Happy Holidays! With Thanksgiving coming up next week, followed shortly by December celebrations like Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas, the cold winter months bring with them a sense of holiday cheer and camaraderie.
The holiday season is a wonderful time of the year for families to come together and celebrate their various beliefs. But for some, the holidays can be a difficult time. Making it through the cold winter months and trying to find the finances to provide holiday dinners and presents may be more burdensome than joyful. How can you spread the cheer by giving back? We have five altruistic ideas for the holiday season that just might do the trick.
1. Work with a community food program.
Oftentimes, winter season is a difficult time for those who can’t afford a Thanksgiving meal or holiday dinner. Fortunately, there are various food programs locally and nationally who raise support and food to give holiday meals to others. Examples of this include the food bank chain Feeding America, the Meals on Wheels program or local shelters. Research food programs in your community to see where you can give back. Maybe they need an extra turkey to give to a family this Thanksgiving, or perhaps need volunteers to help serve food during their holiday meal. Work with a food program to see how you can fill someone’s belly and heart.
2. Donate extra gifts and winter clothes.
More than anything, winter can be tough because of the cold. Winter clothes are often expensive, but become a priority over providing gifts to family members. If you’re able, you can do both. Try buying an extra gift when you go out shopping for your friends and family, or see if you have old winter clothes laying around. If you do, donate gifts, toys and winter clothes to local shelters near you, to help warm someone up this winter. Your contribution could mean a world of difference to a child facing the cold winter ahead.
3. Volunteer at an animal shelter.
Our pets need love too. Some shelters can get pretty chilly during the winter months, so see how you can help by volunteering to play or cuddle the animals, or offering up your home as a foster facility for them to stay warm during the winter. Reach out to local shelters in your community to see how you can help give back during these next few months. Who knows? By opening up your time and home to an animal in need, you may just find they end up staying close to your heart.
4. Share with those who can’t be home.
Unfortunately, some people simply cannot be at home during the holiday season. Whether they’re currently staying in a shelter, elderly living in a nursing home or an active duty military man or woman who is stationed overseas. Find ways to reach out to those who can’t be home this season, either by volunteering with a shelter or nursing home, or donating a care package to the military. Being away from friends and family during the holidays is tough, so you can help ease their heartache by showing them how much you care.
5. Give financially.
Finally, one of the simplest ways to help out this holiday season is by giving financially. Many nonprofit organizations provide housing, financial and food aid to those in need, so help support those in your community by giving what you can. Even a small contribution can make a big difference in these next few months.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner and holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa coming up too, this season is the most wonderful time of the year. You can make sure it’s that way for everybody by volunteering and giving back this holiday season to those in need.