The busy holiday season is fast upon us! For many of us this means time filled with shopping, holiday events and family traditions. But, for others who are less fortunate basic needs like food, clothing and shelter take priority over gift giving and leisure time with family and friends.
‘Tis the season to think about giving the best gift of all – a little bit of your time to help lift the spirits and situations of those in need in your community. And you can make your service even more powerful by recruiting family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to join with you in giving back. Here are a few simple service ideas you can undertake that can have a big impact on others:
Adopt a family for the holidays. Contact your local church, United Way, or service organization to get assigned to a family in need. Get this family’s ‘wish list’ and then invite your posse (friends, neighbors and co-workers) to sign up to provide toys, clothes and food to be delivered during the holiday season.
Say “thanks” to veterans by supporting them during the holidays. Contact veterans organizations to find out how you can support their holiday programs. Better yet, spend some time visiting older veterans who are either hospitalized or living in residential facilities without anyone to keep them company during the holidays. Your time will be appreciated!
Donate to Toys for Tots. The holidays are all about little ones, so make a child’s life brighter this holiday season by donating a few new toys to Toys for Tots. Make a quick stop while running your weekly errands and pick up something for a child who would otherwise get nothing. Even better, ask your business to be a drop-off location for Toys for Tots.
Gather gently used coats, hats and scarves for local shelters. Go through your closets and gather all the used coats, hats and scarves you haven’t worn in ages and donate them to local homeless shelters. Make sure they’re clean and in good condition. Encourage your family and friends to do the same to make the donation even more meaningful.
Donate canned goods or dry food to a local food bank. Get creative in this endeavor by decorating reusable grocery bags and asking your neighbors to help fill them with food for the hungry. Take it a step further by joining with friends and neighbors to volunteer at a community pantry or soup kitchen that could use the extra help this time of year.
Inspired to get out there and make a difference this season? Maybe you have some holiday service ideas of your own. If so, please share them so you can help inspire others!