It’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of the holidays: gift-giving, visiting friends and family, decorating, baking, attending holiday parties… It’s an exciting, busy time for all of us. But during this hectic time, it’s important to take a step back from our own worries to remember how we can serve our communities.
How to Lend a Helping Hand During the Holidays
This holiday season, give back in any small (or large) way that you can! Remember, every little bit can be a big help to a family or individual in need. Here are some simple yet impactful ways to give back to your community.
Donate to a shelter or pantry
Check your local food pantry or homeless shelter to see what they need most. Food and clothing are almost always needed. Winter gear, like coats, scarves, hats, and gloves, tends to be in demand at this time of year. Workwear, specifically for folks trying to reenter the workforce, is also a great donation idea.
Most shelters or pantries also collect unused toiletries such as deodorant, toothpaste, razors, diapers, feminine products, and more.
Give the gift of life with a blood donation!
Need to clear out a little space on your bookshelf? Donate gently used books to your local library or to a school.
Make a homeless care kit
Donate thoughtfully! Create a homeless kit with the biggest impact on a person in need. Potential items to consider include: socks (this is the #1 most asked-for item), gloves, a water bottle, bandages, wet wipes, a toothbrush and toothpaste, tuna and cracker packs, single-serving snacks, and nail clippers.
Start a local networking group
Meet new people in your community, help connect employers and employees, and learn more about potential needs in your area.
Host a fundraiser
Lots of big fundraising groups, like Toys for Tots, make it easy to get started!
Host a food drive
Contact your local food bank to find out what they need and where to deliver your collections.
Volunteer at your local food bank or shelter
Whether you’re sorting, stacking, or delivering, your time will be appreciated!
Visit your local animal shelter
Shelter dogs are always eager for walks and attention! And shelters often need help with things like washing, cleaning, and feeding.
Be a mentor
Sometimes, the most valuable gift you can give is experience! Lend someone your knowledge, and help them open a new door of possibility.
Offer your services for free for a deserving group
Use your business to give back! Offer your services to a person or group that could use a little extra time or help.
Visit nursing homes
Nobody likes to be alone on the holidays, but sadly, many people spend the holiday season without friends or family. Pay a visit and brighten someone’s day!
Volunteer to read or record audio books
Many libraries offer programs for handicapped readers and need help from unimpared readers. You might even be able to record your own audio book!
Make a new penpal friend
Everyone likes getting mail, especially older generations. Find an elderly pen pal and stay in touch!
Build a house with your team
Make a huge difference in a family’s life by partnering up with Habitat for Humanity to build a house for a family in need.
Donate gift cards
Purchase gift cards from local businesses and donate them to school raffles or fundraisers. You’re supporting local business, driving new clients to smallers stores, and benefitting local fundraisers!
Pay for the person behind you in line
It’s always nice to get a free meal!
Fundraise through your platform
Pick a worthy cause and raise some money through your business or work.
Donate a portion of your proceeds
Start a donation program where a portion of proceeds, or proceeds from certain types of sales or services, goes to charity.
Set up a monthly draft to charity
Pick a charity and set up a monthly draft from your account to donate to them. Doesn’t have to be a lot; it’ll still add up for your charity!
Shop local for holiday gifts
Forget Amazon—visit local stores and businesses for your holiday gifts this year.
Take your team to lunch locally
Choose a favorite or new local restaurant and take your team out for a holiday lunch.
Attend games at local schools
Usually admissions prices aren’t a lot, but your money, and your support, can make a big difference for kids.
Review a local business
Had a good experience at a local business? Write a rave review! If you’re a business owner, you know how far a few good words can go!
Foster or adopt a rescue pet
Thousands of shelter pets across the country are patiently waiting for their fur-ever homes! Not ready for a long-term commitment? Volunteer as a foster home. You’ll give a pet a comfortable place to put their best paw forward outside of the stressful kennel environment as they await their fur-ever home.