While charitable giving increases towards the end of the year as important community needs are showcased, such needs continue all year long. Unfortunately, giving tends to drop off after the holidays, leaving many organizations with a shortfall of donated goods, cash and even volunteers in the new year.

“While it is true that part of the Christmas and holiday tradition is to give back to others, there are needs in our community throughout the year,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army. “The Salvation Army serves nearly 30 million people every year and we cannot do that without the generosity of the American public who gives back, beyond the holidays.”

What You Can Do
Whether you volunteer or collect goods to donate, resolve to take simple steps in 2013 to better your community. To shine a light on ways to give back, Ericka Lassiter, pro football player partner, avid volunteer and president of the non-profit Off The Field Players Wives Association, shares her top three tips on how to make giving a year-long tradition:

Tip #1: Simple Items Make a Big Difference: Many local charities collect clothes and essentials for families, particularly children, all year long. From warm coats and blankets to socks, toothpaste and soap, the simplest items can make a real difference for those in need. Consider donating gently used items after your annual spring cleaning, organize a donation drive in your neighborhood, or if you buy in bulk at warehouse clubs like Sam’s Club, choose a few items from each trip to set aside for donation to your favorite local charity.

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