Many people need help in some form or fashion all year long. But somehow around Christmas, with its warm and fuzzy focus on decorations, family celebrations and gift-giving, that need is even greater. It’s easy for us to get wrapped up in planning, forgetting that others aren’t as fortunate as we are. As you’re putting together your holiday to-do list, consider adding one more item: volunteering.
What can you do? The list is endless, but here are six ways to help someone and do some good this holiday season.
Spread your cheer. If you’re a social person who makes friends easily, lift the spirit of a resident in a nursing home or hospice and give the gift of your friendship. Patients without family could use the company, especially at this time of the year. Click here for helpful tips.
Start your own drive! Collect blankets, shoes or coats for the homeless. Pick an item that many of us take for granted and ask others to donate it. Choose a family shelter and collect toys to deliver there before Christmas Day. Parents who can’t afford gifts would be most appreciative. Also consider adopting a family.
Contact those organizations who rely on volunteers to do their good work. Habitat for Humanity, The Salvation Army, American Red Cross , and Goodwill Industries are just a few who would gladly take your help.
Fill an empty stomach. Food shelters operate all-year round and are especially busy during the holidays. Pitch in by helping to clean, cook, serve or deliver food to others.
Take your help abroad. It wouldn’t be your typical tradition around the holidays. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, why not volunteer abroad to a country which desperately needs help? Think of places such as Haiti that still need support. Start your research here.
Clean up a community. Whether it’s your neighborhood or one nearby, make it beautiful! Gather a group of friends to help remove graffiti and collect trash. Offer to help a senior citizen hang decorations while you’re at it. You never know what your good deeds will inspire.