During this beautiful time of year, it is quite easy to get wrapped up in the shopping, decorating, and preparing for the holidays. It’s easy to focus on the seasonal things and forget that there are issues still in the world. It’s okay to forget these things; after all, its difficult to always be selfless and humble. However, this time of year is especially important to be giving. Not just because it’s the holiday season, but because of the weather as well.
If you’re looking for ways to be charitable this season, take a look at the list below. There are TONS of ways to give back locally and nationally. This season, I challenge you to choose one way of giving back, and challenge your own friends and family!
1. Donate to Soup Kitchens
Food donations are useful all year round, but soup kitchens tend to become especially busy in the winter months, when people are looking for warm meals. Find your local soup kitchen or food pantry and donate! Don’t have the money to do extra grocery shopping? No problem! Take a look through your pantry to pull out items that you’ve had for some time and won’t be using! Nonperishables are always welcome, but check with your local kitchens to see what else they could use! Check out this site to find your local soup kitchen and how you can help!
2. Toys for Tots
This charity has been around for ages, and for a good reason. Many major stores have collection bins, or will ask for monetary donations at the check out counter. If you have trouble finding a donation bin, call your local Toys for Tots campaign and ask for locations! New and gently used toys are accepted for boys and girls usually up to age 12, but some areas have separate campaigns for preteens and adults! To find a local donation site, check out this site!
3. Angel Tree
This charity works to send gifts and notes to children of imprisoned parents. Studies have shown that 1 in 3 prisoners is a parent, and 75% of these are mothers. Through Angel Tree, you can pick a child to sponsor, or send monetary donations. More information can be found here.
4. Trees for Troops
This organization focuses on bringing the spirit of the holidays to our service men and women overseas. Each year, Trees for Troops works to bring Christmas trees to base camps and stations, along with decorations, so that our troops can get in the holiday spirit and feel at home. You can help this organization by making monetary donations online, or you can visit special tree farms to hand pick a tree to be sent. Click here for more information and locations!
5. Christmas in the City
This amazing organization works to bring Christmas to children and families that are living in homeless shelters. This charity works year round to help provide for families in shelters and to assist families that are making the transition from homelessness to independence. Each Christmas, they hold a Christmas in the City Party, where they host a banquet, games, personalized gifts from their wish lists, visits with Santa, and a bag full of toys. They also hold health screenings, dental screenings, flu shots and haircuts at their party! To help this organization, you can make monetary donations, toy donations, or volunteer to help at events such as the Party, the Boston Marathon, and other events. For more details, click here.
Are you up for the challenge?