Your Community Will Love You This Christmas
How should I give back to my community is a question that crosses my mind often during the holidays. How can it not? The joy of the season is so closely reflected in the awareness other people are not sharing in this feeling.
Looking around, reading, seeing, hearing about all that is going on in the world right now and feeling cut off from family and friends like we have been, then giving back to the community can feel both scary and energizing.
If you’re someone who loves to do things for others, taking time to help people doesn’t feel like a sacrifice, you look for ways to make another person’s life easier, and you seek ways to give back to your community during the holidays.
If you’re someone whose love language is acts of service then on this natural sense of empathy and compassion you have for others allows a greater sense of fulfillment from the holidays, which is what so many of us feel is lacking each year.
For others who are wondering what ways can I provide help or service to those struggling in my community this holiday season, read below for a 31 ways you can make an impact in the lives of others this holiday season.
Certainly those around you will be grateful for the acts of kindness, time or donations you give as well.
31 Ways to Make a Real Impact This Holiday Season
Pay for someone’s groceries behind you in line
Donate warm clothes to women’s shelter or homeless organization
Smile at someone – you never know what kind of day they are having
Donate books or household items
Connect with a hospital to see what items they may need or where you can help. Many times families with sick loved ones are displaced from their homes and personal items, so any little thing to help them feel loved or festive is a welcomed treat and distraction.
Shop at a local business as opposed to a corporation. You are directly putting money back into your community when you support someone local or a small business owned by fellow community members. They pay their taxes in the area, have employees from the same community, and are willing and able to support different charities or fundraisers that directly benefit you as well. It’s a snowball effect.
Leave a bag of quarters or laundry bundle (bag of washing detergent, dryer sheets, and coins) in the laundry room of you apartment complex or a local laundromat
Donate blood – there is always a need
Offer your services for free. Are you skilled or knowledgeable about your industry or a particular hobby? Can you can share that knowledge with someone? Whether it be pro-bono work, mentoring, a random one-on-one with a stranger asking for help from a Facebook group. Sharing knowledge only benefits everyone.
Shovel your neighbors step or walk
Leave groceries at your neighbor or friend’s door. Or stranger only if its safe.
Let someone go ahead of you in a line. Perhaps they are in a rush
Help a mother if you see her struggling with bags, kids, equipment, parking spots, juggling the world. Offering to babysit for an afternoon while she runs errands or clean her house or leave baked goods on her step can be a huge relief in a stressful season.
Sign up for Be My Eyes. This app connects the visually impaired with the seeing in the event someone needs visual support for tasks like reading small print, labels, matching clothes, troubleshooting technology, answering quick questions, setting up home appliances or any other small task a volunteer can help with. Usually tasks are completed in just a few minutes and since there are so many volunteers there’s no need to worry if you miss a call, but the help you can provide is huge.
Ask a waiter if you can purchase a random patron’s dinner.
Volunteer at a pet shelter or foster an animal. Caring for pets and making sure they feel loved, stay healthy, eat well, and bond with humans so
Purchase extra dog and cat food and treats, toys and drop it off at a local animal shelter.
Donate formula, diapers, feminine hygiene items, or other “high demand items” to the food bank, a women’s shelter, or homeless organization
Visit a senior care home and engage with residents by listening to their stories, playing cards or board games, singing carols, sharing laughs. Too many elderly are alone at the holidays
Donate money or food to your local food bank. The holidays can be a particularly hard time and demand often soars during the Christmas season. Visit the food bank website or call to see which items they need the most.
Take gift cards, snacks, coffee to your local fire department or police department. Same reason as above.
Take coffee to workers who are outside during the cold (Construction, traffic, police, bus drivers, postal workers etc). It’s a nice gesture to help them stay warm in the elements.
Leave gloves, hats, mitts, scarfs at a homeless organization to provide during the cold temperatures
Send a letter to those in need
Set up a monthly donation to a charity of your choice. Becoming a monthly donor may seem overwhelming or costly, but it really isn’t. When I did the math a $5 donation per week x 4 weeks = $ 20 per month x 12 months = $240 per year or 0.65 per day. So a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte.
Tip your server, barista, stylist, or driver extra well. That money can be an unexpected surprise for their hard work.
TEXT to Donate to an organization such as MADD (Text MADD 45678 and $5 will appear on your next mobile phone bill.) Texting to donate is a great way to give when it feels like we never carry cash anymore. You can also bring awareness and reminders to impaired driving during the holidays by participating in Project Red Ribbon. This holiday campaign runs from November 1 to January each year, promoting sober driving during the holiday season.
Give a gift card someone you see in need a gift card to a fast food restaurant. Carry some gift cards around with you in case for these instances.
Donate items to low income schools. Many kids rely on school lunches to stay fed, lost and found items to stay warm, and the routine of school to stay safe. If you can donate items to assist with these needs, you can bring immense joy to a child who otherwise may not experience that outside of school
In lieu of gifts for yourself, ask friends or family to donate to a charity of your choice. Setting up a link to donate is generally very simple and charities will walk you through the setup on their webpage.
Thank you for stopping by this blog to read through this article, or at least scroll to this point. Your kindness and giving does not go unnoticed.
Merry Happy Holidays to you!