Life can get pretty hectic during the holiday season. I’m sure we can all agree that no one is exaggerating when they say you literally just run out of time once December rolls around. This Christmas, make a point to find time to give back. Whether that be donating gifts, donating your time, or just saying thank you. Here are ten simple ways to give back this holiday season.
Ways to Give Back
Fill an empty shoe box full of gifts for a child in need this Christmas. A Christian organization, Samaritan’s Purse, collects packed shoeboxes every year to be sent overseas to waiting pastors. Those pastors distribute the boxes to children accordingly, based on gender and age. To participate, go to the website link above, choose if you want to gift a young boy or girl. Choose an age range, and then start packing! In your shoebox, you’re able to include toys, crafts, clothes, and hygiene items. But there is also a list of things you should not pack due to customs regulations, so make sure you check HERE before you include it. Mail your gift-filled shoebox to the Operation Christmas Child headquarters at 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC 28607.
If you don’t have enough time to pack a shoebox, you also have the option to Build A Shoebox Online.
Socks for Seniors is a simple, great way to give back this holiday season. Not everyone is surrounded by family during the holidays, and it is important to take notice of those who need a little extra cheer. Warm the hearts and feet alike, of the elderly by donating socks to a nursing home. And maybe even stay and visit for a while!
3. Write a letter to a soldier
A handwritten letter goes a long way when someone is away from family for an extended time, no matter what time of the year it is. Send words of thanksgiving and gratitude to those overseas by Adopting a US Soldier. Click the link for more details!
Keep in mind that it takes several weeks for a letter to be received by a solider, so a holiday card needs to be sent weeks in advance!
4. Donate clothes
If you have clothes that you never wear anymore or don’t fit, take the time to clean out your closet. Do some research and find what local businesses are accepting donations of warm clothing for those in need. GoodWill, Homeless shelters, and churches are all good places to start.
5. Bake Christmas cookies to share with your neighbors
Spread joy and full bellies by knocking on your neighbors door with Christmas cookies in hand! Cookies are hardly ever turned down, and puts a smile on everyone’s faces.
6. Donate blankets, dog toys, treats, and/or beds to the local animal shelter
People aren’t the only ones affected by the cold weather this winter! Show some love to the pets (and the volunteers) at your local animal shelter by dropping off a few items they may need.
7. Donate your time
Whether it be a soup kitchen, Boys and Girls Club, or any other charitable business in your area. Taking time to volunteer or meet new people is a gratifying experience for everyone involved, and doesn’t cost a dime.
8. Pay it Forward
Next time you’re in line at Starbucks, McDonalds, Wendy’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Chick Fill A – whatever drive-thru you may be driving through – offer to pay for the car behind you. It’s always a good morning when you find out your coffee has already been paid for.
9. Adopt a Family, or Sponsor a Child
The holidays are a time of giving, and when Santa delivers on December 25th we need to remember that not everyone is getting presents. Not because of bad behavior, but because some families cannot afford it. Or due to circumstances, giving gifts isn’t in the plans for this year. Whatever the situation may be, we have the opportunity to help. Check with your local Salvation Army or churches for a list of families or children you can shop for.
10. Think outside the box
Giving back during the Holidays doesn’t have to be solely giving gifts and volunteering. Think of different ways you can say thank you to those you wouldn’t normally think of. For example, leaving a basket of snacks and drinks at the door of your work for UPS and FedEx to choose from when they deliver. They work long hours during this season trying to get your package delivered on time.
Another idea would be to invite someone to your family Christmas party. Someone who you know is not going to be surrounded by friends and family this Christmas. Just the suggestion and invitation can go a long way!
Finding time to participate in just one of these suggestions can help spread the love during this holiday season.