It’s now November, which means that the holiday season is right around the corner. The holiday season can bring so much fun and joy.  It’s “the most wonderful time of the year” for many- but that’s not the case for everyone. Giving is important year-round, but it can especially make a difference for many during the holiday season. Here are a few ways to give over the next two months:

  1. Donate to a clothing, food, or toy drive. This is a very popular way to give. A lot of businesses take part in these, so it should be rather easy to find somewhere to drop off your donation items.
  2. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. You can go alone or bring your friends and family. Soup kitchens receive a lot of volunteers on Thanksgiving and Christmas day, so consider going on days when they may not have as much help.
  1. Spend time at a nursing home. Unfortunately, some individuals in nursing homes don’t get visitors very often. Having someone to sit and talk to or play games with could improve their day or week.
  1. Thank the firefighters, police officers, and first responders in your community.  You can do this by sending cookies, or simply writing a thank you letter to let them know they are appreciated.
  1. Foster an animal. A majority of animal rescues are run by volunteers. The rescues don’t close over the holidays. Volunteers have to constantly be there to watch and take care of the animals. They probably want to spend the holidays with their families too, and fostering an animal could help do that. It’s a big responsibility- but it’s also a rewarding one.
  1. Adopt a family. I always looked forward to doing this when I was younger. My class would adopt a family, and students and their families would donate what they could. There are many opportunities to adopt a family during the holiday season.
  1. Donate blood.  Blood donations are needed year-round. By donating blood, you could be giving someone the gift of life- which is the greatest gift of all.

There are many ways to give during the holiday season. Something that seems as simple as helping your neighbor put up lights, or paying for the person behind you’s coffee,  can be the difference between someone having a good or bad day.

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”  – Oscar Wilde


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