Holiday Charitable Giving
For many, the holidays are the happiest, most wonderful time of the year. Families are busy shopping for toys and presents, special groceries for holiday feasts, decorating their homes, and more! For others, the holidays can be a lonely, stressful, and difficult time. Not all families can afford to buy gifts, some people do not have families and many people do not have homes to celebrate in. To brighten the holiday season for all, think of ways to give back to the community. The holidays are the perfect time for giving, and you can make a difference today!
Giving Back to Your Community
It is nice to know that giving back to your community can put a smile on someone’s face, especially someone who needs cheering up. Whether you are looking to participate in holiday charitable giving through volunteering or making donations, every little bit helps! Let’s say you have children or younger relatives that have grown out of their toys – why not donate them so another child can experience that excitement of unwrapping a present on Christmas morning. If this option is not available to you, try writing letters to people in nursing homes or hospitals. If you want to volunteer, check out local toy, food, and clothing drives in your area. These acts of kindness are all bound to brighten someone’s day!
A Time of Giving for Those in Need
Another way to give back to the community is being a conscious shopper. When you are out buying food or gifts over the holidays, think of who these things are going to benefit. Would your dollar better serve at a local business or a business that participates in holiday charitable giving, rather than a large corporation? By investing in small, local businesses, you are helping to create jobs in your community and improve your local economy. Another idea for giving back is checking to see which charitable organizations are on the receiving end, and shopping somewhere that donates to organizations you especially care about! By being mindful in this time of giving and throughout the year, you are helping others get what they need while also doing the same for your family.
Benefits of Giving Back to Your Community
While giving back to the community year-round and holiday charitable giving directly and positively affects others, giving back to your community benefits you, too! Did you know that volunteering has mental, physical, and emotional benefits? Studies have shown that volunteers are happier, healthier, and have higher self-esteem than individuals who do not volunteer. Giving back to the community through volunteering additionally releases endorphins, which elevates both your mood and self-esteem.
Ideas for Giving Back as a Family
We know that volunteering has many benefits for others as much as ourselves, but giving back to the community as a family, especially through holiday charitable giving, can strengthen your familiar bond. Whether you and your family are looking to help out and try something new or start traditions, it helps to come together and brainstorm ways to give back to the community that everyone can participate in. Allow all family members to give their input on what charitable organizations or activities they are interested in, would like to focus on, and how you can donate. Whether you choose to donate time, goods, or money or participate in an event or fundraiser, you can use this time volunteering to bring everyone closer together.
Here are some ideas for giving back to your community:
- Invite your children or family members on a shopping trip to the grocery store to buy goods for those in need, and allow them to help with the drop-off process as well. Many charitable organizations list needs and requirements on flyers and websites, which can help you make your shopping list.
- For something more hands-on, you can set up a holiday food drive of your own for an organization you want to support! Get your family and neighbors involved in giving back to the community.
- For a charitable gift that directly gives to other families, consider donating to organizations like Feeding America, which gives meals to families in need. This is a great way to participate in holiday charitable giving as a way to give thanks for the food on your table and share that goodness with others.
- Set up a treasure hunt of sorts for your children to help collect items around your home that can be donated, such as books, clothes, toys, and more. This will make giving back to your community feel more personal.
- Put out a donation jar for holiday charitable giving in your kitchen, inviting your children and loved ones to contribute some allowance money too. When the jar is full, you can work together to decide how to donate what you have collected.
- Help an elderly neighbor or family member with household tasks, or if you are visiting around the holidays, offer help with putting up holiday decorations or baking a holiday treat to spread the holiday cheer.
- Visit a nursing home or hospital to spend time with those in need, especially as the holidays are often difficult for those residing in assisted living settings. During your visit, you can sing songs, read books, share stories, or just keep company. Every person needs and deserves to socialize!
- Join a workgroup, which can include projects such as home building and renovations, packing food, wrapping gifts, and more!
- Participate in a local fundraiser or charity event. Many of these events take place during the holidays and help to raise money for a good cause.
- Volunteer at your local food bank to help those facing hunger.
- For a more active way to give back, check out charitable runs and walks taking place in your area. You can do these things solo, but they are even more fun when you get your family, friends, and community involved!
- For family members 16 and up, and with adult supervision, donating at a blood drive is another meaningful way to give back to the community.
- If it is hard to find time to volunteer in person, you can join in on giving back to your community and beyond by making a difference online. There are so many ways you can help others, such as starting an online fundraiser, or donating to organizations of your choice when prompted during your online shopping experience.
- Another great way to volunteer from your home is through writing letters to those living in assisted living facilities, such as nursing homes and/or hospitals. This gives members of all communities a meaningful way to connect!
After participating, take the time to gather with those who helped make a difference and collectively reflect on and celebrate your efforts. Ask around. See how people are feeling about their efforts and the success of those efforts. Aslo, ask about possible ways to make things better next time, and open the floor to more ideas. If some feedback was given from organizations or people you worked with, share those reactions as well! Coming together as a family and giving back to the community makes everyone’s holidays better!
Your Effort Counts
No matter what you and your family choose to embark on in this time of giving, remember that every effort counts and makes an impact. Encourage multiple members of your immediate family, friends, colleagues, and community members to participate to make an event or drive even more rewarding and impactful. It is always more fun to collaborate on ways to give back to the community. The holidays may go by quickly, but holiday charitable giving has a long-lasting effect. Be part of the change you wish to see in the world, today!