Charitable Giving in Your Community This Holiday Season
With the holiday season in full swing, many of us find ourselves looking for a few extra things to do around our community to serve and help those who are less fortunate around us. Of any season of year, the holidays represent one of the hardest times to go without something.
Whether it is family, food, money or access to basic needs, going without even one of these things during the holiday season somehow is more worse than anytime of the year.
For those of us able to lend a helping hand and pull others up, it is often a challenge to know where to help. It is no surprise that help and service is always welcome and appreciated, but where is best to start and what is best to donate?
The one opportunity that is in front of all of us around the holidays is donating change to the Red Cross. One reader shared her holiday tradition of giving to the Red Cross. Throughout the year her family saves all of their change, piling it into one large jar. When the holiday season arrives each year, her and her family carry the heavy jar full of change and pour it into multiple red buckets throughout their city. She shared that donating such a large jar of change that collected throughout the year represents much more thoughtful giving and sacrifice for her family then simply putting a few dollars from their pocket into the bucket.
Donating money is always helpful, but there are so many other ways to donate! In your community there will no doubt be a few angel trees. These are very common in churches as well as through radio stations. More than likely, angel trees are focused on providing gifts to children.
Within your community there are more than likely a variety of charitable organizations. One volunteer from Kyani Caring Hands shared her experience in seasons past of participating in donation programs throughout her local community. In many communities there are typically donation bins for giving toys or needed winter clothing for children. There are also drives you can donate to that focus on taking children shopping for the Christmas gifs they want or the coat and boots they need for Christmas.
There are also opportunities to serve at local soup kitchens feeding the underprivileged and homeless. While this is a great place to serve and donate your time, many soup kitchens indicate that between Thanksgiving and Christmas there are often too many volunteers wanting to help. It is better to donate your time to this type of organization throughout the rest of the year when they are more understaffed.
In addition to serving at soup kitchens, you can also donate your time to a meal delivery program such as Meals on Wheels. Just as there are underprivileged and homeless people in need, there are also many elderly individuals who are unable to prepare meals for themselves due to mobility issues. Sadly, some of these seniors find themselves very lonely during the holidays, and the company from any stranger with a smile can go as far as to make their holiday season merry and bright. Merry Christmas!