As our lives seem to get busier by the minute, it can be challenging to find the time to give back. However, there is something to be said about the personal and community benefits, of volunteerism.

There are some who have dedicated their lives towards making the world a better place. That’s why Sunday, August 19, the world celebrated World Humanitarian Day to recognize the suffering of millions of civilians caught in conflict, as well to honor humanitarian workers devoted to delivering aid to those who need it. Even though World Humanitarian Day has come and gone, there are still many simple ways you can spread the humanitarian spirit, even with a busy schedule.

Organize a food drive

According to Forgotten Harvest, four million households in Michigan live at risk of hunger. The number of individual emergency food recipients in Southeast Michigan grew by 78 percent between 2006 and 2010. If you or your workplace have excess food, organize a food drive and donate it to a local charity that can distribute it to those who need it most. Organizations like Ronald McDonald House, for example, hosts its program, “Pantry Partners,” which collects food for families of critically ill and injured children. 

Donate books

If you have books collecting dust around your home, consider donating them to a nonprofit like Books for Africa, an organization that delivers books to all 54 African countries to create a “culture of literacy and provides tools of empowerment to the next generation of parents, teachers, and leaders in Africa.” If you’d like to stay a bit more local, consider donating books to RX For Reading or Brilliant Detroit. Both organizations look to empower underprivileged kids with education and tools needed to succeed.

Become a tutor

Learning to read can open doors to thousands of opportunities and can sometimes be easy to take for granted. Taking some time out of your day to tutor kids or adults at places like Reading Works and Literacy Center of West Michigan can make can make all the difference in a person’s life.

Throw a fundraiser

Are you passionate about a charity or cause? Launching a fundraiser has never been easier. Posting on gofundme, participating in a bake sale or running in a marathon can be great ways to collect money for nonprofits. If you have a birthday coming up, Facebook has even launched a fundraising tool where you can ask friends and family to donate to a charity of your choice in honor of your special day!

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