develop a charitable spirit, then why not take action? Participating in charitable work is one of the best ways to develop your sense of purpose and become more balanced and peaceful.

To fully embrace this new spirit, it’s important to shift your focus to philanthropy, which is “a love for humanity.” Caring for others is the foundation for developing a love for philanthropy.

Philanthropy does not only mean starting a million-dollar foundation for the local hospital or operating an outreach hotline to support victims of social injustices. Instead, philanthropy means caring for anyone in need and reaching out to help.

You can get involved with philanthropy in a lot of ways.  The following is some ideas to get you started:  

  1. Reach out to the homeless. If you think back, you’ll likely realize that you walk or drive past homeless individuals on a regular basis without a second thought. Consider changing that approach by reaching out to lend a helping hand!
  • You may not have the ability to change 1,000 lives, but you can start by changing one. Is there one homeless person you can identify who is always on the same street corner? Try “adopting” that person by providing him with a hot meal each evening.
  • Ask your neighbors to donate gently used clothing or personal care items to that specific homeless person or to the local homeless shelter.
  1. Embrace victims of abuse. Victims of abuse need love more than anything else. Encourage these individuals to acknowledge their self-worth and celebrate all they have overcome.
  • Providing support, advice, or even a listening ear can significantly help the healing process.
  • Involve the victim in activities that will take their mind off the emotional pain they may feel. Activities could include spiritual guidance, physically challenging outdoor feats, or a simple opportunity to share in laughter.
  • Try to find ways to rehabilitate the abused person’s self-esteem.
  1. Volunteer at a local nursing home. A lot of the residents in a nursing home have no family or friends outside the facility. Spending as little as an hour with them can make a huge difference in their lives and on their health.
  • Call the closest facility and ask when you could visit and spend an hour just talking or to reading to the residents.
  • Arrange a lunch date with one or a group of residents
  • Have a talent like singing, playing an instrument, comedy act, etc.? Offer to perform to give the residents a boost and “event” to get excited about attending!

The true purpose of philanthropy is to help you develop a charitable spirit. This will allow you to help others in need, while learning to appreciate all that you have. You may soon realize how blessed you are, which will bring you that much closer to living a genuinely charitable life.

It’s important to acknowledge the needs of others so that your charitable input can truly be felt. If you take a look around, you’ll find many opportunities to develop a charitable spirit. People everywhere are in need! Each of us can take part in helping to fulfill some of those needs.