This is the season of giving and many of us are looking for ways to give back to the community or individuals in need. When compiling this list of ways to volunteer during the holiday season, we’ve included ways to give both financially and simply with the gift of your time and energy. There are also several ideas that can involve the entire family, including children.
Go Through Your Stuff
As Christmas approaches and we prepare to bring more stuff into our homes, clearing out closets and storage areas can provide you with an opportunity to help others. Contact a local homeless, youth, or domestic violence shelter in your area and ask them what they need; clothes, food, toys, or household items can all be used to help run the shelter and also to help those moving out of the shelters establish their homes.
Give the Gift of Service
Soup kitchens and food pantries frequently need help serving meals, particularly for holiday meals. This is a way that the whole family can help; whether it’s actually serving the food, packing bags of food, or simply organizing inventory, the whole family can help. Visit foodpantries.org to find a local organization.
Money and new items are always appreciated and needed. Whether it’s to your church, your favorite charity, or for holiday events such as Toys for Tots or giving money to the Salvation Army bell ringers, there are many opportunities to give.
Give the Gift of Time
The holidays can be lonely for many members of our community. Individuals in nursing homes or hospitals would likely greatly appreciate a simple visit or a group singing Christmas carols. Troops stationed overseas away from their families will be cheered by a package or card. Contact local nursing homes or hospitals to ask about visiting and visit http://adoptaussoldier.org/ to adopt a soldier for Christmas.
Sponsor a Family
There are plenty of families in needs of Christmas gifts for their children or even just a nice meal for Christmas. Contact your local faith organization, community organization, or visit http://www.family-to-family.org/ to find a family in need.