We all like to give and receive amazing presents. We love to see the look on people’s faces when we picked out that perfect present, or crafted that special item. We like to look around at our decorations we put up with such pride. There’s something else that I try to do every year, and that is to give back when and where I can, all year long through charitable contributions.
I wasn’t always fortunate, and if it wasn’t for thoughtful and charitable individuals, I honestly don’t know where I would be in life. Selfless people donate their time and/or their resources to make charitable contributions to help those who may be in a bind, or just need a smile or motivation in life.
It honestly doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money to do something, anything. You can simply donate an unwrapped gift at many stores , put a dollar in the kettles outside most shopping centers, or drop off items in random drop boxes placed all over most towns and cities. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite ways to give back.
- Organize a sock drive – Many homeless shelters take donations of socks. One big health concern for the homeless in the winter time is cold,wet feet. Most of us don’t know how much of a luxury clean socks can be, but for someone it can literally mean the difference between life, death or physical ailment.
- Collect Unwrapped Toys – There are charities such as www.toysfortots.org , local fire departments/ community centers / children’s centers / hospitals that will take donations. Many will have a website for their wishlist items or will allow you to adopt a child or family anonymously
- Donate Food/ Make Food – Alot of people do not have the luxury of having a nice holiday meal , much less knowing where their next meal is. Most communities have a food cupboard you can donate to or assist in giving out food to needy people. There are programs too where you can buy ” the fixings” for a holiday meal to be donated to a family in need
- Collect / Donate Toiletries/ Diapers – Homeless shelters, children’s shelters, refugee centers, battered women shelters are in short supply of common items such as soap, shampoo, women hygiene items, deodorant.
- Pledge money – Organizations have websites or other methods that can assist in cash donations if you wish
- Amazon Wish Lists- This is a useful resource that many organizations have started using. I think it’s amazing and helps them reach out and be able to get items they normally could not get
- Pay off someone’s layaway – I’ve been seeing this pop up in alot of news stories. How awesome is that? Can you imagine going to pick up your children’s presents to find out a secret Kris Kringle paid for them all ? I’m smiling at the thought of being able to one day do that for someone (hopefully many)
- Visit/ Volunteer at a Nursing Home / Children’s Hospital – There are many that are alone this time of year. Family gets called away, cannot be around, or even the families may need some cheering up. You never realize how even a stranger’s smile and word can mean the world to someone in a depressing situation
- Collect Blankets and Pet Supplies – Our furried friends (and volunteers) often run on little to no money and have to stretch their budgets for the most basic items.
Giving charitable contributions doesn’t have to be just at the holiday season. All year long , help is needed. I hope I inspired you to reach out. I have listed some of my favorite charitable organizations below. I have not received any endorsement for any of the charities listed and all that are listed are unbiased and in no particular order
Feel free to use my list, as is, or be inspired to start your own. Please leave a comment below if you have suggestions of who I should add or contact me here . Charity link suggestions will be verified for 501(c)3 status and then added to the list with a credit to the person who suggested.