It’s hard to believe that Christmas is tomorrow, this year has gone by so quickly. But the holiday season is still going strong. With everything going on in the world, we often ask what we can do to give back, and to keep the spirit of the holidays going. Once you open all of your gifts and take the tree down, it doesn’t mean that you can’t give back. Keep the holiday spirit alive, give back and spread that love year round. I always love ending our Christmas Countdown with ways you can give back to your community, places you can help out and give back this holiday season (and year round). Here are a few ideas of things you can still do – even if Christmas is tomorrow. Feel free to add more ideas in the comment section on ways you like to give back as well!
Give to your local food pantry or soup kitchen:
The need in the food pantry extends beyond the holiday season really, because let’s face it, people eat year round – not just at Christmas and Thanksgiving. Donate to your local food bank where and when you can. This can be actual food, or monetary donation. You’d be amazed how much more they can do with a dollar than we can. Every little bit helps!
Don’t know where to find a food bank in your area? Check out the Feeding America Food Bank Locator
Donate to Your Favorite Charity:
This is something that can be given as a last minute gift, or could be an on going donation. Many youth programs, medical research and even special care programs are funded by donations only. What is most important to you? Help fund that program!
Donate Your Time:
Do you know of a Youth Program, an Elderly Care Facility or Community Center that needs help? Check your local papers for calls for Volunteers. Usually the hours you put in can be more valuable than donating a few dollars to the cause. Even our local Detroit Zoo is in constant need of volunteers. Choose a program that is close to your heart and give them time – even if it’s a few hours a month. Other ideas would be No Kid Hungry, local women shelters, Boys and Girls Clubs and even food banks!
Adopt a local family:
Yes, the holiday season may be too close to donate to a family in time for Christmas. But that doesn’t mean the families aren’t in need the rest of the year. Reach out to your local churches, or even businesses to see if they know of a family you can help out. You may never meet the family, but even donating a few meals to them or toys for their kids at the holidays or birthday times will help them out a lot.
This can be anything you have and don’t need anymore. It may sound weird, but any item that you’re not using can be a great help to someone else. Your donations to places like Salvation Army get sold at a reduced rate to people who need and want them, and the money goes back into the community. Other ideas for donations are toys to daycare centers, or even books to your local library and to children’s programs.
Every little bit you can do to brighten someone else’s day helps spread the holiday cheer throughout the year. Remember, even after Christmas is done that doesn’t mean people don’t need our help anymore. Give back when and where you can!