For many of us, the holiday season brings with it meaningful traditions and joyful memories, but for others, this time of year isn’t so cheery. The end of the year brings with it the spirit of giving, and we can extend that to others who are less fortunate. Let’s look at a few ways you can give back over the holidays.
Spread the Warmth. Donate to a blanket drive or if your community doesn’t have one, then start one! Collect anything that could keep someone warm this winter﹘ blankets, sweaters, socks, coats. Then give all the donations to a local shelter.
Provide Nourishment. Many families and individuals struggle to find their next meal. You can help ease their burden by donating to a food drive or personally making a meal for a family in need. Animals also need to eat! Donate pet food and supplies to your local animal shelter to help things run smoothly over the holidays.
Make Presents Possible. When Christmas morning rolls around, there are countless kids in the world without gifts to open. While you’re getting your holiday shopping done, pick up an extra toy or two to donate. Simply having a gift to open on Christmas can transform an underprivileged child’s world.
Work with the Homeless. It’s heartbreaking to think about those who must endure the cold winter nights alone. Reach out to your local homeless shelter to see how you can help. Whether you’re helping to serve food, prepare sleeping arrangements, or gather necessary items, you can make a huge difference in the lives of those with no place to go this holiday season.
Give in Honor of a Loved One. It can feel impossible to select the perfect gift for extended family members or the person “who has everything.” Instead of giving them something that they might not want or need, you can give a gift that gives back. Many causes allow you to make a donation in honor of a loved one, providing the donor with a card or token to give in place of a material gift.
Visit the Elderly. Families aren’t always able to visit their older relatives around the holidays. Those who live in nursing homes can end up feeling especially lonely this time of year. Call your local nursing home and ask if you could bring sweet treats or other homemade goodies. You can visit with and get to know the residents while you pass around your gifts!
Lend a Helping Hand. Ask friends and neighbors if they need any help with projects around the house. Offer to babysit for a busy family in your neighborhood. Open your home to someone who might be alone on Christmas. Wherever you can see a need, there is a chance for you to help fill it.
Whatever you can give back this season will undoubtedly go a long way for those on the receiving end. You might be surprised how fulfilling it feels to spread the gift of giving back!