The 4 Best Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

As the morning air begins to dip below freezing and our beds become impossible to leave each day, many of us use the holidays as an excuse to stay excited throughout daily life. Whether it’s holiday music, Christmas parties, or even catching up with old friends, this season is a great time to stay distracted from the cold and keep spirits high. While most of us enjoy family time and likely some form of gift exchange, it cannot be forgotten that there are more less fortunate people than one may think. This time of year can trigger intensified feelings of loneliness and inadequacy for those that are less fortunate, so giving back is an important contribution we can all make in our communities. Below are four great ways you can give back and help others around you this holiday season.

1.     Volunteer time at a food kitchen

Food kitchens and similar organizations such as homeless shelters are not-for-profit services that come together to provide basic needs for those unable to provide for themselves. These organizations are predominately volunteer-based, so giving just a few hours of your time could truly make a difference in someone else’s life. Also, there is no doubt you will leave feeling good about yourself for contributing to your community.

2.     Donate to a toy drive

While the holiday season is about much more than gift giving, the child in all of us still becomes excited when thinking about getting that special something on Christmas morning. Low-income parents can find the holidays especially difficult, so toy drives are a great way of allowing children of all incomes to feel included in the celebration.

3.     Help a Goodfellow organization

The Goodfellows are a well-known group of volunteers that offer an annual newspaper in exchange for any money passerby’s can donate. This charity goes towards gifts and meals for less fortunate families during the holiday season, and anyone can choose to volunteer their time towards this cause. If you can brave the cold weather for a few hours at a time, this cause is certainly deserving of your input.

4.     Offer help to elderly community members

The holiday season is about more than celebrating religious holidays, and even those that aren’t deemed as ‘less fortunate’ still may need a helping hand. Winter months are especially hard for elderly citizens, who struggle with snow removal and tasks such as taking out the trash on a slippery driveway. Not only would this help save them from a potential accident, but a short visit may do wonders to make their day just a bit brighter. The holiday season should be about a sense of community and even a simple offering of your company may be all it takes to make someone’s day.

It can be easy to get lost in the bustle as December rapidly approaches, but simple gestures such as those above can make more difference than one may imagine. If each of us took a weekend out of our lives this season to truly help those in our community, the resulting impact on local communities would be awe-inspiring.