It’s still early Fall but the holiday season is right around the corner. Between your holiday parties, family obligations and the pressure of finding the perfect gift, this time of year can go by in a flash and it can be hard fitting anything into your already-busy schedule. But if you’re a compassionate person, we know it’s important to you to give back during this time of year. Below are five easy ways to do just that by helping people who are in need.
A global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration, GivingTuesday takes place every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.), right on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. A great way to kick off the charitable season, GivingTuesday makes it easy for you to give back with a complete toolkit, case studies, and other useful resources to inspire you on how to get involved. If you want to learn more, go to GivingTuesday.org for more ideas.
Toys for Tots
Since 1947, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation has been collecting and distributing toys for disadvantaged children, spreading hope and joy during a time of year when it might not otherwise be there. You can get involved in a couple of different ways, either by hosting a Toys for Tots event at your office, becoming a toy drop site, or by volunteering at a local warehouse. Toy collections begin in October and last till mid-December. Visit ToysForTots.org to find out more.
Hunger touches every community in our country and knows no boundaries. The Feeding America network of food banks secures and distributes 4 billion meals each year. You can help fight against hunger by partnering with your local food bank, either through donating or volunteering. Nonperishable drives are happening everywhere you look this time of year. Add a few cans of soup or tuna or jars of peanut butter to your shopping cart. You may even be able to donate them at the grocery store cash register, via neighborhood can drives.
Grow your heart three sizes this year (hope you caught that Grinch reference) by giving just a few hours of your time to local homeless shelters. It won’t cost you a thing, but the feeling of helping your neighbors in need during the holiday season is priceless.
Visit a Nursing Home
Senior citizens in nursing homes aren’t always fortunate enough to have friends and family to visit them during the holidays. This can feel especially isolating at this time of year. Call your local nursing home to see if they would be open to you dropping off cookies or baked goods to their residents. You can walk around, deliver sweet treats and get to know the residents.
While we hope these ideas inspire you to give back this holiday season, we also hope you have a new-found motivation to give back and stay engaged the whole year. Monetary donations are great and always needed, but people can make a real impact through human connection. Big picture, giving back fosters a sense of community and there is something about doing good, whether during the holidays (or any other Monday) that brings us joy.