The magic of the holidays is something people crave throughout the year. The genuine happiness on faces, the beauty of the season, and the constant support from friends, family, and strangers is something the world could use year-round. This year, whether you’re baking Christmas cookies, decorating the house with your favorite menorah, or just doing your best to get through the season, take some time to give back. Taking the time to do a good deed will revitalize your soul and grant a stranger a day, week, month, or year of happiness. Try out a few of the special ways to give back during the holidays—you won’t regret it!
Bake for the Neighborhood
If you’re already planning on baking, think about doubling the recipe and sharing it. Baking isn’t just a fun activity for your family to reap the rewards from. In fact, it’s a great way to give back and spread some holiday cheer! Once you decorate the goodies, walk around to different homes in your neighborhood and leave some holiday cheer at the door. You could also bring the cookies into work, give them to your kids for teacher’s presents, and take them to the homeless. Baked goods do wonders for bringing joy to the world.
Sign Up for a Holiday 5K
If you didn’t get to participate in your town’s Turkey Trot 5K, sign up for one during the upcoming holidays. See if your favorite charities and organizations are hosting any runs nearby. Whether it’s a Santa-themed dress-up run or a color run on New Year’s Eve, there’s something so enthralling about giving back and getting healthy.
Pack Stockings for the Homeless
Especially for those who live in towns where homelessness is an issue, think about packing stockings to hand out. Something you can do with your family, a group of friends, or your coworkers, consider filling stockings to give back to those in need. Grab a pair of stockings and fill them up with all of the necessities. Some typical items you could include are as follows:
- Toiletries: toothbrush and paste, deodorant, soap
- Accessories: warm gloves, scarves, and hats
- Food: granola bars, fruits, water bottles, and more
Declutter and Donate
If you need to clean up your home for the holidays, then take what you don’t need and donate it. A lot of people stress about cleaning up and decluttering their home for the holidays, especially if they’re hosting. This year, make the most of what you’re getting rid of and donate some of those items to charity. For example, you probably need to clean out your coat closet, but you’ll likely forget about it until right before the guests arrive. This time around, clean out the closet and donate those coats, gloves, scarves, and hats that no one has worn in over a year. If you plan ahead, you can schedule a donation pick up with GreenDrop or you drop it off at one of their convenient locations! Either way, you’ll be benefitting yourself and all those who need help staying warm during the winter.
Visit a Nursing Home
As a family, group of employees, friends group, or alone, visit a local nursing home. A lot of residents aren’t able to go home for the holidays, so visitors can make the season that much easier and enjoyable for them. Call ahead to schedule a visit, and beforehand, grab some supplies. Take cards, decorations, baked goods, instruments, or anything else you may have to spread holiday cheer. Brighten up someone else’s day and your own by volunteering and spending time with those who will truly appreciate it.
Donating blood is important throughout the year, but it’s even more important during the holiday season. There are more accidents on the road, injuries, and crimes, and that means hospitals need more blood. Contact your nearest American Red Cross center and go there as a family to donate blood and save a life (or more).
Pay it Forward
The holidays are a season of gratitude, and paying kindness forward is just one way to show your appreciation. Lucky for you, there are many different ways to pay it forward during the holidays. From buying the coffee for the person behind you to scraping off a few windshields when the ice gets thick, there are plenty of ways to show your gratitude.
Write Letters to Veterans and Deployed Military Members
Don’t forget about our servicemen and women this holiday season. It’s important to support and give back to those who are risking or have risked their lives for our country. Take some time to compose handwritten letters or create care packages for veterans and active-duty members. Drop them off at your local VA station or deliver them to any military members you know personally.
Make Breakfast for Local Police and Firefighters
Another group of servicemen and women you need to make sure to support during the holidays are your local police, firefighters, and EMTs. Most of them won’t get the day off to enjoy the holidays, so do what you can to bring the holidays to them. Show your support and gratitude for their constant sacrifice by calling them a few days in advance and query whether you could bring in breakfast. You could even set it up as a neighborhood event, where everyone can honor those who protect your families every day. This kindness is something they—and you—will never forget.
Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
Last on our list of ways to give back during the holidays is to volunteer. In general, volunteering is an important thing to do for your community and your soul. During the holidays in particular, however, it’s even more important to spend some time volunteering. Local shelters and soup kitchens need even more help during this time of year, so do what you can to help out. Better yet, we challenge you to continue volunteering throughout the coming year. Giving back is easy when you think about it!
GreenDrop can help you give back to your favorite charities and organizations this year. From donation pick-ups to drop-offs, we can make sure your donations help your chosen charity. We hope that the holiday season is full of light, love, and gratitude for you this year!