Puyallup

What You Can Do to Help the Homeless in Puyallup

helping the homelessThe holiday spirit is everywhere right now. People are gearing up to celebrate the upcoming holidays by shopping, decorating and attending celebratory holiday events. We usually focus on giving to those closest to us and sometimes forget those who need it the most. Sometimes the less fortunate can range from a homeless individual to someone who is currently facing difficulties during the holidays. Random acts of kindness are in high demand this year. Currently, the state of Washington is facing a crisis when it comes to their homeless. 2016 has seen a rise in the amount of homeless people in the state and has been steadily rising since 2013. According to the Seattle Times, “The 2016 estimate of people without shelter showed a 19 percent increase over last year, and the 2015 tally of 3,772 was a significant increase over the count in 2014.” Many people are suffering in the community and reaching out even in a small way can make a huge difference. Helping those in need, whether it be a homeless person or someone who needs support, doesn’t always have to be a monetary donation. There are many ways to give to those who need it during this holiday season.

The best way to start is to educate yourself about the homeless as individuals. Learn about who they are as people. Find out why they are homeless. Is it because they lost their job, or maybe due to a mental illness? Learn about the different reasons for homelessness and understand that each situation is unique. Talk with them to find out what their story is and what they need. This connection will help you to see them as individuals. Treat them as you would treat a family or a friend who has fallen on rough times. Learning and educating yourself will help you to understand the best way to help the less fortunate in the area. Developing respect for the homeless will help you to empathize with their situation. Also, educate your children about the plight of the people living on the street.

Volunteering your time to help the homeless doesn’t always have to be in a soup kitchen. Helping them to get back on their feet is another way to help those in need. The homeless do not always know where to start when it comes to trying to transition off the streets. There are government aid programs out there that most homeless people aren’t even aware that they exist. Be an advocate or an intermediary for these people by helping them find these programs and help them to apply. Also if you have a business or know of places that are looking to hire, help to employ the homeless. Volunteer your professional services. If you are an attorney, you can help with legal work, or a therapist can help them work through the stress of being homeless. If they are transitioning off the streets, volunteer to help them learn how basic life skills like writing a resume, or paying bills. These steps will help to get them off the streets and back on their feet.

Homeless children are the most disenfranchised group in a community’s population. They are stuck in a pretty hopeless situation and can do little to get themselves out of it. They very rarely have the opportunity to interact with other children their own age. They sometimes can’t attend school or they do not have the opportunity to have friends over to their house or vice versa. Speak with your local shelter about bringing your children by to play with the other kids in the shelter. Bring along some toys and some books for the children to play with. This will also teach your children to emphasize with others and will help them grow into adults that will also give back to their community. Tutoring the children in the shelter is also another way to help them. Certain shelters have programs that you can volunteer for to help tutor children and help them with their homework. Sometimes children will rarely leave the shelter so volunteering to take them out for a fun activity like going to the aquarium or to a park. Spending time with homeless children in any capacity will be very much appreciated.

Getting involved politically can help raise awareness for the homeless and their plight can help to make their situation better. Write to your local political representative about what is happening in your community. If the community is lacking certain programs to help the homeless write your representative letting them know what they can do to help. Also, it takes many letters and even an in-person visit to get the attention of your representative. Personal visits are the most effective so make time to visit your local government representative. Standing up for the civil rights of the homeless is so important because a majority of the time they are incapable of voting. Also, pushing for state homeless prevention programs in your community will help to stop the problem before it begins. When contacting your local public official, speak with them about prevention programs for families who are about to be evicted from their homes or have suffered from a job loss.

The true spirit of the holidays is in giving to others. When you give back to your community, you are helping to build a better community. Spend time this holiday season helping those in need. Helping the homeless doesn’t always have to entail a monetary donation, giving your time, your concern, and your energy will make a huge difference. The city of Puyallup has a few shelters that could use your time this holiday season. If you have a favorite charity or have ideas for helping the homeless, tweet us and let us know!

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Volunteering and Donating in the City of Puyallup

It is the beginning of November and the city of Puyallup is starting to gear up for Thanksgiving and for the beginning of the holiday season. As we start shopping for our turkey’s and fixings for the delicious Thanksgiving dinner and getting ready to spend time with our families, it is important to remember to take the time to reflect and be thankful for your family, friends and surroundings. It is also an important time to remember that some people are not as fortunate. Tis the season for giving but remember giving can extend beyond your family and friends and can include strangers as well. There are any options in Puyallup for those looking to donate money, necessities or time. This is the time to get out there and help those in your community who are in need.

There are many reasons to either give to charity or to donate your time to those who are struggling. There are positive consequences to giving that can affect your family, friends and the community of Puyallup at large. It can even have a positive effect on your own mental well-being. In research conducted by the journal BMC Public Health, it was proven that volunteering improves your sense of inner peace, decreases depression, and has been linked to a lower risk of dying early in life. Generosity has been noted as a key factor in a happy and successful marriage. People that are giving in nature, have a tendency to carry that mentality over to their relationship. Giving also helps keep your stress at bay. People who are stingy with their money have been shown to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Kindness not only provides positive results for you and your inner circle but also helps to create a positive change in the community. Giving is contagious and creates a ripple effect in your community. Being generous helps to create strong social connections and encourages those around you to also give back. The more people that give back to their community, the more the community benefits and flourishes. There are so many positive consequences to giving and it is a great way to help build a better community.

The city of Puyallup has many opportunities for those looking to donate or volunteer their time. Here are a few organizations in the city that are in need of your time or money especially during the holidays.

The Puyallup Public library is always looking for volunteers to work at the library. The Friends of the Library is a separate 501(c)3 that helps to raise funds for the library. The funds they raise help to sponsor special events for children and teens in the Library, including the Summer Reading Program. The Friends of the Library also hosts educational and cultural programs for all ages throughout the year.

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Metro Animal Services is always in need of volunteers and donations. Donations help make sure that the animals in the shelter are getting food and shelter. Volunteers to the shelter provide assistance to the officers in many daily duties such as escorting customers back to view the animals, helping potential adopters meet with an animal, answer phone inquiries & research information as needed, take dogs out for their breaks, feed and water the animals, scoop cat litter boxes, socialize with the animals and help with general housekeeping.

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The St. Francis House in Puyallup helps those in need in the community with clothing, furniture, food, and emergency food and assistance. You can donate money, clothing, household items, and food. Volunteering also helps the St. Francis House to provide all these services to the community and is a 4-6 hour commitment once or twice a week. Volunteering opportunities include helping out with the clothing bank, working the office, assisting with the evening meal program, and helping to fundraise.

St. Francis House Puyallup The Puyallup Food Bank has been helping to feed the community since 1972. Many people go hungry over the holidays and the food bank is sometimes the only way that families in need get food for Thanksgiving. The food bank accepts monetary donations along with gift cards to Albertsons, Fred Meyers, Top Foods, Costco and Safeway. When donating food they accept non-perishable unopened packages of food, food in undented metal cans, dried food, and pet food.

Puyallup Food Bank

No donation is too small and it might be cliché but every little bit does help. If you are unable to donate money, then volunteering your time is equally as important and helpful towards these causes and organizations. Donating and volunteering helps to create a better community for both you and others. Make volunteering a family affair in order to teach your child the importance of giving back to their city. Thanksgiving kicks off one of the most wonderful time of the year and volunteering and donating is a great way to celebrate the upcoming holiday season. Tweet us and let us know your favorite charity or cause in Puyallup!

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Being Charitable in Puyallup

Being charitable in Puyallup helping others

November is hitting the Puyallup area in full force with Thanksgiving around the corner. Fall is in the air and the temperature has slowly been dropping lower and lower forcing us to turn up our heat and don extra layers when we leave the home. Families are getting their holiday plans set and thinking about what to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner. Most people are contemplating what they are thankful for and a majority of those people have plenty to be thankful for this holiday season. However, there are families and people in your area that are not as fortunate. Some families do not have as many options when it comes to what they get to eat for their Thanksgiving dinner or get to don all those extra layers. According to stats from the most recent government data 48.1 million Americans lived in food-insecure households, including more than 15 million children. The term food-insecure is defined as “lacking reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.” Giving to the local community of the Puyallup area should be added to your to do list this holiday season. There are many good reasons to give or volunteer during the holidays that benefit both your community and help contribute to the overall goodwill in the city during the holiday season.

There are many benefits to volunteering or giving and some of those reasons actually benefit the person that is giving or volunteering. In a Canadian study, 85% of Ontario volunteers rated their health as “good,” compared to 79% of non-volunteers. Only 2% of volunteers reported “poor” health, one-third the amount of non-volunteers who reported the same health status. Also people who give or volunteer have higher self-esteems and have a tendency to be more positive. These are just a few reasons why giving to charity or volunteering for a cause is beneficial but here are seven more reasons why it counts both for you and your community.

1. Setting an example: They say that the future lies with the younger generation and teaching by setting an example is the best way to teach that generation how to be loving and caring adults. By showing your children that giving or volunteering is important it will teach them to do the same. One example is visiting the local food bank or donating your time is a great way to set an example for your children.

2. Tax Deduction: In the United States, any money donated to charity can be taken as a deduction on your tax return. Although this reason should not be the primary reason why you donate, it is definitely an added bonus.

3. Supporting a cause keeps you well informed about social injustice: When giving to a charity, people have a tendency to take the time to research the cause or issue that the charity supports. As result, people become more educated about the different types of social injustice that affect different places around the world.

4. Volunteering results in physical and social benefits: Typically after donating money to a cause, people feel drawn to actually becoming involved with that particular charity by either donating their time or helping to organize charity based events. Inevitably, by giving your time to a charity your social circle will grow to include like-minded people. Studies have shown that people who have a wider social circle have a tendency to live longer and happier lives.

5. Giving back to your community: People often forgot that volunteering or donating locally helps to build a better community. Focusing on local charities will help to build a better city for both your family and the other families that live in the area.

6. Others will follow suite: It is common that once you begin to donate your time and money to charity, others around you will follow suite. Your passion for your newfound charity or cause will bleed over into the lives around you hence inspiring people to join the cause or donate their time and money.

7. Gain a whole new perspective on your life: Sometimes we let our lives drag us down or stress us out. Helping out those less fortunate can really help put your own problems in check and make you realize what truly is important in life.

We do work hard for our money so rewarding ourselves with material possessions is not a bad thing. But imagine giving away just a bit of your time or your money and the benefits that both you and your community will reap will far surpass those material items. Make sure to take the time to volunteer or donate during the upcoming holidays. There are many organizations and charities in the Puyallup area that would love to have some of your time or donations. This link is to a website that lists a lot of amazing charities in the Puyallup area along with a brief description of the charity: http://greatnonprofits.org/city/puyallup/WA . There are so many ways to give this holiday season and so many reasons why it is important so don’t hesitate and contact one of these charities today to see how you can help!

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