The holidays can be a whirlwind of activities, but one way to appreciate the season of giving is to give back. Donating your time and sharing your talents with organizations, local causes or your community will make the holidays even more special this year.
Look around your neighborhood
You don’t have to look far for volunteer opportunities. You can look out your window or step out your front door to find someone in need. Start with your neighbors, especially the elderly ones, and inquire if they need assistance with outdoor maintenance, landscaping projects or decorating their homes. If they have a hard time getting around, ask them what groceries they need from the store or offer them a ride so they can complete errands.
Shop for a good cause
Receiving a special gift during the holiday season is a dream of every child. Unfortunately, not every child will have something to unwrap. If you want to make the holidays a bit brighter for a child, help organize a toy drive or show off your shopping skills by donating toys to local organizations that support children. If there is an already established toy drive in your community, ask how you can help.
Although your local food pantry is in need of donations and volunteer hours year-round, the holidays pose a special need. Check in with your community organization to see if they need help packaging meals, collecting canned food or non-perishables for a food drive or preparing meals. Local churches often have lists of families who would greatly appreciate groceries and a holiday meal, and Meals on Wheels, a nationwide program that provides meals for seniors, might be able to put your volunteer spirit to work.
Send a message of love
A kind word can make all the difference to someone struggling during the holidays. If you are eager to share a message of love, hope and kindness, consider volunteering with More Love Letters, a letter writing campaign that spreads love through the mail. New letter requests are posted each month on the organization’s website, so you send a letter of love not only during the holidays, but also throughout the year.
If you love to combine your writing skills with creative crafting, check out the organization Cards for Hospitalized Kids. The charity specializes in bringing joy to kids who have to spend the holidays in the hospital. All you have to do is pen an uplifting message in a card you create, and the organization will send your special message to a kid in the hospital. You don’t have to be an artist or a celebrated wordsmith — just write from the heart. Creating cards for this organization works wonderfully as a group event, so invite your friends, coworkers and family to share their artistic abilities for deserving patients across the country.
There are so many ways to volunteer your talents and time during the holiday. Whether you have a ton of time or only a few hours to spare, you can make a difference in someone’s life.