While the messages from 2020 spelled gloom and doom for us all —  hope is on the horizon with COVID vaccines being administered worldwide. A wave of health and fitness activity also swept the globe as people became more conscious about their health choices during the pandemic. Getting vaccinated is just one of many steps to take to help humanity be healthier.

6 Health-Minded Ways to Give Back

Getting vaccinated isn’t the only way you can give back to the world. Getting back to work and building your business will help all of us in this economy. There are many other ways to help make the world a healthier place — pick up your online Calendar and schedule a date to help others.

1. Give Blood

The American Red Cross estimates that someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds. That’s a lot of blood needed for a host of life-saving scenarios. The problem is that less than 38% of the population is even eligible to give blood. Those who can donate blood are desperately needed to help save lives.

Blood drives are hosted regularly, being put on by businesses, hospitals, and even Boy Scout troops. To find a blood drive near you, search on the internet. Organizations such as the Red Cross and the American Association of Blood Banks have public databases where you can search and find blood drives in your zip code. Find one in your area and add it to your online calendar to attend.

Prepare yourself physically before giving blood. Get a good night’s rest and make sure you’re hydrated. Eat a healthy meal before donating, so you don’t run the risk of passing out or feeling sick.

2. Donate Plasma

Donating plasma is a little different than giving blood. Plasma composes over half of your blood and is mostly liquid. The rest of your blood consists of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. During a donation, your plasma is separated from these cells, which are returned to your body via IV with a saline solution.

Plasma donations are used to treat several diseases. Leukemia patients need regular plasma transfusions, as do patients receiving a liver or bone marrow transplant. Plasma also helps treat burn victims and those with blood clotting problems.

The best part about donating plasma is that you’re compensated for your time — OR you can donate your plasma AND the money to a sick patient. I like to donate the money to sick babies in the NICU.

While your primary concern should be helping others, if you need the money — it doesn’t hurt to pocket a couple of hundred dollars a month in the process. Donating plasma takes longer, but you can pass the time by watching TV or sleeping. It’s a little hard to read because one arm has to be out straight — but I’ve listened to a book on my phone.

3. Participate in a Fundraiser

Most health-minded organizations are non-profits, meaning they don’t generate an income like a regular business. Instead, non-profit hosts several fundraisers to get the money they need to serve local communities.

Volunteering your time for a good cause is one of the most rewarding things you can do. You only have to sacrifice an afternoon or a few hours of your weekend to make a difference as well. You can lend your services as an organizer or attend as a supportive participant.

One of the most common health fundraisers is a fun run. Entry fees go toward the foundation or organization hosting the event. The health organization can set up information booths, give a quick statement, and even hold a raffle to drum up some more funds during the event.

4. Help Raise Awareness

Along with fundraising opportunities is the chance to raise awareness about health conditions and diseases that aren’t as well-known or supported. The more people know about a disease, no matter how rare, the better they can provide assistance in the near future.

Perhaps the most effective way to spread awareness about anything is the internet. In particular, social media has the potential to reach millions of people with a single post. You can create content or share posts from established organizations and influencers to reach your family, friends, and more about a particular issue.

Other ways to help raise awareness include creating and posting flyers around your community, usually tied to some event. A key speaker with a personal history of the health concern you’re addressing will make for an excellent community event.

5. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

The World Health Organization estimates that roughly seven million people die from conditions caused by air pollution every year. With increasing rates of carbon emissions especially in major cities, this issue is only growing. You can do your part to keep air pollution to a minimum by reducing your carbon footprint.

Your carbon footprint is basically the number of emissions that you’re responsible for. For example, your carbon footprint grows every time you drive your car to work. To decrease the size of your footprint, you can carpool with a coworker, take public transportation, or even bike to the office.

Other ways to reduce your carbon footprint include making your home more energy-efficient, planting gardens and trees in your community, and traveling more conservatively. You can even calculate your carbon footprint to see exactly which parts of your life need the most adjusting to make a difference.

6. Be an Example

You can be the change you want to see in the world. Your family, friends, and community will look up to you as you implement health and safety measures in your own life.

Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and pick up trash from off the side of the road. These little things and more will help you feel better both physically and mentally. Additionally, others watching your actions can feel inspired to change their lives in a way that might save them.

Life is much more enjoyable when health concerns aren’t looming. Do your part not only to keep yourself healthy but to promote health and wellness for your business and the people around you.

Image Credit: matthias zomer; pexels;  thank you!