The holiday season puts everyone in a giving mood—we try to find the perfect way to show our loved ones just how much we care with a token of appreciation. But aside from giving presents to our friends and family, there are many ways we can also go beyond that by giving back to the less fortunate in our communities. And these special gifts don’t always come in the shape and size you imagine. These gifts come from the heart in the form of our time and presence. Not sure what we mean? Here are five ways you can give the gift of volunteering this holiday season to help those in your community who need it most.
Love animals? Animal shelters and rescue organizations often need an extra hand to help care for their four-legged residents. Find out if your local shelter needs any volunteers and consider signing up to volunteer a couple hours a week after school or during your winter break. It’s a great extra-curricular activity that will allow you spend time with some new furry friends who need all the love they can get!
Do you enjoy playing the piano or have a knack for arts and crafts? Then you might want to think about donating your time to your nearest nursing home. As you share your special talent with a welcoming older audience, you’ll entertain and bring a huge smile to them as well. And who knows? You just might learn a thing or two you didn’t know just by listening to their stories. It’s a win-win!
Everyone’s got clothes in their closet that they just don’t wear anymore. Don’t throw these items away! Instead, take the time to go through them and see what pieces are still in good shape. Why not donate these to the homeless? There are plenty of organizations out there that you can donate your clothes to who will then distribute them to those in need.
Start a food drive for the needy. Encourage members in your community (from school to church, etc.) to join you in donating non-perishable items to your local food pantry. You’d be surprised just how many people will be happy to give what they can to the less fortunate. If you’re able to make a contribution, do it. You’ll feel great about being able to help in some small way.
You may not even realize it but there are sadly many kids who unfortunately aren’t in good health and instead of enjoying the holidays like the rest of us, they might be fighting for their lives. One way you can brighten the lives of these children is by sending handmade holiday cards to ill kids in the hospital. Or you can donate toys as well. It’s really the thought that counts. And knowing that someone is thinking of them during such a difficult time will go farther than you can even imagine. It’s amazing how so little effort can do so much in the lives of others.
These are just a few ideas of how you can give back, not just during the holidays but throughout the year as well. What will you do to help others this holiday season? Tell us in the comments below.
And by leaving a comment, you’ll be automatically entered to win a free Hot Cocoa BFF Pillow! Continue the holiday spirit of giving by entering to win this fun prize you can share with a friend. Good luck to everyone! We will announce the winner the week of December 7, 2015. And don’t forget to check back weekly during the month of December for other fabulous giveaways on our blog. See you back here next week!