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Healthy You

Tips for Giving Back

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 8:00 AM

'Tis the season for giving. There are several gifts you can give to those around you without stopping at the stores.

Time is one of the most special gifts you can give and more widely accepted than most currencies. Dr. John Lin, MD, Internal Medicine at NorthShore, shares ideas to help spark some thoughts about what unique skills you can share.

Share your skills:

  • Mow your neighbor’s yard
  • Volunteer at a local charity
  • Babysit for a loved one
  • Help your parents or grandparents around the house
  • Do something above and beyond for a friend
  • Sing or play an instrument at a local nursing home

You can also give more than just your time and skills. Take a look around and you may find common household items you don’t need anymore. Local food banks and shelters are always looking for non-monetary contributions. Dr. Lin suggests some items that are commonly needed:

Food Banks

  • Canned proteins like chicken, beef, or tuna
  • Low sodium canned vegetables
  • Canned fruits
  • Olive or canola oil
  • Healthy snacks such as granola bars, nuts, dried fruit
  • Pasta and pasta sauce
  • Baby formula or food, canned
  • Whole grain rice

Homeless or Women’s Shelters

  • General cleaning supplies such as paper towels, disinfectant spray, mops, etc.
  • Toiletries including toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, shampoo, and soap
  • Baby supplies like diapers, bottles, baby wipes, and clothing
  • First aid kits and items
  • Linens including towels, blankets, or sheets

Do you have a few of these lying around your household? Make it a family effort! Do some summer cleaning. This way, you can give your time and extra goods to those in need.