The holiday season is upon us, and for many of us, it’s a time to reflect on the blessings in our lives. It’s also a time when we want to give back to those less fortunate and the whole community at large. As you are thinking about what charitable organization you are going to donate your money or goods to this year, consider these 8 ways that might help make giving during the holidays more meaningful.
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1) Look for a Charity that Resonates With You
There are so many charities out there, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one to donate to. Do some research and find a charity whose mission speaks to you. This will make it easier to feel connected to the cause and more motivated to give.
2) Purchase Items that Support a Nonprofit Organization
Instead of heading out to the mall to buy gifts this year, start your holiday shopping by looking at products made by a nonprofit organization or that support one. Some nonprofit organizations sell items that their program participants make, and other nonprofit organizations sell items such as candles, apparel, or even ornaments that feature the nonprofit organization’s logo.
3) Go Caroling
Make some new memories this year by going door to door and spreading holiday cheer the old-fashioned way…with a song! This is great for all ages, so gather up your kids or grandkids and go spend an afternoon singing outside of people’s homes in your neighborhood. You’ll not only make someone else happy but also create some sweet memories for yourselves.
4) Collect Donations for a Food Drive
Food insecurity is a big problem, especially during the holiday season. Why not do your part to help out by organizing or participating in a food drive? It’s an easy way to make a big difference.
5) Donate your Time
Instead of donating gifts or money, make this year’s holiday season all about giving back to the community by volunteering your time at a local shelter, soup kitchen, nursing home, or other charity that needs help during the holidays. You’ll be helping out those in need and making new friends along the way!
6) Spread the Cheer
If you don’t have time to volunteer or donate goods, there are other ways you can help out. Why not make a batch of cookies or write cards for troops overseas and send them to a charity that will distribute them? Or put a donation jar on your counter and ask your friends and family to contribute what they can. Every little bit helps.
7) Make Your Gift Meaningful
If you are giving a monetary donation this year, make sure to do some research on the charity first and find out how they’ll be using the funds. This will help ensure that it goes toward something you care about and helps further their mission in a way that makes sense for them. If you are giving a physical gift, try to find something unique and useful to the charity. For example, if you’re donating to a food pantry, see if you can find out what their most popular items are or what they need instead of just buying what’s on sale or cleaning out your pantry.
8) Spread the Word
The best way to make sure that your donations and volunteer time have the most impact is by telling others about it! Share your experiences on social media, or better yet, talk to friends and family in person about why you chose the charity you did and how they can get involved too.
There are many ways to have a charitable approach to the holiday season. No matter what you choose, make sure that you take the time to reflect on why giving back is important and how it can make a difference in other people’s lives.