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For many of us, the holidays are a time to shop-til-we-drop for all the obscenely underpriced items from the holiday sales sections of our favorite stores and exchange gifts with our loved ones. However, amidst such rampant hyperconsumerism, it is too often that we forget this season is also a time to show generosity to those who cannot afford the same privileges. So, here are three local organizations you can donate to or volunteer with to make someone else’s holiday shine just a little brighter amidst all this global pandemic craziness.

Variety Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City.

This non-profit organization serves children with special needs by hosting volunteer-driven inclusive theater camps, playground events and parties. They also award life-changing gifts like prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs and adaptive bicycles via their Mobility Grants. Check out their website to learn about how to get involved.

Harvester Community Food Network.

Holiday dinners are luxuries even fewer people can afford now thanks to COVID-19, but donating some time and/or money to Harvesters can at least bring something to the table for those in need. This organization packages donated food items to distribute amongst the 387,210 food insecure people in the Kansas City community. This holiday season, every dollar you give up to $500,000 will double, thanks to the  Holiday Match. However, if you would rather devote time than money, they also accept volunteers to help them package food to be sent out. Visit their website to see when they have openings for volunteer hours or how to donate.

KC Pet Project.

Donating to or adopting from no-kill shelters could change the lives of some absolutely adorable puppies or kittens, and who wouldn’t want to lend a paw? KC Pet Project is one of the only shelters that’s committed to saving homeless pets and providing financial support to the organization goes miles in furthering their mission. Helping out pets is a surefire way to destress post-finals, so visit their page to learn more.

Instead of reaching for that extra necklace just because it’s on the sale rack, turn that money into change. A few throwaway trinkets for you could turn into someone else’s first real meal in days or another person’s crutches. So choose to give this holiday season and you might even receive satisfaction greater than you bargained for.

Hey! I'm a second year in UMKC's BA/MD program I love listening to music, watching Netflix/YouTube, singing, and learning new languages :)
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