3 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

The smell of perfumes, the ceramic figures, the fragile ornaments, the taste of cookies — everything about the holidays is special. Nevertheless, we still complain about the process of it all. Rushing to ensure that everyone you care about gets something that they love can be an especially stressful time. But, for some without families to go home to, or the means to get everything on their wish-list, Christmas time can leave many sad and lonely. Sometimes it’s difficult to see past yourself and your family and friends and do something nice for a complete stranger, but ‘tis the season for giving and for love despite our differences. The holidays are a moment of togetherness in a sea of separation, so pull up your reindeer printed socks, button up that ugly holiday sweater and get ready for some good old-fashioned giving.

1. Pass out stockings to the homeless.

A great way to give back this season is to help those less fortunate such as the homeless or the disadvantaged. Some homeless people lack the basic necessities to live, such as a toothbrush. Here’s a cheap way to help: buy a stocking from the dollar store and fill it up with useful goodies such as toothpaste, a toothbrush, mini shampoos/conditioners, hand sanitizers, tampons/pads, snacks, a new pack of underwear, a good book, a notebook and a pen (maybe with a cute cheerful note), hair ties, and/or warm socks.

Courtesy: Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce

2. Donate toys to children whose parents are incarcerated.

The incarceration rate in America is the highest in the world, and many people who are locked up have children that they can't spend the holidays with and get the presents they want. A beautiful way to give back to these children and help an inmate provide is to donate toys to the Angel Tree Christmas program which stands that no child should be forgotten this holiday season. Help change the life of a child and parent by going to prisonfellowship.org and getting connected with a child in need. Your gift can shed hope and bring many beautiful smiles this December.

Courtesy: Eglin Air Force Base

3. Donate dog food and toys to an animal shelter.

Let’s not forget about our furry friends this holiday season! Give back to the four-legged blessings that always give to us by donating to your local animal shelter. While adopting a dog is always great (and an awesome Christmas present) not everyone has the time or means to keep up with a pet’s needs. Instead, run to your local store and pick up a few bags of dog food or cat food and some toys. You’ll get plenty of wet kisses in return.

Courtesy: Cutest Paw

One kind act propels others to act kindly in return. So spread love and peace this season by helping others however you can, even if it’s only buying a burger for someone who is hungry. Remember that everyone goes through tough things in life and that it’s not our place to judge others based on their circumstances but only to provide as much love and support as we can to bring light and joy to even the darkest corners. Happy holidays, collegiettes!