The holidays are a time of year filled with joy and cheer. There’s a feeling of merriment in the air as people make plans to celebrate with their loved ones. As great as the holidays are for celebrating with those you love, they also serve as an inspiration to give back to those around you.
Volunteering and giving back during the holidays has numerous benefits for both you and your community. You help those who need it, and you feel a sense of pride in helping out when you could. There are numerous ways to give back to your community during the holidays, but if you’re not sure what to do, here are 10 things to consider.
Clean Up Local Churches
One thing you can do to help your community is volunteer to clean up your local churches. Churches may be in need of landscaping services, light remodeling work, or even simple yard work. Volunteering to do these services will help these churches clean up their spaces and help them focus on other tasks around the holidays.
If you don’t want to volunteer on your own, you could ask your friends and family to volunteer with you and make a day out of it. Or, you could join a local volunteer group that does projects like this. That way, you can do good in your community with others by your side.
If the churches don’t need any landscaping help, you could simply volunteer to help out with church services. You could offer to help with food drives or clothing drives they may run, or volunteer to help deliver meals to those in need. Check with your local churches to see what events they have coming up and how you can do your part to help out.
Volunteer With Habitat For Humanity
If you want to give back to your community and learn some new skills along the way, you could volunteer with Habitat For Humanity. Habitat For Humanity is a worldwide nonprofit housing organization that works to build affordable housing in communities. You can check if there’s a chapter near you and volunteer to build affordable housing for those who need it, especially during the holidays.
You can do a number of things when volunteering with Habitat For Humanity. These activities include putting up walls, painting homes, and even doing some roof repair services on new homes. Doing these things will give you a sense of accomplishment and help you develop new skills. It’s truly a win-win situation since you help your community and you get some home building experience under your belt.
Donate To Various Charities
If you don’t have a lot of time to volunteer, something you can do to give back to your community is to donate to charities of your choice. There are many non-profit organizations that heavily rely on donations, and your contributions could go a long way. And, you wouldn’t be the only one donating as more than half of adults donate to charity.
Do your research on the kinds of charities you wish to donate to. Is there a specific cause that means a lot to you? Do you want to donate to a charity that helps those who are ill, or those who are living in poverty? Do you want to donate to an organization that helps people, or one that helps animals? Identifying a cause you want to support will help you determine which charity to donate to, and therefore help you feel less overwhelmed about picking one. There are a lot of options out there, after all.
If you don’t want to donate to a specific charity, you could also research donating to a company you admire. For instance, if you want to donate to a company that provides home health care services, contact them and see how that would work, as it may be different than donating to a non-profit.
Put Together Care Packages For Homeless Shelters
Something small but meaningful you can do for your community around the holidays is put together care packages for homeless shelters. Homeless shelters are always looking for clothing, housing, and hygiene supplies. These items include socks, blankets, toothbrushes, and shampoo. They also look for winter apparel like hats, gloves, and scarves.
You can get these supplies locally, or you can order them online. There may be an online soap company that sells a certain type of soap the shelter is looking for or there may be an online shop that sells heavy blankets that keep people warm. You can also look up the homeless shelter online to see if they have an in-demand supplies list, or you can call them to talk to someone who works there.
These care packages can help more people than you realize, especially if you live in an area that has a high homeless population. These care packages will help shelters care for those who need it most.
Donate Your Old Belongings
This strategy is a way to give back to your community while simultaneously decluttering your space. You can donate your old belongings to local thrift stores so people can buy them at affordable prices. You can also check if there are community centers where you can drop off old furniture and clothing and have people grab them for free. These belongings include furniture, clothing, and appliances.
Donating old belongings can also have a positive impact on the environment. The more you donate, the less has to be made, which means energy and materials are saved. If your belongings are too damaged to be donated, make sure you dispose of them properly by putting them out for your weekly garbage collection.
Mentor a Child
A rewarding way to give back to your community is to mentor a child. The holidays can be tough for children who are in need, and they may be looking for someone to guide them through it all. Mentoring a child is rewarding because you can teach a child new skills and truly make a difference in their life.
You could become part of a big brother or big sister program, participate in youth mentoring programs at a community center, or see if there are non-profit mentorship organizations in your area. Mentors are mean to help children and offer them the support they may not get in their home lives. You could teach them how to play an instrument, play sports with them, or teach them life skills like how to budget or how to get debt help if they ever need it. Mentors can make a big difference in a kid’s life, so it can be incredibly rewarding if you have the time to commit to it.
Volunteer At an Animal Shelter
If you love animals and want to give back to your community, a great thing to do is volunteer at an animal shelter. Animal shelters are places where animals who don’t have homes can stay. They’re provided with food and water, and shelter workers work to get them adopted into a new family or fostered.
Many animal shelters look for volunteers to help care for the animals and collect supplies for them. You could walk and feed the animals, plus help keep the shelter clean. You could spend a day power washing the building or cleaning the animals’ cages. Any task you do will help keep the animals in your community safe and healthy.
Spread Environmental Awareness
If you’re passionate about environmental awareness, something you can do to give back to your community during the holidays is to help spread environmental awareness in your community. People go through a lot of materials during the holiday season. Between packaging, wrapping paper, and shipping materials, a lot of things get tossed in the trash. If you want to reduce waste, there are a number of things you could do.
For starters, you could partner with a recycling company to host a recycling drive in your community after the holidays wrap. That way, people can recycle their waste instead of putting it all in the garbage. You could also post recycling tips in a community forum on social media to help reduce the amount of trash going into the landfills. You could also start a blog and write about how to give environmentally sustainable gifts and be eco-conscious during the holidays.
Donate To a Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund
A big way to give back to your community during the holidays is to donate to a ‘neighbors helping neighbors’ fund. This kind of fund aims to help people in the community who are going through tough financial times and need help paying their bills. The money can be used to help families pay for food, housing, and electricity. Depending on heating oil prices, help from a fund like this could help families stay warm throughout the holidays.
You can do some research online and see if there’s a fund established in your area. If not, you could research how to start one of your own that helps your neighbors in need. Part of the holiday spirit is helping those who need it and donating to a fund like this could make all the difference for families in your area.
Host a Free Community Class
If you’re highly knowledgable or skilled, you could give back to your community by hosting a free community class around the holidays. For instance, if you’re a tax CPA, you could host a free virtual class on how to file your taxes in 2021. Or, if you’re a chef, you could host a webinar on how to make healthy meals on a budget.
This is something that’s especially beneficial if you want to give back to the community but are also on a budget. You’ll donate your time and expertise to help those around you instead. Also, if you’re trying to build up a freelance side hustle, this could be your chance to test the waters and see where you can improve. Something that you teach could really make a difference in someone’s life, and making a difference is something that’s invaluable around the holidays.
Volunteer At a Soup Kitchen or Food Pantry
There are people in your community who rely on establishments like food pantries and soup kitchens for their meals. If you want to help make sure they get what they need, you could volunteer at one of these establishments. Soup kitchens typically directly serve people food, while food pantries offer free food for people to take home with them. You can make a difference this year by donating your time to these places and helping them with serving the community and/or gathering donations.
Host a Virtual Fundraiser
While in-person events are limited right now, you can still host a virtual event to raise money for the causes you care about. Virtual fundraisers allow you to mingle with people safely from the comfort of your own home while donating to a cause. These include a virtual concert, a virtual gala dinner, a virtual race, or a virtual trivia night.
A perk of hosting a virtual event is that you don’t need to spend money on a venue. You can simply run the even from wherever you please. Also, people can join in from wherever they please, meaning your virtual event can have a far reach. People from all over can join in since they don’t have to travel to attend the event. While it may not exactly feel the same as an in-person fundraiser, a virtual fundraiser can still get the job done.
There are numerous ways you can give back to your community during the holiday season. The key is to identify which cause you feel needs the most help and if you can offer the help they need. And remember, there are multiple ways to give back. If you don’t have the time, you could always donate money or supplies. If you don’t have the money or supplies, you can donate your time. Either way, you’re helping your community in a big way during the holidays and your acts will have a positive impact.