Finding small ways to give back
The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings. Seek out ways to make life better for those around us. If you’re wondering how your family can make the most out of the Holidays, finding small ways to give back is a beautiful way to spread holiday cheer and collectively make a difference.
Start a new holiday tradition in your family, where each family member does their part in spreading joy and giving back.
While many people relish the time they get off from work during the holidays, there are some people that don’t get time off. Emergency responders, police officers, firefighters, and even retail workers are stuck working long hours, with little time to see or spend time with loved ones. Bring holiday cheer to these folks by bringing them lunches during their workday. Not only are you saving them money, but the gesture itself will make being stuck at work a little better.
Adopt a Military Family
Operation Christmas Spirit allows volunteers to “adopt” a military family for the holiday season. In this case, your adoption means that you’ll provide Christmas gifts for the kids in the family, and a family gift or gift card to the whole family to help them out. Operation Christmas Spirit is Operation Help a Hero’s annual project, going 18 years strong, which supports military families, single service members and unit morale-boosting events during the holiday season. They provide opportunities for the community to Spread the Spirit of Christmas and the joy of the holiday season to our troops who sacrifice so much for our country.
Pay someone’s layaway balance
Pay Away the Layaway is a non-profit organization that helps to pay off layaway balances for families in need. By donating, you can pay off balances on gifts for children—everything from games, toys, and books to backpacks, clothes, and coats. What better way to give back this holiday season than by helping those in need provide their families with the things they need, as well as gifts for a real holiday miracle.
Impact Your Local Community
- Serve Food at an Area Shelter – It may seem like an easy task, but you’ll need to call ahead. This is a popular volunteer activity around the holidays for families. Consider going on an “off date” (usually early in December or the week after Christmas).
- Animal Shelter – You may not want to bring home a new puppy for Christmas but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy one. Visit the local animal shelter and offer to help bathe and walk the animals.
- Pass out Blankets, Gloves and Jackets to the Homeless – Temperatures will no doubt dip just in time for the holidays, making it the perfect time to offer some extra warmth to those in need.
- Make (or Buy) Blankets for Cancer Patients – Providing warmth and comfort during a chemo session can make a world of difference during a difficult time.
- Collect and Donate Hygiene Items for a Women’s Shelter – Things like perfumes and lotions can be more fun to include as well as practical items like toothpaste and deodorant. Make sure to ask for a list of specific needs that will best benefit the residents.
Spend time in nursing homes with those who don’t have families.
Throughout the country, there are people in nursing homes who don’t have families to visit them during the holidays, and that can certainly be a lonely feeling. Sing Carols in a Nursing Home Gather a group and plan a list of fun holiday songs. Don’t worry if you can’t carry a tune, as long as you’re spreading Christmas cheer!
Top 6 Charities That Help Children at Christmas Time
Teach your children the value of giving to others. During the holiday season donate to a charity that provides gifts for children in need. Your kids may enjoy selecting presents for other children who are the same age as them. Choose from a variety of national charities or look for a local organization that’s providing Christmas cheer to families in your area.
If you and your family are in need of extra help this holiday season you might find this link helpful with bills, food and gifts.
While the world is full of people in need year-round, no time is that more apparent than during the holiday season. For every smiling family curled up around a warm fireplace and a massive pile of presents under the tree, there are others who have no fire, no gifts, and sometimes, even no family or home at all.
“The Joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others’ burdens, easing each other’s loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of the holidays.” –W. C. Jones