I'm ashamed to admit this, but the last time I did community service was in high school, to get a college scholarship. Once I got to college, I was so busy with classes, friends, a boyfriend and extracurriculars, that I didn't have time to volunteer. However, after seeing Emma Stone and her boyfriend Andrew Garfield urging their fans to check out charities instead of take paparazzi shots of them, I'm inspired to start doing some good. The young couple must be busier than I am with interviews, movies, appearances and award shows, but they still found a way to squeeze in some community service.
After seeing Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield turn a date into an opportunity to raise awareness about charities, I started thinking of ways I could also turn boyfriend time into volunteering time. Call me crazy, but spending time together and helping people in need sounds better than another dinner-and-movie date. So next time you're planning a romantic day or evening as a couple, think about taking your man on some of these do-gooder dates.
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1. Donate Blood Together. I've never given blood because even the thought of blood-filled needles makes me queasy. Every time I walk past a blood mobile, I get lightheaded and want to walk (or run) in the other direction. However, I know donating blood is a helpful thing to do because many hospitals could be low on rare blood types, so donating can change someone's life. Going with my guy would make donating way easier. I would have someone who could make me laugh and hold my hand when I get scared. The American Red Cross website has an awesome tool that allows you to put in your zip code and find a blood drive near you. So instead of making reservations at that new steakhouse, make reservations at a blood drive (a pint of blood trumps a bloody steak).
2. Donate Each Other's Clothes. You know those cargo shorts your guy has worn for the last six summers? Well, here's your opportunity to toss them. Tell him you want to donate some clothes to Goodwill or to The Salvation Army. You get to go through his clothes and find some things to give away, but he also gets to go through yours and toss the items he hates (bye bye, sequined harem pants). You may be sad you're losing some clothes, but think of all the people you will be helping out as a couple.
3. Go On A Toy Shopping Spree. Every year in October, November and December, the U.S. Marine Corps collects toys to give as Christmas gifts to less-fortunate children. This is the perfect opportunity to act like kids again. Go to the nearest toy store with your guy, and each pick out a few toys you would have loved to receive as a kid. Then, use this site to find the nearest Toys For Tots donation center. Bring the toys there, and help children experience the magic of Christmas (Bonus points if you dress up as Santa and Mrs. Claus while shopping!)
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