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Four Ways Artists Can Give Big and Go Local This Holiday Season

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 Giving global is an awesome thing to do. My nephew goes every summer to Africa to build + improve communities through media and I'm so proud of him and his efforts to help others less fortunate than him. But what about giving local? I wonder sometimes if the starving child in Africa captures our attention more than the local shelter. What about those here at home in your local community? Both are important, but I think humans have a tendency to look past what's right in front of them and you might be surprised to find, there are many people who need your help right here at home.

That said, it's proven that you not only get more from giving you feel better from it too! Yes, it's better to give than to receive. And it doesn't have to cost a dime. How about ramping up to give three of the most precious things you have to offer as a musician your TIME, your TALENTS and your MUSIC.

So, put on your thinking cap and make a plan to GIVE BIG this season and make a difference in people's lives for free.

Here's my top 4 Ways to GIVE BIG and GO LOCAL this Holiday Season:

1. Sing to people who can't get out. Nursing homes and hospitals are a great place to start the elderly and the sick (kids too) don't have much of a choice but to stay in their hospital rooms during the holidays. You could choose Christmas Carols for this time of year OR just bringing some singing cheer to places like these in general. Most nursing homes and hospitals have activity or entertainment directors you can contact directly. Start by calling around. There also are organizations that bring singers into specific locations. Musicians on Call is one such organization. They have offices in New York, Philadelphia, Miami + Washington D.C. find out more here. We found a few other organizations as well, including Music for a Cure in Irvine, CA and Silverlake in LA as well as Music in Hospitals in the UK. Google musicians in hospitals to find more local organizations.

2. Donate the proceeds of a show to charity. This one is pretty simple: use your talents for good by advertising a charity concert, performing it and giving all the earnings (or even a predetermined portion) to a charity of your choice. You're guaranteed to feel good about making this decision (and accumulate some massive good karma!). Charities I donate to + believe in: MyCharityWater: if you want to support my current campaign, Let Them Drink Water, you can donate here atwww.mycharitywater.org/caricole; Oxfam America and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

3. Use charitable donations as admission to a show. People love this one. This is a lot like idea number two, but with a different spin. Sometimes charities need contributions other than just money you can use these other contributions as admission to your show instead of cash or tickets. Examples here would be a can of food for your local food bank or a child's toy for a local children's charity. Get creative with more ideas and think of how you can help your favorite charity!

4. Street busking. This is a tradition as old as music itself. Pick a street corner and play for everyone who walks by. It's one sure way of making spirits bright, which is so rewarding to do this time of year. If you get tips, all the better. You could donate those to your favorite charity too! But tips or not, you're sure to make people feel good. Most cities and towns have laws about busking. Often a permit is required, so make sure you get one. No breaking laws this season. 

One of the most important things to remember with these tips is to make an impact on your LOCAL community. You'll feel great about your visible contributions and enjoy your holiday season immensely more than if you didn't give.

Share below what you're doing to GIVE BIG + GO LOCAL this holiday keep that good karma flowing and improve your community just because it #feelsgood!

©2012 Cari Cole, Vocal Mag, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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