Mindful Holiday Traditions: Giving Back to the Community

Shannon Whitehead Lohr giving back

By Staff | Living
Posted Dec 21, 2016

One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served. – Gordon Hinckle

This season, in addition to our Magnifeco Holiday Gift Guide, we want to share more mindful ways to celebrate the holidays and asked some of our favorite people for their holiday traditions. Today, Shannon Whitehead Lohr shares how volunteering has become a holiday family tradition.

Shannon Whitehead Lohr is an advocate for a more sustainable fashion industry and the founder of Factory45. She works with aspiring entrepreneurs to launch clothing companies that are sustainably and ethically made. Factory45 takes sustainable apparel companies from idea to launch; source fabric, find a manufacturer and raise money to fund production.

Every year my mom tells us she doesn’t want any gifts – she just wants us to volunteer with her, so it’s become a tradition. This year we “shopped” gently-used items that had been donated, collected and sorted in a big warehouse. We were given a low-income family to choose presents for and then we wrapped everything. The gifts will be delivered to over 1,000 families in the Greater Boston area. (The “eco-bonus” is that the clothing, toys, games, etc. won’t be thrown out and end up in a landfill after hardly being used.)

Not sure how to get involved in your own community, here are some tips to find out who needs your help or support:

  • Call 311, if your town/city has the service
  • Try the local community centre
  • Call the local elementary school and ask if they have identified families in need
  • Visit your local police or fire department, who often have coat or food drives
  • Check in with your supermarket or mall, who often also have food and gift drives
  • If you live in the US, try the AARP site: Create the Good
  • If you live in the UK, try the national volunteering database: Do-it Trust
  • If you live in Canada, start at the Volunteer Canada site to find your local opportunities
  • If you live in Australia, visit the Volunteering Australia site: Go Volunteer

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” - John F Kennedy

Learn more and follow Shannon - 

Facebook: Factory 45
Twitter: @factory45co
Instagram: @factory45co

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