NEW YORK — After another year dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are looking forward to sharing the love and giving back to their communities this holiday season. A new poll of 2,000 Americans finds 70 percent think this is the most wonderful time of the year to give back. Even when it’s not the holidays though, the poll finds the average American does eight good deeds a month – totaling 94 in just one year.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Vitamin Angels for Giving Tuesday, the study also found that 65 percent of respondents are making it a goal to donate more, with 62 percent aiming to give at least $100 more by the end of 2021.
They may meet this goal soon, with 44 percent planning on donating to charity this year in observance of Giving Tuesday. In fact, half of Americans want to find more ways to give back to their community, but struggle to do so (52%).
More than anything, 72 percent say there’s nothing they enjoy more than helping others. Four in five believe in helping people because they feel it’s the right thing to do. The study found that those who do good deeds every month are actively kind to strangers (55%), recycle (55%), or pick up trash or litter around their neighborhood (49%).
How do people give back?
Many respondents shared heartwarming notes of the most meaningful way they’ve lent a hand over the last year. One respondent shared a story of going to pick up their takeout dinner only to give it to a homeless family nearby. Another respondent recalled taking in an at-risk pregnant woman to ensure she was safe from her partner.
Some Americans have opened their wallets to pay their neighbor’s rent when they fell on hard times during the pandemic or even pay off someone else’s hospital bill. Other Americans have spent the year donating money to their favorite charities and another person says they regularly volunteer their time at nursing homes to spend time with the elderly during the holidays.
Giving Tuesday is a great time to help your own community
When choosing a charity to donate to directly, 69 percent prefer to give back to charities that work locally and 60 percent are most likely to donate to charities that help children (60%).
“Women and children are often the most vulnerable in our communities, and that is especially true now due to the ongoing pandemic,” says Howard Schiffer, Vitamin Angels Founder & President, in a statement. “It’s wonderful to see that many respondents – 60 percent – are planning to donate to charities that help children and make a life-changing impact in their lives this holiday season.”
On average, people donate $400 to charity every year, with 72 percent giving to at least three different charities. More than a third of those who donate to charities note they’ve already donated more this year than in the past (37%).
“It’s wonderful to see that 65 percent of respondents agreed it’s important to take charity into account when doing their holiday shopping this season, opting to buy from brands who give back,” Schiffer adds. “Right now is a great time to maximize the impact of your donation because many charities have partners that are matching donations throughout the holiday season.”