It’s your birthday! You’re one year older and (hopefully!) one year wiser. If you’re looking for something a little different to celebrate this year, why not use the spotlight to do some good. Motivate your friends to make a positive change in their community to celebrate a new year. And who knows? You might inspire others to do the same! Scroll down for some easy ways to make a meaningful contribution this year.

Happy birthday in words

1. Facebook Donation: You know how Facebook will now prompt you to set up a call to donations for your fave causes? Make sure the charity of your choice has a page and can to take donations through the site, and then follow the process.

2. Help at a Local Shelter: Did you know most shelters will let you come walk the dogs or play with the cats? Animals are social creatures who need as much playful exercise as they do love. Find one in your neck of the woods (call ahead to make sure they can fit a bunch of you), and go with the gang before brunch and mimosas.

3. Food Drive: Just like you used to do at school. If you’re throwing a party, invite all your guests to bring a can or two of non-perishable food for the local food bank. Have a prize for whoever brings the fanciest food item.

4. Women’s Shelters: Challenge your girl squad to pull together their old purses and stuff them full of women’s items like pads, tampons, shampoo, hair brushes, and toiletries for a women’s shelter.

5. Habitat House Builds: Get your crew together and go build a house with Habitat for Humanity over the weekend. It’ll take a bit of prep to put together, but the experience can be totally rewarding.

6. Clean Eating: Working through organizations might not be up your alley, and that’s cool. But why not do a quick clean up of your fave park before having a lovely picnic under the shade of a big tree. Bonus points for recycling!

7. Build a Library: You’ve got a stack of books that overshadows your nightstand light, but your local public library, grade school, nursing home, or community bookshelf could be in dire need of some new reads! Invite your guests to buy books for the appropriate age range and donate them.

8. A Welcoming Face: There are new people joining your local community every day, and many of them don’t know anyone else. Don’t be a stranger! Your neighborhood newcomer’s program likely has a meet-and-greet so you can connect with people from all walks of life, and maybe make some new friends.

9. Older and Wiser: Bring your tea party or cocktail hour to a local retirement home. You’ll meet some people and enjoy a drink with folks who have crazy stories to tell you.

10. Soup’s Up!: Go serve a meal at your local food kitchen. Call ahead to make sure they’ve got enough hair nets for everyone. You’ll work up an appetite, spread some smiles, and serve a hot meal. What could be better?

11. What’s in Your Closet?: Now that everyone’s seen Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix, you can safely convince your gals to bring their old duds for a clothing swap. Try on your friend’s gently used finds and refresh your wardrobes *without* buying a thing. And all the items that just aren’t a fit will be appreciated by a local charity like Goodwill.

12. Door to Door: With spring just around the corner, why not go for a stroll while you’re doing some good! Volunteer to canvas a neighborhood for a cause you all care about and then go get ice cream.

RELATED: 6 Places to Look for Inspiration If You Want to Start Giving Back

(Photo via Getty)