The holidays are a special time of year. It’s a time when we get together to celebrate, rejoice and give back. We give thanks during Thanksgiving and we give back to our loved ones, others who are less fortunate, and to our community.
Giving to others can help brighten someone’s day and it can also help them feel a bit of the holiday magic.
There are many reasons why giving back during the holidays is good for us. Not only does it make us feel good but it also helps other people around us as well as our community.
Things That You Can Do To Give Back This Holiday Season And Brighten Up Someone Else’s Day
1. Donate To A Food Drive
Donating to a food drive is a quick and easy way to give back to the community. With the rising cost of inflation, many families are struggling to put together a complete holiday meal. You can donate canned food items to a local food bank, food drives hosted by elementary schools or local businesses, or host your own food drive in the community as well.
If you decide to host your own food drive, you can ask neighbors, friends, and family to donate canned foods and non-perishable items when you get together.
You can also contact a local food bank to see what items are most needed and donate that particular item.
2. Donate Warm Clothing, Socks, Blankets
During the colder months, these are the most needed essential items. Depending on where you are located, the colder months can hit harder in some areas. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless found that approximately 700 people die from hypothermia, or cold-related deaths, in the United States annually.
Contact a local shelter in your area and see what their policy is on donating items.
You can also make care packages with a couple of pairs of socks, blankets, and a few essential toiletries like toothbrushes, and toothpaste and drop them off safely to any individual who may need them.
3. Donate Used Toys
If there are some toys that your kids have outgrown and are not playing with anymore, donate them to another child in need who may appreciate them.
You can encourage your children to sort through their belongings and see what items they would be happy to donate.
4. Donate Blood
As a healthcare provider and seeing the blood shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic, I encourage donating blood. Blood is one of the things that cannot be created or made. It needs to be donated.
According to the American Red Cross, blood donations have decreased by 25% in the past year. The demand for blood products is surpassing the amount being donated.
By donating blood, you could be saving someone’s life. If you are 16 and over (in some states) and meet the eligibility requirements, donating blood can be an option for giving back during the holidays. You could be saving someone’s life by donating blood which is the best gift that you could be giving.
You can contact the American Red Cross and schedule a time to donate blood.
5. Donate Plasma and/ or Platelets
This goes in tandem with the point above but you can also donate plasma and platelets. This can be a life-saving measure for someone so donating can be helpful. As long as you’re in good health and meet the eligibility requirements, donating plasma and platelets is also something you can do this holiday season.
6. Volunteer At A Homeless Shelter
People experiencing homelessness are often navigating through a tough time in their lives.
There are many ways that you can volunteer your time at a homeless shelter. You can help with resume writing, the job application process, leasing application, and interviewing.
Applying for employment and searching for a home to live in can be an overwhelming process for some individuals. Volunteering your time and guidance during this stressful time can be extremely helpful during this time in their lives.
7. Volunteer At A Pet Shelter
Many pets are displaced during the holidays and after the COVID-19 pandemic as many pet owners returned to work. You can volunteer at a pet shelter and show these furry friends some extra love and companionship.
8. Volunteer At A Women’s Shelter
There are many ways that you can volunteer at a women’s shelter such as being a children’s program volunteer, a crisis intervention hotline, a kitchen assistant, or a shelter supporter.
Many women are victims of domestic abuse and need the support and compassion from volunteers.
Simply volunteering your time and empathy can have a tremendous positive impact on these women and their families.
9. Visit An Elderly Nursing Home
Many facilities welcome visitors. I remember when I was working at a nursing home, the residents always looked forward to having guests and visitors. It would brighten up their day in their usual mundane week.
Call ahead to see the facility’s policies and offer to read a book, do an activity, or get a group of friends together to sing some Christmas Carols.
10. Visit A Children’s Hospital
There are many ways that you can volunteer or donate at a children’s hospital. You can volunteer your time and offer to help read a book, or color with kids or you can donate toys, board games, and puzzles to some of these children
11. Make Care Packages For Veterans
Operation Gratitude sends care packages to deployed troops, veterans, recruit graduates, first responders, wounded heroes, and their caregivers. Receiving care packages and letters of appreciation can help these military heroes feel loved and grateful for their service.
12. Send A Child In Need A Gift Of Love and Essential Items
Operation Christmas Child delivers essential items and gifts to children from ages 2-14 in need all over the world.
You fill a shoebox with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. The shoeboxes are shipped to children in more than 120 countries and territories.
The shoebox may be the first gift that many of these children are receiving in their lives.
13. Pay It Forward
The next time you’re in line picking up coffee or in the drive-thru, tell the cashier that you’d like to pay for the next person in line. It will be a sweet surprise and is certain to brighten someone else’s day.
14. Leave A Positive Review For Your Favorite Local Businesses
How many times have you found a review on Yelp or Google to be helpful?
Leaving a positive review for small businesses in your local area can have a tremendous positive impact.
It lets them know that they’re doing a great job and that their products and services are keeping their customers happy and will help to retain customers as well as attract new ones.
15. Write Nice Notes To Your Neighbors and Friends
In this digital age where it’s so easy to send a text or email to friends and family members, do many people still write handwritten cards?
Handwritten cards are so much more personable and meaningful than a quick text. I think that picking out the perfect card for the right person and handwriting a thoughtful message has so much more meaning.
Write a nice note to your neighbors, friends, classmates, and coworkers and give it to them with a warm holiday treat like a warm, fresh-baked cookie or sweet treat.
16. Organize A Local Beach/ Park Cleanup
Gather some friends and neighbors for a local beach or park cleanup.
What better way to give back to our community and our planet than taking care of it and doing a local cleanup?
Not only will it provide a clean environment for others to enjoy but you’re also helping out the community.
17. Donate To Your Favorite Charity
Last but not least, you can always donate to your favorite charity. Donating to your favorite charity is probably another easy way you can give back this holiday season.
The holidays are an amazing time of year. Giving back during the holidays can make us feel good, help those in need, and help our community.
There are countless numbers of ways that you can give back- whether it be through your time, efforts, or money. Whichever you decide, know that you’re helping to put a smile on someone else.
And if you are fortunate enough to do more than a few things on this list to help someone else out, you’re more than blessed.
I hope that you’re able to find a way to give back during the holidays and have fun doing it. Let me know in the comments below what you enjoy doing. And if you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like and share it with others too.
Have a wonderful day and I hope that you’re inspired to give back and brighten someone’s day today!