There’s no better way to ring in the holiday season than volunteering your time and effort to those in need. Whether you celebrate it or not, Christmas is known as the season of giving, so give back to your community this year! Here are six ideas to get you started.
1. Salvation Army Angel Trees
Every year, the Salvation Army has an annual charity event to collect clothing and toys for underprivileged children who might not receive any gifts other than yours this Christmas. In order to participate, go to your local mall or shopping center and choose an ornament off the tree. This ornament is essentially a tag with the child’s name and requested gift written on it. After collecting your present, you can deliver your item to a local Salvation Army Angel Tree drop off spot. Be a child’s angel this Christmas!
2. Coat Drive
The winter months are quickly approaching. It’s time to think about the men, women, and children in your community who cannot afford to stay warm this holiday season. In order to help those in need, clean out your closet and donate gently worn winter jackets to a coat drive near you. The community can benefit from all types of coats, big or small, so help someone find warmth during these cold months by contributing to a local coat drive!
3. Visit a Nursing Home
Did you know that 60% of nursing home residents never have a personal visitor? As the holidays bring joy to most, it can oftentimes be lonely for seniors. You can lift their spirits and bring holiday cheer this season by donating your time. You don’t have to know a resident to brighten their day. A simple card or jar of cookies lets them know they are still valued and loved.
4. Send Hand-written Letters to Soldiers
There are deployed soldiers across the world that don’t get to spend the holidays with their loved ones this season. Spend some time this year to write out a hand-written card to those who give up holidays with their families to fight for our country! Upbeat messages or inspirational quotes are encouraged—make a soldier smile this holiday season!
5. Bring Blankets, Dog Food or Pet Toys to the Animal Shelter
As the winter months approach, it’s important to remember the animals that are spending their holidays at the shelter. Volunteer your time to help local organizations socialize, groom and feed their animals. In addition to volunteering your time, you can also donate toys, food or blankets. Help those furry friends by making sure they feel at home this holiday season!
6. Be Kind to Those You Encounter
You know the saying, “Be kind to everyone, for you do not know what they are currently going through?” That’s especially important during this holiday season! Even something as simple as letting someone cut in front of you at the grocery store, asking how someone is doing or ordering a coffee for the person behind you in the drive-thru line.
The holidays are an important time to help those in need – some of your fellow South College alumni might be around to help you spread holiday cheer too! How will you give back to the community this season?